Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘dualism’

Pagan Christianity

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The Right desperately needs to get right with God.

Perhaps not in the way most would think, this need arises from the confusion about the role of religion in the Right. Some want it to be the basis of the Right and to install a de facto theocracy; others see it as irrelevant; still others argue that conservatism is not based on a single method, as ideology is, and that religion is one part — perhaps not for all people — of a bundle of methods that together make a solution but are not in themselves solutions.

These seem to be prerequisites that can be accidentally made into ideologies. For example, racial and ethnic homogeneity is necessary for a thriving society, but in itself it is not a whole solution, only part of one. Similarly, deposing democracy and equality is a partial solution. Together these and other methods make up a complete society.

For that reason, it makes sense to view religion as not a solution in itself, but also something that at least many of us need. This gets us away from the theocracy that forces us all to become believers, and instead points to rule by culture, which requires strong nationalism to establish.

This takes us in turn to the question, which religion?

Varg Vikernes makes a compelling point for avoiding Christianity. It leads to Leftism, and conspired against our people in the past, not to mention creates the “personal morality” conditions which encourage virtue signaling. In his view, as in Nietzsche’s, it is entirely too pacifistic and fatalistic of a religion.

Onto this we might add one other shining elephant in the room: at least geographically — the Christianity Identity folks have some interesting input here on the origins of Biblical Jews — it is foreign, or simply put not European. The names are not in our languages, nor are the locations, or presumably many of the customs and values.

To this it is important to add that Christianity is also at least from a surface reading, which over time in the hands of large groups is what it will be streamlined to be, it is dualistic, or posits another world where the rules are more real than the rules in this one. In other words, logic is not logic; there is a different logic, more like a human logic, which is actually real.

DARG adds another failing of Christianity, which relates to the personal morality it champions:

The beginning of this is a clarification on the terms sacred and profane. Christianity has made [humans] believe that the sacred is themselves, and equivalent to “tolerance and love” (towards what they define as permissible, of course) and “feeling nice and warm”, and that the profane is everything that opposes that. How convenient. The more historical and philosophical stance, on the other hand, sees in the every-day world, and all that it holds, benign of malignant, as profane; and sees in the world of the exceptional, of man going beyond the merely human, the sacred.

The personal morality of Christianity, and its exoteric nature or tendency to behave like an ideological system more than a deep-learning skill, make it a mixed bag when it comes to religions. It is the great unifier, but that also means it simplifies the message.

Pagan faiths, on the other hand, are monistic — they believe there is no alternate set of rules for the universe, and that all that we need to know can be found in nature, science and logic — and esoteric, or formed of cumulative self-directed learning in which some are naturally gifted to go farther than others. Exotericism is inherently egalitarian; esotericism is innately hierarchical.

In fact, pagan faiths more resemble a philosophy and folkway with metaphysical implications than a religion, or organized spiritual dogma for the sake of shaping mass behavior:

This effort of combining all non-Christian religions under one umbrella was, in fact, a clever strategy by the early Christians to remove the “pagan” faiths altogether. Using the Norse traditions as an example, the Vikings of the early medieval period had no true name for their religious following. In truth, the word religion would have been an unknown, foreign term to them. The Nordic tribes preferred the word “customs” as—like the Greeks and Romans—their rituals, beliefs, and traditions were undefined and fluidly interpreted, orally passed down rather than rigidly studied. There was no all-encompassing word for the belief in the Aesir and Vanir, and the various other beings and deities the ancient Norse worshiped, and there was no written text discussing their practices until the Christian author Snorri Sturluson wrote their mythology down in the 13th century.

Now, the picture gets more complex because Christianity is mostly Pagan. It is clearly a derivative, or rather a compilation and synthesis of the indigenous faiths of lands the Jewish scribes were in contact with, featuring the Greeks whose philosophy they loved above all else. This means that there are Greek, Nordic, Hindu and other faiths retold in the Bible.

There was a reason why formerly “pagan” communities switched to Christianity, namely that it was both mostly familiar and more effective for manipulating herds of people. The exoteric nature of Christianity means that its symbols can be directly adjusted to cause people to behave one way or another. Some of this was positive, namely getting people to leave behind previous antisocial habits.

However, this displacement of the original faiths also led to cultural erasure. When a simpler and more easily understood version of a tradition comes along, especially one that is written, people simply adopt the new and forget the old, which most importantly contains the roadmap to understanding the reasons for the beliefs.

What this means however is that there is a bridge between pagan faiths and Christianity, and that for this reason, we can have faith that is not strictly entrenched in either one, only expressed through it, and that over time, this may change to the simpler and more internal, informal and naturalistic pagan ideation. Consider the Perennial nature of spirituality:

It also makes sense to have some form of metaphysical outlook, perhaps of a Perennialist nature:

At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.

  1. The phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness — the world of things and animals and men and even gods — is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
  2. Human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.
  3. Man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul. It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.
  4. Man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.

If we distill religions to their core and take the intersection, we see a basic starting point that does not necessarily need formalization and, if kept informalized, loses its “human” projection and interpretation, and starts to resemble more the pagan faiths and even older Indo-European religion that our pre-Greek ancestors adopted.

This takes us away from religion as an external constraint that we adopt in order to shape ourselves and become a mass of people acting toward some goal, and reverts it to its original form, which is an observation about the nature of reality that reveals hints of the metaphysical embedded within nature:

As that great non-church and heterodox Christian Rudolf Steiner said: to disbelieve in God is to be, in a real sense, insane; in other words, it is to disbelieve any possibility of coherence, meaning and purpose – which is to regard all of life as a delusion.

…And to deny God within us and the world is to live earthly life in a state of detachment – since we can only observe and never actually participate in reality: we can never know.

In other words, religion is rediscovered by those with clarity of mind who can observe nature; this is the essence of transcendentalism, in which joy arises from understanding the nature of the world and seeing it in logic, therefore wisdom, and therefore beauty and a positive intention toward those of us caught in it, which in turn implies a life-like force to the universe, which per German Idealism — also found in Hinduism — is thought-like, dream-like or composed of thought or information.

In this way, we can see how for the West to rediscover the divine, Christianity must converge on the less formal and more intuitive forms of religious faith, which are the folk customs and existential search of the inner self that produces our classically reflective outlook.

Already we see signs of this. The Orthosphere-style thinkers tend either to embrace Catholicism, or outward-in, religious thinking, or to go the other way and embrace transcendentalism with discipline. This leads to a more naturalistic interpretation of religion that is naturally less obsessed with personality morality and its means-over-ends analysis.

Pagan Christianity, in addition to the Perennial Philosophy traits mentioned above per Aldous Huxley, also has a different map of the cosmos and metaphysical. At its core, this represents a shift from three paths (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) to four:

  1. Information-Space
  2. Godhead
  3. God
  4. Gods

In this mythos, the natural order of a universe comprised of information comes first, and with it the notion that we each have a role to serve determined by our logical placement within this order. Natural law and logic come first, and within them there are other spaces.

Godhead is the animating force of all that we know and the most essential tendencies of the universe. This works within the information-space, shaping us toward the divine and influencing the birth of the gods.

At the top, there is an all-encompassing God which represents holiness itself and less of an active personality than a tendency, like gravity or rain, to order the universe into beauty by balancing darkness and light so that existence itself can prevail. Since the universe is relative, darkness is necessary to emphasize light, much like death gives significance to life.

Below that are the gods, or animistic forces with distinct personalities. These are manifested forces which act according to their own interest, which means that we can respect them without expecting them to judge us or treat us according to some moral standard of our own. They simply do what they do, but they reflect the spirit of godhead, and so are divine while bridging to the profane world of the mundane.

At the bottom are the creatures of Earth and beyond, including humans and plants, who exhibit spirit of their own. These are able to partake in divinity by seeking transcendence and avoiding hubris, but will never fully know what is on the other side because they are limited to a perspective of the physical and individualized.

Perhaps that is enough of a start for now. We have seen how Christianity and Paganism are not that much different, how they share a core, and how we can rediscover that core by starting from reality itself. As with all esoteric things, that represents a doorway opened, and a path upon which each of us will journey a different distance, often down different tributaries.

A Monist Interpretation Of Ultimate Reality

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Among philosophers, there are some who extend the Kantian idea of intuition as the root of all knowledge to suggest that instead of pursuing purely analytical thought, which tends to be derived from the visible, we must pursue an ultimate reality in which the world is comprised of ideas, and the most compatible ideas shape our future.

There is no denying that the world appears to objectively exist, and for all intents and purposes, it does objectively exist, yet it is easy to see that it is nothing more than an apparition. It is similar to the way the sun appears to rise and set each day. We might directly experience the rising and setting of the sun with our own eyes, so to speak, yet the whole thing is an illusion produced by the rotating earth. It is an experience which is constructed out of our perspective as beings situated on the earth. In the same way, our experience of the world as an objective entity is a mirage generated out of a particular perspective, one that is centred around a belief in the self and reinforced by habit of thought. The objectivity of the world appears real on the surface, but it disappears the moment you begin to approach it.

This struggles with the same question that Schopenhauer introduces, which is that if life is comprised of cause and effect, the cause of materiality will be more complex than materiality itself, indicating the presence of additional dimensions to our world, or that our world is the result of long chains of causes that begin in an entirely different medium. This is German Idealism, also called “transcendental idealism”:

Kant’s idealism is, perhaps, the most moderate form of idealism associated with German idealism. Kant holds that the objects of human cognition are transcendentally ideal and empirically real. They are transcendentally ideal, because the conditions of the cognition human beings have of objects are to be found in the cognitive faculties of human beings. This does not mean the existence of those objects is mind-dependent, because Kant thinks we can only know objects to the extent that they are objects for us and, thus, as they appear to us. Idealism with respect to appearances does not entail the mind-dependence of objects, because it does not commit itself to any claims about the nature of things in themselves. Kant denies that we have any knowledge of things in themselves, because we do not have the capacity to make judgments about the nature of things in themselves based on our knowledge of things as they appear.

Schopenhauer elaborated on this by making it clear that there was no knowledge of things in themselves, but that in fact the perceiver creates the perceived object from external reality plus a perceptual filter, which shows us that the entirety of reality as we know it is relative to the individual, which is to say relative among individuals, with some perceiving more than others:

Schopenhauer holds that “no truth is more certain, no truth is more independent of all others and no truth is less in need of proof than this one: that everything there is for cognition (i.e., the whole world) is only an object in relation to a subject, an intuition of a beholder ” (WWR, §1, pp. 23–4). This simple and perhaps inescapable thought may be regarded as the most fundamental motivation for any form of epistemological idealism.

These ideas, at first, are shocking because they navigate between two human illusions: (1) the external world is evident and universal and everyone can perceive it and (2) people live in their own worlds, determined by their intent and desires. Neither are true, but both are partially true. People interpret an objective world as best they can, and end up with a version of it filtered through their own perception and, most importantly, ability to accept what they are seeing. People in denial see less of the world than others.

At a basic level, this idea suggests that the universe is relative, which means that any object is known through its relationship to other objects and not to some universal center. We know light through darkness, not through some middle level of partial light, and we know cold through hot, death through life, truth through untruth, and many other variations of this idea.

Bruce Charlton argues for a variety of this theory:

In the beginning Men were merely primordial selves immersed in the ocean of universal consciousness; and the history of everything has included the progressive and incremental separation of these selves from the universal primary reality.

