Posts Tagged ‘control’
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The American Scholar takes a stab at diagnostic dissection of the bizarre confluence of religion, ideology and social status that is Political Correctness:
What does it mean to say that these institutions are religious schools? First, that they possess a dogma, unwritten but understood by all: a set of “correct” opinions and beliefs, or at best, a narrow range within which disagreement is permitted. There is a right way to think and a right way to talk, and also a right set of things to think and talk about. Secularism is taken for granted. Environmentalism is a sacred cause. Issues of identity—principally the holy trinity of race, gender, and sexuality—occupy the center of concern. The presiding presence is Michel Foucault, with his theories of power, discourse, and the social construction of the self, who plays the same role on the left as Marx once did. The fundamental questions that a college education ought to raise—questions of individual and collective virtue, of what it means to be a good person and a good community—are understood to have been settled. The assumption, on elite college campuses, is that we are already in full possession of the moral truth. This is a religious attitude. It is certainly not a scholarly or intellectual attitude.
…Elite private colleges are ideologically homogenous because they are socially homogeneous, or close to it. Their student populations largely come from the liberal upper and upper-middle classes, multiracial but predominantly white, with an admixture of students from poor communities of color—two demographics with broadly similar political beliefs, as evidenced by the fact that they together constitute a large proportion of the Democratic Party base. As for faculty and managerial staff, they are even more homogenous than their students, both in their social origins and in their present milieu, which tends to be composed exclusively of other liberal professionals—if not, indeed, of other liberal academics. Unlike the campus protesters of the 1960s, today’s student activists are not expressing countercultural views. They are expressing the exact views of the culture in which they find themselves (a reason that administrators prove so ready to accede to their demands). If you want to find the counterculture on today’s elite college campuses, you need to look for the conservative students.
Which brings us to another thing that comes with dogma: heresy. Heresy means those beliefs that undermine the orthodox consensus, so it must be eradicated: by education, by reeducation—if necessary, by censorship. It makes a perfect, dreary sense that there are speech codes, or the desire for speech codes, at selective private colleges. The irony is that conservatives don’t actually care if progressives disapprove of them, with the result that political correctness generally amounts to internecine warfare on the left: radical feminists excoriating other radical feminists for saying “vagina” instead of “front hole,” students denouncing the director of Boys Don’t Cry as a transphobic “cis white bitch” (as recently happened at Reed College), and so forth.
Political Correctness is a form of Control: an attempt to make all people obey the centralized authority by responding equally to its commands. This stands in opposition to the organic way of life, and cooperation, which point people in roughly the same direction by principle and encourage them to develop their own paths toward the same end.
Leftism is a demand that you obey the herd. They are individualists, and individualists in groups want to hear that you accept everyone no matter how broken they are, even if it means the sacrifice of your civilization. Each individual thinks of nothing bigger than himself, and wants the world to affirm his role as the center of it, at least in his mind.
In this way, we see Political Correctness not as an attempt at altruism, but an attempt to use altruism as a pretense for furthering the social status of the individual, as Tom Wolfe noted. Like most viral ideas, it spreads by the weakness of others, and erodes the basis of civilization, but cannot be criticized because it is “popular” for (temporarily) removing the fear of the meek.
Friday, January 13th, 2017
Meet the new media, same as the old media. You will notice that government, celebrities, social pressures and consumerism advance the same agenda as if it came from the same source:
Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their:
- National origin,
- Religious affiliation,
- Sexual orientation,
- Sex, gender, or gender identity, or
- Serious disabilities or diseases.
Organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook. As with all of our standards, we rely on our community to report this content to us.
Did you think They were really a “they,” or just people responding to the market created by many democratically-empowered people doing what people in groups do, which is fearfully pick stupid easy answers over useful ones?
In fact, the problem is “we” — or in other words, what happens when a group of humans get together and start behaving like scared monkeys who are more interested in pacifying each other Bonobo-style than finding any hard or realistic answers to any relevant question.
Notice that the above community guideline seems clear, until you realize how ambiguous it is. What does “attacks” mean? Who are “people”? Is stating a fact about an ethnic group, caste/class, race or religion an “attack” on “people,” or a comment in abstraction? Never mind: the point is to create the broadest possible standards so that you, in your quest to be popular and get famous, will not even come close to the murky edges of these amorphous guidelines.
