Posts Tagged ‘bureaucracy’

Social Control

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Humans live in a world of confusion because so many things are a mystery to us, and so we write them off, but then become subverted by lurking doubts. We accept many things in our lives that we do not understand, and rationalize them as being for the best because we see no other option.

For this reason, at least two layers exist to our human world: there is the public layer, in which we explain our rationalizations to each other, and an underlying layer, understood by few, where actual cause-effect relationships are understood.

In that public layer, we reason backward from what already exists. “The economy needs” or “bipartisanship demands compromise.” Here, we are looking not just at the material world, but the configuration in which it stands now, and reasoning from that about what our future should be. This necessarily follows a single direction, because each act accepts the last as necessary and reacts to it in order to keep it from failing. It is like building a house out of a shack; we add on rooms to support existing rooms, and end up with a chaotic design.

The underlying layer remains understood by few because it requires analytical skill and patience to understand, things that require the force of character and force of intellect that are rare in any society. And so, all of the forces that actually regulate and change our society go unnoticed, while a play is acted out onstage to provide simple answers that make people feel intelligent and confident for understanding them.

Plato argues for a cave metaphor, and the ancient Vedic scribes talked about the veil of Maya, but this is not as simple as “materialism.” It is our tendency to mistake effects for causes of themselves, much as we like to see ourselves as causes of ourselves, which manifests in materiality as opposed to seeing patterns, which is what we call idealism of the German school.

We can understand patterns only through the world beyond the part of us that consciously rationalizes and uses language. Patterns must be understood on a lower level than symbols, and can be recognized frequently by aesthetics, but this requires that we reach into our inner selves where intuition resides. Through that, we can apprehend the forms or patterns that life takes, and thus understand it as a kind of language: in certain types of situations, certain patterns arise in response to certain conditions. Patterns replicate in parallel across different media — thought, information, matter, energy — and the broader our analytical reach in these areas, the less likely we are to be able to translate the patterns we see into language or equations. Instead, we must simply take them into our inner self and assess them against all else we know to intuit what is correct. This is the opposite of deduction and rational thought; “exterminate all rational thought,” as William S. Burroughs advised, opens the gateway to understanding the intuition.

As such, our only true motivation is from within, and is based in understanding, not desire. We cannot command it to be so, write laws about it, enforce it with procedures, or demonstrate it in a lab or open argument. It is a direct understanding of the world, and its counterpart is our creative side, which generates metaphors for our comprehension of it. Together, these two sides come together to give us a more accurate portrayal of the world, even if it is not literal, because we are dealing with patterns that occur over time and across multiple media, so they cannot be visualized, tokenized or otherwise reduced. They are alone in themselves, and the best we get is glimpses, but not all glimpses are equal; those glimpses which apply a focused understanding of the world are more accurate, and these are biologically possible for only a small segment of the population. Either those people are in charge, or the rest who do not understand such things declare them to be insane and reject them.

In every human event involving two or more people, the social impulse conflicts with the inner self. The social impulse is composed of what we want done to us, and how we convince others to do what we want done. Because both we and they are human, the natural tendency arises to assume that both have the same motivations because they have the same sensations, a condition which rapidly approximates solipsism. When reinforced by the group, the condition accelerates, such that reality is gradually minimized because it naturally clashes with a human-centered view of the world, and eventually inversion occurs, where the meanings of words and things are changed into their opposite. With this comes a backward thought process of rationalizing from what is, in order to feel good about it, so that others can be motivated with this good feeling to do what is necessary despite the otherwise crushing pressure of solipsism, like an exploded star becoming a black hole.

Social control occurs through the need for this manipulation. Instead of confronting reality and acting toward purpose, individuals act toward keeping the group together (“why can’t we all just get along?” howled the exasperated kindergarten teacher). This shows the dominance of the social impulse, which is entirely external and represented reversed logic, in that it argues from material motivations as a way of preventing certain acts and forcing others to occur.

External control benefits those who wield it because it is simple to achieve. You set up rules, make them vague, and then punish anyone who deviates, which is something you selectively interpret or choose to enforce. In other words, your citizens will be at all times cowering from the possibility of enforcement, and they will attempt to do things to please you in order to pre-emptively prove their loyalty. This makes them entirely subservient, and soon the need to rationalize this external control forces them to re-construct how their internal impulses work. Over time, they will stop being able to formulate objectives and analyze their own actions without your input because before they do anything, they must ensure that it will not offender the controller. In this way, people become entirely dependent on the control yet prone to rebel against it as they sense that it is changing the core of their personalities.

