Divine wrath

divine_wrathWhy is it we enjoy thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards so much? Even if they are disastrous, even if our day is ruined, even if people die, we secretly enjoy them. Why?

We enjoy them because we are reminded that we are not really in control. Secretly we don’t want to be in control. We love to not be responsible; we love to be at the mercy of fate.

So then what is responsible for the bad weather we might ask? The weather patterns of course. But what is responsible for the weather patterns? Why, the wind, of course. But what is responsible for the wind? Well that would obviously be Boreas, Eurus, Notus, and Zephyrus the Greek Gods of the Winds.

You laugh, but in all seriousness what exactly accounts for these infinite number of factors working together all at once down here in reality? And not just what accounts for the factors, themselves, but what accounts for the working-together, itself, and what accounts for the all-at-once, itself? You know it is in bad form to laugh at the question of a child.

The Greeks were really on to something. How sad it is to relegate The Iliad to mere artifact from the past, its only destiny to be “analyzed,” catalogued and put in a museum. We are so busy with meaningless time-wasters that we have no time to answer the questions of the child. Even Plato, the most rational of men, knew that there was more to reality than meets the eye. Intellectuals isolate parts of The Republic because they are “useful,” but do not forget that trippy ending in Book X. Even Socrates had to resort to narrative.

So perhaps even knowledge, logic, and our rational faculties have a limit. Perhaps this is why so many great men and so many great civilizations have posited and assumed there is a God.

With this in mind, we shall not get into specifics, nor shall we get into this religion’s conception of the Divine, or that religion’s conception of the Divine. We shall not talk about absolute knowledge or proof. We shall simply talk about the possibility of the Divine; the possibility of some entity that cannot, itself, be accounted for, cannot be explained and cannot be symbolized or represented.

First principles and beginning assumptions are incredibly important, even if impossible to answer, because everything descends from that. It is not surprising, then, that when it is assumed and posited that the universe created itself out of nothing, that the individual assumes they create themselves out of nothing. We are not talking about the material body. We are talking about essence: personality, talents, role in life, and duty.

Do you want to get to the root cause of things? Let us posit a Big Bang. But the Big Bang, or spontaneous manifestation, is the ultimate non-root cause, as it is not a cause whatsoever. Do you not see how this assumption parallels the supposed futility of life, existential angst, and general purposelessness?

This is not to say that the Big Bang did not happen, but the Big Bang begs the question: what caused the Big Bang? When the universe is all by itself, the individual is all by themselves. When the universe creates itself the individual assumes they create themselves. This all parallels the assumption that the individual comes before reality and has a privileged perspective as if outside of reality.

Furthermore, this notion of spontaneous manifestation is just as miraculous as a God creating the universe. All we are really doing here is substituting terms. I have long maintained that science is merely different vocabulary and brings us no closer to understanding.

The strength of a description of reality is not judged by “accuracy,” but by how well it accounts for overall structure and organization. If science calls the wind from the north the wind from the north, and Greek mythology calls it Boreas, and if science calls the wind from the west the wind from the west, and Greek mythology calls it Zephyrus, there is no difference as far as structure and organization is concerned.

If you want to get to root causes, then the Divine is the most supreme concept that accounts for this face-melting mystery of reality, the universe, and why there is something, not nothing. All other accounts of reality try to skip the mysterious questions as they are not useful in everyday life. Scientific accounts of reality are essentially tautological explanations, whereas religious and mythical accounts of reality are in narrative form.

When I was a child, I always asked my parents, “Why did God always talk to everyone back then in the days of the Bible? How come God doesn’t seem to talk to anyone anymore?” I never received an adequate answer to my impossible question! A cute story, but it’s more than that. As far as a general outlook on life goes, a childish curiosity slays all analysis, science, knowledge, proof, facts, data, and information. There are more questions than answers and the question is always much more powerful than the answer.

People say that the imagination is not real, that a story is not real, or that a film is not real. But that is not true at all. That is lazy language. All of these things are real. A story may be mythical, a film may be fictional, the imagination may be fantastical, but this is not the same as unreal.

What is supremely realistic must take into account myth, fantasy, and the unknown. A fictional film is real insofar as you are literally watching it, you are not dreaming, you are not in another world, the film was filmed on actual film, an actual person wrote an actual story, you are perceiving the story with your eyes, your mind and your mind’s eye. Even dreams, themselves, are real! Do not confuse this with the unreal.

The non-fictional account of reality and the creation of the universe are weak precisely because they imply these categories of existence and life are essentially a “mistake.” They deny imagination and phantasmagoria – yet these things are possible and experienced literally every day by human beings. The implication is that they are a bug, not a feature.

In my article Jury Duty I critique doubt. And now you may say, but if you are positing that the fictional is real and that the imagination is real aren’t you contradicting yourself? Doesn’t the imagination and possibility of supernatural account cast doubt on the reality of reality?

Not at all, it is precisely the opposite assumption that casts perpetual doubt. When it is assumed that all things are knowable and must be known, outside of the realm of imagination and filling in the blanks, then what happens is man waits and waits and waits for quintessential knowledge. He can keep imagining a possibility for doubt.

