In our busy modern world, we have a tendency to try to handle problems through centralized authorities. As with all things, sometimes that method is the best.
With the rise of Libertarianism in America (as Plato predicted would happen at this point in a civilization’s life cycle), we see another method of ruling: letting a free market decide, which is usually more flexible and responsive than a centralized authority, especially a bureaucratic one. Again, sometimes this method is best.
There is another method we should consider: cultural rule, or letting standards of behavior be enforced by the population. When there is a cultural norm, there is a values system inherent to the civilization, and people tend to want to be friends with people who uphold it and eschew those who violate it. Sometimes this is the best method, and I’d argue that most day-to-day things are better handled by cultural morality and free markets than bureaucracy.
The best example I can think of is downloading of music. Although music downloading is illegal and some would argue immoral, it allows someone to explore far more music than they could otherwise — on a factor of tens or hundreds. In addition, it enforces a “cheapness” to music that makes it easier for less exceptional stuff to fade into the background.
If it’s not great, you download it and it sits around until one day you notice you don’t care, then you delete it. On the other hand, the things you really liked you bought — or would, if we had a cultural standard of morality for music downloading. As it is now, we’re polarized. Some hate it because it’s illegal and possibly immoral, and others love it, and push themselves to an extreme position of demanding that it be considered legal and moral. There’s no middle ground there.
In a society that isn’t so polarized, and where law enforcement is less of a focus than proving that one’s own character is good, the people who are going anywhere in life might download music, but they’d also want to show a shelf full of the things they did like that they bought. Otherwise, people might suspect they’re only freeloading thieves and distrust them.
We need a middle ground. Downloading music offers a way to try so much more than buy-before-try, yet letting go of the reigns and deciding to not care whether people steal or not is equally broken as requiring people to buy everything before they hear it.
Where governmental morality creates a fear of getting caught, and an equal and opposite reaction of resentment and thus a desire to violate the law more, cultural morality creates a positive force: behave well so you will be considered good and rewarded with friendship.
If humanity is to get past its current stagnation, it will be through the exploration of more flexible systems of self-governing, including culture and free markets. The old way of appointing a Nanny State is just too primitive to deal with the future we face.
The left is obsessed with the alleged racism of the Tea Party. What’s more likely is that it’s opposition to replacing the middle class with imported voters and, in turn, a defense of the most vital founding principle of the middle class.
Is the Tea Party racist? Some scholar who’s very aware that there’s an audience to purchase his information product thinks so:
A new survey by the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality offers fresh insight into the racial attitudes of Tea Party sympathizers. “The data suggests that people who are Tea Party supporters have a higher probability”—25 percent, to be exact—”of being racially resentful than those who are not Tea Party supporters,” says Christopher Parker, who directed the study. “The Tea Party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race.” – “Are Tea Partiers Racist?”, Newsweek, April 26, 2010
I propose a different idea: it’s easy to confuse racism with resistance to multiculturalism. After all, both say no to the same thing, which is that we turn diversity into uniformity by ensuring that we have the same racial mix in every nation on earth.
Racism, to my mind, means a desire to rank oneself above others on the basis of race. While it’s vile, it’s no different than ranking ourselves above others because we have college educations, or drive fast shiny cars, or live in the right neighborhood, or like deadmau5 more than AC/DC. It’s all a Weberian search for social status.
(Interestingly, so is anti-racism. If you want to appear smarter and a better person than your neighbor, call them an ignorant redneck and point to the fact that you are racially open-minded, while they’re still stuck in the past. Being against racism helps you look cool to your friends, win acclaim at work, and maybe even seduce modern feministy, desperately open-minded, crowd-friendly women.)
Opposition to multiculturalism is different. It can exist for many reasons. One of which is the simple “I think it won’t end well.” Another is what motivates the Tea Party: recognizing that multiculturalism is an attempt to replace the mostly-white, mostly-conservative, mostly-Christiany American middle class with imported voters.
In other words, we’re all pawns in a power struggle. It’s like the movie Napoleon Dynamite: if you’re not one of the popular kids, and you still want to win the class election, you’d better round up every misfit you can find — these are the people who are not from the elite who represent what the majority find desirable — and use strength of numbers to win. If you could suddenly drop 1,000 people on your high school, you’d pick people from far away who would not identify with the majority and their elites.
You would create a band new elite based on being not the majority, not of their values and not of their background. Some might call that racism, but we’ve conveniently defined racism to mean majority-versus-minority conflict.
Modern society by the very nature of its politics has two levels of truth. The first is public truth, or what you tell other people. Daddy isn’t passed out drunk under the couch; he’s “resting.” The second is private truth, or what as far as you can tell is closest to reality. Euphemism, movies, big media news and our literature all avoid these private truths to focus on public ones. That’s because if you come up with a public truth that people already want to believe, they’ll buy it from you and use it to justify their confirmation bias.
That’s what this political conflict is about. The new imported voters are not going to care about historical truth; they’re going to buy whatever explanation sounds good to them. That will make them easier to control. That in turn will make the new elites more powerful, and give our nation a tighter control over its population, although it will also have other consequences.
Back in the Civil War era, we saw this public/private truth dichotomy in full flare. The war between the states was about a simple principle: do we have a majority rule from a central authority, which makes the populous Northeast rule our country, or does each state act independently toward a less clearly defined common goal? But that’s complex. Look at that sentence — lots of words. It’s easier to just claim that it’s about slavery, call your opponents racists (a subset of class warfare, meaning that you appeal to anyone who is not prosperous) and to unite the many alienated workers in the cities toward your cause.
We re-enacted that principle in WWII. Hitler and Tojo would have shattered American global dominance that had existed since the turn of the century, when America’s navy got powerful enough to strike anywhere in the world. They were un-doing the Anglo-American hegemony established after WWII. But that’s too complicated for a sound bite. Instead, they’re evil baby-killers who are also racist and probably oppressive. Who cares if it’s true? It’s the myth we need to believe.
Right now, the same meme is being fired at Tea Partiers. If they raise any objections to the way We The People want to do things, we’re going to use the best insult we have — we’ll accuse them of being against equality, using the subsets of racist, homophobe, sexist and classist. Why discuss the issues the Tea Party raises? The importance is shouting them down.
But no matter which side of the equation we’re on, we should look at these very interesting times as an important revelation of where our society is going. We got our first black president, and now he’s not post-racial. In fact, he’s trying to rally the non-white non-male voters to his side.
If you read between the lines, he’s saying the future of Democrats in our country is disenfranchising and out-numbering these white, educated and prosperous people who form the Tea Party and in the past, a large part of his party. He doesn’t want to end bipartisanship. He wants to destroy the Other Side.
Setting aside race and political orientation for now, we can see this conflict as a collision between personal values systems:
- Middle class: work hard, get ahead, let the best beat out the rest and take home big rewards. That way, the smartest among us shape our society organically. This is like natural selection, but gentler. Let states and local communities be different, and let individuals both have independence to choose their own lifestyles and ideals, and on the flip side, face the consequences if they picked an illusion.
