We have nothing in common

As election season winds up for a conclusion, one salient fact unrelated to the outcome can be discerned:

In America, as in Europe, we no longer have anything in common with each other.

Whenever there’s an election, equal parts of the citizenry think the others are insane, and the gulf is widening as the left gets more extreme and the right retreats farther in response.

Even in Europe, where multiple party elections ensure oddball cross-party juntas being formed as a way of neutralizing government more than anything else, the suspicion with which people trust those who voted for “the other side” is palpable.

Where we have two parties in the USA, half of the citizenry think the other half are mentally dysfunctional or liars. It doesn’t matter which side is right so much as that there is a huge chasm between the two.

It’s impassable at this point.

Liberalism and rightism are incompatible. All political parties fall more on one side than the other; despite decades of trying, no real “third political path” options have emerged. All tend more toward one side or the other.

As discussed before, in decision-making there are methods and results. Liberals idealize methods, and conservatives look at the whole process, but are most concerned with results.

This translates into a number of things. Liberals look at politics from the perspective of the individual; conservatives look at it from the perspective of society as a whole, and the design of that society.

These outlooks are incompatible but even more, so are the underlying values.

These aren’t the only divisions. Since we declared our society to be pluralistic, there is no culture or right way. There is only many cultures and values systems attempting to co-exist, which leads to a lowest common denominator.

That LCD is the basics of modern life: we all want jobs, products to buy, friends to make and sexual partners and/or life companions. Beyond that, compatibility in values vanishes. Not everyone believes in family, or conventional morality, or even the idea of there being more to life than material consumption.

Naturally, this idea doesn’t work, because for a group to work together it will have either a clear sense of shared purpose, or lots of rules and nanny-Stasi to administer them. We’ve gone the route of the latter.

There is thus a tunnel effect. With each passing year, we drift farther apart. The more we drift, the more rules and police show up to keep us in line and to invent a ‘quasi-culture’ which contains the rules for getting along and doing business.

Because the left indoctrinates citizens in its method by giving them entitlements (including socialism, eventually) people become dependent on leftism, and start to view the right as evil.

The right on the other hand see how the path we’re on will lead to doom. They haven’t yet grasped how deeply moribund it is, meaning that it includes all of our sacred cow issues from the last 100 years, not just some. But who can blame them for choosing sweet oblivion for the last few moments they can.

Perhaps another way to view this is that we are united by commonality: we all must obey the law of pluralism and liberalism. This is one thing in common, where before we had thousands, and so this one rule must become neo-totalitarian in order to survive.

Europe, for all of its bluster about its native culture, has adopted the system from the US and UK as a form of “modernization.” In many ways, it’s further along the path to doom, but its self-congratulatory exceptionalism has deceived its people as to this degree.

The result is that our nations are like apartment complexes. They are locations in which to live. When we decide that one needs identity we add a little flavoring. Tex-Mex flavored chips. Dutch-style flavored bread. European style spas.

Underneath all of our manic political activity, the ugly secret of our disconnection from each other lurks. We are using politics to try to manipulate our people back into alignment, but it doesn’t work. Like flavoring in bread, it is too easily seen through, and the generic industrial product underneath revealed.

15 Comments

  1. lisacolorado says:

    At night when I am awake I turn on the radio with the volume very low to lull me back to sleep. I heard a phrase that I think interesting: emotional enslavement.

    It’s a product of manipulation, where someone gets you to feel the way they want you to feel, so they can influence you to do what they want you to do. Some people are manipulative geniuses just naturally, while others are not even aware that it exists, only that they hate certain groups of people.

    Advertising, politics, propaganda and confusion of all kinds permeate us. I myself feel things about what I read and experience, but I know I can step out of those feelings and not let them control me.

    Memes are like little demons that have learned to survive by acting mild.

    This is the world right now. I have a personal friend who shares so many of the same values that I do, except in words she favors liberalism while I favor conservatism. Except, she is on an arc of political discovery that I was on a couple of years ago and now I think she has gotten foolish in openly advocating for someone I think is not just misguided but inimical to me. I think less of her and have started to see some of her flaws, which I never looked at before. I need to repent of my days of spouting off my political views–it looks dumb, even though I still see things the same way.

    What I need is a way to find out who is my ally and where I should spend my money and how I can let other conservatives know I am safe with their “value”-ables. Remember the age of guilds? I want to join one except I hate joining groups.

    I want it to be about the values and choices, not the jargon or the labels. Or the emotional manipulation–can we do without that?