A man may commit a crime on camera, but the irrational insistence on quintessential knowledge forces him to ask: but is this video of the crime real? How do I know this isn’t edited? How do I know this isn’t all a set up? When one posits mystery and the unknown then one is not in doubt, because one knows that an element of doubt is already worked into the equation and that this is nothing to be frightened of. This is why I say doubt the doubters and be skeptical of skepticism. What is supremely realistic is to posit mystery and the unknown as the basis of reality.

My hypothesis is that when reality is assumed to be mysterious, man has no choice but to act rationally. When reality is not assumed to be mysterious, man acts irrationally. There is an inverse relationship between man and his assumptions of reality. One does not have to rationalize reality in order to act rationally, themselves.

In fact, rationalizing reality is not befitting of reality. This is not a matter of deluding oneself and there is really no paradox or contradiction. Man and his faculties are of reality, but they are not synonymous with reality. Reality is a miraculous mystery and only mystery captures the imagination.

As Amerika.org commentator crow has pointed out, a lie is not the same as a belief. A lie is when you assert something that you know is not true. A belief is when you assert something that is not known to be true or untrue. A story operates precisely on this level. A story fills in the blanks of the unknown. It is not a lie. A mythical account or narrative is not untrue. The imagination is not unreal as it operates within reality and we have access to it.

I thoroughly reject all explanations that the origin of religion stems from some need for authoritarian control on the one hand, or the need for some consolation for the wretched on the other. They may, at times, turn into that. But religion and the notion of the Divine stems from logic and it is neither irrational nor mystical. It is not a daydream. When logic hits its limit, you are still left with a question. The only worthy complement to logic is the Divine, anything less than the Divine is an injustice to logic.

Like thunderstorms and blizzards, Divinity reminds us that we are not in control and that we know very little. Thankfully, on the other hand, we are also absolved of total responsibility for the world and perfect explanations of every last thing.

The blight within the right

Republicans in America are licking their wounds after narrowly losing a crucial election. In the UK, right-wing ppeering_out_at_the_worldarties are facing voters abandoning them. On mainland Europe, the right wing has made some gains but is afraid to go either too far or not far enough. Is there a future for the right at all?

We’re lagging behind on just about everything. The concern trolls on the left want us to be more like them, which will guarantee that our remaining audience shifts to the left. The pundits think we’ve got bad leadership, too many consultants, bad computer systems or a lack of minority appeal.

However, we should ask ourselves two questions: first, why are there so many problems on the American right? And second, why does the European right seem to have similar problems and no solutions either? We can look at the source of our failings as a single problem with many faces, and then these disparities resolve.

We know we’re facing an uphill battle, by the way. The left is based on socialization, and the kind of wishful thinking and it’s-all-good type banter that allows teenagers to bond with each other. This is the best framework for establishing a “hive mind,” or group trend that borders on an obsession. That’s both a strength and a weakness.

Our approach has its strengths and weaknesses, too. Its strength is that it’s based on gut instinct and is very nature. Its weakness is that it is unreflective. Like being unable to find your glasses because they’re on top of your head, this is something we can’t see because it’s how we see.

This blindness is that few know what conservatism actually is. Most start reciting concepts that you can find on any Wikipedia page or mainstream news site, which makes them immediately suspect. It is always unwise to adopt for your viewpoint what your enemies think you should believe.

Generally, it’s accepted (by liberals) that the right stands for small government, lower taxes, and individual freedom and liberty. However, here is where the error is made: these things are part of what we stand for, but not the whole. In taking the part for the whole, we’ve left out the crucial ingredient.

Conservatives are of a type of thinker that values consequences over intentions. This outlook, consequentialism, comes in two forms. The first, utilitarianism, is based on what most people think or feel is best being the best. You’ll recognize the roots of democracy and popularity there. The second form is more difficult because it is based on effects in reality. This type of pragmatic consequentialism is the essence of conservatism.

As Plato suggested, we seek the good, the beautiful and the true. These are consequences, not methods. We are hoping to achieve these things, not act socially as if we value them. For this reason, conservatives have methods toward this end, but are open to anything that achieves this end and reject anything that does not.

When you are a pragmatist, you have to be careful of “acting like” you’ll achieve your results without actually achieving them. In this context, things like small government, individual responsibility, low taxes, etc. are means to an end. They are not the goal in themselves. They are the tool that achieves the goal.

Conservatives are losing elections because we become confused between our means and our ends. Because we navigate by gut instinct and not a neurotic ideology scripted in academese, we have less clarity about details than the left does. We also don’t know how to communicate our ideals to others. In that void a replacement has seized power.

This replacement is a liberal dream, because its essence is liberal — classical liberal, that is. Classical liberalism idealized free markets and individual liberty as a means of providing a stable democratic society. However, it also made a number of assumptions that kept these things in balance, such as the idea that government would not become the means of achieving them.

Unfortunately for classical liberalism, it was ideologically disordered. When you start talking about individualism, and the individual coming first before the social organism as a whole, you have created a monster. Any boundary it encounters it will see as a challenge to the absolute autonomy of the individual. Soon “responsibility” is forgotten, replaced by an ever-widening circle of demands.

When conservatives became individualists, liberals must have cheered all night long. At that point, the two sides decided to become two visions of the same underlying philosophy — individualism — with only marginal changes on the right. If you wonder why conservatives aren’t more popular, it’s because we offer the same thing but with more demands made of the individual to behave.

