Debunking the naturalistic fallacy


The primary goal of the Left is to make you hate yourself. When you hate yourself, and by extension hate the society that produced you, your self-esteem is savaged and you need a salve. That comes in the form of ideology which convinces you that you can become a hero by merely transferring power and wealth to the less fortunate.

Our entire society in the West is in the grip of this mythos because it provides a convenient means of overthrowing those might know better so the lower echelons are granted license to misbehave without consequences. It is no wonder they demanded guaranteed jobs so they could not be fired, casual sex so they could fornicate, and social benefits so even screwing up royalty would not endanger them.

They want to engage in typical lower-caste and third world behaviors, meaning intoxication and fornication in lieu of achieving anything, but them to do that, the hold on power by those who know better needs to be destroyed. From this comes the anti-hierarchy, individualistic nature of the Left: they do not want to be held accountable, and use “equality” to universally legitimize all behaviors so that their pointless and slowly destructive activity is beyond criticism.

To achieve this end, the Leftists have invented a series of myths about how terrible our society is. Through our choice to rise above the third-world level of “everyone do whatever they want,” we have become environmental destroyers, angry, destructive and most of all, bored and miserably self-hating like a Valium-addicted suburban housewife. In contrast, they say, the third world is a place of peace, environmental balance, love and happiness.

This Noble Savage myth exists not for the savages, but so that we feel bad about ourselves and our choice to have standards. Just relax — or chillax — and stop trying so hard, Western Man. Everything is OK; it’s all good, as the hippies say. Stop worrying about hygiene, productivity, social order and culture. Just go with the flow… be the flow. Like those Noble Savages, who are happier than you are.

Unfortunately, like all ideological myths, this one is also not very true. Over at The Spectator, Toby Young writes about the puncturing of a Leftist myth and the retribution that followed:

In her book, Dreger summarises the thought crime that turned him into such a plump target: ‘Chagnon saw and represented in the Yanomamö a somewhat shocking image of evolved “human nature” — one featuring males fighting violently over fertile females, domestic brutality, ritualised drug use and ecological indifference. Not your standard liberal image of the unjustly oppressed, naturally peaceful, environmentally gentle rainforest Indian family.’

Chagnon debunked a sacred myth: that there was something uniquely bad about the West that allowed us to gain power and wealth. Our acts, in the eyes of this myth, went against the way things were before, and so our power is ill-gotten and our wealth, theft. The innocent Indians never had those problems, so we should feel bad about being the source of the world’s destruction and to rectify it, relax our standards and live more like those Indians.

Except that to a student of history or eyes-open observer of the real world, this binary myth — with the good Indians and the evil Westerners — makes no sense. People are people, and societies operate according to their level of integrity and evolution, not some simplistic moral play. The Indians in North America were dispossessed after they attacked colonists, and similar events have happened whenever civilized cultures have contacted the uncivilized.

Much of the “oppression” we read about in history happened when adventurers encountered cannibals who endangered them, and fought back and won. We can always ask Michael Rockefeller about the dangers of cannibals, except that we cannot because he met his end at their hands despite approaching in peace without being a threat. The Noble Savage myth is often stated and always over-stated.

In addition to that, we now know that the peaceful Siberian immigrants in North America may have exterminated many species of large edible mammals. We know this is a likely possibility because these species vanished very quickly, which is a telltale of overhunting more than any other factor, and because we know these tribes hunted them in large numbers. We also know now of the inter-tribal violence not just in North America but Central and South America as well.

The naturalistic fallacy holds that humankind exists in peace and harmony with nature in its primitive state, but the credible evidence shows otherwise. Humans use nature for their own purposes. When a society becomes sufficiently evolved to have leaders who care about such things, humans are restrained from exploiting resources to death, and wildlands are conserved as little-used hunting preserves of the aristocrats.

But in its disorganized state, humanity behaves like yeast, consuming all of the resources available and then dying out or dying back, much like the villagers on Easter Island. The reason for this can be found in the underlying informational order to reality. Each individual has an incentive to exploit resources to the maximum, as Garrett Hardin once wrote in “The Tragedy of the Commons”:

The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.

As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, “What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?” This utility has one negative and one positive component.

1) The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal. Since the herdsman receives all the proceeds from the sale of the additional animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.

2) The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative utility for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1.

Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another…. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.

In the anarchic order of nature which liberals idealize, humans exist as benefit-maximizing actors in competition with others. If they or their families hunt more, they thrive more; others try to do the same. Extinction occurs not by killing every last animal, but by killing so many that the population drops below safe breeding levels and a coup de grace from disease, drought or famine carries them into the void.

We face a similar state in the world today. Under Western Hegemony, order was established and populations stabilized. With the post-colonial regime, each society is now competing with its neighbors instead of having them as fellow states under a Western empire, and as a result, each is attempting to outbreed and then defeat its neighbors. The result is a new tragedy of the commons which will consume every resource everywhere on earth if allowed to run its course, now made easier by Western technology like repeating rifles.

This state of lawlessness was created by liberal takeover which has made the West hate itself, and the Noble Savages versus hateful Westerners narrative guided that process along. As we look toward the next millennium, we should think harder about not repeating the errors of the past, especially those which we have concealed from ourselves with artful myths in the service of liberal ideology.

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