Individualism Means Retreat From The Soul

For years, thinkers in the West have stalked the decay that is gradually submerging what is left of our civilization. We want to get to the root, so that we can rip it out, and let the rest die as a result. This is not just efficiency, but the least amount of disruption.

Our first layer consists of seeing the front that faces us. We tend to take things at face value, and so we differentiate between Leftism, pluralism, Communism, utilitarianism, Libertarianism, social popularity, egalitarianism, diversity, feminism, liberal democracy, and pacifism.

In reality, these things are the same, with different approaches and degrees. Approaches mean the target audience, like women for feminism. Degree refers to the measurement of intensity, from mild utilitarianism through Full Communism.

Once we see that the pub conversation that is designed to flatter others and make everyone feel accepted so that they accept the speaker, we understand that all the other things are manifestation of the same desire. This allows us to see philosophies of equality for what they really are.

At that point, we peer into equality. Since we recognize that humans are fundamentally self-interested, we quickly see that equality is not about others, but about the person speaking. They want rules against seeing them as a lesser person for acting outside common sense, social norms, and common decency.

There is a little wrinkle here in that some have also figured out that they may have freedom, but they are not free of consequences, until they also have subsidies (socialism). They are not lazy; most people love to be distracted by jobs. They want no oversight, and if you are at a job with a spiked haircut and twelve-inch dong through your nose, problems occur.

Peering past that wrinkle, we see that equality is a clever way of disguising self-interest. Instead of saying, “I want this,” you say, “Everyone should have this (and let us assume that they want it)” which means that anyone who tries to stop you is injuring the group, not you, so the group “should” attack them. In theory.

This is the same mentality that you find in cults, gangs, mafias, cliques, mobs, trends, fads, manias, panics, stampedes, and herd behavior everywhere. There is safety in numbers, at least from the judgment of others, which allows you to use them.

When sheep sense a predator, they form a big circle and stay in constant motion. At first, biologists thought that this was defense behavior, but later they saw the obvious: each sheep was maneuvering to be farthest from the predator, and they were doing it using social forces, placing themselves in front of others. The predators always get one anyway.

Once we look past the false facade of equality, called Crowdism, we can see that behind it is individualism: me first, without consequences, and the rest of you pay, but you also cannot notice that this is what I am doing.

Why individualism? No one needs this approach. It appeals to both simplistic and complex minds. For the simplistic, “me” is tangible; for the complex, a brief insight into others and their motivations reveals such a total emptiness of not only altruism, but any goal other than hand-to-mouth, that it is best to pre-emptively retaliate with selfishness.

You might see this as the prisoner’s dilemma: if everyone in a group is trustworthy, then the winning strategy is to trust; if even one person is not, the victorious move is to sell the rest of the bastards out before they get you. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

You could also see it as a tragedy of the commons: society is the commons, and every person has the incentive to exploit it as much as possible so long as he thinks that others are doing the same. If not, he knows that it will always be there for him, so no need to consume it now.

For these reasons, individualism fits in with default illogical but visually sensible human behaviors like addiction, gambling, and resentment. It looks like only one more beer; that is not so bad. Your next throw may be the big win; logically, it could be. And when you see others with more than you have, you automatically detest them. This is part of human nature, and it is not jealousy so much as pleasure-seeking. You want to have that beer, win that pot, and feel good about yourself.

Underneath that, however, something else lurks in individualism. At this point, we deviate from politics and go into philosophy or perhaps religion. Each person must find some place where he belongs in the world, where he can use his abilities to make the world good in such a way that he is competent, efficacious, and indispensable.

No one wants to be the person that when the wolves come, everyone basically agrees, “we can lose that one.” Even more, people need life to have meaning of some kind. They need to know that their time is being spent on something which makes life, especially with no guarantee of afterlife, worth the pain of death. Some would say that this is why death exists.

Going a level deeper, people are afraid of the process of self-actualization that leads to self-discipline and choosing a role. I think of one guy I knew who bounced from career to career until he realized that he liked making custom wood furniture. He was good at it; it was easy, and he liked pushing to do the harder stuff, and he came out with beautiful and practical but quasi-artistic pieces that had a sense of classic aesthetics. He was happier in the woodshed, sweating and cursing the wood, pounding nails and twisting C-clamps to make his three pieces a day, than he ever was in an office. Even more, people knew him: “that’s the guy who makes those byootiful bookshelves.” He finally had a place, one that fit him and was all his, and he threw out everything he learned about web development, C++, and load balancing that day, and never looked back. However, it was a battle for him to get there, after many years of taking jobs he hated for the paycheck and title and then finding out that, at the end of the week, there was nothing for him but a six-pack and cursing at the television as some idiot bleated on about the same stuff he heard all day at work from the media sheep there.

You can put your brain on hold and do just fine in an externalized society, or one that controls you. You go to your job, you rent or buy a home, and the rest of the time is for you to waste on whatever hobbies, fetishes, aesthetics, or “entertainment” that you want. Most people go from one job to another, because keeping up with sports, gaming, macrame, and other such pursuits is job-like when you “get serious” about it. The externalized society tells you what to do and lays out a path before you.