In the meantime, we see the truth of political manipulation, which is that it is used as a means to control you and is not a serious policy the controllers apply to themselves:
In 2014, Facebook for the first time released its demographic data, and by the following year, it hadn’t shown much progress in increasing the number of women, black or Latino workers. The following year, the company decided to do something more. Publicly, executives talked about expanding programs that wooed college students from a wide variety of backgrounds to intern at Facebook.
Behind the scenes, the company dangled a carrot for recruiters: double points. Recruiters usually got one point for each candidate of theirs that took a job at Facebook. With the new incentive, they’d receive two points if that person was a “diversity hire” — someone who was a woman, or who was not white or Asian, according to two former recruiters.
Do as I say, not as I do, because that way I can remain functional and still punish you, subjugating you and humiliating your will and forcing you to be dependent on me.
Friday, January 13th, 2017
When people indulge their personal intent instead of paying attention to the world, they create small bubbles around themselves of the world they recognize, having filtered out all information that contradicts their personal illusion. This separates a space of information from that of the cosmos, and subjects it to repetition, since it lacks enough variety to be anything but repetitive.
The writer William S. Burroughs wrote about this in his epic Naked Lunch, talking about the downfall of a society through its refusal to withdraw from the need for manipulation or control:
The black wind sock of death undulates over the land, feeling, smelling for the crime of separate life, movers of the fear-frozen flesh shivering under a vast probability curve….
Population blocks disappear in a checker game of genocide…. Any number can play….
The Liberal Press and The Press Not So Liberal and The Press Reactionary Scream approval:
“Above all the myth of other-level experience must be eradicated….” And speak darkly of certain harsh realities… cows with the aftosa… prophylaxis….
Power groups of the world frantically cut lines of connection….
The Planet drifts to random insect doom….
Thermodynamics has won at a crawl…
Within the human mind, a smaller pattern takes precedence over the larger, and because this is too small to maintain internal variation, it becomes fixed and repetitive even if it seems to take many forms. As a result, change slows… each option becomes about the same as any other… heat death, or the state of futility of choice, predominates.
This is what awaits humanity under individualism. The individual chooses to deny the world, and so becomes sealed in himself, at which point the mathematical limitations of that state become revealed. As each person becomes atomized, these people draw energy from the world and segregate it in individuals, at which point the whole slows down.
Control creates this situation. Each individual desires his intent to rule over the more complex world of nature, and what results is a standardization of others in order to conform to that intent. In doing so, this process of uniformity destroys the internal variation that keeps the world from collapsing in on itself through repetition.
This is the future under The Enlightenment.™ In it, each person becomes powerful enough to shut out the world, and as a result, dooms themselves to a closed-circuit feedback loop in which variation dies. And then, predictably, the world recedes and the individual suffocates from a lack of internal variety. And yet, they maintain the illusion of control until the end.
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
From somewhere on the internets:
I don’t think compromise is the right word. A marriage is a union of interests, not a blending or averaging of them. The couple doesn’t ask “what’s good for me?” and “what’s good for you?” and then try to find something that half-pleases both, but instead just asks “what’s good for us?” Usually works best with the man taking input, maybe discussing, then deciding. Each individual might not get what they want, but they can both be happy knowing that they’re doing what’s best for them.
It’s probably not what you meant, but compromise to me sounds like trying to “equalize” what each gives up in some kind of directionless micro-communism. Better to have a mentality of being on the same team, and just doing what’s best for the team (family).
In life, there are two fundamental forms of organization: control, or forcing everyone to use the same methods for an objective serving a single party, or cooperation, where people work together to achieve a goal, which in complex organizations requires a purpose and principles used to achieve it. Cooperation works toward an idea that may be partially extant, but will never be fully realized, so it can always be improved in its qualitative dimension.
Marriage and family, or even organic ecosystem-like groups like nations, require this abstract but realistic goal such as is provided by the cooperative idea. They fall apart under control because authority creates a backlash and by its nature as one-dimensional, fails to gain feedback from the people at lower levels, and thus makes the top of the hierarchy blind.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
Back in the days of suffering through what passes for “education” in our declining civilization, you were probably told about “top-down” and “bottom-up” orders.
Leftists — most teachers and professors are of this variety, because it makes them feel powerful — fetishize bottom-up orders, or those which have no guiding principle except self-interest of their smallest particles. For them, self-interest means individualism, and they draw the line at capitalism, which they see as limiting the self-interest of other particles.
On the other hand, top-down orders occur with a plan in mind that is used to arrange all those little particles so they work together.
