Archive for January, 2012

Liberalism = Globalism

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Liberalism is the core of a snowball. Its one concept is that the individual is equal, therefore can do whatever they want independent of shared cultural values or reality itself.

As a result, liberalism takes on any value that is compatible with a rejection of allegiance larger than the self. It can for example embrace capitalism, in its consumerist form that says all business exists to serve the individual’s whims and fancies.

Ironically, because individualism is based in the individual, it tends toward groupthink because it unites people who have nothing in common except a desire to be “free.” This idea of being free implies two things: (a) a desire to have no goal and (b) someone or something obstructing that non-goal.

This creates a mob of people linked by their desire to not be part of a group. One of the reasons liberalism is so hard to diagnose and remove is that it is fundamentally paradoxical. “We’re all individualists, so we formed a lobbyist group called Liberalism, now you must obey!”

As time goes on, even the descendants of the most dim-witted peasants are starting to realize that like the advertising on television, liberalism is not telling us the whole story. It’s telling us what it wants to sell us (freedom) but forgetting to mention that the cost of freedom is slavery.

Before the Great Crash, critics of globalisation were isolated on the loony fringe: tear-gassed in Seattle and whacked with truncheons in Prague, as the west’s leaders gathered to congratulate themselves on reaping the benefits of unfettered world trade.

…From the Indignados in Spain, who have espoused the cause of the 50% of young Spaniards now out of a job, to the Occupy movements that have sprung up in New York, London and scores of other cities around the world, to the villagers in Guangdong, China, protesting against government land-grabs, many thousands of discontented citizens are making their anger felt about the way the system has failed them.

The demands of these inchoate groups may not be fully formed; but they have noisily identified the fact that there is something deeply wrong with today’s world economic system, which puts unfathomable riches in the hands of an unaccountable elite, while millions are trapped in unemployment and poverty. – “We can now see the true cost of globalisation” by Staff, The Guardian

In a double irony, the editorial above shows the problem with most revolutions: they imitate the order that went before as it is all they know. This editorial argues for an end to globalism by using the ideology that created globalism.

Our problem is not elites. It’s not proles either. The problem is equality itself, which when applied to human populations inevitably creates a breakaway group of “individualists” who then insist on a destruction of all shared purpose, value or goals. It is the anti-civilization, the ego out of control.

It is also inevitable that liberalism would create Internationalism — sorry, I used the 1930s word for it; I mean Globalism. The essence of globalism is the notion that national borders and customs should not obstruct the individual from fulfilling its whims and fancies, and if we have to unite global business to do this, well so much the better. It is after all more efficient to have a Wal-mart or Taco Bell than a local Mom n’ Pop shop.

Taken together, the 1% and the 99% form a political entity that systematically eliminates anything but itself. It wants government to protect the individual from any obligations but its own whims, and to balance that with commerce so everyone has money, because money is freedom. It consumes all in its path.

Mr Obama described his programme of using higher taxes on the wealthy to bankroll new government spending as “a recipe for a fair, sound approach to deficit reduction and rebuilding this country”. To which we who come from the future can only shout, “No‑o-o, go back! Don’t come down this road!”

As we try desperately to extricate ourselves from the consequences of that philosophy, which sounds so eminently reasonable (“giving everybody a fair share”, the President called it), we could tell America a thing or two – if it would only listen. Human beings are so much more complicated than this childlike conception of fairness assumes. When government takes away an ever larger proportion of the wealth which entrepreneurial activity creates and attempts to distribute it “fairly” (that is to say, evenly) throughout society in the form of welfare programmes and public spending projects, the effects are much, much more complex and perverse than a simple financial equation would suggest.

It is probably obvious that the people from whom the wealth is taken will become less willing to incur the risks that entrepreneurial investment involves – and so will produce less wealth, and thus less tax revenue. But more surprising, perhaps, are the damaging changes that take place in the beneficiaries of this “fairness” and the permanent effect this has on the balance of power between government and the people. – “Barack Obama is trying to make the US a more socialist state” by Janet Daley, The Telegraph

In the name of the meek, and penalizing the strong, we re-create the order which defies us all by destroying the civilization we need to actualize our dreams. We need stability that comes from having culture and values and a shared goal. We need it as a backdrop, as a support system and as a common language. Without it we can be individualists, sure, but in a meaningless cardboard existence.

It’s time we stopped beating around the bush and started to admit the obvious. Liberalism is globalism; globalism is liberalism. Our efforts in the name of the poor and downtrodden have created the most oppressive system of government ever envisioned. Our justifications in the name of the individual have created the most monstrous groupthink ever conceptualized.

In fact, all of politics is a ceremony of opposites. Individualism creates groupthink. Liberalism creates calcification. Freedom creates slavery. Justice creates the police state. Every time the human mind intervenes, we seem to create the opposite of what we wanted.

