In contrast to days-gone-by, modernity lacks both initiation ceremonies and public ritual. Even prayer before meals is becoming less and less common.
Ritual sacrifice, as grisly as it is, was a ubiquitous reality common to all religions and cultures of the world. It is now a thing of the past. Today we think of it as both silly and barbaric. The two interpretations of sacrifice are as follows: on the one hand, the ancients essentially thought that the sacrifice granted them magic powers and good luck from the Gods. On the other hand, more simply and less superstitiously, it was an expression of thanksgiving to God or nature – a gift to the universe in exchange for the gift of life. These two interpretations are likely both true, but there is a subtler implication that is being missed
The idea of sacrificing or wasting something for no visible or rational purpose is a symbolic expression of transcending the base and animal instincts for instant gratification. If, as Brett Stevens points out, moral character can be defined as the ability to defer or avoid gratification in order to do what is correct according to an abstract order larger than the individual, then ritual sacrifice is merely the public, symbolic expression of this very lesson. It is its visible realization in ceremonial form. In contrast to the “magical power interpretation” that says because of the sacrifice, we will win in the end, it basically says: despite the sacrifice, we will still win in the end. Ever hear the saying, “I’ll beat you with one hand tied behind my back?”
In order to win, or to become good at anything, one must sacrifice. It’s as simple as that. In a game of chess, or in warfare, it is essentially impossible not to sacrifice pawns. The same thing with physical fitness – you have to sweat, you have to bleed. You can’t get something from nothing. In order to be ultimately gratified, one must sacrifice and do the necessary work first.
Man is both an animal and not-an-animal. Man must both acknowledge and tame the wild beast within. All great and noble cultures of the past reveal traces of barbarism:
At the bottom of all these noble races we cannot fail to recognize the beast of prey splendidly roaming around in its lust for loot and victory. This hidden basis from time to time needs to be discharged: the animal must come out again, must go back into the wilderness, – Roman, Arab, German, Japanese nobility, Homeric heroes, Scandinavian Vikings in this need they are all alike.
It was the noble races which left behind the concept of the “barbarian” in all their tracks, wherever they went. A consciousness of and a pride in this fact reveals itself even in their highest culture (for example, when Pericles says to his Athenians, in that famous Funeral Speech, “our audacity has broken a way through to every land and sea, putting up permanent memorials to itself for good and ill.”). This “audacity” of the noble races, mad, absurd, sudden in the way it expresses itself, its unpredictability, even the improbability of its undertakings – Pericles emphatically praises the rayhumia [mental balance, freedom from anxiety] of the Athenians – its indifference to and contempt for safety, body, life, comfort, its fearsome cheerfulness and the depth of its joy in all destruction, in all the physical pleasures of victory and cruelty – everything summed up for those who suffer from such audacity in the image of the “barbarian,” the “evil enemy,” something like the “Goth” or the “Vandal.” – F.W Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, First Essay, Section 11
A ritual sacrifice, as barbaric as it is, reconciles these polar opposites in one, definitive act. It is not only the animal act of killing; it is also the non-animal act of depriving oneself of something valuable, namely, sustenance.
The ritual sacrifice is indeed a form of thanksgiving to God, nature, fate. It is a gift to the Gods in exchange for the gift of life, but it is also a symbolic expression of transcending the animal instincts. To do something completely unnecessary that is at odds with one’s biological imperative, to waste potential sustenance, is to transcend one’s animal aspect. To waste, to have contempt for body and comfort is actually an expression of supreme confidence in the will of the universe. If man only and always followed his biological imperative or if he only and always made perfectly rational decisions, he would, in fact, not be man. He would either be an animal or an automaton. Without the irrational, without violence, without contempt for safety, without waste, reality would be a computer program. The charm of life would be lost, there would be no stakes, and life would be a burden, rather than a gift. It is as much a form of fatalism as is giving one’s fate completely and utterly to God.
Even Plato, the most rational and well-thought-out of all men purposely refrained from tinkering with religious ceremony:
What is now left for us to deal with under the heading of legislation?
For us nothing, but for the Delphic Apollo it remains to enact the greatest, finest, and first of laws.
What are those?
Those having to do with the establishing of temples, sacrifices, and other forms of service to gods, daimons, and heroes, the burial of the dead, and the services to ensure their favor. We have no knowledge of these things, and in establishing our city, if we have any understanding, we won’t be persuaded to trust them to anyone other than the ancestral guide. And this god, sitting upon the rock at the center of the earth, is without a doubt the ancestral guide on these matters for all people. – – The Republic, Book IV, 427b
Furthermore, the “magic powers” interpretation is something of a straw man because after the sacrifice, the men still did battle, they still planted the crops, and they still went out and fished. They didn’t just sacrifice the animal and sit back and wait for God to do all the work. The irrational will, expressed in the form of sacrifice is the exact same irrational will and spirit necessary to go to battle, to wake up every morning and fish, hunt, and plant crops despite the fact that nothing may come of it.
Think of it this way: imagine a tribe of fishermen. They worship the God of the Sea and give thanks by sacrificing several fish. On lean days of fishing, this would be a terrible decision, but on abundant days, there are fish to spare. The real work and sacrifice for catching the fish, of course, consists in getting up early, preparing the boat and the gear, staying out all day, and learning the behavior and habits of the fish, the cycle of the tides, the ways of the currents or what have you. But how do you make this lesson real to the women and children back on land?
You can explain it to them all you want, but by publicly wasting several fish, in front of everyone, this lesson is driven home on a deeper level. Surely everyone would love to fill their bellies just a little more on those extra fish, but what about the motivation to get up the next morning to do it again? What about the next generation of fishermen? Too much satisfaction kills the motivation to be even better.
Again, morality is the delay and putting off of gratification until the necessary work is done. Sacrifice realizes morality in a symbolic act. Without the ritual or ceremony, morality remains “invisible,” and can’t be demonstrated or proven to the next generation. A person or society unwilling to sacrifice is not an indication of supreme rationality, but an indication of a lack of vitality and confidence. The Iroquois knew this:
In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine. – Great Law of the Iroquois
Viewed in this way, sacrifice and/or morality could be described as making, what appears to be, an irrational decision in the short term, for a long-term, rational gain. Life is a mystery and there is something more to life than mere survival – a destiny. That the free and enlightened man should only and always make the rational choice is a paradox, as his free will and choice is then negated. Sacrifice is not delusional so much as it is irrationally confident.
Sacrifice does not grant power, but it is symbolic of what must be done to gain power. Perhaps we project onto the ancients what we secretly wish for ourselves: that we will receive fortune from on high in exchange for hardly doing anything. Paradoxically, sacrifice is the highest expression of vitality and life overflowing.