We began as immersed in universal reality – joined with everything, and everything joined with us – with permeable selves… We end with a Self that is aware of its own separation from things, from other people, from memories – and even from its own thoughts…

This separation of the self can [be imagined through] a biological analogy; as development. A baby lives at first in the ocean of amniotic fluid, inside the mother; and only gradually, incrementally, does the baby’s self become separate from the mother’s self – first by birth, then by development and increasing independence… but only in adolescence does the child at some point become existentially separate – an agent.

The concept of ultimate reality — called “universal reality” in the quotation above — is that our material world is the effect, and not cause, of the world as it actually is. This makes sense to some degree, but could benefit from an upgrade to monism.

Monism is the notion that there is no division between physics and metaphysics; the two play by the same rules, which we might refer to as “information science” because reality behaves like ideas, according to logical principles, more than arising from the properties of material itself.

This can have an agnostic version, which is that this function can exist independent of a god or enduring metaphysical reality, but appreciating the wisdom of the design of existence leads to a recognition that the world exists like a calculator, refining itself toward some ongoing state of higher complexity or qualitative improvement.

If the world acts like a calculator or mathematical equation, it possesses some form of consciousness or tendency. Much like natural selection, this tendency engages in purposive calculations much as natural selection does, resulting in a greater degree of efficiency or function.

This implies a basic consciousness, like that in a computer that is aware of itself without having a centralized and self-aware ego. Life merely does what it does, but in doing so, it creates a product that is like thought itself. It forever refines what it has into something more advanced, and in doing so, comes to know itself.

For humans, this provides the basis of understanding the world beyond the material but without venturing into dualistic theories where an external controlling force is assumed. Instead, the world itself is its own force, without a need to articulate itself. This shows us where we fit into this order.

In such an order, whatever advances complexity and organization rises above the rest, even if through the most primitive methods possible. This occurs because this order is a self-refining system, which means that it aims toward qualitative improvement constantly, instead of simply expanding outward into every possibility, which would be quantitative expansion.

Naturally, such an order points upward toward some centralizing force or at least, the highest apex of qualitative order. This implies that something God-like exists within the world. If the world is idea, then there is some ultimate direction or purpose to the calculating state of those ideas. If there is a purpose, there is a source of direction or fulfillment of goal in an apex.

This view shows us the universe as a giant calculator or computer. It churns through endless calculations, finding better answers all the time, and then integrates those in order to discover what principles it may. Those are regulated by some sense of logic or

If something acts like a calculator, meaning that it transacts computations, it has some kind of consciousness. Our universe clearly engages in purposive calculations like natural selection, gradualism and organicism. This reveals its basic level of consciousness.

Our universe clearly engages in purposive calculations like natural selection, and this means that it has some basic form of consciousness. It aims to improve itself not in quantity, but in quality, which is metaphorically equivalent to getting a more exact answer.

With that in mind, we see that it does not have fixed “purpose,” but rather a mechanism by which it gradually advances the more-complex over the less-complex. This is nihilistic: it does not judge by whether the outcome is good, only goes through the calculations without emotion.

At this point, we see the universe as nihilistic or without judgment of our human desires. It is merely functional, entirely logical, and separate from any particular form or direction.

This inhuman nature provides stability. It means that the universe reaches its conclusions without considering the emotional affect of them, and so can act independently from any central control least of all that by a thinking, judging perspective.

From this, we can see the emptiness of the universe. It does not assess good or bad; it merely functions. We are alone, actors within a complex schema, trying to find what produces the best results — “good” — among infinite options for lesser success, a.k.a. “bad.”

Dualism posits that there is a perfect order in another world, and that we emulate it in this world as a means of being “good.” Monism recognizes only cold, hard logic, and sees no human role in it except as deluded monkeys with car keys attempting to rationalize their fate.

However, the positive factor of monism is that it suggests that the universe is consistent. There is no judgment at all, or personality involved, only the mechanistic actions of cause and effect. This liberates us from the superstition of trying to guess what a personality in control of us intends, and shows us life as a logical construct, independent of our emotions.

That mentality leads to transcendentalism. We see the world as a perfect order, working blindly and independently, and so instead of trying to influence it with our emotions, we discipline ourselves according to its wisdom. In doing so, we adapt to it, and improve our own thinking to be more realistic.

At the end of the day, this is all we have ever had: a consistent universe and our ability to understand it. If metaphysics is out there, it is consistent like the rest. Everything else is human projection and must be avoided, unless we — like so many others — want to delude ourselves and fall into oblivion.

Snapshot: The Problem Of Christianity

Friday, October 28th, 2016

snowsheep

On the Right, anger rises over Christianity. Too often, Christians are seen paying lip service to conservative values, and then either going Leftist or adopting a stance of passive resignation, congratulating themselves on their moral sacrifice while letting the disaster gain strength around them.

In the former, Christians confuse the “universality” of Christianity — that there is an order of God which applies to some degree to all individuals — with universalism, or the idea that this order applies identically to all individuals, the same way they misunderstand equality to mean zero hierarchy.

Like the original idea of equality, Christian universality was originally intended to mean that all people are given the same chance to rise above themselves. Unfortunately, there are two glitches: as Baron Evola points out, written religions quickly become universalist because they confuse the exoteric with the esoteric, and people will naturally re-interpret any concept of “same chances” as “same outcomes” because it flatters their egos.

Thus, we find a design flaw in Christianity… the Word is its own enemy because its meaning crumbles under the onslaught of individualistic interpretations. Some say the solution is Catholicism, but this makes the problem worse by providing a centralized area of interpretation which is then gamed like any other political resource. In fact, our current Pope who has more in common with Communism than Christ is proof of this.

The pagans laugh at this, but ignore a problem in their own approach. By not writing anything down, they guaranteed that it would be lost instead of corrupted, but this is more a function of its declining popularity than the method of “graceful failure” designed into it. Christianity won because it had basically the same values and could be spread easily to larger groups.

In fact, it might make sense to view Christianity as a superior spiritual technology. Its simplified nature makes it perfect for groups, and by making people act in unison, it can be a powerful mass motivator. This strength is also its weakness, because when it becomes corrupted, it encourages insanity just as strongly.

However, this problem is not found in Christianity, but in the nature of mass motivation itself. Any sufficiently motivating force will be misinterpreted because individuals interpret rules, words and symbols in the manner most beneficial to the individual, that is, closest to “anarchy with grocery stores.”

Centralization fails for this reason, or at least is only part of the puzzle. Christianity in history represented a bubble, first gaining great strength, and then losing it once the Christian idea — the burden on each individual to get right with God — became hammered into the usual human entropy, or equality.

This leaves us with a troublesome situation. Christianity is not, as Nietzsche alleges, the origin of liberalism, but its victim. It was however complicit in leading to the power of liberalism because of its focus on the individual. At this point, it becomes more of an “alternate reality” into which conservatives slip instead of addressing the world, perhaps a consequence of its dualistic view where the only perfection is found in heaven and Christians should simply wait for that instead of trying to get it right here in life.

Our real problem is the tendency of conservatives to throw up their hands at the world and go back to what they were doing. For over a century, they have been doing this. They rationalize that somehow the situation will work out, or that the Left will fall when its programs fail, or other ways of making an excuse and going back to work so they can pay the taxes that fund the State.

This is why many of us growing up in the 1980s ran from both conservatism and Christianity: the only people we saw who admitted to these beliefs were absolute morons or were moral weaklings who had permitted the situation to come about in the first place. You will not find many Generation Xers inside of a church or Republican convention for this reason. To us, these groups appeared as retards and liars.

One needs only to look at the lyrics to the only real Generation X artform, death metal and black metal, to see the rage at Christianity and conservatism explode. The broken wings of angels and desecration of all purity are popular topics. In the Gen X worldview, Christianity and conservatism were the forces holding us back while the world burned.

In particular, Christians and conservatives indulged in the illusion that everything in the world turns out just fine if all of us work hard at our boring jobs and pay those taxes. Just lie back and enjoy it, in other words. They said this because any actual rebellion would personally inconvenience them, and they were “Me Generation” too!

In our present time, many on the Alt Right think that a return to religion will save the West. This is also an illusion based on personal convenience. The West needs to bootstrap itself by ending the insanity and nurturing sanity, which is a bigger question than religion.

In fact, at first, it is oppositional to religion because people need to understand how nature and the world work before they seek a spiritual meaning, or they will end up in the same dualism that convinced their ancestors to do nothing while insanity took hold.

We need brutal realism. This takes a form that includes religion, but only in parallel with other vital institutions as expressed in the four pillars. Religion is not the cause; realism is the cause, and religion is one of the effects or methods and principles used to achieve the goal, which is a golden age of civilization.

To understand this, we need to go back to the pagan origins of Christianity. In this view, there is no Word, only variant interpretations of an ur-spirit that pervades all existence. This spirit is not oppositional to reality, as it is under dualism, but united with it or patterned in parallel to it, through a doctrine called monism.

This way, we can understand religion in its proper role: as a tool for understanding some aspects of reality, only in parallel with realism. It does not stand on its own. It is not a cause in itself. It is a means to an end, and that end is clarity about reality, both physical and metaphysical.

By doing so, we allow a space for religion — which more important than bringing comfort, brings joy to many — that does not allow it to subvert the rest of our needs and turn us into solipsistic individualists who shrug and go back to work instead of confronting vast social problems head-on.

Saving Ourselves From Single-Theory Doctrine

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

a_quiet_study_of_architecture

Forget the term “Alternative Right” for just now; today we speak of alternative thinkers, or those who see the current human method of civilization is not working and are looking for something different and preferably more functional.

Among alternative thinkers, a number of theories are advanced for the decline of civilization and how to fix it. Here is where a split occurs between those with a single theory, and those who combine multiple theories. Single theories are more persuasive, but multiple-theory approaches are less ideological.

The temptation we face is to try to invent a doctrine that is as persuasive as liberalism/leftism, which boils down to the idea that all people are equal and by letting them do whatever they want, some magic “invisible hand” will make everything work out okay. Contrasting that is conservatism, which says the only way to know how to lead is to choose what is proven to work (consequentialism) and to choose the best possible options according to what we know of the mathematical or informational order of nature (transcendentalism).

This pressure creates a huge audience for any persuasive theory that can compete with liberalism. We can see the progress of this through the various “third ways,” Communitarianism, Distributism, and different flavors of conservative hybrid which have been promoted over the years. Audiences reward authors who come up with plausible alternatives to liberalism that are, well, “liberalism-like.”

On the other hand, those of us on the multi-theory side of the shelf believe that no competing theory is needed; we instead see that liberalism is bad theory, and suggest not doing it, and instead of liberalism using the many methods that worked in the past — including for societies that encountered the problems we face now at a later point in their civilization life cycles. The multi-theory view is not as simple as “go back to the past,” because it describes our future through the futures others civilizations found after they moved on from the point of development at which we are now stuck, much like originally civilizations moved forward to those types of ideas to escape the problems of null civilization.

But multi-theory outlooks are not good products. They are not persuasive or satisfying. “Egalitarianism is an illusion, drop it and go with what works” sounds like what your plumber, painter or proctologist would say, not an exciting vision from Harvard or Silicon Valley. The single-theory approach is not entirely wrong either; there are elements of truth to it. Neither is it complete, however.

Let us look at the theories.

Inherency Theory

This is the domain of various people who want us to return to having a religious basis to daily life. Their idea is that you either accept religion as the core of life and inherent to existence, thus affirming that God exists and there is innate purpose to the universe, or you are heading down the path to evil.

As recorded elsewhere, this approach is not quite coherent. For us to have choice, there must be actual choice, not “join the happy herd or join with Satan.” Further, very little if anything in existence operates by face value, such that what says it is good is actually good. In addition, it denies the arbitrary nature of human thought: people have different abilities, moral characters and as a result of these imperfections, different goals. People choose the theory that matches where they are in life and intellectual ability.