Professors tend to point to nature as an example of bottom-up order. Bacteria form, evolve, and become higher organisms, which then exist in ecosystems, where each particle serves one of many different roles, unequally, and together through acting out those roles, achieve a balance to the whole.
What they do not tell you is that this arrangement demonstrates all of the attributes of a top-down order, only done indirectly and not in the human method of carving things up with large machines. There is some kind of plan inherent to the order of nature where some are granted more power and form different levels of a hierarchy, much like eagles and sparrows are both birds.
This natural hierarchy is what Leftism seeks to abolish.
If you went further on in “education,” you probably encountered the equally mystifying concept of vertical and horizontal hierarchy. In vertical hierarchy, some end up potters and some end up coopers, and the coopers tell the potters what to do. In horizontal hierarchy, everyone is a potter, and some are acknowledged as better potters than the others.
If Leftism has a message with its one ideological pillar, namely “egalitarianism” or the idea that everyone is “equal” (whatever that means), it is that we should have horizontal order alone, and that this will magically create a bottom-up order through competition. This extends from classical liberals (“libertarians”) to Communists; all want everyone equal, and then to see a magic calculation emerge from this.
Only traditional society offers actual social order, which is both top-down and bottom-up as well as both horizontal and vertical. Part of this is aristocracy, which includes social caste or its modern depleted equivalent, “class.” The classes are ranked in vertical hierarchy, but within them, there is horizontal hierarchy. This allows those who are good at making pottery to be ranked alongside their companions in caste, but also, for them to be limited from rising above their level of competence, where they will make decisions without having any idea how to do so.
Social caste is important because it liberates each group from competition beyond what is appropriate to it. Sparrows cannot compete with eagles nor can eagles subsist on grain and grubs as sparrows do, but both are needed. Without the eagles, the sources of grain up which sparrows depend would be unduly depleted by others, such as rodents. In this way, the unequal roles of the ecosystem hierarchy preserve health and happiness for all.
The difference between the ecosystem we had with traditional society and what we have now is that the past was based on authority, and the present is based on control. With authority, those in power are accountable for their decisions, and to that end, given more power. As soon as we regulate their power, they are no longer accountable, because those regulations have hampered their ability to act directly. Instead, we get Control: making everyone do exactly the same thing in order to eliminate deviation so that those in power remain in power. It turns out to be less hospitable to human flourishing.
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
From the Financial Times comes the recognition, unwelcome to Leftists, that government legalization of formerly illicit substances causes a massive increase in their use.
As we say around these parts, “What you tolerate, you get more of.” Legalization is a form of tolerance, but a more potent form is creating a carrot/stick reward system.
These “Control” systems have a similar pattern: people are manipulated individually through reward and punishment by treating them as identical units, depersonalizing them and driving them toward a lowest common denominator. This breaks their spirit and makes them obedient, which to the type of incompetents chosen in modern societies, seems like success.
These systems create obsessive behavior by promising a reward that is never fulfilled, and making any other option seem intolerable. Control systems create a “game” that replaces reality by social mediation. People are addicted to games, and this creates a compulsive mentality where a small group takes over society as a result of its obsession.
Like rats in a lab, gamblers in Vegas do the same thing over and over again, and are constantly watched, measured, and studied. Millions of dollars depends on it.
Casinos are not the only businesses to take notice and profit from the study and manipulation of human behaviour. Smartphone companies also rely on the same discoveries about human nature. They also seek to promote a style of consumer behaviour that, at its most engaged and profitable, looks a lot like an obsessive compulsive disorder.
…The result is a matrix of similarities between problem gambling and problem smartphone use, which is even evident in the economics, as casinos and many smartphone applications make their greatest profit off a small portion of “big fish” users, who are hooked and pulled from the vastly larger set of casual users.
These obsessive-compulsive nature of these pathologies create negative feedback loops where people expect something good, and receive something less good, but because no other option is tolerated, they keep pursuing the one option open to them. This is the end result of setting up games with binary carrot/stick reward/punishment control systems.
This is the nature of modern society. By making individual intent the mediator of reality as The Enlightenment™ prescribed, our society has replaced the question of results-in-reality (consequentialism) with the question of appearance to others (collectivized individualism). This creates the game-playing that in turn fosters the obsession, turning society upside down as herd panic takes over.
Thursday, November 24th, 2016
Politics is Leftism: the idea that every person is able to make leadership decisions, which in reality translates into the need to manipulate, control and manage them to make them reach the right conclusions — or any conclusions at all.
