Posts Tagged ‘individualism’
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
Those who follow this blog know that its fundamental argument is that civilizations die by hubris, which we call “individualism” in a modern context: the pathology of the individual which considers itself more important than reality.
Hubris is a form of the cognitive bias we call “solipsism” which occurs when people think the world either exists for them, or is a subset of their own minds. In order to deny reality, one must be solipsistic.
Solipsism spreads like a virus because once one person gets away with it, others realize they are at a disadvantage by acting toward a purpose larger than the individual. They give up and choose a self-centered life as well.
A trap emerges but most people tragically do not realize it until their later years. Living for oneself is a path to emptiness because meaning is found in the connection between self and reality, including but not limited to others. Living for principles and purpose such as is synthesized in the transcendentals like “the good, the beautiful and the true” creates meaning; egoism destroys it.
One writer pointed out how solipsism creates emptiness and a type of low-grade but fanatical sociopathy through his essay on why never date a woman from a broken family:
I have seen too many men have their heads handed to them, regardless of all this daydreaming about compatibility, equality, success, adventures, whatever. It all goes right out the window when Herself gets pregnant, and suddenly she is the center of the universe, those are HER children, and a guy can attend as many parenting classes and change as many diapers as he is humanly capable of doing, but she is from that time on looking for something she never had, something she has spent her childhood longing for and rationalizing away why her mother did whatever it was she did to deny to her, something that doesn’t exist: The Perfect Father. And she will keep right on looking, using “her” children as bait to try and trap one, man after man after man.
And I have seen very, very few exceptions to this formula for guaranteed heartbreak, summary dismissal and a future of painful and impoverishing litigation for too many good and decent men: women without fathers seem utterly incapable either of allowing any man to parent children in his own manly way, or of searching their own souls deeply enough to recognize that children are both distinct human beings and future adults, rather than their own personal property, pets and projects of empowerment.
The virus of self-centeredness causes people to be unable to understand others as real, since for the self-centered person, everything that exists in the world is there to serve a purpose for the self alone, and is only useful as a means-to-an-end. This makes them manipulative, controlling and most of all, willing to destroy others for their own convenience.
Every aspect of modern society bears the stamp of this solipsism which, if not actual metaphysical evil, certainly acts like it.
Saturday, February 18th, 2017
The New York Times says it is a hoax, and while the lügenpresse does one thing well (lying) it also seems like the language in this document is more American and 1940s than Russian or German from the 1910s. However, it endures for the same reason many other hoaxes do, which is that in a semi-satirical but analytical fashion, it describes how Leftists operate.
A careful reading of this text suggests that it is more tongue-in-cheek than previously thought, but also bitterly accurate about what people could see happening even then. The Communist “Rules For Revolution” endure because of that accuracy:
1. Corrupt the young: get them away from religion. Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial; destroy their ruggedness.
2. Get control of all means of publicity. Get peoples’ minds off their government by focusing their attention on athletics, sexy books, plays and other trivialities.
3. Divide people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance.
4. Destroy the peoples’ faith in their natural leaders by holding the latter up to contempt, ridicule and obloquy.
5. Always preach “true democracy” but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.
6. By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit; produce fear of inflation, rising prices and general discontent.
7. Foment strikes in vital industries; encourage civil disorders and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of government toward these disorders.
8. By special argument cause a breakdown of the old moral virtues: honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness.
9. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext with a view of confiscation of them and leaving the population helpless.
We might regard semi-hoaxes — in which it is unclear if they are designed to be taken literally — as a genre of political literature rather than exact historical argument. This document reads like a creative attempt to describe the Left as an organized conspiracy but misses the actual motivation behind Leftists: destruction of everything but the Self, made holy by Enlightenment&trade-style equality.
For that reason, while the above is instructive in recognizing Leftist behavior, looking at Leftist methods serves as less of a gateway to understanding than looking toward the intent and psychology of people involved with Leftism. What we see, independent of techniques used, is a deeply-rooted individualism which consumes all else like an unstable ego expanding to the size of a small star.
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
At every other blog in the universe, you are told that shadowy external forces are manipulating you, 1984-style.
On this blog, you are told that instead you are your own worst enemy, and the things that seem good are often not. This is more like what was espoused in the book that inspired and provoked 1984, the Aldous Huxley sermon on the end of civilization by internal entropy named Brave New World.
We are self-deluding creatures who fear natural selection and loss of social rank. We see other things as positives, such as low-risk social participation. This drives us to mandate the latter by removing the former, a type of de facto Utopian thinking that is an inbuilt flaw in humanity. We cannot create perfection by denying the objects in which our fears are manifested.