- New way: reward everyone equally so that none are left out. Protect us from the ravages of both the successful and natural selection. Get everyone together on the same ideals everywhere, and have a strong centralized moral authority in government that can defend this dogma and enforce it on those too ignorant and selfish to understand it. Protect people from their own bad judgment with laws banning dangerous behavior, and subsidies when they fail.
Remember above how we showed that the Tea Partiers tend to be more educated, and by extension, have read more history than current events news? Whether we call it socialism or not, the kind of dogma that Obama advocates is found in all declining civilizations and isn’t a recent invention. It’s a hybrid between paternalism, the state in loco parentis, the kind of egalitarianism that makes one popular in social settings, and a type of flat-hierarchy feudalism where government takes care and keeps control of its citizens.
This is exactly the type of government our Founding Fathers(tm) left Europe to escape. There, it was the church and the dying remnants of the aristocracy defending themselves against the rising revolutions and Protestantism. Here, it’s the Nanny Sate and its counterpart, the all-powerful government that passes moral judgment on its citizens. In the new dogma, you are either in line with the moral dogma, or you’re an enemy of the state.
Where the basic idea of middle class America is “let the best rise,” the founding principle of the new dogma is “reward all who are on our side.” This isn’t the language of people looking to build a prosperous nation, but those who are looking to take over one. And this is why the Tea Partiers are worried: they’re looking at people who literally want to dispossess them and their children, replace them with a new population, and move on toward the kind of government that uses this type of plan — a type of government generally found in the third world or politically dysfunctional countries.
Of course, people are easy to mislead, and our media loves to fan the flames because it brings in more viewers. Which is a more popular message: “we need to fix this with hard work” or “it’s not your fault, someone did you wrong, so we need to band together to destroy them”? Whether it’s Napoleon Dynamite or Save the Last Dance, the message is that all the misfits must band together and crush the oppressor, who is conveniently racist, sexist, homophobic or whatever moral absolute we need to convince us that they’re 100% bad. Slavery. Fascism. Pedophilia.
The middle class is important because they are guardians of American society. They work hard, save their money, buy $10 sneakers instead of $200 ones, and as a result are able to employ others at their small businesses, contribute to the arts and society, and use their productivity and competence to make our nation run strongly. Their Christiany-ness is no surprise: the flip side of “let the best rise” is the knowledge that the best will then turn around and give back to those who are also deserving.
In this battle, the cry of “racism” is empty because it is a justification — using guilt and passive aggression — for replacing the middle class and middle class values with a group of misfits dependent on an all-powerful centralized government. Racial equality is not the goal, but the means of achieving it, or neutralizing the educated, white, middle class of America with racial guilt.
As I propose in a related article, the essence of conservatism is preservationism. If the Tea Party knows what’s good for themselves, they’ll become a Green Tea Party and work to not only preserve the middle class and its values, but our natural environment. The two values go hand-in-hand. In doing so, they’ll establish the higher principle they’re fighting for here, one that gets obscured behind the rhetoric about “Socialism” versus that of “Racism.”
While all the talking heads are calling the Tea Party racists, the educated middle class members of the Tea Party are involved in a far greater fight — to determine what future we pick, one that rewards the best or one that norms us and stops driving us to be better than we are. That is a fight for the soul of a nation, and one that should not be so easily dismissed as with the now-empty epithet, “racist.”
A couple months ago, on one of our affiliated discussion domains, an interesting dialogue took place. The discussion topic was inspired by an essay by Vijay Prozak at the domain titled Oncology. I’ll repost my “Plato” part from the topical disussion as follows:
Months ago, there was a blog published at the Archdruid Report (The Twilight of Money), as is often the case, about the economy and modern way of life. This blog dealt with the concept of abstractions.
I don’t know if it is The Problem, but certainly a problem with modernism is our use of abstractions. I believe understanding our use of abstractions is another helpful path, along with enumerating modernism’s components.
Take the story of the Ten Commandments. Tribal leader Moses travels alone up the mountain to go meet with the Almighty as instructed. With the leader absent, the tribe breaks down into anarchy and debauchery, a sort of default state sliding into entropy and self-destruction; not-being to the Neoplatonic; evil to the Christian; living hell to the Hindu, etc.
Moses returns later with the two tablets and some drama follows. The point here is the tablets themselves. They are an abstract layer of more accessible, better simplified instructions for how not to self-destruct as a group, which we may as well take to mean comprehending reality. Again, with tribal leader Moses away, the tribe had gone astray into their own fantasies, losing touch with reality.
Another way to look at this is binary electrical signals in personal computing as a true reality, with the colorful buttons and legible text on our visible light emitting monitors as our accessible, convenient abstract layer for interfacing with personal computing’s true reality, which are those minute binary signals transceiving information.
Our bodies are far too big and slow to pull electrons one at a time manually and arrange in required order. It is a natural, physical limitation we are stuck with but have nonetheless managed to overcome with our clever use of interface layers.
Similarly, by default, we very rarely if ever produce people of such leadership quality that they are consistently cognizant of reality-as-it-exists. Even if we did, how could one such rare person, other than an acknowledged, unquestioned god-king command such obedience that everyone is kept in line and away from drifting off into that default animal not-being state of ours? Hence, our moral layer applications, if only for efficiency.
But this morality interface is itself corrupted in our time, isn’t it?
Continuing with the Ten Commandments for our example, we have additional layers atop this original set. There are constitutions, at least in our part of the world, and atop these are laws. Each of these layers had better interface perfectly with the one above it all the way to God, else error is introduced.
Yet, adding layers has not kept the prisons from overflowing from all the instances of criminality and stupidity taking place in our time.
I’ll grant that a man is part of and not the whole of reality, so a standard for what is moral, if moral is taken to mean, “actions and beliefs that consistently function correctly”, essentially lie outside a given man’s being and his time.
What works in reality was there before him, and after him, and remains so with or without his presence. What works in our interactions as physics and these interactions as emergent effects over time is therefore a universal.
The problem with a man is his own ability to interface with reality; how accurately and consistently, as frequency and volume, he does so in life. It goes without saying that some people are more perceptive and some less so. Others value trustworthiness and altruism, but many care for neither.
These characteristics and others are gradients, not binary categories. In addition, they may change over time from a multitude of factors: genes, nutrition, rest, injury, pity or jadedness that comes from experiences in a given context. The gradients dynamically shift in tone as it were from instance to instance for each man.
Referring again to the Moral Existence clause, “frequency of actions and beliefs that consistently function correctly”, this is effectively perfect inequality between men.
Our dialogue concluded with an outstanding summary by the “Glaucon” party:
- Reality is perfectly good.
- One human being can not be as good as Reality, at least as long as he remains a human being.
- Man can learn about Reality, and by his will can improve: but not every human being can do this equally, because they differ in knowledge and will (and many other things). Therefore, we have inequality among human beings; some will necessarily be more virtous than others. And even one human being can change in time: virtue may improve or deteriorate.
- From this follows that there is perfect inequality between human beings.
American citizenship used to mean something. We live under a federal government that was designed in a very interesting and distinct way: certain functions were centralized, but many were given to the responsibility of the individual states. The way this country was colonized and eventually taken over, and due to its sheer size, each state had its own mini-culture associated with it. Thus, each state had its own unique problems and own unique solutions, its own unique resources, etc. The country was really designed for, ultimately, fifty smaller communities to live the way they saw fit, while obeying a set of basic federal laws and only promising to not violate those laws.
