The flip turn is a technique used by swimmers where they somersault in the water to turn away from the wall as they swim laps. It is faster than the conventional method of turning, touching, pivoting and launching off in a new direction.
Conservatives are at a point where a turnabout is not only necessary, but puts us back in our correct role as those who improve the way of life of people in our society. That is what we do; we pay attention to consequences, and uphold those that create the timeless and permanent things in life, like truth, beauty and goodness.
Our society has ventured so far into the plastic, disposable, relativistic and pluralistic that it no longer has any standards or memory. People do what is convenient for them, and only later (slowly) realize that this means that they lack support from society at large. There is no context or nurturing growth medium for them.
When all you have is a job and an apartment, this outlook is fine. But as life goes on, and you want a stable place to raise kids, their future to be guaranteed by lack of political and social instability, and even the ability to meet like-minded people and live in places that are not mostly rotted, suddenly context matters.
The unfortunate part of this is that it requires many years of experience. The good part is that once you see it, it’s impossible to return to a state of its denial without in effect corrupting your own soul. This is why it is feared: it is a confrontation with the essence of life itself, much like maturation, death, combat and other big decisions.
Liberals fear this decision. They fear maturation. They fear anything other than the individual and what it wants, desires, emotes or judges right now. If kings were the thing liberals feared most, we should fear liberals, as they make each individual as abusive as a bad king by disconnecting them from context.
Context is what we rely on to thrive. When civilization has not yet formed, it is what people desire. When people take civilization for granted, they discard context and withdraw into themselves. Out of this anti-social impulse they form a social movement based on the idea that no individual should be compelled to do anything he/she doesn’t want to do.
At first, there are exceptions based on the logical need to collaborate. Over time, these too are mostly erased, leaving only those things that contravene the principle of individualism, such as rape, robbery or murder. Everything else is OK, and soon you have not one society but as many societies as you have individuals.
With this loss of context, life becomes chaotic and uncertain. People cling to power, and to control, as a vain hope of staving it off. They will even resort to appeasement, chucking bales of cash out of hovering helicopters in the form of entitlements. These delay, but do not stop, the decline.
As conservatives, we know the only resurrection is through a restoration of context. However, that cannot happen until it is well and truly dead, and so civilization needs to be re-formed from within. Unfortunately, by that point most people are either (a) addicted to denial that civilization is failing or (b) have given up hope.
Don’t give up hope. Here’s why: two things will happen at once, like tectonic plates moving in opposite directions. First, a society-within-a-society will arise which is dedicated to civilization. Second, and simultaneously, liberal policies will turn out badly for both individuals and society at large.
In fact, now is the best time to restore hope. We are finally seeing how liberalism fails. People are turning toward our side, if we don’t push them away. It’s time to re-take politics from the professionals, who failed to avert this crisis, and re-organize the political machine to get what we want.
What do we want? I propose this; see if you agree. I want Mayberry: a traditional society of towns and small cities, unified by a values system and a heritage, in which people are advanced by being competent and morally good, not by popularity and/or hoop-jumping certifications and/or political allegiance.
Maybe you want something similar. A society based on positive values, not the negative habit of looking for victims to use as its next great crusade. A society that rejects the French Revolution and its notion of radical, pathological questing for “equality.” A society devoted to normal lives and improving ourselves, not celebrating ourselves.
Liberal societies all face the same doom that the French Revolution did. Unstable, they murder their best citizens and install tyrants. Incompetent, they collapse from within. They return as crass marketplaces. Eventually there is money; at that point, their citizens become fully neurotic and most importantly, sabotage their children by treating them like toys or bragging rights.
The result is successive generations of neurotic people in a state of misery. On the social level, this creates incompetent politics, corruption and a breakdown of infrastructure as there are no clear-minded people left. The next stop is the third world levels of hygiene, corruption, disorder and lawlessness that characterize dying societies.
We are already at this point. There is no reconciling conservatism and liberalism: we are going in different ways. They want degeneration, we want regeneration. Liberalism is a path to doom because it makes people neurotic. Conservatism makes people realistic and hopeful, and is a path to success.
