The Camera Lies

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So… which one of these is closer to reality? Fascinating, the gulf between them.

In the meantime, the article about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is both tragic and disturbing. How do such fake valuations get passed along so easily? Or is that the case?

And then there is this:

In some ways, the near-universal adoration of Holmes reflected her extraordinary comportment. In others, however, it reflected the Valley’s own narcissism. Finally, it seemed, there was a female innovator who was indeed able to personify the Valley’s vision of itself—someone who was endeavoring to make the world a better place.

The old question: did history make the person, or the person make history? She came along at the right time to inherit $4 billion from investors and valuation of her company. And yet, it seems, it was vaporware all along.

And, is it worth giving up your soul, for twenty pieces of silver?

Proxy Warfare

tschernobyl

There is a song which the Dropkick Murphys, a silly Irish beer punk band, covered called “The Green Fields of France” (originally by John McDermott). It is a good song, worth listening to:

If it makes you feel better, everyone and their dog has covered it, and it may be the most popular “statement music” about the First World War that has ever existed. Rank it right up there with All Quiet On The Western Front and “In Flanders Fields” for the type of emotional reaction most people have to that war.

(That useless, pointless, suicidal, fratricidal, misbegotten, hateful, vile war.)

But it loses the train of thought right here:

The sun now it shines on the green fields of France
There’s a warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds
There’s no gas, no barbwire, there’s no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard it’s still no man’s land
The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man
To a whole generation that were butchered and damned.

Same basic theme as “In Flanders Fields,” but with less patriotism. However, the point where it loses its train of thought is here:

The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man

Of all the lessons one could take from the First World War, this is the last one a sensible person would take.

Indifference? War is indifference. We hate wars when they go badly or, as in the case of the First World War, they utterly fail to resolve the conditions that created them. The First World War went so badly that it paused for a generation to refill the armies of Europe so they could attempt suicide again in a paroxysmal tantrum of self-hatred at the utter futility of trying to exist as modern societies.

In the nearer term, it is obvious what caused the First World War: democracy did. The First World War was a repeat of the Napoleonic Wars, in which the democracies of Europe made war on the monarchies. The monarchies defended themselves many times over that century, and by the early twentieth century, had formed unstable alliances in order to fend off the various enemies who were circling like hyenas or vultures.

But democracy screwed them. It betrayed them all, as it always does.

First, democratic societies cannot make decisions. For this reason, politicians picked unstable alliances — because they were easy, and got more approval from the idiot voters than the more complicated task of fixing the problem would — and set themselves up with suicidal “entangling alliances,” as George Washington would have called them.

Second, democracy must always make war on non-democracies because democracy is a parasitic virus. Or rather, the idea of equality is. Equality is magic and kryptonite to humans. You mention it and women coo and men head to the bar. Everyone feels good. The reason for that: they are feeling, not thinking. Whether or not they are morons, they have made themselves into morons at that moment, and the results are predictably stupid. However, those warm feelings go away if anyone anywhere anytime succeeds with some alternate method, because that provokes cause/effect thinking instead of the emotional, egotistic and defensive thinking that humans indulge in (and which we inherited wholly from our Simian forebears). For this reason, Leftists always — because they are compelled to, in order to defend their sacred illusion — make war against anyone who is not-Leftist and democracies make war against those who are not democracies. You do not have to oppose Leftism or Democracy, only fail to be them — and they are one and the same — because if you live differently from them, you are competition, and that makes monkeys angry.

This led to a horrible war with no clear purpose except some nebulous thoughts about “the war to end all wars,” implying that when democracy conquered the world — other names for this: globalism, the NWO, internationalism — all humans would live in brotherhood forever like in the lyrics to Beethoven’s 9th. You can tell that democracy had already made people morons because they accepted this crock of stupid without murdering the people who repeated it at them, but again: feelings. Women swoon. Men glow. People love illusions that make them feel happy because they can use those to shut out the actual fears, starting with death. You talk about pacifism, or everyone being included in the group, or equality — these are all the exact same concept — and you are the star of the show. People just float around you and make happy lovey gooey stupid faces at you. It’s retardation, but it will make you rich and powerful.

After the carnage was over, the people who wanted those swoony feelings back needed something to blame. They could not blame democracy, because that in turn fingers equality, and to say equality is wrong is like going up to each individual in the group and screaming “YOU’RE INFERIOR!” to them, even though that is probably correct and would help them by encouraging them to improve themselves instead of stagnating. If you can’t blame the actual cause of the war (democracy) then who do you blame?