That outlook, called esotericism, is the oldest form of religious understanding and that which the best thinkers from every religion have embraced. It says that an apathetic guy with an IQ of 95 will never understand the same religious truth as a highly motivated transcendentalist with an IQ of 130. They live in entirely different inner worlds and thus while they live in the same physical world, perceptions vary so widely that insisting they pick up the same “truth” is nonsense.

Julius Evola wrote that modern organized religion confuses the esoteric and exoteric, with the latter being closer to liberal ideology in that those who accept a single face-value truth are considered to understand that doctrine in full. Nothing in human experience suggests this is correct, and the audience shapes the doctrine, which means that successful doctrines will have lots of room for interpretation so that they are widely adopted. People accept the doctrine as best they can understand it, and then interpret it as is convenient for their own goals, destroying the doctrine but making it successful.

Another problem of the innateness approach is dualism. For that view to make sense, there must be some force which works in magical ways that are entirely contrary to what we know of life. An excellent article shows us where this thinking goes awry:

Another example of this pattern in the history of philosophy would be the debate over the relationship between mind (or soul) and body. The Realist view in this case would be “dualism,” which holds that mind and body (and mind and brain, for that matter) are completely distinct, and in particular that the mind is something non-physical or immaterial, just as it seems to be to common sense. A Reductionist view would be “identity theory,” which says that the mind is real but that it is really identical to the brain — in other words, that the mind is, contrary to common sense, just one physical object among others. An Anti-Realist view would be “eliminative materialism,” which says that the mind does not really exist at all: strictly speaking, there are no such things as thoughts, experiences, beliefs, desires, and the like, but only neural firing patterns, hormonal secretions, behavioral dispositions, and so on and so forth.

While the basics of this idea are sound, the dualistic portion is not. We know the mind is related to the physical because when our brains are tired, they do not work as well, and when parts of brains are damaged, our thoughts change. Schopenhauer covered this with historical studies and twin studies in his works. Dualism dies on that pillar of human understanding.

However, the point about religious Realism is sound: a Realist would hold that the mind is physical, but that it is possible a metaphysical dimension also exists. Some Realists invent that out of physicality, talking about quantum materials like Roger Scruton has; others take the Hindu view and suggest that physicality is a logical (i.e. computational) manifestation of mind, and therefore that the physical workings of mind are effect and not cause of a larger pattern at play.

Either way, the theory of the innate single path is not a workable option because it requires such a dualism and, as shown above, denies esotericism.

Economic Theory

This variant of the single theory takes two forms: (1) our problem is capitalism and (2) our solution is capitalism. A multi-theory approach simply observes that capitalism works, and alternatives have all failed, so we have to accept capitalism as a fact of life and balance it with other theories, as is the basis of the multi-theory approach.

The “our problem is capitalism” people can be fairly well dispensed with for being in logical contradiction. If our problem is capitalism, what alternative works as well? Almost all of these exist for a single purpose, which is to avoid blaming the real culprit — egalitarianism, with its roots in individualism — for our plight. In other words, they are liberal apologists, which is why the high correlation with frequency of advocacy of Socialism is not a rounding error.

The “our solution is capitalism” people are, as said above, both correct and incorrect. Their theory is not wrong but it is not complete. Saying “our solution is capitalism” is like saying “our solution is roads”; capitalism is a means to an end, and not a goal in itself, but because it is a successful method without working alternatives, it cannot be discarded.

The problem with capitalism is that we might refer to it as financial democracy because it inevitably includes consumerism. It is a form of demotism, or rule by mass participation, just like democracy and social popularity. All three of these — consumerism, democracy and social popularity — are “invisible hand” systems and they are thus varieties of liberalism.

If you wonder why libertarians always drift leftward, this is why: libertarianism is a Leftist doctrine.

Race Theory

One of the most enduring and popular theories is race theory. This states that our problem is racial degeneration and that the solution is Nationalism. Like the “capitalism is the solution” theory, this is both right and incomplete. Without Nationalism, a nation dies. But Nationalism alone cannot save a dying society.

It also misses the real threat to any racial group, which is the threat it cannot see. Any idiot can figure out that outbreeding with radically different groups will obliterate the tribe, which is why most of them do it; their parents were bad and now the children hate their origins. But what about the barely-perceptible trace admixture?

White Nationalists, who are generally well-meaning people, argue that we should lump together all European-descended people and breed a new race. But this new race will be 2% Asian and 2% North African at a bare minimum because of the trace admixture in Southern/Irish and Eastern Europeans. At that point, the original racial group will have been destroyed… because of the method attempted to save it!

Even more wrong is the idea that race alone can save us. Nationalism, which means every group that is not Us is Other and must be sent home, is one of those theories that persists because it not only works but produces the best possible results. But by itself, it serves as a form of disaster because the Other is scapegoated, and so the Us group ignores its own problems, including liberalism.

The downfall of White Nationalism is not only its ethno-bolshevism which hopes to make all “white” groups equal by interbreeding them, but its desire to excuse liberalism. White Nationalists believe that our problem is not the liberalism that has created the diversity disaster, but the Other themselves, even though the Other are just a means to an end directed by liberalism.

For this reason, White Nationalists would remove the Other and then leave us on the same dysfunctional path with no one to blame but ourselves.

Conclusion

People want a single theory so that they have something as simple and polarizing as Leftism to use to fight Leftism. But to fight a bad idea, you need a competing idea for what the idea should be, not merely a competing idea in the same form. Against the notion of ideology itself, multi-theory people suggest the denial of ideology through sheer practicality based on a study of history. Single-theory notions do not do this and thus, while they may set Leftism back a few steps, they remain on the Leftist path, and will save us from nothing.

Worse, they will use our momentum that demands change to achieve this temporary setback, and in doing so, will squander the momentum without changing the actual underlying problem. Like most human activities, single-theory doctrine is self-defeat disguised as victory through a failure to think from cause to effect.

Life stinks

Monday, December 8th, 2014

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It is a scientific fact that 99.9999% of all life forms will be eaten alive, or will eat someone alive…Life is a struggle for survival. — Ren Höek, “Life Sucks,” unpublished episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show

Despite the unorthodox nature and complete lack of scientific rigor to the quote above, it provides a useful reflection of the reality of life through a reductionist, realist perspective.

Avoiding the type of pleasant motivational platitudes that show up in personal development courses and self-help books, the truth is that life is a constant struggle against death, an eternal battle that both the individual as well the species have lost before they started to fight.

Both individual and species struggle to extend their lives into the immensity of death, from which there is no way to escape, but only the ability to prolong the duration of survival. The individual may obtain a few more years, and the species, if it manages to adapt to its environmental conditions, thousands of years.

Materially — i.e. in the realm of the tangible and verifiable — there is no probability that eternal life can be achieved, and life in itself is nothing more than a flash in the blackness of the eternal night sky, virtually insignificant in geological and cosmological time scales of which man cannot perceive even their minimum expression.

In the same way, human creations are even more ephemeral than life itself, and the pathetic attachment of modern humanity to everything what gives it comfort, tranquility and satisfaction is the anchor which binds it to the deciduous and empty: the illusory emptiness that seeks to hide the endless Void from which nothing escapes.

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” — Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Durden talks about the meaning of freedom, which is the life liberated from the chains of social norms, from the respect for rightness and from the absurd network of cynical morals that tie humans to an idealized vision of reality.

Nature, being manifested fleetingly through life, lacks all sense of piety and goodness. It simply exists, with no other objective than being. Nihil verum nisi mors.

This essay is titled this way not due any kind of plaintive emotional manifesto of a teen idol, but it should be taken literally: life stinks. It stinks of death, since the death of one’s life is necessary so the life of another one can challenge, for a moment, its own inevitable death. Despite the horror of some people facing the death of individuals of other species, death cannot be avoided at any level, because, even in microscopic form life constantly perishes for the benefit of others.

Today, when the most of traditional religion has been surpassed by the indifference of consumer society indifference, as it has been subjected to the rigor of scientific research, it seems surprising that the Sacrifice (the offering) transcends the merely religious and it is manifested at all levels of life: from cell to organism.

Is it not a sacrifice that a plant has to perish so an animal can live? The ancient cultures offered smoky sacrifices to their gods in a reflection of what is happening at all levels of the food chain.

Life stinks of death, and wherever life is found, will be surrounded by the insistent and constant threat of an implacable death. It is man against the abyss.

Whether he has to confront the void with or without a blindfold in his eyes, it will depend on him. Only him.

And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness, Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will. — Joseph Glanvill

In Memorial of H.P. Lovecraft, the Philosopher of Terror

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

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Howard P. Lovecraft died March 15th, 1937 and his fiction about the terror of the great beyond is less of a fantasy and more of a warning.

The predominant philosophers of the 19th century spent their time imagining and theorizing about the limits of our world and the extent to which we humans can explore those limits. H.P. Lovecraft wasted none of his time on that and instead cut straight to the chase and told us unflinchingly what exists beyond the limits of our perception.

In Lovecraft’s cosmos, the world beyond is a world hidden within our own world. We pass through it as it passes through us, but we can never know about it or see it. Unless, of course, we are properly attuned to it.

German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) is one of the pre-eminent thinkers in philosophy, and one of his views on human perception is called the Two Worlds View or “dualism.” In this outlook, there is the world that our sensible intuitions present to us, and then there is the Thing in Itself. The Thing in Itself has also been called the Absolute. We can never know the Absolute because our faculties of intuition are limited, and we can only know an object and the world around us as well as our senses represent the object to us. Because of this we will always be ignorant of any absolute truth.

For in this case that which is originally itself only in appearance, e.g., a rose, counts in an empirical sense as a thing in itself, which yet can appear different to every eye in regard to color. The transcendental concept of appearances in space, on the contrary, is a critical reminder that absolutely nothing that is intuited in space is a thing in itself, and that space is not a form that is proper to anything in itself, but rather that objects in themselves are not known to us at all. – Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

Reading Kant is not easy. Depending on who you ask, German philosophy has killed more people than the electric chair. Nobody knows if it is because of the dense text or if it is because of its tendency to invoke existential crises in readers. If you are faint of mind, then I suggest you return to reading more tame philosophy from a more contemporary thinker like Dr. Suess.

For those who wish to brave the brinks of existential terror in Kant’s philosophy, then the Two Worlds view would lead to the logical conclusion that everything before us is merely an illusion. It’s an easy enough of a mistake, but Kant would prefer to have us believe that the Thing in Itself is real, and that we shouldn’t take everything before us as an illusion. Considering Kant’s hopes and also his propositions about the nature of objects and the painfully limited nature of our sensible intuitions, I don’t know which is more terrifying — the possibility that everything we see is an illusion, or that there are unknowable objects that will forever confound our senses and intuitions.

But, is it desirable to have access to the Absolute, and can we learn anything from it?

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) would disagree. Schopenhauer was properly steeped in Kant’s philosophy, and he was renowned as the philosopher of pessimism. We all know what Schrodinger did with his cat, but if Schopenhauer had a cat it would be Grumpy Cat. If that doesn’t put things into perspective, just know that there wasn’t a more pessimistic thinker in all of history than Schopenhauer. But, as Schopenhauer says, if we could overcome the limitations of our own cognitive abilities and sensible intuitions then we should be able to encounter the vast gulf of the incalculable infinity that is all around us.