At this point, the only question for our fellow citizens is what kind of society they want. They won’t figure this out at first, since they’re befuddled by television and shopping. But we can win the smarter among them over to us, by showing them the choice they have, and the others will follow as they always do.
One of the many people who help us periodically has created this video based on a previous text by Vijay Prozak. The video, which features immersive video imagery and ambient soundworks, explores highlights of the text in a visual context.
Winter was at its peak and people exchanged diverse germs like good neighbors so everyone would have interesting biological strains to bring to office meetings, communal doorknobs, and bathroom fixtures.
I overheard a father telling his young son about the limits of medicine:
“You see, all cold medicine does is treat the symptoms. It can help reduce a stuffy nose or slow a runny nose, but doesn’t address the cause.”
His explanation didn’t take the next step to indict modern society for the same sleight of hand, but perhaps the seed was planted. Maybe one day the child would realize that our proposed solutions are just efforts to superficially hide problems and mask their consequences. It might stem from popular political ideology, mental laziness, psychological denial, or some other defective reasoning.
Its advocates think that keeping negative truth from being visible will make people believe that all is healthy and settled, and everyone will get along without a desire to find solutions, though unchecked problems remain. No plausible theory is proposed, just a well intentioned papering over the fractures to avoid exposing what lurks beyond.
If a problem appears, is it really a solution to merely address perception of that problem? Can it even be considered solved until its cause has become prevented or at least significantly diminished as a result of comprehensive understanding and direct action?
Addressing causes after they have occurred in an attempt to erase their appearance does not retroactively pull back their emergence, or arrest their pattern and circumstances of emerging. If a street has its litter cleaned once, that is a good first step for repairing damage incurred, but the problem of litter remains open until one finds a way to stop littering from occurring (not more laws or increased severity, but reviving a relationship with society and land, or demanding better people take the place of failures doing the best they can.)
If society is not thorough, we end up with lies and fraud as our standard method for problem solving. That might sound good and fool someone who doesn’t know any better, but is a crazy non-answer of avoidance living between superstition and crazy religious ritual, and is sure to fail because it isn’t concerned with causation or reason.
To have a functional society, we need to avoid making a virtue out of proposed answers that fail to address actual causes.
In Greek myth, the Hydra is a monster with many heads. The Hydra cannot be defeating by cutting off its heads. Each severed head grows back faster and stronger. The only way to slay the Hydra is to strike at the heart.
The Hydra is also associated with the astrological constellation Cancer. Like the Hydra, cancer proliferates through growth. Unlike most diseases, which obstruct growth, cancer thrives by growing too much and crowding out the body. We often treat cancer by poisoning the patient with radiation, hoping we kill cancer cells faster than healthy cells can replicate so that the patient survives.
A similar construct exists in politics. One man may say we are getting screwed by the Republicans. Another man may say we are getting screwed by the Democrats. In both cases we are getting screwed and we are a victim. But perhaps you have heard an especially clever man say we are getting screwed by both the Republicans and the Democrats! Now you are doubly a victim.
In a sort of “inverse” parallel, you may have also noticed that a rather popular position to take is that of “fiscal conservative and social liberal.” With that view, instead of having two foes you have two allies. But what this all boils down to is a way to avoid commitment and appear “open minded.” It is a way to look cool, but not actually serve a purpose beyond yourself.
Despite all our finance and technology, what life really boils down to is relations between people. Hopefully you do not have conversations with your money. Hopefully you do not laugh with, learn from, teach, and make love to your money. Money is a means to an end, like a rake or garden shovel. It is not a goal. The real goal is more complex, but it starts with reality.
People waste time on questions like “does the individual precede society, or society precede the individual?” It doesn’t matter; reality precedes both. Similarly, you have heard the phrase “things change.” This is both true and not-true because it is not relevant to where such people are trying to apply it. You cannot step in the same river twice, but you can pour off water for your crops without caring that it’s the same water.
Material changes and appearances change. But the way in which, or the “process” by which, or the principle by which these things change, does not change. Water can freeze into solid ice, or boil into gaseous vapor, but the temperature at which either of these processes takes place does not change. So, water can change but the point at which it changes does not change.