Oh, we found a good one… get this… it’s inhumanity.

What does that mean?

You know, inhumanity. The failure to engage in those swoony feelings and to spread the happy illusion to others so we can all be harmless, neutered, oblivious, blithe happy idiots together. We can become like a single brain cell, thinking of love and peace, instead of paying attention to reality — and, hiding in the back corner of our scared monkey brains: death.

“In Flanders Fields” came up with similar nonsense:

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Here the problem is the Foe. Gotta kill them Germans, even if the real enemy here is an illusion. If we kill all the Germans, we do not have to notice that we are in the grips of illusion, and we can go back to those happy swoony feelings. (Alert readers will notice that this is classic scapegoating, seen in our society most with those who finger The Eternal Jew™ as the source of our downfall instead of blaming democracy, or blame The Rich™ instead of blaming the low mental and moral quality of most humans which is the actual cause of their poverty. Both of these are odious in themselves because they lead to murder, but that is not why they are bad; they are bad because they are moronic, and they are moronic because they scapegoat the wrong cause, which lets the actual cause — democracy and dysgenics — run free to do more of its vile destructive work).

But no one is going to identify the actual cause, which is complex and nuanced, although that is not why they refuse to identify it. Yes, there is a tendency among humans to prefer pleasant illusions to complex truths, but very few truths are actually complex! What they are is offensive to the human individual and its pretense, because if you tell a monkey that it is not equal, man, it will feel terrible and start screeching and flinging poo, even if you were just pointing out that equal=mediocre like all averages and means, and so we need to beat that standard, not adopt it as dogma. The problem is this pretense. This pretense caused democracy and leftism, and through those, caused the First World War. Plant a poppy on the grave of democracy and equality, and only then have you honored the war dead. Everything else is just monkeytime, distractions from the real problem.

How did everything get so backward, or inverted in altright lexicon? There are two issues here:

  1. Why do humans tend toward this illusion?

  2. How did it take over Western Civilization?

The answers are evil and entropy, in that order.

Evil — a suspect term because of its centralized, manipulative power — generally means the type of error that arises from selfishness or a refusal to see the obvious because of a fear for the fragility of one’s own mental state. Evil is ego-driven stupidity, in other words, because short-term solutions always create havoc and destruction to things we care about, and people who care about nothing must be boring and stupid to find themselves so fascinating.

Entropy on the other hand is the natural process by which, as options proliferate, it becomes less likely that any one will be chosen, which is said to make the pattern more “random.” That is debatable, but in human societies, entropy is the background hum of doubt that occurs when one no longer knows by rote or by immediate inference (“intuitive”) what the right thing to do is. At first, it is clear: by any means necessary, establish civilization. Once civilization has more options, people mystify themselves with questions which magnify details because the bigger aspects of the civilization question have been answered by the establishment of that civilization.

This is why all high-IQ societies seem to die out: they grow, become powerful, lose sight of their goals, and then orient themselves toward tolerance as a means of avoiding dissolution, which results in their inclusion of non-contributing dependents (parasites), fools, con men, etc. and eventual obliteration in this wave of bad genetics and sociopathic chaos.

How do they lose sight of their goals? Civilizations succumb to a lack of awareness because they use a type of proxy warfare as a means of coordinating their citizens. The simplest example of this is ideology; when not enough people understand the goal of civilization, “smart” and “clever” people then distill it down to a few emotional and symbolic principles. This allows all of the people who do not understand the concept to act as if they understand the concept, at least until the meaning of those principles is hijacked, corrupted, altered, or eroded by entropy.

Proxy warfare exists, as Fred Nietzsche told us, in the terms “good” and “evil.” Yes, we all know what they mean, but they are a lazy shorthand that uses categorical logic instead of looking at what actually makes an event good or evil, which is the consequences in reality that it creates. By relying on these categorical terms, we shift the focus from consequences to the categories, and then our logical thinking becomes reversed or inverted because we see the category as the cause of its members, not the other way around.

Another form of proxy warfare can be found in the scene-policing of various political genres. Are you a true anarchist? Are you conservative enough? Even the alt right, which normally seems highly realist, has taken to scene policing by enforcing its borders through symbolic, highly visual issues. This weakens the alt right as focus moves away from the question of the issues, i.e. the goal, and is transferred instead to appearance, much as democracy always does.