If we lose ourselves in the contemplation of the infinite greatness of the universe in space and time, meditate on the thousands of years that are past or to come, or if the heavens at night actually bring before our eyes the innumerable worlds and so force upon our consciousness the immensity of the universe, we feel ourselves dwindle to nothing as individuals, as living bodies, as transient phenomena of will, we feel ourselves pass away and vanish into nothing like drops in the ocean. – Arthur Schopenhauer, “On the Inner Nature of Art,” from The World as Will and Idea

This is what Schopenhauer calls the Sublime. The sublime is what we feel when we are encountered with something that exceeds the limits of our senses. When we are faced with the sublime, our senses of reason and comprehension are suspended; our capacity to reason and communicate become ineffective. The sublime is not something which is simply inconceivable to us, or something which confounds our reason. The sublime is not a mysterious puzzle to which we cannot find the solution. The sublime is terrifying because it is impossible for our senses to completely register, and it completely overwhelms our senses in a forceful and uncompromising assault.

The Thing in Itself and the Absolute are completely beyond our sensible intuition, and thus must fall entirely within the realm of the sublime. Access to the Absolute would be nothing less than complete absolute mind-bending terror.

This is where Lovecraft comes in.

While the other philosophers were busy trying to draw the line at where our senses would stop perceiving the given world, and what it would feel like if we could have access to the Thing in Itself or the Absolute, Lovecraft told us what it would look like.

Imagine if we had a machine like the one from Lovecraft’s story “From Beyond”, one that could pull back the veil of ignorance which we live under, and reveal the true nature of the things that we encounter world…

‘You see them? You see them? You see the things that float and flop about you and through you every moment of your life? You see the creatures that form what men call the pure air and the blue sky? Have I not succeeded in breaking down the barrier; have I not shewn you worlds that no other living men have seen?’ I heard him scream through the horrible chaos, and looked at the wild face thrust so offensively close to mine. His eyes were pits of flame, and they glared at me with what I now saw was overwhelming hatred. The machine droned detestably. – H.P. Lovecraft, From Beyond

There are only two options when we are faced with the Absolute. It will turn us stark raving mad, or cause the urge to break from contact with the Absolute in a complete panic. In no case is it desirable to have contact with the Absolute, and we should be thankful that our senses restrain us from encountering it.

Is ignorance bliss? Perhaps, but a life of ignorance and apathy will be the death of us all.

Dualism vs. Monism in a Nihilist Context

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

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Could you enlighten me as to why you prefer monism to dualism?

This world may be a simulation. We may be figments of the imagination of a daydreaming god. We may be pure mathematics, or data in some cosmic computer. Or we could be physical beings, or some combination of the above. However, if this world has one characteristic to rely on, it’s this: it creates the same response to the same causal impetus.

That means if you pick up a ball and hold your arm up away from your body and drop the ball, it will fall — every time. Even if a friend sneaks a hand in there to catch it, it will begin falling first. If you put a support table under your hand so the ball doesn’t drop, the effect can be observed that the instant the table is removed the ball drops. The principle is consistent. Causality is consistent (although in multicausal cases there is some variability due to chaos and the inability to have consistent conditions like wind, uniformity of matter and the like).

Dualism posits that there is another world where there are pure rules that differ from the rules in this world. In other words, this world is a put-on, but it’s not the result of that other world, rather an inferior and unrelated copy to it. This breaks the principle of consistency. In addition, it rebukes the design brilliance of this world and encourages us to de-sacralize it. Further, it creates an arbitrary claim that can be manipulated by those for whom truth is a distant secondary concern to immediate reward through the work of others.

In my view, this world represents something utterly consistent with the logic that we have in our minds by intuition or can derive from experiments in the world, or even in our minds using arbitrary data. In fact, this world represents an optimization of design to take advantage of logic. A simple example is the sheer efficiency of trees: they are resilient, efficient, and highly effective at propagating themselves without wiping themselves out through overbreeding.

One interesting aspect of this logicality is that it does not aim for perfection. It shoots instead for things that work in every situation and, even if it takes many steps to get there, always get to an increasingly complex result. This means that if there are 100 seeds, nature does not guarantee that every one sprouts; it guarantees that absent truly blighted conditions, at least one will survive. Even more, it guarantees that in truly blighted conditions, something — if even bacteria or fungus — will survive, and begin the process of evolving until three billion years later it’s a human. That is the genius of nature’s design!

For this reason, I see our world as a logical optimum, and see it as unlikely and even laughable to posit a division between this and another perfect world. Especially when the other perfect world sounds like human wish fulfilment, such as the idea that judgment will occur over the bad and the good will be rewarded. Even more when it is suggested that, as in Heaven and Hell, this other world involves an eternity of doing the same stuff over and over again. It is discontiguous with the logic of this world and with logic itself that this world exists in that form, and that its activities are as described.

However, this is the nature of our thinking when pointing toward any world that is a correction to this one. We immediately turn to human ideas and judgments, desires and feelings. We shape it after what we wish were true, because after all it’s a correction. But that requires us to abandon logic and causality and instead focus on a world that seems like the creation of a personality itself, even though nothing else works this way.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s materialism, or the idea that matter is all that exists. I don’t want to go into a lengthy argument here, but since the organization of things follows logic, and thoughts follow logic, and logic stands both intuitively and as a self-referential architectonic whole, it seems to me that logic comes before matter. Meaning: the organization of matter is a product of logic, not the other way around. Thus materialism itself is nonsense and there is clearly an underlying thought-like logical order to existence. I think it more likely that we find something like a simulation, where we are logical aspects of some larger logical entity, than a standalone system regulated by matter; if anything, we probably exist in a universe which is so logical that the concept of nothingness had to be created, which in turn required the concept of somethingness, which in turn created what we know of today as matter.

Thus we have both dualism and materialism negated, which leaves us with monism, a system where matter and idea are part of the same continuum, and any perfection is found in this world and any additional “metaphysics” would be part of the same logical system. In this the whole is logically consistent, which fits with the principle of consistency seen in all things observed so far. However, this leaves us with a question: how is monism different from some form of idealistic materialism?

The best answer is found in the work of Immanuel Kant, who perceived that our minds “filter” a raw reality and come up with a limited version of that which our physical bodies can perceive and serve that up to us. We know that our minds will remove from our perception the anomalous and incomprehensible in everyday life, and that we navigate the world through memory and basically confirm our memory instead of perceiving anew. How much else is filtered out? How much is invisible to us because it is not physical in the sense that we commonly recognize?

Monism suggests to us that instead of a world made of personality and the judgment of that personality, like the Heaven/Hell dualistic world, we exist in a single continuum of which the visible physical world is but a small part. Thus what we see is logically consistent with all that is, but is only part of the story. The end result there is that we can posit additional layers or dimensions to our world without them being dualistic, in that they will obey the same logical rules that we see here and will be similar. They may be interwoven with what we know of as reality. Even more, without the imposition of time, there may be other directions in which we can travel through this raw reality-space.

This might explain why monism is not as popular as dualism. It’s harder to grasp, and although it’s more consistent, it’s less certain. It is also less satisfying than the idea of final judgment and slotting of people in Heaven or Hell, an image that I find comforting whenever I run into someone with bad or excessively selfish intent. But ultimately it is the only explanation that is logical and consistent, without which we are forced to consider our world as nonsense and treat it correspondingly badly, while leaving our futures in the hands of near-arbitrary conjecture, and denying the causal/logical idealism underlying all of existence.

How is this in any way compatible with nihilism?

Most people view nihilism as a form of hyper-materialism, or denial of all but the immediate and tangible. In my experience, what nihilism is in a sensible interpretation is a denial of human projection, and thus a focus on reality as it is. This then includes the aspects of it which we do not understand and are not easily grasped by humans. Both materialism and dualism make no sense under nihilism because they are impositions of the human perspective, e.g. touch and emotion respectively, and not a logical observational path from reality to the human. A sensible path is that we see reality, analyze it and understand it; projection is where we figure out what we want to find in reality, find an example of it, and hold it up to represent the whole. Both dualistic religion and the negation of it fall into this category.

While most people hold that nihilism is a rejection of anything other than the individual and its immediate desires, needs, emotions, feelings, judgments and autonomy, I see this philosophy as something that can be called “fatalism” because it has given up on anything larger than the individual, including society, truth, creativity, and the world as something outside of the human mental construction. It believes that human efforts at improvement are ineffectual or doomed. A more sensible version of nihilism is that it is a rejection of everything other than what exists. It is not concerned with emotions, judgments, feelings and/or desires, but instead is concerned with how the world works and how it can be interacted with. Where most people think of themselves first, and see the world as a manifestation of their will, the nihilist sees us as a manifestation of the world’s properties.

However, this does not imply a need to limit ourselves to the material, because since the world is a logical place defined by its consistency above all else, the only limit that matters is what is logical according to the order of this world. As logicality precedes materiality, the logicality is more important, and this implies layers of existence outside of the material which must also be considered. It is not sensible to call these “metaphysical” as they are part of the same spectrum of physicality, much like different colors are part of the same spectrum, including invisible colors that are outside the parts of the spectrum we can perceive.

In fact, this philosophy affirms nihilism by showing us the truth of the triad of traits normally associated with nihilism: nothing is true, nothing is communicated and nothing is known. That is because in this world, the option of truth is a subjective one; many choose to avoid truth, in fact most do. Similarly, people must be receptive to have communication occur, and must be able to recognize knowledge for it to do its work as knowledge. The grim fact of life is that truth only exists to those who know how to locate it, communication only occurs between similarly situated parties, and wisdom is only visible to the wise. But even that fact will be disputed by people who wish to believe otherwise.

While wildly misunderstood, nihilism in its only sensible form is a rejection of human projection. That requires that we pay attention to the world and its function, rather than our emotions, desires and judgments regarding it or what we wish it were like. This does not limit us to the visible world, or even only the tangible world, since we need to use logical thought to even construct those fully. Rather, we instead may even reject appearances and tangibility in favor of those logical constructions which fully explain the world, which is part of a consistent trend since the earliest evolution of humanity toward more use of mind and less reliance on appearance.

Dualism is an enhancement of the differences between appearance and structure. By creating a world of inconsistent structure in addition to this one, dualism posits that this world is entirely appearance, and the other world is entirely structure. In fact, both appearance and structure exist in this world, and if the other world is inconsistent with them, it is likely a world of appearance and not structure.

This creates the troubling implication that it is human projection and thus an affirmation of it would be a rejection of nihilism. On the other hand, materialism suggests no possibility of structure beyond the material, which creates clashes with the underlying idealism of the cosmos, creating a disconnect between appearance and structure which makes appearance seem to be an independent and important measure.

A nihilist of the Hollywood type is basically an extremely self-focused anarchist. This person’s justification is that they believe in nothing, thus they limit their concerns to what they know is “real,” namely themselves and their immediate desires only. Further, in theory this person is possessed by an urge to destroy, which makes no sense as that requires a positive valuation. It seems more like a description of a person having a mental health issue than thinking their way through nihilism.

Nihilism reduces itself from negation of everything because nihilism is in itself an affirmative act, a valuation of the world and a separation of what is actual from what is not. Thus even someone who tried to act out the Hollywood ideal and reject everything would soon find themselves both affirming some facts of the world, and rejecting some illusions of the self being absolute and separate from the world. A nihilist in the first seconds of nihilism might wander down the anarchist path, but within an hour of thought would be headed in a different direction.

