Why the West is dying

the_end_is_nearAt this point in history, it’s disingenuous to equivocate at all: the West is plummeting downward. In both Europe and the USA, governments are overspending on direct citizen stimulus as a means to wealth transfer. Long-term problems are unpopular and they are ignored. Art, culture, etc. have become trash.

The death-signs are obvious. The more they appear, the more people go into denial. In order to justify their participation, they claim that the system is thriving, and in fact has never been better. This backward reasoning allows them to “prove” the validity of the system by their participation in it.

However, the cold sweat of doubt rests heavily on our foreheads. Even if we cook up a whole bunch of computer models to explain away the economy, use pluralism to justify avoiding long-term problems, and invoke relativism to claim that our “art” and “culture” are valid, a simple problem stares us in the face.

Daily life in the West is hell.

People keep hoping we won’t mention this because it stares us in the face. We have options and know how to do better, and yet, we do not. The West is grinding itself into oblivion in part because daily life is so ugly and emotionally poisonous that people are disconnecting and becoming revengeful.

Think about your interactions with people on a daily basis. Do they attempt to act honorably, be helpful or even just not be a hindrance? No: their agenda is to act in such a way that makes them feel good about themselves, which includes pushing you around and then pretending they’re innocent. They enjoy exercising authority on others, or having a reason to go first in line (think of all the “proud moms”), and generally, slaving away for their egos, without a care for the consequences to society at large, nature or the human endeavor.

Actions speak louder than words. Think about what people do, and how it contrasts to what they say. They talk about good intentions, but what this boils down to is token acts like sending money to poor people so that they feel justified in acting selfishly the rest of the time. Do they show care for your possessions, or their own? What about for nature? Everything is a means to an end, and the end is themselves.

What about what they do for fun? If everyone’s having fun, why are they always strung out? At the recycling center, I see the cars pull up (awkwardly, parked selfishly, people checking watches to remind the rest of us that they’re important and in a hurry) and dump load after load of wine bottles. Who has time to drink all of that? At at least $10 a bottle, it’s not cheap either. But it’s how they make it through.

They spend too many hours at the office. I’m not sure it can be called working, what they do, since it’s more a rote process than actual mental labor. But they’re always there, obsessively, even. Do they develop any important activities outside of this? Not really; there’s not enough time to do anything impressive, so they have “hobbies,” including, apparently, drinking. They are creatures of function.

Modern people also get nervous when there isn’t constant noise or distraction. If left alone, they have no idea what to do with themselves. They rely on the radio, TV or other people to fill their heads with chatter and push out those dark thoughts or empty moments. Much like the wine, they rely on it because too much clarity is an enemy. How does that reflect any kind of health?

And communication — we should communicate honestly, we all agree. But none do. When confronted with a logical argument, they construct little evasions. Either take part of the concept for the whole, redefine a word, leave out some information, or build up a division between false extremes. They aren’t arguing for a point, they’re arguing to get off the hook. All they want to do is introduce doubt, conclude the truth can’t be known, and go about doing whatever they were doing before.

Countless examples exist and in isolation, none are important. That is how we are fooled: “oh, it’s just a little thing.” But people steering their carts recklessly at grocery stores, like they want to hit you in the legs, or inventing nonsense tasks to excel at on the job, or driving too slow or too fast just to prove they’re in control; these all add up. They add up to a consistent pattern of the same behavior in different contexts.

Yes, the stench of death is on the breeze. It’s sad, because so much good has gone into this, but the majority no longer care. They think they are islands, and society isn’t needed for them to pursue their selfish ends, fetishes, drama, and/or parasitism. This death is easily reversible, but for all the political arguments against it, none are more than wordplay.

The real argument is that individual people do not want to change their behavior. Even though it is bad behavior, and doesn’t make them content or pleased with life, they claim they are “happy” and are militant against change. They’re taking the rest of us for a ride. For the pretense of these individuals, we all must ride the corpse down.