We need to pick a new path. Every time someone says that, the “wise” pundits trot out the same old justifications of individualism and the meek/poor. I suggest our new starting point should be designing a society for the 100%, not the poor, who inevitably become an empty symbol for the next generation of authoritarians.

Circle of blame

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Two centuries or so ago, we decided to cut our society free from a center. No longer would we unify ourselves with transcendental values such as culture, values, spirituality and aristocracy, but we would focus on the body. Specifically, the equality of anyone who had one.

Ever since that time, our society has been a merry-go-round of blame. We started by blaming the kings, then we blamed the wealthy, then we blamed the Church, and then a series of political enemies from Anarchists to Hitlers. In each case we were told that someone was to blame, and if we removed them, Utopia would reign.

After all, we fought “the war to end all wars.” Before that, we beheaded countless aristocrats. We have killed more elitists, racists, fundamentalists and wannabe oligarchs than we can keep track of. Our purges have been subtle but always emphasize finding someone to blame for our position.

But then it doesn’t change. The circle of blame comes around again; a new enemy is found and conquered. If not Hitler, Pol Pot; if not Pol Pot, the druglords or KKK, or maybe carbon emitters. Who knows who will be next? Each time it is insinuated that if we remove the persons we blame, we will finally be free.

And yet freedom is never free, in that to be free you must be freed from something, which requires we construct a Satan to blame for our predicament. That gives us for a few shining moments purpose as we form a lynch mob, find an incarnation of the Devil, and burn his witchy corpse in the town square.

Morning comes, and our problems remain — in fact, they have intensified. We did not remove their source but one instance of them, or perhaps only one reflection of them. The real problem remains because we carry it with us, through our assumptions and undisciplined behaviors. We are to blame.

Even if we were not to blame, it is clear that those we blame — even if we assume everything said about them is true — are not the source of the blame, nor those who will fix it. We are the only people who can fix it. We are in the driver’s seat. If we don’t fix it, no one will.

To motivate groups of people, it is handy to have someone to blame. Nazis, Jews, Anarchists, Communists, Satanists, drug dealers, sexist hip-hop, Racists, Negroes, Christians, Muslims, The Rich. But the blame obscures the real task before us, which is fixing the problem instead of obliterating its symbols.

Under the microscope

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

We live in a post-totalitarian age. Much like post-modernism is a decentralized form of modernism, post-totalitarianism is a decentralized version of the powerful regimes of the 20th century.

To be decentralized, a post-totalitarian state must be self-enforcing. It achieves this through social disapproval. Nothing is against the rules, except that which is not sociable. You must accept everyone and everything is equally valid, or you’re an attacker.

The primary method of social control is guilt. You are responsible for the burden of work and of being polite to insane people, so that we can all live together without any common goal. Except for our leaders; they have some kind of goal, but no one knows what it is.

Post-totalitarian age government actually does very little. It doesn’t have to. Its insane policies produce an unstable and violent society, which causes us to run to government as the solution to our problems. It compels us to work like good little dogs so we can afford to live outside the ghetto and industrial zones.

Our government does not need secret police. It has a complicit media and a vast army of socialized useful idiots who will, if rumor establishes that some person has a “wrong” opinion, conspire using guilt to force others to ostracize that person.

In order to keep the farce going, our government will use police, social workers, and even clergy to “discover” violations of the social code. Then these are releases to the public, and the crowd gets inflamed and takes its revenge. Indirect terror maintains control.

Recently, Anders Bering Breivik found a way to arm himself and execute 90 future communists. Whether or not we agree with his actions, we can see why he thought as he did. Multiculturalism, permissiveness and consumerism were ruining his native country, and he found what he thought was a solution.

However, his acts also empowered greedy legions of government employees. They now have a new Hitler or KKK to pursue, and those who find someone to blame will get promotions. In the UK, a noted writer of architectural and artistic essays found himself facing a police investigation straight out of 1984.

That writer is David Hamilton, and he has hastily answered a few questions for us. We cannot at this time verify his location; he is staying on the run to avoid being dragged into a police station without his lawyer (“solicitor” in UK English). Here are his answers.

Thanks for being with us today, David, if even only virtually. I hear you’re under the microscope, or feeling the eye of social disapproval hovering over your head like a weapon.

I rushed this because I never know if my door is going be smashed down but it covers everything. If I think of anything important I shall post it as a comment.

When did you first become aware of police attention to your activities? Have you experienced any interest from them in the past?

This was completely out of the blue. I had always thought of myself as not being particularly significant in contemporary politics. In fact I had given up writing about politics four months ago and was concentrating on Art, Architecture etc.

I was having a shower on the morning of Wednesday the 18th of January at 11.20 am when, completely unexpected, a very impatient ringing of my bell began. I then heard voices and heavy footsteps outside, a silence, then a very loud aggressive knocking on my door. I never answer threatening knocks on my door so remained silent. Then my telephone started ringing. I crept to the door and listened. I heard one go through the back door and walk around outside probably looking for signs of life inside.