Through this nihilism rejects another kind of dualism, which is the separation between human preference and reality. In this vision, which occurs exclusively in materialist thought, the human choice is somehow absolute and universal, where the natural world is viewed as random and/or illogical. This mirrors the projection of human thought onto a dualistic perfect world, which resembles human feeling and desires, as separate from a world where human feelings come secondary which is thus seen as appearance because it does not represent the “true” world of the personality. This dualism exists both in materialism and in metaphysical conditions.

For this reason, nihilism is not only compatible with monism, but is only compatible with monism. The false dualities of materialism and metaphysical dualism together represent the antithesis of nihilism, which is human projection. Further, to a realist, both dualism and materialism fail to deliver what is necessary for a logical view of reality and also show the influence of human projection, which means it is wisest to reject them and move on to something that is more representative of reality, even if it does not “appear” to be so.

Why people hate modern society

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

In the absence of a positive goal, we create a disorganized civilization based on parasitism.

This in turn means it will collapse, losing much of the culture and technology we’ve worked hard to create.

In addition, most of the people I meet are depressed and have low self-esteem, and they’re a normal cross-section (business-related contacts, not some weird underground politics group).

Even more, no one seems to be addressing the problem:

* Civilization decay through pluralism, as Plato describes in The Republic.
* Withdrawl from reality for social power, as Nietzsche mentions in On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense.
* Subject/object duality through relative fallacy of perception, as Schopenhauer details in The Fourfold Root.

Learning to Fly

Friday, October 28th, 2005

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In ancient literature, a common motif was that in order to find the truth of a complex situation, one had to visit the land of the dead and ask a spirit. The spirit – someone who is not living, and does not have human desires and emotions – then reveals the truth of the situation. It is as if life itself is an addition to the structure of events, and that the dead can see structure, because it takes a mind dead of emotions and fears to reveal structure, which roughly corresponds to an enlightened Platonism, or a view that there are ideal forms upon which reality is roughly patterned.

What is structure? The function and underlying shapes of transaction of energy in a situation. The structure of a forest involves trees trapping sunlight and converting it into products that feed other life forms; then still other forms harvest varying parts of plant and animal life, creating a complex ecosystem. We can diagram said ecosystem, draw it in language, or film its parts and associated numbers (28% of all squirrels are eaten by homosexual bears). These representations of structure do not diminish the fact that, whether or not it “exists,” structure is the only accurate way of mapping events and objects.

Some people, and some religions, take Platonism too far. They assume that structure is somehow a pure, dualistic world, and that we live in an inferior world of rendering (structure is the blueprint, rendering is what is created from it in physical reality). This is not what Plato was suggesting, in the view of this author. He was saying that our consciousnesses become ensnared on the details of physical and tangible objects and events, while forgetting the relationship between them, the flow of energy, the actual transaction of significance; the structure. He was saying that we get caught up in our senses and lose sight of the way things interact to form our world, and thus we become materialistic, or confined to the physical world and unaware of the world of structure.

Where this gets tricky is that structure does not, for all practical purposes, “exist.” The closest we get are encoded blueprints like DNA; show me the structure of a chair, for example, as it exists. You can point out the design of the chair, outline its structural points, and summarize in abstract language or mathematical formulae what a chair is. But the structure of chair, something which would have to be inherent to all chairs, doesn’t “exist” – it is an abstraction of our minds. This does not change the fact that it is a vital part of chairness, and that without some idea of that structure, one cannot create a chair. In this we see that the only dualism in Plato is a division between mind (structure) and body (physical reality). Even in those, there is overlap; Plato is clearly not suggesting a dualistic system in the Judeo-Christian sense, where Heaven “exists” somewhere in a purer world than this half-evil, half-good one.

(Side note: every intelligent Christian I’ve ever met has overcome dualism as a concept by recognizing that God is the world, and the world is God, and that when we speak of God, we’re speaking of something like structure that is inherent but does not “exist” discretely in the same way a blueprint or shotgun might. All religions, if meditated on enough, become something like the Hindu or Greco-Roman religions, where gods represent parts of our psychology and the psychology of nature as a joined force of a similar nature, and nothing is promised, and heaven is a state of mind and not a place. Encouraging those Christians who have the brains to understand it toward this state is a more sensible goal than “fighting” Christianity. Christians have the ability to change unlike those poor souls stranded in Judaism, a materialism-monistic religion which attempts to disguise its morality as practicality, thus falling back on the only genre of thought where such things are true: business, and materialist ethics arising from its rules. It is no surprise every civilized nation has at some point persecuted the Jews; their religion is disgusting, inherently anti-heroic, and will drag any nation into the toilet if given a chance to be assimilated.)

For the ancients, the dichotomy between design (structure) and manifestation (form, physicality) was profoundly drawn, because they were idealists in the philosophical sense: to them, nature behaved in the same way that governs the creation and nurturing of thoughts, so they saw the world as a system that worked like a mind. To them, this meant that thoughts (creatures, individuals) were created on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of testing hypotheses, and what matters at the end of the day is that those creatures bearing important hypotheses survive and the insane hypotheses do not. Each of us is a test design, in the view of the ancients, and may the best prevail! What matters is not our suffering, not our deaths, not our wealth, not our social importance, but the prevalence of better ideas and designs through heroism. For them, the universe was empty of manifest gods, but it was far from empty, in that it was a living thing in which we like thoughts attempt to rejoin its infinite wisdom by fighting it out. When one warrior stands over the bloodied corpse of another, the ancients surmised, a better design or concept has won. It is for this reason that they had, like most of us have bred into us, a rigid concept of fairness. With fairness, heroism was possible. When cheating became the norm, heroism took a back seat toward self-preservation – who wants to die for a rigged contest, which decides nothing? – and thus society drifted toward Judean materialism. Sad day, that was.

This form of idealistic belief was more realistic than any of the “moral” belief systems that countered it, because it fit in with the organic systems that operated around it. It did not try to impose square, rigid, materialistic moral concepts onto an unruly nature, but sought to understand nature’s design (and came closer than anyone else has, to this day). It did not pretend it could make things better with “right” and “wrong,” but developed a flexible morality based not on survival (murder = wrong) but fairness (a just fight is the will of the gods). Its core concept was explaining how nature and human thought were alike, and thus, how a higher state of mind could be found that showed why this world, with all of its goods and evils, ultimately makes sense and leads toward a positive goal. This is idealism, but it cannot occur without a counterpart, which is what is symbolized by a visit to the land of the dead: a stilling of the mind that removes the drama and trauma of living, and looks only at structure, not at tangibility. It is no longer a hamburger you can taste, but nutrition that empowers you to do certain things; it is no longer a sensual experience as much as it is a step toward a goal; it is no longer a material value of fixed nature ($8.95) but a flexible value placed on being able to get to the next stage of the process, and if it requires a hamburger? — it is possible no cost is too high, or too low.

Realizing this moral flexibility, and land-of-the-dead style mental state, is essential to moving beyond the human condition to accept the place of humans in the entirety of things, and thus to derive an idealism which sees possible higher states. One cannot live until one has died, so to speak, because one has not yet recognized the value of living. And what might a modern call this state of mind, this pessimistic Zen, this clarity of deathlike thought? Some time ago, a modern thinker of note but no fame called it “nihilism.” His point was that when one strips aside all but physical, immediate reality, it is possible to derive the structure of things and thus their actual value. In this view, nihilism is not the lack of belief, faith and caring about all things; we refer to that, more accurately, as “fatalism,” or in the vernacular, having given up and running home crying to Mommy with your testicles in a lunch sack. Nihilism is a clarity of mind that removes illusion and specifically, human illusion, including emotions and desires and anthrocentricisms and self-interest.

(It is of note that most people coming through this site are so cynical they assume what we’ve written about it is boilerplate, and go elsewhere for definitions of nihilism, coming up with “belief in no value” or variants thereof, and immediately begin considering themselves superior for finding the truth of no truth, and start hassling others for believing in anything. They have, of course, forgotten that believe in no value is belief in something (“no value”) and thus that their criticisms are, of course, impotent and pointless. Such people do not care about philosophical truth; they care about finding some mental system to use as a shield and form of self-identification, a way of saying “I figured it out this way” in the same way that others use Christ, drugs, money, sex, belongings, the Army, etc. Our goal is not to assault these people, but we aren’t fooled either, and we see them for the aphilosophical future middle managers that they truly are.)

So nihilism…is not a total lack of belief? It’s a total lack of inherent belief, yes; one clears the mind of all preconceptions, then analyzes the situation, then makes a choice of action. Nihilism is a Zen state, a warrior state, of having cleared aside all but structure so that when one acts, it is in concert with the way things naturally turn out, and thus will have success of the longest-lasting and most profound variety. Those who have too much of the illusion of life in their minds act according to the interests of creatures, and thus often miss the point, the structure, the ideal of a situation… to be a nihilist is to clear your mind so that you can always see past the form of a scenario to its organizing principles, and thus to effectively change is however you see fit. Nihilism is not a belief system for those who want to believe in nothing, because of all things, it assaults such emotional reactions (“I’m taking my toys and going home, if you don’t make metaphysical value obvious to me now, Life!”) first and demolishes them utterly. Nihilism is not an end state, but an initial state, and a discipline that grows as one explores thought. Nihilism is learning to fly.

When one wants to learn to fly, one must first negate all one has learned about living on the ground. Gravity is not absolute, and it can be bent. The wind isn’t weak, but strong, and you don’t resist it like a stolid building, but find the right way to cut it, and it’s like getting energy from the gods. The sky isn’t blue, but degrees of blue and black depending on how far you go. Clouds aren’t solid, or soft, but are like ghosts in the air, and they’re always moving. So is everything, but you can tell more when you’re flying. Learning to fly requires that you forget and destroy everything you knew about being a two-footed, meaty land creature. Your bones too can be hollow, and your fingers grow wings, if you see the path before you is not a path at all, but a compass of a very advanced sort. Flying, one moves in three dimensions; on earth, one generally moves in two, mapped to the surface, with rare exceptions for tree climbing and astronomical flatulence. But when one flies? Up and down join forward and back and left and right, and each must suddenly have not only degrees, but some point of reference. Everything is relative, including relativity itself, which is relative to all things, much as nihilism reduces “nihilism” itself. Learning to fly requires the discipline of a clear mind.

(Interestingly, those who resist this doctrine the most are those who complain the most about Christians, liberals, other races, etc. yet fail to realize that while they’re not supporting the same groups, they’re supporting the same conditions that got us to the state where these groups are in conflict. Individualism is a dead-end street, because it places the individual before all else, and is basically a radicalized form of materialism. Follow this path and you out-Christian the Christians, and are well on the way to heading back down the evolutionary ladder and becoming Jewish. Most kiddie “nihilists” fall into this category. They want to come up with one good reason why they shouldn’t do anything but complain, and keep goofing off with video games and drugs and garbagoid heavy metal music. They think “nihilism” will do it; if you don’t believe in anything, you just keep goofing off. Little do they know that true nihilism of that sort wouldn’t allow them to even enjoy their GTA III and bong hits, and that nihilism for a thinking person – a non-trivialized, non-anthrocentric one – is something else entirely.)

My advice to any who wish to pursue the truths in the world, or to change the world: for you to alter the state of existence, you must first know exactly – and not in vague college-esque we can bullshit whatever paper you want ma’am terms – the changes you would make to its structure. You might not be able to do this, inherently; if the gods did not grant you with the brains, or the moral will, or the judgment, you will fail. No one can educate you into a higher state of mind. Even if you are of the ability, there is no guarantee you can pull this off. You must first discipline your mind, or it will be like standing on a boat in a storm trying to shoot an arrow at a floating target. You now know the basics of the esoteric discipline of nihilism, which will lead you first to realism and next to idealism and finally, to transcendence. Are you ready for this path? If so, my best faith and wishes for you. And one more thing – to fly, you must lighten the load you carry, and infuse joy into your soul so that it rises joyfully, without care for its own dead, toward the sun spinning above in an infinite cycle of energy exchange.

