Language and Lunacy
by Robert Anton Wilson
Author of the famed The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan
All white men own corporations and meet weekly with David Rockefeller at the Patriarchy Club to make all the decisions for our society, and other pop-feminist myths.
Self-Hypnosis and the Big Lie
March 1995 - Confucius said "The first rule of politics is to use the language precisely. Otherwise, nobody understands anybody else, and everything falls into chaos." Some commentators regard the ideograms about using language precisely -- ching ming -- as the single most important concept in Confucian philosophy.
In creating a defense league against the rabid androphobia of Steinem & Company, we need to notice which mis-uses of language create the logical chaos that reinforces and perpetuates the androphobic lunacy. I offer two small corrections of language here.
"White men still own all the corporations." I heard this from a Hispanic radical on local TV recently. This sentence can serve as a perfect example of how sloppy language habits create warped reality-tunnels, because it looks almost true at first, but it actually contacts an enormous Nazi-like Big Lie.
Leaving aside the facts that, internationally, many corporations belong to nonwhite males, and that, even nationally, a few corporations belong to females, let us assume that, within the U.S., the statement contains maybe 90 percent accuracy. In other words, let us assume that perhaps 90 percent of all corporations active here have white male owners.
This statement obviously differs vastly from "90 percent of all white males own corporations." In fact, even the Hispanic radical quoted above, if he opened his eyes, could see many, many white males working at lowly and menial jobs in this part of the country. These poor whites do not own corporations. Neither do many others who don't eve have lousy jobs and survive by being on the street.
"White men own all the corporations" does tend to get confused with "All white men own corporations." Listen closely to radicals in general, and Radical Feminists in particular, and you will hear, over and over, how this self-hypnosis works. They leap from the first partly true statement to the second totally false one without even noticing that they have reversed their logical terms in the middle. They can literally walk past a homeless white man and not observe how his existence contradicts their racist/sexist ideology.
Note that the same confusion existed in the foundation of the Nazi madness. "The Jews own the international banks" has lower accuracy than "white men own all corporations," but even if it fit 100 percent of all banks, it would not mean the same as "all Jews own international banks." Nonetheless, the Nazis managed to convince themselves that it did; the Holocaust followed.
Same Words, Different Meanings
As semanticists like Korzybski and Bourland have pointed out, this type of confusion, and the bigotry it perpetuates, results from the very structure of our language. "White men" and "Jews" can serve as subjects of many sentences, but they do not mean the same in all sentences. Thus, "white men came down the path" refers to a definite number at a specific occasion, "White men own corporations" refers to a larger, but still smallish number, a statistically tiny segment of all white men, and "White men are not eligible for affirmative action" refers to all white men in the U.S. today. We tend to confuse these various meanings, unless we modify the key expression at once -- e.g., "Three white men come down the path," "5,000 white men own corporations," "30 million white men are not eligible for affirmative action." (These figures represent estimates, or guesses, to convey the idea. They do not claim to represent statistics I have not collected.)
(I have elsewhere suggested that when generalizing without statistics we should use the term "sombunall" -- some but not all -- in every single case where we have not in fact examined all members of a set or class. -- The New Inquisition)
Consider next "the Patriarchy" against which we have heard so much heated rhetoric in recent decades. Does this term really fit our society? The Rad Fem crowd repeats over and over that it does fit, but I suggest that it does not.
In a Patriarchy, a man continues to have custody of his children after a divorce. In the U.S. today, the wife gets custody in about 90 percent of all cases, as noted by John Sample in the February Backlash. That seems to place us closer to Matriarchy than to Patriarchy.
More important, however, since males dies in our society seven years younger than their wives, the families that own most of the wealth fall under female domination eventually. And, of course, contrary to Rad Fem propaganda, even while the males remain alive, most of them share decision-making with their wives on many important occasions; they probably share decisions with their mistresses also; and women do most of the shopping and spending. The men only earn the money; the women dispose of it.
I think we can only accept Oligarchy as the proper name for that system -- not Matriarchy, as Philip Wylie suggested in the 1940s and not Patriarchy, as the Feminists have insisted since the 1960s. A group of rich families, not merely the males, make all the important decisions. This type of system has existed in every post-tribal society in history, including the ones that calls themselves democratic, socialistic or even communistic. Oligarchy virtually means the same as "civilization." Ignoring this fact, and picking out some scapegoat group like Jews or males, utterly confuses our political thinking and can lead to nothing but madness.
Angry White Males
Finally, my own take on the Angry White Males who allegedly caused the recent Republican risorgimento: as a boy, I learned to believe (as all my family believed) that the Republicans represented the Orangemen (English and Dutch banking families) and the Democrats represented all the rest of us but especially us Irish Catholic working people. As my life took me further and further from that background, I lost all affiliation with Catholicism but retained an ethnic/class identification, of sorts, with the Irish and the working class. If the Democrats have truly lost the Irish and the workers, I can only think they have done it by getting too cozy with Steinemism -- too tightly associated with those racist and sexist pseudo-radicals who don't remember, or want to remember, that not all white men own corporations or meet weekly with David Rockefeller at the Patriarchy Club to make all the decisions for our society.