Why Civilization Drifts Left: Social Feelings

Donald J. Trump gave his first really big speech, and feelings are mixed across the board. Many on the Right feel that he gave in to the Left, and it is certainly hard to refute that when we see language like this in the speech:

…while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.

…Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty, and justice in an unbroken chain all the way down to the president. That torch is now in our hands, and we will use it to light up the world.

…This is our vision. This is our mission. But we can only get there together. We are one people, with one destiny. We all bleed the same blood. We all salute the same, great American flag. And we are all made by the same God.

His speech is great and stirring, a laundry list of changes shaped roughly around an arc from bipartisanship to his big point of American unity and self-interest. He makes a convincing argument for that — in the context of recent history — which reveals his role as a moderate trying to stop the bleeding in the short term, not think about the long term.

In the long term, everything said here is nonsense. Mob rule is unsustainable; the election of Trump was an attempt to fix the past hundred years of horrible decisions, not to make an affirmative choice toward a saner and healthier civilizations. He alludes to this:

Then in 2016, the Earth shifted beneath our feet. The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds, families who just wanted a fair shot for their children and a fair hearing for their concerns. But then, the quiet voices became a loud chorus, as thousands of citizens now spoke out together from cities small and large all across our country. Finally, the chorus became an earthquake, and the people turned out, by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple but crucial demand – that America must put its own citizens first. Because only then, can we truly make America great again.

In other words, things got so bad that a correction had to happen, and so democracy will perform one of its favorite tricks just as it did under Reagan. In this trick, democracy shows us how “good enough is the enemy of good” and will fix a few really egregious and immediate problems as a means to ignoring all the longer-term, deeper-seated problems.

Our modern world is miserable. It is ugly, conformist, unrestful, noisy, polluted, disposable and essentially wastes time because it refuses to find a purpose except humanity itself. Its emphasis on equality and tolerance means endorsement of decay and degeneracy all around us. Jobs are jails and most of our activity is distraction, producing landfill and little else.

This society is a horror. It has been a horror for so long that we cannot imagine any other way of doing things. Western Civilization is in decline and has been for centuries. The result is that all of our thinking is screwed up. We are so accustomed to the lies and rationalizations that we can no longer see clearly. And so the failed methods of the near past get perpetuated.

Most people have focused on adapting to our current existence, forgetting that by doing so, they are changing themselves. They spend the best hours of every day in servitude to the pretense and fears of others. They invest their time in communities which do not last, institutions that chase trends and fads, and a society whose values conflict with their own.

America represented an attempt to delay the decline just a little while longer by restraining mob rule through an elaborate set of gates, locks and channels known as the Constitution (“muh Constitution”). But by limiting the insanity of modernity, it only perpetuated modernity in a slightly diluted form.

This held on for almost two centuries before imploding, reaching its low point in 2008 with the election of the least credible candidate for an American president ever, and then in 2016 reversing course through the backlash Trump mentioned. We are in the midst of a cultural movement in the West that rejects liberal democracy, diversity and equality. Trump and Brexit are its first steps.

Our society is a horror because it is driven exclusively by people jockeying for position in socioeconomic status. The Enlightenment™ was a revolution against the kings, but it was also a revolt against caste, or the knowledge that people have different awareness — intelligence, morality — and that general gradations in awareness correspond to career and social roles that people should pursue.

With a caste system and aristocracy, the jockeying for socioeconomic status is removed. This produces a stable society which does not need constant growth in order to maintain itself. We gave this up for equality. America has tried to limit that equality with rules, but the herd subverted the rules and took over, with the most egregious example being Barack Obama.

His election however heralded something else, which was really total victory for the Left. They had beaten back the last vestiges of Anglo-American self-interest, and now conquered the nation with socialist policies designed to bleed dry its middle class and convert it into a Venezuela-style ideological state.

While Trump is pushing back against this and cleaning it up, the bigger problems remains which is that the system of liberal democracy is unworkable. The West has been in an accelerated downward slide since its liberalization, including two disastrous and fratricidal world wars. But everything else is bad too, except the economy, which so far has seemed powerful.

For example, in most of the West, our leaders are still crazy. Our popular culture is garbage and we have not produced anything great in centuries. Our science is politicized, our industries predatory, and the average person walking around exhibits the symptoms of dissociation (sorry… deconstruction) and confusion. Idiocy rules. Ugliness prevails.

