Infection

All things converge on biological metaphors, because biology is the vessel the universe chose to hold its autonomous parts.

The metaphor of infection applies to many things, and we learn more every year how behaviors and ideas spread like infections. Information travels between forms and media, even boundaries between individuals.

Behaviors spread this way in the animal kingdom also. When monkeys see another monkey using tools, they learn that knowledge and pass it on. When enough humans repeat a phrase, it becomes a trend, and lives and is spread through others.

When we look at political choices, we see external manifestations of internal values systems. For example, liberals are concerned with equality; conservatives are concerned with results.

However, not all political choices are created equal. Some in fact seem to arise not from concern for goals, but from a need to express oneself through personality acted out as gestures.

Liberalism is one such infection. It is based on dissatisfaction and resentment, like how teenagers socialize by agreeing that their high school sucks and their parents are Nazis. It spreads not because it is effective, but because it makes people feel equally accepted.

The essence of liberalism as a mechanism is that, in a social group, if all the people agree that a certain thing is true, there is no personal penalty for being wrong if it is not true.

In this way, a human social reality made of memes, trends, sayings, media, commerce and government replaces the physical reality we know and can describe through science.

Unfortunately, when this reality is based on collective dislike, it becomes a lynch mob which knows only what it doesn’t want, not what it does. This guarantees that it will fail: it will gather, tear down what it hates, and then make a new version of society that goes 180° in the opposite direction.

However, this approach is doomed because if something was missing from the original society, it is not present in the new one. All that is there is an inverted form of the original, with nothing added. It is a reaction, not a construction of something new.

In addition, it is an effort forever marooned because in uniting itself around dislike of things that it feels impeded its people, it is ceding control of the destiny of individuals to external forces.

To say “I hate this and must destroy it” is generally equivalent to identifying the obstruction that prevents the fulfillment of your needs or dreams. But by projecting that importance upon it, we make it a controlling force.

It is for these reasons that every liberal society ever created has failed. It is fairest to view liberalism as a mass delusion, and a type of mental disease, that exists as a final stage of civilization before death.

Society must be somewhat near death for liberalism to occur, because liberalism is the result of a lack of faith in shared or collaborative goals.

When individuals decide that they must game the system, or in other words deceive and parasitize all other people in their society, they invent something like liberalism: a snake oil sales pitch (equality) hiding a more mundane reality (if I’m equal, you can’t tell me I can’t do anything, no matter how insane).

Like most biological metaphors, the metaphor of infection is plausible here. An idea comes into the head of an individual; the idea wants to live on, so it spreads to others. They unite based on the appearance of the idea (equality) and not the idea itself (decay).

And thus it spreads. Do we trust society? Can we trust each other? With each new grievance, distrust or disorganization, the infection spreads, snowballing into a momentum too powerful for any social bonds.

It is reversed as all infections are. First, remove the bad hygiene — the boring jobs, the terrible parents, the deceptive social scene — and next, inoculate a vanguard.

Others will see that the vanguard lead a better life, and will not understand why, but will be content to emulate that vanguard and inoculate themselves in the hope of a better life.

This is how infections are banished, and civilizations are built. Very few know how to do this, especially in times of mass deception, but as the deceptions unravel, those rare teachers become valuable again.

41 Comments

  1. Eric says:

    I know your take on liberalism, and I get what you are saying. But I still get stuck on the liberal/conservative dichotomy. I guess it is because I see it through the lens of the american political system, which seems to be a broken us vs. them battle. I see a lot of pukes on both sides, but also some pretty decent thinkers on both parties that have some good ideas. I suppose your main points are more in regards to personal philosophy, not so much politics, but I don’t know. As I have lived life and observed, I have become more conservative in a lot of views. I think we already have too many people in this country, and I think the population growth that is happening is not in line with what I agree with, and if you are paying attention it is obvious a lot of people are a waste of space. That said, there are other things I agree with that might be seen as liberal, but then again I am not so sure some of these things are out of line with conservatism outside the dogma of politics. I guess I like to come to my own conclusions, based on what I have seen and experienced, able to adjust my views based on new observations, experiences, etc.

    1. Bert says:

      It’s easier to understand if you filter out the conservative entertainers (people who make money selling their shows or books) and focus on the thinkers and ideas.

      All actions should have a purpose, so look to what result will come from a proposed course of action and that tells you everything about the idea.

      1. crow says:

        ‘Conservative entertainers’? Do such things exist?

    2. I guess it is because I see it through the lens of the american political system, which seems to be a broken us vs. them battle.

      It sounds like I need to add some explanation to this in a future article. It’s not an easy concept at first and can be really confusing. At least it was for me.

