Posts Tagged ‘anarchism’
Monday, October 12th, 2015
Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders may be the greatest gifts — or the only gifts — the Left has given to the Right.
Our media myth tells us that Leftists are smart (in lieu of wise), economically savvy and future-oriented. Then we get one in office, and another in the pipeline, and they pull aside the curtain and reveal their actual agenda.
Obama can be summarized in a simple phrase: “Get back at white America.” His is the resentment presidency, tempered by his Clinton-like tendency to read the polls and do whatever he can get away with, as long as he is acting like a football coach and moving the ball further toward the other team’s goal.
Sanders on the other hand seems to have stumbled straight out of 1917. What makes him frightening is the adoring crowds of clueless people who, upon finding themselves suffering through a Leftist society, have decided that the solution is more Leftism because it promises free money and bennies. Sanders has done more to discredit democracy than anyone else except Angela Merkel.
All of the resulting social, political and economic chaos shows us the West circling the drain. Europe, overrun by violent jihadi immigrants, shrugs her shoulders and re-adjusts the tablecloth; America, staggering under a surge of invading Mexicans, preens and pronounces itself The Most Accommodating Girl of All. Obama plays clever foreign policy games in Syria and gets one-upped by the quasi-dictator of Russia, while the populations and businesses of the West — burdened by regulation and taxes — get repeated trounced by rising forces in Asia.
And from our politicians? Silence: they are not leaders; they are actors. Their goal is to appear to be doing something while doing nothing about problems which require actual risk to solve. They sell a product, and it is peace of mind. It is an illusion of course, but all good products are. If heroin really made life better, would anyone use it more than once?
On and on, South of Heaven… the upshot of all of this chaos is that it is driving together all of those who are not fully liberal. Liberalism has, at the hour of its triumph and greatest vulnerability, gone ballistic with SJWs on one end and full-on 1960s radicals pushing their ancient 1789-1917 agenda on the other. Its agenda has changed from punishing those who wrong it to eliminating any who do not agree. This has bunched together a diverse coalition of libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists and those who simply fear the big government strong ideology type of society that this path will unavoidably create.
These groups are starting to recognize that egalitarianism is the idea that consumes all other ideas. Once you declare the everyone must be equal, everything in your society becomes “democratized.” There is no longer a standard of behavior. Quality standards fall as well, with flashy chrome replacing smoothly working machines. What was originally told to us — that we should accept others, but could keep living as we had been — has been revealed as a lie. The point of egalitarianism is to use equality to force us to all be identical, at least in the important ways.
All of us are seeing the same things: a cadre of elites who lie for their own benefit, a complicit media, years of terrible policy no one can seemingly remove, and a vast herd of voters who cast their lot with greed or panic but never reasoned activity. This is how democracy was designed: to retard power so that life could be normal, but in the process, it creates a replacement leadership that does not have the best interests of citizens in mind. Instead, it treats them like raw materials for an industry of its own creation. In other words, it becomes a parasitic business working against the interests of citizens.
In fact, awareness of the parasitism caused by the State — or any form of external government — is spreading at the fringes of media:
Fortunately, for those who benefit from the status quo, and members of something called the Deep State, the trillions of new currency units delayed the liquidation. But they also ensured it will now happen on a much grander scale.
The Deep State is an extremely powerful network that controls nearly everything around you. You won’t read about it in the news because it controls the news. Politicians won’t talk about it publicly. That would be like a mobster discussing murder and robbery on the 6 o’clock news. You could say the Deep State is hidden, but it’s only hidden in plain sight.
An even simpler explanation suffices, and by Occam’s Razor, supplants this explanation: government becomes a franchise. Without a clear purpose, it starts inventing purposes for itself as it did in the US in the 1820s, and then begins to increases its power. Like a utility company, it wants to charge you the most it can without having you flee to another company. It has an additional super-ability however which is that it can make laws that force you to do what it wants. Government grows like a hemorrhoid, engorged on the blood of taxes and lucrative industries reserved to itself alone, and soon like an overbearing corporation begins to control the market itself — the voters.
What are alternatives to the State? Libertarians and mainstream conservatives favor small government, which means removing the 60% of our government that is dedicated to ideological goals like equality, ending poverty and regulating industry. That leaves government in charge of the military and NASA, which is probably enough for any group. Others from the anarchist fringe want the state removed and left gone, but something must take the role of leadership so that seems unlikely. Still others want to replace the State with actual leadership, such as monarchs or military leaders, and to downsize government to the role of leadership — not morality — alone.