In our neo-Communist society, social control goes a step further by being distributed, or not directly implemented by a centralized force. Instead, the central authorities set up a reward/punishment system which mostly functions by making rewards necessary to rise above the entry level, subsistence lifestyle. For example, a controller can rule without making his ideology mandatory. Instead he simply impoverishes everyone, or at least forces large expenses upon them, and then alleviates that pain for those who affirmatively come to him and demonstrate a willingness to be obedient. Although it does not involve high technology, control is a form of mind control in this way, in that it induces people to re-wire themselves to be essentially mental servants of the controller. Taking this a step further, social control induces citizens to enforce control upon each other, with those who impose control upon others being rewarded, and those who fail to do so also fail to advance in the system. Soon there is a gold rush for having demonstrated obedience by making others obedient.

Bureaucratic society takes on this form through its pretense of meritocracy. As a way of enforcing equality, meritocracy starts everyone at zero and advances those who are willing to sit through many years of schooling, memorize all the right facts, participate in all the activities, and otherwise have their minds shaped to fit the type of behavior that society expects. This makes people into beggars who must prove their utility by sacrificing their time to be spent on essentially make-work, since very little of what is memorized is retained, and weeds out the non-compliant ones. Social control causes people to enforce on one another a competitive race for status, such as who owns what objects or has which titles. “Keeping up with the Joneses” motivates people to earn more, which in turn causes them to trade off more of their time. All of this has the effect of altering them internally, so that like citizens of ex-Soviet republics, they become unable to act of their own impetus and are entirely dependent on external cues — social, ideological, monetary, material — to know how to deal with life. Without others to follow and set standards, they are locked in paralysis at the thought of having to act.

This use of social control to morally and intellectually neuter people demonstrates the nature of bureaucracy as a control system, rather than an efficient method of administering society:

The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus…Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapses. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existences as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host.

When hierarchy is abolished, such as by a revolution, all that is left is those in power. Hierarchy refers to a hierarchy within the citizenry, such that some have rank above others, as opposed to government or another party outside of society itself which, like a contractor or service provider, claims to provide quality governance and stability in exchange for income from taxes. A controller is neither of the group nor interested in hierarchy; control must come from on high, or outside of the group, and be obeyed or used to ostracize or otherwise damage the person who failed to obey. Controllers may implement a hierarchy within the political class, but this division represents power only, and not a role beyond administering control downward.

Leadership is not control. Government of any form seeks control because it is external to society and operates by reducing people to the rank of equals so that it can reward those who obey, punishing the rest by parallax motion of their social status and fortunes. Actual leadership separates the best people out from the rest in advance, does not demand loyalty tests or other methods of keeping the herd together, and emphasizes reward for successful achievement of goals. Control regulates methods as a means of limiting what people can do and therefore what they can think; leadership rewards achievement and has minimal influence on methods. As a result, leadership creates many paths to the same goal, where control creates repetitively similar paths to many different goals, since it does not operate by reward but by punishment for deviation from ideology, and encourages all other forms of deviation as a type of stochastic resonance to silhouette and emphasize the ideological narrative.

With control, mass culture is created, but control also arises from mass culture because with masses, keeping the group together is more important than having purpose. For control, purpose is short-circuited into a perpetual pseudo-purpose of always maintaining control. In this way it is both tautological and cyclic in a self-perpetuating way, although with each cycle, it seems to lose some energy because of its repetitive nature, and slowly runs down. Mass culture and control are inseparable from bureaucracy, which is the assembly-line treatment of people as identical objects upon which the state acts, and this requires imposing external manipulation on people through rewards and punishments as a means of “shaping” them to be obedient. For this reason, bureaucracy is totalitarianism

Thus, over the past 50 years, the consequence has been the rise of The Manager as the archetypal Modern Man – the manager is the cocrete terminus and manifestation of sixties spirituality. Indeed, the 60s-type rebels and cynics always become managers; and managers are the servants of The System – indeed managers are the dupes of The System.

