Je Vous Dis, Merde! 36: The Three BFLs in Contemporary Politics

Do you remember Roald Dahl’s delightful 1982 children’s book, The BFG?

The term BFG stood for “Big, Friendly Giant.”

My term BFL is quite similar to Dahl’s BFG, only a little bit different.

My term BFL stands for “Big, Fucking Lie.”

But please don’t be shocked by my apparent profanity.

It’s just —

plus a forthright intensifying adjective, in order to make it even more emphatic.

Indeed, “Big, Fucking Lie” is actually a technical term in moral and political philosophy, which means —

a falsehood that is widely touted as true, and which, as widely believed, is profoundly morally and politically oppressive for ordinary humanity, both individually and collectively.

I’m going to argue that there are three BFLs in contemporary politics.

Moreover, and significantly, each of the three BFLs in contemporary politics has to do with a distinct profoundly morally and politically oppressive, widely-touted-as-true falsehood about identification.

BFL #1 says:

You should identify yourself with some special social group or groups — e.g., an age group, a gender group, an economic group, a language-speaking group, a national group, an ethnic group, a racial group, a religious group, a sexual-orientation group, etc., etc., etc. — because identifying with this special social group or groups (i) self-defines you, (ii) confers special moral and political virtues on you and your comrades-in-arms, and (iii) justifies your disrespecting and mistreating members of other special social groups.

Wrong.

In fact, the only real self-defining identity is personal identity — that is, your identity as an individual human animal with a conscious, caring, desiring, emoting, perceiving, judging, thinking, self-conscious, intentionally active, rational human life.

Your real self-defining personal identity runs from the emergence of your consciousness at some point in the third trimester of your prenatal human animal life, to the permanent end of your consciousness and therefore your death, at some later point in time.

You are your finite, unique rational human life: nothing more and nothing less than that.

The various roles we all play in social institutions are personae, or performative masks we wear in public, not individual persons with real self-defining personal identity.

Moreover, your finite, unique, rational human life is not only individual but also social: as an individual person, you can create social bonds of mutual respect, consisting in empathy, friendship, kindness, sympathy, love, or solidarity, for and with some other people.

But none of these personae or social bonds is itself a relation of real self-defining identity, because all real self-defining identity is personal identity.

— As Popeye The Sailor Man so wisely said, “I yam what I yam, an’ tha’s all I yam.”

On the contrary, however, mistakenly identifying yourself with a special social group or groups, thus identifying yourself with one or more of your personae or one or more of your social bonds, is the essence of unfreedom, mental slavery, discrimination, and intolerance, because you’ve thereby turned your own innate capacities to think critically and act freely, for yourself, over to group-thinking and group-acting, as determined by some Us, and you’ve also thereby put yourself explicitly or implicitly in cultural conflict with everyone who isn’t a member of your special social group, some Them.

For example, the BFL#1 of special-social-group-identification is precisely what led to the violent clashes in Charlottesville last Saturday, between white supremacist, neo-fascist protesters, and anti-racist, anti-fascist protesters, and to the killing of one of the anti-racist, anti-fascist protesters.

Nevertheless, as the media circus parading around Charlottesville this past week has shown, it’s easy enough to condemn white supremacist racism and neo-fascism, since they’re obviously rationally unjustified and immoral.

But what’s almost impossibly difficult for most people is to recognize that BFL#1 is the underlying cause.

— Do you hate white supremacist racism, neo-fascism, and murder, or do you hate the people who are white supremacists and neo-fascists, and want to hurt them or want them all to die?

If it’s the latter, then you’re under the hypnotic spell of BFL#1.

And if it so happens, whether this coming Saturday or any other day, somewhere, that an ANTIFA protester attacks or kills a neo-Nazi protester in retribution for Charlottesville, then you can be certain that it’s BFL#1 that’s ultimately to blame.

BFL#2 is:

You should identify your individual best interests, i.e., the best interests of ordinary humanity, with the worldview of rich, powerful corporate capitalists, especially billionaires, and those who serve them, the highly-paid Establishment.

Wrong.

