Modern societies are ruled by trends. There is no goal and culture has been abolished, so all that matters is socializing, and that is driven by a drive for novelty.
What others are doing, what is new and hip, and what seems to be the new mode or fashion of behavior fascinates most people because they are fundamentally social, and for most, socializing is based around self-worship, deriving a sense of importance from having other people interact with them.
Consequently society is ruled by trends. Unlike traditional society, which aims for a consistent state of mind, modern societies aim for new methods of achieving the same thing, which is individualism.
Not surprisingly, this means that we are subject to social trends. They spring upon us from origins unknown, and we have to either affirm them or reject them without knowing much about them.
Around here in the suburbs, the trend a decade ago was the pergola, a type of wooden canopy. YouTube videos showed people growing flowering vines over them and sitting in comfortable chairs, enjoying delicious coffee.
This became a new fad because everyone wanted that moment, sitting in relaxation in a pleasant environment, with the world banished. They forgot about all that goes into that moment, like being independently wealthy enough to have a few hours every morning to do nothing but drink coffee and stare into space.
If you have the money, you can get that kind of relaxation just about anywhere by buying enough square footage. If you do not have the money, a pergola is a good symbolic substitute, a type of talisman or idol, for having the money. Instead of being wealthy enough to own your own time, you can have thirty minutes a day under your pergola pretending to be as cool as the YouTube influencers and their flowering vines.
The same was true back in the 1980s with the jacuzzi. Really rich people had these complex swimming pools where there were little heated areas with jets. Clever businessmen invented the cheap version, a fiberglass tub which heated water and blew it through electric massage jets.
Soon all the television shows with hip people had them hanging out in jacuzzis. Never mind that, in order to actually enjoy a jacuzzi, you need to be young, rich, fit, and highly social; ordinary people wanted that experience too, so they all ran out and bought the expensive cheap version of something that the rich had already discarded and moved on from.
It turns out that a jacuzzi works pretty well, if attached to a pool that you regularly clean and chlorinate. With that, your jacuzzi ends up being an incubator for something called biofilm, the slime formed of dead skin cells, bodily fluids, E. coli castoffs from skin, and whatever dirt wafts in from the air. It forms a mucosal slime mold that lives in those pipes, so when you first start up a jacuzzi, all of this really icky cloudy water comes out and you dump chlorine on it in the hopes of sterilizing the mess before you climb in.
Those jacuzzis ended up becoming a regular feature of illegal dumping sites and garage sales. Everyone bought one in 1987, and got around to selling it by the mid-1990s, at which point they were bringing in so little money that it was easier to just dump the thing. People concreted over them in their backyards, or stored them propped up against the back wall of the garage, until they finally overcame their shame at having been duped by another stupid trend, and just paid someone to haul the thing away.
At the dump, the guy manning the gate would say, “Yup, another yuppie asshole washer,” and charge you just five bucks instead of the full dump fee since, as far as he could tell, the sea of jacuzzis stretched to the sun.
Trends like these were different from earlier trends. You did the Lindy Hop in the 1930s, got a pet rock in the 1970s, or picked up something actually useful like an Atari 2600 in the early 1980s. Then trends became purely about social status, which is a sign that diversity has killed your culture and you are now living in a shopping mall where money and social popularity are the only forces of control remaining.
Where in a healthy society, trends represent something to do, a social activity you can share with friends, when culture is removed, trends and money have to take up the slack. When the WASPs were deposed in America during the 1960s, a faddish and pretentious culture of social signaling took their place.
This now even extends to politics. People repeat little catch-phrases that they make them sound witty. A few months ago the bleat-repeat was “we want equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.” Now the vocabulary has changed a little bit, but the same stupid take on a stupid idea remains.
People consider it wise to try to compromise, forgetting that doing so legitimizes the goals of your opposition, which then means that in the long term, they win. Our latest compromise-attempt seems to be arguing for limited equality:
The “equity” approach assumes that any outcome that doesn’t meet inane racial quotas is the result of bias. It is, in fact, systematically racist.
Notice that repeated word, “equity.” Liberals used to call (rightly) for equality of opportunity — to have every American treated the same way before the law. “Equity” demands equal outcomes. If some group of Americans is doing better than another, no matter the reason, government must fix it.
In other words, we are back to arguing for equality of opportunity (now renamed “equality”) so that we can argue against equality of outcome (now renamed “equity”). None of these approaches make sense.
For starters, the difference between equality and equity is imagined, and only by conservatives who are desperate for “compromise” and “bipartisanship,” despite the last seventy-five years showing us that this is a losing strategy.