This ability to distinguish between that which changes and that which does not change points to a third factor distinct from both change and non-change, namely the very faculty to distinguish between these things and make decisions. If everything is material (that which changes), and material is subject to strict laws (that which does not change), then what accounts for human decision making?
If all that exists in this world are material and the unchanging physical laws of it, then our choices are chemical reactions or mathematical equations. However, we seem to have the faculty of choice. Material and physical laws do not provide for this. It indicates that we have the ability to respond according to our own thought process, which isn’t as simple as pouring two chemicals together to get a third.
If I say “Jump!” you can respond in the affirmative, which one might say represents “change,” or you can respond in the negative, which represents “non-change,” or you might even respond nonsensically and ask me if I am a rodent. The very ability to make a choice represents a sort of option that eludes both change and non-change. Life is not as simple as being obedient or being disobedient; we cannot deny that there are other options on the table.
Perhaps the best illustration of the Hydra can be seen in the “national discussion” regarding spree killers. The same topics always come up like clockwork: mental health, gun control, video games, parenting. Rather than isolate one factor, we might try to say it is some combination, as if it is a perfectly calculable collection of percentages. This gets us closer to the answer than isolating only one of the factors, but such notions are also mistaken as life is not a math equation, nor is any event within it.
The key to get to the bottom of this is categorical thinking or logic. One must ask what all these factors of mental health, gun control, video games, and parenting have in common.
What they all have in common is they all fall under the heading of culture and values. For the sake of clarity, one might define ‘culture’ as values made manifest, thus they are one in the same. Culture and values does not fall under the category of any of the various factors, but all of the various factors do fall under the category of culture and values. It is not material, but a choice shared among people working together.
It may be a disheartening realization to know that the solution is via culture and values. Most people prefer a magic pill, a cop with unlimited authority, or psychologists to descend en masse with comforting excuses. Forming culture and convincing people to agree on generally similar values takes a lot of time and effort. Yet there is only one way to slay the Hydra, and that is to strike at the cultural disorganization that is its heart.
That’s me, this morning. I can’t stop moaning. It hasn’t stopped yet, and I’ve been up for hours. Unngh. Gasp. Oh my goodness…
I don’t know what’s going on, but I feel as if I am in an ongoing post-orgasmic euphoria of just being, and being in a way that feels like it might go on forever. Almost too much to bear.
But in such a way that bearing it pastes a wide smile all over my face.
Half-closed eyes. Chin slightly elevated. Low sounds of pure bliss spilling out from somewhere in my neck, like a purring cat, toasting in front of a cosy fire.
I didn’t have the greatest of nights, really. Two or three trips to the bathroom, when the last thing I felt like doing was partially waking-up and shuffling in the dark towards relief. But each time, returning to my cosy duvet, fallling off that billowy cliff, back into sweet oblivion, garnished with dreams and unknown places.
By the time I made the supreme effort, and climbed out of bed to face the day, I was feeling almost too good to bear. Hence the moans. Not of discomfort, or of regret, but of pure ecstasy.
I toured the various cats, each one stretched-out or curled-up, beyond comfort and into a whole other dimension, and eased the rabbit out of its nightly coma, with a handful of parsley to put the icing on its cake. With a flourish, I flipped the switch on the coffeemaker, as I loped past, on my way out to the back deck to feed the birds.
The nuthatch, hopping from foot to foot, landing on my fingertips to choose a choice nut, signalling chickadees to follow suit. The song sparrow, stripy and full of perk, taking its brief break from practicing its bird-calls, to haul off a sunflower seed. And one for its new paramour, under the decking. The woodpecker, the varied-thrush…
The wife groaning softly from upstairs, stirring her way cautiously into the new day. Her smiling face appearing in my mind, being grateful and doing grateful things, just for the chance to be living her life with her chosen man. Planning her garden, no doubt, or considering which tasty meal to prepare, later.
Moan, moan. It goes on and on. Hours later, I am still moaning, but softly and randomly.
This is bliss, and I wonder if I should be worried. Will it ever stop? What if it doesn’t?
Could I bear a permanent state of whatever this is? But worry is the wrong word. I only smile as I consider it. And moan a bit more.
And life is like this, when one discovers life. An almost fatal wonder, barely describable.