In fact, 99% of the time, the worldview of rich, powerful corporate capitalists and the highly-paid Establishment consists precisely in exploiting, impoverishing, and mortally endangering the rest of humanity, and at the very same time manufacturing consent for their exploitative, impoverishing, mortally endangering activities by means of their propaganda-machines, the mainstream mass media and social media controlled by them.

Just ask yourself:

Why don’t we all have universal basic income?

Why don’t we all have universal free higher education?

Why don’t we all have a universal system of non-shit jobs available to everyone capable of doing them, that also directly deal with the huge problems of climate change and environmental degradation?

Why don’t we all have universal free health care?

Why don’t we all have universal open borders?

Why don’t we all have gun abolitionism?

And the answer is:

Because they’re all in YOUR individual best interests, i.e., the best interests of ordinary humanity, whereas the rich, powerful corporate capitalists, especially billionaires, and those who serve them, the highly-paid Establishment, NEED to keep you in a permanently oppressed but also permanently compliant, obedient condition so that they can permanently pursue THEIR worldview.

And BFL#3 is:

You should identify your individual best interests, i.e., the best interests of ordinary humanity, with the worldview of the State.

Wrong.

The State is a system of coercive authority — via the government, the military, the legal system including the prison system, and the police — according to which you are obliged to do whatever they tell you to do, even if their commands are rationally unjustified and immoral, just because they are the government and the legal system including the prison system, and just because they also possess the military and police power to compel you to heed and obey their commands, under threats of violence or by means of actual violence.

But if what the State commands you to do is rationally unjustified and immoral, then it’s rationally unjustified and immoral, period, and the State’s compelling you to heed and obey these commands, under threats of violence or by means of actual violence, cannot possibly justify these wrongs.

Moreover, and perhaps above all, in contemporary neoliberal democratic States, those who actually control the government, the legal system including the prison system, the military, and the police are not The People — that’s you, ordinary humanity — but instead are precisely the rich, powerful corporate capitalists, especially billionaires, and those who serve them, the highly-paid Establishment: hence they’re rightly described as “The Deep State.”

In other words, as mind-boggling and as paradoxical as it might at first seem, The Deep State and the State are the real and ultimate political oppressors of The People.

***

What can we conclude from all this?

It should be self-evident by now that BFL#2 and BFL#3 together constitute a highly effective circular, self-serving, self-supporting, dual sub-system of Big Fucking Lies, and that BFL#1 plays a crucial tertiary sub-systemic role by effectively keeping The People — ordinary humanity — from ever thinking critically or acting freely for themselves, by always idolizing and valorizing Us, and in a permanent state of endlessly distracting cultural conflict, by always fearing and hating Them.

— That being so, now what is to be done?

My proposal is:

Once you’ve clearly and distinctly recognized, and then also internalized, that BFL#1, BFL#2, and BFL#3 are, indeed, nothing but a complete system of Big Fucking Lies, then you’ll already be in an extremely good position to rebel against them and to demand, on the contrary, something very like the seven-part political platform described directly below.

And, as always, to anyone who seriously disputes the soundness of this argument,

Je vous dis, merde!

***

“Je vous dis, merde!” (literally, “I say to you: shit!” or more loosely, “You’re so full of shit!”) is a morally and politically defiant slogan invented and first published by an early 20th-century Catalan anarchist who used the nom de guerre “Miguel Almereyda.” Almereyda, who was murdered in a French prison in 1917, was also the father of the famous French film director Jean Vigo, who immortalized the same slogan in his breakthrough 1933 film, Zéro de conduite, aka Zero for Conduct.

Here is the seven-part platform of The Wake The Fuck Up! Party , aka The WTFU Party, aka Up Against the Wall, Philosophy-Fucker!, aka UAW/PF —

1. Universal Respect for Human Dignity (URHD):

· Human dignity is the absolute non-denumerable moral value of every member of humanity, and everyone ought to try wholeheartedly to treat everyone else in a way that is sufficient to meet the demands of respect for human dignity, especially including (i) alleviating or ending human oppression, and (ii) actively engaging in mutual aid and mutual kindness.

2. Universal Basic Income (UBI):

· Anyone 21 years of age or over and living permanently in the USA, who has a personal yearly income of $50,000.00 USD or less, and who is capable of requesting their UBI, would receive $25,000.00 USD per year, with no strings attached.