One thing from “Green Fields of France” is for certain. Humans make the same mistakes over and over again because they cannot overcome the pathology of desire. This inverts their big brains by creating a kind of “tunnel vision” where the human fixates on one aspect of reality, and uses it to explain the rest because it is what they desire and they are unaware of how their individual perspective is not the “whole” perspective of a situation. The only way to get that whole perspective is to analyze structure and pattern, and most cannot do that. Thus, as the song says:

The killing and the dying were all done in vain
For young Willie McBride it all happened again,
And again and again and again and again

Reading Literature Will Make You A Conservative

Despite the sheer weight of hippie-fash in academia, especially the liberals arts, the roots of the liberal arts are based on an idea: to study human history through the unbroken line of ideas, bypassing details and material methods in favor of understanding concepts and spirit. It is a study of ourselves through our interaction with our world.

Currently, the great fad is to bang the tin drum of STEM, but mostly this is an offshoot of the latest Great Hope which is that somehow the dying internet economy will support us. Alas, no: cell phones are selling less, as are tablets and apps, and ad revenue from online sources continues to fall. The internet has become daytime television but with less power of influence because it is an interactivity product, not a message. As it falls, the STEM fetishism will as well.

But a liberal arts education has much to offer. First of all, it is a study of stories: how characters faced a problem, took different approaches, and what the result of each one was. This consequentialist approach shows the basic method of conservatism, which is to look at past activity and see what produced golden excellence, and what merely made mediocrity.

Further, the liberal arts is a study of history as a progress of ideas, not random events of a purely material cause. We see in literature how single people, committed to a vision, can change history — and how always the herd opposes them for rising above, and tries to tear them down.

Finally, the liberal arts — philosophy, history, literature, art — teach us to view life as more than a duty, but a change for beauty, joy and pleasure. This is the pleasure one takes from a task well done, or a hard realization after a sleepless night; it teaches us transcendence, to value achievement of mental clarity and effects on the world over sensation. In this it teaches us how to live.

Reading the great books of history as literature, including the Bible, shows us how we cannot cut and paste a small segment of a vast story and treat it as ideology. Instead, we must trace the paths through history of what people thought, what challenges they faced, the actions they took and how they worked out. Through this, literature will make us all conservatives, if we open our minds to its meaning.

Eulogy

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Most of us focus too much on what we think, and not enough on how we measure what we think.

The children of past read history more than we do today, and read more autobiographical sketches of the great men and women of history.

This contributed to a different view of individuality, more like what one would find when composing a eulogy. Individual lives distilled down to ten minutes of a speech become less a question of sensation, and more of realization and achievement.

When you summarize a life at a funeral, you look not at their everyday experience, but at what they believed in enough to struggle for, and how they made it real. This shows a view of human life that is both unique and feared.

The people who will inherit the future are those who think of every day in terms of their eulogies. How to make greatness out of the mundane. How to find something worth struggling for, and to act like a warrior on its behalf.

Our modern time is the anti-eulogy. Death is offensive, and scares people. So we think in terms of sensation, not struggle and achievement. In doing so, we have lost the sense of what a eulogy bestows: achievement.

Standing over the dead, struggling with emotion and yet a sense that the funeral must go on, we deliver orations that reveal the inner core of a person. What was worth fighting for; what was worth dying for.

This is the only sensible view of human life. It shows us what gave meaning to individual existences, and how the moral character of the person involved allowed them to respond.

At a certain point, everything else is chatter. Obstacles occurred — so what? — they always do. But in the end, we remember people for what they did. Not what they ate, chatted, or bought; what they overcame and how they made their ideals into reality.

Forgetting this level of analysis has made us callow and weak. We live for the now and assume our eulogies will be shopping lists. Reversing that will make us feel great again, as in the sense of significant beyond our mortal bodies.

Social Morality Versus Realist Morality, Or, Why Horror Movies Work

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We live in an age of inversion when the definitions of common terms have not only become confused, but turned on themselves, so they mean exactly the opposite of what they originally meant. One such term is morality.

As the practice of being social, and compelling others to “like” us by modifying our behavior, spread through society, it took on a will of its own as all control mechanisms tend to do. It was no longer enough that it modified bad behavior, but it began to modify merely unpopular behavior.

