Some of you will be familiar with Alexander Jacob’s interpretations of Richard Wagner. Where his last work, Richard Wagner: Parsifal, struck an ambient balance using Wagnerian themes to create a dreamland, his second effort Richard Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen attacks like the energetic works from Chopin, Brahms and Schubert. The piano is used as a dynamic instrument, full of rumbling crescendos and dramatic pauses, and the playing interprets this opera with as much sturm und drang as possible. The result is less of background listening that a comfortable adaptation of Wagner that could be played anywhere contemporary interpretations of those other composers are without seeming out of place, which puts Wagner in an entirely new light for those of us familiar with the operas only.
Using transcriptions by Richard Kleinmichel and Karl Klindworth, Jacob accelerates and condenses the sprawler Wagner epic into a series of fast attacks and then lengthy inter-textured melodies which are also given a more dramatic treatment. This brings forth the charging and churning spirit of Wagner in the opera Der Ring Des Nibelungen which was not as present in Parsifal, adapting to the outlook and spirit of the work more than trying for a precise, objective and utilitarian interpretation. This gives the work some idiosyncratic depth which puts the performer into an expanded role as interpreter and sometimes, even slightly, co-composer. This works around the utter impossibility of otherwise transforming a piece designed for a hundred-piece orchestra into a series of piano works clocking in at less than one-fourth the time.
Jacob does a credible job of avoiding the twin evils of bombastic pretense and modern hipsterized “interpretations” that are innovative only in their illogical, and weaves together the many themes of Wagner into a comfortingly familiar series of classical piano forms more from the Romantic period than the Modernist, translating and expanding with the ear of someone who both enjoys the original music and is familiar with a wide range of classical. Where Parsifal gently surrounded the listener with the sentiment of Wagner, this new work from Jacob brings out the spirit of the man, alternatingly aggressive and contemplative, but always building to a greater depth than meets the first glance.
Coming from a liberal society entirely in the grips of Leftist ideology, few of us understand the nature of capitalism. Most of us confuse it with “business” or “commerce,” not realizing that those are actors within capitalism, not the thing itself.
Let me simplify capitalism: economic Darwinism. Profit is regulated by income, which is a factor of costs against price of goods and services, which are in turn regulated by supply and demand. That which provides a better product, price, convenience or otherwise eliminates costs for the purchaser will rise above the rest, much like in nature the more efficient animals gradually predominate. This carries both great benefits and great risks: it allows the best to rise, but if the environment is narrowed into easy stability, it rewards the merely efficient and the result is rats, pigeons and cockroaches.
Commerce opposes capitalism because of its competitive factor. What commerce wants is — as the image above says — “keep on keepin’ on” or “keep on truckin’,” which are generally-accepted bourgeois values that serve to narrow the environment. A narrow environment makes the situation easier for all involved, as they can keep on truckin’ — keep on doing whatever they have been doing, the money will keep flowing in, and they will get fat and happy as they pay off their home notes. People tend toward entropy in this way.
People hate risk. Any time risk is taken, they are both tested as to their own abilities to understand the situation and estimate its responses, and also subject to a roll of the dice. That great new business idea may turn out to be built on a mound of toxic waste. Risk is scary. It can also, in highly social — too much, many of us would say — societies like our own, pose a greater concern which is the threat of loss of self-esteem. Who wants to be known as the guy who built the best business ever on a toxic waste dump?
Capitalism on the other hand loves risk because much like the law of supply and demand, there is a balance between risk and reward. Greater risk means greater reward. Low risk means, well, what do we pay you for anyway? Like nature, capitalism rewards the wily creature who finds a quicker or better way of getting what it needs. This has no morality in itself, like all other mathematical systems, so it implies a need for two things: quality leadership and cultural standards to guide creators of products and services away from bad things and toward improving already good things.
What complicates this is economies of scale. The more you make of something, the cheaper it gets; this also applies to technologies, which over time become easier because a library of knowledge and techniques exists. Over time, margins — the juicy slice of profit between cost and sale price — narrow. This means that volume becomes more important and that fewer companies can be active in that particular niche. This means that over time products become cheaper, which prompts companies to cut costs including sometimes quality, at the same time the market reduces to just a few forces. Like rats, companies become opportunists for small rewards and repeat that process many times, where in the early stages of the market they were like eagles, taking high risk for aggressive and daring acts of conquest.
Commerce inevitably reaches this point because it increases the number of dependents. If you wonder why large corporations seem to do such a poor job, it is this: they eliminate internal risk as they get larger because of the difficulty of replacing key personnel, the greater power to fail given each of those people, and the need for redundancy. As products get cheaper and the market concentrates, costs also increase as size of the companies involved increases, which further reduces quality. When Microsoft screws up the latest version of a product, it is probably not because they are doing it cheaper, but because it is more expensive but also coordinated over many thousands of people. Commerce self-destructs through entropy, just like any species that makes it too easy on itself turns into an adaptive generalist like rats.
What lessons could capitalism teach us here? First, that commerce is a counter-weight to competition and improvement, and second that market divisions are highly useful. When all companies are competing on the level of “worldwide,” the tendency is for them to get bigger and bigger and less efficient. When a company limits its business to, say, the Allegheny Valley, it also limits its size. However, that is counteracted by the rise of large cities, which force companies to expand in order to meet competition as the technology ripens, and also produce labor forces which encourage people to leave jobs. That forces companies to make each job simpler and more separable, like an interchangeable part, and to have redundancy. If you wonder why cubicle jobs are soul-sucking hell of tedium alternated with incompetence and panic, this is the reason.
A society composed of many widely-separated small cities is more efficient in this way than having huge cities. Each one maintains its own industry, the labor market is relatively stable, and the need for growth is removed. This allows companies to continue to have relatively high margins and avoid completing the death-cycle of expanding too fast. It also means that each worker has a job with wider variety and more responsibility, thus more power to exercise choice, which makes jobs inherently less miserable. Coincidentally, this model proves better for the environment as it requires less transportation, keeps population from growing with commerce, and enables higher competition to improve the abilities of that population.