Now, we’ve swung in a different direction. The more the executive branch of our government centralizes power (we can go all the way back to FDR’s New Deal programs if you like), the less distinct our fifty different cultures become. Heavy federal regulation has led to an expectation that each state will not live by its own values anymore, but roll up their portion of the federal tax pie to the IRS and wait patiently for handouts (read: distribution of funds). This is backward because it requires all states to obey certain rules in order to obtain funding for many state government functions. The federal government initially collected no income tax; it would tax certain items and otherwise borrow from the states for military purposes and a few other basic functions. In this, we can see that power centralization force-fits all of us into a lowest common denominator (LCD) – and that standard is usually set by loonies out in California.
We are currently seeing a direct example of the disconnect between state and federal government in Arizona:
The law, the nation’s toughest, seeks to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants
and gives police broad powers to stop people on suspicion of being in the United States illegally.
Seventy-one percent of poll respondents said they’d support requiring their own police to determine people’s U.S. status if there was “reasonable suspicion” the people were illegal immigrants, the poll found.
An equal percentage supported arresting those people if they couldn’t prove they were legally in the United States.
Despite the fact that most hard working, tax paying Americans want their government to do more to curb illegal immigration, we’re being blasted in the media with stories about how we can’t – that’s racial profiling; these people are just undocumented workers; “why you gotta be so mean to people who just want an opportunity?”
Never mind the fact that the logic of amnesty from these same people makes no sense. If 47% of people don’t pay federal taxes and you grant illegal immigrants amnesty, many of whom would fall into that bracket, all you’re doing is allowing them to demand higher, minimum wages and not pay any taxes anyway. That gives us more mouths to feed instead of a broader tax base, and does take minimum wage jobs from Americans who would clearly work at that rate.
When we start worrying about the problems of everyone else rather than the problems of our community and upholding our closely held set of values, simple rights outlined in our own founding documents – think gun ownership – seem draconian and old fashioned. Suddenly, rather than the federal government answering to its taxpayers, the taxpayers are answering to the government. When fifty distinct, smaller governments all try to force-fit the rules of one, centralized government into its culture, culture is eventually sacrificed, and with it standards and values rooted in tradition and history of that specific area.
Another argument we hear about from the LCD crowd is that we are “a nation of immigrants”. We’re actually a nation of European immigrants, and after the colonists revolted and created a sovereign nation, all of those immigrants were documented. The Irish left in droves due to famine and were simply documented upon arrival. The Italians had pretty much the same deal. But being documented, and having the threat of deportation looming if arrested, both groups of European immigrants assimilated – even through hardships [1,2] – and were still very proud to call this country their own. The Italians built a good swath of New York City; the Irish rose to political prominence in Boston and other cities.
I’ve had this argument with others, who feel that we can do better than how Italians and Irish were treated upon arrival. I tend to think of things the other way: I don’t think they would have been so quick to assimilate, adopt the English language or American values had they not gone through that hardship. As a result, I’m okay with the history – they weren’t in their homeland, and they didn’t expect people to hand them jobs and benefits. In fact, accepting that was considered shameful, and it’s another reason we see immigrants from Asia rising to prominence as well. They’d rather tough it out and assimilate than come here and expect a monthly check simply for being present.
One problem with illegal immigration and amnesty is that you don’t have to work for citizenship that way, and those old, draconian founding documents require our federal government to protect our borders (read: sovereignty) as well as the idea of American citizenship. If you don’t have to work for it, why respect it? That’s probably part of the reason we see people sneak in and then demand amnesty rather than asking nicely if they can get in line with others who wait years for the same privilege.
But the main problem Americans have with illegal immigration and what we don’t see from illegal immigrants from south of the border is the same pride other immigrant classes have shown upon arrival. We don’t see them rise up and create businesses, or become political activists for something other than Aztlan movements or handouts. We don’t see them act against gang violence and the drug trade that they bring with them into this country. And we certainly don’t see them going through much in the way of hardship, other than taking illegal jobs that pay cash under the table to work at a construction site or for a landscaper.
That lack of pride translates to a lack of culture. If you leave your culture at home and move to a new place with no clear cultural identity – at least, not one you care to assimilate – then there’s a disconnect between the wants of the illegal immigrant and the idea of citizenship. Rather than take the hard line and insist these people assimilate as other immigrant classes have done, we feel it’s far less burdensome to just allow them into our culture. Since we don’t have a real culture anymore, it seems we’ll take anyone with a warm body and hands that can work just hard enough to shuffle paper – or chop onions.
You’re on a highway in a lifelong traffic jam coasting along with your pals on the way to Happytown. As the party city appears to at times draw nearer in the distance, your inner map also recalls the location of a rumored Truthville off some side road over yonder around these parts.
Your journey along with the rest of the crowd is a long one, but along the way you and your pals find diversions to ease the routine. You keep a CD in the player pumping out a beat over the speakers. The guy in the back seat is watching some flick or maybe a ball game on the car DVD player.
The chick beside you has her face fixed before the visor mirror with a lipstick dabbing around her mouth and a tissue ready to mop up mishap smudges. The other guy in the back is passed out snoring with a string of drool hanging down the side of his face. The bag of crunchy snacky cheezes in his lap is about to dump over.
Up ahead past the wall of traveling cars before you, someone has pulled off along the roadside. The car looks to have been sitting there for some time. The driver’s door was left wide open and the uncaring driver is missing. The car’s other occupants remain within, but they are pale and stiff and gathering flies because they are now dead husks.
You spot the driver off in the distance making his way up the shunned path to Truthville. The path is thick with the overgrowth of briars and cratered with muddy potholes. Unlike the highway to Happytown, this way is a harder one, but the driver, with his back to you nonetheless trudges along, steadily tearing through the spiny briars and striding over the potholes in the long neglected path.
For some reason, undaunted, he carries on in the direction of Truthville somewhere just over the hills, but everyone else (miles and miles of them in their plastic wheeled coffins) joy rides at a crawl pace to the promised Happytown straight ahead. It occurs to you that you are about to pass a crossroad and leave it behind. Very briefly, the traveler to Truthville glances over his shoulder and fixes you in his gaze, then turns back again to the task ahead.
Vijay Prozak is leader of the website with the hilarious name anus.com (American Nihilist Underground Society), despite the name the website promotes abstruse thought as well as underground metal music. The website is probably more famous for its promotion of underground metal bands and its unique-styled band reviews. Prozak and his website has earned a level of notoriety, disdain as well as respect among most (if not all) of the metal music communities on the website. It has existed in one form or other for the last 20 years, a currently unsurpassed achievement.
For many people, metal serves as a starting point into something deeper: that is a starting point for exploring philosophy as well as hidden meanings and patterns within society and the universe. Not everyone pursues this line of thought whenever they become interested in metal music; unfortunately, those that don’t are happy to drink beer, smoke pot and party — they never aspire to great things in life. Those that do look for deeper meaning will find Prozak’s website thought provoking and (most likely) controversial.
So here we go….
