I recently watched Django Unchained, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. At one point, slave-owning Leonardo asks concerning the blacks, “why don’t they just rise up?” The Last Psychiatrist already addressed this better than I could:
Anyway, perfectly ordinary slaveowner DiCaprio asks a rhetorical question, a fundamental question, that has occurred to every 7th grade white boy and about 10% of 7th grade white girls, and the profound question he asked was: “Why don’t they just rise up?”
Kneel down, Quentin Tarantino is a genius. That question should properly come from the mouth of the German dentist: this isn’t his country, he doesn’t really have an instinctive feel for the system, so it’s completely legitimate for a guy who doesn’t know the score to ask this question, which is why 7th grade boys ask it; they themselves haven’t yet felt the crushing weight of the system, so immediately you should ask, how early have girls been crushed that they don’t think to ask this? But Tarantino puts this question in the mouth of the power, it is spoken by the very lips of that system; because of course the reason they don’t rise up is that he– that system– taught them not to. When the system tells you what to do, you have no choice but to obey.
If “the system tells you what to do” doesn’t seem very compelling, remember that the movie you are watching is Django UNCHAINED. Why did Django rise up? He went from whipped slave to stylish gunman in 15 minutes. How come Django was so quickly freed not just from physical slavery, but from the 40 years of repeated psychological oppression that still keeps every other slave in self-check? Did he swallow the Red Pill? How did he suddenly acquire the emotional courage to kill white people?
“The dentist freed him.” So? Lots of free blacks in the South, no uprisings. “He’s ‘one in ten thousand’?” Everybody is 1 in 10000, check a chart. “He got a gun?” Doesn’t help, even today there are gun owners all over America who feel that they aren’t free. No. You should read this next sentence, get yourself a drink, and consider your own slavery: the system told Django that he was allowed to. He was given a document that said he was a bounty hunter, and as an agent of the system, he was allowed to kill white people. That his new job happened to coincide with the trappings of power is 100% an accident, the system decided what he was worth and what he could do with his life. His powers were on loan, he wasn’t even a vassal, he was a tool.
This is not to minimize the individual accomplishment of a Django becoming a free man. But for the other slaves, what is the significance?
Of course Tarantino knew that the evil slaveowner’s question has a hidden, repressed dark side: DiCaprio is a third generation slave owner, he doesn’t own slaves because he hates blacks, he owns them because that’s the system; so powerful is that system that he spends his free time not on coke or hookers but on researching scientific justifications for the slavery– trying to rationalize what he is doing. That is not the behavior of a man at peace with himself, regardless of how much he thinks he likes white cake, it is the behavior of a man in conflict, who suspects he is not free; who realizes, somehow, that the fact that his job happens to coincide with the trappings of power is 100% an accident… do you see? “Why don’t they just rise up?” is revealed to be a symptom of the question that has been repressed: “why do the whites own slaves? Why don’t they just… stop?” And it never occurs to 7th graders to ask this question because they are too young, yet every adult thinks if he lived back then, he would have been the exception. 1 in 10000, I guess. And here we see how repression always leaves behind a signal of what’s been repressed– how else do you explain the modern need to add the qualifier “evil” to “slaveowner” if not for the deeply buried suspicion that, in fact, you would have been a slaveowner back then? “But at least I wouldn’t be evil.” Keep telling yourself that. And if some guy in a Tardis showed up and asked, what’s up with you and all the slaves, seems like a lot? You’d say what everybody says, “look wildman, don’t ask me, that’s just the system. Can’t change it. Want to rape a black chick?”
Then I read this. According to the statistics given about one in four women suffers violence/rape at the hands of men, although, I have read elsewhere that this number is exaggerated and one in eight would be more accurate. But either way, tThe original giver of these numbers seems shocked that these numbers are so high.
I think the better question is why are these numbers so low?
When men are dominant over women in absolutely every area of power: physical strength, political strength, economic strength, capacity for violence, etc., and these same women hold control over the one base desire to rule them all, why isn’t there more use of force by men to take what they desire?
Women have what men desire and there is little they can do to stop men from taking it. Yet, only a small minority do.
Why isn’t there more violence and rape?
Then I read this: white men are scary. The title says it all. Down in the comments Vanessa stated this:
White men gained power, not because of violence, but because of innovative technology and organization
That’s precisely what makes them scary. They’re not just violent, but clinically focused and horrendously efficient.
I’m German, you know. People think German men are cowards, but they’re not. They’re just very slow to anger, and thank God for that. It is as if the white men of the world have been asleep, and they’re starting to wake up. It’s going to get very scary very fast.
I’ve written about this before. The human male is the apex predator; the single greatest biological killing machine God and/or evolution ever brought forth. White men have brought this violence to levels of horrificness and efficiency previously unknown (except possibly Ghengis Khan).
And yet the question remains, as Vanessa points out:
I think the idea of “white male privilege” is the ultimate Frechheit. It’s not that white males privilege themselves, you ingrates, it’s that they privilege everybody else. They go out of their way to give help everyone else to the same standard of living that they have.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
I don’t know if this is ignorance, or their hate talking, but it makes them sound like clueless idiots.
I’ve written about this before as well. The white man created the greatest civilization in the history of the world and he has the unrivaled power to dominate any who oppose him and take anything he desires. Yet, instead of using this power for absolute domination and enslaving those who aren’t the white man, he allows others to become a part of his civilization.
Why is this? With this unrivaled power, Why does the white man not take more than a few nebulous “privileges”?
Then, we come to another roadblock: even among white men, there is a power differential, an ideological one.
Simply put, almost the entire capacity for violence among the white man rests in one ideological tribe, which, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll label conservatives. The military is conservative, the police are conservative, gun owners are primarily conservative, white males. This ideological tribe controls every level of violence in society.
Yet, in white society, these conservatives are the outer party. Almost the entirety of the government, the media, the education system, etc. rests in the hands of the conservatives’ rival tribe, which, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll call liberals.
This seems odd. The white, conservative male controls the hard power of society by a large amount, but invites others to share in his civilizational inheritance and allows the other white tribe to control the soft power.
Why doesn’t the white male, armed and capable of violence, take control of institutional soft power from the type of people who believe a moral lecture is “hardball”?
What is it about the white, conservative male that causes him to not use the power he has to dominate others?
Why doesn’t he rise up?
Following that: what happens if the white, conservative male sees he controls hard power and has the capabilities to completely dominate others? What happens if he decides to use it?
What happens when the white, conservative male realizes how the system is set up, and decides fuck this?
The system may seem invincible now, but as Vanessa said:
I think you are underestimating how angry young white men are and how little some of them have left to lose. They used to feel like they were the good guys, and they wanted to protect their reputation, but now they know everybody hates them.