Further, this individualist virus has infected how conservatives behave. If we can make money at it, we do it, but we don’t band together (fanatically) like liberals do and work toward a goal. For them, it’s more than a job; it’s an identity, a quest and a struggle that will never end. We don’t need to go that far, but one thing’s for sure: working together we win, but working in isolation, we are quickly overcome.

Liberals flood the internet, the airwaves and daily conversation with people who are excitedly, clearly and persistently expounding on their beliefs and attempting to win others over with socialization. Where are conservatives? They tend to retreat to their own message boards, social groups and media, instead of getting out there and combating the low information voters (LIVs) and their media lapdogs.

When it comes time to have a campaign, conservatives aren’t willing to work together. They each work toward their own reward. The result is a blistering wall of distortion with no consistency, which results in a massively confusing picture of what conservatism is about. It’s a research project for the average voter to understand it, and most don’t have the time.

Liberals are able to summon thousands. Conservatives are too busy doing what they as individuals want to do. The resulting lack of coordination, chaos and disorder shows individuals profiting off the system, and some succeeding, but the front as a whole is stalled.

Somewhere in the past, the liberals stuck a virus in us in the form of classical liberalism, which inevitably leads to modern liberalism because they’re both based on individualism. Since then we have followed that path, and each year we succeed less and become more alienated (individualistic) from each other.

Isn’t it time to admit we took a wrong path, turn the car around and get back on course?

Standardization

standardizationI miss the anarchistic days of the internet. Not because I’m an anarchist, but because it meant that standardization was kept at a minimum. Standardization reduces all things to the lowest common denominator since it has to create a common form-factor for them all.

If you’ve ever dealt with triplicate forms, or questions designed for a database that very obviously does not include your particular use case, you know the experience. You have to write in the margins, or put data in the wrong fields, and you end up with a hack job that should make people embarrassed.

But it doesn’t, because the system must go on! and we can’t let everyone know the emperor’s new clothes are made out of securities and treaties and other things about as real as fairies. Cram that data in there, hope for the best, and grin and bear it when you have to answer the same question 35 times because bureaucrats can’t imagine you did it some way other than their way.

The anarchist days of the internet were not fill-in forms. They were blank pages. While standardization seems nice at first, because everything’s nice and clean and uniform, with it come problems. People are always quick to say “But who decides?” when we’re talking about a corporation, but they ignore it for Wikipedia or Yahoo.

In addition, as mentioned above, the standardization melts down complexity into spoon-fed averages. It all fits the lowest level of expression. You get an easy resource instead of one that is actually adapted to the topic at hand, and because of that generic nature, the information in it is normed to another field.

The late 1990s brought us a web with pages made by experts in their fields that quickly rose to the top of the search engine lists because other people recognized their value. Then came Wikipedia and Facebook; now, the search engine points to one of those two, and you get a standard result, but not one with depth or variation.

Some will argue that this is progress, but I see it as devolution. Instead of expanding to have specific approaches so we can have maximum understanding, we’ve maximized the human interface that loves standardization, and served up junk food instead. We call it freedom, but it really is slavery instead: slavery to the standard.

Not a mystery

perhaps_a_better_wayIf you were a real conniving manipulator, and you wanted job security, how would you go about it?

The long answer remains inscrutable, but the short answer is this: drape everything in a heavy layer of ambiguity, doubt, uncertainty, emptiness, depression, confusion, denial, despair and disorder.

With this technique, you can turn a simple job into a total odyssey. The most mundane of tasks becomes daunting and difficult. It used to require one person some of the time; now it may require a full-time army.

Once a society is established, this is how you “create” jobs. It is how you enforce economic “growth.” You keep mystifying common things and then turning them into work-welfare programs.

Even better, it’s how you control a population. Whenever an issue comes up on the radar, wave your hands and chant a little spell, fire off some smoke and pull a rabbit out of a hat. “It’s just too hard! It’s complicated!”

This will scare off everyone else, who’s afraid of looking like an idiot if they get caught holding the bag. You don’t care however because you know the secret: the solution is actually trivial. Any idiot can do it. You’re holding out because you want to get paid like never before.

Our society in the industrialized West is caught on snags of our own cogitation. We have rationalized ourselves into impossible positions, and refuse to do what is necessary. It doesn’t take much to fix our problems. We have to stop thinking in the exact same ruts we have been thinking in, however.

The solutions are in fact obvious. Especially if we read through history, and see what worked, and what didn’t. Our elites will pooh-pooh that because in school, they were taught that humans are different now. They forget that the same rules will apply to any group of intelligent creatures at any time in history. Like gravity, they don’t change.

This is because once they have completed their arc of ascent, societies turn into self-parasitizing agencies. Suddenly you have all of these people who are assumed to be part of the society. You can’t kick them out, they say. These people need to be employed, entertained, represented, etc.

But since there’s no longer a sense of membership as a privilege, these people abuse. You get lots of people who are good at mystifying everyday things, whether by incompetence or guile, such that they have “necessary” roles that are the exact opposite of necessary.

Under that weight, society snaps like a yearling branch covered in snow.

Their favorite trick is to make up false targets. For example, “maturity.” In their view, maturity means accepting that everything in life is a compromise, duty is all, and that solutions are if not impossible the next best thing to it.