This is why every human organization fails once it has enough power. It turns its methods into its goals. This happens because, in an attempt to remove what it fears, it regulates method instead of purpose, and in doing so creates a false purpose based on what it measures.
The classic example of this comes from American police departments. Officers are told they will be ranked according to the number of arrests they make. This means that to win the officer game, one must kick up the numbers. The successful candidates rush out and arrest all of the bums, winos, hookers and other known blight, and avoid the time-consuming task of identifying murderers and organized crime kingpins.
All of our societies in the West now follow this model. We lost purpose because we made methods more important than goals in a desperate bid to banish our fears, which then ensured that we would be ruled by the “game” set up by the regulated methods. The last two centuries of history show us in a paroxysmal spasm of trying to find the “right” methodology, and yet everything we do seems to fail.
That realization points to an internal evil, not an external one. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions… and what we consider “good,” at least as a group but probably in our thinking with very few exceptions, is removal of the appearance of bad that results in dystopian levels of dysfunction. The problem is us. Or rather, it is in our intellects and souls, an in-built “backdoor” that lets us hack ourselves.
On Amerika, writers have long identified solipsism as the root of the psychology of individualism, which is the pathology where the individual acts as if he is God and more important than reality itself.
Bruce Charlton, one of the insightful writers who move in parallel rightward through different threads of analysis, has endorsed the diagnosis of solipsism as the root of the failure of the West:
Solipsism is the belief, usually quite brief, that the thinker is the source of everything that is – my feeling that everything is just a product of my own thinking and has no independent existence: my life is a dream.
…We can really only go forward – indeed we must go forward because if we get stuck in solipsism – as so many modern people seem to have chosen to do – then nihilism and despair are inevitable. In solipsism we begin by regarding the world as our own thought, but soon (and inevitably) we begin to doubt the reality of these thoughts – after all, thoughts change, they are not solid…
The self in solipsism surveys the world paralysed by doubt – the thoughts are transient, the world a product merely of thoughts – everything slips away.
Solipsism is a refusal to make choices that involve scary things. Instead, we retreat into ourselves, which because these selves are closed-circuit feedback loops, results in a type of accelerated entropy leading to heat death: no decision particularly matters because the ultimate result will never change until the advent of death, which is impossible within our cognition because of its vastness.
The solution to solipsism occurs both within and outside the individual. As a civilization, we need to rediscover purpose and stop regulating ourselves through methods alone, which is the behavior formalized in Leftism. As individuals, we need to find transcendental vision of life in which we recognize the greater wisdom of nature and the cosmos relative to our own intentions.
Formalization creates dark organizations. The more we try to do what our brains see as “good,” the more we self-destruct, because we have forgotten to verify whether our internal conception of good actually matches results in external reality. This engenders solipsism in a perpetual cycle until it destroys us.
Monday, January 23rd, 2017
We moderns face dual problems: the immediate political collapse of the West and the long term decline and collapse of Western civilization. To defeat these fatal pitfalls, we must understand where they come from so we can choose a different direction and not merely opposition to them.
The origins of our downfall in the immediate political collapse of the West prove easy to find: post-war Leftism, itself an outgrowth of the trendy 1930s socialism that occurred in response to the instability of society brought on by 1920s moral laxity and financial herd behavior.
But where did that come from? A blithe writer in American Pravda a.k.a. The New York Times reveals the roots of Leftism in The Enlightenment™ and hints at its derivation in turn:
The Enlightenment must never bow to the Inquisition.
Recognizing and even celebrating individual identity groups doesn’t make America weaker; it makes America stronger.
There you have it: The Enlightenment™ is the ultimate goal, and Leftists see it as both their inspiration and goal. And so what is this “enlightening” philosophy? Skipping over group graffiti blog Wikipedia and its derivates, we can find an answer through an established and vetted source, The Encyclopedia Britannica, which tells us that The Enlightenment™ very much resembles eternal Leftism:
Central to Enlightenment thought were the use and celebration of reason, the power by which humans understand the universe and improve their own condition. The goals of rational humanity were considered to be knowledge, freedom, and happiness.
This requires a bit of distillation to see what is actually intended, since all humans express a dichotomy between public (social) and private (self-interested) views. In the above we have five assumptions:
- Reason. It is assumed that reason, in itself is good, forgetting that despite some areas of life being understandable a priori, many require experience or repeated contact over time to understand their complexity, and that people learn unequally because of different biological capacities for perceiving, remembering and understanding these correlated details. Reason without a parallel referent in reality itself is solipsism, or at least can be, and theory often does not correlate to reality because the theory is based on human assumptions which can be rationalized or forced to be understood through reason, and thus assumed to be reasonable, and does not have a referent in external reality.