Crowdism

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

crowd_psychology_during_french_revolution

History may run in cycles, but each era has its distinctive flavor, and those form the methods by which its part in the process of history is fulfilled. In our modern time, we have uniquely united the world through centralized media, by which someone in one location produces what comes to be known as the official “truth,” and it is then distributed throughout the globe almost instantly. The people of earth, conditioned to require the absolute “truth” from central agencies on matters of commerce and governmental regulation, promptly extend the same courtesy to political and social truth as conveyed by the “official” media.

The result of this is that a small group of people create our public perceptions of events; the events happen, and the rest of us, who are fated to find out about them second-hand in any case, rely on the descriptions of those events relayed to us by this centralized source. In such a climate, it is not surprising that there are errors in our perception of reality, as all that is required is for those in the “official” truth-telling capacity to miss a detail or, more likely, be convinced for social reasons that they need to hush that detail. It will put people out of jobs; it will make people feel bad; they don’t need to know what they can do nothing about; it will not benefit your (you, personally, the guy responsible for putting out the news) career.

Who Owns Truth?

Another way of saying this is that if fifteen people witness an event and give roughly similar testimony, barring any prior agreement to collusion among them, it’s a lot more accurate than if there’s only one eye-witness who also has a vested interest in how the outcome is viewed. If the landlord of a building is the one person to witness its burning, and he claims it was the reckless conduct of the tenants and not shoddy construction that allowed the blaze to devour the complex entirely, how likely are we to wholly believe him? After all, he has a reason to lie that directly benefits his livelihood. The same can be said of our media, who eat based not on the degree of truth to their stories, but the degree of human interest. They sell drama, but not difficult truths, as those will make one unpopular enough to be bankrupt.

For this reason, it has been very slowly that discontent has built in our society, because for most people, there was never any reason to trust the official version of events until now. We were told foreign dictators were bad, so we all banded together and crushed them. We were told that we needed to buy certain products, so we did, hoping to keep our families safe and futures secure. We were told that it was important to believe certain things, as they were ideologies of the future, and through this “progress” we got to a better life; who doesn’t want that? Most of us live in small worlds, focused around family and friends and local social community, and we don’t want more than that. Nothing is more admirable, since this is a view of life that negates fear of death and embraces what life offers the individual outside of social and monetary absolutes. It’s a healthy, normal existence.

Yet these small worlds have been shattered, as despite our armies of scientists and reporters and researchers, these problems crept up on us: global warming, terrorism, mass immigration, economic collapse. It’s well and fine to have missed a few fragments of information here and there, and to be surprised by a shortfall in a government program or a new population trend, but how does something as big as global warming sneak up on us? That’s like getting ambushed by a glacier. Undoubtedly, the thought that hit many minds when after years of fighting the story, our news media and politicians finally gave in and said, “Aw shucks, this global warming thing is real,” was quite simply that either we’re being told a partial story or, more ominously, that these people do not care enough about reality to get the whole story. This puts an image in our minds of, instead of diligent and honest guardians, profiteers running the show who leave it to us to survive as we can.

With this sudden distrust of the “truth” upon which our society is based comes another sobering thought: for things to get this out of control, where we are controlled by predators who seem oblivious to our future, something must be fundamentally wrong about the way we’re governing ourselves. As said before, most people are content to lead local lives, but our world is now so interconnected that government rarely stops at the town, city, parish or county. If people in distant nations screw up and dump uranium into our oceans, we get the cancers here just as fatally as anywhere else. Should negotiations fail and nuclear war rain death upon us, our localities – which have been quietly going about life – are no longer autonomous, but targets belonging to whatever political entity incurred ire. Our lives are bound up in the fortunes of the collective, and when it errs, we are the ones who pay. How do you hold a government, or a corporation, or a world governing body responsible? You can haul out the people in office and shoot them, but that is little recompense for the vast amounts of good things destroyed by the errors of such leadership entities.

If we follow this chain of thought to its logical conclusion, then we are – as a species – ruled by distant forces who have little accountability for the decisions that affect us, and may be motivated by self-interest more than the best interests of the species as a whole. Modern people are so used to long strings of words that mean nothing, so this is restated in the vernacular: you are under the control of people who are leading you to their profit, not yours. Even more, if you resist, other people – well-meaning, normal, healthy people – will do their best to kill you, believing that they are destroying a dangerous deviant and not someone with a rational objection to the system as a whole. In other words, the world is turned upside down; truth has become a fabrication, the predators are in control, and dissent is not tolerated in any way that will have actual effect. If one were paranoiac, it would suggest an evil force in control of this world.

Deflection

Yet it is the demonic nature of this process alone that provides us a clue to its origin. No human organization in history has been so well-managed that it could pull off a conspiracy of this nature without revealing itself or collapsing in infighting. Whatever engendered this particular mess did not have a leader, or a central organizing principle, although it has manifested itself in centralized authority. A systematic change to this kind of order comes through a shared assumption, much like when a group of friends, upon perceiving their favorite bar is closed, meet at the next most likely place without having to communicate the name amongst themselves. More than a leaderless revolution, it was an unconscious one: those who brought it about had no idea they shared an ideology, or no idea what its name might be, or even why they did it. They simply did it because it was natural to do, and because nothing has since opposed it, it continues to this day in grossly simplified form.

We are tempted by the opposite conclusion, because if we were able to find a single easy cause, like removing a jam from a machine we could yank it out, and by mathematical simplicity, would have all of the good in society with the negative removed, thus an all-good society. When was the last time life was that simple? Any infection on the level of our assumptions has pervaded our society at its lowest level, that of its values and worldview. We could blame language, or x=y thinking, or sin waves of emotion, or any of the other detours that have absorbed our best liberal thinkers looking for a symbological fix to our problem, but really, these are just the devil’s messengers. What’s wrong isn’t us; it’s what we think we believe, and even if we say we want to fix it, our minds have become mesmerized by a certain outlook on the world and are unwilling to leave it. Thus our disease remains, since even when trying to excise it, we re-affirm the infection by assuming the necessity of its component parts.

It’s like the mafia boss who’s determined to root out the informer in his organization. He and his personal secretary interview all of his department heads, and after some theorizing, they put the worst of them into the bay. But the next time a bust happens, the boss realizes he’s still infected. He goes after every person he can think of, but can’t ever clear himself of the informant, until one day he’s put into jail. You can imagine his shock when the star witness comes out to confront him: his personal secretary! In our case, as moderns, the disease is worse than an informing secretary; it’s within us. There is no clearer evidence of this than our mania for deflection. Is it the Communists? Then the other side whispers: it’s the Capitalists. Is it the drug-users? The hackers? The terrorists? The Nazis? Who else can we blame – what do we do when we finally run out of people to blame? (It’s not fair to let the right off the hook either: it’s not the Negroes or the Jews that are the root of your problem, although their presence can be argued to be a symptom!)

All of these futile attempts have failed, since even when these demons have been exorcised, the disease has remained. That is not to say that these attempts have not improved the situation, only that they haven’t gotten to the core of it. Think for a moment: what sort of problem is it that one cannot identify and root out? The simple answer: one you cannot tell to another person, and therefore, even if you know it, no one else can work on the problem – and in modern society, every problem is too big for one man. Imagine working with another police inspector on this case. You can tell the guy everything except that which might potentially hurt his feelings. So the investigation goes on, and despite your partner being slower than you are, he puts his heart into it. At the end you have no answers, because both of you don’t know the answer, even though it’s in your knowledge.

The dirty little secret of the West’s collapse is that it has come from within. The extent of our modern disease is revealed by the fact that when we think this, we immediately try to blame either everyone, or no one. We are afraid to blame a process and implicate certain people as its methods. And why not? We’re not passing moral judgment, claiming them to be the spawn of Satan, as our leaders do to enemies during wartime. All we are saying is that they, by what they do, have caused a massive problem. The real social taboo broken here is the unstated obvious: in order to fix the problem, we have to limit their sainted “freedom.” Nevermind that few people actually need freedom. What they want are normal, comfortable lives, without other people intruding in upon them and telling them what to think. That’s not freedom; it’s common sense and common decency. People like to conceive of “freedom,” however, as a limitless absolute. “I can do anything I want,” they say, forgetting that most of what they actually want falls within the narrow sphere of what benefits them in a practical sense. You could make sculptures out of your own mucus… but do you need that “freedom”?

Yet any person who advocates breeching that “freedom” is portrayed to be a bad guy, which is interesting, since in times without freedom, there was not such widespread deception where a few people could control “truth” for an entire planet, even if through the quasi-voluntarily methods of television and entertainment media. To a thinking person, the fear of losing “freedom” is another type of deflection: finding something irrelevant to the cause to blame. It’s psychologically very easy, actually: to blame something external divides the world into two segments, the desired and the undesired. In actuality, it makes no sense to divide things that already exist into desired/undesired, because the only thing that can be desired is an outcome and by definition anything but that outcome is undesired – yet outcomes usually occur in partial degrees, or with modifications, so that kneejerk response makes little sense. When manipulating the masses, however, it makes sense to tell them that the world is divided into “freedom” and those who hate freedom, as they react more quickly to the positive feelings associated with “freedom” and only more slowly to the logic trap into which they fall. Heart first, then brain – even with very smart people.

Crowdism

This emotional process of trying to solve logical issues is obviously paradoxical, but it is the foundation of our modern morality, which is derived in part from Christianity but has previous antecedents; this means that while Christianity (as practiced by most, not the happy few who’ve made a real religion of it!) embraces this ambient quasi-ideology we are describing, it is not the sole origin of it. Rather, morality of this type has been with the world since its earliest days; it is not a new invention, merely a less successful one, thus one that was until recently alien to our societies because many generations ago we transcended it. It is a belief system based on appearances: emotions come before logic, personal boundaries come before the necessity of doing what is right for all, and abstract divisions of “good” and “evil” regarding intent come before a realization of the effect of any action. In short, this is a belief system which manipulates by preventing certain actions rather than by recommending others, and it attacks before any action is ever committed.

When we remove all the irrelevant theory, what becomes clear is that this is a belief system designed to protect a type of person; that is why its negative, preemptive assessment. It does not have a goal. It does not have an ideology. It is wholly negative in nature, in that it identifies certain things that are destabilizing to those who find it important, and it attempts to censure and criminalize those. It in fact replaces the idea of having a goal with the idea of not doing wrong, and thus restricts what can be done to those whose actions might be so selfish that any sort of goal would conflict with them. These sort of people might be described as passive criminals, then, since what they do is not outright criminal, but by being what is done instead of pursuing a healthy goal, and by requiring a morality that prevents others from interrupting it, it supplants the seeking of a healthy goal. It is thus a crime of omission if nothing else.

Another way to look at it is from this angle: imagine that something needs to be done for the good an entire community. Healthy people are willing to make sacrifices for this. But some would prefer to rigidly negate that proposal because it interferes with their personal fortunes or convenience. By doing this, they are dooming the community in the long run, even if it means they get to keep whatever it was they desired in the short term. These people need some kind of protection that, no matter what the overall goal is, justifies their selfishness. Even better, it should eliminate the concept of overall goal, and focus only on the individual. To do that, a morality was created which banned actions and not goals, effectively hobbling any goal-setting because any real change will always infringe upon someone’s little world. Morality is the assertion of personal reality as a higher value that physical, this-is-the-real-world-pay-attention reality.