By chattering away incessantly on every channel, they convince you. Yes, you think, this is adulthood. There is one way, no deviation, and no solutions to the thousands of problems I see every day, from bad street design to wobbly grocery carts to insane school policies and tolerance of the dysfunctional and violent. It’s all broken.

The dysfunction just feeds into the power of the do-nothing elites. To their ears, this is good news, since a dysfunctional society needs neurotic leaders and a constant stream of political drama to distract from its everyday tedium.

And yet fixing it all would be so easy; that’s the greatest secret. They don’t enslave you, you enslave yourselves, because you believed the convenient lie that it is just too difficult to change it all, so we might as well “mature” and rage full-speed-ahead into our doom.

Anamorphosis

hans_holbein_the_younger-the_ambassadors

In this picture by Hans Holbein the Younger entitled “The Ambassadors,” an odd shape floats at the bottom. It is a skull or “Memento Mori” (reminder of mortality) drawn in the style of anamorphosis.

Anamorphosis is an artistic technique that distorts an image unless one views it at the proper angle or perspective. If one were to see this picture in person, and look at it from the anamorphic angle, the skull would come in to focus and become undistorted, at which point, the rest of the picture would be hard to make out. An almost miraculous effect!

The skull, which represents death, is an unknown factor when looked at straight ahead. Death, too, is the ultimate unknown. Yet in our mania for knowledge and figuring things out, we demand to know what death is, we demand to know what the unknown is.

But do you see the paradox here? How can we know the unknown? Once something is known, it is no longer unknown. We can never catch up to this because as soon as we get there, it is not what we’re looking for. How absurd it is to demand to know the unknown! The known and the unknown are radically different categories, and you cannot understand the one from the perspective of the other.

Knowledge can be defined as true and justified belief. Let us filter death, the ultimate unknown, through this algorithm. We believe that death is material become unanimated. Ok, check. It may very well turn out to be true, that death is material become unanimated. Ok, check. But are we justified to say that death is material become unanimated? For that, we would have to actually die, see what it was like, and report back. You go first.

All knowledge was originally unknown because for something to be known, it first had to be unknown. This implies at least an equivalent relationship between the known and the unknown. Now imagine all the things that will one day be known, but are unknown today. This implies an endless supply of the unknown. Now factor in all the things that could potentially be known, but perpetually remain unknown. Logic implies that there is more that is unknown than is known.

So from where we sit, all that is known was once unknown and all that we will know is currently unknown. With this in mind, we can say that the natural, default state of the universe is the unknown. Similarly, from where we sit, the anamorphic skull is distorted. It merely requires the proper perspective to come into focus. The unknown, like death and like the anamorphic skull (metaphorically speaking) is the perspective of the universe, not the human.

At this point we must admit that our theory of death is merely a hypothesis. It seems to be justified but that is because we have already worked our conclusion into our definition. We say that death is material become unanimated, and it is true precisely because we have defined it ahead of time.

But what we are actually defining is not death. It would be more proper to say that we are merely assigning the word ‘death’ to the phenomenon of material becoming unanimated. We are still not saying what death actually is. Our conception of death is too straightforward and without perspective.

Our working definition of death is purely from the perspective of the living human. We need the perspective of the dead in all of this. Has anybody thought to ask the dead what it is actually like to be dead? Our scientific hypothesis is not complete until we have secured this very important data.

hans_holbein_the_younger-anamorphic_skull_from_the_ambassadors

Death is not material become unanimated. This is too obvious and verging on tautology. Death is a loss of spirit, a loss of purpose, meaning, values, and mission. In a word, it is a loss of perspective. If death is merely and strictly defined as material become unanimated, then life becomes death, animated. We become the walking dead.

Much like the picture, death is a matter of perspective. The problem is, unlike the picture, we have no “death-perspective.” Who knows what death is actually like until you are dead? Dead people probably think life is quite an odd phenomenon. The dead are probably petrified by life.

With all of this in mind, we can say that material death is hardly the worst thing that can happen to a man and knowledge is hardly the worst thing to be lacking. To be alive, with no purpose, with no mission, and with no destiny is the worst fate of all. This is a much more fitting definition of death. This is true poverty.

Death and life have a symbolic dimension beyond the material. When death has no symbolic meaning, it becomes merely a word, when life has no symbolic meaning, it becomes merely a sentence. At this point we shall define life as: having a purpose and a quest. So how does one rise from the dead and live again?

The medieval technique of anamorphosis almost seems like a magical phenomenon, yet there it is for all to see. Although mathematically and rationally derived and explained, it creates an ultimate end effect of bewilderment. It is just like the stick in water. The stick appears bent, but it is not. It can be mathematically and rationally explained, but the end effect is still bewildering.

Obscurantism has received a bad rap in intellectual circles, but it is actually the opposite idea, what we might call “obvious-ism,” that could prove to be much more fatal. We can rationally and mathematically explain away everything by way of knowledge. Knowledge is a fine tool but it is not a purpose and all the knowledge in the world won’t necessarily give you a purpose.

