Impulse control

Fiction succeeds because it allows us to, through observing others, make decisions about how we would behave in similar circumstances.

We do the same thing every day when we “people watch,” which is one of life’s great hobbies. It would take a billion writers to be as creative as creative as the population of even a small town, because people come by their wide variety of behaviors honestly. They do what seems logical to them.

Of course, what’s “logical” exists both in an abstract (2+2=4) that really doesn’t exist anywhere, and in our varied minds. Our ability to perceive changes the answers we can accept. For this reason, universal logic does not exist in a human sense. Logic is as individual as our abilities are varied.

That does not mean all of these logics are correct. They are valid, the liberal argues, but that is really a social judgment. The raging ego decides it wants nothing to come before it, so it rounds up a crowd to create a self-reinforcing vision of reality. That works for awhile, and then the civilization collapses.

In the meantime, it is interesting to watch people display their logic and to then extrapolate the consequences of that logic over time.

Today I saw a man driving. First, he got in the left lane of a two-lane road. He spat out the window as he went around a slow turn. When traffic picked up, he decided he needed to be in the right lane, so he cut in front of another car. Every car behind him in line had to stand on its brakes. At that point, he parked in a shopping center. As he got out of the car, he batted a large pile of wadded-up fast food bags out the door, onto the concrete.

Two people conversing about this man might use the phrase impulse control to describe him. He did not make decisions; he saw situations, and reacted. His thoughts involved himself only and the immediate only. Then again, that is all this society calls on him to do.

A society composed of people like this man would be a third world ruin (he was Caucasian, for the record). With no one thinking of anything but themselves in the moment, long-term plans like architecture, hygiene, political and legal systems, and even an end to corruption would be impossible.

Since I don’t want to live in a third-world society — do you? if you do, move — I would penalize this man. The penalty would be as devious as it is illustrative. I would have a wise observer follow him around for a week to see if this man ever did any act but a selfish one. He wouldn’t, of course.

There would be exceptions, as there are plenty of false “unselfish” acts. It is almost guaranteed that he would engage in the following:

  1. Public relations. He wants to look good to others. For example, he wants to be seen as a guy who loves puppies, so he treats dogs well in public. When no one is watching, he kicks them or locks them up all day in crates so he doesn’t have to spend his time taking care of them.
  2. Pleasure. He wants to have drinking buddies, so he acts like “good guy” to his drinking companions. He does not do this for any positive end outside himself. He wants to be part of a group and what happens to others is beyond his caring.
  3. Defensive. During the course of his life, his selfish acts have probably made him enemies. As a result, he likes to go down to the soup kitchen and ostentatiously volunteer, or be seen tossing a $50 bill into the collection plate at church.

None of these however are selfless acts, or even unselfish ones, which are different than selfless. One can be unselfish and be selfish too; one’s action however is not limited to selfish goals, but includes self-benefit along with benefit to others, nature, the idea of justice, etc.

There are many people like this impulse control man in our society. Their goal is to make themselves accepted. When that happens, they will hold others hostage with the constant threat of uprising. A third world society will replace a first world one, but no one alert will remain to notice.

16 Comments

  1. Decimator says:

    I’ve witnessed these kind myself. These same people would take the entire collection plate after dropping a 50 into it, if no one was looking. Then they would be the most angry about the theft. This can be fixed with the application of temptation as a trap and accountability. Accountability is a big part of our problem, as a society we tend to dismiss it. To lay a trap for these social predators is to make them a victim and we can’t hold a victim accountable. After all, they’re a victim man! We just make rules and laws to hold them down and to hinder achievement.

    The collection plate should be left as temptation but unknowingly monitored. Anyone caught taking it should have to walk a gantlet to exit the church. the first of the gantlet would file outside the door of the church and form another gantlet. After receiving a serious beating in the first, the second would deliver love, forgiveness, and insist on that persons return. If that person returns, they should be put into temptation again. If they fail, stone them. social cleansing?

    1. A. Realist says:

      The more rules we have, the easier it is to get away with unethical behavior. As long as it’s not against the rules…

    2. Dust-Wind says:

      I see what you’re saying here, Decimator, but I think it’s the wrong approach. People will simply to devise new means of bending or skirting the rules in order to benefit themselves regardless of how many rules there are in place. It’s a problem of internal corruption, not external devices which serve to regulate non-corruption.