Commerce cannot stop itself from pursuing entropy because commerce is composed of individuals who want to maximize their own profit. Without good leaders and strong culture, it will drive itself into low-margin status and then find ways to broaden the audience for its product, which always means dumbing it down or finding a more prurient, ironic or trendy interest. All of those things are blight to societies and individuals. Left alone, commerce will create the overpopulation conditions of yeast left in sugar, where the number of individuals expands with supply of food until it is all consumed and they must eat each other (when you see yuppies, this process is underway).
Some businesses bring great benefit from their expanded state. Wal-mart, for example, has made low cost products available to many people who previously had no access. National car manufacturers are probably more efficient and accountable than Joe’s East Texas Motors. Most of these large businesses self-destruct however from failure of leadership. They become known sources of profit and attract people who use these businesses for the person’s own needs at the expense of the business and society, a process known as externalizing risk. Then the business begins to fail and eventually becomes a source of dwindling but constant cash while its previous customers, who keep buying whatever worked for them, fail to receive the information that they are now buying lower-quality products.
A good leader can restart a dying corporation or keep a growing one from expanding faster than its likely food supply. Like eagles, good businesses are hard on themselves, and do not take on more people than they need. They also pursue difficult food sources, which means keeping technology advancing rather than stagnating, instead of becoming indiscriminate. Good leaders of this sort are opposed by commerce, which sees them as cutting out profits or as they like to call it “creating losses,” by not jumping after “opportunities” that lead to reduction in quality and bloating of the staff roll. Public opinion agrees with commerce because it wants more easy jobs where there is low risk and high reward. Commerce and public opinion oppose actual capitalism on this issue, which — by virtue of the mathematical nature of economics — sees companies trying to avoid monopoly, bloat and entropy.
Politicians exploit public opinion in this way and create rules to favor commerce over capitalism. The more rules they make, the easier it gets to keep on keepin’ on, and the harder it gets to take risks. Everyone becomes bloated and actual value declines. The politicians know this, so they tend to make their money and invest it in foreign companies who are out-performing the domestic ones. Take the money and run. The public sees quality declining and as a result of value declining, its own salaries becoming less effective at purchasing goods and services, so it demands more rules. The cycle of entropy continues.
In this way, commerce like most human ventures becomes self-destructive as it succeeds. By doing what the eagles would not, which is gaining dominance over its environment entirely and making it easy like rats eating out of dumpsters, commerce hobbles capitalism — which represents risk — and makes itself ineffectual. Entropy wins and everyone suffers, having never understood any of the principles behind capitalism which might have saved them from human self-delusion in the form of commerce, public opinion and politics.
Among all they will not —
The lone man,
Long legs relaxed, standing still,
Watching. Observing —
The traffic pass
The details of the earth and air
And that gives them pause.
The cars going past linked
As far apart as train cars
On the routes that built the West
The people beneath the clothing
The men in suits (who would be boys)
The joggers barely wrapped (like products on shelves)
The wary cops (who have seen the unstable heart of humankind)
Relentless, without judgment,
His eyes sweep them all
Whisking each piece of trash into view
Seeing the lax face of each inattentive driver
Catching the boredom, frustration and impotence
Possessing that moment from them, but sharing it
Too much, they think,
Wish government would send him a job
Hope that it has not done so already
In many faces
He reads the chimeric shimmer
Of a thought:
That some day, perhaps a truck,
Or a car with wobbly brakes
Will skid over and jump the curb
Crush him into the faded green grass
Close those eyes and end all that
This world hates a witness
Distrusts an observer
It hides behind its busy rumble
Many things that can be seen
A watcher ruins it all
The resentment submerged
As busy fingers hammer away
On the keys and levers
The vacuum of doubt
Encroaching from a place without appearance
The dark formless within
Democracy has ways of punishing those who do not conform. Unlike its cousins in tyranny, the totalitarians, democracy does not act directly but prefers an indirect approach by regulating incentive structures. Since the direction of democracy tends toward the egalitarian in all things, it rewards those who become more egalitarian than the status quo while allowing them to, as part of this process, demonize those who are less egalitarian than the status quo. This is why democratic societies always compromise and shift leftward unless explicitly rapped on the nose and pointed toward the right.
A common refrain among right-wingers is “Thanks to the internet, we can work around the solid leftist reality reprogramming of the left-leaning media.” That has been true, with the rise of independent blogs. But twenty-eight years after the internet opened up to people outside of academia and government, a fundamental change has occurred which will allow future censorship of an unprecedented scale. This censorship will not be direct, nor will it occur through government, but through popular opinion in tandem with business aversion to risk.
Despite an explosion in the number of websites over the last decade, page views are becoming more concentrated. While in 2001, the top 10 websites accounted for 31 percent of all page views in America, by 2010 the top 10 accounted for 75 percent. Google and Facebook are now the first stops for many Americans seeking news — while Internet traffic to much of the nation’s newspapers, network television and other news gathering agencies has fallen well below 50 percent of all traffic. Meanwhile, Amazon is now the first stop for almost a third of all American consumers seeking to buy anything. Talk about power.
Whenever markets become concentrated, consumers end up paying more than they otherwise would, and innovations are squelched. Sure, big platforms let creators showcase and introduce new apps, songs, books, videos and other content. But almost all of the profits go to the platforms’ owners, who have all of the bargaining power.
In other words, we are going from many sites to few, much like after a couple decades a Big Six media companies bought up all the record labels and magazines and became the sole arbiters of taste. Why is this a problem? It allows them to manipulate markets for their own benefit, but worse, it makes relatively few people accountable to public opinion, which is generally expressed through complaints alone. Those complaints inevitably involve the individual, which creates an individual-versus-behemoths narrative, which results in the behemoths retreating when the individual claims to be injured. This benefits the behemoths because it allows them to reduce traffic other than their intended message. The more they cut out, the more of their message shines through.