The problem with this is that socializing is an extension of the human ego. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, and included, so the temptation is to remove standards so that each person has a place — which means they must be immune from any (real) criticism, such as that involving inner traits like moral goodness, intellectual ability and character.

Since moral character is the most important part of any human being, it became the first target of the socializers. They redefined it from traditional morality, which emphasized doing what was right according to an order larger than humanity: nature, God or gods, and the hierarchy of human ability and character.

We might call traditional morality a form of “realist morality,” or morality based in the consequences of individual actions beyond the individual. Its replacement, social morality, emphasizes the appearances of acts to other people and how those acts influence the social commandment that all must be included.

Social morality will be familiar to you from your kindergarten class. What is important is that the teacher remain in control, and for that to happen, all conflicts must be erased so that everyone engages in the same activities and thus can be manipulated by the same incentives/punishment structure. Control is necessary because the natural sorting of people into hierarchy has been interrupted.

Social morality takes several forms:

  • Some people are starving, so we must give them money.

  • Some people are being arrested, so we must change our laws.

  • Not everyone can participate in this activity, so we must change it.

  • This knowledge makes some people uncomfortable, so it must not be mentioned.

Realist morality looks different:

  • If people are committing crimes, this damages our civilization; protecting those who are not committing crimes is most important.

  • If people are starving, we should look at what led to this starvation as contrasts those who are not starving, and suggest that behavior instead.

  • If an activity requires certain abilities for participation, then that activity is most useful when done by those with those skills.

  • If some knowledge makes some people uncomfortable, we should change the conditions that make them uncomfortable instead of editing our knowledge/history.

Alert readers may note that the second list is more complex in argument. It does not operate in the simple form “Some are not participating, therefore all must participate.” The nature of people is that they like simple answers because they are easier to understand. However, this does not make them correct.

Moral realism says that if some cannot participate, then the answer is to fix what makes them unable to participate, instead of altering the criteria for participation. Social morality employs moral relativism which demands that civilization lower its stands instead of holding people accountable for their ability to meet those standards.

You may notice that in your favorite horror movies, a conflict between characters arises: the more insane characters (MICs) struggle with the more sane characters (MSCs) for control of the human side of the situation, notably the question, “What do we do?” The MICs will seek to emote and will consequently dominate discussion; the MSCs have a tendency to give up and sulk because they realize they cannot make the group see sense.

In most films of that nature, the MICs win out at first, and then the group turns to the MSCs, at which point it becomes clear that “saving everyone” is not an option. MSCs at this point become more willing to sacrifice MICs for tactical advantage, as if recapitulating Darwin and perhaps history itself. Evolution rewards the saner, but only in the very end.

Humanity faces an evolutionary challenge of a similar nature. Every society that has existed so far has failed and collapsed to a third world state, especially the highly intelligent ones. Technology, power, wealth and military strength do not save them. There is something that all of us are doing wrong, and it is fatal.

An analysis of the changes in these societies throughout history shows that as they succeed, they become more concerned with social morality than realist morality. As this pre-dates even political changes, it suggests that the root of their failing can be found in this moral shift, and that it is the cause of their demises.

The Renewal Of The West Arises From Insurgent Realism

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We live in an age of massive inversion. All of the original values held by our civilization were deemed offensive, so they were replaced with inoffensive versions, effectively reversing the original meaning.

An example can be found in the notion of tolerance. Tolerance originally meant accepting different viewpoints, but that required us to tolerate opinions that did not flatter the ego, so it was redefined to mean accepting all people who avoid unflattering opinions.

This has been going on for centuries, millennia even. It is the fatal disease of civilization itself: as soon as a society thrives, those who are unrealistic benefit from the inventions and social order imposed by the realistic. Since the realistic reproduce at a lower rate, soon the unrealistic outnumber them and shift policy to insanity.

At that point, the insanity of groups take over. Votes and mob participation do not involve individual responsibility, allowing the Crowd to participate and then blame itself without attaching guilt to any persons in particular. Groups tend to favor what keeps the group together, and that is almost always illusion.

The insanity has begun to melt however. For the first time in ages, we are having a conversation about civilizational health: how well our society works and what its prospects are, including whether it allows people to enjoy life and therefore try to do well by it.