The deal is that in return for creating and imposing The System – in return for working as-a-manager to extend the reach and power of The System via the expansion and linking of bureaucracy – the manager personally will be rewarded with wealth, power and status such that he can pursue his (or more usually her) selfish gratifications – sex, holidays, fashion, possessions…

All managers hate their work as such – and it is indeed hateful work; it being to collaborate in the intended long-term and permanent enslavement of others to a totalitarian agenda of materialism and inversion of the Good. (Bureaucracy just is totalitarianism.)

Management uses the same philosophy as other forms of control: an external authority, using external methods, manipulates people in order to shape them into a pattern of compliant behavior.

This has several negative consequences. First, it makes people entirely dependent on authority, and correspondingly unwilling to trust their own analytical ability, intuition or common sense. Second, it allows those who have no inherent wisdom to get ahead by simply being obedient and diligent, which is a form of equality when put under analysis. It also bores those who do not lack ability because for them, all of this stuff is remedial and tangentially relevant. But it delights those who find comfort in external process. People who find comfort in external process are those who are alien from the inner process by which they formulate their own purpose; control, because it is external, acts against those who have inner purpose, shaping them gradually into those who respond only to external stimulus. This is why it associates with fantasies of revenge, defense of the underdog, equality which innately sabotages the higher to promote the lower, dominance of the weak over the strong, and other fantasies.

William S. Burroughs reveals knowledge of this when he spoke of what he thought about Leftists:

All liberals are weaklings, and all weaklings are vindictive, mean and petty. (164)

Bureaucracy, Leftism and Control thus fit into the same pattern: imposition of the weaker on the strong, after subverting the strong with a mental virus based in guilt for having succeeded. This accelerates the rise of the people without souls over the small group who do all the hard intellectual and moral choice-making.

People without souls focus on the external personality of other people — obedience, social cues, favorite TV shows, shared activities — and ignore the inner core, where intelligence and moral character reside, two factors which along with the creative impulse constitute what we call the soul. That inner core is hidden from socialization, and can generate the personality from its most essential principles outward, but only if the person is self-actualized; otherwise, the personality is an artifact of the social group. Since this inner core is inaccessible to control, it represents a threat to control, which relies on the concept of universalism, or one idea applied equally in different contexts without regard for the patterns and variations inherent to those different contexts. Universalism is control because it destroys context, difference and individual traits, and replaces them with a mechanical, artificial and uniform rule which stamps out the difference between human beings so that control can remain in power. Similarly, it seeks to crush nature, which is comprised of endless variation and complexity, because nature threatens human dominion by not being human, where through social means, both individuals and groups can be dominated.

Using language, tokens and social pressure to control a human herd is the essence of modernity:

Language is a virus that seeks to supplant natural order. People are able to use language to manipulate one another, and through this can get ahead with social/ideological means instead of by producing actual results in external reality. From Tom Wolfe:

Evolution came to an end when the human beast developed speech! As soon as he became not Homo sapiens, “man reasoning,” but Homo loquax, “man talking”! Speech gave the human beast far more than an ingenious tool. Speech was a veritable nuclear weapon! It gave the human beast the powers of reason, complex memory, and long-term planning, eventually in the form of print and engineering plans. Speech gave him the power to enlarge his food supply at will through an artifice called farming. Speech ended not only the evolution of man, by making it no longer necessary, but also the evolution of animals!

And William S. Burroughs from The Ticket That Exploded (1962):

From symbiosis to parasitism is a short step. The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk. That organism is the word.

And Friedrich W. Nietzsche in the document that kicked off postmodernism, “On Truth And Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense” (1873):

But because man, out of need and boredom, wants to exist socially, herd-fashion, he requires a peace pact and he endeavors to banish at least the very crudest bellum omni contra omnes [war of all against all] from his world. This peace pact brings with it something that looks like the first step toward the attainment of this enigmatic urge for truth. For now that is fixed which henceforth shall be “truth”; that is, a regularly valid and obligatory designation of things is invented, and this linguistic legislation also furnishes the first laws of truth: for it is here that the contrast between truth and lie first originates. The liar uses the valid designations, the words, to make the unreal appear as real; he says, for example, “I am rich,” when the word “poor” would be the correct designation of his situation. He abuses the fixed conventions by arbitrary changes or even by reversals of the names. When he does this in a self-serving way damaging to others, then society will no longer trust him but exclude him. Thereby men do not flee from being deceived as much as from being damaged by deception: what they hate at this stage is basically not the deception but the bad, hostile consequences of certain kinds of deceptions.