- Equality. This derives from the idea that all humans have (equal) reason, which is required to consider reason a universal good. Implicit in this is pacifism, or the idea that other people are reasonable, or respond to reason instead of bodily impulses, personality-supporting pathologies, over-intellectualized neurosis and a desire for personal wealth and power.
- Knowledge Knowledge, and not wisdom or intellectual ability, is presumed to be what makes people smart. Take anyone, “give” that person enough education, and then he has knowledge, which replaces a need to have the innate biological and genetic ability to understand that knowledge, and more importantly, to apply it in such a way that it advances principle, civilization and individual.
- Freedom Instead of having goals, we should have an anti-goal of having no goals whatsoever. That way, these equal people can use their reason and knowledge to do… well, probably the same stuff their ancestors did, which for 99% of them means the “four Fs” — foraging, fighting, fleeing and reproduction — with complete blithe oblivion to any consequences of their actions beyond immediate inconvenience or convenience to self.
- Happiness Where previous societies looked toward sanity and realistic adaptation as their goals, we will instead pick an easier target: being happy. What makes someone happy? No one knows: it varies between individuals, and we do not want to admit this, but seems to rely heavily on the group, because people need context for the feeling that the way they are living is the best possible way they could live, and need a stable, functional and upward-driven society in order to live in pleasant surroundings, which have much more to do with their happiness than any navel-gazing or politics.
From these, the basis of our modern society is formed. We know how well that turns out, and we have seen similar types of mental structure in the past, such as in ancient Athens and Rome. But where did the impetus for The Enlightenment,™ which looks like a formalization of a long-building social/cultural shift or civilization decline, come from?
The original article gives us a clue:
If my difference frightens you, you have a problem, not me.
Ah, yes: forced acceptance. Equal inclusion is the motivation behind The Enlightenment™ and Leftism/liberalism alike. Its root is in a pathology of people who fear they do not belong in a group, namely that they want to force themselves to be included, at which point they can continue their non-contributory or parasitic behaviors and other people are forced to accept those as normal whilst paying for them through contributions to the collective, or socialized cost matrix to which expenses of dysfunction are externalized.
The origin of the paradox can be found here. Individualists, who want to force others to accept them but not to change their own behaviors, demand equal inclusion on the basis of collectivism, or the idea that everyone is important, solely for the reason that they want personal inclusion. The whole thing is a con job, from start to finish. Never trust a Leftist; they always lie.
Saturday, January 21st, 2017
Perhaps the doctrine from Buddhism that is most useful on a daily basis can be found in the idea of the middle path, which also possesses counterparts in Greco-Roman ideals of balance, golden means and natural orders and hierarchies. The essence of the middle path doctrine is that in every situation, people gravitate toward extremes, but the real solution is found in having a direction toward a goal and pursuing it through methods that fall between the extremes.
Much as the old saying goes that “exceptions strengthen the rule,” meaning that in a relative universe we only know something through its opposite, and so an exception shows us just how consistent the rule is in the vast majority of cases, extremes serve to reinforce a center. These extremes feed off one another, creating motion back and forth, and somewhere in the middle, a realistic and measured path emerges — if one is fortunate to be aware of what the actual goal is, knowing that the first thing extremes do is redefine common sense goals toward scapegoats, distractions and other human pathologies.
The Alt Right came about for two reasons: in the mainstream, people would not talk about problems of vital importance and the clear logicality of certain erstwhile taboo solutions; in the underground, people refused to do anything but talk about these taboos, turning them into a goal in themselves which leads to pointless stupidity including violence. The big secret of the Alt Right is that it is not White Nationalism, but a reaction to White Nationalism as much as it is to the John McCain style bend-over-here-it-comes-again Republicans.
As modern citizens, we live in an egalitarian time, which is essentially chaos kept in check by concealed power that never arrests the decline. That is because egalitarianism itself is a rationalization of decline; if we cannot stop our downfall, we might as well make sure every person feels comfortable, which happens through the class war pacifism of equality. This leads to another form of pacifism, democracy, which ignores what is right and necessary and replaces it with whatever makes most people feel comfortable. At that point, we have chosen the mentally convenient over the realistic, and so our system cannot make any sane choices except in a crisis when even “most people” see the obvious.