You say you want meaning? You say you want a mission? You want a purpose beyond your human life? You say you’re dying to get in here and fight it out? Here is an opportunity: fight on behalf of the unknown, the universe, and the anamorphic skull. Do not rationalize. Make things enigmatic like the medieval technique of anamorphosis. We need no more knowledge. Let us work on behalf of our greatest ally and most abundant resource – the unknown!

This essay and hypothesis is an anamorphic message from the Land of the Dead. Our foe is the obvious. Let us relegate knowledge to its proper perspective. For every one thing that is known, there are ten things that are unknown. Let us admit and propose that the ultimate, end effect of reality is actually bewildering and mysterious.

Let us do away with rationalizing reality. When our theories of reality are made more mysterious and more bewildering than initially thought, man, himself, will have no choice but to act in a more mathematical and rational way.

What we don’t know could go on forever and ever, because how can we know something until we know it? The unknown is so vast that one cannot even conceive of what we don’t know. In fact, what we don’t know grows every day, probably at an even faster pace than what we do know.

Human life becomes distorted and anamorphic against a supposedly easily explainable universe. However, when the universe becomes mysterious, humans have no choice but to get their act together. Man is really not at his finest when he basks in knowledge. Man’s finest hour is when he confronts and challenges the unknown.

After all, the unknown is what brings out the best in man.

Unsustainable

remains_of_a_crushed_civilizationBuzzwords let us speak without communicating. They refer indirectly to a presumed shared mission, and also reference what’s current, so they allow instant entry into the theater of relevance as seen by most of our fellow citizens. The buzzword “sustainable” has snowballed from a simple idea into a mental gridlock.

Originally used to describe self-renewing resource cultivation, “sustainable” came to mean — as do all things in a world gone mad for commerce and equality — a lifestyle. It began like many things before to reek of the type of existence that people wanted to see themselves as living, namely the opposite of what they do.

Sustainability conjured up images of the fiercely independent explorers living alone on the veldt, powered by solar panels and growing their own food. It also meant pleasant visions of ourselves as a society: noble, enlightened, having transcended all that dirty technology and primitive thinking, living in New Age harmony with nature and Utopia.

Buzzwords will make you cynical because they are not actual communication, but communication by reference. When we state our goals as a string of trendy adjectives, it becomes clear that there is no plan, and the buzzwords are serving to allow us to justify doing exactly what we were doing, with a few patches applied.

However, buzzwords conceal a hidden meaning. They are popular because people like the vision they conjure up, even if it is used to manipulate them later. People want something that can keep going without constantly consuming and destroying good things, as they intuitively perceive that our society does.

When we look at modern society historically however it becomes clear that it is not “sustainable” on any of a number of levels. The obvious ones are that it depends on constant growth, and thus constant population expansion and constant development of natural resources. It is a Tragedy of the Commons writ large, albeit a slow one.

Another level where it is unsustainable can be found in the architecture of the society itself.

It takes centuries to see the effects of any political change. We don’t have centuries since we are mortal. Even more, every generation wants to make a name for itself and to produce some kind of big change that has an emotional impact. We all want to slay the dragon and take home the princess.

The result is that we’ve been piling untested political ideas on top of each other for the last three centuries. We start with a supposition, come up with a political plan, and then after implementing it, wait about five years before assuming that it worked. Sometimes we might even wait twenty years, but that’s rare.

The result is like a rambling house. Started from a small design, it grows by additions. On a whim, people add on to what is there, without testing the underlying architecture. Soon more rooms are piled on top of the same supports. The wood groans. It awaits only a small disaster to fall.

In 1789 France, we started with the idea of political equality as a goal. The goal of society was to serve the citizens as individuals, not to govern itself as a whole, like an organic entity would. Despite numerous wars and social chaos, that didn’t kill us, we kept building onto that edifice.

Our notion is that this is like an arcology, or a city built in exclusively vertical ways so that it will use less land and be more efficient. In reality, it’s a teetering structure with no actual design, with people slapping on patches or additions where possible to “make a name for myself.”

By switching to rule by every individual, instead of letting exceptional individuals rule, we have made a Tragedy of the Commons out of our own society. People take prestige, and leave behind untested political plans piled on one another. It’s only now, centuries later, that we see the full effects.

Why does it take so long to see these effects? First, because people are slow to change. Second, because most of their effects are indirect through changes to how people live, reproduce, raise kids, have values and what they expect. Finally, because the psychological effects of government are bigger than we think.

Every act of a government is either an endorsement or a condemnation. When we make a law saying that anyone driving with a blood alcohol level of more than .10 is guilty of a crime, we have officially condoned driving around after two beers. In the same way, government legislation of sexual morality, civil rights, child care, etc. has consequences.

Our rambling house of political assumptions was never very stable, but it took centuries to see it. Now, after the carnage and disasters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people are ready to consider that we may have taken a wrong turn, and it’s time to rip this house back to the studs and build it from a blueprint, this time.

The end game

christopher_dorner_end_gameChristopher Dorner made himself useful by demonstrating a pattern of left-wing psychology from which we all can learn. His story was too intriguing for the media to avoid when styled as that of a hard-working altruistic cop unfairly fired for reporting corrupt police who were too rough with helpless innocents being arrested for no reason.

As the story was intended to be told, the loyal crusader for justice risked himself to punish the evil offenders, taking to the streets for the public and heroically dedicating his life to weeding out the wicked ones. Who could oppose the selfless oppressed underdog of this superhero narrative?