In other words, language is used to obscure the selfish motives of the individual which are cloaked in the idea of altruistic motives to help others. This is the essence of Crowdism.

Control, like tyranny, represents the ultimate selfishness: it is defensive in that it seeks to quash variation and independent thought in order to smash down the accurate analysis and perception of the most accomplished in force of moral character and force of intellect in our society. Control works by removing the natural leaders of society and replacing them with rote laws and a single universal standard by which all people are molded, making them replicants of the intent of the controllers, which does not offend the 90% who are weakest in the parallel of force of intellect and force of moral character, but destroys those who might know better by being able to more accurately perceive reality.

At the core of control we find the human impulse to avoid fate. Humans claim to want safety, but what they mean is freedom from being incorrect in their assessment of reality, thus subject to natural selection via physical or social means. In nature, the man who fails to make a fire on a cold night dies; in human society, the rest of the group is obligated to save him, thus dooming the group to drown in incompetents as more of them are saved and reproduce. Fate treats us all unequally. Some are born to sweet delight, and some are born to endless night, but social control would have them all be born to a state in-between, a perpetual grey mediocrity where they are safe but also prohibited from reaching excellence, beauty, realism, honor and virtue. And yet, this is popular with a crowd who by its very nature is formed of people who have nothing to distinguish themselves, therefore must rationalize that they have been wronged in order to continue believing that they are in fact good. All human efforts perish by this standard.

Inside of humanity lurks a great weakness. We try to avoid fate by eliminating possible error, and in doing so, neuter and domesticate ourselves. We are looking for excuses to do nothing, to rationalize life instead of acting it and by so doing, coming to terms with our limitations and the fate that awaits us beyond our control, like natural selection itself. This becomes a fear of life itself, and it is why every human effort fails and over time, becomes replaced by an oblivious mediocrity which dooms its original purpose and removes access to an honest enjoyment of life for all.

A Flag Under Which We Can All Unite

Monday, May 8th, 2017

We may not agree on the how, what or when. We may not even agree on why. But if the past 228 years have shown us anything, it is that we will get nowhere unless we reject the founding assumption of all these systems — consumerism, democracy, diversity, bureaucracy — which is that humans are interchangeable parts, made equal so they can follow the doctrine of humankind.

Under this flag we can unite. From that moment, we know we must do: alter our culture to see “equality” as comedic and toxic nonsense, and then start figuring out what that means.

Democracy, People Power And Individualism Are The Downfall Of Europeans

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

People defend democracy because they find it hard to believe that we did this to ourselves. But think of it this way: every culture has the goal of improving itself; democracy replaces that goal with “being democratic.”

When a civilization begins, its goal is to avoid being destroyed; once it achieves enough wealth that there are no longer threats, people either find another purpose or look inward.

The problem here is that any other purpose will not be tangible like the idea of overcoming threats. This is an evolutionary challenge to the development of the human mind: we need to be able to understand the value of the intangible and long-term future purpose as well as be able to react to short-term threats.

Among human populations, there are some who innately understand the need for a long-term intangible purpose. They gravitate toward immutable but ongoing goals like the transcendentals — “the good, the beautiful and the true” — or the constant struggle against entropy, stupidity and venality in order to produce a civilization that endures and improves until the end of time.

Democracy replaces more than the people. It replaces the culture and its genetic root. We might view democracy as a virus or other parasitic organism:

The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principles of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action to the complete parasitism of a virus. (It is thought that the virus is a degeneration from more complex life-form. It may at one time have been capable of independent life. Now has fallen to the borderline between living and dead matter. It can exhibit living qualities only in a host, by using the life of another — the renunciation of life itself, a falling towards inorganic, inflexible machine, towards dead matter.) Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapse. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existence as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host. – William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

Instead of acting for ourselves (individualism) or the group (collectivism), people should act for this organic whole known as civilization which includes both individual and group. It balances the needs of those against the need to survive for the future, and to improve in the present. Democracy counteracts this, which is why it is easier and more popular.