A new type of political thinker is emerging into the shattered hulk of modernity.
While the modern time is powerful in technology and gilded in convenience, the dark inner core is a tendency to consume and deconstruct all things, and these new thinkers target that impulse. They tend to be less concerned with the political battles of the present than the enduring political question: What design produces the best civilization?
This immediately separates them from the issue-based activists. They are not concerned with a single society or direct responses to immediate problems; they recognize our problems come from failings at a design-level. Thus, time for a redesign.
Of those, the most realistic are the conservatives, because conservatives conserve as opposed to deconstruct. Conservatives do not throw up their hands and say, “Well, if that’s what people want to do, everybody do whatever they want, and it’ll turn out OK.”
Instead, conservatives learn from history and develop a reverence for the finer things in life, and by that I do not mean cigars and cognac (exclusively). Conservatives value good designs of civilizations past, good ideas wherever they can find them, and preservation of the gifts of nature and humanity.
At this blog, for example, we argue heavily for preservationism. We accept that civilization took a bad turn in 1789 with the French Revolution and the two centuries of manic liberalization (now called globalism) that followed. We intend to find designs that escape that type of bad thinking.
We recognize, for example, that liberalism does not create the lowest-common-denominator so much as it is a representative and advocate for it. With that in mind, it is clear that liberalism is not so much a political view as it is social symbolism, which is why it picks up anything popular like a dirty snowball.
Consumerism and socialism merge in the ultra-modern globalism regime because they are popular with that lowest common denominator, which occurs both on social role (rabble) and psychological (neurotic) levels. The people who like liberalism are either have-nots who want to blame others for the have-nots’ have-not status, or neurotic wealthy people who are seeking a purpose in life.
With that in mind, a thinker can see how the conservative desire for preservationism makes logical sense. We are not concerned with people using cognitive dissonance to explain away their social or psychological shortcomings; we care about results. That means: preserve good things before attempting flights-of-fancy ideological experiments.
This is not a popular view because it insults the ego. It does not claim that each of us is so important and valuable that we should stop all wars, stop all offensive things, stop social hierarchy and force equality just so that individual can feel happy in her $500/month dingy apartment, at her clerkish job, and in her single and neurotic state.
Preservationism, then, is not a human construct; it addresses things bigger than the individual human.
When one adopts the preservationist outlook, political conflict no longer becomes as simple as us-versus-them, or we want these people gone, etc. It is about finding an enduring and beautiful design for a civilization to pass on to our children and grandchildren.
It is not limited to the interests of any one group.
When we argue for nationalism at this blog, it is because we recognize that nationalism is a better design for civilization than liberalism. We recognize the two are opposites, not just historically, but because nationalism is a preservationist doctrine.
Nationalism applies to every ethnic-cultural group on the face of earth. This is not a movement “for white people” or “for black people”; it’s a movement for people. That we do not, in order to pander to the neurotic individual, think of all people as uniform and without race is part of our desire to preserve good things wrought by nature.
After all, science shows us that the divergence of evolutionary pathways exists for the benefit of the organism:
Biology textbooks maintain that the main function of sex is to promote genetic diversity. But Henry Heng, Ph.D., associate professor in WSU’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, says that’s not the case.
Heng and fellow researcher Root Gorelick, Ph.D., associate professor at Carleton University in Canada, propose that although diversity may result from a combination of genes, the primary function of sex is not about promoting diversity.
Rather, it’s about keeping the genome context – an organism’s complete collection of genes arranged by chromosome composition and topology – as unchanged as possible, thereby maintaining a species’ identity. This surprising analysis has been published as a cover article in a recent issue of the journal Evolution.
“If sex was merely for increasing genetic diversity, it would not have evolved in the first place,” said Heng. This is because asexual reproduction – in which only one parent is needed to procreate – leads to higher rates of genetic diversity than sex. – PhysOrg
Evolution is not a process of random activity. It is a feedback loop in which organisms observe/react to their world, and the quality of their reaction — how “realistic” it is — determines their success.
When a successful strategy is found, it must be prioritized over others. That means: a desire for uniformity. Sexual reproduction is a “winner take all” scenario. Those who invent the best ideas dominate.
In turn, this means that when a population arises, it is adapted to the particulars of its evolution, which may be geographic, climactic, and most of all, social. We are all adapted to the values of the civilizations that produced us as genetic designs.
If you want to know why people fear history and tribal identity, it is (a) they are forced to see that their “free will” is in fact limited and they are pre-wired for certain ideas and (b) they realize that evolution is ongoing, which means “it’s all cool man” is a social sentiment but not a biologically realistic one.
Consequently, the vast majority of people — people who have found no particular direction in life, succeeded at nothing in any personally fulfilling way, and people wracked by doubt and neurosis — are afraid of biology and evolution.
They construct illusions instead about how these things do not apply, and they try to convince you that they are not ongoing — a process conservatives call Social Darwinism.
Our civilization’s final age culminates in a manic jihad/crusade for “equality,” which is a denial of this genetic reality, and of preservationism and conservatism. The French Revolution of 1789 made an enemy of all hierarchy, including nature.
It is not surprising that our record, as a species, since has been one of unparalleled ecological destruction, including destruction of our own tribes.
And a conservative is always easy pickings, because he negates the new without ideas of his own; he represents stasis, ossification, museology—concepts linked to old age.
Against him the radical Leftist can easily cast himself as a force of innovation, as the voice of the future, because he does have an idea of his own: his is an act of affirmation. What he affirms may now be old, decrepit, orthodox; it may have been exhausted, it may be bankrupt, and, because of its inherently destructive nature, it may offer no way out; but an affirmation is always more appealing than a negation, and the Leftist’s affirmation, though of an old idea, is newer than the idea defended by the conservative, which is even older.
Worse still, conservatives seek to conserve the ideas of superseded radicals, so he is by implication a dealer in antiquated, second-hand goods. – The Occidental Quarterly
In this conflict — liberal/leftist humanism versus preservationism — we see the battle of our time. We either win it, or pass into oblivion as a civilization.
The reason it is not being won is simple: those who would be preservationists are trying to frame their ideas in a liberal context, as self-interest based concepts. This negates what makes preservationism different from the options they already have.
Preservationism should appeal to the moralist in all of us. It is not about self-interest; it is about doing what is right for everyone.
Self-interest is transitory. We barely know what it is until we have had families, watched our children grow up, and asked ourselves the shocking question: what kind of world am I injecting these little people into?