But scratch the surface and the phony posturing becomes clear, revealing traits we see in every revolution and call for “rights” to be recognized. Claiming to have suffered perceived prejudice since shortly after birth, Dorner expresses his frustration with society, as if some supernatural force has selected him for random misery and failure. He solely concerns himself with accusations, blame, and excuses rather than constructive plans for personal betterment and success.

In his manifesto, Dorner aligns with leftist politics, while admitting his long depression and deep saturation in entertainment products, though not considering their possible connection and relation to a lifestyle of frustration and outbursts.

One will always encounter struggle, opposition, and difficulties needing to be overcome. How we face these reveals character and yields the results obtained. Marcus Aurelius devised a morning prayer to prepare a positive outlook and bulwark, declaring the most trying expectations and explaning why one must not break under their weight:

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother; therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Traditionalists view problems to dissect their holistic structure, revealing the key broken aspects needing repair. Venting, faulting, and acting out is personally satisfying because it feels like something is being accomplished by lashing out at the world, but this pleasure is a false narrative that attempts to shift the consideration of the problem from its true origin.

The frustrated one dreams of revenge by making others suffer, gaining advantage through a lose-lose proposition that hurts others by making their situation worse. If your situation is already bad, hurting others who are doing well makes you more equal, and thus an underdog’s justice finds moral ground from which to undermine and spoil everything healthy, strong, and sensible.

A culture of revenge consists of an infinite chain of attacks against one’s perceived enemies, with no goal greater than sustaining a string of bitter destruction. The supposed enemies are not real, the supposed slights are insubstantial, and the entire weltanschauung is grossly defective, yet damage is performed because one has conjured this false reason for their misery and just as faulty a plan for its remedy.

Well adjusted people use time tested solutions to set disorder straight. When you instead see crazy explanations and wild crusades proposed in place of solutions, dysfunctional and futile thinking are busy at work.

Dorner vowed warfare against former colleagues, admitting his plan to murder many people. He then explains the purpose of his killing spree was to supposedly “clear his name” and drive out corruption from the police force, as if such killings have ever led to that result, or could be reasonably expected to.

The revolutionary performs actions for his own purposes and then lies about his motivations to cast them in a benevolent light. Actions at odds with claimed purposes is a dead give away of incoherence, and suggests the actual motivations are unknown or unmentionable, often being little more than a personal problem not yet addressed.

As Dorner fled to a cabin for the last battle in his police war, reality had crept in and encircled him. He realized his hero fantasy didn’t hold up, was factually incorrect, and that suicide was an appropriate exit. Being unable to spin the tale further, he cleared himself away just as illegal aliens self-deport when local enforcement is announced.

This cognition from self-reflection should be forced on all advocates of unsustainable practices and politics so they must confront their deranged projections. At that moment, they will have to either find some historical precedent to buttress their propositions or admit being swept away by a nutty fantasy that enticed them because of troubling emotional or personal failings.

Perhaps they will go quietly and walk away from their mistakes or check themselves out, sparing us an expensive tantrum to clean up afterward.

The revolt of imagination

light_in_the_morning_woodsWe have already experienced the Revolution. The plot was simple: bad meanies in charge, so people power unites and overthrows. Now a new order in which everyone is accepted and we can stop arbitrarily denying each other things. It’s like a plush pink bed: everything is good, everyone is good, we are all in peace and harmony.

The Revolution plays itself out a million times during your lifetime.

First, there was the original, which we don’t talk about because it happened in France and they still insist on speaking French, eating French food, and looking French. If they got with the program, they’d look and speak just like us, but with French bread.

Next, there are the movies. Nearly every movie that involves a challenge beyond the personal (“divorced 30-something gets over her hang-ups and learns to love roller derby”) follows the Revolutionary format: bad meanies are bad, people power is good, we unite and get together, in the end everyone joins hands on stage and sings.

Then, there’s the politics. There are civil rights struggles for every conceivable group. Fat basement-dwellers with body odor? Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains. When we waddle out of our basements and overthrow the meanies, a new era of freedom, peace and harmony (etc) will be upon us (etc).

Then there’s foreign policy. Why do we want the people of Nosepickistan dead? They don’t support the Revolution. They put their women in garbage bags, no one can vote, the shopping is bad, you can’t get porn on cable TV and the idiot heathens don’t even allow alcohol. Send in the bombers, bring them democracy, soon they’ll be as Big Mac as we are.

Even worse, there’s the news cycle. A tragedy happens; it is sad. Then we feel outraged because, how could this tragedy sneak up on us while we were busy shopping/voting? It’s not fair. It’s not nice. Someone better pay. Find the meanie, gather up the people power, and we’re going to buzz together like bees in a hive until we make it change and depose those meanies.

There is always a bad guy. How do you find the bad guy? Who is in control? Unless that person is busy giving out welfare payments to the poor and helping the drunk and violent, that person is the bad meanie. Set phasers for kill. If something has gone wrong, someone is to blame. They must be replaced — with people power.

The Revolution is addictive. It never ends. It is always there, if you need some reason to forget your troubles. Mortality, low social status, misery, self-hatred, self-pity, self-doubt? Never fear: you have a new identity as a soldier of the Revolution! When you crush the meanies, the Crowd will roar with approval.

