Nationalism and nihilism

the_rainbow_nation

The modern pretense is that everyone is equal and thus if given the right instructions, like little robots they will form an orderly society. This is better, we are told, because it is transparent and there is oversight, so if one of the little equal cogs steps out of line there will be an organized institution to swat them down and restore order.

“Modern” in this context means the end-stage of a civilization before its collapse. The actual level of technology doesn’t matter, so long as it is so far superior to the levels in nearby nations that the modern nation stands out as having more comfort, convenience and wealth. What really defines modernity is that the society has achieved all of its goals, made itself powerful, and now is drowning in excess and, in that void of direction, has become neurotic and internally self-focused and self-referntial.

As an angry realist, much like the anger of the waves of an ocean storm, I assert a contrary principle: You can’t make a nation out of laws. Just like you can’t make the average person into a brain surgeon by giving them the right instructions, and just like you can’t make a generic person into a friend, you cannot “shape” or “socially engineer” a nation by taking generic cogs and stamping them with rules and laws until they behave.

One simple reason provides why this is true. Nations are not formed from outward-in, but from inward-out. Outward-in utilizes coercion to make people work together; inward-out occurs when people decide to collaborate in order that they achieve a certain result. Coercive societies tend to be subsidy societies because when the goal is to force people to work together, someone who is obedient to the overall plan is more important than someone who is talented but not obedient. This is the basis of social control: a desire by the social group to have people who do not transgress its need for unity.

The opposite of a coercive society is a collaboration. These are formed through a pre-civilization consensus where a group of people find they agree roughly on what must be done, and pledge to work together toward that end. Originally this was simple: “Let’s have civilization!” said Ogg to Thak. “We can combine our hunts, have better cave defense, and greater efficiency from shared campfires.” They moved toward civilization through mutual benefit.

Collaborations can no longer exist when a civilization becomes static and self-referential. A goal is a referent outside of the self, or something to reach for. When civilizations lose this sense of reaching-for, they cease to become inward-out and become outward-in. They have established what they wanted, and now they plan to administer it and make its margins wider, so that there’s more wealth for internal affairs. From this comes moral government, big government and ideology.

Much like in life we need a constant forward goal or we stagnate, civilizations too can stagnate. They must always have this consensus, which is the basis of collaboration, or nothing compels them to hold together. Without this internal desire to hold together, which is created by culture and heritage, it requires increasing amounts of external force to compel them to play nicely with each other. In fact, society shifts from being a productive entity to being an enforcement entity. All of its focus goes toward maintaining order, and none toward creating new directions.

This realization clashes with one of our most cherished modern pretenses, which is that of inherency. It would be most convenient for us if society were inherent, if morality were inherent, and if our co-existing were a foregone conclusion (i.e. super-inherent) that we just had to accept and enforce on each other. Co-existence is the basis of business, of government having an easy job, and of us indulging in these fantasies of social engineering whereby we are somehow improving what did not need improving.

Of all the ideas you will read on this blog, the most heretical — to right, left and Other — is that of the total rejection of inherency. All things are a choice; the desire to have a civilization is a choice, based in an idea of consequences and not some inherent morality. There is no inherent morality, because the decision to be moral is a choice also. This offends our idea, or really our hope, that we can declare these things inherent and force people to assume them. That is the position of both liberals and lowercase-conservatives.

There is no “inherent” meaning. Meaning is something we draw from the situation based on our choices, which are based on our comparison of the consequences of each possible potential action. Nothing in the universe says that we must inherently always choose life, or always choose good. Rather, it is the choice that defines us. We can do anything, but since every act has consequences and we are aware of those, sensible people tend not to choose to do an act for its own sake, but for its consequences. The choice of consequences then defines that these people are made of, and how they forged their own character. Meaning, in other words, comes from the struggle first inside and next outside to achieve order, purpose, balance and harmony.

Imagine a table with two wineglasses on it. One has wine in it and the other is filled with a mixture of wine and cyanide. It is our choice which one to pick. There is no inherent meaning to either choice, only consequences. It doesn’t matter which glass of wine the media says you should choose, or which is popular with your friends, or even which your textbook says is right. What matters is what result you intend. And who you are will be defined by the choices you make. That is what gives meaning to life.

