A regular reader, contributor and freelance writer sent along a suggestion that could not be ignored: there needs to be a “simple guide to Amerika.” He is usually on point about direction, so here it is, notwithstanding the impossibility of explaining the complex in simple ways.
The root of all problems is individualism. Humans get a stronger signal from their brains that reality; this signal is shared through socializing; humans then form a bolus of angry people who demand that what is not real be considered real. At that point, illusion reigns, and the parasites close in.
Collectivism is a form of individualism. Collectivism means a group that demands that each individual within it be represented equally, which means that no individual can be excluded. In collective bargaining, like unions, they force equal compensation for the competent and incompetent, which is a form of the not-real because it is illogical.
Egalitarianism is the rule of collectivism. Egalitarianism means that the individual is equal, which removes hierarchy and the burden on the individual to act according to a natural or divine order. Discrimination and exclusion are the methods of evolution, or qualitative improvement, while universal acceptance (egalitarianism) is reversion to a mean.
Social pressures form the basis of human thinking. People are more concerned with appearance than reality because in human groups, appearance of goodness determines how much people like you, and thus, how much they will help you when you need it. Plato’s metaphor can be found in Book II of The Republic:
Now that those who practise justice do so involuntarily and because they have not the power to be unjust will best appear if we imagine something of this kind: having given both to the just and the unjust power to do what they will, let us watch and see whither desire will lead them; then we shall discover in the very act the just and unjust man to be proceeding along the same road, following their interest, which all natures deem to be their good, and are only diverted into the path of justice by the force of law.
The liberty which we are supposing may be most completely given to them in the form of such a power as is said to have been possessed by Gyges the ancestor of Croesus the Lydian. According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result-when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared.
Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust.
For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another’s, he would be thought by the lookers-on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another’s faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice.
Diversity is a form of egalitarianism. If the only requirement to be equal is humanity, all that is human will be included everywhere, which is why the Left adopted diversity as a means of spreading class warfare, wealth transfer and destruction of hierarchical and realistic thinking.
Diversity never works. The problem is not which groups are involved, but the fact of diversity itself. When different groups are placed in the same society, each acts in self-interest to assert its values and genetics, causing constant internal conflict and turmoil. Diversity ends civilizations.
Specific groups do not matter. This is not a platform for anti-Semitism. Equality and diversity are the issues. Ending them includes the Jews just as it includes the Irish. Just like the Irish have to go back to Ireland, the Jews have to go to Israel, the Africans to Africa, the Asians to Asia, Mexicans to Mexico, and Southern Europeans to Southern Europe and Eastern Europeans to Eastern Europe.
Genetics is the basis of behavior, and thus culture. People cannot be “educated” (indoctrinated) into what they are not. Our traits are hard-wired and while we can achieve the appearance of change through enforcement of rules, people cannot be overseen constantly and revert to what worked for their ancestors. No two groups are compatible for this reason.
Civilization requires social order and qualitative improvement. The challenge to humans in dominating nature is that we would doom ourselves by, in the absence of external pressures, degenerating or losing ability. With social order, a form of hierarchy, people are encouraged to rise in quality, which is the opposite of equality where they are accepted as they are. Equality is anti-Darwinism.
People and races are networks of traits. There is no race gene. Multiple genes, with overlapping function, code for different abilities and inclinations. These networks of traits are quite complex and miscegenation and class-mixing destroy them, creating hybrids with few of the original abilities, and possessing those out of context, e.g. intelligence without moral goodness.
The cruelty of nature is realism. Nature operates to select for more efficient biological structures, including behavior. This seems brutal, but ultimately benefits both organisms and ecosystem, in which each organism serves an unequal role in maintaining an environment from which all benefit.
Culture is the human ecosystem. Civilization is the organization which implements culture; culture is the set of values and behaviors of a group. Culture thus arises from genetics and is destroyed when hybridization occurs. Culture represents an “inner force,” or one paired with intuition, among those whose ancestors lived within a group and were subject to its selection pressures.
Ideology is a replacement for culture. Ideology, along with the indoctrination and reward structures required to implement it, is a replacement for culture and other traits of a population. It uses social means to replace intuition and other inner forces.