Then a note was pushed through my letterbox which completely puzzled me. It read:

Could you contact D.C. (Detective Constable) Tony Gatter of the Metropolitan Police(Scotland Yard) with refer to a crime enquire(sic). Many thanks DC Gatter.

This completely mystified me. I had not been to London for 18 months and thought it must be mistaken identity

What exactly are you accused of, and how did you find out? If they accused you of no specific crime (e.g. “breaking and entering”) under what pretense did they interrogate you?

They are trying to say I had links to Anders Breivik, which is ludicrous.

I later rang D.C. Gatter on the number he left. I was very cagey to begin with. Then he fired a major volley: he said I had links to the infamous terrorist murderer of children Anders Brevik. I was stunned and exclaimed: “Good God”. He laughed. He was in control and I was flummoxed.

I straightaway said I would co-operate with their enquiries because it was such an appalling crime but I insisted I have never been in contact with Breivik. I told them I had seen the Manifesto Breivik produced.

Gatter asked: “Did he send it to you?”

I stammered: “Good Lord, no. I downloaded it.”

As a writer I download lots of information to look at later or to refer to as examples in my articles. He said he wanted to interview me and I volunteered to co-operate.

In this spirit of willing of willing co-operation I sent D.C. Gatter an email which I had from someone unknown to me signed Kenneth, who I assumed to be with Wikileaks, which simply stated: “In case you haven’t noticed, your name pops up in Breivik’s manifesto (near the end of part 2.2).”

What he meant was my name which could be someone else as my name is common. I wrote to Kenneth but he did not reply.: “KENNETH, I hadn’t noticed but will look. Thanks for telling me. Actually, it probably is someone with the same name.”

Has your home or other property been searched? Have you been tailed in public? Will you be checking your record under the UK FOIA?

I have asked my solicitor (lawyer) to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see what they have made up about me. Major-General Sir Frank Kitson conceived of a state tactic whereby the secret services discredit their marks by making up such things as a criminal record and having fake records inserted into the appropriate files. It is much easier now with computerisation and the Secret Services having open access to everything.

Not to my knowledge. But D.C. Gatter has tried to cause conflict between me and my solicitor.

I went to see a solicitor. He was a Muslim and told me to say no more but to go home and wait to hear from as he was going to ring D.C. Gatter to find out what he wanted. I later rang twice to find out what was happening but he was very curt and told me to keep waiting. It was obvious that he was doing nothing so I changed solicitors.

My new solicitor is very helpful and I am very grateful to her. She told the police I would be interviewed voluntarily but only with her present. D.C. Gatter rang me under the pretext of not being able to contact my solicitor. pretext of not being able to contact my solicitor. I told him I would ring her and get her to arrange a convenient interview time and place. I left a message with her Legal Secretary.

Then the deceit and lying started.

My solicitor rang the next morning and was very upset. She had rang D.C. Gatter to arrange an interview but he was very angry with her. He told her I had agreed to be interviewed as a “witness” — that is a lie. My solicitor also told me that D.C. Gatter had refused to tell her what they want to interview me for, had refused to tell her which police station he works from and what his police number is. This indicates that D.C. Gatter is with the British political police Special Branch.

I say this in the clear knowledge of what I am saying: that was a lie. The Metropolitan Police are trying to fit me up for something I know nothing of and am no part of. This is a warning to all patriots and opponents of Muslim extremism: the police have an agenda to fit us up to make Muslim extremists look less extreme.

What do you think the goal of the police is here? Is it tied to any political agenda? Why would they act now? What does your lawyer say about your prospects?

Breivik might have liked my essays warning the Jewish community in Europe of the dangers they face from Muslim extremists, but I have never knowingly contacted him. In fact I am shunned by the extreme Zionists. The EDL leaders Tommy Robinson and Kev Carrol took me off their Facebook friends lists and the British Freedom Party refused to publish a letter from on Sir Winston Churchill’s views on race and attempt to stop immigration.

Another possibility, is that a state asset at the top of the British Freedom Party might have tried to set me up. Possibly a grudge or trying to remove opposition?

The Metropolitan police has at least 8 al-Qaeda members working for it. I have previously written about Muslim extremist training camps in Britain that are covered up by the police and media and that RAF Nimrod spy planes have picked up Taliban fighters with Birmingham accents. I made this point to D.C. Gatter but he has ignored it which makes me wonder about the motives of the Metropolitan police senior officers.

Breivik was a member of the European Counter Jihad movement but I am not. I am a self-proclaimed Conservative of the Traditional or Nationalist kind. If the Metropolitan Police are actively hounding members of the Counter Jihad it suggests that their agenda is anti-Zionist or anti-Israel. I think that this is their underlying motive. That and the intention of making Muslim extremists look less of a threat to us and the Jewish communities.