On the sidelines of a United Nations luncheon on Saturday, Merkel was caught on a hot mic pressing Zuckerberg about social media posts about the wave of Syrian refugees entering Germany, the publication reported.
The Facebook CEO was overheard responding that “we need to do some work” on curtailing anti-immigrant posts about the refugee crisis. “Are you working on this?” Merkel asked in English, to which Zuckerberg replied in the affirmative before the transmission was disrupted.
Ex-Communist (or maybe not so “ex”) Merkel knows the rules of the new system: government cannot intervene directly, but by indicating that it will support censorship, it can induce large providers like Facebook — and most of the people you know use Facebook regularly — into cutting out the posts. If Facebook constituted 70% of the sites that 70% of people visited 70% of the time, it could create a majority vote simply by dropping posts. And again, that benefits its business model. Consumers do not like controversy except of the fru-fru variety that Kardashians and Madonna provide. Real issues fall before tabloid issues. That means that more of the stuff Facebook wants through, like big trends and advertising, gets through.
All technology goes through a process of concentration, or reduction in variety of forms so that a few forms with multiple options can predominate, as it matures. The first cars were amazing and for the rich or at least dedicated; now, most cars are very similar in function and features and compete mostly on price, social status and perceived quality, a gap which has significantly narrowed as well. Digital technologies, which move much faster than physical technologies, accelerate the most. The internet is no longer a Wild West; people view search engines and social media as something in the background that should always function, like electricity or running water.
To put it another way: cyberwarfare models are maturing in the same way that other technologies mature. To take a more prosaic example, the evolution of cyberwarfare is a lot like the cycle e-commerce went through. There was a lot of initial excitement and investment from retailers in building separate e-commerce operations or businesses, but gradually these became not just a standard part of their operation but for many retailers the core of their business, just as cyberwarfare planning and strategy is gradually becoming a part of mainstream military planning.
This concentration means that consumers are less fascinated by these products. There is less novelty, and less perception that these things should be expensive and elite. That means that people put less attention into any single interaction, which in turn means that these companies have to increase the quantity of interactions (this quality-quantity cycle persists in all things, as a form of entropy). That in turn accelerates the need to control the Narrative in order to make the technology profitable, and this involves keeping it “safe” for ordinary consumers to avoid contact with any parts of reality they might find disturbing.
There’s that saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. When it comes to censorship, one might say that the road to thought and speech control is paved by people trying to protect other people’s feelings.
…Of course, the real and fair solution is much less politically correct but effective. It’s to stop trying to protect people’s feelings. Your feelings are your problem, not mine—and vice versa.
If the Right does not get a site or business into the upper echelon of internet content providers, it will face the same embargo on its views that persists in the mainstream media currently.
There are moments where life comes down to binary decisions. One either flees the bear, or becomes lunch; one either escapes the locked room as floodwaters rise, or becomes a floater. Sometimes, one must make decisions about continuation, such as remaining at a job, or in a marriage, or within a city. These all fit within the yes/no pattern of binary decisions. But sometimes binary decisions are forced upon us by using false categories which resemble those needed in threatening situations, but are in fact carefully constructed to force you to answer one way only.
For example, someone grabs you by the shirt and says, “The enemy is at the gates — do you stand with these fascists, or are you an anti-fascist?”
Like any good con, this works by rhythm. First there is shock; then outrage, at about the same moment the dichotomy — a binary category imposed on the data — rises in the mind. Thus the emotional surge and the realization hit at about the same time and the average person stands up and says loudly,
Of course I stand against the fascists!
…all without having an idea what a fascist is, whether an enemy is really attacking, where the gates are, whose enemy is attacking, or really anything else (but we all know that low-information voting is the hallmark of democracy). As any salesperson knows, it is important to lead the mark into the decision so that he thinks it was his idea, when in fact it was a set-up.
Politics operates by these set-ups. It creates binary categories where there are none. Yes, when a dragon is attacking, there is an actual dichotomy: attack the dragon or do something other than attack the dragon. In non-emergency situations however the options vary more widely. This is why salespeople, con men and politicians all try to shorten the time scale: “This offer ends soon!” “We must act quickly before it’s too late!” “My buddy can’t hold on to this sweet deal forever!”
In the same way, people reframe the question of race as an ongoing attack. People are assaulting our minorities, and you either agree with us that everyone is equal, or you agree with the fascists. We need action now! Whose side are you on? And so the slow-witted average person, stunned and dumbed by forty plus hours of work and shopping, leaps to the obvious conclusion, as was intended. By this method, anything but saying we are all equal in every way becomes “racism” and makes you an enemy of the State, a Stalin-Hitler-Goldstein to be smote with fury.
The term “racism” has no meaning. As used, it is too broad; as conceived, it suggests a singular purpose behind multiple reasons to make the same decision. It is like talking with the street hardened cops:
Police #1: Why did you turn down this alley?
Citizen: I wanted to check if my tire was flat.
Police #2: He wanted to check his tire, he says! I’ve heard that one before.
Police #1: We all know there’s only one reason to go down this alley. Out with it and we’ll be easy on you.
In this case, the mental terrorists behind the term “racism” want you to think there is only one reason why you might not want to accept the all-people-are-equal line. Never mind that there may be multiple reasons, including being proud of your heritage and believing it should continue. Accept us all as equal — which really is an advertising term more than anything else, implying that people are marionettes who respond knee-jerk to a “good deal” — or you are the enemy.
Our healing begins when we recognize this term is useless. There is no racism and there are no racists. There are only people who do not agree with the liberal agenda, and those who do. The former group includes some who are just angry and hateful, but we have no data suggesting they are the majority. Everything we have suggests they are the (heh heh) minority. But the left wants us to lump everyone non-leftist into the same category as the bigots. That viewpoint itself is bigotry, and needs to die.