Preserving this situation is the “good enough” that is the enemy of “good.” Good would be a better society, from its pattern to the everyday experience of its citizens. Good enough is patching up the sad wreck of modernity so that it avoids the immediate crisis and then goes back to a slow, smoldering decay.

People say that civilizations have life cycles, but this is less like a human life cycle and more like that of a forest. When a forest is new, trees expand onto previously unused land. As it succeeds, it runs into new problems like overcrowding, soil nutrition, parasites and waste removal. In the long term, the forest that lives maintains itself, and this is what civilization has failed to do.

Our civilization needs pruning and renovation. Our people, the only implement that can make this civilization, also need some work, both in terms of mental discipline and ejecting the one-in-five people in this society who seem to be outright insane or criminal. We need to orient our minds toward a future version of our civilization that is better, not just the present with a few threats removed.

Trump cannot do this. He is only the president of one country, and his goal is to take “baby steps” away from the Obama insanity and toward something more like 1950s America. That is admittedly a good first step, and if he can do it without starting a disastrous war that first step will lead to others, which is ultimately the goal for any non-Leftist.

However, he will have to struggle with a very human problem: humans tend to move Leftward in their thinking, especially in groups. This originates in the nature of socializing with others; the first step in socializing is to make others feel accepted, and most people do this by validating the individualism of others.

Individualism does not mean what people think its means. It does not mean independent-minded, as people want it to, but instead has a complicated meaning which amounts to thinking that the self is more important than the world, principles or others. Excerpts from a dictionary definition:

…the pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interests

…the doctrine or belief that all actions are determined by, or at least take place for, the benefit of the individual, not of society as a whole

We might include principles and the inherent purpose of civilization in with the categories listed above as “common interests” and “society as a whole.” The essence of individualism is denying anything larger than the self and things one needs to manipulate in order to get what one wants. It is the basic unit of control, or using others as an extension of a will not their own.

Some would say, not incorrectly, that individualism is a kind of sociopathy and solipsism: it denies the world outside the self except as an agent of the self, or an extension of the self, or in extreme cases, views the world as part of the self instead of the other way around. This is a fundamental inversion, like pretending to be God, that afflicts humans like a bad mental virus.

The reason humans shift Leftward by default is that we like to socialize, and socializing means accepting the individualism of others, and this in turn means accepting the worldview in which individualism is the default. This means that instead of thinking about the consequences of our actions in reality, we are thinking about:

  • Symbolism. What message does it send? What does it stand for?
  • Feelings. How does this make other people and the group feel?
  • Appearance. How does this make me look to others, and how will they react?
  • Judgments. Does this communicate safety or risk to others?

If you wonder why the West has drifted into decay, here is your answer: the default state of human beings is self-destruction, but they are only liberated to this state when they are so dominant over their environment that they have excess. Someone whose concerns are bound up with reality is conservative, and people who spend all their time on survival tend to be that way.

Societies like the Spartans and even modern religious orders embrace asceticism for this reason. People who have no excess and stay busy tend to be focused on their actual task, not woolgathering that then becomes wishful thinking and, once an untested mental paradise is created, self-pity at being here and not in the Utopian there.

Trump cannot be anything but a moderate because he has relatively limited power and anything approximating actual conservatism will seem to most people to be beyond the boundaries of what is accepted now, in the 70th year of our transition to Communism and the 228th year of our transition to Leftism and the thousandth year of our immersion in individualism.

He also is forced into a moderate position by the social pressures around him. Now that he is inside the system, and socializing with the people there, he is gradually drifting Leftward through a process like entropy where the collected wills around him slowly erode his own. He is fighting back, and seems to be employing the Reagan strategy of symbolic Leftist acts to cover himself while working toward a few core ideas that are more moderate — undoing Leftist damage because it is dysfunctional — than Rightist.

So far, he seems to be doing well. Brexit and Trump are just the tip of the spear of a cultural shift in the West. This is manifesting in politics most visibly, but behind the scenes, people are shifting away from Leftism in all of its degrees, including liberal democracy. We have seen that it wants to kill us — especially Caucasians — and now we want escape.

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