#37 – Durkheim, Frank Parkin BOOK REVIEW

March 6, 2018
krauserpua

Durkheim Past Masters

But why is Freud on the cover?

I’m a fan of high quality scholarship and it thrills me to my panties to find an unexpected gem. Frank Parkin’s overview of sociology’s founding father Emile Durkheim is such a book. It’s not going to blow your socks off, but it’s a succinct insightful introduction to a complex thinker, written by a man in full command of his subject.

So impressed was I that I had to look a bit more into Parkin’s background. It seems he was one of those well-read cynical English professors who could effortlessly delve into, exegesise, and compare competing theoretical paradigms without becoming a shill for any, nor lose his cutting humour. Parkin specialised in Leftist theory without being what we red pillers would call a leftist. Consider this in his 1979 book Marxism And Class Theory:

“Contemporary western Marxism, unlike its classical predecessor, is wholly the creation of academic social theorists – more specifically, the creation of the new professoriate that rose up on the wave of university expansion in the 1960s. The natural constituency of this Marxism is not of course the working class, but the massed ranks of undergraduates and postgraduate students in the social sciences; its content and design mark it out exclusively for use in the lecture theatre, the seminar room, and the doctoral dissertation…. professorial Marxism has, in the manner of all exclusive bodies, carried out its discourse through the medium of an arcane language not readily accessible to the uninstructed…. [professorial Marxists’] presence at the gates of the Winter Palace[to join the revolutionary fight] is perfectly conceivable, provided that satisfactory arrangements could be made for sabbatical leave” link here

Lol. Parkin knew where the Western universities were headed. His primary scholarly focus was upon the three founding fathers of sociology: Marx, Weber and Durkeim. He wrote overviews of all three men. So, let’s turn back to Durkheim. The best thumbnail sketch of the Frenchman’s ideas comes on literally the last page of this book:

“Durkheimian sociology is driven by a concern to identify pathologies in the body politic with a view to offering practical remedies.” [page 86]

He was both a functionalist and a postivist. Crudely, his functionalism means his metaphor for society was the body, in which all parts are there to fulfill a function and, all parts contributing correctly and in balance will result in a healthy body. His positivism means he sees social facts as things that can be observed and analysed much as how the physical sciences see physical things [1]. With these twin commitments, Durkheim sought to carve out a space for the emerging discipline of sociology and a methodology with which to research it. He put this to the test with his famous study of suicide, about which all sociology undergrads are taught in their freshman year, myself included.

Frank-Parkin-014

Parkin, yesterday

He began by confronting an intriguing puzzle. Actuarial statistics give us a wealth of detail about people’s life chances including their cause of death. In aggregate, we know how many people of a given country will commit suicide next year as accurately as we can predict the average rainfall. Like the rainfall, the fact we can’t predict any individual case does not stop the aggregate amounts being extraordinarily constant year to year.

Given that we know in advance the approximate amount of people who will kill themselves next year, how could suicide possibly be explained as a purely individual phenomenon? This is the case for sociology: if statistical trends are discernable between groups, the explanation cannot be simply individual differences. So Durkheim set himself to an innovative analysis of such trends.

The general consensus in sociology (and of Parkin) is that Durkheim asked the right questions but got the wrong answers. I’m inclined to disagree. I think his writing around turn of the 20th Century was remarkably prescient but the oddities of events in the last century gave the illusion of him being passe. Consider his answers to the suicide issue and judge for yourself.

His statistics showed suicide rates were higher in particular social groups: divorcees higher than married, city dwellers higher than villagers, members of small families higher than large, Protestants higher than Catholics, and educated higher than less educated. From this he concluded that the central explanatory thread was the strength of “moral community”.

People deeply enmeshed in the norms and values of a community are less likely to top themselves. People isolated or adrift are more likely. As Parkin puts it:

“Durkheim concludes from all this that insulation from the suicidal current is best afforded by the bonds of social integration. Members of closely-knit groups or cohesive moral communities enjoy the greatest protection” [page 15]

A further cause of moral un-mooring is “anomy” which occurs under conditions of social or personal upheaval such as stock market crashes or personal destitution [2]. Anomy is the sudden loss of meaning in your life that can occur in the dislocation of the humdrum routine of daily life and upsetting of traditional values and expectations. These can be both social or personal events, and thus amendable to both sociological and psychological research.

Anomy is most likely to afflict those lacking a moral community, and the uptick in anomic suicide is a symptom of societal breakdown (and to a functionalist, a thermometer for the health of the body politic).

Does that sound relevant today? Well, I’m so glad you asked Sonny Jim. Let’s see what Steve Sailor has been writing lately.

“I coined the term the White Death last year when attention finally turned to a remarkable fall in life expectancy among some white populations”
“I’ve been pointing out since November that the spike in increases in deaths by (especially) drug overdose, suicide, and alcoholism seem to be centred in whites who turned 18 in the late 1960s through the early 1980s: i.e., the long Sixties.”
“So, here’s another model: the White Death is less demand-driven, more supply-driven by innovations in first, providing pain pills, then in Mexican black tar heroin gangs marketing at the retail level to whites in obscure parts of the country.”