When we view our time this way, we see that the root of modernity is The Enlightenment.™ With the rise of the notion that every person should manage his own fate according to nothing but whim, social order began to die and was replaced with mass manipulation.
Every aspect of modernity is shot through with this. The constant advertising that seems to cover every available surface. The droning syncopated music that places the audience at its center. The religious cults which emphasize the ego. And of course, slogans and laws and regulations everywhere, all the time.
We have lost control.
Modernity manifests for most people as a lifestyle, and this is also its Achilles Heel. We are trained from an early age to go somewhere away from home where we spend our time obeying rules and conducting exercises unrelated to end results. This makes us instructable, so that we respond in Pavlovian sympathy to symbols.
The “good” symbols make us drool, and the “bad” symbols make us bark. This, more than Christianity, is the root of our binary morality. To control people, you need to create a good/bad pair so that when you want them to do something affirmatively, you call it good, and when you want something away from consideration, you tag it as bad and destroy those who pursue it.
Control — using categorical limits to create mass compliance — works in this fashion. Its opposite is hierarchy, where people find their own means of achieving goals which are invariant, and the best rise. With Control, there is no invariant purpose; there is only the whim of those in Control, who pride themselves on being the most powerful monkeys in the troop.
Your life has been managed by Control, which means that you are directed toward specific methods of behavior without regard for goal. These behaviors are mostly designed to fill time and keep you instructed in the ways of compliance, and so you may find that your irreplaceable seconds are being flooded with irrelevant gunk for purposes unrelated and contrary to your benefit.
The modern person goes to work or school, waiting through stoplights and traffic jams as his fellow incompetents struggle with simple tasks. This instructs him in passivity, or that he must always defer to what the group is doing.
At work or school, he works on details that are unrelated to an end result. If he is an architect, he bases his designs on what has sold well in the past. If he is a doctor, he follows what the literature of his profession says are the right procedures. If he is a lawyer, he uses statements by others to argue a case for his client. In no case does he wonder what a good result would be; his entire being is invested in playing the game.
When he votes, he plays the game, trying to choose the candidate whose actions will lead to his own personal wealth or power increasing. When he shops, he tries to outwit the pricing algorithms at the stores. When he drives, he chooses his route based on what others are doing, and tries to avoid them.
His mindset is entirely conditioned to react to the group and choose some things he assumes are “good” over the norm, which is mostly negative in outcome. He values money, convenience, comfort, sex and power. He has no concept of purpose, meaning or any higher significance than his own sensual experience.
This is how Control works. Like rats in lab cages, we pull one lever to get food or an electric buzz in the pleasure and sexual centers of our brains. Pull the other lever, and we get a nasty shock to the nose. Soon we know exactly which lever to pull every time.
90% of our work is not necessary and very little of it is fun. But our society does not run on results, but perceptions, because every man is a little king. Those nano-kings must believe the same things so they operate on the same assumptions, or control will fail, and who knows what comes after that.
In the meantime, the controllers are not tyrannical ideologues like Hitler but super salesman like Dale Carnegie. They know how to manipulate people. They instinctively flatter and then enrage the group, creating moral binaries: diversity is good, racism is bad, so we all go broke if you do not support diversity and smash down racism!
The needs of Control have ruined your life. You get only one, at least in this form, and your time is mostly spent on useless and degrading labor so that you remain malleable to Control. In order to justify this, your mind chooses to exist in a bubble world of its own ego, rationalizing that although life is horrible, at least the ego is in control and that makes the self important.
When you get home from work or school, there are only self-directed hobbies. You can watch porn or television. You can experiment with woodworking or music. But these are dead ends; they connect to nothing, and serve no purpose except — like work and school — to expend your time in a mixture of compliance and self-fascination, rendering you inert.
Our modern time is baffling because the entire thing resembles a religious experience of the ego. All day long there are choices and chances to feel a sense of personal power, but while these have consequences, none exist at a level greater than personal comfort. You are sealed in yourself and distracted by yourself.
This lifestyle is the root of modernity. When we went down the egalitarian path, which is what happens when a society succeeds enough to breed idiots and parasites in moderate numbers, we severed ourselves from meaning, and became atomized little cogs which require controllers, and so those showed up to control us.
Generation X recognized that the futility of modern life begins in the lifestyle. Jobs, divorces, television and shopping are meaningless and yet they are all there is, outside of open rebellion. Maybe it is time we tried that latter option instead.