19 Comments

  1. NotTheDude says:

    Is it also a case of things like oil becoming too dear to enable such individualistic lifestyles. When places like cities that encourage this kind of lifestyle have to change because current consumption is impossible, everyone will have to take stock of what they have become. Not the whole problem I know.

  2. John says:

    I don’t know if two people having identical thoughts while never contacting each other is proof of anything, but this is an excellent piece either way.

    Being a member of the west, I cannot help but suffer some of these delusions or act in some of these ways from time to time. It’s scary because you feel so out of control as you think and do things you don’t really like.

    I often fantasize about the level of self-awareness of those who are stuck in that mode for most of their lives. I wonder if they have tiny moments where they realize what’s going on and just want to cry before being swept away again.

    1. Ted Swanson says:

      I don’t know if two people having identical thoughts while never contacting each other is proof of anything

      It is proof that there is more to reality than meets the eye.

  3. Invictus says:

    Since I was a teenager, I always had the feeling that modern life is not meant for human beings. Today’s life is that on steroids. It’s absolutely destructive and cannot be sustained. I believe strongly in agricultural, rural, religious life for children and family, with appreciation for blood and soil
    .

    Having lived in NYC for a long time, I finally escaped it and no longer live in USA. I couldn’t have been more happy now…

  4. I’m in the camp that’s already changing my way of thinking. Our mental habits can change for the better when we stamp out new neural pathways. It’s hard to do because of the networks of thoughts, habits and expectations plus others’ influencing ours. It’s worth the fight though.

    I was watching Bill Whittle on Pajamas Media. He said something interesting: Government springs out of our economic system and not the other way around. The current American president is trying to be the leader of the industrial age economy. Well, this is the information age.

    I was reading in the Wall Street Journal about how in the UK, government healthcare is having some problems due to the recession. In a few areas they’re outsourcing the administration of it to Richard Branson’s company, Virgin I think it is, and it’s working.

    I’ll be interested to see how it goes.

    So, let’s not let our unhappiness go to waste. Let’s let it force us to change for the better.

    1. NotTheDude says:

      There is a good point in what you write about industrial and information age leadership. The industrial age in the West is long gone and won’t becoming back in the forseeable future it seems. Maybe more and more we will pay for less meaning less rubbish in material goods and it looks like its safe to say that the world will keep increasing it’s hunger for information and knowledge, the new economic lifeblood. We must all adapt to that. Our healthcare in the UK is surely going to have to change quite a bit in years to come and, yes hopefully for the better. (Though it is a wonderful blessing to us anyway).

      1. I’m interested in the UK’s healthcare system. I have an old penpal who lives in Lancashire and he likes the system too. But what I hear about the downside of it is something like these stories:

        A guy is overweight and he smokes, and he needs a kidney operation not related to either condition. They won’t give him the operation because of his weight, even after he quit smoking as much as he could.

        A woman is old and yet still vital with a lot of drive. She could have a heart procedure that takes just a stent but because of her age, and costs, she has to have her chest cracked open–it’s cheaper. It hurts her quality of life.

        In the US I always thought we could get whatever medicine we could afford, and when we couldn’t afford any, we’d get treated anyway because hospitals have to treat sick people here.

        My husband is self employed and we buy our own healthcare. It is bloody expensive. One company’s rates went up, so we chose another company and saved money.

        Can they do that in the UK, and are my horror stories about your healthcare system rarities? I also heard recently that nurses are so underpaid that they have to live in dorms and doctors are also paid so low, doctors from India and Pakistan are brought in. Is that a true perception? Honestly I don’t know. My friend Phil likes his healthcare just fine.