If it didn’t, the answer is simple. The meanies control the minds of the masses, who must be liberated. So get your educated buttocks on down to the ‘hood or the trailer park and start educating those poor backward people who need to know better like you do. Feel good about your life yet? You will.

The Revolution brings with it an Ideology. This Ideology is “in theory” political, but really it invades all areas of life. You re-shape yourself as a soldier of the Revolution, and that replaces religion, culture, even most socialization, and personal philosophy. Now you have all the answers.

We’ve had the revolution of discontent for centuries, where some were mad that others had more. We have seen what it brings, which is perpetual Revolution as our society cannibalizes itself. We’re looking for bad guys under every bed, and the only defense is to join the Revolution and hope it doesn’t turn on you. Often, a forlorn hope.

Now let’s try the Revolt of Imagination.

All of our post-Revolution social systems view life as a question of material redistribution. Some have more, so we’re mad, so we’re going to take what they have and, to prevent other people from revolting against us, we’re going to give it all away. Except that we’ll all get government jobs and get paid several equal salaries for our efforts.

The Revolt of Imagination is an entirely different animal. In it, we view life as an experience which is meant to be joyful. We view human time as valuable and believe that this time should be made significant and pleasant. We reject the idea that material distribution is the cause of our problems. The cause is actually our loss of direction.

Material redistribution creates a number of problems:

  • Reduces the urge to excel. People enjoy overcoming challenges and achieving greater heights. This is necessary to feel that we are in control of our own lives and that we’re growing. Otherwise, we feel stagnant and pointless. When you reduce rewards, people do not strive. They do the minimum or less. And hate themselves for it.
  • Destroys social standards. This has been sold to you under the brand name “pluralism.” Pluralism makes even the dirtiest surfaces shine! The idea is that instead of agreeing on social values, we have no social values, and we all get along because otherwise the cops will beat us with nightsticks. Sound stable? Of course not.
  • Forces reckless competition on us all. We’re all equal — great! — now what? The answer is that you’re all just meat for the machine, and the way you keep from being dragged beneath the wheel of progress is to commute, work, work, work and then shop and work some more. If you won’t, we’ll find someone who will. If we can’t, we’ll import them. Your only purpose is to go to a job and buy stuff.
  • Removes the existential. The worst aspect of material redistribution is that it makes us think solely in terms of stuff. The goal isn’t happiness, but having a full life. There is more to life than work and shopping (and voting). When we deny this, it makes people miserable and they take revenge through petty acts of sabotage, cruelty, obliviousness and vandalism.

The original Revolution presupposed that material equality would remove conflict and make people happy. The intervening two centuries show us that this is not the case. Equality led to more competition, more alienated, and greater misery, while removing other things we enjoyed.

We need a revolt of Imagination. In this, our goal is to find meaningful ways to spend our day-to-day time. Every minute is sacred, and we should waste none of it on activities that frustrate or demean us. Work should be gotten out of the way, not wallowed in. We should reward those who get it done quickest and then move on. We can reclaim our time from the machine, and stop basing our identities on our job titles and credit cards.

Even more, we can escape this same old tired routine of Revolution. It doesn’t work; that wouldn’t matter, except that it also isn’t fun. Like heroin addiction, it always sends us coming back for more. The last dose was great… for a while… then the craving began. What if we’re just losers? Don’t think that, soldier: attack!

The ultimate result of the Revolution was to enslave us to the egomania not of a few bad meanies, but by turning everyone into a bad meanie. Now we are all tyrants in our personal lives, refusing to work with each other, and raging against the emptiness. Another Revolution won’t help this.

Our only salvation lies in refusing to keep playing the game. Demand a Revolt of Imagination. Overthrow the idea that material redistribution is the path to the good life. Bring back the joy of experience, of existential discovery, of challenge and conquest. Give life meaning again. It’s the only adventure left.

Hearts

maybe_a_game_of_cardsLast night I played the card game Hearts with friends. Hearts is an evasion game based on “tricks,” or turns in which a cards are played, and whoever loses “takes the trick”: they must take the cards that were played and adds their number to his score. You do not want points.

Every Heart is worth one point, and the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points. The highest card played, of the suit led, takes all the cards. If no one can follow suit, then the person who led must take the trick. You must follow suit if you can, there is no such thing as trump and card rank is precisely as you would assume; Ace is highest, 2 is lowest.

The most basic strategy is to short suit yourself as quickly as possible so that you cannot follow suit. That way you can get rid of your high cards and start laying your Hearts on tricks. So if you have no Diamonds, and a Diamond is led, you are then free to lay whatever card you want on that trick. The object is to have a low score, not a high score.

I found myself in this situation: I have the Queen of Spades and two lesser Spades, I know who has the Ace and King of Spades, and I know that she knows that I have the Queen of Spades. Because I know there are 13 Spades in total, I may as well assume that she also has at least one other, lesser, Spade, and that the other two opponents have three or four Spades, as well.

As the hand played out, I had a decision to make, to lead the Queen of Spades or not. Leading the Queen is a really risky move and you almost never want to do it. The more common strategy is to try to lay it off when you don’t have to follow suit. I was in a bold mood, however, and I was dying to try this gambit out. I knew if it worked it would become the stuff of legend.