The conclusion is particularly impressive. I’ve been pondering the reference to Promethean Spirit made at the end:
Liberalism in its purest form is praise for the highest individual above both the crowd and any moribund social mechanisms the crowd have put into place. This is why both liberals and conservatives cheer any story where the exceptional person rises above convention and does something that benefits all others.
Breaking through or going around calcified bureaucracy or corrupt institutions to allow greatness the means to have a place to grow once more is similar to the myth of Prometheus; the titan stealing fire-knowledge from the gods and giving that power potential to mankind.
Some will get it wrong and in so doing bring themselves to ruin. All the rest will recoil in horror and protest. But, some few may take the fire-knowing and bring lasting benefit into existence. The important part is to cast this die of chance to begin with so that the future is not claimed by a state of gradual, certain socialized decay manifesting in institutional civilization atrophy and dogma.
We live in a social reality. In addition to physical reality, we have to make sure our friends, neighbors, co-workers and service providers like us.
To that end, we tend to repeat memes of “truth” about our world that they like. Even if we don’t mean to, we pass these memes on as conversation.
This becomes a problem when the memes diverge from reality by a substantial margin. I’m not talking about a little bit of fudging here — but outright wrong.
One meme we have is that our technology makes us bulletproof, our “enlightened” progressive politics make us post-historical, and that we’re too big too fail.
But if you think about it, there is no guarantee that the social memes are correct. We pass them along without thinking about whether they’re correct.
And if you think a little more, you’ll see that most civilizations fail at some point. If they knew they were failing, they’d counteract that, right?
Then you look around and see all the people in denial. In denial that their drug habits have consequences, that their teenage daughters are having sex, that those sounds at night are indeed squirrels that have moved into the attic.
Human behavior is very practical. Part of that is that if we cannot fix a situation, we go into denial. Can’t make myself immortal? Pretend death does not exist. At least that way we are functional.
However, at some point that function becomes inverted. If you change the background of a picture we see every day, we will probably not notice. In the same way, once we accept our civilization as it is, warts and all, we stop noticing subtle changes that add up to a whole lot of decline.
This inversion explains why societies fail at all: they don’t notice that the background changed. They’re used to going to work every day, reading bad news in the newspaper, and seeing mediocre films on TV.
Over time, these things get worse and people just adapt to them. To make themselves feel better, they keep passing along the same social memes that by seeming to have solutions or reasons why things as they are, explain away the problem.
But it grows. And now the reason we call it an inversion becomes clear: when a civilization decays past a certain point, all “truths” are lies and many “lies” are truths. The society has turned away from reality because it cannot face its own demise.
What’s it like to live in such a time?
- All of your “heroes” are bunk. A civilization in denial rewards those who strengthen the denial, not those who have something profound to offer. The politicians and leaders you see are the most corrupt, not the least. They got where they are by pandering to an audience that wants to hear their opinions on an internal dialogue like right-versus-left, not their diagnosis of where society is heading.
- All of your art becomes escapist. The concept of art itself is dead in such a time. People want political art, they want art about characters whose sole problem is within themselves… they don’t want art about people adapting to the world and changing it and themselves for the better. Art becomes entertainment.
- All “issues” are internal. If you are in a dying civilization, you cannot talk about future direction, only changes as they exist within the civilization as it is. Any competing ideology must be snuffed and called ignorant. Whether a society legalizes abortion must be more important than whether it can support the number of people it has, or stop polluting.
- The lowest common denominator reigns. Since we all need to keep our dialogue internal to stay in denial, we start becoming fascinated with the lowest common denominator. Don’t tell me about the geniuses; what do the peasants do with their time? And to pander to this group, and those who think this is a good idea, the media, art, culture and government workers target the lowest common denominator in their population, which is always crass.
- Reformers are rebels, not reformers. A reformer fixes things, starting with the biggest issues like social direction. A rebel acts out against the world in which he finds himself, but does not hope to change it. Most rebels are anti-heroes who self-destruct instead of finding methods of fixing the things they claim to be upset by. In reality, the outrage is a justification for the “rebel lifestyle”: anti-hero behavior that eschews responsibility for hedonism.
- Degree of offense is more important than degree of truthfulness. In a time where we cannot face reality, our outlook on life becomes arbitrary. As a result, people pick what is personally convenient, and label everything else offensive. And since lowest common denominator politics is essentially a mob shouting demands at its leaders, any idea that is offensive gets quickly silenced through non-governmental means. If no one wants to buy your truthful idea, you’d better come up with an inoffensive one quickly.
What does it mean to live in a civilization in decline? The first sign is that everyone around you is in denial, starting with denial that their civilization is slowly imploding.
It also means that all your public figures are corrupt or worse. Bono, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Dawkins, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert — are these people heroes, or just clever marketers who have found an audience? Even more, why are we getting our political opinions from entertainers?
It means that all of those who you hear lauded as “geniuses” are not, and those you never hear about may be, because society confers “genius” as a marketing title for denial experts, not reality experts.
It means you live in parallel worlds, one called social-reality and one called physical-reality. In social reality, the language of commercials predominate; in physical reality, when you bring the product home, you find the instructions are wrong and you need some hideous hack to make it even work.
Take a critical look around you as you go through life. The people you see celebrated; are they worth celebrating, or just clever denial experts? Are our leaders honorable, or just good at hiding their intentions?
While I love my country, and my world, the best manifestation of that love is a clear-eyed view of reality itself. And if a civilization you love is in decline the only course of action can be to not go with the flow” but get our move on to fix that decline.
In addition to the terms collapse and revolution, another word has entered public discourse and that is unsustainable. When people talk of unsustainability now they may refer to one or more among several things today:
Localization contrasted against globalization is a move back in the direction of sustainability on many levels. The concept has two aspects. The ideal aspect deals in terms of the right thing to do for long term maintenance. For example, Western shrimping industries would not, without in balance creating benefit for the local ecology and inhabitants alike, relocate their operations to southeast Asia.
This activity as a globalization and free market enterprise ideal sets aside that remote ecology and people as secondary to economic benefit. The resulting overharvesting, brought on now by the demands of both some billion people in the West and the local traditional shrimpers has turned destructive. The local shrimp stock, although once abundant, is strained to replenish its numbers, which of course also impacts the non-human creatures also relying on this source of sustenance.
Due to the resource depletion and lower level of technology and funding, the local Asian harvesters cannot compete with the higher tech Western fishing fleets. Many are then forced to abandon their traditional way of life to go work in some cannery or other urban industrial job, if any are available.
This one example is but one among hundreds illustrating the way globalism tramples local traditional settings all over the world, using mass production and the demands of many to bring unsustainable ruin to environment and from our point of view, out-of-sight, out-of-mind distant locals alike. Globalism can therefore manifest as another method of imperial aggression, but wearing the Trojan Horse mask of progress and opportunity rather than showing itself as a hostile invader with pillage in mind.
But lately, in the wake of failing economies, what seemed inevitable only a few years ago is showing signs of becoming impossible and inhuman. More and more people are questioning their alliances, wondering why their neighbors are selling them out to make a quick buck as they struggle, wondering where their food and resources would come from if the trucks and the boats and the planes stopped coming. Localism and tribalism start with the question “what will happen to us.”