      For people to ever act ethically, it must all come from within. People must be pure in thought. That means common goals, common culture, and preferably common ethnic heritage. We need something we can all work towards like the Ancients, and a positive reinforcement system that provides the incentive and ability to achieve it.

      These types will exist in ever-present number, and societies/civilization will decay evermore, until that system comes into being.

      1. ferret says:

        “For people to ever act ethically, it must all come from within…”

        Here I see a problem of sustainability of a happy highly ethical society. Children are born with normal (I mean, Gauss or bell curve)distribution of IQ, social adaptiveness, agressiveness, and other traits. That is, there will be always a lot of children displaying inability to live in accordance with the ethical norms of the society.

        What to do with them? Don’t forget that parents love children no matter how ‘special’ they are.

        1. That is, there will be always a lot of children displaying inability to live in accordance with the ethical norms of the society.

          How many? More than are in prison in the USA today?

          We need an escape valve. For the USA, that has been Mexico; for Europe, the Middle East.

          1. ferret says:

            “How many? More than are in prison in the USA today?”

            Let it be one person. Now imagine it’s your daughter. Also imagine you are the King and the decision is yours. Are you ready to send your child to Mexico, and what part of the Futurist Traditionalism would support this decision?

      2. For people to ever act ethically, it must all come from within…That means common goals, common culture, and preferably common ethnic heritage.

        I agree with this wholeheartedly. Without a sense of shared mission, we turn on each other.

    3. Esotericist says:

      Many of the people I run into during the day are sociopaths. They do not care about the consequences of their actions, on other people or nature. They just want what they want. In the case of low-intelligence populations I can almost understand, but when some MBA white person does it I think there is no excuse and the only solution is an electric chair ride for the sociopath.

      1. crow says:

        “Oh!” Said with a squawking-nasal inflection…
        “That was SO hurtful!”

  2. John says:

    One of the most confusing aspects of our society is the way that goodness is confused with this type of acceptance seeking behavior. The dirty little secret is that many people hate those who are actively good in a non-conformist manner.

    1. Dust-Wind says:

      Agreed and, based on experience, those who are genuinely decent also leave themselves most open to being blamed for the catty behavior of indecents. As Decimator noted above, the latter will often express the most outrage when something rotten does occur. They’re actors, pure and simple, and it puts those not acting in a position of receiving blame due of their outward lack of concern.

      So it’s often a matter of either joining the witch-hunt or get burned at the stake yourself. Sadly, this convention makes it difficult to discern corrupt actors from fearful (and possibly good) actors. Self-preservation is our most powerful instinct, after all.

      Or do the truly good just not act and sacrafice themselves based upon principle alone?

      1. ferret says:

        “Or do the truly good just not act and sacrafice themselves based upon principle alone?”

        “Truly good” simply cannot do otherwise, they are built so. It’s not on the level of consciousness but much dipper, close to instincts.
        Some people, for example, throw up when seeing blood, are unable to hart somebody. It’s a built-in feature one has or does not have.

      2. Esotericist says:

        That’s how they win. The sociopaths make us afraid to trust so everyone becomes isolation and no one works together, even though it would not take much work at all to defeat the sociopaths.

  3. Decimator says:

    Dust-Wind

    I dont think you fully understood my position. I dont want any more rules, other than expecting people to conduct them self as good people. To fail at this expectation will result in a negative outcome followed by positive feedback and forgiveness. A carrot if you will. Good conduct results in good society. If one was to remove religion and God from the 10 commandments, they are still great rules to go by and there are only ten, that’s simple enough. Thou shalt not kill really mean thou shalt not murder. Big difference. There is a lot of the global population that needs killing.

  4. Ben says:

    The very last line just had Greece written all over it.
    How would you suggest a society adress this sort of people? Both on community and on policy levels. It is quite obvious we don’t want to live around people like the one you have described. Most of them, however, will behave they way we tell them too, just like the way they will think what we tell them to. In that sense, how do you mobilise a society to wage war on its sick parts?

  5. […] in that era resulted from increasing levels of lead in the environment, which lowers IQ and impulse control. […]

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