Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘colin liddell’

Hubris And Heroism

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

The problem for those of us trying to fix the West is that by making things better, we improve a collapsed civilization and by so doing, allow the collapse to continue.

Colin Liddell wrestles with this in a sapient analysis of the comic book character Judge Dredd, who both struggles against and enables a dying civilization:

Dredd, like any other superhero, seems to exist for no other reason than to prevent systems that would and perhaps should collapse, from collapsing.

Considering the two opposed notions of history – the People as everything versus the Great Man as everything – it can at least be said that, despite their contradictions, both views are at least dynamic, implying some development, some progress towards something. The tribes and classes struggle and create revolutions, kingdoms, and states, which also struggle, leading to empires, new technologies, and ideologies. Likewise, the Great Man. Mohammed, Columbus, or Napoleon, steps forward and new religions, continents, and political realities come into being.

Both views of history initiate stages of struggle that are essentially meritocratic and progressive. Dredd, however, is the antithesis of all this. He stops struggle because all struggles are de facto crimes, while his own power lacks any kind of vision. He is essentially a conservative on steroids acting as a dead weight on the society he polices.

In this, we find the crisis of the modern conservative: we know that our society is all wrong, that evil got the upper hand, and that everything needs to be re-done because the rot runs so deep that merely fixing it in one place allows it to thrive in another, nourished by the parts that we have fixed.

Taxes are a simple metaphor for this. If you are a good conservative — “work hard, be patriotic and go to church” — then all you manage to do is pay more taxes to the government that oppresses you. Law enforcement is another, in that if you bust all the bad guys and make society work again, then people go back to sleep and the evil carries on strengthened.

In this sense, Judge Dredd is not a hero, but a tragic hero, or one who struggles only to defeat himself. In the short term, he does a great thing because he makes Mega City survive; in the long term, he has ensured the ruin of all once the top-heavy metropolis reaches crash conditions and self-destructs.

When in an evil time, attempting to make things better is to empower that evil time. But what makes our time evil? The answer comes to us from the ancient path in which “evil” was understood to be life out of balance by being in denial of the obvious natural hierarchy of men and the behaviors required. Our ancestors went to war against hubris:

Achilles has a tragic flaw – his hubris. It brings about the tragic sequence of events – the death of Patroclus. This, in turn, causes the educative suffering that leads Achilles to change his character and values for the better. In a very deep sense, then, the suffering is worthwhile, since it is redeemed by the moral improvement it engenders.

This shows us the real battle that we fight: before we can be real heroes, we must win the battle within our souls so that we are not individualists, but instead show humility toward the order around us, and through that discover the reasons why things are as they are. Through that we can understand virtue, or striving for what is best in the context of this order, and work to achieve that instead of trying to “fight” problems and issues that are consequences of a society without virtue.

On Amerika, there is much talk of hubris, which manifests in the toxic brew of solipsism, individualism, narcissism, egalitarianism and mob rule that afflicts the modern time. We cannot beat this hubris until we defeat it in ourselves and stop fighting it directly, but instead strive for a virtuous civilization as a whole, so that we bypass the false direction toward which hubris leads us.

We all want to believe in a Judge Dredd style process. If only a million supercops descended on our society, beat down all the bad guys and threw out all the rotters, we could live in the status quo minus the bad. But life does not work that way. We cannot fix the broken, only create the beautiful and migrate to that, leaving the modern entirely behind.

Discovering The Nature Of “Control”

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Amerika has taken the lead on the Right in criticizing the unifying method of our society: control, which serves only the individualistic ego, as opposed to cooperation, which requires a purpose and therefore invokes questions like “who are we?” and “what should we be doing?” which make it unsuitable for consensus politics.

Control is a philosophy of mass motivation: break people down into individuals motivated by external material reward, create a fungible crowd, demand that it do and believe the same things, and keep it individuals in constant fear that they will “stand out” from the crowd as having violated the fundamental principle of the crowd, and simultaneously motivate them to “stand out” by demonstrating their allegiance to the idea that unites the crowd. This creates a mass of people who are fundamentally inert in their confusion but can be used as means to an end; the trap in control is that control only serves itself, and those who hope to use control find themselves being swallowed up by it. Control is at first power, and later, inversion of the will through its enslavement to the need to continue and further control.

More voices on the Right are joining a critique of the nature of control:

This system, which still dominates the present-day power structure, has some troubling aspects that help to explain the growing dysfunction and decline of our society. I want to draw attention to two in particular.

First, because power is based on control rather than on ownership, there is a constant need to justify it through appeals to the emotions of the masses. Rather than being defined by the interests of the masses, democracy is defined by what can be sold to the masses, which is definitely not the same thing. Secondly, the need to demonstrate competence outweighs the need to have actual competence.