Although it can be a catalyst, capitalism is not necessarily the culprit. It is just another tool in the arsenal of human capability. Capitalism is like the hotrod economic machine in our garage. Sure, it will get us where we need to for accumulating wealth.
But, it is the driver’s ability to control the machine, not the machine itself that requires our attention. We should not put a clumsy, or vision impaired person behind the wheel of our hotrod. Nor should we put a powerful economic design under the command of reckless and short-sighted ideology:
At the same time, the brief heyday of the global economy was only made possible by a glut of petroleum that made transportation costs negligible. That glut is ending as world oil production begins to slip down the far side of Hubbert’s curve, while the Third World nations that profited most by globalization cash in their newfound wealth for a larger share of the world’s energy resources, putting further pressure on a balance of power that is already tipping against the United States and its allies. As this process continues, the tribute economy will be an early casualty. The implications for the lifestyles of most Americans will not be welcome.
Now, another part of localization in the ideal relates to not having all our eggs in one basket. A global liberal democracy under one monetary and economic system, should it fail, as the bust cycle recurrences indicate, will affect everyone to some extent. What sane working or middle class person desires cycles of world recession teetering on the edge of global depression for themselves or their families?
A hundred thousand distinct autonomous societies bring resilience to the whole of world civilization. One micro-state or society screws up and for the most part, only they suffer the consequences, not everyone in the world. In addition to sustainability maintenance, localization autonomy is therefore superior to centralized global systems as a civilization design ideal for the whole, for the long term.
With rumors of resource scarcity growing in volume, we come then to the second aspect of localization more concrete than the ideal one.
Necessity begins to surface and enter public space in the form of budding collective movements toward localized communities favoring as much autonomy from our drunk driver centralized control as they can attain. This drunk driver, seated at the wheel on our left, is not going to give up the keys without getting belligerent:
Mr. Woods, who has a Ph.D. in history, and has written widely on states’ rights and nullification — the argument that says states can sometimes trump or disregard federal law — said he was not sure where the dots between states’ rights and politics connected. But he and others say that whatever it is, something politically powerful is brewing under the statehouse domes.
Other scholars say the state efforts, if pursued in the courts, would face formidable roadblocks. Article 6 of the Constitution says federal authority outranks state authority, and on that bedrock of federalist principle rests centuries of back and forth that states have mostly lost, notably the desegregation of schools in the 1950s and ’60s.
Localization movements today have little to do with the woefully antiquated, 19th Century definition of right wing that we have been stuck with for far too long. In reality, right wing has always meant those who prefer to stick with what works best for the long term for our species. This is the evolution wing.
Left wing is the impulse control challenged side. It demands separation from accountability for its impulses and calls this freedom. The left wing dies off when the fat from the body is consumed and the body must return to a lean, mean, disciplined condition in order to hunt and feed again, or perish.
Thus, the best adaptive, most realistic segment of the left breaks away from the consistently, imminently failing one worlders. The fantasy is not going to happen because the energy required is not available to force it in place. So this break away faction instead acknowledges collective action and localized control – survivalism – thereby by default crossing over to New Right, though these scattered few as yet know it not.
We are living in an age of unprecedented change, with a number of crises converging. Climate change, global economic instability, overpopulation, erosion of community, declining biodiversity, and resource wars, have all stemmed from the availability of cheap, non-renewable fossil fuels. Global oil, gas and coal production is predicted to irreversibly decline in the next 10 to 20 years, and severe climate changes are already taking effect around the world. The coming shocks are likely to be catastrophic if we do not prepare. As Richard Heinberg states:
“Our central survival task for the decades ahead, as individuals and as a species, must be to make a transition away from the use of fossil fuels – and to do this as peacefully, equitably, and intelligently as possible”.
Part One in the Why New Right? series attempts to distinguish some New Right understanding from all the others and point to its unapologetic Darwinian basis.
Everywhere in modern civilization we find our societies getting drunk on all kinds of useless freedoms; one of the most useless is that of owning pets which neatly follows from the undeniable ‘human rights’.
The reason why many people buy pets these days may be familiar to what Ted Kackzynski called the power process. In this it says every living organism needs to be in control of some niche of natural-reality for the feeling of happiness and fulfilment to ever accumulate in correlation with survival.
In modern society there is no intelligent response to our problems therefore this niche of a natural existence is taken away from us, and in response a feeling of emptiness within an isolated personal-reality consumes these simplistic consumers. Most individuals alive today are domestic-humans and most of us can barely comprehend the meaning of ‘community’ in a healthy traditional sense.
In this domestic ignorance and laziness toward real social satisfaction, the majority will immediately feel socially worthless and alienated from their own species. The most unintelligent of humans that are unable to form social consensus with other more intelligent beings will simply prefer to create domestic ‘clones’ from less powerful organisms and make them look all ‘cute’ and ‘cuddly’ – Like eating a social cake, full of saturated socialization and therefore, will make your ego obese, unhealthy, and almost certainly susceptible to social viruses and diseases.
It is the easiest solution that every moron can follow whilst increasing profit – Buy a pet to exhert your consumerist dominion over and feel like an all powerful deity amongst the crawling things upon the earth – all whilst major corporations race at the opportunity to pour over-socialized cummodities over the face of millions of fools, it also drains each individual of any actual wealth in a personal-reality orgy which is the core of consumer orientated business.
Our atrocious responsibility toward other life is simply because ‘all humans are equal’ apparently, and because ‘humans are not animals’ – animals are not human, therefore we are ‘superior’ to anything that is an ‘animal’ and can perform whatever we want on them regardless of how weird and perverted it may have become.. Freedom is tyranny against everything that is non-human and natural.
This power process shows a feeling of powerlessness against the domestic prison of urbanization and dystopic ‘progress’; it is a main driving force behind the vapid deforestation and increasing bulk of overpopulation, all drowning the landscape in a flood of cultureless neon zombies. With this sharp growth of population, the number of domestic pets rises because many people’s lives are just useless and enslaving an animal to join them in an artificial prison is just one of the endless freedoms that make them ‘happy’ and supposedly ‘content’.
The domestication of animals allows humans to crudely breed some weird and embarassing little ‘loyal’ underlings. From the wild dog came so many undignified frankensteins of life – their very existence in life has no meaning, they do not have the freedom of natural selection or the freedom of a natural environment to evolve independently. Domestic animals lack the chance to ever evolve into something great, they are alienated and depressed from their ancestors exuberant ecosystems.
Just think – humanity continues to drag everything down with us in our freedom – we cage up everything we want. It’s our right to torture nature and no one can stop us. If I want to have ten thousand cats that end up drowning in the toilet then it’s my right!
But that’s not enough, lets have lots of pet fish aswell! Fish obviously have no brains, no soul and are pretty; therefore we can stick them in a little tank with a treasure trest and a disney castle with little bubbles coming out! OMG like, cool!
From observing other fish in their native environment, the trade off between a thriving stream stretching for miles swimming for dear life against the fascism of gravity into an ocean of near infinant expanse and constant physical and mental stimulation – is what they are capable of, even having the chance to evolve into great carnivorous predators, lords of seas.