Language is a virus that seeks to supplant natural order. People are able to use language to manipulate one another, and through this can get ahead with social/ideological means instead of by producing actual results in external reality. From Tom Wolfe:
Evolution came to an end when the human beast developed speech! As soon as he became not Homo sapiens, “man reasoning,” but Homo loquax, “man talking”! Speech gave the human beast far more than an ingenious tool. Speech was a veritable nuclear weapon! It gave the human beast the powers of reason, complex memory, and long-term planning, eventually in the form of print and engineering plans. Speech gave him the power to enlarge his food supply at will through an artifice called farming. Speech ended not only the evolution of man, by making it no longer necessary, but also the evolution of animals!
And William S. Burroughs from The Ticket That Exploded (1962):
From symbiosis to parasitism is a short step. The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk. That organism is the word.
And Friedrich W. Nietzsche in the document that kicked off postmodernism, “On Truth And Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense” (1873):
But because man, out of need and boredom, wants to exist socially, herd-fashion, he requires a peace pact and he endeavors to banish at least the very crudest bellum omni contra omnes [war of all against all] from his world. This peace pact brings with it something that looks like the first step toward the attainment of this enigmatic urge for truth. For now that is fixed which henceforth shall be “truth”; that is, a regularly valid and obligatory designation of things is invented, and this linguistic legislation also furnishes the first laws of truth: for it is here that the contrast between truth and lie first originates. The liar uses the valid designations, the words, to make the unreal appear as real; he says, for example, “I am rich,” when the word “poor” would be the correct designation of his situation. He abuses the fixed conventions by arbitrary changes or even by reversals of the names. When he does this in a self-serving way damaging to others, then society will no longer trust him but exclude him. Thereby men do not flee from being deceived as much as from being damaged by deception: what they hate at this stage is basically not the deception but the bad, hostile consequences of certain kinds of deceptions.
In other words, language is used to obscure the selfish motives of the individual which are cloaked in the idea of altruistic motives to help others. This is the essence of Crowdism.
The only solution is not methodological. Like its biological counterpart, a virus changes form to evade detection. The only solution is to have a strong sense of purpose and to aggressively filter out anything which does not support it, like deceptive or irrelevant language. This requires a caste system, where the most sensible, noble and intelligent rise above the rest.
Hierarchy requires inequality. Organizations — of which civilization is one type — collapse when their internal conflict, or competition for power, outpaces their action toward a purpose. To that end, eliminating conflict requires having “parallels,” or different domains of authority, in each of which is a singular line of command. In classical civilization, this was aristocracy for leadership, caste for social questions, and having respected wise people to oversee philosophy, mundane interpersonal conflicts, literature and the arts.
Democracy is designed to destroy hierarchy. With democracy, a form of utilitarianism, whatever most people think is a good idea wins out. There is no accountability to individual voters, and whatever costs are incurred are distributed among all voters, such that all feel little impact and many, who pay no taxes because they have little money, feel none. The main advantage of democracy is that it makes change within the system harder than ever before because of inertia of most people, the many existing laws which must be changed, and the necessity of working within the system itself, which tends to channel all new ideas toward the same old things. In addition, the individual voters is not accountable to standards, values or culture, but only a nebulous sense of self-interest which rewards using the vote to take from others. The end result is tyranny, as Plato notes, as the system becomes unstable and requires increasing applications of power to remain in control, as William S. Burroughs notes in Naked Lunch (1959):
Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organizations. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on the opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action to the complete parasitism of a virus.
Racial concerns are not about politics, but genetics. For every sub-species, and race and ethnicity are that to humans, one risk will never go away: that of being destroyed through outbreeding. Since people are thoughtless, especially at a young age, this can be easily achieved by importing foreigners and distributing them among them. Enough will interbreed to ensure that the original people no longer exists, and having lost the genetic networks of the original, the new group will make different choices about how it interpretations the customs, institutions, religion, language and politics of their partial forebears. Interbreeding is genocide, even “love”-based free choice. Any group which does not defend itself through uncompromising xenophobia will soon no longer walk the earth. Idiots fail to understand that while they may be able to dodge the vast slum of mystery meat genetics floating around them, their children and grandchildren will not. All it takes is an infusion of some dilution of the blood, no matter what it is, even “good” minorities like Asians, and what once was is soon gone. This is complicated by “hybrid vigor,” or a cancellation of some recessive traits, that makes the first generation still retain some of the aspects of the old. But after multiple generations, all that once was is gone, and no amount of education/indoctrination or institutional enforcement can make it arise in the new group. Culture comes from race; the root of all nationalist and identitarian politics comes from this realization.