Thank you for filling us in, David. It seems the leftist governments of the West have again turned against Israel, which is a strong nationalist country, as well as turning on their own people who endorse nationalism or traditionalism. We look forward to your comments and hope you’ll not be under the microscope soon.

Educating for Virtue edited by Joseph Baldacchino

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Educating for Virtue, edited by Joseph Baldacchino
Essays by Claes G. Ryn, Russell Kirk, Paul Gottfried,
Peter J. Stanlis, Solveig Eggerz
114 pages, National Humanities Institute, $12

The liberal assault on a commonsense society started through its self-proclaimed outsiders: academics, hipsters, artists and criminals. It also embraced teachers, who because their jobs required education and yet paid very little, felt themselves to be exceptions to the rule.

As a result, some of the most interesting writing from the conservative right came in the form of critique of education. Many of these writers recognized the liberal takeover of education for what it was, a propaganda machine designed to crank out future liberals. However others tackled the more glaring problem, which was that non-competitive education would guarantee future social collapse.

This short book comprised of five essays, Educating For Virtue, explores the structural flaws of American education in the years after the hippies, and traces each failing to an ideological agenda of the left. The result is a witty and insightful book that provides handy ammunition when the left as they are wont to do creates a problem and then blames the un-accomodating right for the problem the left created.

[T]he forces opposed to the humanities would include…(5) ideological that our schools are the instruments for solving America’s social problems, by creating equality of condition among all students, in order to establish an egalitarian democratic society. These theories, backed by government bureaucratic authority, have reduced many inner city high schools to morally decadent centers of organized anti-intellectual chaos…Whether or not it is considered “undemocratic” to distinguish between students according to their ability and interests, it is certainly common sense to distinguish them according to their ultimate objectives in education — between those who choose not to go to college and those whose plans include college. – Peter J. Stanlis, “The Humanities in Secondary Education” (63-64)

The essays in this book tend to follow the above format: diagnose a problem, find the principle involved, and contrast it with a useful principle. In the view of these writers, the universe has an existing order and smart people adapt to it. Others invent ideology to ruin it.

Educating for Virtue begins with a powerful essay by Claes G. Ryn which defends the notion taught in literature classes a half-century ago, which was that art and culture reveal a psychological battlefield underpinning human society in which we fight for individual moral clarity.

Ryn brings his essay to a peak with an analysis of the culture war itself:

Are then not all human beings equally open to the truth? No, they are not, and this is the problem. That individuals differ in intelligence, as intelligence tests define the term, and that this may affect their ability to understand reality will not be discussed here. The point that needs to be stressed is that rationality, especially of the kind that is employed in the humanities, is not self-sufficient…For arguments to make any real difference, the individual’s imagination and character must be such that new ideas are permitted entrance into that innermost sphere of the personality where our view of reality is formed. – Claes G. Ryn, “The Humanities and Moral Reality” (18)

Through this excerpt we can see an important trait of this book: it argues from logic and common sense itself. Liberal authors feel naked without “studies” and experimental data that despite its artificial narrowness and disproportionately broad conclusions seems to support their point; the authors in this book argue from pure logic, and pure evident results. You do not need a survey to see that the quality of American education has plummeted since 1945.

Russell Kirk weighs in after that with an analysis of how literature is essential to a functioning society, and in particular how an appreciation for poetry helps us understand who we are as people, and thus how we should be governed. He attacks utilitarianism with Romanticism in this sense and shows us a vision of conservatism not as a backlash, but an enhancement of joy and human-ness in life.

After this, Paul Gottfried launches into an examination of how literature influences politics. Specifically, through Babbit and Elliot, he tracks the influence of literature on values and how those influence politics, explaining by way of absence how the left seeks to sabotage these. “We are told that the aim of Socrates in his training of the young was not to make them efficient, but to inspire in them reverence and restraint,” he quotes Babbit as writing (56) and makes this the basis of his essay.

After Gottfried comes Stanlis, who shows how teaching the humanities at university creates in those who can understand it an appreciation for the subtleties of argument. This longer essay is the cornerstone of the book and explores how a classical education motivates us to have the kind of depth our ancestors possessed, while our modern liberal tendency to create one-dimensional paper cutout political education leaves us helpless in the face of complex questions.

The book finishes with a defense of teaching history from Solveig Eggerz, who notes how the teaching of history has been edged aside by a new flotilla of political education courses. His most interesting insights occur not through the somewhat humdrum recitation of how few American students can identify the century in which the Civil War took place, but through his steady dismantling of the new liberal establishment and its excuses for erasing the past before our very eyes.

It would not be fair to compare this book to your John Grishman thriller or Malcolm Gladwell trendsetter. The material is weighty and there are no pages you can skip without missing something. However, it is not dry either; these scribes write with fire and sardonic insight, and the result is a book that teaches a good deal more than one would suspect from its page count.