But instead the monkeys got there first – monkey-people stole these fish and traded their challenging environment for a square box approximately 40cm cubed with a couple of mediocre consumer pieces of trash made to look all girly and pretty. 99% of domestication is simply cruel and treats these animals with no dignity or respect toward any present or potential future of independent evolution.
If we realise that life as a whole is sacred; not just little car driving monkeys – then we would have no need to needlessly consume other species. But if ever we need to capture other life – we also must realise that we are stealing its independence and therefore it loses all power over its own life. It is therefore stupid and completely selfish to ever restrict excessive amounts of life when it is solitary and independent towards us. There is absolutely no reason beyond survival to restrict life which is performing a natural niche in the ecosystem, living as its species should in the natural order of things in relation toward one another.
You don’t go on a masochist extermination for profit. Not for ‘exquisite cuisine’ for some calcified gluttons just so he can eat blubber meat and brag to his colleagues about how he can afford to eat at a top restaurant all to climb the social world of popularity.
Nevermind these animals needlessly killed – humans are special and they have rights, and now there are more than ever!
It’s just business for ‘exotic pets’ – for the clueless masses to go home everyday just to stare at goldilocks the suicidally depressed goldfish with their passively boring faces.
Nor to just wonder why a lonely parrot who plucks all its feathers out because it has been stolen from a vibrant jungle with its own thriving socialization and instead thrown in a cage with a little bell and a dusty mirror to stare and question the meaning of life for the rest of eternity.
With our ‘need’ of exotic pets from foreign continents, we inadvertently introduce alien species (yes humans can become foreign species too – immigration) and undermine ecosystems and social systems. If you research into hawaii and the conservation problem there, nearly all of the native species are endangered by iguanas, deer, rabbits and hundreds of other introduced animals that are not respective (in evolution) of the native ecosystem patterns and therefore destroy it, inadvertently. This situation happens anywhere when alien species coincide with one another after, perhaps, millions, even billions of years in isolation from one another.
Exact numbers are unknown, but scientists estimate that nationwide, cats kill hundreds of millions of birds, and more than a billion small mammals, such as rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks, each year. Cats kill common species such as Cardinal, Blue Jay, and House Wren, as well as rare and endangered species such as Piping Plover, Florida Scrub-Jay, and California Least Tern.
There are more than 77 million pet cats in the United States. A 1997 nationwide poll showed that only 35% are kept exclusively indoors, leaving the majority of owned cats free to kill birds and other wildlife at least some of the time. In addition, millions of stray and feral cats roam our cities, suburbs, farmlands and natural areas. Abandoned by their owners or lost (stray), or descendants of strays and living in the wild (feral), these cats are victims of human irresponsibility due to abandonment and failure to spay or neuter pets. No one knows how many homeless cats there are in the U.S., but estimates range from 60 to 100 million. These cats lead short, miserable lives. – American Bird Conservancy
Stupidity is simply cruel whatever way we look at it. Weak mental strength drones on for a taste of honey and so these pesty humans become so unsatisfied with their insecure little lives that they must be ‘all accepting’ and give every other moron the liberties to enslave and industriously kill or commodify every animal they please – regardless of the consequences (above).
To give what is called ‘people’ the right to domesticate any form of life whose noble attitude toward them is simply “I dunn fckin care u nob” who then kicks and beats his dog to death for consistently barking due to it being retardedly down-bred, is a pathetic attempt of reality-deniers to attain social satisfaction.
Liberals overlook these errors of man and label them simply as ‘human nature’ – Oh humans always do this, they say to themselves. But simply cannot join one and one together and generate an overal view of this situation. By giving them rights without responsibilities we are the very causes of this ‘human nature’ itself, a form of domestic ‘nature’ among humans.
Liberals; being socially defunct, seem to think we have no power over these things without realising they are the morons who released the peadophiles onto a world of naive children – because it’s their right! Other life cannot speak symbolically toward humans, therefore we assume nothing is wrong.
Even humans who are retarded get treated like this – If people wern’t such simplistic idiots then we would have the decency and wisdom to prevent them from suffering in the first place through a wise eugenics – and it’s called tradition.
What is the meaning of a life that is disabled, dysfunctional or progressive? A life which needs social ‘support’ just so it doesn’t choke to death on its own turd? It would be much better to give them some dignity, show them some respect – all living organisms need to face nature and all the challenges of life honestly without life-support cheat codes.
This is so that what they are made of can either survive the trials of the ancestors and live on in sanity and happiness, or be a retard eating its own turd and die thus leaving the land it occupies for something better, a karma to regenerate as something more powerful and dignified; that is the most compassionate in reflection to the whole of nature – anyone who opposes this has had too much social-cake and needs to get out and enjoy some exercise in natural-reality to observe how nature operates.
We are not to allow some mutated corpse of a living entity to live on social support by the discontents of society whose only use is to look after useless people. They then abuse them, rape them and drug them so they don’t unleash their retarded fist flinging poo frenzy on the clueless proles.
Life needs dignity, life needs power to follow its own destiny, to be challenged either to live or die. Not to have the potential of joy and empowerment prematurely stolen just so some fat ass can stick it in a corner of a house and ignore it for the rest of its impoverished life.
There is a clear change in the genetic and social characteristics between domestic species and wild species; and the same is with humans, those with minimal aggression and the tiniest ammount of alertness or perception – will predominate – a reason why chandala under-castes always explode in population numbers and demand more ‘rights’ regardless of essential responsibility.
There is a close correlation between brain changes and behavioral changes in domestic animals. It has been primarily gregarious wild species that have been domesticated. In captivity, social behavior patterns changed. Many social structures that have the effect of preserving the species in the wild lose their purpose in captivity. Indeed, in view of high-density living conditions, social structures are disadvantageous for contact of domestic animals among themselves and with humans. This can be demonstrated in wolves and domestic dogs. Wolves form packs and the behavior patterns of individual members vary widely. There are powerful, successful fighters whose alertness and powers of observation are quite poor. In other members, these capabilities are well-developed, but “fighting spirit,” power, and agility are lacking. The cooperation of the differently skilled animals is important for successful predation by the pack. In domestic dogs, animals with minimal aggressiveness and alertness predominate.
Domestic Mammals and Behavior
For human life to escape this stupidity and attain natural empowerment, it is best done through working together on the best of our strengths and not by the fake social ‘support’ through ‘equality and diversity’ of the insecure humanists.
By being reasonable we can achieve consensus and communities and then the majority of people left alive woulden’t need pets, equality and facebook to make us feel socially satisfied.
“Stepford wife” as an epithet uses a category as an insult, referring to the movie of the same name from the 1970s. This film preyed on many of the fears of people in that time. In an age of suburbs and mass-produced products, and relatively massive conformity driven by the leftover economic inertia from WWII, people feared losing themselves to obedience.
During the war, women had gotten a taste of independence — they were able to have jobs in industry, and have money. This convinced them that it was often easier to bail out of a relationship and move on than make it work, and so there rose in American society a certain hatred of men among its women. The movie “The Stepford Wives” was directed at the Baby Boomers: the post-WWII generation that inherited the attitudes of disposable relationships from their parents.
For a brief summary: a professional woman moves into a suburb where she begins to suspect that the submissive wives around here are robots designed for their husbands’ pleasure. The original film had as many plot holes as you might expect, but the remake in the 2000s had even more, which shows us how much Hollywood has advanced.