That in turn leads to an inversion of the inverted. The mind recognizes that all social order is more social than order, and that each definition — like an official Soviet or Newspeak label — hides its actual meaning. With that comes a realization that the traditional ways and the ways of nature were effects, not causes in themselves, with the causes being an understanding of reality itself.

In this way, realism returns. Humans naturally fear nature because with it comes the risk of being personally destroyed by a natural selection like process. As a result, they rebel against realism, and create rules designed to insulate the unrealistic from the consequences of their actions.

And yet, all of those rules turn out to be wrong because they treat cause and effect as the same. Laws for example prohibit behaviors instead of looking at why those occur. Management of people relies on enforcing uniformity, not looking at the differences between people that cause some to do good, and some bad.

With the inversion of our adulterated values, which is the “re-evaluation of all values” that Nietzsche proposed, civilization can return to its function: adaptation to nature, which is not a binary process but a spectrum. That thrusts on us the choice of what type of future we would prefer.

Europeans rose above other groups by creating a civilization in which individuals had both an intense desire to do right, and a strong motivation to bond with life and experience a transcendental appreciation of its beauty, intensity and excellence. All of that has been gradually obscured by the unrealistic, who want safety more than existential joy and purpose.

As all of the plans of the unrealistic come to fruition, as began to happen in the 1990s in earnest, we are seeing the future that unrealism makes for us: endless rules, constant tedium, and a lack of mental silence and time in which to get to know ourselves and existence.

With that, we abandon the control-oriented human schemes, and return to the subtler and more flexible designs of nature. The backlash is still in its early stages, but one might visualize it as the functional people seeking a way to separate from the inverted people. We do not need them. And we cannot make them happy.

Years of inverted living have brainwashed people into accepting what seem like the best options from what is available. But when even those lead to destruction, it is time to think outside of what is accepted, and open our frame of reference up to the eternal instead. This leads to an entirely different viewpoint, one in which the inverted are no longer necessary or desired.

At first, this backlash may appear in political forms. But in parallel, it is occurring through cultural and artistic change as well. We have reached the endpoint of inversion, and seen that it is death, and now people are thinking of life again — and are determined to escape the inverted values that put us on the path to death.

What Is The Root Of Modernity?

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As our modern age spirals down into ruin, corruption, pollution, poverty and megalomania — typical conditions in the third world — we must ask ourselves: what makes this time modern?

The crowd pleaser answer, which is the surface or first glance analysis, which therefore makes everyone feel smart for having noticed the obvious and banished the actually threatening, is “technology.”

Looking deeper, we see that technology is a non-answer. Humans have always had technology; it differs only by degree. Even more, there are other distinguishing traits of the modern time.

Without going into excessive detail, we should look at modernity as a type of civilization design, or a set of assumptions about how humans live. Its root is externality: instead of seeking inner sanity, it seeks inner death and outward similarity, so that all of us can go through life without taking on existential or moral challenges.

The heart of the modern time is the urban gated community. One pulls into the parking garage in a fancy car, gets out and goes to an apartment, never contacting others. Food, wine and drugs are delivered. Work is the only requirement. Nothing that forces us to question our purpose or strive for something higher is present.

This is why the essence of modernity is quantity over quality. Quality requires toughening, a pushing of ourselves against challenges in the moral and metaphysical realm as well as ordinary mental and physical self-discipline. That in turn belittles us, and reminds us that we are mere mortals, and that offends and angers us.

So: the revenge. We blot out all that is not purely external. This means that all aspects of our society become one-dimensional and crassly simplistic, that commerce takes over culture and daily life, and that we will be ruled by whatever idiot flatters the other idiots with a shiny, flashy new idea that explains why our problems are not our problems, and we need to be looking elsewhere.

This is how all societies go out. It is a byproduct of success: as we grow, we enable those who could not have done this on their own, and they tend to breed by an r-strategy (many kids, low investment) and thus quickly flood our society with serfs, proles, plebs. Back in the day, we kept them in check by calling them those names and limiting their prospects.

But eventually, there are too many. They have a bright, shiny “new” idea: democracy, equality or some variant thereof. Basically, suspend standards; let the mob rule. At that point, the hand is reaching for the “flush” lever, and all comes undone. That is modernity.

Eucatastrophe

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Bruce Charlton writes about a concept from Tolkien, the eucatastrophe. In this configuration, everything seems lost until the end, when a twist brings about not just a positive result, but one better than can have been imagined.