In the modern West, our dogma has become tiresome. It insists that ancient ideas are new ones, forgetting that the Greeks discovered democracy and equality thousands of years before us, and the Hindus struggled with it even centuries before that. As written about on this site, however, democracy and equality themselves are little more than theory legitimizing the human trait toward solipsism. They are individualism justified by this theory, called ideology, that amounts to little more than advertising: it promises a better future, but avoids specifics including a timeframe or other verification of its success.
Democracy is the like the beer advertisements on television from the 1980s: attractive athletic and obviously hip young people playing volleyball on the beach, or racing motor cars, or relaxing near the hot-tub in their million-dollar homes. The images are obvious — sexual success, financial success, and social success — but the promise is never made. Only the association. “Some hip young rich people love our product,” is the claim, and as any lawyer will tell you, that one is hard to disprove. How many are required for “some”? How rich is rich? Who defines hip? Some fat old editor at a youth publication says he does, so we can rely on that, right?
Since The Enlightenment™, but gathering momentum with the French Revolution, the democracy-advocates have had the advantage of appearing as “new” ideas, which requires that people get stupid enough to forget what happened to the Greeks and Romans. “So, how did democracy work out in Athens?” is probably the most hostile small talk anyone can think of in this society. The democracy-advocates, and civil rights is just another form of democratization, have always styled themselves as young, hip, successful and most of all, iconoclastic. Hate our society? Here is a new way… a different way. It leads to new places not the same old ones.
Conveniently it also served the Iconoclastic Fallacy, which let everyone assume that because people as a group are idiots, whatever person is not doing what the group is doing must be right; the majority is always wrong, in other words. This created a convenient set-up where anyone with a minority opinion could point to the group, claim moral correctness and victimhood status, and conjure up an instant army of those who would defend against the herd. Except… the instant army were in fact the herd, and the majority was often a false construction in the form of a scapegoat plus popular approval, like “The Rich,” “The White,” The Jews™, “the banksters” and other false targets. The herd was justifying itself by purging itself of unpopular symbols, and the result was a strengthened herd.
This came to a peak in 1968. Students, emboldened by the misstep of their fathers in fighting a war for something so nebulous as “freedom” and “equality,” used those ideas as passive-aggressive weapons to dismantle the social hierarchy. In their view, this would overthrow the commercial interests that had somehow magically seized control of democracy, and usher in a new age of prosperity. In reality, by getting rid of social standards, they in effect replaced them with commercial standards, strengthening the interests of money and weakening those of individuals and culture. This created the 1970s and 1980s, in which vapid oblivion covered for the advancing takeover of our society by commerce and its lackeys in ideology. Again, this was the crowd justifying its own takeover by pretending to be revolutionary.
This leads us to the question: were there ever any legitimate revolutions? Historical analysis suggests no: revolutionaries are parasites who destroy societies, but they attempt many times before they finally get a home run streak like The Enlightenment™ through the Magna Carta and onward to the French Revolution, all likely spurred on by peasant revolts at roughly the time the Mongols were invading Europe. All of these revolutions have been false, simply commercial interests seizing power through the Crowd as frequently happens when empires die, in the name of being the opposite of what they are.
And now, we look at real rebellion — realistic opinions speaking truth to popularity, which is always power for the parasitic — and we can see how the liberal revolutions were in fact anti-revolutions, or a strengthening not of a specific group of powerful people, but of the principle of conformity for the purposes of “everyone getting along” and thus easier commerce. Witness this recent censorship hilarity from Liberalism Inc.:
A peaceful student demonstration at a Virginia high school ended with school administrators suspending 23 teens for wearing clothing emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag, which violates the school’s dress code, according to school officials, students and parents.
The students, who attend Christiansburg High School in southwestern Virginia, said they wore the controversial Confederate symbols to protest a school policy that prohibits them, which they view as a violation of their free speech. Students are barred from wearing any clothing that could “reflect adversely on persons due to race” and specifies that “clothing with Confederate flag symbols” falls in that category.
Montgomery County schools spokeswoman Brenda Drake said that half of all middle schools and high schools in the county do not allow the display of the Confederate battle flag. About 8 percent of Christiansburg High School’s 1,100 students are black and more than 80 percent are white, according to the Associated Press.
What do we, doing our best to be impartial observers, see here?
The usual justification: a kindergarten teacher wagging a critical finger and saying, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
The usual method: punish anyone who steps out of line and notices the Emperor has no new clothes after all.
The usual result: anyone with a functional brain will leave, and the idiots will look around and seeing no dissent, conclude they were right all along.
As always, democracy drifts toward endless compromise in favor of individual rights, which quickly means that society can have no meaningful hierarchy, culture, values, philosophy or direction. All that is left is the individual and, well, commerce of course. It is essential to separate this commerce from capitalism itself, which tends to obliterate such consumerist entities by enabling competition. This is social commerce, or the products which afflict people with too much time and money for the lack of direction that they have. Bored housewives, elderly camped in front of the TV, ghetto-dwellers on welfare: the psychology remains the same, a combination of victimhood, entitlement and old-fashioned haggling for more for the individual and less for everyone else.
In this case, administrators felt emboldened to make this move because they realized they were immune from criticism. America has changed, mostly through the Hart-Cellar Act, to a place where most of its people feel that racism is the biggest sin ever and all racists should be destroyed (joining other demonized groups like hackers, drug users, smokers and Satanists as media scapegoats). No one will ever experience any negative consequences for banning Confederate symbols; the historical majority does not yet realize — being dedicated to multiple goals, not a single one like an insurgent group, which always has the advantage — that the herd sees this symbol as representing the historical majority. “Whuh would they think that means me? I’m jus’ white, not Confeedyrate or nothin’. Hyuk!”
But this shows us the nature of revolutions. The idea behind a revolution is that instead of fixing the current system, you discard it and start over. This is obviously a false idea because most of what follows any deposed system is more of the same because nobody knows how else to manage a society, but the falseness is compounded by the mentality it creates. Revolutions create a mentality of the shopper, which is one-way obedience only. The products owe you; you owe them nothing. If the product is wrong, return it and find another. Do not fiddle with it, or work with it, or try to figure out why it might be good. If it is too mentally difficult, cast it aside. You are king and God alike in this choice; it is your power. This is why you want commerce in power over everything else, Comrade Citizen Customer.