The gal with the Ace and King had already played a lesser Spade; I had to get rid of this nasty Queen of Spades at some point, and at some point she was going to get rid of the Ace and King as well. I was not short suited and this all added up to a precarious situation. So I lead the Queen, hoping she would have no choice but to follow suit with her Ace or King and take it.

By golly, she had the Jack of Spades and I had to eat that darn Queen! It was a backfire but there are some great lessons here.

In this specific instance it turned out to be the wrong play. But all things considered, the percentages were not entirely out of my favor given the already precarious situation I was in. A lesser card player and gambler might say to themselves: well, I’m never going to do that again!

But that would be somewhat mistaken, because they are taking that specific instance to trump what are unarguable percentages – there are only 13 Spades total, and only two Spades that can take the Queen. It was not necessarily a bad play considering I only had so much information and one must essentially assume that all players have 3.25 Spades in their hands.

I had some information, but not all. I used logic that everyone basically had three Spades in their hand. The Queen had to be played at some point, the Ace and King had to be played at some point. A decision has to be made and a risk has to be taken.

Specifics are actually more misleading than generalities. This is precisely why there is such a thing as professional poker players. They play according to the percentages; they shake off the bad beats and live to fight another day. In the long run, they gain the edge.

The same applies to a good many situations in our modern world. Most people want you to believe the exception disproves the rule, which suits them since they want to believe they’re unique sui generis precious snowflakes. Taken with the percentages, however, the exception proves the rule, and it is how in the long run we can win.

What is Amerika?

superbowl_power_failureWe post many analyses and solutions on this site. It’s time to tie it all together, since many people are still confused about what this blog stands for and why we keep harping on similar ideas.

The simplest it gets: there is something in humans that misleads us and propels us away from reality, which causes us to bunch together in groups to deny reality, which causes societies to become internally fractured and collapse. If you like civilization, you fight this force of reality-denial (Crowdism).

When people turn to the Crowdist way, they inevitably arrive at something like modern liberalism. The individual wants few constraints on itself, so it wants both an anarchic component, and a commercial component. Because these two create chaos, people then turn to an authoritarian component which holds society together.

The final stage of this process is globalism. Since the French Revolution, liberal groups have called for erasing all barriers to the individual’s total autonomy and total freedom of choice. Those include heritage, religion, culture, values and even sexual orientation. Nothing must come in the way of the whim of the individual.

I call this global process Amerika because it reflects what happens when a once-nice place falls under the control of liberals. First, they smash all of its decent traditions in the name of “freedom”, liberty and equality. Next they introduce crippling infrastructure failures. Finally, it turns into a totalitarian state.

That doesn’t last long. Totalitarian states decay because they rely on the power of one person. The result of totalitarianism is a slow collapse into third-world levels of low hygiene, corruption, warlordism, incompetence, laziness and social chaos.

Amerika combines the worst possible elements of humanity: the greed of consumerism, the apathy of socialism, the elective ignorance of democracy, and the binary approach to truth — our way or anything else — that marks totalitarian societies. It is a disease like cancer or paranoia. But it starts out sounding good.

This type of thinking first came about in the French Revolution in 1789, but had precursors in The Enlightenment some centuries before. Many people blame those roots on Christianity; I don’t think it’s that easy. The ancient Greeks described the same phenomenon happening to them, as did the ancient Indians. It is inherent to human existence.

We can call it narcissism or individualism, but it boils down to the same thing, which is a rejection of the possibilities of the world in favor of the judgments, desires, impulses and feelings of the individual. In other words, as if someone appointed us God, we put ourselves before everything else. Including reality itself.

Most human activities are designed to hide this simple truth. For example, in our popular culture, it is considered impolite to blame the individual for his or her own actions. It is better to find something big and impersonal to blame, like the Rich, racism, the government, the Kings, religion or even bad luck.

Most people when faced with this situation will go into denial. They write off society and start working for their own profit. The only problem is that when society goes downhill, it takes them with it. However, people cannot mentally process this because it shatters their sense of well-being. So like zombies they march in denial.

Amerika is the death of the West and the malaise that afflicts first-world nations. People are fundamentally miserable. They backbite and snipe, attack each other and sabotage each other, because they have found that living for the individual produces more ambiguity than actual solutions. They lie about this and claim to be “happy.”

This results in people who hate their own society and the people around them, and covertly but actively work to destroy it. The misery spreads from that. A quasi-sociopathic “me first” mentality replaces any sense of working with others, or even common sense and common decency. The death-spiral accelerates.

Much like the Soviet Union, Amerika is destined for failure. However, that will take time and during the intervening decades or centuries, it will destroy all that was once good and leave behind a cultureless grey population who have no ability to create civilization again.

Our solution here is simple: resist this decline by pointing out what it is, and by fighting back against liberalism. Get together the sane people, invade our political parties, demand change, and then throw out the parasites and their enablers. Put us back on track to a nicer and better way of life.

Right now, this seems like a dream. Modern society seems like it will never change. But as more and more of its vital systems fail, and the people who are replacing its creators seem unable to fix them, it becomes clearer that something must be done. You have a choice: stand for civilization, or stand for decay. Which side are you on?