It would seem like nonsense, except that this pattern appears so often in life. Imagine early humans: the species of monkey which could not hunt like the rest, and started to rely on tools, exiled from the group. Instead a great series of civilizations arose.

At the risk of sounding slightly cheerful, let us look at a possible eucatastrophe for humanity:

AD 2016

Defying all expectations, Donald Trump is elected President of the United States. Whatever he does next matters less than the fact that his election has re-shaped a mood from liberalism to common sense realism. The United States ceases its relentless pro-Leftist propaganda worldwide, and starts looking inward.

A ripple effect of right-wing parties take root in Europe and Asia. The electorate, having seen now that any Leftism leads inevitably to something like Communism, want off of the crazy train, and they are willing to gamble on the comeback kids in the far-right. Attitudes shift.

Pitfall: The temptation here is to stop with this, and to assume that our solutions are political in nature and need only one strong step, instead of many small and unique ones guided by a handful of over-riding principles.

AD 2020

Let us leave politics. People have changed. There is a recognition that the last few thousand years have been screwups, death by a thousand cuts at a very gradual pace, and so people are changing how they live. The old values — honor, pride, race, culture, reverence, excellence, cosmicism — are back.

People begin to rediscover God. By the principle of mythic imagination, he does not “exist,” at least until people use their creative minds to see the possibility of his existence, knitting themselves into a pattern of the universe that includes both God and man. Soon His presence is felt again, and doubt disperses.

Simultaneously there is a revolution against the consumer lifestyle. With big picture goals, people no longer need to find false gods in products and salaries. A movement toward smaller cities and towns, more time off and less time at work, takes root. People find their gadgets have no souls.

Across Europe, a low self-confidence perpetrated by two sadistic and fratricidal World Wars begin to lift. People sing “Wir sind wir” on their daily walks through their towns and cities. A great exhalation occurs; relaxation and hope arrives.

Pitfall: When one starts to feel good about oneself, the usual response is to stop striving, but this enters the death-cycle of calcification. That ends the process that provides the sense of well-being.

AD 2024

There is no mass awakening. Instead, the guardians shake off their slumber. Intellectuals — those who think for the sake of thinking — are deposed not by more nerds, but by intensely practical men of infinite faith in existence who want to create the best.

Laws are torn down like unwanted advertisements, bureaucrats and politicians are ejected from jobs, media is bashed back to its rightful place as a servant. The upper fifth of the population by intelligence becomes hard, seeing not trendy grey areas but lines in the sand, and it rejects the parasitic and self-serving.

The far-right trend continues, but these parties now have a different focus. It is like an unstated agreement that the non-indigenous must go, but now they focus on making life better. Instead of many regulations, they create cultural change that rewards more time at home, more reverence, and a zeal for excellence.

As far as the non-indigenous go, the exodus is in full swing. First the benefits were cut off, then the laws against discrimination went. Soon they had no welfare and no jobs, and they were evicted. When they rioted, whole sections of the city were blocked off and fire trucks were not sent in. As they stood in the ashes, they realized they had defeated themselves.

With nothing for them there, the non-indigenous leave. The miscegenated find themselves similarly excluded, and in a huff, proclaim their hatred for the societies that birthed them and depart for happier ground in Africa and Asia. No one blinks an eye. Ancestral traditions return.

The night is again full of spirits.

AD 2028

What amazes everyone is that this revolution has occurred without murder. Former enemies, having seen the writing on the wall, shrug and give up on the ideas that they trusted to animate their lives, but which did not bring them joy. In fact, a focus on joy and reverence as balanced principles has returned to Western European civilization worldwide.

People know now that they will be rewarded for doing not just good, but right. And so, punishing thieves is common, as is resigning from a job if the company pollutes. The mega-cities evaporate as people move to smaller cities and towns. A sense of morality returns, this time as a prerequisite for tolerating someone else.

Among those who read literature and history, a discontent arises. Our gains have been so great — but now what? An interest in ancient history arises, and some even peer back into the dark early ages of humankind to see an entirely different social order, one based on hierarchy and excellence.

What were once cynically called “cultural events” become commonplace. People welcoming the new moon at midnight is a regular sight. Nature-worship returns, and large groups collaborate to remove unnecessary buildings and parking lots and plant trees again.