Bureaucracy Is The Enemy Of Quality

Monday, July 25th, 2016

From Naked Lunch:

“The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus…Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapses. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existences as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host. (67)

Why does democracy shift Leftward, inevitably and consistently? Democracy must create the State, because it has displaced leadership and at the very least needs an authority to administer elections. This creates bureaus, or managerial institutions composed of file clerks applying rules made by leaders. These tend toward an extreme egalitarian premise because the very nature of the bureau is that it knows nothing about the people who come in the door, so it treats them as anonymous citizens, i.e. equals who must subject themselves to procedure in exchange for results. This causes the bureau to act in loco parentis and therefore, to start demanding that everyone get along, always by protecting the clueless, weak, foolish, insane, etc. against the normal. From this comes a mentality of victimhood, and this encourages government and citizens to shift further Leftward.

Returning to a world that makes sense

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016


A TSA agent spent several minutes groping a 10 year old girl after finding a juice box and cell phone in her luggage, explaining those actions by saying “we don’t live in a make sense world.”

This reminds us that not only are government officials just following orders and applying standard procedure, they feel no need for any of it to make sense. This is appropriate for a society that expects senseless actions and employs no tolerance policies mandating rigid responses that remove reason and judgment from determining appropriate handling for any situation.

In a reason-based society, you should be able to interrupt an official performing a mandated task and receive a satisfactory answer when asking them what they expect that task will accomplish. If they don’t know, or don’t think it will accomplish anything, they should not mindlessly perform their duty.

Some Luddites have warned us that the technology that promised to make our lives easier has instead enslaved us to an avalanche of email, texts, and links we need to check for and click on. Just as we have turned humans into procedural robots that work for the needs of computers that should function on our behalf, we have likewise inverted our relationship with rules by creating binding directives at odds with our goals.

Our system of rules is in constant expansion and is assumed sensible and benign only because this was previously the case. With reason increasingly banished from society and rational scrutiny considered offensive and antisocial, we may have reached the limits our of ability to design governing systems.

Surveying the chain of derailment shows us we got lost with successive waves of revolution against reality, accelerated most recently from 1950-1970 with waves of beatniks, hippies, and feminists who proposed compelling fantasies of flower-power, equality, trigger warnings and peace through surrender, despite significant conflict necessitating actual resolution.

This set the stage for political correctness, which ushered in microaggressions, pretending to feel threatened because alternative ideas are communicated, and identifying as whatever characteristics one wished themselves to possess. Surely future methods of crafting fantasies will continue to disconnect further from the real world.

We should consider simplifying all this by returning to a world that makes sense.

Passing the Buck

Monday, September 8th, 2014


Everyone recognizes the gross violation when a guy is driving a car that bellows smoke like a mobile chimney. His car isn’t maintained and he knows it, but does nothing about it. His life is likely the same mess of moving wreckage everywhere he goes.

Politicians recognize the specific offense of pollution, as if it is unusual and isolated from a mindset and spirit, rather than the general problem of disorganization and its wider consequences. They then attempt to limit its harm by winnowing the population through mandated periodic emissions tests administered at the time of vehicle registration renewal.

Offenders aren’t even 1% of the population, but everyone else becomes engulfed in a dragnet of implied guilt that requires all to prove that even new and well maintained cars are innocent of pollution. This process involves going to a service station to pay a worker to inspect and approve the car, and then visiting a government office to wait among a large crowd to eventually pay for a sticker proving lack of violation. Everyone is required to waste hours of waiting in order to be legal, and then repeat this dreadful process every year or two.

Garages are pleased to have state mandated emission inspections. They are guaranteed a generous fee for a few minutes of work, and can open garages that run exclusively on the long lines of people who need to be certified as innocent of pollution. When run efficiently, a single garage bay can earn several hundred dollars an hour. The emission tests can be easily faked and their steps skipped to maximize the number of cars processed. If your car is in violation, you can pass with a small bribe.

Citizens just want to get through the exam. They see it as ludicrous and don’t care if the check is faked and skipped. They want to minimize the amount of their time wasted by government policies.

Garages want to take advantage of government policies that guarantee them customers and healthy margins. Individual garage employees see how the mandate annoys citizens and that bribes to speed the process and pass defective vehicles are a good way to earn a side income.

Governments don’t care about the practical costs of their policies or their lack of correspondence with stated purpose. They earn money from mandatory obedience, expand their breadth of authority, and can claim to have solved the problem despite it continuing to appear.