I wonder how it could have escaped me for so long. How it escapes so many others.
Life, amid the howling savagery of the universe. How can this be?
It can be, because that is the nature of the savage universe. It is. It simply is.
Words tell us so easily what to do, and so little about how to get there. When someone says that we should be practical, there are two ways this word is interpreted: (a) use reality-based thinking or (b) shut up and conform and hope for the best since nothing is ever going to change anyway.
The latter is more common and it is a form of utilitarian thinking, which is a perversion of consequentialism (results-based thinking) that measures results by how people feel, desire and judge, rather than the actual results of an action or event. Most people don’t want you to rock the boat.
It is also hopelessly futile. If we are to never rock the boat, and never to disturb the comfortable denial into which most people lapse as adulthood removes their ambition, we are never able to change course. We all just follow each other, and hope whoever’s leading the train knows what they’re doing.
Worst case scenario: the leaders aren’t aware that they’re leading, or are oblivious to where they’re going, or as is most likely, are leading by looking back at the train behind them and trying to guess where it wants to go. In that case, going in circles is preferable because at least it’s not destructive.
Detractors will point out that in every age of humankind, there have been people who stand on streetcorners with signs that say “The End is Near.” Those detractors like to claim that since these people are always doing this, it’s never relevant. The fact of the matter is that it can be relevant at any time, so one day, the sign will be right.
It’s just a matter of picking which day.
For those who can still think and reason without having a television, friend, or podcast tell them what the truth is, it’s clear that things are going wrong in the industrialized West. Obama is not the cause, but a symptom, but it’s telling that he would have won an election in Europe just as easily as in the USA. The disease runs deep.
Most people are probably not so removed from logic that they can see this. Instead, they realize that if they admit they see it, they have to act. They are afraid. They are afraid of being right, of being wrong, and of having to do something, or of not doing something. The brain shuts down and they go into denial.
This second type of utilitarianism, which we might call futilitarianism, embraces the idea that by doing nothing to disrupt the normal flow of things we can somehow turn out alright. It’s as if civilization does not require work to maintain, and is just there for us (magically), and so if we just keep on keeping on, all will be OK.
Only one problem remains. It costs you the soul you might have forming in your chest. Not necessarily in a metaphysical sense, either. You lose self-respect. Because your worldview rests on society succeeding, you have to displace your sense of well-being from yourself to the world around you. It buys you with illusions of safety.
Futilitarians tend to be denialists who are adamant about the correctness of their position. The more someone has doubt, the more fanatical they tend to become, and futilitarians secretly know that things are unwell and have been for some time. To salve their own fear, they will do anything they can to shut you up, even killing you.
It’s a standard human response to fear. Do not talk about what might be happening; talk about what we hope will happen if we just go into denial hard enough. Futilitarians are as much wishful thinkers as Utopians, but futilitarians don’t have a dream, only a hope that reality is a dream and they’ll wake up soon.
Both left and right can fall prey to futilitarianism. On the left, they return to chanting the progressive mantra. If society’s falling apart, gun control — which will make the ensuing chaos worse — will solve the problem. On the right, they redouble their efforts to defend the disintegrating ruin, effectively fighting off sensible change.
From an older conservative perspective of course this is not surprising. We knew in 1788 that if the Revolution took over, and equality won, people would behave like gods and abuse the power given to them. They’d do it as a mob, instead of as individuals in leadership positions. Absolute power corrupts those who can’t handle it.
With the election of Obama, and Europe’s fawning as it happened, we see the final days of democracy. Margaret Thatcher and de Tocqueville were right: it only lasts until the electorate figures out they can vote to spend other people’s money and get free things in the short term at the expense of social collapse in the long term.
For the average person, anything past the next pay period is voodoo mystery quantum physics. For our elites, anything past the next glass of Chardonnay is. Our society isn’t collapsing because it is inequal, or because some people have power, but because we gave the power to the people. And the people went futilitarian.
If you are are a conservative, you oppose modern society. This will come as a shock to European rightists, who see themselves as modernists, and American rightists, who visualize their goal as one of defending the state. But the fact is that conservatism originates in the time before the French Revolution and carries on those values.