Neoreaction tends to identify the “Deep State” as “the Cathedral,” which carries overtones of a deliberate attempt at control; conservatives and libertarians see this as more of a market distortion created by a company protected against monopoly yet given an exclusive role. All of us agree that the postwar order has shifted steadily left, continuing the barely interrupted pattern since 1789, and that this has enfranchised a group of Leftists who profit from continuing business as usual in our left-leaning governments in the West. Not surprisingly, our fortunes have declined in direction proportion to our increasing Leftism, and existential misery and self-destructive behavior have increased. The latest barrage of outrage is only a symptom of that underlying will to die that liberalism has inculcated in the West.
With the rise of the Leftist establishment, the excesses of the left, which is now an old and bloated empire, are serving the purposes of the Right. Each crazed Bernie fan or Obama zombie, and every abuse and failure of those administrations, accelerates the point at which the remaining effective people in our society realize how deep the root of the problem goes: Leftism is incompatible with civilization. And to remove it, they will have to fragment the West and separate the Leftists from everyone else, letting the former face the long-term fate of their irrational ideas.
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
I imagine that day 30 of the anarchist commune is the hardest. Everyone arrived, and set up food growth, kitchen, sleeping areas, social zones, and so on. People started doing stuff. But after a few weeks, it got harder. Some work, some don’t. Some “work” at ideology, others don’t.
At that point, the commune has to go either full-on egalitarian — everyone cleans the pig pen once a week — or admit the separation of roles. This causes some people to recognize that their labor will support others, but not themselves. They then seen the commune fill up with more people, but no one wants to clean the pig pen.
Either way they choose — egalitarian or roles — this commune now leaves the world of anarchism. There must be Authority. Even if it is enforced by guilt, which is worse because it’s purely appearance based, there is a rule and if you do not obey, consequences follow.
Conservatives recognize that this happens in every society. Civilization derives its authority from contract, not a “social contract” between government and people, but a contract between individuals. The contract is this: if we all work toward the same goals, we can have a civilization, maybe even a good one.
We offer something better than anarchy: government performs what it does well, which is defense and a few other things. Everything else is culture. It is entirely opt-in. Culture agrees on values, and you agree by joining that you want to work toward that goal. If not, time to go somewhere else.
This approach constitutes an opposite to control. Control lumps together a bunch of people and tells them what they must do or face consequences. Culture presents an opportunity and rewards those who take advantage of it. To maintain reward, rewards must go only to those who do something useful, so others must be sent on their way.
On the surface, this seems harsh. However, life deals in truth and truth is harsh when denied. Civilization needs glue to hold it together. It will either be collaboration, or control. There is no middle ground that does not collapse into one or the other.
Conservatives should move away from control. Self-policing through circular firing squads, increasingly doctrinaire speech codes, and “everyone must get along” compromise mentalities are all part of the control gambit. We can do better than that.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
National-Anarchism: A Reader
edited by Troy Southgate
306 pages, Black Front Press (2012), $20
For two centuries people have looked for a way out of the political dichotomy that was created by the French Revolution, which set up the traditionalist party as a necessary opposition to the successful Revolutionaries.
The problem with this split was that it forced people to either adopt the revolutionary ideology or to pick up the mantle not of the ancient regime but of the new ancient-modern hybrid which suspiciously resembled the revolutionary ideal with more national defense and better economists. The problem with conservatism, as it became styled, is thus not that it is ancient, but that it is not ancient enough, and thus many people are trying to escape it alongside leftist.
National-Anarchism: A Reader leaps into the fray by suggesting a certain type of ancient society, namely one from before government became formalized. The National-Anarchist idea is for a society to be formed by bonds of kinship, which is nationalism, and yet to not have a formal State or laws so that it cannot go down the path that led to the French Revolution. It would be an organic society that would not become calcified like others, which become outmaneuvered the instant they formalize any relationships or values.
Southgate’s Reader tackles these subjects head-on and attempts to find a “third way” past the conservative-liberal divide. It does this with varied essays that, while they tackle the same two basic issues — anarchist theory and nationalism — with similar insight, do not get swallowed up by those debates like many other books do in attempting to defend them. Rather pragmatically, these essays explore implementation more than abstract theory, which takes away some of the dullness inherent to political theory, especially on ideological issues.