A massive exodus occurs out of Europe. Many if not most are discontented with this new order and hate it with all of their hearts. They move to Brazil, Singapore, and Dubai. Somehow life goes on, in fact with fewer glitches and less neurosis than before.

Pitfall: One cannot stop halfway on a path. This is only the beginning. To see it through to its end requires people of a certain understanding, but now they have the foundation for it.

AD 2040

The world has changed. History is dead; it has been replaced by an endless present, where every moment is sacred and none is the center of existence. People live for eternal things and so lose sight of time. In every town, there is silence, broken only when necessary, as people drink up this state of mind like a parched man seeks water.

Men come home to their families and experience ineffable joy. Farmers see the potential of infinity in their fields. Warriors thirst for the clash of armies. People report feeling a sense of place that they cannot articulate. As if they have come home.

Technology resumes advancing. Massive improvements are made in manufacturing and space travel. The night sky opens with potential, both within the soul and out there, in the undiscovered vastness made by the gods. People begin to dream again, to relish life, and to worship nature both red in claw and green in gentleness.

Third world peoples, having returned to their lands of origin, begin to discover what type of society works for them and stop caring about what the rest of the world thinks. The mixed-race begin to be absorbed into these populations, with outside influences vanishing into the more genetically-diverse locals.

The human retreat from cities liberates the land for a new type of arrangement: half of it goes to humans, and the rest is wilderness. People realize that more than having to do this for preservation, they must do it to keep their own dreams alive. Of a wild place, wild gods, and infinite possibility. Television stations shut down in cascades.

When they look back on the recent history of humankind, people now see a nightmare of several thousand years, culminating in the disaster of democracy. If you tell a person from this time that he is “equal,” he will punch you in the face for denying him his uniqueness and role.

Illusions collapse like dominoes. Entropy retreats to the corners of the world. People live with purpose again, and embrace the tragedies and warfare as a necessary part of life that leads to more eucatastrophes. As that is what everyone agrees has happened: it was darkest before dawn, and then the sun broke over the horizon.

It Will End With A Whimper, And Not A Bang

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Thomas Malthus dropped a meme-bomb on both Economics and Environmentalism. The damage that he inflicted infests some corners of both of these fields today. Wrong ideas can have an impact analogous to a nuclear weapon.

Abundant loud and violent stupidity gets detonated at the time the foolish ideas are adopted and the long term effects are also toxic. The idea has a half-life, so to speak, like Strontium 90. As long as the wrong idea can be attractively packaged, it will get parroted by masses until it is put to the acid test. Kevin Williamson of NRO describes just such a scenario.

In 1980, there was a famous bet between Paul Ehrlich, Malthusian par excellence and author of The Population Bomb, and Julian Simon, a fellow at the Cato Institute, regarding the prices of a handful of widely used metals (chrome, copper, nickel, tin, and tungsten). Ehrlich believed that the Earth was running out of resources, and that scarcity would send the price of these metals higher, while Simon believed that human ingenuity and the creative power of capitalism would lead to abundance, and hence to lower prices for those benchmarks. Simon was right, Ehrlich was wrong. But there is almost no price to pay for being wrong if you are wrong in the service of that which is popular….

The corrupting meme infesting both economics and environmentalism is that of The Big Catastrophe. The SHTF Moment. The big mile-marker that tells us Romulous Augustulus is about to be deposed by a some hide-wearing barbarian from the Faustian Woods. I mean, if Paul Ehrlich re-ups those futures contracts long enough, will every last one of them go into the money? It could just be that he’s gotta’ believe! If he so endeavored, he’d hardly be the only non-religionist taking a Kierkagardian Leap of Faith.

I think its more than just a lingering case of Normalcy Bias on my part to ponder another possibility here. What if several million dedicated preppers wind up the badly dissappointed laughingstocks of their neighborhood as the MREs pile up in their basements, and the Martians never seem to get around to launching that invasion? Just how well is your favorite Peak Oil Blog doing right about now? When was AGW going to doom the Earth again?

Maybe, just maybe, there is only one looming Armageddon. We have on scriptural authority that none will know the hour or the day. Given that market information blackout; I wouldn’t advise calling up your commodities brokerage of choice and writing any Armageddon calls. We can all ignore the cranks and whack-jobs because nobody has seen any of those black swans quite yet. Yet maybe that mindset puts us in even more danger.