In this time, every decision will consist of choosing a middle path between cuck and sperg. “Cuck” (verb, noun and adjective) derives from the term cuckold which in internet-speak came to mean anyone who is cowed into accepting the lies approved by their social group when those lies conflict with what that person knows to be true and his own needs. “Sperg” is a nasty little term arising from the armchair psychologist diagnosis that Leftists started using in the 1990s to cuck people into denying facts. Someone is a sperg if they notice a socially inconvenient fact and demand it be addressed, in the Leftist usage. However, since that time, sperg has come also to refer to those who then fixate on that socially inconvenient fact and use it to explain all other facts, such as “lower black average IQ is why American television is so bad” (hint: American media was bad even when Stepin Fetchit was the only black role allowed).
With those terms in mind, we can look at American politics through the actual issues we need to be concerned about
- Civilization Decline. Civilizations rise and fall according to their internal design and the directions in which this points their leadership. Democracy, for example, is very stable but fails to make long-term decisions, so tends to exterminate itself. Monarchy can lead to more conflicts, but these tend to stave off long-term problems, so life is better in monarchies. In the middle are other types of government which essentially follow the bureaucratic-administrative-managerial attitude of democracy, which is a government to facilitate its citizens administered through politics, which makes any strong and forthright action — the type necessary to avoid long-term problems — onerous and destabilizing, thus unlikely to occur. For a civilization to rise, it must have both a sensible internal design and the will to pursue realistic and existentially rewarding paths; “Does our civilization have these?” is a constant fascination of the intelligent.
- Overpopulation. All environmental problems fall under this banner. With few enough people, and common sense about not releasing toxic materials into our environment or over-utilizing its resources, we encounter no environmental problems. But as the population rises, it both naturally produces more waste as a side effect of the infrastructure needed to support a much larger group, and also takes over more land from its natural state, eliminating the diffusion, absorption and deconstruction process by which nature eliminates both natural and manmade pollution. With the over-concreting of earth, we are seeing local disruptions in water and temperature regulation as runoff and reflection of sunlight heat become concentrated.
- Collectivism. Humans in groups can take one of two approaches: either they have hierarchy, and reward the best, or they adopt a system of collectivism, where all are accepted and used to subsidize the rest so that there can be “equality,” a concept not found in nature. Collectivism is a form of pacifism that seeks to avoid internal competition so that every individual can be universally accepted. It also retards the qualitative nature of society by tolerating mediocre activity instead of letting it fail naturally. Collectivism is a form of individualism, because the game-playing individual realizes that statistically, he is unlikely to be on the top of the hierarchy, but if he demands equality, he can suppress those at the top and still act in self-interest to accumulate more than others. In this way, society makes parasitism compulsory. Hierarchy, while less popular, eliminates this constant internal conflict.
- Genocide. History is the story of genocides. Every group, in a Machiavellian realist sense, can be expected to try to destroy all other groups so that it can dominate them, take what they have including genetics through their women, and raise itself up to a greater height. This does not actually work because it only raises a lower group part way; the smarter groups recognize this and tend to eschew genocide except when threatened by other groups, at which point they either eliminate the other group entirely or bleed themselves out with constant warfare over many centuries until the weaker group finally outnumbers them and destroys them. Smarter groups instead seek to remove themselves from areas near other groups, because at that point, genocide is not a factor. Immigration and diversity cause “soft genocide” by displacing populations politically and then destroying them through outbreeding.
- Existential Misery. Life should be pleasurable, in the deepest meaning of that term. That is, if people live sane lives in a sane civilization, they should be enjoying the process and finding themselves discovering the majesty and depth of life over the course of their own biological duration. When this is not true, people begin to die out from lack of an existentially rewarding path. This condition is both a symptom of civilization decline and its cause; when populations succeed, the rise in complexity required to manage the newly larger group places a huge burden on the smarter people, who soon find themselves as glorified babysitters for the less intelligent, which exhausts the smarter and causes the type of despair that leads to suicidal decision-making, even if those decisions take centuries or millennia to manifest.
You will not hear about these issues on your television, from politicians, in academia or even in conversation with your local fans of politics. That is because these are long-term decisions and politics makes any action on those too risky for an individual to attempt, because politics always goes to whatever is easier for most people to understand — a type of lowest common denominator — and so is bigoted, biased and hostile toward complex ideas, and these are required to understand the importance of long-term decisions. All civilizations in decline have this “every man for himself” attitude.
The root of the cuck/sperg dichotomy is found in the denial of these issues. Cucks, thinking of their own self-interest before that of the group or nature or the gods, will deny these issues. Spergs, getting a sense of how much is denied, want to focus in on one solution to one of these issues, and use fanaticism about that to make themselves feel mentally comfortable about the other things going wrong. For example, a diehard racist will believe that if he eliminates white, black or Jewish people, then society will overcome its other problems by some kind of magic. That is the essence of the sperg mindset. A cuck, on the other hand, will accept that “everything’s going to hell in a handbasket” and use that negativity to justify doing nothing about real problems while building up personal wealth and power in the hope of escaping personal consequences of those problems (hint: this never works, because as order declines, the wealthy and powerful become targets and are sold out by their personal security forces or mercenaries).