        1. Eric says:

          I just grabbed a copy. Lots of pages, so I may just pick through it when I can. Thanks.

  2. Anthracis says:

    “biology is the vessel the universe chose to hold its autonomous parts.”

    Is this an endorsement of Peter van Inwagen-style organicism?

    1. In his book Material Beings,[14] van Inwagen argues that all material objects are either elementary particles or living organisms. Every composite material object is made up of elementary particles, and the only such composite objects are living organisms. A consequence of this view is that everyday objects such as tables, chairs, cars, buildings, and clouds do not exist. While there seem to be such things, this is only because there are elementary particles arranged in specific ways. For example, where it seems that there is a chair, van Inwagen says that there are only elementary particles arranged chairwise. These particles do not compose an object, any more than a swarm of bees composes an object. Like a swarm of bees, the particles we call a chair maintain a more or less stable arrangement for a while, which gives the impression of a single object.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_van_Inwagen

      I don’t know — I’ve never read him. However, I like this restatement of Plato.

      1. crow says:

        Great Scott! What am I sitting on? A temporary arrangement of particles in a chair-like shape? Aieeee….
        I have seen, though, that all things have what could be taken for ‘life’. Rocks, even. Which is rather self-evident, really, once you get away from defining ‘life’ in merely human terms.
        I’d better take a closer look at this chair…

        1. 1349 says:

          I have seen, though, that all things have what could be taken for ‘life’. Rocks, even. Which is rather self-evident, really, once you get away from defining ‘life’ in merely human terms.

          That’s quite pagan.
          Yes, life is a continuous function if we take “all things” as its range of definition. 8) A chair or a rock are alive but maybe less alive than a giraffe.

  3. crow says:

    It used to be that ‘teachers’ encouraged students to develop their minds, in order to make sense of the world for themselves, rather than teach them what to think.
    Teachers really don’t ‘teach’ anything.
    Either a student is a student, or not.
    Either the student ‘learns’, or doesn’t.
    But ‘teaching’ anybody anything is rather like ‘helping’ them.
    Can’t be done. Does no good. Doomed to failure.

    The only real teacher is life: the world and its contents.
    Observation, and experience of results.
    First-hand is the only genuine teaching/learning experience.
    Beware of imitations :)

    1. As in all things, the student must meet the teacher half-way or it’s just an exercise in memorization and hoop-jumping. Good observation there, winged fellow.

    2. ferret says:

      “The only real teacher is life: the world and its contents.”

      The ‘teacher’ is a part of the life. Therefore, this ‘teacher’ is an real teacher, if the student is able and determined to learn.
      Beware of fragmentations :)

      1. crow says:

        Beware of a leftist mindset!
        The teacher may or not be “a part of the life”, depending upon that teachers mental state at the time. The teacher may, instead be anti-life, by imagining he/she can teach/is teaching, and the content of that illusion/delusion.
        There’s nothing fragmented about me, Ferret, although your ceaseless questioning and fault-finding indicates considerable fragmentation in your own outlook/agenda.
        The memes are many and varied, often seeming to make sense, but after a while, one gets to recognize them all, and their built-in fallacies.

        1. ferret says:

          “There’s nothing fragmented about me, Ferret…”

          I do not discuss people. And this time it also wasn’t personal.

          “your ceaseless questioning and fault-finding indicates considerable fragmentation in your own outlook/agenda.”

          I have explained why I asked questions. And of course, this “fault-finding” indicates I don’t get some ideas and ask for help/explanations, but people are busy…

    3. Ted Swanson says:

      How to think / What to think. It’s a good distinction.

      Plato makes the point in Phaedrus. He essentially says the soul becomes lazy and weak when it puts all its trust in writing and books (i.e. it prioritizes What over How).

    4. 1349 says:

      Emmm… Errr… Teaching is almost a synonym for tradition.
      A parent is a teacher for his child, starting with the basic level of teaching to speak. Eating poisonous berries and mushrooms could be quite an experience, but probably the last one…
      Teaching implies leadership and hierarchy, just like family.

      Also, a person’s potential is discovered in a larger degree if (s)he eventually has someone to teach/raise. I mean, the process of teaching itself gives the diligent teacher wisdom, humility and a better understanding of reality.

      1. crow says:

        Ideally, you are right.
        But when was the last time you encountered a ‘teacher’ that was good for anything except bullshit?
        I fear such people are almost extinct.

        1. 1349 says:

          But when was the last time you encountered

          Last winter, at a hand-to-hand combat seminar. :))))
          …No, last week, when i asked an Indian doctor for advice.

          I fear such people are almost extinct.

          Which doesn’t mean we should condemn the very figure of a guru.
          More direct human-human communication, less machines – and our teaching abilities will recover.

