This world is designed to make you want to die

the_fall_of_empires

The path of “doing right” often leads to misery. Such is the case with societies that, as they succeed, choose to try to improve on nature through government. This creates a cycle that rewards the bad and punishes the good, resulting in a place that is horrible to live on every level but the material.

On the surface, the modern West is the best place on earth to live. We have material prosperity, rule of law and relative stability on a planet where, as usual, most of humanity has studied how to best screw up and is busy beheading each other. And yet, looking under the surface, a different vision appears.

This society is ugly and dysfunctional. Our needs are different from those of the beheaders, and this falls short. Days are spent in pointless labor that achieves nothing for anyone. Everyday annoyances are a peak because most people are paying little attention at jobs and so most details are botched. This means that people spend hours every week dealing with frustration minor issues and bureaucracy.

Unfortunately for us, the basic problem is that a dying society like ours converts sanity into insanity through the principle of relativity. Relative to what we know, we make choices and pick the best option available, but the options we actually need are off the table. Even keeping the system going, a daily struggle, is insane and yet it is the only option that appears sane.

Let us look at three areas where this world breaks down:

  1. “Normal.” To a healthy person, “normal” means a good person: good moral character, reasonable intelligence, healthy and sane. To an egalitarian society, “normal” means mediocre, because when you define all citizens to be equal you create a lower threshold and must design for that. This means that our laws, institutions and social interactions anticipate dealing with people who are low in every ability and character trait.
  2. Hubris. The Greek principle of hubris described those who acted above their natural station in the hierarchy of life. A peasant pretending to be a king, or a hero acting as if he were a god, would fit into this definition. All of our society is based on the hubristic idea that we are in control and can force things to be as we visualize them. Egalitarianism presumes that we can take mediocre people, control their thinking through education and manipulate their behavior through laws, and make them more than mediocre. We cannot.
  3. Bigotry. One form of bigotry never gets mentioned, and that is bigotry toward the smarter, stronger, more moral and more sane. It is legitimized by the egalitarian state, which acts in defense of the less capable by taking from the more capable. The result is a society that hates good people and celebrates bad ones. When its institutions fail, it always looks for some successful person to blame, instead of blaming the herd of mediocre people who — as usual — got it all wrong.

When we speak of the insanity of this time, the above is what we mean, not that iPhones are hard to use or the subway moves too fast. Sanity is destroyed and insanity encouraged. Goodness is persecuted and evil accepted. What was once normal and good has now become rare and persecuted. As a result, daily life is constant nonsense and exhausting bother for anyone with a working brain.

It is not surprising that sane people have abandoned politics, society and public institutions and instead retreat to their living rooms. They have been made irrelevant because insanity rules. Fewer of them are having children, and those that do are investing less effort in those offspring, because they recognize that as long as this society holds power, anything above the mediocre is doomed.

When most people think of “conservatives,” they think of people fighting a rearguard action against the encroachment of insanity. But insanity won. Now we need to think about dissolving our society as it is and replacing it with something that works. Anything else guarantees more of the same, time after time.

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9 Responses to “This world is designed to make you want to die”

  1. Alemo says:

    Brett,

    Longtime listener, first time caller. I love your show.

    You wrote yesterday something to the effect of, “all of our problems can be traced back to the fact that we distort reality to fit our version of the truth.” I think this is really insightful diagnosis. So what do you think about the idea that Truth must be revealed to us?

    I mean “Truth” in the sense of that which cannot be derived through proof or rationality. Our world is one in which not all are rational, and yet even the rational ones cannot agree on the “premises” of the arguments. I see in all your essays a thread, which is frustration toward postmodernism (the belief that previously revealed Truth is useless). It seems lots of people are wrestling with this same idea.

    Is this what you mean by the uselessness of democracy? What’s it going to take to admit to each other that “no one may have all the answers, but that doesn’t give you liability to shove your version down our throats (e.g., Leftist thought)?”

    It seems to me that we can’t exist in this standoff forever. Maybe polarization (which I believe is a euphemism for a drift toward civil war and secession) is the only unexplored option (no, I’m not a doomer/prepper, I’m just sick of the cognitive dissonance every morning as I wake up and face the world).

    You’re right about our society. I don’t care shit about how comfortable the gadgets make me, how many inside jokes I have with friends, how much I’ve been given by a spouse, how many sunsets I witness, how good of a job my parents did, or how many times I’ve taught English in Cambodia as a globetrotting Millennial. We are living a lie in order to keep the peace. I want a nation, a family, and a neighborhood where we can agree on the premises, agree on the Truth. But how?

    • Johann Theron says:

      Good one. IMO and in addition to what Brett might say, we sort on emotions. The Vikings were known for their “Rage” if they were here today this shit would have stopped long ago.

    • Cryptogenetic says:

      Heidegger defined truth as aletheia, or disclosure. You are “in” the truth. I take this to mean, contra post-modernists, that you just are in a feedback loop with something that can only be called reality. You get pretty much what you deserve.

  2. MeToo says:

    This is another in your long line of good essays. You say,

    ““Normal.” To a healthy person, “normal” means a good person: good moral character, reasonable intelligence, healthy and sane.”

    The above statement is not quite complete.

    A healthy person is one who understands that the universe (I like “God”, but not everyone likes the term)wants us not only to be good, but to be smart. Being good means the things you list. (“Reasonable intelligence” and “sanity” won’t cut it.)

    Being smart means knowing when to redefine the popularly-understood “good moral character” you mentioned. We were not designed to be saints. How many children have the saints left behind?

    I’d say that we are all an admixture of good and smart. If you are only good, you and your people will deservedly die out; if you are only smart, you will rightly become hated & a scapegoat for the fall of the society you reside in.

    Having the right combo of good & smart is like walking on the edge of a razor.

    JMO

  3. peter connor says:

    When human society is operating under Malthusian conditions (which is 99.9% of the time), many dysfunctional ideas of modern civilization simply aren’t adopted. Groups of the “other” are rightly regarded as a threat, to be kept at a distance if not annihilated. The notion of importing or subsidizing the “other” is not viable unless they (generally young women) can be usefully integrated into your group…..Wealth seems to change all this by enabling “noble” behaviors that in time will undermine and destroy society….When we return to something approaching a subsistence culture, the
    present will be thought so bizarre that school kids won’t believe it ever existed.

    • Wealth enables the lower to aspire to be higher, which is hubris of an unrecognized form, causing the class warfare that makes Leftism a way to succeed through mass popularity. RIP society at that point.

  4. Dark Axe says:

    USA needs to cut welfare to encourage people to work .
    Also end the war on drugs.
    The savings from those failed institutions should be used to build numerous shiny new mental institutions instead. and the laws for committing crazy homeless people should be loosened. That’s the only way to get all the bums off the streets. If the bums were smart they would have moved off grid . But they won’t so fuck em . Throw em in the mental institutions though . Not the jails.

  5. Dark Axe says:

    Also I am a Trump guy but Dr. Carson would be the guy who could get the deepest welfare cuts enacted without being easily vilified.

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