Self-deception

Many people adopt this comfortable and popular idea: there is no difference between left and right, really. All this theory stuff is airy nonsense they use to compel you to act against your own interests.

These people forget that there’s a simple chain, as old as language itself. A person observes something; she calls it a name. That name spreads because other people don’t like something about it. As a result, they design a counter-strategy and then that, too, gets a term.

In this way, a binary order is imposed on the world. Yes to the second term, no to the first. Or in practical example: yes to the spear, no to the sabre-toothed tiger.

It’s also very popular to bemoan how language misleads us. The educated hippie stands in front of us and says, “Well you see, we’ve just crammed the whole of all possibilities into this yes/no numeric assessment, so we’re missing all the stuff in-between.” Sometimes that applies, but not here. Here, the question is Do you want to survive? (Yes/No)

Those who want to survive are going to say yes to the spear, and thus no to the sabre-tooth, because the two are in a mechanical everyday sense, opposites. A spear is a solution to the problem of sabre-toothed tigers.

If you’re a Marxist college student, tenured professor, or even immensely ideologically popular president like Kennedy, Clinton and Obama, you can get away with rejecting this “false dichotomy.” That’s because you will never inherit the consequences of your choices. Generally they are made for you by others.

When you feel like you do not have to worry about the consequences of your actions, you can focus alone on methods without bothering to tie them to reality.

If you have a goal, you have a method to match, based on what you know of the world around you. But without a goal, you can pick any old method that seems pleasant to you or, even better, seems pleasant and sociable to others. That way, you can be like President Clinton and come up with magical plans that “everyone” enjoys.

Of course, your plans don’t work, because they are made in that abstract and arbitrary space of theory once it has become disconnected from reality. Your audience is no longer nature, as it would be in a science lab or architecture clinic, but other humans. What they decide that they like, wins.

We write a lot about conspiracy theories on this blog, and how they’re phenomenally useless. The reason is that people look for a method, or something external to their decision-making process, to blame for their problems.

For example, it’s also popular to say that the masses are brainwashed by their televisions, misled by their leaders, deceived by their institutions and manipulated by corporations. It’s all lies. The fact is that the masses brainwash themselves through their own desire for pleasant illusions instead of complex realities.

Which sounds better: (a) the problem is that people prefer cars with giant engines, so we’re all drowning in smog, and you have to either educate (ain’t gonna work) or coerce them into giving up these big engines; or (b) large corporations have brainwashed people into buying giant cars, smash the large corporations and we’ll be free!

We all know which one “sounds” better.

People want easily-chewed truths, so they pay the person who lies, and thus they brainwash themselves and as a bonus they get to blame it on others. They want two candidates in an election who both lie. That way, whichever one they pick, they “did the right thing” and “got screwed by the system.”

This gives them zero accountability, and also a victim complex. In a society of equals, the only people who get attention are those who are unequal. These are those who have less than others. If you find a reason to pity yourself, suddenly you are “owed” equality by the rest. They will accommodate you. It pays to be a victim.

The essence of conservatism is that conservatives believe that ends come before methods. Your method is selected by your goal, and the reality around you, not whether it sounds good to your buddies.

Liberals on the other hand are pure moralists. They believe that methods are more important than ends. In other words, it doesn’t matter if your method works achieves your goal or fails in reality. What matters is that it makes other people feel equally accepted.

A realistic worldview will be compatible with the conservatives more than the liberals. Even watered-down, nancypants corporate stooge television “conservatives” have more of this than their liberal counterparts. They may not have enough, but the only way they’ll get enough is having people like you urge them to do so en masse.

The essence of conservatism is knowing that consequences matter. People brainwash themselves to escape this truth, and thus force themselves into a position of having to justify their actions, which they then do through broad moral imperatives with no end-point, like “equality” and “civil rights,” or even “stopping global warming.”

They have no intention of achieving these things. They have found an excuse however that makes all their behavior seem acceptable and perhaps even altruistic. They have gone from selfish reality-deniers to heroes, at least in the eyes of others.

Self-deception is a human hallmark. Like other forms of entropy, it is always there, and not invented by some external force, but issuing from within our societies. Unless we explicitly endorse a contrary philosophy, we end up enmeshed in self-deception and, not surprisingly, our civilization collapses.

54 Comments

  1. ferret says:

    “Or in practical example: yes to the spear, no to the sabre-toothed tiger.”

    One more “practical” example: yes to the right sabre-teeth, no to the left sabre-teeth.
    Righteeth and lefteeth.

    1. Esotericist says:

      How about avoiding both sets of teeth, and using the spear? I’m from the spear party.

  2. Sun says:

    This is all over the place and much of it is the same stuff.