Very few people know the root of the term conservatism. We normally point to the Latin word conservo, which means to preserve, conserve and maintain. However, the nominative definition only tells part of the story. To know the full story, we have to look to the process of conservation.
If you want to conserve a family home, you have to do a number of things, most of which are not obvious. The obvious tasks include painting it and mowing the lawn. The less than obvious tasks involve research. How was it constructed? To keep it from falling apart, you’ll need to understand that method and its goal, so that you can replicate it.
You’ll also need to get philosophical. Do you maintain the house, or just make another one that looks just like it, using modern technology? Modern technology has some advantages, but so does older construction, which seems to hold up for a lot longer than the buildings we recycle every three decades.
At some point, you will need to make additions to the house to accommodate other generations or expanding needs. You want them to look good, so you’ll build them in the older style. How would someone back then make something for which, at that time, there was no need? You’ll end up studying similar archetypes and peering into those.
There are pitfalls. Newer types of paint may eat away wood treated in the older style. If you run air conditioning ducts or new wiring, or even ethernet cables, you will want to find the best way to do that without wrecking what you have. For example, the crawlspaces may serve additional ventilation functions that you can obstruct with ducts.
In other words, to “conserve” is to study the past and why things were done the way they were done. This involves a study of consequences, or the results of actions taken in the past and why those actions were preferred to other possible actions.
Further, the process of studying consequences — consequentialism — requires an analysis of goals. If you’re designing a house for the next two weeks, almost any construction will do. For the next three decades, you have to be a bit more specific. But if you want it to last for centuries or millennia, you build it with a great deal more care.
This care extends not only to worksmanship, but to materials. Even more, it extends to design. A house that needs to last 30 years can have certain forms, but one that needs to last 300 requires a much bigger infrastructure and many more contingencies addressed, since it will endure almost all possible events over its lifespan.
For this reason, conservatives are intensely concerned with goals. We like picking the optimum strategy for long-term use because even if it is more expensive in the short-term, the results are better over a longer time so it ends up costing less and delivering more value, which is enjoyment of life and existential experience.
When you hear people talking about Plato’s maxim of “the good, the beautiful and the true” you may have heard a reference to this. We are concerned with the best possible life, and the best in life, not the utilitarian “that’ll do” that marks empires on their way downward. We aspire, not do what is merely adequate.
It is for this reason that conservatives will forever clash with liberals. The liberal ideal is to pick the short-term solution, which involves gifting the individual with immediate gratification and using the money “saved” by not implementing the long term solution to pay for it. In short, sacrificing tomorrow to have more drama today.
Modern society is based on this notion of putting the individual first. It makes people happy, in the short-term. The problem is that in the long-term it deprives them of a context in which their actions could be meaningful, like culture, shared values, a goal or even nature itself. They are imprisoned within themselves.
The result is loneliness, isolation, and alienation, which causes degeneration of the individual and then the species:
Researchers found that people who were more lonely showed signs of elevated latent herpes virus reactivation and produced more inflammation-related proteins in response to acute stress than did people who felt more socially connected…”It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems, including premature mortality and all sorts of other very serious health conditions. And people who are lonely clearly feel like they are in poor-quality relationships,” said Lisa Jaremka, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University and lead author of the research. – “Loneliness, like chronic stress, taxes the immune system,” by Emily Caldwell, Medical Xpress, January 19, 2013
Another form of stress is early life stress, which while this article studies child abuse, isn’t limited to child abuse. Any abusive situation will do, including an abusive society. The stress creates genetic weakness which is then passed on to the next generation, as if nature installed a kill switch on species which are out of control:
Earlier studies linked physical or emotional childhood abuse to suicide, but the Sackler team found that childhood abuse amongst suicide victims was associated with a distinct epigenetic mark on the DNA. The discovery represents a huge step forward for epigenetics—the study of how environmental factors change gene expression—and holds the promise of better understanding suicide and, perhaps, new treatments. – “The Legacy of Child Abuse,” by Mark Reynolds, Headway, Vol. 4., No. 1
Without a strong central values system guiding a society, it becomes focused on the individual, which thrusts individuals into competition with one another and deprives them of any larger identity, purpose or context. The result is a society composed of people acting for personal pleasure, which leads them to neglect others and their own families, and abuse each other out of aggressive competition for social status.