For this writer, the choice will always be the glass of wine alone (barring some terminal disease). I just enjoy life and find it an amazing gift, probably by divine forces. What else would produce this perfection? In my experience, most of the complaints and crises we have are of our own making, through disorganization, perversity, stupidity, laziness and other forms of error such as evil.

But here’s a secret: most people will choose the poisoned wine if told to do so. They are basically negative, since they have no purpose in life since their society has no purpose. To their minds, meaning is inherent, thus if their friends or government or media says to drink the fatal wine, that’s as good as writing on the wall from an absent God. They view that meaning as inherent and that’s easier for them, because it doesn’t require them to forge in their souls the struggle to define themselves through difficult choices.

Most of these people just want an excuse to drink the poisoned wine. That lets them off the hook for consequences. Go down the path of destruction… now there are no expectations. Nothing but do-whatever-you-want. And both before civilization, and during the dying days of civilizations, do-whatever-you-want is the dominant rule. It is seen as a good thing, an inherent right, a divine commandment. And yet what it really is, is the absence of any desire to create meaning.

Right now our world is again facing the issue of nationalism. With the birth of our specific form of liberalism in the French Revolution, we needed everyone to be an equal cog and so the new liberal movement has waged war against religion, heritage, culture, values and even language. But now we are realizing that was a misstep. We need a nation formed from inward-out by culture and heritage together. You cannot make a nation out of rules, because what is created is without meaning.

16 Comments

  1. NotTheDude says:

    A lack of inherency. That is really something. I puzzle over the question of whether most humans crave order and morality (hence God or Gods etc being the source of all morality, purpose and cause), or whether most want to be free from consequence. Maybe it depends on who is in question.

    1. crow says:

      Many people take what is around them completely for granted.
      As if it all just fell from the sky, intact and complete.
      No concept, at all, of there ever having been people who put it there.
      Homes, monuments, parks, roads. Cars, televisions, stereos, computers.
      This is the idea of inherency.

      Nothing people desire just appears. It takes action to put it there.
      Thinking about things does not put things there.
      Thinking about oneself does not make one anything.
      Thought, without result, is utterly useless.
      Nothing is inherent. Certainly not what one is.

      1. As if it all just fell from the sky, intact and complete.

        Or as if they believe it to be a product of their own minds.

    2. LoreTek says:

      I think most people want both. By that I mean most people crave an order and morality that makes their natural choices free of negative consequences.

      For those of us who’s natural choices have positive consequences in reality’s order and morality, this makes for an uphill battle against those who wish to mold civilization so that the “I was born to party” natural choices have those same positive consequences.

      It also makes good to the good and bad to the bad (distinguishing between what is good and what is bad being categorical and based on consequences) an easy choice for the former.

      In the latter, distinction is a relativistic opinion where good and bad are made inherent and hypothetical making it the impossible choice. Ie in the latter any choice can be looked at as good if “you think about it in the right terms”, so giving good to the good and bad to the bad becomes increasingly impossible – and you end up giving good to everyone “equally”.

      The latter always ends when the good “stuff”, usually money, to give runs out and the followers give bad to the good (usually by killing them all because they blame them for the shortage) and the civilization drops into anarchy and the “strong” can finally kill anyone who has what they want, and most of them are killed as well. The land has then reverted back into natural law until someone again forms a band to create a new civilization based on cooperation. Enter the next cycle.

  2. LoreTek says:

    Does this assume that we know which one has cyanide in it?

    What if which glass of wine had cyanide was not know?

    Wouldn’t that make each glass have an inherent meaning. Ie one means you die, and the other means you live?

    I’m having fun thinking of the different scenarios you can draw from this – as well as the ones if they are know.

    Like after the first person goes, a realist would know, but how many people would continue to say that they have inherent meaning.

    I think the “modern” society wants to continue to tell you that the choice is double blind and that we cannot know the consequences of each choice. Or that history cannot teach us anything / modernity does not repeat itself.

    I’ll have to think about this more, I may be missing something, but I really like the overall analogy between cyanide and killing the consequences of your choices.

    1. What if which glass of wine had cyanide was not know?

      Then I’ll have the orange juice?

  3. 1349 says:

    inward-out occurs when people decide to collaborate in order that they achieve a certain result.