At that point, we start thinking about the design of our civilization. Is it stable? Will they find good people to befriend, work with and marry? Should they, like us, slave away for 10-12 hours a day in unfulfilling jobs?
Now preservationism makes sense. Maybe our grandkids would like to have forests — and maybe they’d like the confidence that comes from being part of a species that has the wisdom to preserve forests. Maybe they’d like ethnic identity, and culture instead of the post-totalitarian Nanny State, and feel better about their origins as a result.
The reason is that humans are rarely persuaded by facts and arguments. Rather they are impressed by their source.
In other words, the message is the messenger; and the messenger is the message.
This is why it’s said that in a society the bulk of individuals follow whomever is in charge. Even when those in charge are hostile.
They are awed by their masters not because they are reasonable, but because they are powerful and masterful, because they control their universe, because they control access to status and resources, because they are dangerous, or else because they represent an idea that is seductive, that somehow inspires them.
And they are not likely to oppose their masters because deep down they want to be like them, they want to be among them, they want to have what they have, or they want to be part of that idea, they want to be with the winning team. – Counter Currents
This corresponds to Wolfeian-Weberian status, for those who have been following that discussion on this blog.
The key to change is in our hands.
People emulate what succeeds; what succeeds is determined by consumers, who follow those they recognize as more alert than the others.
For a preservationist, the message is: find something, get good at it, and start acting in a preservationist context. Others will follow. It’s trickle-down memetics.
What we must do however is stop wasting time on the anti-preservationist cause, which is formed of special interests which naturally have special enemies.
Anders Behring Breivik may have helped silence xenophobia in Norway as voters shun the anti-immigration party he was a member of before he committed the July massacre that left 77 people dead.
Popular support for the Progress Party, the second biggest in Norway’s national parliament, fell by 6.1 percentage points to 11.4 percent in a Sept. 12 municipal vote, the group’s worst result in 16 years. The Labor Party of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, which Breivik targeted in the attacks, won 32 percent of the election, its best result in 24 years.
“The Progress Party largely built their base on spreading suspicion, especially against Islam and Muslims,” said Thomas Hylland Eriksen, an anthropologist at the University of Oslo, in an interview. – The National
This is not, of course, final judgment. Voters are normal people, and most of all groups of people are quiet conformists who use anonymous methods like voting to exact their revenge, hatred, insufficiency and misery on others.
But the point is, perhaps, that right-wing politics has been hijacked by left-wing ideals.
Our point is not to “spread suspicion, especially against” any ethnic group, culture or religion.
Our point is to show that the best life, the most moral life and the best design of civilization comes from a conservative one:
- Culture. Culture, heritage/race/ethny, language, customs and values are inseparable. We need an intangible center to our civilization, and culture is the best option. These shared values help us police ourselves instead of needing a strong post-totalitarian Nanny State, which is our only other option.
- Reverence. We revere nature, history, culture, religion, learning and morally superior conduct. These things make life not only better on a practical level, but beautiful. We need that beauty and that sense of innocence to make our lives meaningful.
- Social Darwinism. Some are better at some things than others are. We must allow the best to rise, and do nothing to support the rest. If you want more incompetents, tolerate incompetents and give them welfare. If you want more geniuses, support them instead.
- Consequentialism. What matters is what works. We focus on end results in the real world, not human feelings or arbitrary ideology. History is our laboratory and it shows us what the future will be. We only have to make the choice.
- Preservationism. This is the essence of conservatism: we conserve. We conserve by setting things apart from the madding crowd and its lowest common denominator short-term impulses, its cognitive dissonance and its revenge/victimhood narrative.
Our message can be: if you want a truly great life, and not just a mediocre one in which you are socially cowed into tolerating the incompetent behavior of others, seek preservationism. Seek conservatism.
Right now, this message seems unpopular… but that’s through the eyes of the Unsilent Minority, a/k/a our media products, their pandering to what those with nothing better to do than watch TV “think” is a good idea, and their advertisers who want cultureless neurotic drones ready to buy products.
A new type of thinker is emerging. The old way was politics based on self-interest; the new way is politics based on avoiding the shattered hulk of modernity, 1789-2011, and its fatal flaw, which was reliance on what people wanted to think rather than what was real.
Preservationism seems aged and out of date, but in our dying society, the old is new again because the “new” is now old and has failed. Consumerism and democracy are joining communism in the junkyard of history. It’s time for something new, even if that is something ancient.
The only question left is: when do we begin?
If you have been to college, or when you go, you will become an observer to the process of people finding political identities. In theory you go to college to learn things, but in reality, you are learning the process of learning, and that includes socialization.
When searching for a political identity, the savvy student does not spend much time researching facts and history. These are a huge burden and require many hours of contemplation to even understand the basics. It is better to simply pick something popular.
As you look out over your class, one thing becomes clear: there is actually not that much in common, besides not knowing much of anything or having any role in society. What appeals to people in that unimportant position? The idea that not having an important position is not important.
In other words, position itself is unimportant. What you do and achieve are secondary to — what can we fit in this blank? — how nice you are, and how well you socialize. We don’t need rules; we can all be friends. This sets you on a path toward increasingly permissive political views.
The students who do best at this game are the ones who accept the limitations of their role. Their job is not to know things, or be in charge of things; their job is, like that of children, to take things from the parent and probe the limits of their freedom.
Only one political viewpoint really appeals, which despite its many disguised forms can be identified as “anarchy.” More than a political system, it is an attitude of hostility toward social class, political power, hierarchy and authority. It reinforces the unimportance of position.
In fact, we can play a bit with these words to show the progression of thought:
- Not having a position in society is unimportant.
- Having a position in society unimportant.
- Position itself is unimportant.
This is not the syllogistic logic you are familiar with from your classes, but deconstructive logic: reduce each thing to its simplest, least-connected form. This means removing all context, and any dependencies or consequences, for a singular idea.
In the case of anarchy, that idea is position. It does not matter what you do for a living (or for ideologues, contribute to learning, leadership or culture). It is unimportant what you own and what power you can exercise. Even character is not important. What is important is socializing well.
The essence of anarchy is found in this simple distillation. When we deconstruct every aspect of society thoroughly, we become granular particles in the slipstream of life, and what matters is that we can “get along with” the people around us.
Anarchy is the essence of the modern time. When the French Revolution deposed the monarchy in 1789, it set off a wave of similar events. Each of these expressed fundamentally the same idea, which was deconstruction of hierarchy. In practice, it meant elevating each individual to the level of a king.
The rub is that making people equal gives each more power, but reduces the pool of power so that each person has a tiny amount. Now that we are equal, we are all kings in our apartments and suburban homes, but we must rush off to jobs, wait in line at stores, put up with mediocrity of general services — in other words, we’re both kings, and slaves to the slowness, incompetence and selfishness of all the other little kings.