Sailor weaves in lots of themes so you’d best head over to his site if you want to get abreast of his analysis. I’ll just pull out two things. Here are two of the major risk groups for early death either through dramatic suicide (e.g. shooting yourself) or slow suicide (e.g. heavy opioid use).

  1. Baby boomers enamoured with the Cultural Marxism of their hippy formative years
  2. Young unemployed white kids frozen out by NAFTA, immigration, and globalisation.

I don’t much give a fuck about the baby boomers [3] so lets talk about the kids. White millennials have been raised in a culture that since before their birth is completely corrupted by Marxism. That culture worships nihilism, decadence, libertinism, post-modernism, narcissism, and the noble savage. It hates truth, science, testosterone and white skin.

These kids have been brought up by a culture that hates them, and screams it in their face every single day from cradle to grave. They are the kids of mass-bastardisation, the globalhomo alliance, and Jew trickery. The modern Marxist state has severed all bonds [4] that could give these kids Durkheim’s “moral community”.

1-donald-trump-meme-get-in-pussy-making-america-great-again1

So what a surprise that there’s an opioid-driven suicide crisis among that demographic. A crisis so serious God Emperor Trump declared a national emergency over it [5]. Trump governs like a functionalist, intimately concerned with the health of the body politic.

This analysis is all well and good but the mind-blown element of Durkheim’s thought comes when he discusses socialism. Bear in mind he died shortly after the Bolshevik power-grab so he’s really discussing the utopian socialism of Saint-Simon and Marx, more than he is Lenin or Stalin. I’ll quote Parkin at length because this is gold:

“In his lectures on socialism, given towards the end of the nineteenth century, he adopts the posture of a medical man called in to diagnose a strange and worrying illness. Socialism is examined as the symptom of a disease; its very appearance is a sure sign that society is sick. Socialism, he writes ‘a cry of grief, sometimes of anger, uttered by men who feel most keenly our collective malaise. Socialism is to the facts which produce it what the groans of a sick man are to the illness with which he is afflicted’…
… Socialism for Durkheim, like religion for Marx, was not itself an ailment but an external sign or symptom of an underlying malady. Society would have to be cured before socialism would go away. Seen in this way, socialism was functionally equivalent to suicide. A high or abnormal suicide rate sends out the same kind of warning signals to the organism as the presence of a socialist movement. The remedial steps taken to ensure fewer people kill themselves should at the same time bring about the demise of socialism. The appropriate treatment for both is good social hygiene.” [page 67]

God I love that. As psychologists we can diagnose Leftism as a pathological disorder of the individual. As sociologists we can diagnose Leftism as a pathological disorder of the body politic.

If you’d like to chase skirt in order to resolve your own pathological disorders, you can’t do better than Daygame Infinite. It’ll encourage you in your misadventures.

[1] He wasn’t so crude as to think people are as easy to study as rocks, but that’s the gist of it.
[2] Or mass immigration into your country.
[3] They are the locust generation. They spent all their grandparents’ money, all their own, all their kid’s, and then ran up debt to steal their grandkid’s money as well. They inherited utopia and bequeathed us a multi-cultural Marxist hellhole.
[4] “socialism made the error of confusing bonds with bondage” is a great Parkin one-liner [page 70]
[5] Seeing as those drugs are all coming through the southern border via Mexican cartels, you can see why Marxists don’t want the wall. The last thing they want is the hated white man rediscovering his moral community.

2 Comments

  1. Do you think that we need some kind of great project to inspire people to work together and towards? Or do you think just giving people the ability to work towards their own betterment would be enough motivation?

  2. Good post, but I don’t agree with your analysis.

    The main problem I see with those in the online dissident right is your idealism, the belief in the power of magic composites such as “Cultural Marxism” to explain reality.

    You write: “White millennials have been raised in a culture that since before their birth is completely corrupted by Marxism. That culture worships nihilism, decadence, libertinism, post-modernism, narcissism, and the noble savage. It hates truth, science, testosterone and white skin.”

    Lol, how is that Marxist? That is pure consumer capitalism. Feminism does not succeed because a bunch of well-positioned Jewish academics want it to succeed. It succeeds because families in which women work spend more money, and the massive access of women to the job market implies a downward pressure on wages, just like immigration does. Degeneracy is pushed everywhere because it sells, not due to a particular ideology.

    SJWs are the useful idiots of corporations. It is fantastically explained in this Twitter thread:

    For more on this you should check another Frenchman, Michel Clouscard, and his book ‘The Capitalism of Seduction’. In recent years he has been rediscovered by Alain Soral, whom you probably know, and if not, I also encourage you to check out. He was an avant-la-lettre PUA who has later become a political activist.

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