By not going after observed offenders and instead creating a thoughtless system mandating everyone prove compliance, government has created a gap so distant from reality that it was almost immediately filled by innovative bribe takers and resentful citizens, somewhat reducing the new imposition on their lives but utterly failing to solve the original problem.

So it is with democratic policies decided upon by diverse committees seeking popular appeal and not actual solutions. Those who had a hand in the law will use it to promote themselves in the next election as protectors of the people and the fragile earth.

They would be best remembered as big talking hucksters who promised to fix problems, weren’t sufficiently concerned or smart enough to figure them out, and instead left behind a maze of new obstacles and a cloud of smoke as the next snake oil salesman took the stage with a warm smile and an assortment of new offerings crafted for a credulous public.

My introduction to the world of make-work and adult bitterness

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

In fifth grade I was infuriated when a new obligation was introduced in addition to our actual studies. It was called an “assignment notebook.”  Once you received your homework in whatever subject, you then had to write down that you had homework in whatever subject…

I know, I know – what if we forget between now and two hours from now, right?  We’re a bunch of crazy rambunctious kids, after all.  But if you can’t remember your assignment, why does it follow you would remember your assignment notebook?  Maybe we need an assignment notebook for our assignment notebook!

Further irony:  the teachers would not even necessarily check that we were doing it daily.  Instead, they would just collect it intermittently.  Most of the students would just scramble at the last second to fill in old assignments that were over and done with before the teacher was going to collect them to make sure we were actually filling it out.

This will teach you how to get organized they said.  But what about the kids who were already organized?  I already had an “assignment notebook” called “my brain.”

The whole thing is subtly patronizing.  If you don’t have homework, you should also write down that you “don’t have homework.”  Do I have homework tonight?  Let me check my assignment notebook – nope, looks like I don’t, good thing I wrote down, specifically, that I “don’t have homework.”  If I had left it blank, I would be wondering whether I didn’t have homework or whether I had just forgotten to write it down altogether.  “Always make sure you write enough so you know exactly what to do.”

I truly believe that this is a situation where good intentions to help lesser students becomes a way of hobbling gifted students with minutiae.  It’s one thing to simply encourage keeping an assignment notebook but they factored it in to your overall grade.

I believe they gave it up in high school.  But fifth through eight grades was enough time to condition the kids to a world of bureaucracy and unnecessary paperwork. Welcome to the “make-work” reality of adulthood, kids. Woohoo.

This is very much an example of what Plato and crow say about enfeebling the mind by relying on words or books to tell you what to do and/or think.  Your brain becomes lazy; instead of doing stuff because you want to accomplish an inner goal, you do it because it’s simply written down in your assignment notebook.

Bureaucratic methods wreck everything

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

One thing we riff on frequently here is the nature of bureaucracy and how it ruins basically everything it touches.

Bureaucracy we might define as using professional clerks to process social functions through centralized authority, and with them, the gnarly techniques of measuring life through spreadsheets, using metrics and other indirect methods of figuring out if the job is getting done.

Bureaucracy is not relegated to government alone; from an unlikely source:

During the late 80s and early 90s the industry underwent a transformation and restructured, catalyzed by three distinct factors. Record companies no longer viewed themselves as conduits for music, but as functions of the manipulations of Wall Street. Companies were acquired, conglomerated, bought and sold; public stock offerings ensued, shareholders met. At this very same time, new Nielsen monitoring systems — BDS (Broadcast Data Systems) and SoundScan were employed to document record sales and radio airplay.


Record companies soon discovered that because of BDS, they only needed to concentrate on about 12 radio stations; there was no longer a business rationale for working secondary markets that were soon forgotten — despite the fact that these were the very places where rock and roll was born and thrived. – Huffington Post

If you find it too risky to use intelligent people to figure out what music is crap and what is not, start monitoring statistics. Then stop caring about the organic whole of the industry, where certain listeners are more important than others, and start looking for purely linear reasoning. How many people like it?

  • Never mind if they’re idiots.
  • Never mind if they’re a plurality whose interests exclude those of a majority.
  • Never mind if they are temporary in their interest.

In short, only count warm bodies. “Hey Phil, we gotta lotta customers here who want to buy stuff!”

This type of thinking takes a bigger mission, such as “provide music to a nation,” and dumbs it down into a linear mission, which is “take care of these idiots who have money in their fat grubby hands right now.”