For this reason, it is clear that conservatives are the opposite of anarchists. The essence of conservatism is conserving the social order that is most effective, and the behaviors and hierarchy that achieve the best results. To conservatives, liberalism emphasizes the short-term view instead.
However, there is within conservatism a different type of anarchy, which is the reluctance to be held back by (a) the incompetence, slowness and selfishness of others and (b) the limits of our natural world. We want maximal individual liberty through sensible designs to society.
In other words, a conservative anarchist is willing to sacrifice some freedoms of method in order to achieve an end result of maximal freedom, meaning the ability to apply our talents and inclinations to life in such a way as to produce a fulfilling result.
These two anarchies are obvious incompatible. The left desires anarchy as a result, so demands anarchy as a cause, and gets a different result (social chaos) instead. The right desires anarchy as a result, so demands order as a cause, and as a result liberates itself from social chaos.
Now, imagine for a moment, that you produced a society solely of conservatives.
- Social Darwinism. No welfare, no entitlement state, no Nanny State, and no tags on mattresses. Instead of spending most of our government dollars and time trying to save people from themselves, the conservative society focuses on building sensible social order that, with a modicum of intelligence and time, people can utilize to their best interest. Some deaths and “tragedies” are natural selection events, and those who cannot mobilize themselves to take advantage of the basics of civilization — steady employment, social order, hygiene, etc. — meet their fate as meted out by nature.
- Shared values. Conservatives emphasize clarity in form and function by simplicity; this is the opposite of the nation-state which makes abundant rules and forces them on its citizens. Instead, conservatives favor shared values, commonly called “culture,” because culture applies social order with none of the destructive force of government. Where government acts, it introduces two problems for every one it fixes, because it must use external force to compel people to obey abstract standards they do not understand. In a cultural/organic society, the standards are understood and the sanction is social withdrawal.
- Reverence. You can either worship the self, or the totality of existence, but not both. They are opposites because one — the self — contains our own minds and our fears for our physical bodies. Under a conservative society, the goal is to understand the order of nature and to find a way of living in harmony with it. This is opposite to the sense of the self being the order we must adhere to, and thus everything else (including nature) gets forced into secondary status.
- Practical consequences. A conservative society would have fewer people, and competition based less on “hours worked” than on applied ability. It would have smaller government and employ fewer people in do-nothing make-work bureaucracy. Its cultural mandate would function better than law for restraining large companies from making scammy products. Its social sanctions would cut out the people who always manage to skirt the edge of a rule, creating destruction that is not recognized. Finally, it would emphasize a reverence for nature and some form of religious order, keeping people less panicky than our modern atheist materialist humanist types.
If you want to know why people like me become conservative, this is it: conservatism is a better strategy for finding the good life.
While we are tempted, like the college students above, to demand a result of freedom from a cause of no rules, a better study of cause->effect logic suggests that freedom needs a precursor state to protect it. This state is a strong social order and a reverence for life itself.
In this view, the only true anarchists are the conservatives. We recognize that civilization is necessary, and that social order and culture are necessary, so instead of raging against that machine, we find a way to make it constructive and (when successful) a conduit to beauty.
The other anarchists — the ones who endorse that boilerplate rambling nonsense which equates imposed freedom with liberty — are just barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps it is not freedom they want, but social success, at the expense of social order and your own freedom.
Every now and then, you read that is the equivalent of someone turning to you, with their glasses propped out of way on their head, asking “Have you seen my glasses?”
The political side that specializes in looking good to its friends, liberalism, makes a habit of doing this. This occurs because while they pay lip service to every “enlightened” belief, they never put them into practice.
For example, I’ve been through this dialogue many times:
Person 1: It’s just terrible our society isn’t more open to diversity.
Person 2: What? You live in the whitest neighborhood of any of us!
One area the liberal/leftist contingent like to get a superiority complex in, naturally, is their support of science.
By science they mean the scientific products, like magazine articles and movies, with which they agree, as considered in the abstract.
It’s a pathetic commentary on the anti-intellectualism rampant in American politics that this is newsworthy. A major-party candidate announces that he doesn’t deny a foundational theory of modern science! In fact, given the political atmosphere in the Republican party, it’s not just newsworthy but a daring act: polls have shown that almost 70 percent of Republicans deny evolution.
Huntsman is clearly trying to position himself as the moderate candidate. But while that strategy might play well in the general election, it won’t do him any good unless he can get the Republican nomination. And to win that nomination, he has to get past a huge obstacle: a solid bloc of Republican primary voters who are emphatically anti-science. This isn’t an exaggeration for polemical effect; it’s the plain truth. The modern Republican party has made a fervent rejection of scientific consensus its defining attribute — both on evolution and climate change, as well as in other fields — and Huntsman’s refusal to submit to party orthodoxy is likely a fatal blow to his chances. – Alternet
The reason 70% of Republicans may oppose “evolution” is simple: evolution as represented to the public is corrupted by all sorts of political propaganda, and by its insistence on the notion of “random” events, is offensive to anyone who believes the universe is orderly.
The left doesn’t care. This is a propaganda moment for them and nothing more.
After all, if they believed in evolution, they would have to refute the single most importance belief of leftism/liberalism — that we’re all equal.
Evolution isn’t about equality. It’s about the better succeeding the less good. Red in tooth and claw, and all that.
The very thought appalls liberals. But they won’t admit that in public.
Next time you hear this kind of pomposity, do us all a favor — laugh loudly, very loudly, and clap the offending liberal on the shoulder and say, “It’s been a long time since I could believe such a simplistic view of the world.”
There’s nothing they fear more than social predation. Which, if they thought about it, would fit right in with the real theory of evolution — not the sanitized, sound bite, liberal version.
If you want to destroy a civilization, subvert its sense of value with fashion. That way, instead of wanting good things, the citizens want “exciting” things, and you can work around logic. There is no longer a right answer or even a way to assess one answer as better than another.
These false values are doubly destructive. First, they destroy any value that is comprehensible or logical; second, by becoming the new values system, they are defended by well-meaning idiots who thus subvert their own authority, driving people away from the concept of values at all.
Soon you have full-on anarchy, which translates to “the lowest common denominator wins, every time” because the frenzy of an anarchic society does not have time to stop and wonder about the best answer — or even a good one. It cares about what is socially fashionable in the moment, to the individual, and damn the consequences.
All of that sounds good — it is after all the most freedom you can ever really have — until you consider the long-term consequences and cost. The consequences are social chaos and a paranoid distrust of other people, even when or I should say especially when acting carefree and sociable, and the cost is having given up on a values system that will reward you for being good at anything.