Equality does not exist in nature. When a society adopts equality, it goes through several stages:
We have gone through these stages in the West, just in a milder form, but will repeat the process each time we swing to the Left. Leftism consists of one idea, egalitarianism, and so it always restarts the equality cycle by doubling down on its past failed policies.
America made itself into a modern, Soviet-style government with the 1866 civil rights law. Since that time, our fortunes have radically fallen because diversity is toxic to any society. We replaced organic culture with bureaucracy.
Bureaucrats love equality. They operate by the same principle as assembly lines: everyone comes in the front door, stands in line, gets called on, and gets their forms processed and their payments mailed, jail sentence delivered, fines assessed, or so on. This process makes bureaucrats the center of civilization, and if you remove the kings, the bureaucrats take over.
When the bureaucrats take over, you get a society fundamentally opposed to organic culture. It seeks to replace everything with the bureaucracy, which means that anything which does not come from the bureaucracy must be destroyed, including religion, heritage, family, and inner self, including intuition and personality. All must be externalized so that it can be controlled.
Externalization means on one level deference to what the social group believes, but on another, indicates the process of inversion. Bureaucracies control people by limiting what methods are acceptable, but they do this in order to manipulate thought, limiting the pool of acceptable actions to those which work for the bureaucracy.
As a simple example, societies seek to reduce fighting and self-defense so that they can process conflict through police departments, courts, and economic actions. This starts with banning open gunfights and extends to the point where even pushing someone back in an argument counts as “assault,” and eventually the bureaucrats find some special case where they can designate language itself a “hate crime” and insist that all disagreements occur only through the bureaucracy.
In the typical fascinating human pattern, this shows us a continuation of “doing what seems right” having bad long-term results. Our human tendency is to try to control reality so that it all fits within convenient patterns, but this denies the reasons why such things came about, and in doing so, disconnects us from the process of cause-effect thinking that allows us to understand reality.
Civilization does well at the start, but then fails by over-applying its methods. Humanity can control fire, kill predators, banish bad hygiene, and implement agriculture, but when we start treating ourselves like objects to be controlled, society becomes inward-focused and stops looking toward the transcendental goal of excellence.
As part of this process, it seeks to eliminate the beast within — the intuition, gut instinct, and desire for importance through excellence (thymos) — as well as any vestiges of nature, like organic culture, that remain within us outside of control. It then replaces itself with bureaucracy and dies out.
You can see this process ongoing today, as the usual idiots call for compromise:
Yet in a nation yearning for character, and with a new president committing to unity, there’s a real opening for Washington’s elected officials to do something wholly unexpected but desperately needed: “compromise.”
History teaches us that compromise is often the only way to break political gridlock. Right now, it is the only way America can dream big and go big. The only way to overcome a pandemic that refuses to relent and save small businesses that refuse to quit; to re-imagine a future where protecting a warming planet doesn’t leave American workers out in the cold; to stop the growing incivility that fuels hatred instead of harnessing hope.
The good news: We’ve done this before. In a nation forged by diversity and common interest, compromise yielded some of America’s biggest breakthroughs and boldest statements of humanity.
In compromise, we see shades of pacifism, or the desire to make avoiding conflict our goal, replacing any goal that we previously wanted to achieve. Pacifism like compromise means accepting the legitimacy of your foes, agreeing to disagree, and finding a middle point, which since you accepted their legitimacy, will always drift in their direction. It avoids a fight, but refuses to address the causes of that conflict, which causes the conflict to live on as a form of low-grade parasitism.
Pacifism belongs to the species of thought called rationalization. Instead of having a goal, including transcendental goals, we opt for choosing what we have and working with that, which perpetuates the slow and steady slide of decay. We rationalize what exists now, or argue that it was what we always wanted and the best possible outcome.
When you hear conservatives bleat-repeating “equality not equity” now, it is time to laugh. They have accepted the idea of the Left, equality, instead of that of the Right, which is order (including natural order, the divine, what is eternally right, and avoiding rationalization). In reality, equity and equality are both stages of the same thing, which is decay from having a goal to simply appeasing all parties to keep the whole sad show going on.
At this point, those of us who want Western Civilization to rebirth itself need no more compromise; we need direction. The Left and its hybrids offer no path, only shades of what is already failing. Instead, we need to assert the society that we desire, one based on order. Much of what happens at Amerika involves visualizing that society, even if it is still too early for many to see exactly how dire our need has become.