It doesn’t have to burn out. It could fade away. The termites that eat a foundation, probably don’t wreck an entire wooden barn in just a day. Entropy can work over time. Things can degrade more slowly than anyone primed for The Big One can readily recognize the growing sarcoma. Will McIntosh posits just such a societal failure in his novel Soft Apocalypse.

What happens when resources become scarce and society starts to crumble? As the competition for resources pulls America’s previously stable society apart, the “New Normal” is a Soft Apocalypse. This is how our world ends: with a whimper instead of a bang. New social structures and tribal connections spring up across America, as the previous social structures begin to dissolve. Soft Apocalypse follows the journey across the Southeast of a tribe of formerly middle class Americans as they struggle to find a place for themselves and their children in a new, dangerous world that still carries the ghostly echoes of their previous lives.

That’s plausible, simply because the vast majority of SHTF events are obvious threats that intelligent people can recognize and head off at the pass. More insidious threats such gradual decrease in humanity’s IQ, the growing world economic deficit, and the steady decline of beauty and aesthetic pleasure in the town you live in are not all up in your grill like a bad Rap video on World Star Hip-Hop. They don’t gross us out. They don’t particularly scare anyone. Then you wake up and notice things just don’t work that well anymore.

This sense of it just not working anymore is an opportunity for proper diagnosis. Amplifying that sense of anomaly can help us awaken the sleepers. When we look for the small cracks in the foundation rather than the approaching tidal wave, we can start seeing where our lives, our society and our nation need to be fixed. All of these problems didn’t just come flying out of Voldemort’s wand. They started small. And like Cassandra of Albion – Enoch Powell, the people who warned us about them were ignored or vilified.

The realization that Doomsday isn’t on the calendar is a start. The next step is to realize that the absence of Doomsday from the calendar doesn’t render any of us immortal or immune. Then, we can put together the clues and start fixing the societal problems that are killing us all one more coffin nail or tonsil polish at a time. This becomes more possible when we rid our thought ecology of Malthusian Doomsday fantasies and remove the Modern Blindfold.

At The End Of The Day, You Must Choose Beauty Or Randomness

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All people who wish to find reality should venture toward a forest.

There, they will look out over a vista of the chaotic… and yet sensible. Everything here has a place, and these places incorporate chance, rather than assuming it does not exist.

At this point, logically, we have a choice in analyzing our perception. Either this vast abundant nature is the result of materiality itself, and randomness, or it is the presence of a Will, a force which leads not just toward life but toward Good.

Leaving aside for a moment the fact that mathematically, randomness does not exist — every effect must have a cause — we can look at this as a complex question. Something created all of this, either itself or a divine force, or both. Could a divine force choose to sleep so that it might dream something like this?

In the last hours of the day, nature is either animate or inanimate. The animate includes some sense of Will or purpose; the inanimate supposes that matter was created — and we know not the means — and just ended up this way.

And yet, there are hummingbirds and eagles in addition to sparrows. There are flowers more beautiful than what is merely required to attract bees. This is the opposite of corporate, or doing the minimum to achieve the bottom line, and more resembles the art and architecture of the past that sought to exalt life.

Here a choice must be made.

Does God exist? Or is all simply random, despite randomness not existing in nature?

We can presuppose it is all arbitrary, of course, and nothing will contradict us. One cannot prove a negative. And all of this could have occurred via a computer loop intensively cycling out of control, and yet…

And yet… it seems to have aimed for the best. For the most beautiful, good and true. That implies a will, or at least a mathematical tendency toward the good, which we cannot quantify.

The greatest in history have taken their stand. Chaos is a servant of the Will, and the Will tends toward making greatness where emptiness previously resided.

At this point, it becomes impossible to accede to atheism, and while no force pushes us inexorably toward theism, there is a lingering sense that something animates all of this.

Animate or inanimate. It distills to that question.

When one is young, and the many factors that go into decisions of this nature remain unknown, randomness seems possible. It Just Is. And yet, as time passes, and one sees how much human intentions go awry, and how nothing is random…

When night falls
she cloaks the world
in impenetrable darkness.
A chill rises
from the soil
and contaminates the air
suddenly…
life has new meaning.

We live in a world of mystery and magic, invisible to our material means.

In it, some force of unknown dimension pursues a greater level of organization, or a greater beauty.

Perhaps we call it nature, or God, or logic…

But it is there, and we are fools if we deny it.