In other words, anarchy rewards those who feel they need anarchy, which are generally the people who aren’t making it in a structured system, and are afraid of competence tests and responsibility. Anarchy is for those who want civilization without the responsibility of civilization.
There’s another problem to false values: they are a human construct. Some would call this a “social construct,” but that term has been murdered by leftists who apply it to biological realities like gender, intelligence, heritage, etc. so we no longer use it.
Since false values are a human construct, inevitably they fail.
Our recent recession for example is just a small failure, a taste of bigger future fails to come, that reflects our economic system discovering suddenly that the consumerist empire is based on idiots buying plastic crap from Wal-Mart.
Your fellow idiots would love to blame someone called “banksters,” which is a predictably stupid view: blame others for your problems. Bankers only get away with what they do because of a huge mass of credulous fools who are so intent on their pleasures and toy-buying that they don’t really care what happens in government, and by extension in the economy.
They approve corrupt leaders and moronic ideas by the bushel, and then blame “the bankers” when the economy collapses because ten million idiots mortgaged homes they couldn’t afford and then ran away when the bills rose.
Now look at what your fellow citizens are doing to further ruin your life:
Women are jumping into the sack faster and with fewer expectations about long-term commitments than ever, effectively discounting the “price” of sex to a record low, according to social psychologists.
More than 25% of young women report giving it up within the first week of dating. While researchers don’t have a baseline to compare it to, interviews they have conducted lead them to believe this is higher than before, which increases the pressure on other women and changes the expectations of men. – NY Post
“Man, don’t be a buzzkill. What’s wrong with that? More sex for everyone! It’s like … sexual socialism! Free love. We all get laid. Rock on!”
Yeah, about that — you have to think like an economist. If they’ve devalued sex, that means they’ve also devalued you. That means that they’re going to have sex with idiots and then at some point, want you to marry them and put up with their neurotic slutlike selves while they bork out spawn.
The problem is, again, that they’ve devalued you. Expect to be divorced. But before that, expect that your spouse will never honestly give half a crap about your needs, will never respect you, and will sneak around behind your back doing all sorts of unseemly things. It’s like being a bonobo.
In addition, your sex life is now going to be terrible. With women giving it away cheaper than before, skill is no longer a premium. As a result, you’re going to see the girls you’d like to be with going home with douchebags 90% of the time, except that odd night when you get sloppy seconds.
Free love. Sexual socialism. More like: a total absence of sexual value. And that means a total lack of value to you, to relationships, to marriage, etc. which means you’re a fool if you even participate in one-night stands. It’s all toxic. That leaves you with escort services and a lonely long life ahead.
The sad fact is that plans based on illusions fall apart and leave wreckage in their wake. Take this sob-story for example:
Veronica’s husband, Jonathan, had a busy studio where he recorded and produced up-and-coming rap, hip-hop and R&B artists. But when the economy tanked, his clients ran out of money and he had to pawn his equipment to pay the bills.
The family downsized to an apartment in Long Beach, then a friend’s spare room in Corona. When the friend was evicted last year, Jonathan, 35, Veronica, 34, and their four children ages 3 to 8 were homeless.
The Longs squeezed into a room at the Union Rescue Mission, which has turned over two floors of its main shelter to families washing up on skid row. Soon after, Veronica found out she was pregnant. (She thought she couldn’t have more children because of a medical condition.) – LA Times
The L.A. T wants you to weep for these people.
I suggest you laugh at them. First, for getting into this hilarious debacle, and second, for allowing a national newspaper to expose their ridiculous predicament for everyone to see. It’s like fail squared.
A studio for up-and-com, rap and R&B artists? Give me a break. That’s weenie music. No man worth his time would listen to such obvious childrens’ music. But even more, it’s obsolete. At this point, we have too much of it. It’s easy to produce. The audience isn’t critical. And most importantly, it doesn’t give anything to the economy or culture — except false value.
Real value is a business that generates more wealth. If you have a prosperous farm, manufacturing concern or even something intangible like a software firm, you are contributing.
People who are pandering to the dead-end consumer audience, like entertainment products and hair care, are not actually contributing. They are moving money around in a way that is guaranteed not to produce more of it. Instead, it does the exact opposite, and fritters it away into the ghetto activities of a dying nation.
The connection between this and sexual socialism is that they use the same principle: you either concentrate your power and do something meaningful with it, or disperse it through pointless activity. The latter is a false value and is destined for total failure like all other illusions.
As civilizations grow older, they tend to fall apart. This looks like entropy to me: over time, an increase in disorder. But how can that be, when humans are able to communicate ideas?
The answer seems to me that context is forgotten. I can tell you that it is bad to eat fondue, but without the context that tells us that fondue causes slow neurological decay and what “bad” means, that knowledge conveys no cognition.
Universally, civilizations experience an inverse relationship between individualism and values held in common. The more values are held in common, the less people “need” individualism — they have a clear goal, a clear set of yes-do-it and no-stay-away actions, and abstractions of what is beautiful that correspond to parts of reality. They do not need constant self-expression, social recognition or mindless self indulgence.
When you take away values held in common, degeneration results.
It’s not so much that these young Americans are living lives of sin and debauchery, at least no more than you’d expect from 18- to 23-year-olds. What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.
The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, which Smith and company recount in a new book, “Lost in Transition,” you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.
When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot. – NYT
What is left after shared values and behavior (culture) is driven away?
- The narcissistic self.
- Corporate entertainment.
- Government pamphlets.
- Peer pressure.
What a great way to rule a nation! Everything will be done for appearance.
Either allegiance to dogma, repeating memes from entertainment, or serving the narcissistic self and its extension, the social self.
No wonder selfishness is on the rise. “Moral questions” like what you can afford? It’s laughable.
These people know nothing but their own wants, desires, grandiose notions of self and the social groups that reinforce them.
They are perfect consumers and perfect tools of control for any tyrant.
B-b-b-ut I thought liberalism (which glorifies the individual, through equality which insists anything the individual does is OK) was going to save us from corporate control and totalitarianism?
No, that’s just what it promised. And like advertising or offhand comments in a bar, promises aren’t binding.
Secretly, it’s tearing your society apart so you must depend on the control. There’s nothing left. And in the anarchy, without your cops and private security, you’re dead.