As you may have guessed from the brief historical introduction to this piece, dear reader, the biggest threat to a mixed ideology is that it may be swallowed up by its liberal elements, in this case anarchism. Southgate and company combat this by making a clear case for nationalism as the basis of community cooperation, or “social glue,” that would keep a society together without a government:
[T]he 1789 French Revolution transformed a nation of monarchical subjects into citizens of a new republic, but aside from the fact that the jingoistic watchwords of ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’ were never put into practice, it become possible for individuals to become part of the nation through citizenship alone, rather than it being the result of their French ethnicity. This subtle change has now smoothed the way for modern capitalists to bring in economic migrants from the Third World who, allegedly, are just as ‘French’, ‘English’ or ‘German’ as those of us with a blood-lineage stretching back thousands of years. The ‘nations’ of today, therefore, are completely false. By giving credence to these artificial entities, the Right actually reinforces the liberal-democratic myth. (123)
National-Anarchism: A Reader features a wide range of anarchist theory, with Southgate and Keith Preston doing the heavy lifting, but also manages to fully explain the rationale for nationalism as a positive social value. True, there is also some fear of Zionism in here, which seems to this reviewer to contradict the idea of supporting strong national cultures, which Zionism is; it’s Israeli-Jewish nationalism. However, this rhetoric is in the minority and is rational, principled and generally based in a defense of Palestinian nationalism, so it’s hard to conflate it with the rabid Jew-hating that blights both some areas of the right and left at this point.
Highlights include Keith Preston’s “Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire,” which recontextualizes history in terms of human values, and Southgate’s “Revolution.” Readers of this blog may enjoy Wolf Herfurth’s
“The Traditional Left Failed.” One of the more inspiring parts of the book, although short and informal, was Andreas Faust’s “Humour as a Weapon.” While this piece reads as if it were typed up in an afternoon, a thoughtful outlook pervades it, and it’s that outlook and mood more than any specific details that are important to a reader there.
Among the passages marked for further review is this gem which shows how truly “third way” National-Anarchism is, as it levels a devastating critique at its anarchist fellow-travelers who have been assimilated by the left:
Another common these in conventional anarchist thought is an implicit reliance on archaic Marxist and Fabian social democratic economic theory, a set of ideas that have been disastrous in every nation where they have been put into practice. Marxism is a dead faith, except among Western radicals, and the elitist social democratic views advanced by the Fabians have severed to create a permanently entrenched “new class” of bureaucratic parasites that are slowly but surely driving the First World nations toward stagnation, deterioration and eventual collapse. Anarchists are typically the most zealous champions of the cultural ideals of the modern Left — feminism, environmentalism, homosexualism, anti-racism. Yet these ideas are hardly radical in the modern welfare states of the West. (85)
Like many of us, I had horrible experiences with anarchist “theory” back in the chaotic days of college. Generally, it surprised me how people with their mitts on such a radical idea could convert it into the most boring, neutered, don’t-forget-dear-wear-a-sweater type ideology on earth. People would pass around huge tomes of pablum in a competition to see who could lobotomize themselves with the largest dose of this. While I’m not going to claim the anarchist sections are my favorites, this book doesn’t fall into that pitfall, and makes anarchist theory as interesting as possible. It also makes enticing the idea of organic culture taking over where government has failed.
Where this book is essential is informing the modern Westerner of the scope of the political landscape. Like a good introductory textbook, it shows us the topography and differentiates the parts; like a good higher-level textbook, it reveals in depth the reasons for the principles of this movement, instead of baldly stating them and allowing the usual justifications to absorb them through co-opting their purpose. Engagingly written, widely diverse and full of blunt but commonsense approaches, National-Anarchism: A Reader is a good work to adorn any political science bookshelf.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
The internet meme “Overly Attached Girlfriend” (OAG) ridicules one of the artifacts of modern dating, which is that it creates conditions so desperate that people become obsessive. We find it easy to write them off as crazy because it is easier than noticing the whole process is crazy and that, by extension, we’re most likely doomed.
OAG reveals a more fundamental truth of humanity however, which is how we become obsessively joined. This can happen between individuals, or in groups. It has two components: that which wants to join destroys something that you need, and then replaces it with itself.
In the case of modern society, what is destroyed is your concept of self-worth. This takes several steps.
First: Someone makes language that tells you what is “good” and “bad,” and carefully excludes everything else by making bad into “not-good” as opposed to “the opposite of good.” My way or the highway.
Second: Someone begins doling out praise to those who are good, and does so in a way that attracts lots of people. It’s a lottery, and humans cannot resist playing. So even though these people are perhaps not society’s best and brightest, it’s hard to deny the appeal. Later they begin criticizing “bad” as well.
Third: These people agitate against all social standards, values, mores and even common sense. They do this so that one factor and one factor only determines success: how well people like you. This salesman’s paradise has a secondary effect in that now, by calling someone “bad,” you not only isolate them but make them impoverished.
What has happened is that your sense of who you are and why you’re worth having around has been replaced by obedience. Even worse, you are now addicted to the praise from your masters. Without it, you wonder if you are not indeed actually a bad person, or at least a not-good one, thus a loser.