Extremes such as these provide a sensible middle path: instead of denying the problem, or denying most of it through obsession with one problem, design a solution for all problems. This takes two forms, short-term and long-term.
In the short term, the West is trying to shrug off the immediate doom brought on by Leftism and democracy. These two things create one another: the root of Leftism is egalitarianism, and democracy is based on egalitarianism, so the system has been corrupt from day one because it can only go in one direction over time, which is toward more egalitarianism. All of the intermediaries and proxies — liberty, freedom, justice, free markets — are desired because they offer a way to co-exist with the insanity of egalitarianism without being personally destroyed by it, forgetting that destruction of a civilization means personal genetic destruction in future generations.
In the long term, the West is attempting to reverse its decline. The good news is that we encountered decline, unlike other societies, because we succeeded and therefore got to a new level of complexity and scale which brought with it new problems, and we are now struggling to fix those problems. The list of actual issues above nicely encompasses what must be addressed here, even though these problems seem intractable because the obvious and also singular solutions to each are taboo to the herd, and when mob rule is the standard, the will of the herd banishes any such realistic, intelligent and life-affirming thinking as to try to solve fatal long-term problems!
Our success in beating back the immediate threat of a chain reaction virtue spiral from Leftism and long-term civilization decline from individualism will determine the binary question of whether we exist in the future. While it will take time for decline to reach us, it will eliminate us eventually, and as is the way with most natural systems, the process accelerates as it becomes closer to fruition. This then defines our path: we must choose a direction that goes away from these twin forms of decline, and between the extremes of cuck and sperg.
Enter the Alt Right. The Alt Right does not formalize itself as an ideology, and so keeps itself flexible by having a high degree of internal dialogue. It also avoids cuck by being outright irreverent toward sacred cows that are not backed up by a record of time-proven success, and avoids sperg with the same irreverence, mainly by being skeptical of anyone who claims to solve all of our problems with “this one neat trick,” as egalitarianism did when it promised, during The Enlightenment,™ that equality would deliver us from internal conflict through ending competition via pacifism.
The glory of the Alt Right is that while it is not extremist and fanatical, it is unreasonable, because being reasonable leads to getting cucked by those who are not reasonable, and therefore both roll over the reasonable — who rationalize their own defeat as victory — and set a new social standard that approves of misbehavior, thus encouraging it because bad behavior is always more efficient and rewarding to the individual in the short term than good behavior.
Our middle path consists of going to the root of the problem in the West and seeing that it is individualism, or the tendency to put self first before principle and people. We recognize individualism on the battlefield as cowardice, because any soldier who refuses to engage the enemy in order to preserve himself, and thus endangers or indirectly kills his comrades, is a threat not only to individuals, but to the unity of the military unit itself. When cowards are present, a good man will go forth and get killed so that cowards can survive, so good men hold back, just like the cowards. This behavior then spreads like a virus, much as individualism has spread through the West.
To hold back individualism, we must nail “equality” to a cross and watch it die. There is no equality; people vary in quality. If you want better quality people, you must reward the good and punish or at least not reward the bad. If you want a working civilization, you must not only have a hierarchy of leadership, but a social hierarchy, called caste, where people are only allowed to make the decisions they are competent to make. In any population, only about 5% are natural leaders, and only 1% can understand the basic concepts needed for leadership or avoiding long-term problems. It is essential that those have strong power over the rest, or we see the kind of chaos that we dwell in daily.
This approach avoids the dual extremes of democracy and dictatorship. The former avoids long-term problems and self-destructs, revealing itself as a variety of cuck; the latter pursues symbolic or ideological issues in order to maintain its own power, and so becomes pointlessly extreme and cruel so that it can be stable, revealing it as a variety of sperg. These two paths, cuck and sperg, lead to doom. It is not equal doom, meaning that they do not create the same exact results, but these dooms are two tributaries of the same river, which leads to civilization decline that manifests as a slow conversion of first-world high IQ single-ethnic wealthy and knowledgeable societies to third-world low IQ mixed-race impoverished and ignorant societies.