Freedom is corruption. For an individual and a civilization to thrive, they must seek to do good. Freedom is the antithesis of that, namely that one can seek nothing and from it have good emerge through rules and incentives. The main reason that people desire freedom is to get away from the demands of parasites, who use guilt based in disparate impact (“we are both human, and yet you have more than I”) which is fundamentally a social trope in order to establish their desires as public needs, and thus force the rest of us to provide them with things and bear the socialized/externalized cost. This backfires, because in doing so they bring about tyranny or power that serves only itself, as Plato writes:
The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same disease magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy — the truth being that the excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and animal life, but above all in forms of government.
The only way to avoid this is to avoid extremes, and so to choose goodness instead of the option for goodness, and to implement it not by force, but by rewarding those who naturally seek it, so the genetic networks that remain afterwards are those which favor goodness.
Our enemy is Control. Control is the notion that humans can manipulate the world by reducing it to a fungible quantity of equals and then, by forcing those to do the same thing, maintain a strong power that serves itself. Control is different than authority and leadership because it consists of absolute rules, micromanagement, and most of all making all of society and nature into equal objects which succumb to the same incentives and threats. People love control because they like the thought of having a behemoth which will apply uniformly to all things around them, and therefore achieve absolute and universal results. This is why they want a tyrant or a metaphorical analogue of one, but in the end, because all things act in self-interest, they produce a monster no matter how benevolent their intent. The opposite of control is cooperation, which requires having a purpose and selecting those who can fulfill that purpose through organically-arising and unequal roles like those in an ecosystem, and sending the others away. When all are equally included, they become a mass used for manipulation, which serves only control.
Without leadership and ownership, every commons is a tragedy. A tragedy of the commons occurs whenever there is a resource shared by all, and each person has self-interest in exploiting it, whether that resource is the natural land, money collected from taxes, the direction of an organization, interpretation of culture, attention from others at a social gathering, participation in a musical genre or parking spaces in a neighborhood. Each person will take as much as they can, and soon the resource will be destroyed, as Garrett Hardin writes:
The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.
As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, “What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?” This utility has one negative and one positive component.
1) The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal. Since the herdsman receives all the proceeds from the sale of the additional animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.
2) The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative utility for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1.
Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another…. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.
The only solution to this condition is to ensure that people cannot take as much as they want, only what they need. From that comes all human leadership and government, but only a pre-government form of leadership, aristocracy, solves this by ensuring that aristocrats own all the land and control all of the intellectual and social capital, so that every precious thing has a defender and none are submerged by the herd.
People are not equal. Meritocracy is an illusion because actual merit is found in abilities, which are genetic. People have abilities and moral character, and without both, are bad at any level; we expect more from those higher in the chain who make decisions about leadership, culture, social order and values. Very few are capable of doing this, probably less than one percent, because this requires not just high ability and moral character, but also an inclination to think about these things and surround oneself with them for years. The only working form of leadership is aristocracy for this reason.
Human history is measured by organizations. People like to think in terms of their own power only. They do not like to consider how little influence they have relative to that of the organization around them. But people act in organizations from hunting posses to gangs to corporations, and the structure of those organizations reflect the incentives on which people act and therefore, to what degree the organization survives and achieves its goal. The worst condition is “dark organizations,” where incentives become perverse or reward the individual acting for himself at the expense of the organization, and so an organization within the organization builds like a cancer, and eventually takes it over and destroys it for the purposes of the inner organization. Most great historical fears — Masons, Jews, Communists, Satanists — involve the fear of takeover from within, but most takeovers happen because organizations allow them and the people taking over have no idea this is what they are doing, mainly because their assumptions are invisible to them, but are conducive to ends other than those of the organization.
Inner traits matter more than outer traits. The fallacy of control and of modernity itself is that we can make people equals and then manipulate them to do the right thing, as defined from a human perspective. Power serves only to obstruct certain behaviors, and while it can reward others, it cannot instill them in the population unless they are wired for them, which occurs in degrees. Traditional societies used caste structures to place those who understood on top and to encourage others to emulate them. Even more importantly, a civilization needs to be a cooperative compact made by those who agree on its purpose, and have that purpose be not tangible, but a qualitative yet immutable intangible or “transcendental” like “the good, the beautiful and the true.” That desire for transcendentals begins with a desire to not just avoid bad, but affirmatively do good in all things, which fosters a mentality of consequentialism, or measuring actions not by human intents or purposes, but by their consequences in physical reality. With that, a study of reality — realism — emerges, and from that comes an ability to do good not just by what others think, but in long term results. It was the loss of this quest for virtue that began the downfall of Western civilization, as chronicled by Plato:
When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things. There was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war and in keeping a watch against them.