Overly Obsessive Government is a side effect of this process. As society declines, government rises. When you no longer have social standards, you need more police and bureaucrats to make laws and pass out fines. Soon most of what you do is interact with government or the secondary authorities created by its rules.
Conservatism is not anarchistic; it is something even more radical. Ours is the notion that tradition, and abstract concepts that correspond to reality like “the good, the beautiful and the true,” are better rulers than police forces or bureaucrats. We recognize the need for some government, but not moral government and definitely not government which can invent new uses for itself, justify increasing its size, and then repeat the process ad infinitum.
The grim fact is that no society can be policed. If people are fundamentally of such selfishness and individualism that they will do what is immoral or destructive the instant they are not watched, you would require at least one infallible police officer for every citizen. You could set up a “transparent society,” but without a legion of pathologically honest angels to watch the video screens, it would be useless.
OAG is the symptom, not the cause. The cause is the Crowdist desire to replace your self-esteem with their definitions of right and wrong, thus making you their puppet. But OAG is now their tool, and it was always their intent, because a removed social order must be replaced by a strong force.
Whenever you hear political discourse, it helps to automatically re-spin it using these ideas. Do we need government in every circumstance? How will government make dishonest people into honest ones? There is no replacement for having people of quality and integrity at every level of the process, because they (and not OAG) are the backbone of a thriving society.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
If you have been to college, or when you go, you will become an observer to the process of people finding political identities. In theory you go to college to learn things, but in reality, you are learning the process of learning, and that includes socialization.
When searching for a political identity, the savvy student does not spend much time researching facts and history. These are a huge burden and require many hours of contemplation to even understand the basics. It is better to simply pick something popular.
As you look out over your class, one thing becomes clear: there is actually not that much in common, besides not knowing much of anything or having any role in society. What appeals to people in that unimportant position? The idea that not having an important position is not important.
In other words, position itself is unimportant. What you do and achieve are secondary to — what can we fit in this blank? — how nice you are, and how well you socialize. We don’t need rules; we can all be friends. This sets you on a path toward increasingly permissive political views.
The students who do best at this game are the ones who accept the limitations of their role. Their job is not to know things, or be in charge of things; their job is, like that of children, to take things from the parent and probe the limits of their freedom.
Only one political viewpoint really appeals, which despite its many disguised forms can be identified as “anarchy.” More than a political system, it is an attitude of hostility toward social class, political power, hierarchy and authority. It reinforces the unimportance of position.
In fact, we can play a bit with these words to show the progression of thought:
- Not having a position in society is unimportant.
- Having a position in society unimportant.
- Position itself is unimportant.
This is not the syllogistic logic you are familiar with from your classes, but deconstructive logic: reduce each thing to its simplest, least-connected form. This means removing all context, and any dependencies or consequences, for a singular idea.
In the case of anarchy, that idea is position. It does not matter what you do for a living (or for ideologues, contribute to learning, leadership or culture). It is unimportant what you own and what power you can exercise. Even character is not important. What is important is socializing well.
The essence of anarchy is found in this simple distillation. When we deconstruct every aspect of society thoroughly, we become granular particles in the slipstream of life, and what matters is that we can “get along with” the people around us.
Anarchy is the essence of the modern time. When the French Revolution deposed the monarchy in 1789, it set off a wave of similar events. Each of these expressed fundamentally the same idea, which was deconstruction of hierarchy. In practice, it meant elevating each individual to the level of a king.
The rub is that making people equal gives each more power, but reduces the pool of power so that each person has a tiny amount. Now that we are equal, we are all kings in our apartments and suburban homes, but we must rush off to jobs, wait in line at stores, put up with mediocrity of general services — in other words, we’re both kings, and slaves to the slowness, incompetence and selfishness of all the other little kings.
For this reason, it is clear that conservatives are the opposite of anarchists. The essence of conservatism is conserving the social order that is most effective, and the behaviors and hierarchy that achieve the best results. To conservatives, liberalism emphasizes the short-term view instead.
However, there is within conservatism a different type of anarchy, which is the reluctance to be held back by (a) the incompetence, slowness and selfishness of others and (b) the limits of our natural world. We want maximal individual liberty through sensible designs to society.
In other words, a conservative anarchist is willing to sacrifice some freedoms of method in order to achieve an end result of maximal freedom, meaning the ability to apply our talents and inclinations to life in such a way as to produce a fulfilling result.
These two anarchies are obvious incompatible. The left desires anarchy as a result, so demands anarchy as a cause, and gets a different result (social chaos) instead. The right desires anarchy as a result, so demands order as a cause, and as a result liberates itself from social chaos.
Now, imagine for a moment, that you produced a society solely of conservatives.