At the end of the day, for humans, “the problem is us.” What we think we want, or in other words what we intend, is usually what is worst for us. People power makes other people happy, so is socially a winner and personally more convenient and profitable, but this individualism causes society to break apart. The Alt Right is navigating between cuck and sperg, which are both ultimately scapegoats, toward its real goal: reformation of the Western soul, culture and civilization to rise above the broken notion of equality, and through that, to end both short-term and long-term fatal problems that are precipitously close, at the time of this writing, to ushering us into the grave.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
Read David Brooks columns is an exercise in coin-flipping because he is either mostly really on and totally insightful, or completely off-base in an educated, half-bottle-of-wine sort of way that is both entertaining and misleading:
The early Christians seem to have worshiped the way David did, with ecstatic dancing, communal joy and what Emile Durkheim called “collective effervescence.” In her book “Dancing in the Streets,” Barbara Ehrenreich argues that in the first centuries of Christianity, worship of Jesus overlapped with worship of Dionysus, the Greek god of revelry. Both Jesus and Dionysus upended class categories. Both turned water into wine. Second- and third-century statuettes show Dionysus hanging on a cross.
But when the church became more hierarchical, the Michals took over. Somber priest-led rituals began to replace direct access to the divine. In the fourth century, Gregory of Nazianzus urged, “Let us sing hymns instead of striking drums, have psalms instead of frivolous music and song, … modesty instead of laughter, wise contemplation instead of intoxication, seriousness instead of delirium.”
When elites try to quash the manners and impulses of the people, those impulses are bound to spill out in some other way.
In this column, Brooks gets one thing right, which is that Trump is appealing to those who recognize that the official way is broken and needs to be overthrown through mockery. What he gets wrong is the nature of the process.
New ideas start out with an attitude that is part Dionysian, but more appropriately, esoteric. That is, those who can know, know, and everyone else follows along.
The herd surges, and then infiltrates, and then assimilates, which results in the original idea being converted to a form of hedonism: whatever makes people feel good, whether intellectually or physically, predominates. The Crowd has won!
At that point, a backlash — just as stupidly rigid as that which it is reacting against — takes over. The people of order take over and create a whole lot of rules to keep the sheep in line.
What they are reacting to is not Dionysianism, which is a type of discovering nature through deconstructing the human perceptual barriers that enclose our consciousness, but individualism. Everyone doing whatever they feel good about means that the original purpose is lost.
The 180 degree reaction is not Apollonianism, which is negation of the self and dwelling within the idea outside of the human stain, but a reaction to the emotionality of the crowd with the emotionality of the cause, which drives away anyone fun and lets drippy nerds who excel at tests and fail at life predominate.
A saner way is the middle path: keep focus on the goal, and do not seek to patrol methods, which is a type of control or backward logic that attempts to regulate purpose by making certain types of action taboo. You can regulate goal, but regulating methods does not force the goal to appear, even when you remove all methods known to end elsewhere than the goal, assuming that what is left is a direct path to the goal.
Nietzsche might not see the middle path as Dionysian, but in another view, it is the ultimate Dionysian. Instead of looking toward the idea, one adapts to reality, finds what is beautiful, and then invents theory from that, knowing that (per parallelism) this world is organized in the same way as the next, and therefore that what is realistic is also logically optimal.
Donald Trump may be a jester because the court is corrupt. Western civilization is at its nadir. However, our path out lies in not separating adaptation to physical reality from logical clarity, but in the area where the two overlap, giving us a perspective on what is real both now and forever.
Saturday, January 14th, 2017
In a traditional society, the aristocrats take care of three functions: leadership in war, leading cultural events, and interpreting religion. These are the foundation of a healthy society.
They do not take on the functions of government. Government tries to protect everyone from themselves, which shows us the flaws of both government and consumerism: it needs any 25% of the population to endorse it to win, and it does not care who they are, only for the numbers. Thus it always displaces a more discerning audience for a less scrupulous one.
Looking at this mechanism, we can see that government is parasitic to the whole of society because it emphasizes saving individuals who are perhaps not fit to be part of it, at the expense of the standards, quality and purpose of the whole. This is the nature of individualistic government: protect the individual no matter who they are, and by extension, damage the organic whole which suffers for having lesser individuals survive.
The idea of individualism is that society stops being concerned about the whole — including tradition, the past, the future, values and philosophy — and focuses on saving every individual from whatever terrors or doom awaits them. Organicism is the opposite idea, holding that society should save itself as if it were an organism, focusing on the health of the whole in which individuals are but cells.
Democracy attempts to be individualistic.
Monarchy is organicist.
Our modern viewpoint skews entirely toward the individualistic because the motivation behind equality and humanism is the protection of the individual. It represents the lone person, terrified of being insufficient, joining with others around the credo that there should no longer be external standards, so that everyone is included… exclusively so that the terrified individual is automatically included and safe from fear.