    The only reason why many of the topics are stated again is become some people in previous post disagreed with the author said and so the author want to restate it to make sure everyone knows that he doesn’t approve.

    1. ferret says:

      I like the idea. Instead of making an attempt of proving one’s stance in case of disagreement, just repeat it. Ctrl + c, Ctrl + v.
      No need to make an argument, to look for a grounding reference, to study the matter. Just re-post until there will be no comments with questions or disagreements.

      1. Sun says:

        *cough look below cough*

        1. ferret says:

          No, because it implies an argument.
          In our case we have a simple repetition ad nauseam.

      2. Esotericist says:

        I guess it would be a pretty stupid idea to run a conservative blog if you thought conservatives were as bad as liberals.

        1. ferret says:

          “if you thought conservatives were as bad as liberals.”

          How it is connected to my comment? Where did I say conservatives were bad?

          1. crow says:

            Maybe he replied to another comment, not yours.
            I’m always doing that :)
            But conservatives are just as bad as liberals; they just do their badness in a more productive way.
            That’s ‘productive’, not ‘effective’.
            Liberals certainly own the most effective civilization-wrecking-technique.

            1. Esotericist says:

              I don’t know who these “conservatives” are, because they don’t seem to exist. Conservative ideas make sense, liberal ideas are suicidal.

            2. ferret says:

              “But conservatives are just as bad as liberals”

              Oh, no, they are good. And liberals also are good. The problem is, those Snebuloids are controling everything and making both, conservatives and liberals, behave not good sometimes.

              1. crow says:

                Ah yes. I had forgotten about that.
                Snebuloids.
                I hope they aren’t reading this.

    2. Which articles does it repeat?

      1. crow says:

        All of them, since they all say – more or less – that leftism is wrecking our society, and here’s what we might do about it.
        There are many ways of turning on a light in peoples minds, but most ways don’t do it for most people.
        We’re catering to the individual, as a preparation for phasing out individualism :)

        1. That seems on topic for a conservative blog, don’t you think?

          It seems to me like people here are upset, as usual, that this blog isn’t endorsing the easy half-truths that people like to use to deceive themselves.

          Wouldn’t it be nice if it were so easy as government bad, people good? Whites good, blacks bad? Christian good, Jew bad? Science good, religion bad? Or the converses, of course. We could just blame Jews, the government, big corporations and television for all of our problems.

          The real problem is a lack of cultural unity because people want to escape judgment of their actions according to a realistic moral scale. That is why the idea that both parties are the same is very popular. It lets people off the hook from doing anything at all until the perfect third-party savior arrives.

          Waiting for perfection is a neat idea in theory, but terrible in reality. When we look deeper in human psychology, of course, we see that it’s nothing but excuse-making and evasion of responsibility.

          1. ferret says:

            “It seems to me like people here are upset, as usual, that this blog isn’t endorsing the easy half-truths that people like to use to deceive themselves.”

            For some people (not “people here”), sometimes (not “as usual”), it is the case. But they don’t stay for long if they don’t get the first-half-truth today followed by the second-half-truth tomorrow, thus comprising the whole truth.

            Some other people might be interested in entire truth instead of 1/4-truth. People are unequal. This case should be considered also.

            “We could just blame Jews, the government, big corporations and television for all of our problems.”

            Even if you add leftists, liberals, democrats, and the like, the list is always incomplete, and the society as a whole system is never considered.

            I can easily prove, the cultural unity, if somehow established today in today’s society, tomorrow will fall apart due to the lack of a mechanism maintaining it. Even if all leftists become rightists.

            “That is why the idea that both parties are the same is very popular.”

            Both parties are fighting for their self-interest, that makes them similar. Even if they are attending the same church and singing the same songs, they know only their interest.

            Note, nobody is interested in a healthy society as a whole. And this is the real problem: lack of systemic approach.

            A system, in order to be stable, should have a closed feedback
            loop aimed to optimizing certain parameters of the system. Right now this parameter is profit. And some people make profit by destroying cultural unity. Because it works and it’s easy.

            “It lets people off the hook from doing anything at all until the perfect third-party savior arrives.”

            This arriving savior is clearly a part of religious tradition welcomed here. Going to get rid of this part?

  3. Sun says:

    People want easily-chewed truths, so they pay the person who lies, and thus they brainwash themselves and as a bonus they get to blame it on others. They want two candidates in an election who both lie. That way, whichever one they pick, they “did the right thing” and “got screwed by the system.”

    This gives them zero accountability, and also a victim complex. In a society of equals, the only people who get attention are those who are unequal. These are those who have less than others. If you find a reason to pity yourself, suddenly you are “owed” equality by the rest. They will accommodate you. It pays to be a victim.

    I perfectly get what you’re saying and it is true but at the same time I do believe that manipulation from media does play a factor.