Modern society is the antithesis of health. Its focus on the short-term created problems that have now come due. After the 20th century, its age is particularly showing, so that now many conservatives are realizing the depth of the problem: we either beat liberal society, or it becomes the means of our suicide.
Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility,
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam
– William Blake
We live in a no man’s land and a new kind of wilderness. No longer does anyone think they have a rightful claim to anything except the money they make.
Your ancestry, your heritage, your role in life, or the land you grew up on — supposedly this is all incidental and arbitrary.
There are no boundaries in a wilderness and boundaries are precisely what are being eroded today. You can be anything you want to be. The entire world is now your home. You can freely go anywhere and no one can stop you. Everyone must be tolerated as long as they do not want to flat-out kill you. Never mind that you would not even know that until after the knife is already in your throat.
Woody Guthrie sang: “this land is your land, this land is my land.” Woody Guthrie can rot in hell. This land is my land. If you want your land, then you claim your land for you. Your land can be your land, but it will not be given to you. You have to claim it. I claim my land and that is all.
Morality, or “doing the right thing,” should not be conceived of as a credit and debt statement. In the eyes of the law, of course, if you do wrong you are under a sort of “debt.” But once paid off, it is paid off for good and it is not a perpetual debt. This same dynamic is found in sin, penance and reconciliation. The key is that once you are off the hook, you are off the hook and you are back at a “zero balance.”
Especially important is the “reverse” situation taken from the point of view not of the perpetrator (or the law), but the victim. On this side of things, if you were wronged, does this now give you license to freely transgress the law and wrong others? For instance, if you were wronged in five little ways, can you now use these as “credit” and blow it all on one big transgression against the universe to balance things out? Of course not; all of this rightfully sounds like nonsense and merely perpetuates the back and forth karmic cycle of revenge. You do not heal your wound by wounding another.
In any given moral decision, a person begins at a zero balance over and over again. There is no such thing as credit or debt in terms of morality. It is an absolute. It is a boundary that must not be crossed or transgressed lest you find yourself in the wilderness.
This gets tricky when we expand the scope from the individual to a collective of people or take into account generations of people. But it still holds true. Does paying off or discrediting the future somehow change the past or alleviate past injustice? Of course not, but if you want to ensure a future massacre then keep on discrediting the past. Humans always seem to get ideas in their heads, and you know what happens when humans get ideas in their heads. If you keep on giving the future a “credit” based on the wrongs of the past, then it may very well be blown on one big transgression. In their minds, they believe they are balancing out the universe.
So, take what is given to you, but do not give what you do not owe.
This leads to the topic of self-esteem, self-respect and narcissism. Many are saying that the coming generations are wildly narcissistic. This is perhaps true, but it cannot be denied that there is both a vital and necessary, good self-esteem, and an unwarranted and narcissistic, bad self-esteem.
So, how and from where does this vital, good self-esteem arise? It does not arise from any sort of accumulation of credit or even from paying-off debt. This kind of thinking reveals a restless, inner dissatisfaction and not the vital satisfaction that does not need justification. It is this same restlessness that goes hand in hand with a desire for no boundaries.
Albert King sang: “I was born under a bad sign.” Too bad for him. I, Ted Swanson, was born under a good sign. Lucky me! I need no justification. You say I think highly of myself? You say I have delusions of grandeur? Indeed I do. My sign was written in the stars.
No one should laugh at astrology, for he who no longer seeks to seduce the stars is the sadder for it. In effect, many a person’s misfortune comes from their not having a place in the sky, within a field of signs that would agree with them – that is to say, in the last instance, from their not having been seduced by their birth and its constellation. They will bear this fate for life, and their very death will come at the wrong time. To fail to be seduced by one’s sign is far more serious than the failure to have one’s merits rewarded or one’s desires gratified. Symbolic discredit is always much more serious than a real defect or misfortune. – Jean Baudrillard
Listen, if I were you, I might want to punch me in the face right now, too. But because I’m me, I don’t want you to do that. One of Nietzsche’s final books had chapters entitled “Why I am so wise,” “Why I write such good books,” “Why I am a destiny,” and included such phrases as: “I am no man, I am dynamite.” The paradox he was trying to expose was the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing, or as William Blake might put it, the serpent cloaked in mild humility. Dale Carnegie was a worm.