At that time of the original movie, many middle-class American women had children, and many of those were daughters. They raised these daughters in an inherently liberal worldview, in which their goal was to make themselves “equal” by joining the workforce, having careers and having political power. That of course conflicted with what we might call an evolutionary goal, which for every species is to reproduce. How do you raise children when you’re busy at work?
Some of these women ended up at Stanford, which one might say is the farthest one could get from conservative, family-oriented, role-specified middle America. Stanford is in California and not only does research into whacky things, but also encourages whacky behavior including drug use, ultra-casual sex, alternative sexuality, altering personal appearance and experimenting with new forms of culture. It’s the anti-Stepford, in theory.
But then, in that way that nature is always ahead of us, what we think is solid fact inverts itself. During the era in which children born in the 1970s grew up halfway and went to college, many of us met Stanford women — and quickly realized that a pattern had asserted itself. For the most part, if you met one, listened to her talk about her career, told her you were a feminist and complimented her mind, she was yours. Generally, this meant casual sex, since that was the progressive thing to do, you know.
In the spirit of reviewing what we learned, I think it makes sense to compare the two opposite extremes of femininity offered in our society:
- Stepford Wife: looking at what this movie parodied, there were people in the 1970s caught up in a drive to conform to the 1950s ideal of a two-parent family, a white picket fenced house in the ‘burbs, and a “career” for the man while the woman did the June Cleaver act. In the liberal ideal, this is a horrible way to spend your life because it is total conformity and quashes the individual, but conservatives tend to point out that it created happier children, kept men and women away from an adversarial relationship, halved the workforce (effectively doubling salaries), and allowed women time to pursue their own interests outside of the capitalist dog-eat-dog cycle.
- Stanford woman: people in the 1990s were caught up in a drive to conform to the 1990s ideal, since we’d just gotten out of the conservative Reagan era and into the Clinton one. That ideal was to reject the past, and make a woman’s brain her most important asset. Of course, we didn’t expect them to not be sexual, so sex must come after the career ideal. This means that we have a conformity of sexually liberal women who make sure they always show up at work, and then in the 2000s, they all got married in droves (sexual partner #168 must be the best, or at the right time) and started having kids, only half of whom were raised by the Mexican nanny — many of the Stanford Women became Stanford Wives.
So what does this tell us? For starters, that “conformity” and “anti-conformity” are meaningless terms. We’re all conformist at the very least in that we listen to our biological desires, and do what is sensible in response. For example, very few of us become polygamous or polyamorous — most of us settle down with someone, try to forget how many notches we have on our bedposts as those are suddenly “against” our new image, and have families. The woman’s career may be resurrected later, but most commonly is not, because a free market is generally loathe to take on someone who has been gone for 22 years (2 kids, four years apart, both aged to 18) and needs re-training and then will retire in a decade.
Even more, it tells us that we are headed toward biological roles from the outset, and that those roles “become” sensible because they are inherent to the human experience. We defy mother nature, and then in one fell swoop, she conquers us. This shows us in turn that the Stepford Wives satire mocked an illogical extremity of a normal role, but in doing so, was a weapon against us joining up with our biological future. In short, if we listened and took it seriously, more the fool us as we distanced ourselves from the inevitable, creating wreckage in the process.
But most of all what we can learn from this experience is that political dogma splits our world in two — by literally create a “my way or the highway” outlook. This is because political dogma attempts to replace biology, which produced for us the two-parent, role-separated, monogamous family in which neither partner wanted too many bedpost notches. Biology says that’s the way for intelligent creatures to nurture intelligent children to adulthood. Political dogma is the only thing suggesting another path.
You can see this binarism, or two absolute options instead of shades of grey, in modern liberalism today:
Rhetoric aside, the real purpose of the Tea Party movement is clear: prevent the sort of change that might threaten the privileges traditionally enjoyed by middle aged, white Republicans. These are the people who feel that the ‘real’ America is under assault by the poor, people of color, gay Americans and all immigrants. They wrap themselves in the rhetoric of democracy and tradition, but they are just elites trying to find an acceptable language with which to justify their fear and defend their self interest. – HuffPo
There is a binary here: you’re either good (love the poor, minorities, homosexuals and immigrants) or bad (hate the poor, minorities, homosexuals and immigrants). There’s no room for a middle path, which in an issue like this is where the interesting discourse happens. It reminds me of the hideous debates of the 1980s where people were presumed to be either pro-life or pro-choice, but there was no middle ground for questions like:
When should it be used?
Where should it be used?
Who should it be available to?
What methods should be used?
It was just yes, or no. Everywhere, all the time. No “legalize abortion in California and keep it illegal in Texas.” Just my way or the highway style thinking. And so now, we’re told that we either roll over and accept the liberal platform — subsidies and political defense for the poor, minorities, homosexuals and immigrants — or be considered “not nice.”
Never mind that white, middle-class people wanting a white, middle-class president and white, middle-class hierarchy is no different than black people wanting a black president and hierarchy, or gay people wanting a gay president and hierarchy, or Hispanic people wanting a Hispanic president and hierarchy? We all want leaders who resemble ourselves, who share our values and understand our faults with compassion because they’ve dealt with them as well.
It’s just their way, or the highway. In the process, as in the article above, they call you every nasty name they can think of. You’re not nice. You’re a racist! A classist! A homophobe, probably — maybe a misogynist. If you hate equality, the thinking goes, you hate us. You have no compassion or empathy. You are evil, and by implication, we are good.
Who are these people trying to split us away from biological reality? We all want someone like ourselves. And questions are more complex than a political yes or no. If someone asks if you like turkey, do you say yes — and get fed it for every meal, in every house and restaurant? Or are there qualifications to the issue? And if you don’t like it at your dinner table, is it because you hate turkeys with bigotry, or because you feel turkey is not the right tool for the task of feeding your family?
The modern political dogma is that if you’re against any kind of equality, you’re not-nice. They even invert that on you, and make it so that if you’re not against every kind of inequality, you’re not nice. That in turn becomes the political dogma that if you don’t see inequality as the cause of all of our problems, you’re not nice-nice. My way or the highway:
Because the authors have decided that inequality is not a symptom of other things, but the root of all evil, they are incurious about why Japan and Sweden should be so different from the United States. One important factor, surely, is ethnic and cultural homogeneity. The Swedes have been able to develop a trusted welfare system because they are a country with a small population composed of people with a common religious tradition, language and way of life. Now that there are very large numbers of Muslims in Scandinavia, it will be interesting to see if such a consensus can be maintained.
In Japan, the “social capital” of which the authors approve is carefully guarded by two facts that they presumably do not like. One is that married women are highly unequal with men, and stay at home. The other is that Japanese keep out foreigners, and make sure such immigrants as they tolerate have few rights. That may be cosy for the Japanese, but is it a model which helps the global fight against inequality?
