Uses of Sociology? was: Re: Peter Singer & the "Quality of Life" Ethic (was Re: Replying toMarta...)

Lou Paulsen wwchi at
Sat Dec 9 17:31:58 MST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Macdonald Stainsby <mstainsby at>

>The writings on suicide that I have found both the most stimulating and
inspiring were
>easily those of Huey P Newton's  _Revolutionary Suicide_. The idea being
that the system
>is forcing the most oppressed into a suicidal situation and one has a
choice to make.
>One can commit reactionary suicide- i.e. one takes their own life through
the use of
>different drugs and/or many of the other avenues (like wrist slitting,
etc.),or one can
>accept that as soon as you are a sufficient threat to the current state
structure you
>will be eliminated. Becoming a full-blown revolutionary is a suicidal act
in that you
>will, almost certainly, upon achieving successes in your field, die.

That's from Durkheim, though - anomic suicide vs. altruistic suicide.  It's
not the only thing in Newton's writing which has its roots in an Intro
Sociology course.  He picks up on some of Merton's stuff about deviance and
innovation.  Which is not to take away from Newton.  It shows serious
creative ability if you can take the stuff of an Intro Sociology course and
turn it against the oppressor.

L Paulsen

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