Perhaps its greatest lesson comes from the Foreword, which reveals the difference between rightism and leftism in a nutshell:

If there is a single thread that runs through these essays, it is the recognition of a universal order that transcends the flux of human life and gives meaning to it…Insofar as men act in accordance with this order, they experience true happiness and are brought into community with others who are similarly motivated. But men are afflicted with contrary impulses that are destructive of universal order. When acted upon, these impulses bring suffering and a sense of meaninglessness and despair; the result is disintegration and conflict–within both the personality and society at large. – Joseph Baldacchino, “Foreword” (10)

Rightists belief in an order to the universe, and the gradual improvement of our ability to understand that order and adapt to it. To that end, rightist schooling is a practical undertaking which seeks to understand both ourselves and the world, where leftist schooling is a political and social control device. As this book points out, moving from the former to the latter has impoverished us both intellectually and morally.

Take me to your leader

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I’ve often wondered how it would go, if an alien landed and walked up to the nearest human.
Would an alien assume that all humans were ‘equal’?
Would an alien be that liberal?
Or that naive?

“Take me to your leader!”
Well now. That’s quite a request.
I don’t know anybody who has access to their leader. Which in itself is an interesting point. Unless we are talking Cub-Scouts, or something.
“Sure, come with me. I’ll trot you over to see Akela.”
But would Akela be the right leader?
Maybe only Lord Baden-Powell would qualify. But would he be the right leader?
Even if he was, it would prove difficult to arrange, since he is dead.

Depending upon who the alien came across, that come-across-ee might be a leftist, in which case he (or she) would be The Leader. The One. The Equal.
“Speak to me, alien. I speak for all.”
What would an alien think of this? Would an alien think, at all?
“You do not resemble a leader”, he might say.
“You stinking chauvinistic, sexist, misogynistic, prejudiced bigot!”
End of encounter.

Or maybe the alien would get lucky, and stumble upon a more reasonable human…
“Um. I don’t actually know where my leader lives. Or how to contact him. Or even her. I am sorry, I can not take you to my leader.”
Depending upon the alien, this might go one of two ways…
End of encounter.

Or, in the case of a more reasonable alien…
“Ah. I see. Well then, it falls to you to surrender this planet to me.”
Indeed, it could all get very tricky.

But probably the alien would not be able to speak English anyway.
And so I don’t worry that much about it.
In fact I worry about very little.

City lights

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

When the alien archeologists visit us, they’ll poke through the artifacts and conclude that ours was a society based around paradox.

As a simple example, we live in cities but do not design them for living. It is as if we were hiding our true intentions from ourselves, like a gambler trying to bluff his opponents.

Nor are our offices designed for comfort. Interestingly, our commutes are not, either… nor most of our homes. We design them with luxury in mind, and a check-list of must-have items, but the actual comfort level lags behind.

For example, a typical day involves sitting in a car for forty minutes. You suffer the outrageous conduct of your fellow humans, who can’t be bothered to (a) hang up and (b) pay attention. As a result, it takes longer and is more dangerous, but mostly boring, to get to work.

At work you go in through a lobby which is essentially dead space designed to insulate you from the crazy out there in the world. Then you take an elevator filled with the body smells of others to your floor, get out and go into an office or cubicle.

Bright light rains down upon you. Air conditioning dehydrates you. They crammed everyone else into the same tiny space, so germs constantly barrage you. Noise level is high. Interruptions are frequent. Hallways go past offices and people talk in them. You can’t hear yourself think.

When that gets too exciting, you go to a meeting. The chairs here are designed to put you to sleep. Instead of a spinal support, you get a modified La-Z-Boy, which tilts backward and slides you into unconsciousness. The room is stuffy, warm, humid or otherwise unaccomodating.

When you’re on the street in the city, you’re assaulted by constant noise. It smells like smoke, exhaust, grease, dirt and people everywhere you go. The air gels over the city. The streets have meaningless names and approximate a grid, which tells you nothing about where you need to go.

Even worse is the coercive nature of the city design. Streets are channeled to corral you between major destinations. Anything off track is forgotten. The designers valued density of people rather than efficiency. The result is constant crowds.

Some day, we may become tired of coercive utilitarian designs which benefit only the fictional average person. We may get sick of how unrelentingly ugly, dirty, scary and controlling the city is. We may even throw in the towel on our ugly and inhospitable workplaces.

We would instead demand places we want to be. But this would force us to step out from our hiding place, paradox. We would have to want to like our jobs, to enjoy our cities, and to deal with our fellow citizens. We don’t want this, because it decreases the power of our individual selves and our wants. The more we use the external to force ourselves to do things, the less we must think about them. We can space out, like back and enjoy it, and retreat into our own minds and focus on our own wants.

For us to actually enjoy life would require us to want to make something of life as a whole, instead of wanting a small segment of it that we control. We would need a type of gentleman’s agreement that we all work toward a healthy goal and stop wasting time.