    While I may believe that having self accountability is most important, the reason why the people are not accountable is because they are TOO STUPID to be so. I’m not using at as tool of self deflection.

    Even you admitted that you can’t educate them.

    1. Sun says:

      It’s also very popular to bemoan how language misleads us. The educated hippie stands in front of us and says, “Well you see, we’ve just crammed the whole of all possibilities into this yes/no numeric assessment, so we’re missing all the stuff in-between.” Sometimes that applies, but not here. Here, the question is Do you want to survive? (Yes/No)

      I really disagree here. I think it is popular to think the very opposite. It allows a dumbing down and simple world view. People want simple. A binary world view doesn’t challenge people and doesn’t make them think. It just allows people to be comfortable with the status quo.

    2. Esotericist says:

      If people are too stupid to be accountable, why do we let them vote and drive? Screw that.

      1. Sun says:

        Voting and driving gives a false sense of worth, when they have none.

  4. ferret says:

    “For example, it’s also popular to say that the masses are brainwashed by their televisions, misled by their leaders, deceived by their institutions and manipulated by corporations. It’s all lies.”

    Yes, it’s like reporting that a man was killed by a bullet, without mentioning who used the gun.

    “The fact is that the masses brainwash themselves through their own desire for pleasant illusions instead of complex realities.”

    The masses order pizza and tv programs with ads and other brainwashing. Sometimes they call to a local board of education asking to simplify the school program. Is that the case?

    1. Esotericist says:

      The man was shot by another man. It wasn’t the government. It was two people behaving like animals because their society is permissive.

      1. ferret says:

        The man was shot by another man who was watching TV full of violence. The government let it happen. The government is controlled by a group of people who don’t care about the society; this group is very busy making profit.

      2. A. Realist says:

        The man was shot by a gun, made by a company for profit, sold by a store for profit, bought by a man with the intention of making profit through crime. In the absence of a higher cultural standard, people simply take stuff from each other unless there’s a cop there. The cops provide a deterrent and show us the benefit of having law and order. The gun works really well, showing us the power of industry. Depressed unemployed people then discuss this on the internet.

        1. ferret says:

          “In the absence of a higher cultural standard, people simply take stuff from each other”

          All those who make profit are interested in making it as easy as possible. High cultural standards are unwelcome in this process: it is much easier to sell crap including guns to low culture guys. It’s much easier to compete by investing more in lowering cultural standards than in quality products and services.

          Aiming profit the society lowers cultural standards. It is an inevitable process; there are no compensatory mechanisms inherent in the system.

  5. Mihai says:

    The masses themselves obey whatever impulses are given to them. They cannot be blamed for certain deviations, because they are the passive element in this equation. They do not actively cause anything. The reason why they are obsessed with simple fixes is because they are dancing to the rhythms that are played nowadays

    If you have a field and you sow , plough, irrigate it, and eliminate some weeds that afflict it from time to time, the field will produce a rich harvest. If you tell “it” that it is free to do anything anytime, it will produce only chaos- weeds all over the place, vermin etc. If you poison it it will become infertile and won’t produce anything for a long time.

    Such is the case with the masses.

    You are right to criticize the blaming of corporations and all that, because they are also only symptoms, not causes, but neither blaming the stupidity of the masses get you very far.

    1. ferret says:

      “If you have a field and you sow , plough, irrigate it…”

      Exactly!

      And you need a quality seeds. No harvest possible without seeds.

      “You are right to criticize the blaming of corporations and all that, because they are also only symptoms, not causes” and they are an intermediate link in this chain.

    2. Esotericist says:

      Are you saying that the masses need to be oppressed, or they destroy their own society? I will agree with that, most of the masses I know don’t care for anything but Super Bowl and Bud “Lite,” which is disgusting.

      1. Mihai says:

        “Are you saying that the masses need to be oppressed”

        No, I’m saying the masses need to be guided, because they cannot guide themselves- or they can, but the results will always be chaotic without a direction from above.

        Take the example of children : you don’t have to oppress your kids, but you do need to guide them to realize their potential and sometimes even use a firm hand in order to avoid them becoming drug addicts or alcoholics later in life.

        1. ferret says:

          “Take the example of children : you don’t have to oppress your kids, but you do need to guide them”

          I’ve noticed the properly guided kids at certain point start self-regulating their activities even in the absence of adults. I guess, masses would display similar tendencies, if they are not abandoned, but guided. This, I think, helps creating the cultural unity.