    Then you can’t form a nation if you have lots of people?
    A mass of people cannot decide, physically. It’s its leaders who generates goals and ideas and elaborates methods. Leaders are few, thus all they would do would be external for the majority.
    We must go back to the pre-civilization level, then, where we had small tribes which could develop from inward-out.

    1. LoreTek says:

      Maybe the only thing your civilization (nationally) should dictate are those fundamental truths innate to all human beings, something along the lines of the commandments or pillars ect. Money set aside for civil things and nothing else. Leaving the rest to culture (states) to give meaning to.

      I agree though it is difficult to consider, 300 million people developing a culture inside-out. It can be done though, if not guided with a heavy hand, but guided by a culture with benefits given to the right attitudes and life choices. I believe the rest comes about organically.

      It’s why the founders of America were afraid of having such a big nation, some even saying the original 13 states were pressing the issue. It is also why the Constitution gives so many right’s to the states. They knew that it was essential that each be allowed its own culture – it was an attempt to model those pre levels with states representing tribes in a way. In the present, however, we made the choice to defer to the judgment of the Federal; allowing it to overrule all Culture and States Right’s, a mistake in my opinion as it leads to totalitarian tendencies out of genuine necessity.

      The dissolving of the Republic will be the final motion, to give the Federal total rule, and a sign it is time to leave. The Federal level likes Democracy, not because it give power to the people – the rallying cry – but because the mob will always choose to defer to it’s rule – take the cyanide, kill your self, we will guide your body from there.

      1. 1349 says:

        “I agree though it is difficult to consider, 300 million people developing a culture inside-out. It can be done though, if not guided with a heavy hand, but guided by a culture with benefits given to the right attitudes and life choices”

        Excuse me?
        How can culture be built under the guidance of… culture?
        You’re given a chaotic cultureless crowd of millions of people. Please tell me how you’re going to develop a culture/nation.
        I see two ways:
        a) iron hand
        b) creation of a small group of like-minded people with common goals which will – hopefully – grow into some kind of corporation; it will have to exist parallel to the state and the society at large.

        1. LoreTek says:

          You are right, this was illogical. I made a distinction in my head between Federal Culture – the guidelines – and State and smaller group culture – the actual “culture” culture.

          I should have said a culture can be maintained, given the right Federal/National culture – the system.

          To do your #2,
          A good place to start is by protecting the State’s Right to their own culture. When you have a Federal government who’s sole purpose, outside national civil construction, is protecting those State’s rights -there is at least a chance of success.

          In today’s world, State identity has almost dissolved and the masses have deferred their culture to Federal judgement. So when given a culture of culture-less, en mass: if the Federal system protects State’s rights, then their will be a chance that one of those small groups of like-minded people will take hold and create a new culture for their state and it can spread from there if its outcome is good; if they do not protect State’s Rights then that deferred opinion will be giving power to a system that destroys culture instead of one that protects the chance for it to be maintained…

          Without State’s Rights that small group is going up against a nation of culture-less people instead of just a potential State.

          A sort of Divide and Conquer strategy. People often say the wish they could start their own country and show that their model would work. The States are the hidden way of doing just that, if only they could hold on to their identity.

          I hope I’m making sense.

          1. crow says:

            Spoken like a true Confederate.
            And yes, you make perfect sense.

  4. 1349 says:

    I don’t choose at all and don’t touch any of the glasses, because i know nothing about the possible consequences; don’t even know if the glass of wine alone is a better choice on the large scale… Hmm, don’t even know the scale on which consequences should be estimated.

  5. Lord Mosher says:

    Was the Hitler’s vision of one volk, one reich, one führer an attempt to recreate an inward out society?

    1. NotTheDude says:

      I believe that he saw that as the groundwork for a strong Germany yes, hence the fondness that some still have for ‘Nazism’.

    2. Yes. However, he tried to use ideology to glue it together, and as a result his rejection of materialism became this crazy paranoid full-blown anti-Semitism that gradually swallowed up his other ideas.

      1. Lord Mosher says:

        On topic:
        This Bill Whittle video delves on the inherent nature of mankind and talks about the book “A Concept of Visions” by Thomas Sowell.
        .
        “Before we can get into the architecture, we need to figure out what kind of building materials we have at hand and for that we need to understand what mankind is made of”.
        .

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dwz_Z62e0s

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