We would also need to work together informally to remove incompetents and nasty people. This must be informal because to do it publicly and officially is paradoxical, since the incompetents and nasty people will simply flock to that agency in order to protect themselves. Officialdom is their domain.

Humans are easy to confuse. We have been fooled into thinking that defending our individual rights is our primary goal. Individual rights just break down the whole and make an island out of each of us. By demanding rights, we have denied our right to sensible whole. Even if rights make us “free.”

A sensible whole is a society that re-designs ugly into beauty, re-factors inefficient into efficient, selects the best humans and casts the rest aside, and in general rewards us with a public life that is sensible, enjoyable and interesting.

By focusing on the separable details and not the big picture, we have sacrificed this. So we wait in cars, decay in offices, calculate entropy at home, and pretend to care about football while we wait for mortality to whisk us away. But we’re free.


Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Every city in ancient Greece had its own model of eudaemonia, translated as both “human flourishing” and “the good life.” The point was that society was pointed toward an apex of pleasurable existence, like an optimization of common sense.

Now we have no such sane thing. Instead we have utilitarianism, which is basically a statistical idea: the best plan is that which makes the greatest number of people respond on a survey (or ballot) that they are happy.

There are just a few problems with utilitarianism. First, it creates a false target; are we sure life is happy, and not simply well-spent? Next, it relies on the perceptions of individuals who are too commonly deceiving themselves. Finally, it assumes that raw numbers tell the whole story. “The 65% of our population who are imbeciles really love it, so it must be best!”

It’s unsociable to mention that even in the best societies, a relatively small number have the fortunate skill of discernment. The rest follow along, or more commonly sabotage what this small number do, with some people in the middle who can just barely figure out who to follow.

For this reason, utilitarianism is a ridiculous proposition. Like democracy and consumerism, it’s a method of un-leadership. The point is not to figure out what our best minds think, but to ask our least qualified people en masse what they think they might prefer.

We might think of all of the ancient Greek experience as a whole as the pursuit of eudaemonia. The Greeks knew how to survive, but the question was how to live well. The Greeks were surrounded by barbarian tribes who were also able to eat, find shelter, organize cities, etc. But the Greeks wanted more than function; they wanted a goal, a quest, a cause and a meaning to life.

This type of purpose required going beyond the comfort zones of most people. It transcended the individual/collective split that defined most societies. It even blew past ideas of property and equality. Instead, it was a sense of tribal goal, not of the finite type as material goals are, but of a spiritual sort. It was a new vision of the reason for society and culture.

Modern people are inclined to, thinking in a utilitarian sense, bemoan how this denied the individual. But what if someone didn’t want to go along with this? we are trained to object. The answer was simple: then that individual went looking for another society, as is not uncommon in our time or theirs.

For the rest however there was a sense of the unitive. The individual was not separate from nature, or society, but joined with those in harmonious motion toward a goal. Even all the bad things that happen in life took on a new meaning as they were seen as part of the experience of struggling toward this goal. In having a goal above the material, the Greeks transcended the dichotomies that divide societies and found a better purpose.

Most societies do not encourage the unitive. Their goal is to distance the individual from reality so the individual feels a sense of power through socialization. This makes the group hold together, and it then becomes an effective unit which can be manipulated by some individuals.

However, with each wedge we drive between ourselves and the notion of life itself as having a value outside the material, the more miserable we become. We have removed the ability to create meaning from ourselves, and handed it over to the day-to-day struggles that we loathe because they are boring. And we have done it in the name of liberation, equality, etc.

If there is a Satan, he is half composed of those who take advantage of the stupidity of others, and half of the willful ignorance and denial that the victims then adopt in order to deny their own helplessness. Instead of the good life, we have a constant mental bickering and empty, purposeless duty.

Jobs are jails

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

An unfortunate fact of modern life: we have replaced callings with jobs and careers.

“Jobs” are things you attend where other people tell you what to do. In order to insure that you do not become too valuable to replace, your task will be broken down into simple steps and highly isolated fields of “expertise.” The result is apocalyptic boredom.

“Careers” are designed to convince you that a string of jobs equals a purpose. There’s a nod and a wink here, which is you recognizing that you’re disposable, and so seeing the “career” — the job of having jobs of the type you like, and hopefully moving up the ladder — as more important than the company you’re now working for.

In contrast, a calling was a skill and the ability to run a business around it. If you were a cobbler, a blacksmith, a teacher, a stonemason, an armorer, a priest or a farmer, you were an independent businessperson producing actual value.

This was distinct from the commercial class, who took the products of your labor and traded them around and spiced them up, making great profit from the cityfolk. For example, if you were a country spinner, and made fine cloth and sewed it into clothes, a city merchant might add a crocheted, stylized flower and call it a new design.

We can’t even relate to what kind of world that was. Today you tumble out of bed as a youngster, and then get shuffled through a series of grades until they find the right funnel to drop you in, and then pour you down it. You then find a job, and they spruce that up into a career so you have something to talk about at cocktail parties.