We can diagnose it: solipsism, or perhaps a low grade sociopathy, or even in the simplest terms, selfishness. It could even be described with fancy academic terms like materialism, meaning a focus on material comfort that places all ideological concerns at distant second, or absolutism, meaning a creation of a false abstraction that governs how we see reality. What reveals its nature the most however is understanding the type of mentality that produces it. To do this, we must go to folk wisdom, in which it is recognized that what people would not do as individuals they will do as a mob. Under social pressure, people will take drugs, torture one another, steal, lie, cheat and delude themselves. If they internalize that social pressure, they will do these things without the presence of others because they are aware of the eventuality of having to interact with those others. In this sense, the mob mentality can extend to those who are alone, because in their minds the rest of the mob is always there.

This behavior transcends ideology. One can as easily assume the identity of a Green, or a modern Republican, or a radical neo-Nazi, or a harmless Democrat, and still wield this belief system. It can strike any social class, any intelligence, at any age, although it tends to be supported among the lower middle class young of moderate but not genius intelligence. It does not require awareness of its own presence; those who are its carriers never would know it by name, and most commonly believe they are fighting for something else when they strike out with it: justice, “freedom,” equality, love, peace, happiness, wealth. Even more tenacious, it is based in the emotions of the individual, so it does not succumb to rational argument. It is there because it is the intersection of a person’s emotional need and their lack of higher reasoning to keep it in check. In this sense, it is part ideology — and part pathology, or disease.

It makes the most sense however to give it a unique identification, since it is so prevalent that any other reference would be ambiguous: Crowdism. The belief, whether known in language to its bearer or not, that the individual should predominate over all other concerns is Crowdism. We name it according to the crowd because crowds are the fastest to defend individual autonomy; if any of its members are singled out, and doubt thrown upon their activities or intentions, the crowd is fragmented and loses its power. What makes crowds strong is an inability of any to criticize their members, or to suggest any kind of goal that unites people, because what makes for the best crowds is a lack of goal. Without a higher vision or ideal, crowds rapidly degenerate into raiding parties, although of a passive nature. They argue for greater “freedom.” They want more wealth. Anything they see they feel should be divided up among the crowd.

Crowdism strikes anyone who values individual comfort and wealth more than doing what is right. People of a higher mindset leave situations in a higher state of order than when they were found. This requires that people form an abstraction describing how organization works, and create in themselves the moral will to do right, and thus embark on a path that is not accessible to everyone: the smarter and more clearsighted one is, the greater likelihood exists that one is realizing things that an audience of average people have not yet comprehended. For this reason, Crowdists hate people who leave situations in a higher state of order than when they were found. These people threaten to rise above the crowd, and thus fragment the crowd by revealing individual deficiencies again, and that steals the only method of power the crowd has: superior numbers and the illusion that everyone in the crowd is in agreement as to what must be done.

In short, a crowd does not exist except where underconfidence unites people who, being unable to lead on their own, find solace in the leadership and power of others. They want to be in control, but they are afraid to lead, and thus each person in the crowd delegates his authority to others. The crowd therefore moves not by choices, but by lowest common denominator, assessing each decision in terms of what all people in the crowd have in common. Predictably, this makes its decisions of such a base nature they can be guessed in advance. A crowd derives its momentum from the need of its members coupled with their fear of their own judgment. Taking impetus from the need, it asserts itself violently, but because its only mechanism of decision-making is radical compromise, it moves passively toward predictable resolutions.

Crowdists love “competition” of a fixed nature, where a single vector determines the winner. They do not like real life competition, including evolution, as it assess the individual as a whole and does not simply rank individuals by ability. For this reason crowds love both sports events and free market capitalism, as each allow people to gain power according to a linear system. The more time you put into the system with the sole goal of making profit, excluding all else, the more likely it is that you can get wealth – and it can happen to anyone! That is the promise that makes crowds flock to these ideas. It is like the dream of being a rock star, or a baseball hero, or a billionaire: what makes it attractive is the idea that anyone can do it, if they simply devote themselves to a linear path of ascension – one that is controlled by the whims of the crowd. The crowd decides who is a baseball hero, or what to buy and thus who to make rich. Control without control.

Of course, since the crowd has disclaimed all true idealism, its only ideology is that of personal gain. It is by nature opposed to culture, since culture establishes a values system against which one can refer any potential choice to determine its viability in the community’s preference. Crowdists like to replace culture with the grandfather of multiculture, which is the idea of a facilitative society, or one in which the only goal is to satisfy its members. In this vision, a common goal or even standard of society is not needed. Society exists for its members to fulfil their personal needs, and it explicitly disclaims the ability or need to oversee those, unless they violate the basic tenets of Crowdism, of course. Crowdists naturally embrace both internationalism, which denies local culture in favor of an international culture of novelty, and multiculture, which mixes cultures with nothing in common and claims to be satisfied with any result. Crowdism is not a decision any more than cancer is a design for a new organism; it is the lack of decision, of goal, of design. It is not random, however, so unlike chaos, it is a predictable and rarely-changing order. Some would call it entropy.

Any ideology is automatically dominated by Crowdists. They were at home as Marxist radicals, but equally happy as conservative American capitalists. Crowdism is not an ideology, but an emotional response. They view any ideology as a means to an end, and that end is Crowdism itself, although Crowdists cannot put this in words – they’re part of a Crowd, remember, which means they don’t make choices as much as force compromise, and by the nature of something akin to dialectical materialism, compromises always move “forward” although toward eternally the same goals. They will dominate any democracy, and turn it away from encouraging excellence toward subsidizing weakness. They will dominate a totalitarian state, humbling it by making its appeals to its proletariat and winning their allegiance through unreasonable concessions. They will use corporations to dominate a culture, producing products that reward those of a Crowdist mentality, while ignoring the needs and desires of those of a higher mentality. Even a non-ideology will be dominated, as Crowdists will use social pressure where there is a lack of decision-making.

Characteristics

Among all human phenomena, Crowdism is unique in that it turns timorous individuals into a dangerously assertive group. Crowdism appeals to those who are underconfident. They’re unsure of their abilities and fear that, in a competition like that of evolution, where many factors at once must be measured and one’s judgment and character are essential, they might not come out ahead. In fact, they have a sneaking suspicion they’ll come out behind. This is only logical, since those with such abilities have no need of a crowd, and therefore only very rarely become Crowdists (usually in cases of: drug addiction, child abuse, mental illness). The average Crowdist needs a crowd to do what he or she could not do alone, including not in the least the process of making decisions. The crowd provides anonymity and the illusion of a cause. Crowdists are underconfident, thus incapable of the kind of assertive and creative action by which one glances at a situation and calls the shots; therefore, all of their modes of action are passive. They cannot strike without first having been struck, but it’s perfectly acceptable for them to provoke others with a thousand small irritations until the other responds, then to retaliate with full force. Notice how America has entered her wars: placing ships within range of Spanish saboteurs, sending passenger liners full of weapons to be torpedoed, cancelling steel shipments while giving a fortune in weapons to an enemy. It is a brilliant strategy, in that one never has to make a decision: one is always the injured party and therefore justified in responding, even if it ends up being to one’s advantage.

Crowdists have a great fear of mortality, which is linked to their fear of evolution. They do not have a value higher than their own lives; there is nothing for which, unbidden, they will give their lives (although they will gladly give them, in anger, when having provoked an enemy, they are able to embark upon their “justified” response). This shirking personality and lack of self-confidence manifests itself in a form of cognitive dissonance that creates an inverse response to the failings of confidence: the less the person feels confident, the more egomaniacal they are, at the expense of being able to accurately perceive external reality. As a result of their need to supplant underconfidence with ego, they turn off any external feedback which could prove critical of their selves, and therefore lock themselves into a world composed entirely of the self. This creates a crowd of little queens. They demand “proof” – someone must hold up something tangible and show it to them, and have it be simple enough that everyone in the crowd yes even the deaf mute hunchback can appreciate its significance; this is why crowds do well with butchered babies, torpedoed ocean linears, gas chambers and gassing Kurds, but do poorly with concerns about global warming, genetic fragmentation, or pervasive ignorance. In fact, they seem to treasure their ignorance in the same way that higher people treasure their innocence. Crowdists like to keep things simple so as not to distract from the basic focus (themselves).

The term “lowest common denominator” has almost become a cliche in our society in that it explains so much. A group of people – an electorate, a committee, a mob – gets together, and soon a once-promising idea has through compromise and censorship (the removal of that which might offend, or shock, or be contrary to already-well-established tastes) become distilled down to something completely acceptable to every member of the crowd. The only problem is that, in the process, it has come to resemble every other action that the crowd has been known to take. No matter – the same old thing dressed up as something new serves a dual function, in that it both provides novelty and, by virtue of being essentially similar to everything else, avoids presenting people with stimulus they cannot recognize and thus immediately know they can handle. Low self-confidence reveals itself in situations where the unexpected occurs. Crowdists like to minimize that by dumbing everything down to the lowest common denominator, at which point they feel they dominate it and in that state of control are no longer threatened by it.

The paradox of crowdism is that because these people refuse to have a long term vision, they have nothing worth dying for, and therefore their lives are empty of meaning and they respond with the hollow attempts to control that comprise Crowdism. It is as a pathology much like overeating, in which case one confuses the signal for being full, which eliminates psychological doubt, with the process of eating, and hopes that by eating again and again to banish doubt (which increasing doubt in direct proportion to girth!). If they had faith, or belief in doing something which does not immediately reward them, or the vision to see the benefit in doing things which help the community as a whole but in the distant future, they would not have this gnawing emptiness. Civilizations in the past saw fit to make such people into serfs and servants, such that others could give them causes, and they could both be kept from being destructive and given a raison d’etre which would sustain them for their natural lives. Crowdists will never admit it, but secretly, they have a desire to submit to authority because they do not trust their own judgment.

Indeed, there is somewhat of a sadomasochistic nature to Crowdism. For every crowd that exists, there will be some who manipulate it expertly; as in a microprocessor, most of the circuits do the mechanical work of computation while a few are responsible for at key moments switching the flow of data. Such is it that some of the voices who shout out at opportune times are to redirect the crowd, such as the classic “He’s getting away!” screamed by an anonymous crowd member and provoking a stampede to bring down the suspect. Others simply profit from the crowd. By far the best way to profit from a crowd is to pretend to be its servant, as its memory is short and being underconfident it loves to be flattered, and therefore rarely notices that its servants are robbing it blind until it is too late for anything but revenge; the thief is killed, yes, but the money has been spent, and the crowd feels even less confident when its blunder comes to life, so it rages on to the next event in a search for something of substance to occupy it. Always eating and never full. But the manipulators of a crowd eat well.

If one were to divide up a population according to “Crowdist theory,” there would be many sheep, a few born leaders and a larger group of shrewd people who lack the capacity of a true leader, but are mentally agile enough to manipulate the crowd and make a profit from it. These are your Josef Stalins, Ken Lays, Ivan Boesky, George W. Bushes. They are cynical enough to realize that the “ideology” of the crowd is nothing but lies, and its actual agenda is power. They recognize that the crowd loves gaining power through revenge on those with more talent, intelligence, beauty and character than itself, and these manipulators create bogeymen and justifications faster than the crowd can decode them. However, to be a manipulator in a crowd is to be acutely conscious of belonging in the crowd; after all, if one did not need the crowd, something else would have been the path. Thus manipulators both love and loathe the crowd, appreciating it for being the vehicle of their own greatness, but hating it for being necessary and thus constantly forcing them into the role of gentle servant when their inner wolf-personality seeks to escape and manifest itself. Manipulators are like drug dealers: they realize too late that their profession will consume them by forcing them into a function, and thereby eliminating any hope they ever had of making decisions about their own lives. They follow the function, and therefore, all of their choices are reactions; there are no independent choices to be made.