- Social Darwinism. No welfare, no entitlement state, no Nanny State, and no tags on mattresses. Instead of spending most of our government dollars and time trying to save people from themselves, the conservative society focuses on building sensible social order that, with a modicum of intelligence and time, people can utilize to their best interest. Some deaths and “tragedies” are natural selection events, and those who cannot mobilize themselves to take advantage of the basics of civilization — steady employment, social order, hygiene, etc. — meet their fate as meted out by nature.
- Shared values. Conservatives emphasize clarity in form and function by simplicity; this is the opposite of the nation-state which makes abundant rules and forces them on its citizens. Instead, conservatives favor shared values, commonly called “culture,” because culture applies social order with none of the destructive force of government. Where government acts, it introduces two problems for every one it fixes, because it must use external force to compel people to obey abstract standards they do not understand. In a cultural/organic society, the standards are understood and the sanction is social withdrawal.
- Reverence. You can either worship the self, or the totality of existence, but not both. They are opposites because one — the self — contains our own minds and our fears for our physical bodies. Under a conservative society, the goal is to understand the order of nature and to find a way of living in harmony with it. This is opposite to the sense of the self being the order we must adhere to, and thus everything else (including nature) gets forced into secondary status.
- Practical consequences. A conservative society would have fewer people, and competition based less on “hours worked” than on applied ability. It would have smaller government and employ fewer people in do-nothing make-work bureaucracy. Its cultural mandate would function better than law for restraining large companies from making scammy products. Its social sanctions would cut out the people who always manage to skirt the edge of a rule, creating destruction that is not recognized. Finally, it would emphasize a reverence for nature and some form of religious order, keeping people less panicky than our modern atheist materialist humanist types.
If you want to know why people like me become conservative, this is it: conservatism is a better strategy for finding the good life.
While we are tempted, like the college students above, to demand a result of freedom from a cause of no rules, a better study of cause->effect logic suggests that freedom needs a precursor state to protect it. This state is a strong social order and a reverence for life itself.
In this view, the only true anarchists are the conservatives. We recognize that civilization is necessary, and that social order and culture are necessary, so instead of raging against that machine, we find a way to make it constructive and (when successful) a conduit to beauty.
The other anarchists — the ones who endorse that boilerplate rambling nonsense which equates imposed freedom with liberty — are just barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps it is not freedom they want, but social success, at the expense of social order and your own freedom.
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
1991 was a turning point for the West: communism failed, and this forced the West to consolidate its rebels and bourgeois together into a new genre. Made of baby boomers, this “bohemian bourgeois” combined 1968 pseudo-Marxist values with pure New World consumerism.
These raging delusional cases finally got their liberal dream through Bill Clinton, and then Barack Obama, interrupted only by conservatives who attempted to reverse the decline. This culminated an effort that began in 1789 or earlier to make everyone equal.
- Liberals endorse versions of the same idea on a spectrum from anarchy to communism: the individual has the unrestricted right to do whatever he or she wants to. To protect that right, they attack some methods as immoral and demand the right to other methods. Liberals deconstruct.
- Conservatives conserve whole things. Their goal is a stable society, not unrestricted individualism. They attack liberalism by pointing out that it has confused goals and as such, regulates methods (effects) not end results (causes). Conservatives construct.
You can see why liberals and conservatives fight like dogs: they’re heading in opposite directions. Liberals want to focus on the individual and ignore consequences; conservatives want to pay attention to consequences and make the individual fit into that as a means to an end.
Claiming that a radical difference exists between Communism, Socialism, anarchism and your standard liberal democrat is fallacious. The only difference is that of degree. Anarchism is the ideal, but that doesn’t work, so liberals switch to a strong central bureaucracy to enforce that anarchy.
Liberalism has been gaining influence since before 1789 because it is a popular notion. If you think only of the individual and its rights, there is never blame for individual failings and everyone is happy. This outlook is most compatible with commerce, socialization and marketing.
The proles of the world love liberalism because it tells them it’s not their fault that they have failings in life; someone else (presumably the rich, fascists, white people or aliens) did it to them. Cognitive dissonance is what psychologists call this, but not if they want to keep their jobs.
Now that we have had 200+ years of liberalism rising, we are starting to see the consequences of its unrealistic policies. Namely, our social order has collapsed and the result is worse than what came before. And we sacrificed it all for the notion that all people are equal.
Common sense and even more, basic experience, shows us that “all people are equal” is a delusional, dysfunctional and unrealistic feeling and fashion but not a complete logical thought. It is popular among the broadest section of individuals; these also like Katy Perry records and Big Macs.