The internal path, however, requires more work and the development of consciousness, not just of self but within self. You need to figure out who you are, what is real, and then what is important, and from that set, select what is important for someone in your position, that is with your abilities, inclinations, and existential needs. For some, being a janitor and playing guitar on the weekends is enough; others need to conquer whole bodies of knowledge, or invent their own philosophies or something (probably dickheads).

Everyone has to take this path in order to develop a soul. Contrary to what the people who use religion as a shield will tell you, your soul is only partially there when you are young, and it is created by the decisions that define you. As you learn more about yourself, you tend to realize that you need to understand reality as structure and not aesthetics alone, and this leads you to connect up certain ideas in your head about what the patterns out there mean. This leads you to be a realist, but one with a sense of purpose, and if you love life, that purpose involves making your world more beautiful, excellent, honest, balanced, harmonious, or effective.

This beauty is structural, and not aesthetic. War is not beautiful; a just war is beautiful. Cleaning a toilet is not beautiful; having made a place where people are comfortable because of cleanliness is beautiful. Beating up bad guys, shooting the insane, and sterilizing the retarded are not beautiful; making a world without criminals, crazies, perverts, and morons is beautiful. As in nature, the swoop of the eagle and the tearing of flesh is not beautiful, but the system that keeps both rabbits and eagles healthy through constant predation is beautiful. Life operates in cycles, where human minds see instants.

You can either take this internal path or deny it, which leaves you only with the external path, which not surprisingly is what most people do. Only a small percentage of any society achieves anything like self-actualization, realism, and a drive toward excellence; the rest are more like the rabbits than the eagles, simply reacting to the presence of food, safety, or a chance to copulate. The people who want to stay in the external are driven by those needs — feeding, hiding, fornicating — because despite all of their pretenses, that is all that their personalities contain.

A moronic meme floating around the internet reads, “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times.” This sounds right until you realize that it is disguised egalitarianism; those good times mysteriously convert everyone into weak people, right? No, it turns out that successful societies do a lot of things, some of which are intended and some of which are side-effects, and one of the side-effects is that they allow too many low-quality externalized people to survive, when those would have been prey in nature. Until we find a way to breed bigger eagles, we have to take over from natural selection and pare out the bad. Our ancestors did it by being nomads, which meant that each time a caravan took off, the trail boss chose the people (families, usually) to go with him. The 20% of any generation that is gunk were left behind and they formed many of the lesser societies we see around the globe.

We cannot get rid of people in that easy and compassionate way, by simply failing to “opt in” to have them now; we live in a permanent civilization. This means, no matter how much people fight it kicking and screaming, that we will need a way to opt out of people, or exile them to somewhere else. Traditionally, we have dropped them in the third world, where they disappear into those much larger populations without a trace. “Boats to Venezuela” needs to be more than a meme.

All of the modern age consists of avoidance of the internal process of self-actualization by embrace of the external and group validation; this is why Leftists are keen on justification, validation, and rationalization. They do not do things for the sake of a goal, but from a defensive mindset, warring against the need to wake up and be moral and figure themselves out. This is why Leftists are so mentally and morally disorganized; they have no idea who they are.

Society can either be geared toward self-realization or toward external validation. A self-realization society quickly separates into a hierarchy based on who finds a place and who has no place because they are mentally disorganized. An external validation society turns into a wild mob, moving from pleasure to pleasure and fear to fear, knowing nothing permanent because they require only to remain in a constant state of excitation so that they do not fall into the abyss of themselves and notice how little they care about or connect to anything.

In a self-realization society, the good are rewarded and the bad punished; this seems like an inversion of the idea of doing good until you realize that doing good to the bad makes the bad stronger, which is an evil and not a good. It is like pruning a garden: if a plant can be made healthy, you treat it well, but if it will not be healthy, you remove it so that something else takes its place. This is the zero-sum game of society; no one can occupy a place without displacing someone else, or at least, without displacing something else, namely a society with less bad. In an external validation society, everyone is rewarded regardless of good or bad, which means in practice that no one is rewarded, the good are punished, and the bad are set free to pursue as much as they can get because the bad alone realize how arbitrary and toothless the rules of society are.

The notion of self-actualization seems like an argument from psychology or religion, but it is a core part of what it is to be human. There is more to the world than meets the eye, both on physical and metaphysical levels of the same world, but to discover that, we must have organized minds. Then we must study reality instead of reacting to it or projecting ourselves upon it. Only those who do this are capable of building civilization, and in ancient times they were called the “twice-born.”

As part of a quest we should partake in where we quest for a civilization which surpasses the fatal pitfalls of the past, we must look at not just external methods, but internal motivation. The people who rule your society are either twice-born, or you are ruled by selfish, greedy fools who will destroy everything you hold dear. However, if you do not yourself undertake the path of building a soul, you will be unable to recognize the twice-born.

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