“Go to any working-class community, and you’ll find a variety of people who are making life difficult for their fellow citizens,” Murray said. “It’s not just the nice guys who can’t seem to hold a job, but there are also growing numbers of men who have no intention of working if they can help it and who convince girlfriends to help them but also bankrupt them. They leave the girlfriend as soon as they find out the woman is pregnant, mothers who use their 3-year-old to babysit their infant while they go out for the night, plus the common outright cases of physical and emotional abuse by the live-in boyfriend.”
And you probably thought that such pathology only existed in predominantly black Southeast Washington.
Using social and economic data from 1960 to last year, Murray found that working-class whites have experienced steep declines in marriage, church attendance and work ethic.
Among the upper middle class, life is good, he said. Marriages are relatively stable, work is plentiful, and strong connections to religious institutions are being maintained. – WAPO
More likely is that this is a wave of decay, surging upward from the proles into the upper classes.
Soon we all partake in our ruin! And that’s only fair, you know, equal and stuff.
Liberalism/leftism promises happiness through materialism. Sure, it’s equal materialism, but it’s still materialism.
That leaves out everything that makes us actually happy.
It gives us only the individual, but it makes that individual enslaved to social and economic pressures.
There must be a better way.
Murray contends that the pursuit of happiness is the vehicle for giving life that transcendent value.
“My position on happiness says that it is pursued with just four domains — vocation, family, community and faith, and that’s all there are anywhere in the world, in any kind of society, throughout history,” he says. “Human beings are hardwired to find deep satisfactions within those four and no other.
“If that’s true, then a good society is one that makes sure those four domains are rich and vital, or at least doesn’t screw them up, which brings us to politics.”
Murray claims that a person’s political views are based on his or her premises about what constitutes a life well lived — the nature of happiness — and his or her beliefs about human nature.
“The latter point has been almost completely ignored for the last century,” he says. “Any system — communist, libertarian, social democracy — will or won’t work depending on whether it is consistent with human nature. If you want to say that there is no such thing as human nature, fine — but that’s an empirical assertion that has to be tested against data. I’m saying that the data are coming in, and there’s a flood of data on the way in the next few decades, and it is already apparent that the findings are going to vindicate just about everything I say.” – Earlham University
But we want personal happiness. How can that lie outside the individual?
Think about context: without oxygen, fresh water, and places to wander, you’d be miserable too.
If we locked you in a giant plastic bubble orbiting earth, with all of the TV, drugs, prostitutes, food and luxuries anyone could afford, even you might go stir-crazy after a while.
Yet when liberals offer you the empire of narcissism, you gobble it down like a cheeseburger. You just can’t help yourself.
This is why conservatives say there is only one political issue, which is the restoration of moral awareness and fortitude among the people.
When people en masse make decisions arising from moral cowardice, civilizations fall. Moral cowardice makes us prefer our own interests to a balance between self, society and world/nature.
But the cheeseburger is easier.
In history class, you read the textbook and listen to the lectures, then get tested. The task is to remember not only facts, but their interpretations in the broader context of history.
We don’t do this (solely) to venerate the past. We teach and study history so that we can avoid past mistakes. However, there’s a hole in this theory.
It’s easy to reprogram the interpretations of facts to lead to future errors. If a caveman goes out on a hunt, and comes back empty-handed, is it because (a) he went during the heat of the day or (b) the camel-god is wrathful?
Let’s stumble through history with humanity:
The Palestinian Ambassador to the United States Maen Rashid Areikat said on Tuesday in Washington that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)opposes the immediate presence of Jews and gays in an independent Palestinian state, according to reports in The Daily Caller and The Weekly Standard.
When asked by Jamie Weinstein, senior editor and columnist for The Daily Caller, whether a Jew could be elected Mayor of Ramallah in an independent Palestinian state, Areikat said: “But after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”
Areikat added that “Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future.”
In an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Weinstein wrote that, “Similar comments coming from an Israeli official would merit worldwide condemnation. But we hear nothing from the world community when the Palestinian ambassador to the US calls for a Jew-free state. – Jerusalem Post
What was the lesson of WWII?
In the public schools, the same places they teach you all sorts of falsehoods, they say that it was a lesson in crushing tyranny.
More astute observers realize WWII was fallout from the French Revolution, and a wave of liberalization across Europe that targeted ethnic states and wanted to make them more like the then-new Soviet Union.
If anything, the lesson of WWII was that our time is defined by a clash between liberals and nationalists.
In Palestine, they are speaking the truth: two ethnic groups cannot occupy the same space.
Oddly, the Israelis are speaking the same truth; they also want to separate from Palestine.
This is the lesson of WWII as well, and the lesson of the ongoing collapse of America.
This isn’t about “black crime”; it’s about our lack of an identity, and a standard of values and behavior held in common, when we get rid of ethnic homogeneity.
It’s not socially polite or politically correct to say that, but it’s more honest than blaming minorities for the failing of a stupid concept: diversity.
Maybe this time we will learn from the past.
The idea of rebellion is simple: the jerks in power are forcing the rest of us away from the good life, so we’re going to band together, outnumber them, and take over.
Rebellion puts the rebels in an unassailable position: we’re the good guys, doing this for you! The bad guys have rules, but we accept everyone and everything — except bad taboos like pedophilia, and anything that threatens the rebellion, of course.
The problem with rebellion is that all rebellions have this pseudo-anarchy in common, and eventually it leads to two things: (a) an inert population and (b) more powerful bureaucracies and business catering to their fears and thus, acting against those who are competent.
From unlikely places:
But when her throat was cleared at last, Ms. Palin had something considerably more substantive to say.
She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).
Ms. Palin’s third point was more striking still: in contrast to the sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs.
Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin’s having said them.
“This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.” – NYT
The dichotomy here is this: entrenched interests which do not want competition, versus those that might reward people for superior performance — in other words, those which endorse elitism, or the notion that some people/things are more competent/better than others.
This is a revolution against the rebellion, but it’s written in terms the rebellion can understand. However, it reverses the primary principle of the rebellion, which is that we are all equal. It does it indirectly by saying that competitive forces which rise are good, but anti-competitive forces are bad.
In other words, that which makes everyone equal and thus allows large bureaucracies and corporations to accumulate wealth through the slovenly inattention of others, is just as potent a force of decline as the lock-step conformity of the late Soviet Union.
The solution to this is to banish egalitarianism — which ultimately empowers these monolithic incompetents — and replace it with Social Darwinism, or competition to be better than others, a form of “elitism”:
The word has been taboo for too long in our namby-pamby society where all children are led to believe they have won the egg and spoon race, even when they have come last, because no child is meant to be ‘left behind’.
David Cameron has finally burst this stupid bubble of lies. ‘It’s clear what works,’ says the PM in a groundbreaking speech. ‘Discipline works. Rigour works. Freedom for schools works. Having high expectations works.’
