Friday, October 28, 2005

The Vanguard of the Scientariat

A Thoroughly Unconstructive Inflammatory Sardonic Satire

News Wire Services— The cold autumn winds blow over the killing fields of Tyler, Indiana. The back wall of Tyler High School is still pocked with bullet holes, and stained with the red-brown splatter of dried blood. Down the street at the courthouse, People's Commissar Ye. Kamenev was eager to defend the mass execution which recently took place out behind the high school.

"They were christians (which I spell with a small c) and christian fellow travelers, defending blind superstition and a vanished way of life!" said the commissar. "While the kulaks were wrecking the Revolution out in the fields, the kulaks of education were wrecking the Revolution here in town. It was a question of mentioning 'ID' or Intelligent Design here in our science classrooms at school, as had recently been approved by our local school board.

"Fortunately," continued Commissar Kamenev, "heroic workers from the rank and file of the scientariat organized and acted decisively to defend the Revolution against all deviationists and counter-revolutionary running dogs."

On a cold October morning, students in Tyler High School science classes were asked to identify themselves if they were christians. "This was not a question intended to violate the sacrosanct separation of church and state," explains the commissar. "It was merely a survey-oriented question meant to help identify reactionary tendencies." Students were also asked to raise their hands if they had questions about evolution, or if they thought it was all right to hear about ID in a science class.

Students who identified themselves in response to any of these three questions were then herded out in back of the building, where they were lined up against the wall, and gunned down with automatic weapons. The dead bodies of the students were then bulldozed into an unmarked mass grave.

"People have said we were being harsh," says Kamenev, "but you have to understand, here in Tyler, Indiana, there's a creationist hiding under every bed! Well, you can't actually see them: it's something like Schroedinger's Cat. Which is good scientific physics, and not the pish-posh supernaturalistic metaphysics of these christians (which I spell with a small c). Why, there are even Mensheviks still hiding out in the woods, dating back to the days of the glorious October Revolution!"

Kamenev concedes that there has been considerable blood let here in recent weeks in this small town in southern Indiana. "We had to purge the entire school board for right-deviationist tendencies. But after being held for several weeks in the county jail, the members of the school board denounced themselves at their own trial! They denounced themselves for betraying the Revolution, they denounced themselves as stooges of superstitionist revanchism, before they were executed."

The members of the choir at the local Methodist Church were also rounded up and shot. Said Commissar Kamenev, "The Methodist Church is a notorious front organization for a hidden secret plot to impose a rigid theocracy on the United States. The Methodists try to hide behind the genteel facade of their potluck dinners, their quilting bees, and their visits to the elderly in nursing homes. But clearly belief in a supernatural being is in itself a sure sign of dangerous theocratic tendencies. Therefore we decided to strike against the Methodist choir before they could strike against us. Anyone who believes in a god (which I spell with a small g) is a dangerous agent of intolerance, therefore in the name of tolerance we had to liquidate them."

When asked if it is not a contradiction in terms to go about mowing people down with machine guns in the name of tolerance, Kamenev looked pensive and bemused before he explained, "You are unable to deal correctly with the question of tolerance, because you are not considering the question of tolerance dialectically. Considering the matter dialectically, you will see that as the contradictions underlying the social struggle of the Revolution intensify, tolerance will be manifest more and more in the guise of its own dialectical opposite. Thus, as the struggle against ID and all forms of irrationalist superstition enters its later stages, Revolutionary tolerance will more and more strongly assume the dialectical form of a stern, unyielding intolerance against all the foes of the Revolution. Thus your question about tolerance is illegitimate, since you do not cast it in the proper dialectical mode of thought."

Commissar Kamenev freely conceded that many of the christian students massacred at Tyler High School claimed that they accepted evolution and had no problem with evolutionary science, and that they put no stock whatsoever in the claims of ID. "But you have to understand, in the first place these students were probably nothing but lying sacks of shit, and even if they were telling the truth that they were christians (which I spell with a small c) and that at the same time they fully accepted evolution... still, they had to be eliminated. When I am operating on the body politic and I find a cancer, I do not remove half the cancer and leave the other half. No, I excise the entire cancer with the sharp scalpel of unflinching Revolutionary justice!"

This rigor extends even to Kamenev's own staff, one of whom was tried and executed for failing to clean the machine guns properly after the slaughter at the high school. "I had to deal with him, and charge him with wrecking. Wrecking is a very serious counter-revolutionary crime. Who but a secret agent of the theocracy would fail to clean our firearms properly, thus leaving us underarmed in case of a sudden need to gun down and liquidate vast masses of young-earth creationists?"

Ye. Kamenev had some final musings on the situation in Tyler, Indiana: "Many people who have not made a proper study of dialectical thought do not understand the true meaning of democratic centralism. The true meaning of democratic centralism, as expounded by Comrade Lenin in his monograph What Is to Be Done?, is that within the process of democratic centralism there is no room for splittism, bourgeois individualism, or dissent from the party line as currently laid forth. Rather, leadership under democratic centralism is dialectically concentrated within that cutting edge of the scientific community which is objectively the most advanced in its pursuit of the Revolutionary struggle. This portion of the scientific community is known as the vanguard of the scientariat. And the leadership of the Revolution by the vanguard of the scientariat is known as the dictatorship of the scientariat.

"All victory to the glorious Revolutionary struggle led by the vanguard of the scientariat! Smash all counter-revolutionary traitors, superstitionists, right-deviationists, left-deviationists, and their running dogs! No compromise with the kulaks of education, and their reactionary crimes of wrecking! Smash the dire theocratic threat of Methodism, Presbyterianism, and Episcopalianism NOW!!!"


Standard disclaimer: The author of this satire is a Presbyterian minister of theologically traditional stripe, who has always fully accepted evolution with no problem, and who finds intelligent design theory neither plausible nor compelling. The author of this satire is not, and never has been, a fundamentalist, a creationist, or a biblical literalist— he prefers to get his theology from theologians, and his science from scientists. At the same time, he has little patience (and is coming to have less and less patience) with the rigid, rabid "true believer" attitudes of those whom he satirizes above as "the vanguard of the scientariat."

Any comments which fail to take into full account the content of the preceding paragraph, or which fail to recognize the satirical nature of this post, will be summarily deleted with glee. My blog, my dime, my call.

(tip of the hat to Dean Esmay)