Fewer than one in ten thousand people is competent enough to be a brain surgeon, military general or brilliant innovator; leadership is even harder than those jobs, and yet we let everyone make the decisions (votes) that constitute our ersatz leadership.
Yet a certain segment of the population keeps babbling on about equality and the individual and human rights as if these things were still relevant. They aren’t. Liberalism is now the old order, and one that has failed, as it has wrecked families, nations, and all things we relied upon.
Take our Prime Minister, who is once again defrauding far too many people. He uses his expensive voice, his expensive clothes, his well-learned tone of public-school command, to give the impression of being an effective and decisive person. But it is all false. He has no real idea of what to do. He thinks the actual solutions to the problem are ‘fascist’. Deep down, he still wants to ‘understand’ the hoodies.
Say to him that naughty children should be smacked at home and caned in school, that the police (and responsible adults) should be free to wallop louts and vandals caught in the act, that the police should return to preventive foot patrols, that prisons should be austere places of hard work, plain food and discipline without TV sets or semi-licit drugs, and that wrongdoers should be sent to them when they first take to crime, not when they are already habitual crooks, and he will throw up his well-tailored arms in horror at your barbarity.
Say to him that divorce should be made very difficult and that the state should be energetically in favour of stable, married families with fathers (and cease forthwith to subsidise families without fathers) and he will smirk patronisingly and regard you as a pitiable lunatic.
Say to him that mass immigration should be stopped and reversed, and that those who refuse any of the huge number of jobs which are then available should be denied benefits of any kind, and he will gibber in shock.
Yet he is ready to authorise the use of water cannon and plastic bullets on our streets (quite useless, as it happens, against this sort of outbreak) as if we were a Third World despotism. – The Daily Mail
Since 1789, leftists have been fighting to bury their misdeeds under the rug. They “intend” well, but the results are never so good. Whether it was the mass slaughter of French people upon hearsay in the French revolution, the vast purges of Soviet Russia, or the ongoing failure of leftist programs in the US and UK, liberals are trying to hide these consequences.
Liberalism and leftism are the same thing, and part of their goal is to deny consequences so that the individual has maximum freedom and equality.
However, doubts spread. We’ve been on on this increasing equality jihad since at least WWII, and the crusade for universal freedom and equality has run into a stopping point — the actual inequality of people. The leftist answer is that we can “educate” (propagandize) them with central authority.
However, nature matters more than our fond notions of what propaganda can do. From a recent update:
A landmark article went online a few days ago in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The study was prepared by a team of 32 researchers headed by the University of Edinburgh’s Gail Davies and entitled “Genome-wide association studies establish that human intelligence is highly heritable and polygenic.” The study’s methods do not lend themselves to easy explanation unless you’re at home with SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and inverse variance weighted models used to capture “the variance in the trait that is due to linkage disequilibrium between genotyped SNPs and unknown causal variants.” But the bottom line of the article is reasonably simple. Using nothing but genetic information, the team of researchers was able to establish that the narrow heritability of crystallized intelligence (the kind that can be more easily affected by education) is at least 40 percent. The narrow heritability of fluid intelligence (the kind that involves pure problem-solving ability, independently of acquired knowledge) is at least 51 percent. Note the at least. The study’s authors explicitly state that these estimates are lower bounds.
Shelves of books and articles denying or minimizing the heritability of IQ have suddenly become obsolete. – The American
As that writer doubtless knows, this is a problem for leftists, because it disproves equality. If intelligence is mostly heritable, education is irrelevant — people either have the ability to process the information, or not. You cannot educate into someone a series of ideas they lack the biological capacity to understand.
As Stephen Pinker wrote in The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, modernism (a form of liberalism) denies that we are inequal. Instead, it believes that we are equal beings who just await the right programming to be made into perfect citizens. However, biology is far more complex, but a general capacity for processing (called g for “general intelligence”) determines not only what we can understand, but what jobs we are capable of doing and how competent we will be at them.
G even correlates highly with health. It’s almost like an evolution index, which since intelligence is most of what separates us from our simian ancestors it most likely is. The changes in our physiology probably occurred after our intelligence rose, and enabled us to evolve further.
In fact, scientists are discovering a lot about the brain, especially what makes people with higher intelligence radically different:
Here’s an interesting fact: Smart people have faster impulses in the brain than less intelligent people. That’s all according to one Cambridge professor by the name of Ed Bullmore. But as far as getting any smarter, tough luck. British scientists made a convincing case for why our brains have reached full capacity: Human brains would consume too much energy.
Simon Laughlin, professor of neurobiology, at Cambridge University told The Sunday Times: ‘We have demonstrated that brains must consume energy to function and that these requirements are sufficiently demanding to limit our performance and determine design.”