We have created a model of disposability in our society. Empires are disposable; so are types of society. The only thing not disposable is the individualist consumer, who alone has the power (or they think). Anything that does not bend to their will and their control can be destroyed, executed like Russian dissidents in the gulag or French aristocrats at the guillotine. Everything is disposable for the convenience of the individual: all that does not crawl before them like obedient subjects — as they perceive products to do — must be subjugated and destroyed. Only this way will everything be safe. This is the process we call “progress.”
A little bit of analysis, or even a whole lot, pokes holes in this Narrative. If you wonder why society seems to systematically wage war against alertness, intelligence and depth, now you know: it is counter-revolutionary. If you notice failures in the Narrative, you are literally Hitler who wants to kill six billion Mexican transgender orphans. You are anti-egalitarian, Comrade Citizen Customer, by failing to ignore the problems with the Narrative. Don’t you see — it is good, and everything else, is bad. Choose a side. You are either good, and endorse our use of lying and murder to make our world ideologically good, or bad, and by resisting us you give us no choice but to destroy you.
This is how civilizations exterminate themselves. With lots of money, tons of products, mucho tolerance, and many fakes. Fake revolutions, false prophets, hollow cults and lies as foundations of their being. Then people become afraid to criticize the lies, and soon you have a whole group of people who, seeing no dissent, think they were right all along. A few brave souls speak out with honest revolutions, but they are bad, so they are destroyed. Progress continues. Until suddenly it stops, and the civilization drops from the radar of history, forgotten except as a memory.
Like obsessive lovers, those of us who live in the modern West dedicate most of our time to not noticing the imperfections while being swept up in the vision — a type of waking dream — of the life we live. We have now accepted and pushed to the background the knowledge that all of our politicians lie, everything the media does is salesmanship, and that even our neighbors tell untruths when convenient. We will do or say anything to avoid thinking that we should change course. Like a lover addicted to his vision even as it crumbles around him, we accept a world of mostly lies and nonsense in order to keep thinking we can just cruise forward to greatness.
Even more, we are intensely aware of the futility of any action. Any intelligent idea immediately creates a market for a simple excuse why that intelligent idea is not necessary. Any truthful politician, honest businessman, or even forthright member of a social group is quickly replaced by someone who will tell the necessary lie. All serves the goal: do not notice the cracks in the foundation, accept the Narrative that ours is the best of all possibilities, and keep slaving away to patch it together for one more day so this transaction can go through.
This is what the empire of the West — lands of dreamers, writers, warriors, kings, aristocrats, philosophers and theologians — has been reduced to. What did this? The belief that individual opinions, en masse, constitute a civilization, instead of the conventional wisdom that we require not just leaders, but thought-leaders like priests and artists, of the highest caliber. We are the headless mob that chases its own pipe dreams, makes its own heroes and creates its own versions of once-great things. Where our ancestors had heroes, we have celebrities; where they had aristocrats, we have entertainers; where they had social order, we have shopping.
Every few years someone else becomes a Hero of the People’s Republic for inventing something “new” enough to distract us from the yawning void. SUVs, tamagotchis, smart phones, the internet, reality television… all of these things contribute to the Narrative that the modern West is in fact the best place to live. There may be truth to it in that the rest of humanity is even more incompetent, but as the old saying goes, “You’re either heading up, or going down,” and we are clearly not heading upward. Rather, we are a mob drugged on its own self-importance by ideology, drunk on the wealth handed to it by former eras, and pretentious with its media power, but we have not noticed the one vital thread running through all of this: we are very bored.
In fact, it is that boredom — a symptom of lack of purpose or real connection to anything beyond oneself — that sends up the red flags soonest in a fallen world. People are going through the motions, with a tense mania for repetition, but are clearly not getting what they need from these activities because they repeat them again and again. Like people clicking on internet sites obsessively, searching for some enlightenment they have not found, or drunks slugging down more of the poison of preference, hoping that this intoxication will bring them the bright spaces of hope they desire.
Our people no longer expect good things from society. They treat it like an abusive uncle, as someone who must be kept at bay and satisfied with small doses of compliance as a means to maintaining some independence. We hate each other and ourselves because whenever someone does escape, another person will show up to bring them down, gaining social accolades in the process. We know that only lies succeed, and deception makes fame, so to succeed in anything is to become what we hate. No escape means no honesty.
Despite our human tendency to not acknowledge it, an iron law exists for civilizations: the more powerful they become, the more likely they are to turn self-referential and start chasing their own tails. In the Soviet Union, the tail was an official narrative from government; in the United States, it is a media concoction of pleasant lies and an illusion about what consumers want. Civilization becomes circular when it turns its goal inward, and pursues satisfying other people’s need for distraction instead of conquering the problems from which they need distracting.
The beginning of the end, for us, was democracy. It trained us to be vapid, waiting for other people to present us the question to vote on, and to be irresponsible, blaming “the voters” (as if we were not among them) for whatever outcome and scapegoating the politicians, TV preachers and advertisers who showed up to take advantage of the bonanaza of that much concentrated incompetence in any one place. The act of voting replaced our engagement with the world, so we became like bitchy consumers, always dissatisfied with the product but yet constantly coming back for more.
Now we have a world which is fallen, and every iota of its strength dedicated to denial of that fact. The taboos against racism, noticing Chinese aggression, inequality, and other social fears all originate in the crime of noticing that the West is failing. The first person to point out that the Emperor has no new clothes will be the downfall of all, so we have all become Stockholm Syndrome complicit in smashing down anyone who ventures down that path. I suggest the most useful, and most powerful, thing we can do now is to say it loud and clear: this is a dying empire and it could easily be saved by simply removing democracy.
In the West, we became weak as a society the minute we legitimized interruptions over purpose. Think about your day in this modern world: many small interruptions, subdividing every task into shorter and shorter pieces, each one less related to the others with each additional interruption, in addition to become simplified and the reason for its existence forgotten.