  4. EvilBuzzard says:

    >>>>>>But by projecting that importance upon it, we make it a controlling force.

    Choose your battles wisely. The enemy always gets a vote.

  5. ferret says:

    “To say “I hate this and must destroy it” is generally equivalent to identifying the obstruction that prevents the fulfillment of your needs or dreams. But by projecting that importance upon it, we make it a controlling force.”

    That implies, we must love liberals for not to make them a controlling force.

    1. EvilBuzzard says:

      No, you can pity them with the condign contempt that pity always implies.

      1. ferret says:

        I pity those whom I love. And you?

        1. EvilBuzzard says:

          >>>>I pity those whom I love.

          Did you get that from Fifty Shades of Gray?

          1. crow says:

            Ferret has been losing it, for some considerable time.
            Is there a term for ‘agent-provocateur’ in Russian?

          2. ferret says:

            I haven’t read this famous book. Is it worth reading?

            1. EvilBuzzard says:

              No. It’s atrocious. I made it through about 4 or 5 of the fornication bits. I’m not sure how many pages that encompassed and don’t particularly care.

    2. Or you could correctly note them as neither good, bad or indifferent, but simply a trend that was inevitable, is unsustainable and will be reversible.

      1. ferret says:

        Then I have to ignore them completely:
        1. I love myself (as a part of God, not in the liberals’ manner)
        2. Thinking and talking about liberals I make them a part of myself
        3. If I don’t love this new part, I cease to love myself and God, which I cannot afford.

        1. crow says:

          You think like a machine, Ferret.
          How does it work for you?

          1. ferret says:

            Just great!
            Click – click – click, and the world gets transparent, revealing its wholeness and beauty to me.

            1. crow says:

              Whatever works, for you, then.
              It wouldn’t work like that for me.
              I find that to see a thing for what it really is, I must leave it alone and not impose my thoughts upon it.
              One of the major differences, I suppose, between religion (spirituality, anyway) and science.

              1. ferret says:

                If seriously, my most important ideas have come to me spontaneously, without thinking; I remember, I was thinking over them later, and I couldn’t find the source of these ideas – just came somehow out-of-nowhere.

                1. crow says:

                  I recognize that.
                  See? You’re not always a machine.
                  You have a ‘normal’ machine-mode, but the best ideas come from the ether.

                2. Ted Swanson says:

                  the best thoughts are like lightning bolts. you cannot will them. just get out of the way and appreciate when it happens

    3. I don’t think the problem is liberals, but liberalism. And I do not hate it or wish to destroy it. I wish to make it obsolete.

      1. ferret says:

        Liberalism is a political ideology.
        To make it obsolete, an another, more popular, political ideology is needed. Or no politics at all, i.e., communism in Marxist sense (classless, moneyless society – don’t confuse with the Soviet).

        Since communism is not an option, we will have politics and fighting ideologies of different classes. Liberalism will always be popping up, as it fits the system.

        I wish to make crime obsolete. But I don’t see how telling the criminals they have wrong ideology would help my wish to become true.

        Only the idea that is above politics and, at the same time, is appreciated by all classes, will make the change. Religion was supposed to provide such an idea, but something didn’t work.

        This idea should be understood and supported by all people, not solely by the aristocrates of the spirit. All people should be inclined to become aristocrats, rather than oppose them. The idea should include fostering aristocratic traits. It will make a lot of changes in the educational system and the whole culture.

        The only thing left is to articulate this idea (or goals and values) so that it will work. Who is in charge of doing it?

  6. Mihai says:

    “Society must be somewhat near death for liberalism to occur, because liberalism is the result of a lack of faith in shared or collaborative goals. ”

    Though I agree with the judgement on liberalism, I have to ask this, because I’ve always seen this stated throughout the majority of Amerika’s articles, yet I have never seen it explained:

    what do you mean by shared or common goals ? What are we to understand by “goals” and what is the element that can provide us with a “goal” which is so unsystematic that it allows the whole of human society to participate in it, according to different levels dictated by personal capacity ?

  7. Wool E. Mammoth says:

    I thought it worthwhile to restate ferret’s earlier comment. There is actually much profundity in his formula and it is worth a second look:


    1. I love myself (as a part of God, not in the liberals’ manner)
    2. Thinking and talking about liberals I make them a part of myself
    3. If I don’t love this new part, I cease to love myself and God, which I cannot afford.

    Excellent!

    1. crow says:

      Good heavens! A Mammoth! Welcome back to the extant :)
      My wife really likes mammoths, and would host one in her garden, if she could. It’s about the only thing her garden doesn’t have.
      I shall tell her there is yet hope.

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