As Aristotle points out, you have a certain “mission” in life beyond mere physical surviva: you have a mission to flourish. Alongside analysis we need a strategy of mythology. We must know from where we came if we are to know where we are going. Learn your heritage. Celebrate your ancestors. Justification is not needed. Claim your land for you. Sing yourself and celebrate yourself.
You would think that the land where I am from, and the land that my parents and my grandparents are from, is very boring. You would never have heard of it. Yet the mythology is rich. There are many untold stories and lost tales. You probably have a more exciting heritage and mythology than you even know. My personal and local mythology is filled with thunderstorms, tornadoes, caves, farmers, wrestlers, ghosts, mysterious deaths, and inconceivable miracles!
Years ago, I was watching Animal Planet. A pack of lions was feasting on a carcass in the middle of the night. The host, an expert on such things, did the unthinkable. He ran right into the middle of that pack of lions as they tore at the carcass. The lions scattered! That is fearlessness. You scatter the lions by being lionhearted yourself. Do you have those kinds of guts? This is how you tame the wilderness. This is how you conquer a no man’s land.
“So, my friend, after the example of the Phoenicians, you charted your course by the stars?”
“No. It was among the stars themselves I journeyed.”
As a child, I remember being fascinated by products advertised in magazines. I remember one or more of the actual objects arriving, and noticing how paltry it was in comparison to the advertisement. The colors weren’t as bright; the product showed seams and gaps from manufacture; and it never performed quite up to the promised level.
It has baffled me since then as to why this society tolerates lies, deception and manipulation. People would tell me, “Oh, everyone knows that’s not true.” That then made me wonder: why is it profitable to continue doing it then? Clearly everyone does not know. And even more, why tolerate such an ugly, hope-crushing practice?
There are many forms of this pathology, but the summary is that our society tolerates deception and as a result has made mistrust a rule. It’s not illegal to lie, or to cheat. As a result, that’s what people expect when they encounter one another, and so they are correspondingly selfish.
Imagine deals between criminals. One offers something and the other things this is surely a sham, so what he offers is equally blighted. The result is a trade that leaves everyone feeling short-changed, resentful and angry at the world. It’s not surprising that people behave like angry nobodies when this happens.
Our society has for centuries been wracked by this internal mistrust. All of it has started to resemble Dickensian England, where the streets are lined with pickpockets and the stores all cheat, with the only escape being so rich that your staff insulates you from the mess.
By teaching new generations that this is normal, we’ve created the kind of mentality in our citizens we saw in the Soviet union. Of course the government tractor won’t start; they never do. Of course the latest policy has failed; they always do. Ignore it and keep on trucking.
It’s not the big things that bring down empires, but the little things. Mistrust means that every certification is a sham, every statement is a lie, every specification is wrong, etc. and that the only way to succeed is to work around your fellow citizens. It makes us selfish, paranoid and cruel.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point that our society has become a sort of giant filter in which only the wealthy have any chance at a normal life. Everyone else is caught down there, in the churning of mistrust and squabbling for pennies, trying to get to the top.
In the name of equality, which forbade us merely selecting people for being the best and putting them at the top, we have created a vortex of “competition.” This competition isn’t for moral character, ability or intelligence, but the hours put into fighting over irrelevant details. It’s “fair” in the view of the egalitarians.
However, it has made our society a mean place, and thus made us mean, and we don’t apply that only to others, but even to ourselves, becoming so cynical that we loathe even ourselves and long for the suicide of our civilization. The cost of mistrust is higher than was advertised.
The great ugly secret about “freedom” is that it becomes a goal in itself. The neoconservatives found this out when, in the name of sharing freedom, they ended up having more wars than they could fight.
Sexual freedom is a form of Iraq and Afghanistan. You can win the battle, but can you win the occupation? The ugly secret rears its head again: freedom replaces the goal, and becomes a new quest like any other “ideological” crusade.