The great irony is that these two characteristics are produced by a system dedicated to efficient control and getting results, but in effect they work against efficiency and results.

The defining attribute of control is its focus on external features and motivations. This pairs handily with equality, which insists that people are essentially the same, and that changes in behavior and motivation are regulated by their position in society, wealth, power, education, social group and other factors that are outside of their personalities.

External factors are those, in other words, outside of individuality itself: the moral and realistic choices of an individual based on what that person understands and values. The “understanding” portion of that calculus involves a good deal of genetic determinism, since intelligence and most preferences are biological in nature and thus heritable.

Control can only be opposed by cooperation, which requires a sharing of purpose and values, both of which arise from internal traits and are assessed through gut instinct and intuition including aesthetics. Cooperation unites unequal individuals in the pursuit of a shared goal, knowing that while each may benefit differently, all achieve the baseline benefit of reaching that goal.

The way to understand inner traits is to explore the nature of thinking:

We discover true hypotheses by attaining to a clear knowing, by achieving a transparency of thinking. (Such transparency must, in practice, be achieved actively – not least by rejecting false assumptions.)

Truth is then seen – but it is not imposed on us; it is possible to know and to deny (that is a consequence of human agency, or free will).

The proper conduct of science involves attaining this clear seeing – which is a question of attitude, which is dependent on motivation: on wanting, more than anything, to know.

External thinking does not focus on clear understanding of the world, but instead is inward looking toward human individuals and their impulses or reactions to stimulus. Internal thinking is more reflective, contemplative and most of all, quiet. It suppresses the cacophony of desires, whims and responses that normally fill the human mind, and sees the world as close to as it is as possible.

What this leads us to is the most interesting of hybrids: a realist approach to philosophy, anchored in the fundamental ideas of religion, namely that for those who can think, clarifying the mind, finding eternal values and pushing aside the dual social and emotional impulses of humanity to discover something approximating a moral adaptation to existence.

Nihilism Marches On

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

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Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity saw release approximately a month ago, and copies have gone to nihilists and realists across the globe. Nothing pleases an author more than to be read, analyzed, criticized and discussed, and I am thankful to all who have participated.

Above you can see a copy of the book residing quietly among works of note. This type of bookshelf would make any author happy, as the book is in good company, in the midst of the swirling controversy expressed across the ages that we might describe as the intersection of literature and philosophy.

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In addition, the good staff of Alternative Right (one of the original Alt Right blogs, being one half of the original AlternativeRight.com that split into Radix Journal and Alternative Right) have been so kind as to give the book some airplay on their home page. This is much appreciated, and will surely help this book to be seen for what it is, a radical realist manifesto for surpassing the illusions of a dying civilization.

For those who wish to secure a copy, Amazon stocks it and has informed us that they have received a new shipment after selling out the previous one. Even as civilization crumbles around us, there are a fortunate few who still seek reality and are willing to read about it, and I am thankful for them.

The Black Pill

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

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Thirty years ago, William Gibson wrote a series of cyberpunk stories — visual counterparts to the theories of Burroughs and Pynchon — which suggested a reality “underneath” the world of appearance and human “face value” assurances in which most of us live.

A terrible movie was made some years later to translate that simplification into an even simpler version. Called The Matrix, this movie gave the Hollywood treatment to cyberpunk but also gave us a powerful metaphor: the red pill.

In The Matrix, the protagonist was given the choice between a red pill and a blue pill. The red pill would make him see reality as it was, underneath the appearance; the blue pill would make him expert at the false reality. (Distracted observers may draw comparisons to the ring of Gyges from Plato and not be wrong).

While this movie was a fantasy, and its vision of actual reality in fact a false reality that scapegoated a centralized force instead of the decentralized decay we are experiencing, the metaphor sticks. Some people embrace the unpopular and unpleasant truths of life, where others just want to become good/successful at the illusion.

Some years later, my esteemed colleague Colin Liddell unleashed “The Black Pill”:

The Black Pill is the least dialectical of the three. It leads from actual inferiority back to actual inferiority. It is nihilism, but nihilism made flesh calls forth absolute egoism, a sense of the self detached from wider contexts and responsibilities—it is this that makes it evil and murderous.

The inferior person can either accept context and therefore inferiority, or fight it. The Blue Piller rejects his future inferiority by retreating backwards into illusion. The Red Piller rejects his present lack of superiority by marching forward through positive consciousness and action to redress the situation. The Black Piller, however, chooses neither the palliatives of illusion nor the challenge of positive action. He stares into the abyss—passively because his actions will never be capable of changing it—and, as Nietzsche so pertinently observed, the abyss stares back.