Also, in the The Sunday Times story, the researchers say there’s a link between how connected different brain areas are and IQ. However, there isn’t enough energy to keep up with any increase in brain power. – SmartPlanet
The brain is wired to move faster and with greater complexity in smarter people.
No matter what they preach about equality, we will always want smart leaders and professionals. Who do you want doing your open-heart surgery, or taxes, or defending you in court — the 100 IQ “equal person” or someone with an IQ of 120 or above?
Go ahead, tell us why you want the equal low-IQ type. That’s propaganda too and most people will obediently bleat out the equality doctrine: it doesn’t matter as long as he works hard, if he’s nice it’s OK, the judge will understand, etc. But in real life they’d pick the smarter candidate every time.
Liberalism/leftism is failing for two reasons: (a) its policies are not succeeding despite trillions of dollars and relentless effort because its founding idea of equality is an insane notion and (b) science, experience, history and common sense show that liberalism has negative consequences.
Like a new dawn, people are gaining the emotional strength to bear social disapproval and criticize liberalism.
This reminds me of the early years after the Carter presidency (Carter is an example of how liberalism turns honorable men into popularity-whoring nitwits). People were so brainwashed into the warm-fuzzy, happy-feelings, compassionate-pacifism of those years it took them months or years to shake free.
When they did however, they found that conservatism offered something different — a whole society. Instead of a lot of dogma to explain away failures, there were practical and straight-forward plans for not only fixing problems, but rising above them.
Across the globe, favored populations with higher IQs are starting to snap out of their socially-induced stupor and notice that liberalism has failed, despite for too long holding the competent but few in the thrall of the incompetent but numerous.
Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Let me make a hypothesis here: if you want to be an ueber-tyrant, the best way is to get your citizens involved in some drama unrelated to the actual question of how you will rule the nation.
For example, you can set up a government that makes rules, and then rule through media opinion; or you can set up a media that bloviates irrelevantly, and a government that regulates some things, and rule behind the scenes by what companies you buy and what they do. There are infinite ways.
I don’t consider this conspiracy thinking because it’s common sense. Once you see that power is having the ability to make a bunch of monkeys do the same thing at the same time, you can see infinite conduits to it. Money. Status. Memetics. Police states. Bribes. Heck, you could probably run a tidy tyranny with just a really good coupon program.
Most conspiracy thinkers worry about a shadow government. Most historians realize that instead there’s likely to be a shifting population with enough money to get their changes into the mainstream. They don’t conspire, and that’s the problem. They survive off of society but have no interest in redirecting it from ruin; after all, they’ll be fine, and they have money and like most people, they don’t think past next week much less next generation.
The way most people approach politics reminds me of how the USA approached the Vietnam war: we were trained to face a big industrialized Army that charged at us with all that it had; instead, we were fighting a disorganized but well-trained army with grenades and AK-47s. Your planes designed to eliminate factories don’t work well against places where ten guys in a cave are making the ammunition for each local region.
We look for organization and ideology in politics, but really, there’s neither. The unasked question is “toward what end do we rule?” and those who rule by money don’t want us to ask that. Instead, they want us to accept that there is some goal, and start fighting amongst ourselves. Why? So they can conduct business as usual, because to a businessperson, government and ideology invariably screw things up. And unlike government, business is constant and cleanly logical: make money / feed family.
Most civilizations in the latter halves of their lives loop through a cycle that gains intensity as it repeats: it’s the freedom-order cycle. The people want more freedom, which in turn empowers insane, stupid and criminal people to create more socialized costs (costs passed on to everyone) and to fragment any direction the society had, which in turn causes the remaining responsible people to demand protection. So it becomes a class war, with a huge mass of irresponsible people opposing the responsible people who have money, and the society beats itself to death in a futile, all-encompassing, pointless war.
The presumption of ideology derives from this conflict. The masses always have ideology that disguises self-interest; the responsible bourgeois, middle class, etc. don’t need it and don’t have it. “Be responsible” isn’t an ideology, it’s an ethos. In the view of the middle classes, ideology is what you invent to justify having failed at life. In the view of the masses, not having an ideology means you just don’t care about fellow human beings. This division enables the society to never focus on the actual issue, which is designing itself as an organism that thrives.
In exploring their environment, ants create huge trail systems like motorway networks. Many researchers have remarked that we may have much to learn from the way ant traffic flows along these trails which seem to be free of the jams that plague our roads.
[T]he average speed of the ants remains constant, regardless of the density of the traffic. There is no transition to a nonlinear flow, at least not in the conditions that this group studied.