  6. crow says:

    In a way, left and right are quite similar.
    They both busy themselves fighting against each other for dominance.
    This proneness to fighting is the state of people who can’t imagine being any other way.
    One good reason there are so few tending towards balance, is that when balance is achieved, one discovers that nobody else is there, and humans, being social animals are rarely comfortable with being Robinson Crusoe.
    I’ve always admired Robinson Crusoe, apart from his yearning to not be Robinson Crusoe, and return to social mayhem.
    It’s a tough one. I tend to the right, while preferring not to tangle with the left, although when I avoid tangling with the left, I seem to end up tangling with the right. You can’t win.
    So I don’t try to win.
    I yam what I yam.
    Like Popeye.
    Without the spinach :)

    1. ferret says:

      “one discovers that nobody else is there”

      Did they eat each other? Horrible.

      “I’ve always admired Robinson Crusoe”

      Me too, and I felt a kind of envy: nobody would give him advices.

    2. Esotericist says:

      Do you mean the ideas of left and right, or the mainstream parties? Of course they’re fighting each other, that’s how a democracy works.

      1. crow says:

        If a democracy works that way, then I’d say it doesn’t work at all.
        Co-operation gets the job done. Not in-fighting.

        1. Esotericist says:

          You can’t co-operate when each side wants a totally different type of society.

          1. crow says:

            So why do people want a different type of society?
            It should be possible to demonstrate that the way it’s going, only destruction can result.
            Yes, I know…
            But really!

            1. Esotericist says:

              They want two different types, a conservative society and a liberal one. Liberals want a socialist society that’s permissive and conservatives want a social order that favors the brave, honorable and intelligent.

          2. ferret says:

            What is “totally different”? One is capitalism, another one – feudalism? Or what?

            1. Esotericist says:

              Liberals want a socialist and permissive society in which everyone is equal, conservatives want a social order in which everyone has a place.

              It’s hard to describe because once you see it, it’s so totally obvious it doesn’t need describing. Until that happens, it’s really hard to see.

              1. Sun says:

                iberals want a socialist and permissive society in which everyone is equal, conservatives want a social order in which everyone has a place.

                Where does meritocracy fall in that sentence?

              2. ferret says:

                Liberalism (wiki, Liberalism):
                “Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights, capitalism, and the free exercise of religion.[3][4][5][6][7]”

                Conservatism (wiki, Conservatism):
                “Conservatism (Latin: conservare, “to preserve”)[1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.”

                Liberalism, as you can see above, supports capitalism.
                My question was: what system supports Conservatism?

                If capitalism became a tradition, then it is compatible with Conservatism. In this case Conservatism supports what we have right now, and the only goal is not to make sharp movements.
                We have agreed in previous posts, that means should be considered after the ends. If both, Liberalism and Conservatism, have one goal – a good working capitalism, then the means is the only difference.

                If Conservatism is against capitalism in principle, then what system is desired: feudalism, slavery, or something even more traditional?

                1. That is a perfect example of why you should never get your knowledge from a wiki. Both of those definitions are completely broken, which is what you’d expect from graduate students working for free by plagiarizing their state college textbooks.

                  1. ferret says:

                    From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liberalism:

                    a often capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity
                    b : a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard
                    c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)

                    From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservatism:
                    a : disposition in politics to preserve what is established
                    b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage)

                    Not much better.

                    What is broken, and where one can find the right definition?

                    1. This definition isn’t awful, but I agree it’s not much better:

                      a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)

                      None of these definitions get to a unifying principle, although the French Revolution’s “liberty, equality and fraternity” (modern definition: autonomy/narcissism, equality and pacifism) comes closest.

                      This might be a better start:

                      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberalism/

                    2. ferret says:

                      That’s an interesting article, thanks!

                      Both, the classical and the “new” flavors of Liberalism support capitalist economy.

                      What about the Conservatism, what system is it compatible with?

            2. crow says:

              Lol :)
              OK. Let’s just give it up and have fun instead.

              1. ferret says:

                Yes, you are right, as usual.
                I should have followed your advice.

                Regarding the democracy: even Aristotle considered it to be a deviant form of polity, because democracy is aimed at the advantage of one group. Perhaps, that’s why it doesn’t work.

                1. crow says:

                  You need to study humour, western-style, Ferret.
                  Here’s some educational reading:
                  http://oneflyingfool.blogspot.ca/

        2. A. Realist says:

          Of course democracy doesn’t work, it’s a leftist idea based in the magical thought that all these people we see out there who are incompetent, when they’re all put together, will choose the right thing whatever that is.

    3. A. Realist says:

      The difference is that leftism is crazy, but that some conservative politicians are also leftists. It’s not intelligent to discard conservatism because not every conservative is perfect, when even a perfect leftist will totally destroy your country,..

      1. Some conservative politicians are indeed leftist; the biggest schism on the right is between paleoconservatives and neoconservatives.

        1. crow says:

          I shall now coin a new term for an emerging category:
          Protoconservative :)

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