Organicism recognizes that for the civilization as a whole to thrive, Darwinism and moral Darwinism must exist, promoting the best above the rest. This is not some simplistic “kill the weak” calculus, although it would not oppose such a crude but effective model. Instead, it demands that we see society as a body and demote the individual to its place as one of many unequal forces working toward that end, like different species in an ecosystem.
To see society as a body requires giving up the pretense that the individual means anything without context. That is: the individual is only significant where serving a role in the world, and has no significance when limited to the self alone. This denies all of our fantasies of power and control over our world, but gives us something better, namely a chance for meaning.
And yet, with meaning, we have something to lose, so like the teenage girl breaking up with her boyfriend because she fears to lose him, we cast aside all meaning and embrace the meaningless because it makes us feel powerful. With having given up anything external, we can focus on ourselves and follow along with the world as conformists, dedicating none of our mind to it.
Like a symbolic victory, it makes us the most important thing in the world, and yet makes that victory empty. In fact, over time it becomes apparent as a defeat disguised as victory. And where does that leave us? As cells in a vast body, having betrayed it, hoping now that its death will not be ours as well.
But it will.
Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
To live in the third world is to be oblivious. Not just to people around you, but to the world around you. You know what you have and where it can get you in the short term, and anything else is occult science that you cannot comprehend.
As written in a story of third-world exodus:
Jonice was the second to come to New York. She was dazzled. “It was when I arrived here that I realised Brazil was Third World,” she says. “We knew nothing.”
This only makes sense. You know what you grew up in as normal, and anything better than that is unknown to you unless (1) you can access it with imagination, which few can or (2) you experience it. This woman experienced it, and suddenly realized that in relative measurement, her home country was backward and moribund.
Such behavior implies a great apathy. It is not so much an obliviousness toward the world as a focus on the self, assuming that what is there in front of the individual is the most important thing in the world and therefore… it cannot be better anywhere else. Think of Russians seeing American grocery stores for the first time, or the French when Napoleon was defeated. An illusion washes away.
Third world apathy finds its root in individualism. No societies more individualistic than the third world; in the third world, all of the focus goes toward the self, and almost none toward the world, which allows the individual to live in a bubble of his own ego.
In contrast, societies that rise do so by suppressing individuality by substituting a goal or series of goals for the individual. Hierarchy, reverence and cultural values relegate the individual to its proper role, as a means to the end of doing right and having an intense experience of life. Failure to have these things reverses that, so that the whole world is the means to the end of the individual.
From that viewpoint, only corruption comes. When everything in life is disposable, it soon all becomes destroyed, and then, only the individual remains: isolated, lonely, meaningless, pointless and ultimately sick of itself.
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
We are familiar with the scales of justice, but what about the scales of attention? Few of us analyze what our brain spends its time processing; we respond to stimulus, which is easier, and allows us to reserve more of our thought process for ourselves. As a result, life is not tiring at all because we are only halfway awake.
For those who study the brain, informally (which is better above 120) or formally (better below 120 IQ points), it becomes clear that mental state is a zero-sum game. During any span of time, the brain can process only so much, and so adopting more of one thing over others displaces those others. This leads to several interesting revelations:
- Self-world balance. The more the brain thinks about itself, the less it studies the world. And so, for those who focus on the self or are driven by the impulses of the self, less is known of the world. Conversely, the more one studies the world, the less time is available for the self and its impulses, which become seen as a means to the end of studying the world.
- External-internal balance. When strong authority is present, people must spend less time thinking about their choices and worrying about the risk of getting them wrong. For this reason, the stronger the authority, the less thoughtful that people are. Conversely, truly weak authority like anarchy causes people to think too much about repetitive and commonsense questions, producing the kind of neurosis that causes society to die out.
- Present-future balance. As we think more about the future, we exclude the present to that degree. This means that the converse is true: the more we think about the present, the less we think about the future. Since the present is a moment passing, this amounts to a backward-looking bias against the future.
Essentially, the more that we focus on our selves in the here and now, the more we miss out on what life is about beyond the self. This leads us into a condition called solipsism, where we believe that our minds are the world, and that the world therefore can be changed by intent alone, expressed through ideology.
The scales of attention show us that our consciousness is the ultimate resource. We can regulate our experience to make it more meaningful and more realistic, with the latter leading to the former because it filters out more of our own background hum of desires, impulses, emotions and reactions. But most of humanity will choose otherwise, which is why life in civilization (ideally) is a competition for who gets to clarity first, and can then lead the others.
Saturday, December 31st, 2016
For many years, this blog has covered r/K strategies and their effect on societies. The grim fact is that this primal divide defines two basic approaches to life:
- r strategy: breed chaotically, frequently, and invest little in offspring;
- K strategy: breed deliberately, with partners for life, and invest a lot in the offspring.