Let’s put that in perspective. Ant traffic flow is like rush hour traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike travelling bumper-to bumper at the 55 mph.
So what’s the secret? John and his mates aren’t entirely sure but they’ve found a pretty good clue: ants never overtake. Not ever. Instead they form into platoons in which all the ants move at the same speed. Increase the density of ant traffic and the platoons simply join together to form larger groups. This is how the velocity remains the same while the density increases. That makes ant traffic significantly different from other types of traffic in which congestion occurs, such as road traffic and internet packet traffic.
What if instead of basing our society around uniform density, we based it around uniform velocity? Meaning that we ensure that everyone is moving in roughly the same direction at roughly the same speed, and for it sacrifice equality of distribution of energy — density.
What if instead of basing our society around the regulation of density in a static context, we based our society around having a goal and moving toward it together? That way, we would escape this endless thrashing between wealth redistribution and wealth retribution.
We could do this, and, as Plato points out, it’s how civilizations in their early stages operate. Pick a working values system, religion, heritage and language, and develop it over time. That’s how culture both changes radically and stays the same. And it would be relatively easy to get back to this stage. Specifically, our society is getting exhausted by the constant thrashing, and people are ready to split it up.
If we broke it into states with more power than they have now, they could define themselves, and whichever prospered would rule the new land. Technology is the wild card here, as it could make some areas disproportionately prosperous and so make the choice for us. However, that’s not a show-stopper, just something to be aware of.
If not, we’ll never be able to face issues like this one:
The President of the United Nations General Assembly has told delegates at the 5th World Water Forum (WWF) in Istanbul, Turkey, that, “those who are committed to the privatization of water, making it a commodity like oil, are denying people a human right as basic as the air we breathe.”
In a speech delivered by his senior advisor on water Maude Barlow, UN president Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann said, “We must work quickly to guarantee that access to drinking water constitutes a fundamental right of all peoples…”
Here we are at the haves versus have-nots again. The have-nots want equality; the haves want to defend themselves against this. (As you know from the civilization cycle, when a society grants too much power to the people, the have-nots assault the haves who then defend themselves, in a perpetual cycle where battle lines are defined more by responsibility to reality than any ideological or wealth-oriented attributes.)
Of course, the water should be viewed as a nihilist would view it: structurally. Water maintains ecosystems; it is a vital part of the landscape; humans use it too, but that usage must be in balance with the rest in proportion to the importance of humans. I rank humans pretty highly, as a species, but we need to ask ourselves whether unfettered human growth produces new heights for humanity, and then see if we want to sacrifice our environment for said unfettered human growth.
Another source shows us this conflict in bare terms:
Liberalism that was built into our Constitution, insuring that the state solely preserve our natural rights to life, liberty and property against the aggression of other individuals, and moreover against the tyranny of the majority. It was this system of government with limited powers, in which people could choose their own form of morality over that imposed by the force of the state. This choice of what was moral could be made at one’s own peril: people could choose to accumulate as much wealth as possible or sacrifice all of their wealth to charity; businessesmen could operate for consumers at a profit or for the “public good” at a loss; soul-searchers could choose to live good Christian lives or become pot-smoking hippies or dwell in hedonistic communes.
The point is that people had choice, and they were responsible for their choices and protected from harmful choices of others by the rule of law.
The American right is drugged on fear of socialism. Don’t let that put you off, because every society is somewhat socialistic since it shares infrastructure in common. What American conservatives would say if they had balls is that they want natural selection to return, and in order to do that, they cannot be obligated to support other people. They are cool with providing public services and infrastructure, but in any case where these are measured by equality of people, what happens is a subsidizing of those below the average which results in everyone else waiting on them. That’s obviously a bad practice.
Unfortunately, American conservatives and Ayn Rand junkies and Ludwig von Mises types are all in denial of one basic fact: we are in a civilization, and civilizations are by their nature collectivist, which means that we must lead others to get things done and that we suffer the consequences of others. Natural selection is a broken model in this context. It only works on a pioneer, frontier basis. This is why people have not flocked to the anarchistic libertarian strain, nor have they returned to the American conservative parties. The idea of suspending social rule is not appealing to most intelligent people.
It’s possible to take a middle path: we want everyone moving in the same direction, and to exile those who are not cool with that, and in the meantime, we will take care of everyone who is helping us move toward that direction. This requires us to have a goal; a goal requires a consensus about what is important; a consensus requires that individuals set aside their pretenses and selfishness for long enough to come together in agreement.
That’s our only hurdle, and while it’s a small one, in the fears of the underconfident, it is taller than Everest. Humanity either beats this issue or begins the long, slow, lugubrious walk down the evolutionary ladder to a comfortable existence as talking monkeys.