Let’s be clear about why we need elitism. If we don’t drag our children out of the lefty la-la land of everyone being equal even if they come last, and into the real world of competition, they really will get left behind. Kids in the Far East aren’t being told it doesn’t matter if they lose the school sack race. They’re being exhorted to win, strive, learn and improve themselves and in a global economy they will take the prize. – Daily Mail
On both sides of the pond, the victors of WWII are reversing their two centuries of flirtation with rebellion — derived from the 1789 French Revolution — and turning toward conservatism. Why? Because liberalism creates conformity, stagnation, decline and systemic failure of our society.
Egalitarianism is the foundation of both liberalism and globalism. In fact, globalism was previously known by its true name of internationalism, a liberal policy.
Its goal is to ensure equality for all people worldwide by destroying barriers between them. On the positive side, that means no restrictions; on the negative, it means conformity and no uniqueness.
The goal is to make one-size-fits-all people who are like interchangeable parts, both predictable and non-essential, and to use their need to make a powerful moral state.
Much like the French Revolution, which dissolved when the revolutionaries ran out of innocent people to kill and began murdering each other, globalism has trouble when anyone disagrees.
It tends to wage war on them using its superior wealth, and justifying that war with its “moral” superiority, but to a distant observer, it would be seen as a form of conquest through uniformity.
In simpler terms, when the entire world are converted into the type of harmless opinionless people we find in our suburbs, we will finally feel safe. So we must destroy all values different from that ideal.
In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Americans were mostly stunned. Up until that moment they were certain that every person in the world understands that they’re right, that their economy is better, that their constitution is fairer, and that their democracy is the only way to bring freedom to human beings. “Freedom itself was attacked,” their inarticulate president said.
They failed to grasp that not all people want freedom, that not all people want democracy, that not all people just want a nice car and a house to live in, and that not all people think that God is someone who invites you to a friendly meeting every Sunday before the barbeque. – Ynet
Yes, how could they turn on us? We are bringing them freedom, equality, justice, tolerance, diversity and a dozen other buzzwords that symbolize much but mean nothing.
What they see is us bringing Coca-Cola, high divorce rates, latchkey kids, a population that has to drink and rut like pigs to be “happy,” neurosis, public immorality, legal corruption, trash TV, McDonald’s, laws that penalize the innocent in favor of the victim, and other great injustices.
There may be no one-size-fits-all rule, because unlike what happens in the political concept of equality, in life there is no equality. First, there’s no linear standard; second, even within that, people have different needs based on their abilities and inclinations.
Egalitarianism in other words may be an error on a practical level, although on an ideological (really, “social,” since the goal of ideology is to convince others to deny reality in favor of a preferential vision) level it is pure brilliance.
It may also be the death of us. Like Rome in the late stages of Empire, we seem to have lots of power, but not much actual joy in life. We define “happy” as distracted and not miserable on the surface, but the continuing weirdness and dysfunction of people who should know better suggests this first-world population is anything but “happy.”
But we’re afraid to give it.
Like many things in life, egalitarianism is one extreme of a spectrum that tends between two such extremes. Namely: the everyone-is-equal crowd versus those who insist on some kind of hierarchy, where some outperform others.
Mr Cameron also warned that parents of youngsters who play truant face having their benefits cuts.
He pledged to bring ‘rigour’ back into Britain’s classrooms and condemned Labour’s ‘prizes for all’ culture, which frowns on competitiveness.
Mr Cameron is under increasing pressure to reassure Tory MPs and voters that the Coalition is in touch with middle-class anxieties.
His speech was seen as a deliberate contrast to pledges by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to drive up standards in poorer areas.- Daily Mail
The divide is clearly spelled out: equality for everyone, which means focus on those who aren’t up to par, or competitiveness designed to produce those who are above par.
People demand equality out of fear. They fear that they won’t measure up. As a result, their fear trumps their desire for achievement, and they demand to be released of their fear.
They hide this behind fancy language, but the question they are ultimately asking is: “Do you want your child to be guaranteed a prize at the science fair, or do you want your kid to get a big prize if they do much better than average?”
This is the age-old conflict of societies. On the level of socialization, of course the correct answer is that everyone is equal, and everyone is included. That will make you popular.
On the level of the inner self and the intelligence of our best people, that is insane. To make everyone equal destroys our ability to keep evolving by providing rewards for sanity and disincentives for insanity.
Competition however only rewards some and makes the vast majority feel average. Then again, removing competition makes them think they are capable of roles for which they are clearly incompetent.
These two sides — egalitarianism versus Social Darwinism — constitute the essence of the left/right divide, which contrary to trends, is more real than people believe.
You either want equality or competition (which leads to quality). There is no middle ground.
Globalism is the notion that by mating liberal internationalism with another form of anarchy, consumerism, we can make a perfect society that no one will refuse. September 11, 2001 showed us that globalism is in fact in error: not everyone wants part of this happy world, not even the “happy” people living in it.
But because globalism claims to be moral, and construes itself as a rebellion, it is the “invisible politic” which cannot be rebelled against or debunked, since in its anarchistic state it accepts all viewpoints. That is why globalism is powerful, and why commerce clings to it: it cannot be overthrown.
And globalism offers you a certain kind of freedom. There can be no standards, because that creates hierarchy. Thus you get a society that’s essentially anarchy with a few political taboos and bans on obviously destructive behavior (murder, meth, rape, etc).
Yet there may be another kind of freedom which lurks outside of one-size-fits-all. It’s not the freedom from the fear of being average, but the freedom to be above average, or just to take a different path:
Until very recently, the centralization of administrative power under expert control — what we might call, for shorthand, rational planning — was considered essential to public policy solutions. In the industrial and post-industrial eras, advances in science and technology seemed to promise a future of unprecedented efficiency. Centralized programs could coordinate masses of people toward desired goals, in areas from government to business to philanthropy to city planning. Modern policy problems were considered to be, fundamentally, systemic issues too complex for local citizens and requiring expert professional attention. Technology and globalization would only increase the value of this approach.
Now, however, trends have begun to shift in a very different direction. Some of the preeminent projects of rational planning are foundering or altogether failing. The entitlement crisis, the housing bubble, and other prominent stories and scandals have made Americans more skeptical of distant experts. Advances in technology and business have created new possibilities for individual and local empowerment. The pressure is on for products, services, and organizational practices that will enable consumers and participants to solve problems themselves.