In the case of sexual freedom, the absence of restraints means that there is no goal and thus, no time scale. There is no maturation process. There is no eventual goal to end up as an adult. Instead, one stays trapped in the teenage loop forever and ever.
As a result, the simple idea of “sexual freedom,” of separating sex from any sort of goal such as family or love, creates a mentality of the perpetual loop: act for the moment, and for the self. Do not think of future. Do not experience change over your lifetime.
Elizabeth Wurtzel, who wrote Prozac Nation back in 1994 and should have lived happily ever after, writes about how her teenage loop has led to an unfulfilling adult life:
It had all gone wrong. At long last, I had found myself vulnerable to the worst of New York City, because at 44 my life was not so different from the way it was at 24. Stubbornly and proudly, emphatically and pathetically, I had refused to grow up, and so I was becoming one of those people who refuses to grow up—one of the city’s Lost Boys…By never marrying, I ended up never divorcing, but I also failed to accumulate that brocade of civility and padlock of security—kids you do or don’t want, Tiffany silver you never use—that makes life complete. Convention serves a purpose: It gives life meaning, and without it, one is in a constant existential crisis. If you don’t have the imposition of family to remind you of what is at stake, something else will. I was alone in a lonely apartment with only a stalker to show for my accomplishments and my years. – “Elizabeth Wurtzel Confronts Her One-Night Stand of a Life,” by Elizabeth Wurtzel in New York Magazine, January 6, 2013
She goes on to detail how she fled responsibility at every turn, including sexually. There was never a plan to live happily ever after, but a chance to take someone home for the night. Eventually, the options dwindled and apparently, so did the fun.
The MRM is in freefall at this point because it never really took a stand. “Equality,” like “freedom,” is not a goal but the absence of a goal. It’s like dedicating yourself to not-growing-up or to not-eating-vegetables.
MRAs often talk about how they just want “equality” (and/or “freedom”) for men to be equal to women. This sounds good to them because, despite all their talk of red pill/blue pill, they’re still invested in the dominant narrative of their time.
Since the French Revolution, this narrative has been the hive mind. The individual, dedicated to himself or herself, joins with other individuals who want the same, and they smash down all real goals and replace them with not-growing-up and not-eating-vegetables.
When MRAs talk about “equality,” they’re following the same path. The actual goal is for men and women to have a place where they complement each other, and where they are each sacred and important. This only comes through traditional sexual roles, which have goals beyond the sex itself.
Anything else resembles a fear of growing up:
But when I became old enough to learn to shoot, I took one lesson from my father and then refused to go further. It was a rite of passage, a stage on the way to adulthood. But I did not want the responsibility of handling weapons. And, frankly, I just didn’t want to grow up. And because my parents were a little too liberal, and I was far too stubborn, they didn’t force the issue. So I went out into the world with a child’s salutary fear of guns intact. – “Gun Control & Personal Responsibility,” by Greg Johnson in Counter-Currents, January 16, 2013
Our modern society is based on not growing up because we fear the goal itself. Out of fear from becoming like our parents, who lingered neurotic in jobs they hated and endured marriages they claimed to feel enslaved by, we just avoided all of it. We dated or hooked up, but the second night, went home alone.
Sexual “freedom” crushed our souls. Feminism and sexual liberation were just one of many “revolutionary” movements that mimicked the French Revolution in that they overthrew the goals, and replaced them with personal whims. Like the others, they led nowhere.
This occurred because the absence of something is not a goal. If anything, it resembles a hate movement. If your gender does not feel equal, you might ask whether equality is necessary, or just a talking point. Most likely it’s just the drama of others.
What women (and men) lost was a sense of purpose to their lives. What they gained was a void in which they could project their egos, but which led nowhere but to the endless procession of days of getting up, going to work, amusing oneself with alcohol and sex, and repeating. It’s even more soulless than its antecedent, the grim 1950s “corporation man” and his house with a white picket fence in the suburbs.
Rather than crush our souls with these anti-goals, we should stop giving up on having what nature and common sense would have us possess, namely normal lives in which we mature and learn. Instead, we should crush the “revolutionary” notion that a non-goal is superior to a goal.