This is what egalitarianism does: it interrupts any clear intent with infinite small objections and exceptions because it associates people with importance of function, rather than function itself. A bureaucrat must announce himself as often as possible to show his importance; hipsters must make as much noise as possible to demonstrate their validity; everyday people must bungle, move slowly and otherwise interrupt flow in order to feel alive. Every act possible is thwarted by phone calls, advertisements, visitors, queries and paperwork; every simple task involves obtaining permission, filing forms and extensive background study to fit into the bureaucratic model. But, if we were not to do these things, they would not be accessible to all, which means both “equal” opportunity through bureaus and dumbed-down to the point where Beavis and Butthead can (but won’t) do it.
Aggression is seen as objectionable. Conflict is minimized through compromise and subsidies. Buy off the disenchanted; what do we care, it is only another hour or two in interruption. The lack of actual power means that people are always defending their power, so every staffer must show up to every meeting to maintain the illusion that they were “kept in the loop.” Every person must compete with others to be important, so the walls, screens, floors and even foreheads are covered in advertising. Each one wants to be different, so chooses ludicrous outfits and even less sensible hobbies to distinguish themselves. The Crowd reveals its face subtly, but pervasively.
In contrast, what builds good healthy people? Concentration. Dedication to task, learning it on their own and not with prompting from thousands of memorized rules. A warrior in particular treasures his concentration. It is how he goes from nothing to achieving an objective often with very little on his side. Consciousness itself is a commodity that our society does not recognize yet we need it to create anything better than mediocrity. Could it be that the war for interruptions is in fact a war against concentration, so that mediocrity is “safe” for those who fear they are less than equal? Leaders become sheep, warriors become meek, and only those with something to hide in the chaos are happy.
When looking at politics, it is important remember that cause->effect reasoning is about our only accurate guide. Every bad thing you see has a cause which is not necessarily “near” it visually or how you associate details. White suicide, for example, does not start with race, but far from it in the class warfare and egalitarianism that turned life in the West into a neurotic hell. Miserable, the people began to die out, and their leaders — probably in the midst of constant interruptions and unable to think anyway — opted to replace them with more convenient people. It is the type of distracted, neurotic and solipsistic decision-making that defines this time.
In an egalitarian time, the greatest sin is to withhold from someone else when you have more than they do.
While many people do this all the time, they carefully hide the fact. The most troubling circumstances resemble those in which I found myself yesterday.
At a convenience store, I purchased an item for my companion, and as we set out into the sun, a voice called out. “Sorry to bother you, sir, but I’m just trying to get something to eat…” called the plaintive soul.
Without hesitation, I said, “No.” He didn’t ask for an explanation — too many other marks coming out of the door, fattened on moon pies and Budweiser — but the reasoning is worth sharing.
Self-interest is the only moral course of action.
With self-interest, a direct correspondence occurs between the intent behind any action and its application. There are no proxies; the homeless-looking guy says he’s broke, but maybe not. The charities say the money goes to help people, but maybe not, and there may be secondary consequences. Those who give money are on a practical level chumps funding unknown evils in the name of the “good” whispered in their ear.
Further, Darwin winks at us. I use my money to the best of my judgment. Those who are poor at spending money wisely will end up being poor; those who are good, will rise. This benefits all of us by putting the most competent people both in charge of the money, and in a position to use it.
Next, I disagree with the idea of subsidy in any form. If I have to work, it is theft to allow others to skate by without it when they have need. I will spend my money on my family, and they will spend it on theirs. If an economic downturn comes, I want them starving so they bang on the doors of banks and investment houses and demand a fix. But do not steal from me. Karl Marx was right: time is money. When parasites show up and demand a handout, they are not just taking my money, but part of my irreplaceable life that I now have to work to pay for them, the parasitic bureaucrats who administer to them, and the businesses that crop up to take advantage of the free money handed out by the idiotic (apparently) voters.
There is only one legitimate use for collective income in society: toward things that benefit us all. We all take benefit from an opera, for example, pushing culture upward; we all benefit from roads, a military, courts and police. We do not all see any reward from charity, which takes from the successful and uses it to subsidize the unsuccessful like a crop no one wants to buy. And yet they grow. The more we give, the more of them there are.
This does not mean at all that I believe in Atomized Man, who owes no one a thing but himself. We all owe a debt to participate in society, and that is why we go to jobs and fund things like roads. The most important aspect of this however is the one no one mentions, which is supporting society itself — through labor. It takes work to maintain a culture, values, heritage, standards, customs and social order. These things do not show up on ledgers but they are more important than money. You can make it through a bad time with those, but not a rich time without, as our society is evidence daily.
One final reason exists for taking gleeful delight in self-interest: to do otherwise, to any degree, creates a victimhood mentality. If you give someone money, he must categorize it in his mind as either that he was wronged and is owed, or that he is a parasite. He will choose the former and the people handing out the money — all politeness — will do the same. This creates a mentality that spreads through society like an epidemic: first the poor feel wronged, then the middle class consider themselves victims, then the rich do. The problem is that victimhood is compensatory behavior. When someone feels wronged, they will “take it out” on other parties with the compensatory excuse and rationalization/justification that they were (actually) owed this, and did not receive it, so they are right in taking it. If you want to increase criminal mentation in your population, produce victims.
It is entertaining that our media is quick to defend various murderers and pedophiles with the excuse that they were abused when they were young. And yet, most abusers recreate their abuse trauma, so if possible, we should avoid abuse. Unfortunately for us, the perception of abuse — “I was wronged!” — functions exactly like abuse in the human mind. Handing out free subsidies is creating future abusers. It is immoral for the reasons stated above, as well as impractical, but it is downright suicidal for the reasons stated in this paragraph.