In other words, we are not striving for the right external pressures, but the right internal desires. Otherwise, we fall into desires of the body including the ego, and through that, become agents of our own destruction because those desires lead to decay.
Choice of religion is less important than “religious feeling.” Among the great religions, we find several traits in common that suggest they come from an Ur-faith that is not passed down so much as inferred by people across the ages. This is expressed as the Perennial Philosophy:
At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.
- The phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness — the world of things and animals and men and even gods — is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
- Human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.
- Man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul. It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.
- Man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.
With that in mind, we can spend less time fighting over the titles of the religions we use, and more time focusing on the knowledge of those religions, cultivating it in ourselves. This is the master key through which we can unlock any religion, and since formal belief systems tend to become confusing and arbitrary, it makes sense to cut out the middle man and reinvent a kind of “pagan” faith composed of these core beliefs alone. It can then accept the other faiths in our history as books of wisdom, and stop trying to take them literally or debunk them on the basis of their metaphorical rather than material nature.
Evil and downfall are unintentional. If you believed movies, and no one with any wisdom does, you would think that evil consists of people who desire to be evil for the sake of power. In reality, that like all things in our modern era — the era defined by individualism — is inverted: people desire power, and control, and it makes them evil. However, the wrinkle is that most of them pursued power initially from the thought of being able to do good with that power, but in the end, it was the power who used them for its own ends, because in any form other than an absolute hereditary monarchy, power must be defended through politics which requires manipulating others and gaining as much power as possible. This fits with the general human pattern of ruining things because individuals show up, want to participate, and then make the thing into something convenient for them, which in turn obligates them to it, at which point they abandon it and it falls apart. Over and over again, humans discover new things and ruin them by projecting themselves into them and then allowing their collective need to destroy them. Bill Peet understood humanity too well.
The only solution is to design daily life around goodness. The Deep Ecology mission statement describes this general approach:
Earth has entered its most precarious phase in history. We speak of threats not only to human life, but to the lives of all species of plants and animals, of the entire ecosphere in all its beauty and complexity including the natural processes that create and shape life’s diversity. It is the grave and growing threats to the health of the ecosphere that motivates our activities.
We believe that current problems are largely rooted in the following circumstances:
- The loss of traditional knowledge, values, and ethics of behavior that celebrate the intrinsic value and sacredness of the natural world and that give the preservation of Nature prime importance. Correspondingly, the assumption of human superiority to other life forms, as if we were granted royalty status over Nature; the idea that Nature is mainly here to serve human will and purpose.
- The prevailing economic and development paradigms of the modern world, which place primary importance on the values of the market, not on Nature. The conversion of Nature to commodity form, the emphasis upon economic growth as a panacea, the industrialization of all activity, from forestry to farming to fishing, even to education and culture; the rush to economic globalization, cultural homogenization, commodity accumulation, urbanization, and human alienation. All of these are fundamentally incompatible with ecological sustainability on a finite Earth.
- Technology worship and an unlimited faith in the virtues of science; the modern paradigm that technological development is inevitable, invariably good, and to be equated with progress and human destiny. From this, we are left dangerously uncritical, blind to profound problems that technology has wrought, and in a state of passivity that confounds democracy.
- Overpopulation, in both the overdeveloped and the underdeveloped worlds, placing unsustainable burdens upon biodiversity and the human condition.
As our name suggests, we are influenced by the Deep Ecology Platform, which helps guide and inform our work. We believe that values other than market values must be recognized and given importance, and that Nature provides the ultimate measure by which to judge human endeavors.
People look for grand threats and extravagant solutions, but most commonly both threat and solution are mundane events, with equally everyday solutions. Our biggest risks are that we overpopulate, degenerate, suffer excessive entropy, become unstable, or die from loss of food, environment or hygiene. The grand fears of humanity have not played out, but our failure to adequately accept that these problems are threats has been consistently and increasingly endangering to us. Our solution needs to be to incorporate the mundane into our myths and solve these everyday problems by redesigning our lives around doing good, instead of chasing phantoms.