Saturday, September 21, 2013

Night Beverly Hills (2)


Part Two of Night Beverly Hills

- A lot of this I don't understand. Primitive societies are complex. Something created that complexity. And they are knowledgeable, right? About medicinal herbs, etc? What happened to the science, experiment and observation, that they used to gain their knowledge, make their societies?
- It was lost. Like we lost the philosophy, arts, theater of the Greeks and only began gaining it back 2000 years later.
- Ok. And our free market: you say it is part of the hierarchy where science plays the role of upper class. Explain that some more.
- Free market economics says to the scientists: hands off our hierarchy!
- Who says?
- Ritual. We learn to do things without knowing why, and then when someone asks why we do it, we answer, that's how it's done. We do it because it makes us feel safe and powerful.
- So we got back our creative science, and at the moment it might have been turned to society, to creating what you called a technology of good, the ritual of the free market arises to block that development.
- Unsuccessfully.
- Yes. English, American, French revolutions came one after another. Science is at war with itself. And now?
- We have our leaders in politics, in the Universities, practicing the free market hierarchical science, allowing themselves to investigate everything but how people trade with each other, how people like or don't like each other. The results might hinder the regular function of the other two classes, those who work and those who manage workers. What workers and managers do must be left as it is now, unconsidered, learned without knowledge, learned ritually. Meanwhile, we have real science teaching us how free trade in primitive peoples is exceptional to their ordinary life of gift giving, done only between enemies, that only scientific hierarchical societies like ours, where managers and workers, buyers and sellers deal with each other in a constant state of enmity, fight wars.
- Do the leaders know what they are doing? Don't they care they are ruining people's lives?
- At the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the infamous manager of transportation for the Nazi's final solution execution of millions of people, the prosecutor forced him to admit he'd been taken to a concentration camp to watch through a peephole the mass gassing of hundreds of naked men women and children. He said he fainted. Then went on to do what was his job and he was proud to do. The prosecutors wanted to get him to admit that at one point at least he had done the bad his group participation demanded of him and rewarded him for while he knew absolutely that what he was doing was wrong. Suppressing individual knowledge of bad in exchange for rewards from participating in a group is one definition of evil. With time and distance, however, the individual resistance is overcome. Not forgotten. No. Every element finds its place in the repetition and hierarchy that is working out so well and creating so much power for its scientific directors.
- So they don't care about destroying people's lives. They don't think they are. The system is responsible, the hierarchy. It's just the way things are. They aren't evil.
- Do they look evil to you?
- No.
- Do you believe they themselves feel evil?
- No. But you imply with your Eichmann story that they do know what they are doing.
- They do. There's not the slightest doubt about that. In the U.S., in the European Union, our own economists tell our leaders the economic theories they put into effect are false, but they do it anyway. The free market is off limits. The hierarchy exerts its authority. Existing relations between people, as enemy to enemy, cannot be challenged. Ritual does its work. The stability of society technology creates helps them accept as inevitable, as "what's done", accept all that in the life of enemies living among enemies once long ago terrified them. The ride on the bus is long past. All is well in this best of all possible worlds.
- So what's next? Will science free itself from the hierarchy?
- How should I know?