Everyone knows but few will say the obvious: very little of each day goes to actual work. The rest is mostly activities to include others, such as meetings or group projects. There’s exciting paperwork. There’s waiting on coworkers. There’s goofing off. At the end of the day, an hour of real work has occurred.

In the meantime, from the top of the cycle to the bottom, everyone is fairly miserable. The rich hate the way they are slaves to their jobs, but can’t stop. The demi-professional middle classes are terrified of losing their jobs or even worse, not rising. Everyone else just hangs on.

One ugly side-effect of this is crushing boredom, frustration, resentment and a thirst for oblivion. People run out of the offices and fly screaming into the sports stadiums. They don’t care what the beer costs. Smash the brain, pound it flat, make it stop sending back signals of misery.

They take it out on their kids too. Either they’re typical suburban dads, who are never around and when they are need to be (a) drunk or (b) zoned out and thus are “too busy” to toss a football around with the whiny kid, or they go the direct but less damaging route and beat their children bloody.

The cycle goes on and on. What can we do? First we have to look at the problem of modern jobs: they are designed to be interchangeable parts and thus are geared toward morons, and so must be boring. Even worse, the competition is fierce because there’s always someone worse off than you who wants to spend more hours “working” for lower pay than you get. To reverse that:

  • Halve the workforce. Get women back into the home. If they don’t have families, let them live with their parents. Very few of them want to be in the workplace, but they’ve been programmed by media to consider their disposable jobs “important.” Yet few succeed and none thrive, ending up instead bitter old maids. In the meantime, men come to hate them, because women are natural detail-maniacs, which drives men up a wall since someone who is always in detail mode will never know when to skip a detail.
  • Increase loyalty. Bring back the pension and the cumulative benefits. Encourage people to spend 20-30 years at a company. Get rid of do-nothing federal programs that pretend to take over this function. Perhaps allow greater employee vesting in 401k plans. If you’re getting matching funds to a percentage of the number of the years you’d been at the firm, you might stick around.
  • Deport immigrants. Our entire workforce is being shoved upward because we keep importing ludicrously cheap workers to do our construction and agriculture job. Forget that; replace them with traditional Americans. While no one doubts that illegal aliens work hard, they take frequent breaks and quality control is terrible — our construction industry became mediocre overnight. But even worse was that the immigrants displaced many people, and forced them into administrative or sales jobs that they’re not qualified for, and thus are botching.
  • Stop being nice. If Jimmy is smarter than Johnny, say it. You don’t need to say it to his face. Stop pretending that everyone can do every job if they just attend the right series of two week do-nothing training sessions. Put Jimmy on top and keep Johnny on the floor. Our bureaucracies murder themselves by promoting the incompetent.

These politically incorrect suggestions are sure to shock, horrify, and abjectly nauseate our readers. Hold that thought — savor it and relish just how disgusted you are. Now when you go back to your job in the morning, you’ll be able to compare your disgust at these suggestions to your drear misery and see which is worse.

Global concreting

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The foes of sensible environmental policy want you to believe that there is a binary question to conservation. Yes, you believe in global warming; no, you’re a denier — there are no other options. Either you’re good or you’re not.

Many people are suspicious of global warming because it’s one of those-easily abused catch-all concepts like “Jesus told me to do this” or “the Revolution demands this, comrade!” We instinctively do not trust the great ideological crusade. That’s sort of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, since some ideological crusades are presumably worth undertaking. That is, if we assume there are ideologies based on consequences in reality and not wishful thinking (“morality”).

As is fitting in a time of liberal politics, based in liberal democracy and with even our conservatives cementing their ideas with liberal goals, global warming is used to justify the liberal crusade for global redistribution of wealth. The liberals themselves don’t believe it, but because their ideology is based on personal satisfaction through socialization, and not results in reality, they don’t care. It sounds good and brings everyone together.

This of course puts humanity in a terrible place: as far as our public discourse goes, a very important issue has been tied to a divisive ideology. There is no way to win here except to give in to the liberal side, which half the population will not do. That in turn gives the other half a chance to act like Jesus On the Cross as they lament the ignorance of “the others.”

As a result, to put it mildly, the debate on global warming is poisoned, and it was poisoned by the left. There is nowhere to go with this issue now except to ignore it until the end. Caught in the middle are those of us who think something weird may be going on with the climate, but that global warming is not an accurate description.

What else could be to blame?