    1. crow says:

      That’s a shocking admission.
      But I am not shocked.
      Because so many people do things like this.
      If you do not take control of your mind, someone (or something) else will.
      Radios going in the background are a leading source of craziness.
      An invisible addiction, shared by the masses.
      Lying awake, a night, is a perfect opportunity to practice the meditation that one never gets around to, during the day.
      The healthy mind is the one that is clear and quiet.
      I met an old guy, yesterday, that volunteered the most unusual of observations: he said his mind was silent, and that he had no thoughts. And that was why he could listen, and consider, and be unbiased.
      This astonished me, because nobody, but nobody, says anything like that, except my wife and I. And his face, indeed his whole body language, reflected the benefits of what he claimed. Proving it was no mere claim. He spoke the truth.

      This whole subject deserves considerable writing to do it justice.
      Keep the mind clear and uncluttered, and it becomes a sharp and ready tool, with which its intended function may be carried out.
      Problem-solving.
      Not the endless creation of more and more problems.

      1. Anonymous says:

        So, constant Facebook and TV makes people crazier than ever.

        I sometimes think I need to talk a walk in the forest to calm the mind.

        We use our surronding objects to think like Socrates uses “things” in his mnemotechninc, so we are mentally captured in the rutines of our daily lives. Nietzsche also says the reason we like the nature is because it means nothing to us.

        Maybe people are in a state of constant stress nowadays, that they can’t escape without drinking a beer. Personally I feel much more relaxed after drinking some beer. Perhaps that’s the root of the modern alchoholism, that we have dificulties returning to a natural state of mind because of all these extra impressions.

        It’s valuable to ponder, that in most of human history, a person could live a whole life and never meet more than the same twenty persons! It becomes clear, that modern life is in fact not very natural to humans at all.

        How can we find back to what’s important when we are constantly stressed with irrelevant impressions and information?

        Martin

        1. “Western man is externalizing himself in the form of gadgets.” – William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

          And then the question is: what did we externalize first?

          An exoteric religion?

          An oversocialization?

          A perception of cause-effect as mediated by the ego?

          Or something simpler: a need to sort life into positive and negative?

          It’s a worthy question.

          1. Anonymous says:

            I don’t know.

            But it’s a natural part of Homo sapiens to use tools, so the tools he uses is in a way part of him. He cannot exists without them. He’s a external tool user the same way a bird is an air flyer or a rat is a earth hole digger.

            So it’s a paradox that a person defines himself through his posessions in a pretentious way, while he on the other hand is meant to have posessions be a part of him.

            It’s a paradox about identity that one persons defines himself through being a doctor, priest or farmer—a way of life—and another defines himself through pretentious careers like diversity consultant or fashion designer.

            There is some kind of difference between a natural way of living through the external world and a pretentious way of doing it.

            1. ferret says:

              “But it’s a natural part of Homo sapiens to use tools, so the tools he uses is in a way part of him. He cannot exists without them.”

              Exactly.
              And spermatozoid is externalizing itself in the form of man’s limbs and organs. It also cannot exist without them, but the price is very high: its mobility is lost forever together with its tail.

              One day people will realize that man’s purpose is, in its turn, to reproduce computers and networks and to build a mighty Google :)

            2. I think that’s all very true. A few thoughts:

              1. Pretense is focusing on appearance and not reality, correct? This seems to be encouraged by socialization, which we could view as another type of external tool.

              2. It may be a multi-stage adaptation process. First develop tool, then learn to use it, then learn to master it, so that it doesn’t dominate us.

      2. The healthy mind is the one that is clear and quiet.

        Are you familiar with the process of “stimming”?

        An autistic child will pump his leg or twist his fingers in order to provide stimulus so that he or she can react to it, and continue staying focused on the task of being present.

        It’s a force, an external force.

        When this is not needed, the mind is still and empty, and thoughts form on their own, as if of the matter of the aether itself.

    2. It’s a product of manipulation, where someone gets you to feel the way they want you to feel, so they can influence you to do what they want you to do.

      Sounds like Nietzsche’s vision of social morality and guilt, or a great way to form a combination lynch mob, hive-mind and witch hunt that can then be used to implement a parasitic political ideology.

      1. Lisa Colorado says:

        Wow, what if that ever happened?

        1. Lisa Colorado says:

          joshing

    3. Lisa Colorado says:

      Yeah but it’s also the only way to catch Coast to Coast AM because I have too much other stuff during the day to get it on I Heart Radio…

    4. I heard a phrase that I think interesting: emotional enslavement.

      This neatly describes our relationship to the screaming mob.

      They tell us how their feelings will be hurt unless we give them what we have, including our money, our right to be a genetically isolated population, our time and our attention.

      Then if we don’t go along with the lie, they hop around on one leg screaming about how we hurt them, and then all the useful idiots and TV dummies gather around to attack us.

      Even if it’s totally made up. They simply don’t care if it’s true or not.

      1. crow says:

        Love your stuff, EC.
        Have I met you elsewhere?
        I keep thinking I must have :)

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