If you ever wonder why music on the radio is so awful, here’s one reason: idiots clutching money react quickly.

On the other hand, the organic collective of music consumers reacts slowly. It is by nature conservative, or skeptical of the new and also skeptical of the repetitive. As a result, new music filters slowly through the independent radio station people, to the cutting edge fans, through cocktail party conversation and finally makes its way to the people on the street.

There, there’s another hierarchy. The people who seem to know stuff, usually musicians or artists, pick up on stuff and pass it down. There is much avoiding of hipsters, scenesters and other false experts. Once the smarter but too busy to be music fanatics crowd picks up on something, they spread it downward to people even less informed than themselves.

This is how nature works. It is in direct opposition to how bureaucracy works.

Every two to three years, Eddie Sales trims and prunes the crape myrtles at his church, Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church.

But this year, the city of Charlotte cited the church for improperly pruning its trees.


The church was fined $100 per branch cut for excessive pruning, bringing the violation to $4,000. – Charlotte Observer

In government, we can either nurture the natural flow of a civilization — nationalism, values derived from culture, religion as social services, meritocracy and a sense of role — or we can try to invent some new jihad that we assume will make everyone happy, and force it on them with bureaucrats.

It would be sad and ironic if it took John Cougar Mellencamp to tell us this.

Why diversity self-destructs

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats

Diversity takes many forms: racial-ethnic, religious, cultural, philosophical, even excessive differential in IQ or class.

All of these are fatal to a society, at least when more than one-fifth of the population deviates from the majority (estimate from Jonathan Haidt, but source unknown at this point).

The opposite of diversity is consensus. Consensus takes other names: cooperation, collaboration, agreement — they all mean the same thing, which is that instead of fighting one another like squabbling monkeys, we work together toward the same abstract goal or ideal.

Diversity-mongers create a fake ideal out of circular reasoning. In the diverse world, they reason, everyone has a consensus, which is diversity itself.

Diversity-mongers like diversity because, without a majority, there are no moral standards, there is no “meaning” to actions (as achieving a social goal), and there is no oversight. It’s like class when the teacher’s back is turned, which leaves only one option: the desires and materialistic urges of the individual.

This in turn shows us the downfall of diversity. Acting in our own self-interests brings us into collision, and because there is no standard, there can be no solution:

Vaughn Walker, the retired judge who overturned California’s gay-marriage ban, Prop 8, has confirmed that he himself is gay and in a long-term relationship — prompting conservatives to try to get Prop 8 reinstated. Gay-marriage opponents have long complained that Walker was biased, citing rumors about his sexuality. Now they say he should have recused himself to avoid suggestions that his interest in marrying his boyfriend influenced his decision. Did Walker have a conflict of interest?


This logic would disqualify every judge: Prop 8’s defenders claim that gay marriage is so damaging to the institution of marriage that the government has a vital interest in preventing it, says Adam Serwer at The Washington Post. The trouble is, by that logic, “a heterosexual, married judge could be seen as having just as much ‘skin in the game’ as judge Walker.” Gay-marriage opponents clearly think that straight judges can be impartial, but gay ones can’t. – The Week

In this quote above from a news magazine renowed for distilling news to simple soundbites so people feel comfortable in ignoring it, we see a partial truth. If a judge is biased for being homosexual, a heterosexual judge is also biased. The grim truth is that, in contrast to the one-sided view presented above, both judges are biased.

This means that for a heterosexual couple to get decent judgment, they need a heterosexual judge; a gay couple needs a gay judge; a black couple a black judge, a transgendered couple a transgendered judge, a Jew a Jewish judge, a Roman a Roman judge, and so on. There is no end.

You can see from this example that diversity introduces inherent conflict, which because it looks for exceptions to the rule, is bigoted against the majority. But even that bigotry against the majority can’t save diversity, because clashes exist between minority groups. What if Hispanics aren’t pro-gay? What if blacks are pro-transgendered?

We divide our society then into infinite competing groups which overlap, causing mixed loyalties and adding to the chaos. But the end result is no common standard except the law, and the law serves itself, since it does not have a consensus to guide it.

Enter technology.

To protect its 3.3 square miles, Kings Point plans to install 44 cameras and license plate readers at each of the 19 points of entry. The devices will take pictures of every vehicle and license plate and compare them to data bases.