If you think about it, most of the inequalities in the United States derive from the fact that it lets in millions of new people every year. They come because they believe it offers opportunity. They will not all succeed but they are, broadly speaking, right. When such people start out, they are usually poor. It is inevitable there will be a huge gap in American society between those who have just got across the Mexican border, and those who have already “made it”. But that need not be a problem so long as the opportunity is real. The wretched of the world still seem to think that it is. – The Telegraph
Just as in the article above, we see a political binary being created: nice/not-nice; equal/not-equal. This is how they hope to manipulate you: by encouraging people to join the club and feel good about themselves for being “nice,” and thus freeing them from caring about the effects of their actions, and encouraging people in the club to mock anyone else for being unenlightened, stupid, bigoted, not-nice, racist, or other insults derived from the same root.
Biology is at war with political dogma much as it was once at war with religion. Political dogma forces us into a universal mode of saying yes or no; biology gives us a broader range of options. Political dogma allows us to insist on anything, but biology forces us to pay attention to the tasks of survival, including intergenerational (reproduction). Biology is flexible; dogma is not.
Even more, dogma is the kind of manipulation we remember from middle school. Do this and be “nice,” or you’re not my friend. Share that toy right now or you’re not my friend. Vote for me in the irrelevant school elections or you’re not my friend. The “nice” people all agree that you shouldn’t tattle on me for hurting that other person; you don’t want to be not-nice, do you? The excluded middles are all the options between our artificial (“not directly representing natural reality”) political poles of nice and not-nice.
Even worse, dogma is about means, and not ends — in dogma, you try to act “correctly” so people view you as correct and good. You’re not considered with the effects of your actions as much as you how they appear at the time. That is considered a focus on means, not ends. Biology is concerned with ends; what was the result of the action? And how did it change over time? A focus on the means is a focus on the present tense and the self alone. A focus on the ends is a focus on how the self fits into the world.
In conservatism, you see a different kind of compassion — a compassion of ends, not means. Its focus is achieving the best result, especially in the long term, and that generally begins with paying attention to biology. Those of us who are conservative choose this course. We choose it begcause it is a natural response to our environment; an adaptation, if you will. The progressive bird may choose to walk and not fly, but we wonder how long it will last in the forest. It might be OK at Stanford, however, at least as long as its scholarship lasts.
Voyeurism is prevalent in our society – in fact, it’s accepted. Where Dear Abby used to be the indulgence of bored housewives, things like Love Letters and similar blogs give people a view into the lives of their neighbors. It’s interesting reading into the relationship issues some people have – many are valid problems that people dating or not so sure how serious to take a partner go through. The advice usually stinks of lowest common denominator patronizing, though I don’t envy the job Meredith Goldstein has to do – especially with the volume of daily commenting she’s come to expect.
Then you get some real juicy bits of the modern human condition, like this:
Recently, I ended up going home with a guy who I definitely did not like. But for the night, it was fun. He continued to call me and promise me the world. Who doesn’t like a little attention? So I went with it, never took it seriously, but enjoyed dating while it lasted … for a whole three weeks.
I don’t want to change. I like being spontaneous and meeting new people. I like no limits or restrictions, and I don’t think I could say no to an opportunity to have fun with a guy in hopes of finding chemistry…I just don’t know why none of these guys to want to be with me all the time, and not just after the bar.
[+|Boston.com Love Letters]
When you’re single, you do what you have to do – and hopefully have fun along the way. But going home with every guy who gives you attention, then wondering why they don’t take you seriously?
These people are unfortunately common; just pick any relationship blog. Too many single people are simply broken, whatever the reason, so their idea of having a little fun comes to mean just about any minute they’re not at work or doing something that requires focus.
For the serious single folks out there just working at finding a compatible somebody with some physical chemistry to boot, they now have to deal with even worse societal trends than the slutty bar chick who, modern as she is, is even unapologetic about it:
What literally translates to “loving many,” polyamory (or poly, for short), a term coined around 1990, refers to consensual, romantic love with more than one person. Framing it in broad terms, Sekora, one of the three founders and acting administrator of the 500-person-strong group Poly Boston, says: “There’s monogamy where two people are exclusive. There’s cheating in which people are lying about being exclusive. And poly is everything else.”
Now you can have it all if you’re single and unstable: “everything else” rather than the boring, ho-hum life of staring at the same person in bed each morning.
Polyamory is just another way of shedding personal responsibility, just like the bar chick, and then even poking fun at the people who do things “the old fashioned way”. The problem is, as we see with bar chick above, the people who don’t take anything seriously are the ones who want to be taken seriously. When no one does, they vote, heaven help us, for anyone and anything that involves widening the borders of lifestyles as aimlessly as possible. Then they can claim they were a pioneer.
It’s complicated, as the poly catch phrase goes. It’s also still surprisingly closeted. Nonetheless, Valerie White, executive director of Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund in Sharon, says we are ahead of the curve in Massachusetts, particularly compared with the South, where teachers have lost their jobs and parents have lost their children for being poly. But she notes there is no push in the poly movement to legalize these relationships, largely because there’s no infrastructure for it. “It was easy to legalize gay marriage. All you had to do was change bride and groom to person A and person B. But we don’t know what multi-partnered marriage looks like,” White says.
“Ahead of the curve” apparently means destroying any semblance of family faster than other regions. Since too many people screwed up marriage and then divorced, leaving a detritus of soured Gen-Xers behind, the price their children now pay is devolving into apes who will screw anything as long as it’s in the name of progress and having a good time.
We wonder aloud why middle schoolers rather than high schoolers are engaging in sex and drugs even in our nicest suburbs, and the answer is clear: a couple generations ago, we screwed the pooch with regard to the values that helped shape our culture. Now you can even see “screwing the pooch” at your favorite porn site. Then who knows, maybe polyamory will even evolve to include animals? Screwing just one species is so passe.
Despite the clear media focus on trying to bring the fringes of the worst type of human behavior into the limelight – then acceptable – positive, uplifting values are still being sought and enforced – not just for the sake of tradition, but because a small but growing number of people know that it works.
… creates a foundation which allows your children to make healthy choices on their own. The values you espouse become your child’s moral guide and form the cornerstone of his conscience.
What sort of values do you teach? In my family, we talk about the importance of honesty, integrity, forgiveness, generosity, caring, conservation, respect for the earth and other forms of life. One of the ways we encourage expression of these values is through our family mission statement.
No one expects modern women to be June Cleaver. Focus on family, and defining roles based on biology and common sense allows us to reject the individualistic and economic values that drive families apart.
It’s a difficult decision with a lot on an adult male or female’s mind these days, but a choice becomes clear after playing the singles game for a while: do I want to take myself seriously and look for something more meaningful than iPods, a converted loft, the occasional lay? Or do I want to be part of something greater than myself; a family or community from which I can obtain and perpetuate a strong set of values among those who can agree to live in the same way?
Rather than put the base instinct of getting laid first, then holding that up as a value for lack of finding anything more meaningful, life is better suited to building goals and values first, then bringing those base instincts into the fold as part of something better, grander. Think culinary arts vs. eating at McDonald’s each day.
Some would argue polyamory and having fun as the slutty bar chick are at least agreeable enough to most, so why rock the boat? But since anyone can play that game, all you need is a set of genitals to enter (and being damaged goods in the first place doesn’t hurt), most would find a more fulfilling lifestyle by first finding meaning, then having fun in the context of that meaning.