3. A 15-Hour Workweek for Understaffed Non-Bullshit Jobs (FHW-for-UNBJs):

· Anyone 18 years of age or older who is living permanently in the USA, who has completed a high school education, and is mentally and physically capable of doing a job, would be offered an eco-job, paying a yearly wage of $25,000.00 USD, for fifteen hours of work (three 5-hour days) per week.

Thus anyone 21 years of age or older with a high-school degree and who is also mentally and physically capable of working, would have a guaranteed yearly income of at least $50,000.00 USD if they chose to do an eco-job.

The rationale behind the three-year gap between (i) being offered an eco-job at 18 and (ii) beginning to receive their UBI at 21, is that every young adult who has finished high school will have the option of pursuing three years of part-time or full-time free higher education without credentialing, i.e., for its own sake, after high school, before making longer-term decisions about what I call job-work and life-work.

***

Here are a few more details about UBI and eco-jobs.

(i) The UBI is to be paid by a monthly stipend check.

(ii) Eco-job income is not taxed.

(iii) For all individual yearly incomes of $50,000.00 USD or under, no tax will be levied; hence for someone receiving their UBI and also doing an eco-job, no income tax will be levied.

(iv) For all individual non-eco-job incomes, for every $1.00 USD earned above the standard UBI of $25,000.00 USD, the monthly UBI stipend is reduced by 50 cents, until the recipient’s UBI is reduced to zero; hence for those individuals with yearly non-eco-job incomes equal to or under $50,000.00 USD, the maximum UBI + non-eco-job income sum is always $50,000.00 USD.

(v) For all individual yearly incomes over $50,000.00 USD, for every $10,000.00 USD earned, that surplus income is taxed at the rate of 1%, with the highest surplus income tax rate being 50%; hence the maximum surplus 50% tax rate starts at individual yearly incomes of $550,000.00 USD, and applies to all higher surplus incomes.

***

4. Universal Free Higher Education Without Credentialing (HEWC):

· Everyone would be offered, beyond their high-school education, a free, three-year minimum, optional (but also open-ended beyond those three years, as a further option), part-time or full-time universal public education program in the so-called “liberal arts,” and also in some of the so-called “STEM” fields, including the humanities, the fine arts, the social sciences, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

· For many or even most people, their HEWC would fall between (i) the end of their high school education at age 18 and the corresponding availability of eco-jobs, and (ii) the beginning of their UBI at age 21.

· But HEWC would be open to anyone with a high school degree, no matter how old they are, provided they are mentally and physically capable of doing the program.

5. Universal Free Healthcare (UFH):

· Every human person living permanently in the USA will receive free lifelong healthcare.

6. 2-Phase Universal Open Borders (2P-UOB):

· Phase 1: Starting in 2021, there will be universal open borders with Canada and Mexico, and everyone who moves across those borders and then claims residence in the USA, will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the USA, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents to depend on the current availability of (i) adequate funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the USA, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

· Phase 2: Also starting in 2021, the USA, Canada, and Mexico will collectively form a Global Refugee Consortium (GRC), with three-way open borders to any political refugee, economic refugee, or asylum seeker from anywhere in the world (aka “global refugees”), who will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA, Canada, or Mexico, and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the three GRC countries, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents, and the precise distribution of new residents among the three members of the GRC, to depend on the current availability of (i) funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the three GRC countries, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the GRC and elsewhere in the world.

7. Universal No-Guns (UNG):

· No one in the USA, including police, internal security forces of all kinds, armies, and intelligence forces of all kinds, has the moral right to possess or use guns of any kind, for any purpose whatsoever, because the primary function of guns is coercion, and coercion is immoral.

· UNG would be implemented by repealing the Second Amendment to the US Constitution in 2021 and then universally banning the possession or use of guns thereafter.

I’m also assuming that Universal Public Education (UPE) — universal free access for all human persons of any age to good public education up to the end of high school — already exists in most countries, and needs no further justification.

Where UPE does not already exist, it would automatically become a necessary part of the seven-part WTFU Party package, thereby making it a eight-part package.

***

Mr Nemo, Nowhere, NA, 18 August 2017

The WTFU Party is a sub-project of the online mega-project Philosophy Without Borders, which is home-based on Patreon here.

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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