By contrast, rational planning viewed human beings mainly in the aggregate, essentially as a collection of data points that could be predicted and manipulated based on such categorical differences as race and gender. The messy web of mediating institutions — families, churches, nonprofits — could be sidestepped. Mass programs, which could operate on a scale impossible in the pre-industrial age, would be able to deal directly with the masses, matching problems with solutions and products with demand. Freed from the complex and sometimes onerous network of relationships formerly required for political life, Americans would interact directly with the powerhouses of finance and planning: the government, major corporations, big foundations, and so on. – The New Atlantis
Rational planning is the one-size-fits-all approach; it denies the organic hierarchy of humanity, and the web of culture, beliefs, values and informal institutions that it creates.
Instead of trying to create an ideal based on egalitarianism, we could swing to the other side and allow hierarchy — including the ability for local communities to do things differently.
For example, if New York wants to be multicultural/cosmopolitan/diverse, that’s fine. If Heidelberg doesn’t, that’s also fine. No one-size-fits-all in the name of making the world safe for egalitarianism.
Throughout all of this, we have to remember that egalitarianism was not a goal but a device and a justification used during the French Revolution. When you want to kill a king, you need a good reason. Preferably one that fools millions of proles into thinking it’s a complex moral theory that, by virtue of being complex and reductive, is the only correct path.
Those ancient justifications are now causing us endless problems:
Liberal ideas were developed in the good old days when landowners, slave owners, and business owners were the bad guys. So liberals developed the notions of protest, civil disobedience, and passive resistance as the means by which the oppressed, assisted by their educated allies, could register their protest against injustice, expose the hypocrisies of the powerful, and win through to a just society.
But now a new justice movement has emerged onto the political radar. Only this time it is not a liberal movement, enthusiastically supported by our liberal friends. Instead this movement, the Tea Party movement, is anti-liberal. It has arisen to oppose the injustices of liberalism.
As you might expect, our liberal friends are not reacting very well. Protest, civil disobedience, mass meetings are one thing when they are used for a progressive purpose. When used by conservatives–even conservative religious women–liberals talk of “incivility”, of “terrorism”, of racism, and worse. – CAA
I post these disparate quotations to show that what we say here at Amerika.org is not that far from the mainstream; we’ve just connected a few more dots.
Connecting dots is how civilization is built. Computer code is based on libraries, laws are based on previous legal cases, customs are based on what worked in the past.
We are entering a time of vast change when we cast off the obsolete liberal demand for egalitarianism, which has brought us nothing but grief, and instead focus on reality and competence again.
This angers those who benefit from globalism, mainly international business (regulation legalizes all behavior except that which is banned), and the lynch mob of miserable people who want to tear down others and make them miserable too, preferably through some unassailable idea like morality.
But aren’t we tired of a past that reveals an unmitigated slow decline, and ready for health again? Illness is so boring.
Social conservatism gets a bad rap because it is associated with fundamentalist Christianity and people who seem to take the fun out of everything.
Then again, if you listen to the rabid talking heads from any belief, they will show you the most dogmatic and least interesting aspects of it, hammered home like a rote lesson.
From my experience, social conservatism is misunderstood. Our leftist-friendly media portrays it as being against fun, experimentation and tolerance for any who do not fit a rigid cookie-cutter existence.
On the contrary, it seems to me that social conservatism is about hedonism.
Think about maximizing pleasure: if you were given a huge trust fund, and sated with vast amounts of food, drugs, drink, luxury goods and sex, what would happen after only a year or so? You’d get bored.
Even if you upped the ante and became a jet-setting billionaire, there would only be so many pleasures you could indulge before you felt you were going through the motions. “Another menage-a-trois… well, there’s nothing on TV.”
Eventually you would snap to the realization that you need a deeper level of pleasure. You cannot substitute for quality with quantity, and quality is the elusive dimension to all things in life.
At that point, you think about what would make life as a whole quite beautiful. When you think of quality not quantity, a new level of possibility presents itself.
Maybe it goes like this:
- You grow up in a stable home. You’ve got a mom and a dad who are madly in love. They love you too, and tell you that whatever you choose to do with your life, as long as you act honestly, bravely and morally, you’ll be OK. They will always love you; there are no conditions here.
- Your society has a moral code. These are always semi-arbitrary; societies need them, but there’s no writing across the sky to tell us what, so we invent them like any other technology and refine them as we go. It doesn’t matter. In your society, the moral code is there, and it works enough. You know what actions will be rewarded, and what’s taboo, and what impresses no one even if it’s not technically bad.
- You are challenged. When you go to school, you are not bored. The work engages your mind. As time goes on, kids peel off to areas that interest them and match their abilities. Some apprentice as mechanics, others get shifted off to art school, and still others go farther in academia. As long as you do well, you are supported in going further.
- You have a magic love of your own. Chastity is strong here, so you make a careful decision. You find a partner from a background like yours, who shares your values and matches you in ability, and you have a fairy tale white wedding. You are each others’ first lovers, best friends, and eternal partners in making a life together.
- You are not bored in your job. Not all things are fascinating, but you don’t spend a bunch of time waiting for incompetents or people protected by nit-picking rules. You are compelled to do well and while competition is not rabid, incompetence and fence-sitting are not rewarded. This means fewer committees, fewer meetings, less paperwork, and more doing what it is you like to do.
- Your nation is going in a good direction. You all share values and act on them together. This means you fix problems aggressively. That does not mean you are a war monger, but neither are you afraid of war. You do whatever it takes. Your goal is to keep making life better.
- You live in peaceful surroundings. The art of your country is strong and complex, so there is not a need to substitute manic amounts of quantity for quality. No Lady Gaga blasting from a thousand stereos. No street signs screaming political and commercial slogans. No lowest common denominator. You live in an elegant society.
- Defective behavior is not encouraged. If you turn toward drugs or drink, society has a solid word for you: No. Don’t do it. They’ll help you out of a snare a few times, but you know what happens to people who behave aberrantly; they self-destruct. Society does not equivocate in its message about what is bad.
- Rebellion is anticlimax. In a healthy society, rebellion is a tantrum without merit. The political and justice systems work, and there’s no need for protests in the street or other drama.
This is the type of hedonism at which social conservatism aims: hedonism of a whole life lived so well that when you look back on it in your twilight years, it seems to glow with golden potential.
You could throw that out and instead demand quantity, as we do now. Stimulus not enough? Have a ton of drugs, alcohol, video games and casual sex. Keep trying to stuff something in that hole in your soul.
The hollow modern life is the opposite of the good life that social conservatism promises. The modern quantitative life tries to make meaning at the surface, instead of within the functional parts of life.
When you look at life as a whole, you’re looking at how those functional parts interact to make a sense of satisfaction of a life well-lived. And that, not stuffy old rules, is the aim of social conservatism.