        1. crow says:

          The UK NHS is a perfect example of how civilizations die when leftists get hold of them. You couldn’t come up with a better demonstration…
          My wife and I are old enough to remember how it worked when we were young. Which was very well indeed. Rich or poor, medical treatment was available when it was needed. Over the course of one’s life, one paid into it, so it remained available as needed. Nurses were nurses, and doctors were doctors. They knew their work and carried it out to the best of their abilities, and often went further than doing a mere ‘job’.
          Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, and hasn’t been for many years. Human Rights has given anyone from anywhere the right to medical treatment, while refusing it to anyone who has actually paid into it, in a completely arbitrary fashion. There is nothing like enough capacity to treat all who need it, and so the revered ‘poor’ get the jump on the hated ‘rich’.
          My wife, having paid into the institution her whole working life, was crippled with arthritis, but was unable to secure a hip-replacement, for years, without paying for the whole thing herself, at five-star hotel rates, only to be put into a ward filled with foreigners who were being treated free.
          The quality of the medical staff, too, has plunged into a nightmarish abyss, with almost none of them able to speak even rudimentary English, let alone having any concept of what ‘caring’ is about. There are nightmarish tales about this state of affairs, every day in the UK papers. It is quite normal now.
          People die, and often, through sheer incompetence, and lack of basic care, undergoing formerly harmless treatments.
          Anyone who is happy with this state of affairs has obviously never been subjected to it, or needed its dubious benefits. It is, in almost all respects, sub-third-world.

  5. Owl says:

    Ride the corpse down?

    In the strange bizarro world of finance, sometimes gravity falls up.

    I don’t know about the rest of you people, but I’m putting 10% of my money into put options against the s&p 500.

    WHEN our idiot congress fails to agree upon anything useful, WHEN our president slides another communist measure through right in front of everybody’s faces to provide non-solutions to mortal flaws in our financial structure, and WHEN this whole disasterpiece begins to crack and sag just a little more, I will collect monopoly money – possibly in large quantities.

    I want this place to come down around our ears, but not too fast. I want a nice slow decay so I can make moves like shifting into foreign currency, buying property in certain areas etcetera.

    Let the end come. I will not be afraid, because whenever anything changes there is an opportunity to profit.

  6. Count Cagliostro says:

    Sad but true…

    Now, off for a drink or two!!!

  7. Ted Swanson says:

    The irony is that the solution is doing LESS. We would solve our problems by literally not solving problems. It’s like an addict addicted to helping and solving problems. Do less, not more. The solution is to be had by not-doing. Noise and distraction is a real problem. Power and efficiency is to be had through subtraction, not addition. Less is more.

    1. crow says:

      You know you don’t have to convince me of this view of yours, Ted, but it might be very instructive for others, to whom this is a bizarre contradiction of what seems obvious, to explain how you arrived at such a view, and how you justify its value.
      And interesting to me, too, to see how you do justify it :)

      1. Ted Swanson says:

        This is the hard part!

        You have heard people say: “We must do something! We can’t do nothing!” But doing something solely because you can’t not do something does not constitute a valid principle of action or liberty. You most certainly can do nothing! Doing nothing is absolutely an option as far as I’m concerned. And with so many people out there ‘doing something’ it seems like I would probably just get in the way!

        As far as helping goes, let’s invoke Aristotle. Virtue is the mean in between excess and deficiency. We are not being virtuous in our help, we are excessive with it. When you excessively help someone, you take away their agency and weaken them. It’s just like the immune system that strengthens itself by helping itself.

        We could mention the paradoxes of how a herd is ultimately strengthened by a predator picking off its weak links. Or we could mention cancer, which ends in death, but, in and of itself, is a proliferation of “life” (cancer cells). Cancer is not so much a deterioration as a proliferation. So in both of these cases, the problem is excess and the solution is subtraction.

        No one can deny that efficiency is good and inefficiency is bad. But the phrase “more efficient” is sort of contradictory in that you do not “add” efficiency. You make something more efficient by subtracting unnecessary stuff.

        This is kind of off the cuff so if others want to weigh in I would love to continue the discussion.

        SQUAWK!

    2. Owl says:

      You ever think about how much of the modern delusion is riding on the fact that we can’t directly interact with people much anymore?

