Cabin fever grips the world as we hunker down for self-isolation in a pandemic. The real epidemic, in many eyes, comes in the form of the confusion that we experience, not knowing what sources to trust and what to believe.
Government, media, and academia/science seem certain that this will be the end of us all. On the other hand, most people seem to survive it, many with mild symptoms. Its full-blown form sounds like something no one wants to contract, but for those without underlying conditions is survivable.
More likely we fear that the Establishment, having seen that it is losing control of the hearts and minds of people who now seem to realize that democracy and equality are failing, wants to shut everything down and crash the economy. Starving people follow strong voices blindly.
Others suspect that China, knowing that its window of great economic opportunity has slammed shut, decided to unleash chaos on the world so that China would recover first and dominate. Epidemics run an arc, after all, so whoever gets the disease first usually recovers first.
Cynics of a New Thought persuasion — and as a Perennialist with an interest in Vedanta-inspired hermeticism, I am that — hint that perhaps humanity willed this into being with self-loathing.
We cannot cure our problems because we refuse to try any methods except egalitarian ones, which drives us in circles and into intense frustration. We created our problems, and our despair has come up with a thin-the-herd purge, simultaneously forcing us to reconsider everything.
With death staring us in the face, do we really care about GDP or having a nice home, loving family, strong culture, and a heritage in people who continue to write music as well as Beethoven and build great cathedrals that inspire awe in all that see them?
In the West, we have not done anything for some time. We fought wars until people stopped resisting egalitarianism, and then turned inward, using the poor and minorities as “pets” to show how generous and fearless we are.
Then the whole world turned into stunting neurotic attention whores on social media, since when you democratize media, you see how most people actually behave. Suddenly the decision of our ancestors to brand them serfs and send them out to pick turnips (and nothing more complicated) seems wise.
When looking at the average Instagram drama queen or Reddit fedora, most of us on the traditionalist side think simply: peasant. We realize that we are looking at someone who is without utility. That means that they need to be told what to do, or they start doing degrading and damaging stuff.
The more I think about politics, the more I come to the intersection between eugenics and morality: good to the good, and bad to the bad. If I could, I would take the couple million good people from the ethnic Western European upper half of the middle class, and fly us all to a new planet. Start over.
Maybe Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos are about to phone me on a conference call about this very idea. Since that is unlikely, the only option remaining seems to be to assert the need to have the good in power. Life is a binary: either the best oppress the rest, or the rest oppress the best.
The former offers competence, the latter incompetence. Many of us regard evil as a type of error, a primal solipsism combined with a willingness to abuse the world for the failings of the individual, and see that type of thinking as incompetence, since pushing farther would lead to brighter conclusions.
At some point, any society that wants to survive has to face the fact that life is a process of sorting. You either select for good or bad; doing neither results in bad winning out anyway because it is more fanatical and single-minded than good. Good just wants the good life; evil wants to win.
None of us believe anymore much in metaphysical good and evil. Good means that which leads to good things for our group; evil means that which destroys good things. Good must destroy evil, and evil must destroy good, like matter and antimatter.
Translate this to competence and incompetence. The competent seek to assert competence, which is baffling to the incompetent and forces them to obey something they do not understand. The incompetent want tolerance for incompetence, which creates an incompetent society, oppressing the competent.
The old sick American bourgeois middle class attitude is that there is room enough for everyone, and if you just put your head down and work hard, you can afford the good life and enjoy the advantages of your own competence. However this misses the point that the incompetent will gang up on you and take what you have. They will force you into their regime of incompetence because, by definition, it is all they know.
We twitch and squirm now because we have been dodging the question of striving for good/competence or bad/incompetence now for centuries, and the waffling has torn our societies apart through internal conflict. Democracy let us sidestep the issue for awhile, but now it has failed.
No one trusts democracy to do anything at this point except to keep the System in power, which means the bureaucrats and politicians and the industries that depend on them like media and academia, so we are helpless victims of what we are told, despite not trusting it.
It seems that systems based on individual choice devolve to systems based on fear. Fear of the coronavirus, sure, but also fear of social exclusion, inferiority, and missing out. We fear being unusual or ourselves. Mass conformity arises from a need for the System to approve of us.
How does this end? No one can imagine it. Do we get a dictator? Military coup? Revolution? Civil war? Or do we sigh, admit that we took a wrong turn, and go back to kings, caste, strong national culture, markets without usury, and a search for the natural order? We could. It is easier than it looks.
In the meantime, a few other observations…
Like Amerika, this blend either makes people love it or hate it, and most ignore it, but at its peak, it was wonderful:
Summary: strong dark Virginias with a fruity topping, this tobacco is the perfect all-day smoke.
“Royal Yacht” gets a bad rap because of its semi-aromatic fruity topping, rumored to be a mixture of Tawny Port, rum, and possibly honey. Like the one in “University Flake” or even “Erinmore Flake,” this top flavoring fades quickly to the background. The main show is the strong Virginia with less sweetness than one might expect, but instead a rich grain taste like the best oatmeal Grandma ever made. It delivers a consistent flavor and strength which makes “Royal Yacht” an excellent tobacco for hard work or even sailing while wearing an ascot. This blend belongs to legend and a very present enjoyment. One of the best.
Update: Peterson has taken over the blend, and the new version features a different topping. Less of the fruity flavor, and more of something like rum with vanilla, and perhaps less of the topping in general. As usual, tobacco manufacturers want to turn everything into something closer to “1-Q,” and in this case, it is a loss but not a significant one. The leaf is slightly darker and the strength slightly less, so maybe people will finally get their “all-day smoke” out of this one.