“It will alert us to suspended registrations, felonies, stolen cars, order of protection, sex offenders, things like that,” Kings Point Police Commissioner Jack Miller said. – CBS

Hint: organizations and technologies tend to serve themselves. If you give government a new power, it will expand in order to justify that power and the salaries paid in supporting it. Soon the power will be applied far beyond its original scope.

Technology is the same way. Today it’s a neighborhood; tomorrow, when we find out that this crazy 1984 stuff actually does make it harder to get away with crimes, it’s going to distribute to the whole city.

Now you start to see it… with diversity, there is no clear standard. It’s a constant war to define a standard. Who do you trust? You have no one who has your back and can say, “Dave really tried to do best by our social standards, so this one little infraction with the smuggled napalm can be overlooked.”

Diverse societies are more litigious, paranoid, defensive and self-divided. There are no good guys or bad guys, only Our Team versus every other team.

From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger.

But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam — famous for “Bowling Alone,” his 2000 book on declining civic engagement — has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings. – The Boston Globe

Is this the fault of the ingredients of diversity, the individual groups? Can we blame all of this on a group like, say, African-Americans or Jews?

No, because it happens with different groups as well. What the two situations have in common is diversity itself. It’s not who is diverse, but the fact that the society as a whole is diverse, that causes the problem.

Most people will try to take it personally and figure that if diversity causes problems, it must be because someone just isn’t sharing their toys with the rest of the class. It never occurs to them that some designs for society are inherently unstable.

Over the last six decades, our world has become increasingly diverse — and as a result, a counter-reaction brews:

World politics is entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be-the end of history, the return of traditional rivalries between nation states, and the decline of the nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism, among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global politics is likely to be in the coming years.

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future. – Foreign Affairs

Here in the West, diversity seems new to us. That is not so for the rest of the world. In many parts, the inhabitants can trace problems that have occupied them for centuries to an ancient diversity program.

While in the West we use our allegiance to the dominant altruistic dogma, which includes diversity, as a means of raising our social status above that of our fellow citizens, the rest of the world has been awakening from this directionless dream.

They are instead embracing the only kind of society that holds together under duress: one with a center, or a consensus, on which cooperation can be build. People prefer cooperation to control, or a single agency forcing everyone to do what is “Right.”

Diversity is a path to control. With nothing in common but dogma, people collide on values. Since there is no norm, government is tasked to derive a norm and enforce it, usually for the basest of economic, political and military motives. The people then become servants of this dogma.

The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus.

(It is thought that the virus is a degeneration from more complex life form. It may at one time have been capable of independent life. Now it has fallen to the borderline between living and dead matter. It can exhibit living qualities only in a host, by using the life of another — the renunciation of life itself, a _falling_ towards inorganic, inflexible machine, towards dead matter.)

Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapses. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existences as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host. – Naked Lunch, p. 67.

The choice of society is clear: cooperation, or control.

If we have a center, we can cooperate.

If we do not, we need to make a fake center — a strong bureaucratic government — to invent an artificial culture, usually based in control, and then enforce it on all of us.

Diversity is the cause of this control, and of society falling apart because its center cannot hold, and of distrust, and misery.

This is not the fault of the ethnic groups involved, but the fact that we are violating the laws of physics to expect two or more patterns to occupy the same space. Diversity believes that two or more cultures can exist within the same society, but the truth is that those cultures must either (a) give up their own standards and accept a lowest common denominator, utilitarian standard or (b) constantly be in collision not only with each other, but whatever utilitarian standard the society has adopted.

We can see why diversity is popular with the ruling classes: it creates a disunified, cultureless, valueless population that requires a strong government to shape it. Government loves this because it justifies hiring lots of cops, bureaucrats and other controllers. Business loves it most of all, because it creates a vast group of people with no direction in life, so they cast about for meaning, buying lots of products in the process.

Since we have implemented diversity in the West, our fortunes have fallen and our enmity — racism, class warfare, squabbling — have increased. We have looked for someone to blame: the majority, and some blame various minorities. But none of these explanations have made sense.

Instead, we are starting to have to admit the obvious: “diversity” means social breakdown, which leads to tyranny, and finally to civilization collapsing. When we lose our center, we lose all hope.

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