The first we might see as the social strategy. Throw in your lot, and hope for the best, figuring that everyone has a place. The other sees that life is a zero-sum game because even if resources are not limited, leadership is, and hierarchy is needed; this requires investing more in the offspring so that higher quality, or depth of understanding, is always the goal.
That zero-sum approach works because of this:
“We found that involved and supportive parenting can completely override the effects of a genetic risk for substance abuse,” says study co-author Gene Brody, Regents Professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “It’s a very encouraging finding that shows the power of parenting.”
If you nurture your kids past their bad habits, they make it to the next generation, at which point the genetic split becomes obvious: one child goes for drug addiction, and the other does not, and that other is the one to create the next generation. The parents of these kids are unaware of their own problems with drug addiction, so pass on the trait, but this then ensures that their offspring are selected for absence of it.
The thing is that r / K strategies reflect a broader divide.
- The solipsistic population tends toward doing what it wants, and allowing nature to decide. This represents the r side of the divide, and also natural extraverts: they are guided by what is going on around them, in theory, but what this means is that they are not internally making decisions about how to adapt to the world around them, but following its lead and allowing that to make their decisions for them. These are the ultimate rationalizers: instead of deciding what is a logical choice, they look at the choices conveniently available to them, choose one, and rationalize it as having been what they wanted all along. They are individualistic, and most populations in the third world are of this nature.
- The realistic population tends to anticipate what the reaction by the broader world will be, and optimizes its behavior in response. It is reflective, or self analytical in the context of reality, where few others are. It seeks to adapt, instead of gratifying its immediate impulses and deferring the question of results to the external world. It is formed of will, or choices made in advance of outcomes, instead of rationalization, and so it aims in advance to have a clear idea of how to adapt and what it can possess within that range. This manifests not just in greater nurturing of children, but greater self-discipline and understanding of reality across the board. These people are intraverts: self-directed, but as a result, attentive to reality because they must understand it to realize their plan or purpose. This is the personality type which can build a society from nothing and raise it to greatness.
Some empirical evidence exists to suggest that this divide is innately recognized by human beings, with introverts being known for making more thoughtful, conservative decisions:
The new study of 81 men and 74 women found that men who thought they were more personally susceptible to contagious disease preferred introverted female faces over extraverted female faces. Likewise, women who thought they were more susceptible to disease preferred introverted male faces over extraverted male faces.
Extraverted or externally-directed people are individualists; their external direction allows them to avoid having to understand their world, so that in turn they may focus more on themselves. They are not people of the plan, but of impulses, and they are fascinated by their impulses and sensations to the point where understanding the world is an interruption that they resent. For this reason, they refuse to plan much if at all, and act on the basis of what they respond to, which are inner appetites and feelings. These sensations are the opposite of self-direction, which requires muting sensation in order to focus on goal and purpose, and to that end, to understand the world well enough to work within it. An extravert does that only to the degree required to satisfy his impulses.
For this reason, when results count, humans turn to introverts. Introverts also tend to be those who, being people of the plan, favor K strategies, or having fewer offspring but investing more in them through stable families and high parental time commitment. This requires sacrifice, both to keep a marriage together and to spend hours instructing a little blighter that does not yet have a fully grown nervous system, but pays off in that the descendants are oriented toward successful strategies in life. It is on this type of thinking that advanced civilization was built because this strategy alone produces a flow of high-intelligence people and is able to nurture genius.
When civilizations decline, it is through the production of extraverts through two mechanisms. First, the societies reward repeating methods of the past without understanding, which is a side-effect of the anonymity of an advancing society. Second, the improvements in food supply, health care and stability allow for those who could not survive outside of the society to become part of it, and by definition, they do not understand what is needed for civilization and become its unspoken enemies. A society geared toward survival will eject as many r strategy extraverts as possible, and nurture its K strategy intraverts as they are the backbone of its success and leadership.
With this in mind, we see a division in population:
- Realists: K strategy, intraverted and geared toward first-world societies.
- Individualists: r strategy, extraverted and geared toward third-world societies.
A society which is thriving chooses more of the former than the latter, or at the very least, gives them authority and allows them to keep the rest in line. Equality favors the latter group because by making a good result in the long-term equivalent to a short-term socially successful group, it favors the short-term because it is easier to produce and more popular.
When the West decides to get serious about resurrecting itself, it will do so by removing such incentives toward individualism. While individualism will always be more popular with any group, it is the death of civilization, which is why civilizations fail: they give in to what is socially convenient and in turn, make their realists miserable at which point they start dying out.