On the Murray’s version: This version leans more toward a traditional UK approach, more like Gawith Hoggarth. While the basic leaf mix remains the same, that classic UK mixture of dark fired and bright Virginia, heat-pressed and rubbed out, this version of “Royal Yacht” tends more toward the browner and redder side of Virginia, and has a slight bit more of the dark fired leaf. In addition, the topping instead of being that pleasing mixture of honey and port wine that blesses the STG version of Royal Yacht, contains more of the geranium and rosewater Lakeland-ish flavoring that we see in a lot of the old UK blends.
Not bad for something that has been around since 1912. Your great-grandfather probably enjoyed it. Go ahead and smoke those pipes and cigars; since you do not inhale, your lungs are not getting damaged. Cigarettes are more effective however for keeping people “working hard” at doing nothing.
From Bloomborg, an analysis of the difference between US and EU systems:
On one side, the U.S.‘s traditionally more flexible labor markets mean individual workers are expected to take the brunt. Last week’s stimulus bill included about $300 billion in cash handouts for households –- to support families until the virus clears, even if they lose their jobs in the meantime.
Meantime, in Europe, where states provide more generous unemployment benefits and it’s harder to fire staff, the focus has been on giving companies incentives to keep workers on their books, holding out for business to return to normal as soon as possible.
Europe loves socialism. America has adopted quite a bit of it. In the short term, socialism provides lots of benefits. In the long term, it makes people dependent on the system for guidance and a list of what is acceptable, which creates horrifying groupthink. It also rewards the good along with the bad, which means that the bad win because they can save energy by not trying to do the right thing. Government gets powerful, and money instead of being concentrated dissipates, so that no one has anything. Like most human wishful thinking, or us projecting onto the world what we want to be true instead of acting to make something realistic but better actual, this leads to error. Socialism is like heroin: the first one is free, there is an initial honeymoon, but then the economy never catches up and soon everyone is grinding away just to keep the System afloat. Let the power fall.
You either accept his theory or not, but natural selection means that traits persist by what breeds. This means that if you see someone with an ability, it is genetic. Maybe it was refined by practice, but without that raw talent, it does not exist. This extends to intelligence:
Like most hereditarians (those who believe it likely that genes contribute to differences in psychological traits among human populations), we do not believe there is decisive evidence about the causes of differences in cognitive ability. But we will argue that a partial genetic hypothesis is most consistent with the Darwinian research tradition.
The main difficulty here is that few understand what intelligence is; most see it as an ability to memorize facts or procedures, so that we can respond to something with knowledge. A more sensible definition sees it as the ability to work with unknowns and form an approximation of a reality model, then refine it based on new data, and to be able to determine which data is relevant. That, too, is “partially” (all but a few iotas) heritable.
You may recall the Hajnal line:
The Hajnal line is a border that links Saint Petersburg, Russia and Trieste, Italy. In 1965, John Hajnal discovered it divides Europe into two areas characterized by different levels of nuptiality. To the west of the line, marriage rates and thus fertility were comparatively low and a significant minority of women married late or remained single; to the east of the line and in the Mediterranean and select pockets of Northwestern Europe, early marriage was the norm and high fertility was countered by high mortality.
…The thing is that the ultimate source for the differences between different groups of people living at the same time in different places is biological differences between those people. That is the reason the Hajnal line pattern we see exists and has effects that continue to be felt in many different social spheres. The people outside the line are biologically different from people inside the line. The reason for this is due to differences in the historic selective pressures that operated inside the line vs. outside the line.
Western Europeans do Western European things, like set up the system of manorial feudalism, where you have a local lord, caste system, and serfs in the fields. This creates a positive upward pressure in breeding, since everyone starts out low until their ancestors have demonstrated some kind of incredible contribution, at which point they bump up a level. This means that the good win big, and everyone else has relatively little but in turn has stability and competence in leadership. Most of them would prefer to live in a radioactive dump with a 50″ television to the manorial society, but then again, that is why we call them serfs and send them out to the fields.
While we were asleep, in the stupor of pursuing equality instead of reality, the world kept going. The bad increased. Now we are surrounded by enemies and many are within the gates. Democracy is cruel this way in that at some point, one must awaken from the mental holiday and confront the reality that has grown unruly in the meantime.
For example, we know that we needed to take out China. They fought us directly in Korea and indirectly in Vietnam. They have been spying on us for decades, buying our politicians, snapping up real estate and businesses, and weaseling their way into media. Any sane society would have cut them off at the least, or destroyed them for more a practical response, but instead we just invite them in. Europe is the worst for this, since without high fashion, luxury cars, and specialized foods Europe has nothing at this point but status as a tourist destination with a really good gift shop.
We have known the same thing about the middle east. Take the couple sane Arab and Jewish countries and then drive the rest into North Africa. Make what was once several Islamic republics into a nature park. Democracy does not have the will to do this; heck, it lacks the will to maintain its infrastructure, and spend the money on gushing warm feelings from civil rights and entitlements. People are simple: they do what they think makes them look cool. Beyond that, little thought if any occurs. Most people should be in charge of nothing more complicated that what is for lunch.
In the same way, we have been nervous about the growth of angry underclasses in our society. They will have to be oppressed. The many defectives we have, from white-color sociopaths to gutter criminals ready to gut an infant for a daily fix, need not rehabilitation, but relocation. Diversity needs ending with reparations-through-repatriation.
We just blew all this stuff off so that we could keep chasing symbols. Often those lead you right over a cliff.
The world is drowning in debt, both public and private. After this coronavirus debacle, our leaders will probably come together to agree to forgive all debts, restarting our economies on the basis of production. Somehow, those of us who got conned into being “service economies” will find that our rank has diminished and our money is worth a lot less.
That should keep you for now.