      We zip around in our shiny little tin capsules, we hide in our cubicles by day, we hole up in our little rented cardboard wombs by night, we walk the streets with earphones in and text messages flying back and forth on our smart phones.

      We all silently know that when interacting with Different People the only winning move is not to play, so we spare no effort in distracting ourselves.

      It’s amazing to watch what happens when there’s a mass power outage in a giant metro area. “Oh no!” the people say, wringing their hands. “I’ll have to go outside and deal with… with THEM!” It’s as if the elephant in the room is that society is a hodgepodge of dozens of groups that all hate each other and would naturally try to destroy each other if not for the way modern society allows us to insulate ourselves from ourselves.

      Currently, if modern society were a person they’d be the sort of neurotic that breaks down crying for no reason in the shower.

      I wonder what peoples’ views would be like if they were forced to live their whole lives without such distractions.

      1. Ted Swanson says:

        My favorite thing, when I’m out and about, is to be extremely friendly and wave and smile and say hello and good morning and good evening to people. It’s pretty hilarious the varied responses I get! I go for sort of naive, dopey, polite, and happy. Some people have no idea what to think! It’s always seemed weirder to me to not acknowledge another person’s presence than to acknowledge it even if I don’t know them.

        For what it’s worth, I’m not so sure the end times are coming or even that we live in an “end time.” I propose that the end has already happened! We are still at “ground zero” and thus, in a genesis stage! Who’s to say we are not? A genesis would probably be just as confusing and chaotic as an end time. Especially for people expecting an “end” to come any time now!

        HOOT!

      2. We have to find each other in our regions and talk in person, because what if they take our power or our internet away?

  8. erecshyrinol says:

    The West is dying, but nobody has the backbone to face it openly. Instead, they want to believe this civilization is the best we can hope for (and that more of this type of civilization will be in store for future generations). And the hell we face? That’s not hell. That’s “progress”, be damned if you call it anything else. After all, you can choose the method of your spiritual demise, and that is “freedom”. Admitting there may be something better in store is not only invalidating a lifestyle choice you’ve invested deeply in, but to admit that you’re too busy distracting yourself to do anything about it. And after all, “doing” is steeped in confusion and challenge. It’s far easier to do what is easy and then when that isn’t satisfying enough, either pretend that you’re just doing something wrong/thinking too pessimistically (in which case, the solution ends up being more freedom and feeling obliged to feel ‘grateful’ for this freedom, which as we all know the third world lacks) or act the victim and blame the Other, which absolves you of all responsibility and justifies your lifestyle. It’s all circular logic which starts from the self and ends with the self. And then we have the gall to say we are ‘generous’ when we help someone out. Like that time when Brian was the only one who wasn’t high and I gave him my spliff out of the goodness of my heart. Or that time when I gave that rabid hobo a Benjamin. Or when I gave my blood. Or when I shared my crayons in grade school. Or when I befriended Jamall to prove I wasn’t racist. Or when I volunteered to plant trees. etc. etc. All moral altruism designed to convince ourselves we’re good people. Yet no people in any healthy stage of civilization need to go out of their way so much to prove they’re good, honest, generous, anti-racist, anti-sexist, etc. And you would think if everything were relative and equal, then why would they go through so much trouble to tell us that we’re wicked racists incapable of any good, rational sentiment?

  9. Dark Underside says:

    The daily uggh is getting ugglier, because we no longer connect to the world about us. We is consumers looking for a utopia in new software, in new fads, in new jobs, as you say the doubts are that it is all meaningless drivel. The birds, well they every now and then give us a thoughtful glance, as perhaps who is to be the new top banana among species. One thing that thrilled me the other day was a program about the Balkans, here were these starlings in a swarm of several thousands looking for a night nesting sight, what acrobatics! What superb aviators, what superb choreography!

  10. Dark Underside says:

    We had fed the heart on fantasies,
    The heart’s grown brutal from the fare,
    More substance in our enmities
    Than in our love; O honey-bees,
    Come build in the empty house of the stare.

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

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