The dominant characteristic of a crowd, as mentioned by F.W. Nietzsche, is the desire for revenge: they detest anyone gifted by nature with more than they have, whether it is wealth or natural traits. Much like ancient tribes who believed that eating the organs of an enemy would transfer his power to the eater, Crowdists believe that destroying others raises the Crowdist’s own stature. Their primary weapon is equality. By insisting on one level for all people, they have an excuse to curtail the higher abilities of those who rise above the crowd. Further, they have the ultimate weapon, in that since equality sounds good on an emotional level, it is perceived as a good, and thus anyone who resists its advance (“progress”) is automatically a bad guy who has transgressed, and thus against him or her retaliation can be launched. This is the ultimate threat of a crowd, which is expressed in a simple syllogism: I. Our way is the path of good intentions, equality. II. If you are not for our path, you are against good intentions and will attempt to destroy us. III. Because you will attempt to destroy us, we will destroy you first. It is a mental trap of epic proportions: if one joins the crowd, one has agreed to limit one’s own abilities to the lowest common denominator; if one resists the crowd, one is styled as the aggressor and destroyed by direct force. At the point when the question of with-us-or-against-us has been asked, the battle is already lost, as the Crowd have gathered behind the questioner with torches that could just as easily be applied to the dwelling of the questioned as toward a feast in her honor.

Effects

The effects of Crowdism take many generations to fully permeate a society. Indeed, Crowdism is like the effects of aging on each of us: we start aging the instant we are born, but at some point, the effects of years have piled up enough to carry us off. Crowdism exists in every society, but to varying degrees, and as societies age, it increases. Almost all societies on the brink of death are totally dominated by Crowdism, which helps carry them off as it paralyzes the decision making capability; if your population sees only its own gratification, who is going to mobilize it to fight an enemy while the enemy is still distant? By the time the Vandals reach Rome, the battle is lost, but the Crowd will never respond until directly attacked, so will blissfully ignore the assailants until the battle has begun. Disorganized, the crowd responds slowly and then panics, abandoning the empire to its lessers, who promptly destroy it. It is for this reason that everywhere a great society once stood, there is now a barely technological, semi-literate society distinguished mostly by its lack of ambition. These are people soul-weary with combat and with power, and they have opted for the stage after Crowdist, which is a form of highly granularized apathy. (There’s no point studying this in America until after the Chinese, sensing our distraction and inner weakness, invade and crush our centralized authorities, at which point those less-fortunate populations within and surrounding us will consume the spoils.)

In fact, throughout its life span, Crowdism promotes apathy by forcing inane decisions on people and threatening them with passive aggression if they refuse. This could be seen most clearly in the former Soviet Union, where people quietly worked around any number of absurd proclamations and dysfunctional government agencies. They realized that things were hopelessly broken, but that the first person to speak up about it would be torn to pieces by the crowd, thus these things had to be tolerated. And what a disgusting word “tolerance” is – it means to recognize something’s inaptitude, but to ignore it and even accept it. Accept mediocrity. Accept failure. Accept the lack of a goal. This beats people down into a state of submission which periodically polarizes itself and becomes violent, as if all of the psychological energy kept suppressed when given an outlet explodes to the surface in a form beneath rationality or even an organized emotional state. It is this form of passivity that is idealized by religions such as Judaism, which clearly arose in a civilization which had already reached this degree of apathy, and therefore was little more than a survival guide. Some would say that Asia went down this path thousands of years before the West, and thus through submission achieved the uniformity for which Asian culture is famous.

The “morality” of the Crowdists affirms the importance of the individual over doing what is right. A society based on this lack of choice, and lack of goal, is inherently frustrating, and thus breaks down all but that which Nietzsche called the “last man.” The last man is someone who cares about nothing but his own material comfort. Does he have an expensive car? Enough to watch on television? Get to go out to the clubs that others covet? And have a trophy girlfriend? — if so, he is happy. No plan for the future, and no significance to these things, other than that he owns them and therefore can construe his personality – that externalized “ego” that we insist is a social construct, a form of personal marketing – as a success as a result of them. The last man does not fight the good fight; he instead does what benefits him. He looks upon ideological conflict as silly, because he is inherently submissive to the external order and thus never thinks of changing it. His revenge upon it is to profit from it, and to consider himself smarter and better than all the others for not having been fooled by value, and possibly having given up his life or his career in some crusade to do what is “right,” instead having been more competitive and shrewd and enriched himself while others fought ideological battles. The last man is an opportunist, a profiteer. He is like a Satanic Zen monk, in that none of his energy is wasted on emotional display. It all goes toward The Bottom Line, a.k.a. making him feel better about himself (an intangible state) through an increase in tangible things like wealth, prestige, and power.

Last men are the type of people who are manipulators of the Crowd, only a more advanced version than the somewhat masochistic “leaders.” A last man simply takes and has no emotional reaction. Where a leader like G.W. Bush or Kim Jong-Il is cynical, and kleptocratic, he still has some degree of emotional response in him; in contrast, a Stalin is without emotion entirely and feels no reason to respond to his changing fortunes, as he is busy focusing on the only thing which matters, which is increasing them. When things go badly, he schemes for recovery, wasting no time on reaction or indulgent displays of emotion. A Bush might have some days of depression, or stumble in public, but a Stalin remains impassive, his iron grip unchanging, knowing that only discipline and a lack of emotions will restore his power. Over time, the last men rise in power through their lack of response, and those with emotional excess descend through an inability to stay focused on the goal. When one descends, one becomes part of the crowd. We call those who have descended Undermen, because they have viewed the challenges of life on several levels and opted to run away or take a course of profiteering, yet have not succeeded even in that through their lack of discipline, which is essentially the ability to see that events distant in time are as important as events proximate in time, because time is continuous and for plans to succeed one must unite the moments in an ongoing series of planned developments. Undermen do not plan. They do not think. They react; where the last man is deliberate, the Underman is impulsive and fired with a consumptive desire for revenge, since to an Underman the world is grossly unfair: because his reactions are out of control, he cheats himself out of everything good that comes his way, and therefore always feels that others have been gifted where he is deprived.

Undermen are sabotage incarnate. Like other Crowdists, they are passive in nature, and therefore will never directly assault an enemy. To live among them however is to constantly clean up after them, and to double-check anything they do, knowing that more often than not they will subconsciously leave things in defective and dangerous states, hoping in their inner minds that others who are more fortunate than them will be destroyed. Where true last men plan their pillaging and execute it with detail, Undermen execute clumsy and violent thefts. Undermen like to live in their own filth and keep others out of the clubhouse of their filth, associating around them others that they can dominate. Undermen exist at all stages of the Crowdist process, but it is most revelatory to point out that a successful Crowdist revolt will after many generations have converted the entire population into Undermen, and thus have plunged the civilization into disorganized, self-afflicted third world status for the next thousand or more generations. Undermen are saprophytes. They compensate for lack of higher function in themselves by destroying those who do have it, or the works of those who did, under the assumption that if it cannot be seen it will not exist to remind them of their essential spiritual hollowness.

Back to Now

The Crowdist dilemma puts us modern humans in a bad situation. As the reader may recall from the first paragraphs of this document, we are manipulated by centralized reality representations that are subject to the same influences Crowdism places on all other reality. The weapon of Crowdists is passivity; if they are “offended,” their retaliation is justified, because they are the blameless ones bringing us the progressive and superior doctrine of equality. Equality of course does not allow us to tolerate offense, because if anyone feels less than equal, the crowd falls apart and cannot protect equality. The logic behind crowdism is like a musical scale, in that if one starts on any note and runs through the logic, soon one has followed the scale back to its origin in a repeating, endless pattern. The crowd in its view is always right, and its goal is to remove those who would prove it be a paper tiger, e.g. only a crowd of underconfident people and not the ultimate authority on morality it would like to pretend to be.

Looking at our situation practically, we who are not yet absorbed by the Crowd are in a rough place: we cannot strike out against the crowd, and yet we cannot continue to tolerate it, or it will eventually reduce our civilization to third-world status through backhanded destruction of all things higher than its non-goal intentions. Even more, as it has crept within our society, it has spread its agenda of destruction against any higher ideas or ideals. Crowdists triumph through greater numbers, and with each generation of Crowdist control, more people submit out of exhaustion, and thus swell the numbers of Crowdists. It is not a conspiracy; it is a cancer. Since Crowdists have the purchasing power in our society, and the popularity, they ignore any higher visions. A product designed for those who are not Crowdists will not be boycotted, only bypassed. Those who speak up about the truth of the situation, or any of the details associated with the truth that can be construed as offensive (women and men are not equal, races are not equal, individuals are not equal, decisions are not all equal) will be branded a heretic and, while no overt action is taken against them, they will passively be denied opportunity until they accept their destiny as a janitor or in rage against the injustice lash out, become an aggressor and are killed. Remember, Crowdism is negative logic. It does not set out to establish an ideal as much as remove those with ideals, as those conflict with its paradoxical worldview, which is that of facilitating individuals rather than uniting individuals with a goal. Crowdism is anti-aspiration, and anti-organic. It only approves of systems where one individual is in power, or all are equally in power, and thus nothing gets decided.

Yet society continues its decline, and with the appearance of Really Bad News like global warming and economic instability, there is again chance for change. During the Great Depression, America could have easily swung into a Communist state; during the Viet Nam war, political instability led to directional changes (unfortunately, both options were and are Crowdist to the bone). We are heading toward another such nodal point in the neural net of details that determine whether our civilization heads in an ascendant way, or descends back into third world status, from which we all came and toward which all societies fall. With each failure of our trusted information sources, and with each incontrovertible proof that our “truths” are not reality, we get closer to radical alteration in course. The problem is of course that, as in most revolutions, ours is mostly likely to take with it the assumptions of its previous masters, and thus to re-create their reign with new faces. This is why accurate diagnosis of Crowdism is essential. One can switch to Communism, to Tribalism, or even to Anarchy, but as long as the assumptions of Crowdism remain, the path is barely altered and the end result is the same. If we wish to transcend Crowdism, we must first restore our heroic outlook, by which there are things for which we’re willing to die, ideals we hold more precious than life itself. By thinking in parallel, and not in terms of organizing everybody as equals to undergo the same mechanical process and thus cure us all at once, we can move the best people among us to greater heights and slowly bring the rest of us to our respective places. We can deny equality in all of its forms, as it is a crazy doctrine that ends in the norming of us all. Localizing government and turning away from single points of informational “truth” helps as well. Even more, we can finally break the taboo barrier and tell individuals that they cannot have it their way and also participate in a non-failing society.

All of these methods will help defeat the Crowdist disease, but it is not defeated by method alone. It requires that we take on a reorganization of our own minds so that we avoid falling into the underconfident, anti-heroic thoughts of Crowdist. It requires that we value actual truth above any socially convenient illusion, or friendly distortion of the truth. We must face facts and stop taking them personally. To an awakened mind, our faults and strengths are visible, and so what we think of as hidden will soon be no secret to the post-Crowdist people who will rise if we succeed. For this reason, we must transcend our personal pretense and ability to be offended. The truth will set us free – perhaps not, but the pursuit of truth for its own sake will free us from the cancerous plague of Crowdism and its millennial reign over our society.

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