For almost thirty years, I have written about nihilism as a philosophy. In my view, nihilism is the gateway to all useful thought. It clears aside the human pretense and solipsistic illusion and replaces it with a cold, unflinching, logical and realistic look at our world and our place within it, including the Darwinian need to adapt. More disturbingly, it shows us that the standard of life is not how to explain away our failings, but that each time we observe a better method than our own, we will be dissatisfied and self-hating if we do not adopt it.

Without nihilism, religion becomes obedience out of fear, not a choice to seek out possible metaphysical dimensions to the universe. With nihilism, science becomes applied logic; literature becomes communication; art becomes Jungian symbolism. It is a gateway to a kingdom of darkness in which suddenly, the photonegative of normal human life — invert by social impulses, which are individual fears amplified and then placated by collective illusion — is negatived again, revealing that what we call “light” is darkness and vice-versa. Illusions fall in cold white flame.

In my view, nihilism is the black pill. It is not egoism, because nihilism denies the notion of humanity and the individual being the center of the world. In nihilism, as in the universe, the self is a tiny portion of a great vast space that is mostly emptiness. Nihilism is mostly negation, or destruction of human illusions and plans that turned out to be unrealistic. That process begins by attacking the deception of the mind by itself.

The black pill provides a gateway into an entirely different way of seeing the world. Where most people live in a purely social world, where they assume the goodwill of others, black pilled people see a natural struggle every bit as violent and constant as that experienced by a common mouse. Predators surround us and parasites infest us unless we actively and aggressively remove them without mercy.

In the black pill world, government is nothing more than a parasite. Salesmen are predators, hoping to convince you to pay high prices for something that is easy for them to acquire. Police and taxmen are parasites as well, looking for some way to justify taking money and time from you. Most people are parasites and predators alike who want to use you as a means toward their own aggrandizement. In addition, all but a few people — one in a hundred, maybe — are delusional to the edge of clinical insanity.

This is a new view of reality that has a tendency to snap into place suddenly so that thousands of details make sense at once as if aligned. It is a more realistic view, and statistically more likely true, than the happy world of “love and trust” (dependency and subsidies) erected by democratic society. It points out the obvious: humans are still mostly the same filthy little beasts that crawled out of the primordial ooze, and those who have risen above that state are targets of the rest.

One of the more recent black pill events in the news was philosopher John Gray:

Vice: First of all, could you explain what you mean by the term progress and why you think it’s a myth?

John Gray: I define progress in my new book as any kind of advance that’s cumulative, so that what’s achieved at one period is the basis for later achievement that then, over time, becomes more and more irreversible. In science and technology, progress isn’t a myth. However, the myth is that the progress achieved in science and technology can occur in ethics, politics, or, more simply, civilization. The myth is that the advances made in civilization can be the basis for a continuing, cumulative improvement.

This exchange is classic black pill. “Progress” is a myth told by salesmen to customers. The reality is that absent evolution or eugenics, humans do not change, and in fact have zero incentive to because they have made society parasite-friendly through egalitarianism. The myth exists only to justify the parasitism. “Progress” is like fashion in that it argues for something new you must buy or be inferior socially and (implicitly) evolutionarily.

Another great black pill example, noted by at least one alert reader as such, comes from an earlier article on this blog:

With the impending election, the futility of our lives becomes even clearer with one salient point inescapable: It doesn’t matter who wins. The underlying issues destroying our society will never be dealt with under our current democratic system. Voting is pointless. The only possible utility voting possesses is the potential to vote for the worst possible candidate in order to hasten the demise of this broken society. There is nothing to preserve, conserve or improve. The only way forward is to destroy the corpse so something better can take its place.

As long as civilizations make intelligent or semi-intelligent decisions, they thrive. When people start making stupid decisions, as has happened for the past thousand years, it means both that the future will be bad and that the past was bad, since no society gets to the point of making stupid decisions without somehow putting the stupid in power.

Once a civilization falls into decline, far more decisive action is required than its political, social and economic system allows. It requires the intervention of strong power to remove the rot and send it far away, then rebuild institutions around good people who can make the complex decisions that rules, elections and markets cannot. This means that many dreams will be smashed, and all parasitic people need to be disenfranchised if not outright removed.

These are hard truths. They are also a source of great joy for those who discover them because that revelation lifts the burden of having to uphold illusions and fantasies as reality. It also shows a path forward out of a situation where everything we do is bound to be adulterated and fail, and allows us hope for a better future through our own hands, not government or “We The People” surging in like the cavalry to save the heroine at a movie’s end.

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