A victimhood mentality makes all of geared toward having non-goals. When they are at a job, and the stated goal is to make widgets, their actual goal becomes to do as little as possible to reclaim what was “stolen” from them. People pad bills, waste time, throw out working materials and otherwise sabotage society at large — which foots the bill through externalized costs — because they feel victimized. This quickly spreads to outright revenge, in which they would rather destroy everything everyone has than let another second go by without their “victimhood” being addressed.
Victim mentality creates a sluggish society. No one works toward task, but they also stop aspiring to anything beyond that theft of time and resources. They stop dreaming and hoping, and go into “resistance mode,” where like suicide bombers they simply hope to take down others with them when they go. They give up working toward anything and merely work against each other. Soon there is a giant mass of monkeys, each trying to rip all of the others off, with anyone who chooses to remain a decent person becoming the target of not just parasitism but outright violent crime. All of this arises from the welfare/socialist psychology.
White people got depressed and started dropping out of society at the point where it grew powerful governments. As the 1800s gave way to the 1900s, governments rose in power in replacement for monarchies and culture, and people became miserable. This occurred because government works through a victimhood Narrative which enables it to create victims, justify/rationalize the expansion of its power on their behalf, and then use that to force everyone else to obey and not notice its gross incompetence. When was the last time we had competent leadership? No one can remember, because it was not in our lifetimes, and in fact ended long before that.
Our current situation has us beset by parasites, most of whom do not intend to be predatory. They grow up in this society, get told they are victims, and then become addicted to the steady flow of benefits and welfare. On the other end, people become accustomed to easy jobs and stealing away whatever time and money they can, including by externalizing cost. Our current immigration crisis, as well as our constant class warfare, arises directly from the victimhood mentality created by our handouts because government wanted to be more powerful, and the voters approved it.
Self-interest includes that which benefits everyone, not just in the world of money and government, but things like the environment, natural species, clean air and preservation of culture and race. Without self-interest, those things are assumed to be someone else’s problem, and people work against them because they see any other costs as taking from what they are “owed.” Our society became hateful when we turned out back on these shared things for an endless cycle of finding pitiable peasants and trying to “lift them up” by giving them money, then finding out — it must be magic — that in the next generation there were more of them.
White people went into decline when we got into the government/welfare loop. Like bacteria or mosquitoes, our dependents multiply and drain us of energy. Soon good people stop caring, stop trying to get anything right, and finally stop reproducing and being moral. That is the condition white people were in by the time 1968 rolled around, like weakened patients watching helplessly as the host attaches. The parasite has sucked us dry and the only way to keep it at bay is to hold up the principle of self-interest rigorously in every area of life, all the time.
In 1981, the German pop group Kraftwerk released the album Computer World in which the song “Computer Love” featured prominently. A lonely, haunting, wistful and solitary melody pervades the song, underscoring the somewhat PTSD lyrics:
Another lonely night
Stare at the TV screen
I don’t know what to do
I need a rendezvous
They speak to the anomie, which Random House defines as “a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people,” with Greek and French origins as if tracing the path of democracy, of the modern time. People are isolated because there is no longer something shared in which we participate.
In former times, we had culture and under its wing, religion. Certain festivals marked the passage of the year, rites delineated the progress of lives, and regular events joined people together. At least there was one place where everyone met, at church, and communication was not so wordy because people shared similar points of reference, intent, and methods.
What defines the modern society is democracy, which starts — like a tear in silk — as the simple idea of one person, one vote. This expands because it needs to justify itself, both explaining how such an obviously silly idea could work, and to argue that it is good. Anyone with moderate experience knows that most people have trouble making decisions in the simpler parts of their lives, and that in groups, even smart people start to behave like a panicked flock. The mathematics of a crowd favors the ideas that transmit clearly and reflect a social safety, meaning that they offend No One, over complex ideas including those that challenge the status quo or its conventions.
Democracy justifies itself by arguing that these one-person-one-vote individuals are in fact each equally capable of making decisions. This was the basis of modern democracy which emerged from The Enlightenment™. As time goes on and it becomes clear that for many individuals, their “equal” decisions end in unequal or outright bad results, the hue and cry rises for a welfare state. Call it socialism, or socialism lite, the welfare state separates people from the consequences of their decision, much like voting in a herd bloc absolves every individual voter of accountability.
As part of this justification, all opinions must become personal. If you hold an idea, and it contradicts what someone else believes, that pokes through the curtain of justification that makes them seem equal. Like the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz, the inherent and omnipresent inequality of people must be hidden, and to reveal the Emperor’s lack of clothing is to, in their view, assault them personally. An attack on an idea is perceived as an attack on that person and, since equality works by declaring all opinions are equally valid, it is seen as an attack on the validity of that person. Since “validity” is the insincere term we use to mean socially approval, or accepted into the peer group, invalidating them by accident functions as a sort of exile, and they respond by trying to destroy the critic (and they never, ever address the validity of his points).
This leads me to some observations on blogging. I will admit that this is a field in which I can never succeed because I lack the personal flair for drama and simplification that makes a popular blogger able to project a vivid world that is nonetheless easy because it has been distilled to a few elements. People do not like bloggers for their great variety of opinions but the lack of it: popular bloggers take a complex world, boil it down to a few tangible and appealing things, and then generate personal drama that makes repetition seem novel and unique. This dramaticism carries a high cost: early bloggers like Justin Hall and Jorn Barger both went through tough times, struggling both with collapsing lives and personal instability, as a result of their time in the spotlight. Perhaps converting a personal life into a public tableau — like reality television or what a stripper does on stage — is not the best idea after all.
In my view, the problem lies in the conversion of ideas into personal events. Much as democracy makes all ideas into personal validations and thus personal attacks when contradicted, making a personal life into a public spectacle means that failure to approve of that spectacle is seen as a personal attack, when really it is a criticism of the idea suggested by that personal drama. In this way, bloggers serve the democratic agenda of removing any focus on the bigger picture and shoehorning each of us into small atomized and isolated worlds where we do not affect each other, and thus nothing is ever decided beyond the realm of the personal where it does not threaten the power structure. Democracy neuters people by convincing them to take important ideas and make them into hobbies, collages, or personal rants, which removes those ideas from the public space. This means that the Narrative can “keep on keepin’ on” and is safe from criticism, mostly because if you criticize it, millions of people who feel suddenly invalidated will turn on you like a crowd of attacking monkeys.