Land cover changes that alter the reflection of sunlight from land surfaces (albedo) are another major driver of global climate change. The precise contribution of this effect to global climate change remains a controversial but growing concern. The impact of albedo changes on regional and local climates is also an active area of research, especially changes in climate in response to changes in cover by dense vegetation and built structures. These changes alter surface heat balance not only by changing surface albedo, but also by altering evaporative heat transfer caused by evapotranspiration from vegetation (highest in closed canopy forest), and by changes in surface roughness, which alter heat transfer between the relatively stagnant layer of air at Earth’s surface (the boundary layer) and the troposphere. An example of this is the warmer temperatures observed within urban areas versus rural areas, known as the urban heat island effect. – Eo-Earth

As said around these parts before, global warming is convenient because it groups all of humanity’s destructive effects on the environment into a single measure, which is carbon output. This allows us to ignore other forms of pollution and the uglier fact that no land without a human touch can be found anymore. Even more importantly, land that is truly undeveloped is getting rarer and rarer.

Environmentalists from a more sensible time would wave away global warming as a detail. They would point to the simple fact that humanity has an exponential growth curve. Everywhere we go, we take over all useful land and divide it up into little parcels. We fence those in, cut off the natural species, and then cover the rest with concrete.

The result is many dysfunctions at once converging on a larger dysfunction. Natural ecosystems are shattered, removing their replenishing function. There are fewer trees to transform CO2 into oxygen. Rainfall is not retained, but becomes runoff, depleting the soil and poisoning the water with too many nutrients. Finally, the concrete which covers the whole mess tends to reflect heat and water while preventing anything from growing where it is.

Overpopulation, land overuse and industrial construction are the missing elements that humanity is trying to hide behind global warming. Cutting carbon allows these bigger problems to continue, which may be why we want global warming so badly to be the culprit. Slashing carbon will crimp our lifestyles, but facing overpopulation requires we make some hard moral decisions that no one wants to face.

The most revealing part of this situation is that our environmental sins come from the same root as all our other sins. We are dominating by social factors, like how our ideas appear to the judging minds of others, or how popular our solutions are. Complex and difficult thoughts will never be as popular as a harmless scapegoat that allows people to avoid any real change. And so the circus bleats on.


Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Oftentimes one hears it whispered that we live in an age of appearance rather than substance. An age of what seems to be, rather than what is. An era when impression weighs heavier than content. Something catches our eye; we glimpse at it for a brief moment. Perhaps we let the thing slide through our fingers before putting it back on the stack and leaving it be. We move on, elsewhere.

To many, that is what the Postmodern era –- or rather, living within the Postmodern era –- feels like. We lack the time and clarity of mind to focus upon a thing; there is always the next thing to do, the next place to be. We have to do with snippets of information; we are too much in a hurry to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The picture of the greater whole escapes us, and we accept this because we are busy.

And sometimes we are driven by a quest for meaning to glimpse past the part of the puzzle to comprehend the greater whole. The greater whole is not formed of parts, but the relationship between those parts, and from the interaction and interconnections between them, a greater structure and order emerges. One such glimpse is a fleeting vision of the value of culture.

Cultural awareness is more valuable and important than a dismissive attitude toward other races or cultures. There is some moral difficulty in being proud of the acts of our ancestors, in the sense that there is no point in being proud of something over which one totally has no influence. It’s the same thing as being moody when a certain football team loses a match. If we feel pride over what our ancestors did, must we also be ashamed of — for example — the slave trade?

Yet, and this is more important, we need cultural awareness if we are to make sense of the country in which we live. Of the rules and customs, for example. As a student once said to me: “People laugh about an aboriginal wearing a penis-tube, but if you ask him why he’s wearing that penis tube, he will tell you a story. Western people today won’t be able to tell you anything about what they wear other than; ‘it’s fashion’ or; ‘it’s my taste’.”

We can take our ancestors and their actions as models. Of what we aspire to be, and of what we do not aspire to be. When the Roman historian Livy described the actions of Romulus, he did not intend his reader to blindly revere and imitate the founder or Rome. Instead, he wanted his reader to look at Romulus’ actions, to study the circumstances under which those actions took place, and to make his own conclusions about that conduct as a matter of learning.

Those who stumble on the value of culture feel something rumbling within their minds. They feel the weight of a dying society, and the choking futility it creates. They seek escape in an artistic muse, in an age of aristocratic elegance. An age where girls could be girls and boys could grow up to be men. And everywhere around us glimmered golden-yellow and green, everything rocked and shone, caressed by the fresh breeze of spring and accompanied by orchestrated music.

Those who resist modernity are fed up with a decadent and aimless age, so they invent new symbolism from summaries of the past. They mold together Teutonic knights, the genius inventors of the industrial age, proud castles, innocent maidens and idyllic towns. They forge a ‘utopia’ from ranks of disciplined and confident soldiers, exquisite dining rooms, majestic architecture and craftsmanship.

And this is what our leaders and representatives must do in a fractured and shattered age. In this age, cognitive learning is vastly undervalued, and as such the iron logic of facts hardly makes an impression on anyone safe a few. Our leaders and representatives must learn to speak a language of images, of painting a beautiful landscape that seduces both listener and viewer. Not until art has won the heart of the audience reason and logic can captivate its mind.

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