And yet, the counter-attack never solves the nagging doubt. Our society exists as a public Narrative which is designed to conceal reality, but details keep peeking through the façade and illuminating how little that narrative actually describes reality. When we say all people are equal, and then someone obviously more equal or radically less equal staggers across the stage, the camera averts its eye because that event has debunked the leading narrative. Similarly when someone points out that an idea is foolish, and this provokes ruffled feathers and angry counter-attacks, no one feels really complete about the issue. The bogeyman has been shouted down, the scapegoat banished, the talismans erected and the cargo cult prayers uttered, but the situation still feels unstable.
We can see this in progress with the recent train wreck between mommyblogger Elizabeth Harrell and her associated critics. She lives her life as if in a glass cube, she assures us, but she has a carefully-crafted Narrative of her own which only selectively admits the parts of her world that support her vision of herself. This became revealed when her marriage collapsed, her career took a dive and she moved to New York to marry a Mr. Nathoo and re-start herself. The positive, pro-self propaganda never stopped. Then trolls attacked, but they were attacking her as a means to attack the ideas that justified her decisions, because they saw those ideas as undermining society.
She fired back:
But since the divorce it’s turned into a different kind of trolling. It’s been far more personal. These trolls have an agenda. Just this weekend it happened again.
The general consensus among most of us bloggers is, “Ignore it. Don’t feed the trolls.” And that’s what I’ve done. This past year I’ve hit the delete button on all those “anonymous” comments coming from IP addresses in Houston (although don’t they know by now there’s no such thing as anonymity on the internet). Not only is what they say hateful, it’s misguided and misinformed, they don’t know me. They’re people operating off hearsay, a mob-bullying flying-monkey mentality, with an excessive amount of time to navel gaze, and some deep personal anger that would drive them to take the time to read the blog of someone they dislike for the simple joy of leaving jagged barbs behind their wake.
As an aside these jagged barbed comments usually contain terrible grammar. This always makes me smile.
Her response is 100% bog-standard mainstream media response to trolls, itself part of the Narrative: “Those are just dissatisfied people, losers if you will. They are angry because their life is not as refulgent with interest as yours. If they were happier, they would not post such things.”
Like all great lies this one has a grain of truth: on the internet, there are many angry people. Their lives seem to be miserable and consist of Ramen in the basement and dingy, sweaty pornography from distant shores. They will tear down anyone who they see is happy or successful, much like the crowds during the French Revolution executed aristocrats and Bolsheviks shot intellectuals over open mass graves. But it is too convenient to invalidate all of their criticism on this basis, or insist they are all the same type. Even more, no individual is uniform in behavior, so someone who is lashing out angrily in one moment may be saving orphans or designing nuclear reactors in another.
The problem here is that the streams are crossed: the idea that it is a sane lifestyle to abandon a marriage, move across the country to marry a man from a different background, religion and heritage and then self-praise about it is confused with the person who has done this. In the classic style of democracy, the personal becomes the political. That functions to make the political “off limits” to criticism.
This post does not exist to attack Elizabeth Harrell. Her struggles, and their origins in modern neurosis, will be familiar to readers here, who will be sympathetic. This is a message to the trolls: you are doing it wrong.
Attack the ideas, not the person.
An assault on the person plays into the Narrative by appearing to be a classic Simian behavior in which one monkey grows resentful of the other, and uses seemingly unrelated criticism to achieve social dominance over that other monkey. The assault also nicely fits into the backscatter of angry people furiously typing attacks on one another through the internet. It misses the point. Hit the ideas, and the point is made.
For example, our mystery troll could have typed the following:
This may seem old-fashioned, but in my experience, human nature has not changed one whit over the years. In fact, people are making the same mistakes in the same ways they did several thousand years ago, but now we have better cover-ups. Specifically people like to claim that their errors are victories, and then attack anyone who criticizes the thought process which led to the error as an attack on the person himself or herself.
It seems to me that if a marriage fails, it is because one or both people decided to make a bigger commitment to themselves than the marriage. It also seems to me that if you marry outside of your heritage, you have opted for an easier solution because you lack the confidence to find someone on your level. It also seems to me that children should not be made into reality television, personal lives should stay offline or at least separate from ideas so the person does not get touchy at criticism, and that we should be able to discuss these topics without someone being personally “offended” that I and others did not accept their bad behavior as equal and validate it with our approval.
Yes, no one will read through all that; I already said I am a failure at blogging, which apparently consists of Very. Simple. Sentences that feature a lot of huff and puff but focus on minimal concepts. I specialize in analysis, and hope to build wisdom, instead of trying to be interesting at the cost of all else, which is what most successful bloggers do. Where bloggers take complex ideas and reduce them to simple images, I pull apart simple images, reveal the complexity of the ideas behind it and then try to associate it with a number of core concepts necessary for human survival. The advantage of my approach is that it is not personal, nor does it fit within the Narrative and thus validate that narrative. While it will never be popular, is harder to read, and less spicy as a cognitive experience, it may provide a basis for understanding human civilization and how to live it.
But in a time of trolls, and when even the people counter-attacking the trolls use the same techniques as the trolls (the link is from Harrell’s post), it is important we regain basic civility. The personal is not the political; the political is the political, and if that overlaps with the personal, perhaps the personal should take advantage of that knowledge and quit hiding its head in the sand. Even more, just like it is cuck to attack a racial group when you want to attack diversity, and ultra-cuck to scapegoat an ethnic group when the real villain is liberal democracy, it is foolish to troll by attacking the person. Attack the ideas and win the debate, because not only is that the sensible behavior, but it leaves the personal-is-political types no option left but to angrily smash keyboards in return, appearing to most as merely discontented trolls and not intelligent, relevant social critics.