Posts Tagged ‘individualism’

Government Is Self-Rationalizing

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Humanity encounters crises because we are self-referential. Through our specialized jobs, but even more our tendency to socialize, we are accustomed to getting through life by convincing other people that we deserve things. This leads to a condition where we are self-rationalizing; we act based on what others will approve of, and then later explain what we get to ourselves as the best possible condition that could have been.

This presents a problem because our first step determines our last step. Once we start down a path, we begin rationalizing it within the group, and the group reinforces its dominant bias or narrative agenda, which has us going further down the path because otherwise, someone might be to blame for screwing up. And so step one leads to step two, with no chance to get off the crazy train until the crash.

Internal pressure provides the most fascinating study. In a group of people, getting anything done is a struggle, so we filter our thoughts for what we believe we can achieve. At that point, making the group happy so that it holds together becomes more important than anything else, and we contort and adjust our ideas to match what the group will approve. This filter kills any ideas of a different path before they are voiced, much like an early form of political correctness.

Human groups thus find themselves following a behavior pattern where they start out small and have focus on a goal, but if they succeed, grow large and then shift their focus toward making everyone happy. At that point, reality is ignored, and results become bad in consequence. Out of fear of instability, the group works harder to unify itself, instead of re-focusing on the goal. In this way, the most successful human endeavors become the ones most pathologically devoted to self-destruction.

Somewhere in there, the sheer frustration of working on a doomed process takes over and people become actively destructive. They know, but cannot articulate, that their time is being wasted. They resent others for being implements of doom and yet have no idea what they would do differently. Vandalism, perversion, self-destruction, and resentful passive-aggressive behavior result.

We can see this self-referential self-rationalizing mentality in democratic governments, since they are unable to recall any past programs that provide benefit to anyone, as then they will be seen as the aggressor who takes from others. This is why we have hysterical political mumbling like the budget fumble currently roiling the swamp in Washington, D.C.:

As the population ages and lawmakers grapple with the effects automation has on job displacement, more funds at the federal level are going to be an absolute necessity. It’s simply not going to be tenable to keep on raising and spending what’s raised and spent today. And other countries prove there’s plenty of room to raise more revenue without kneecapping economic growth.

The easiest thing to do first is to raise some money on the corporate side. The U.S. used to raise 4-5 percent of GDP in corporate taxes. Today, that’s down to 1.6 percent. The corporate income tax once made up about one-third of total U.S. revenue. In 2017, it won’t even make up 10 percent. (At the same time, the personal income tax has remained steady, raising 7 or 8 percent in GDP, for about 45 percent of total revenue.)

…And then there’s rates on the wealthy, which most certainly have room to go up. If it were entirely up to me, rather than hiking what is currently the 39-percent top bracket, I’d add new brackets on top so that multi-millionaires aren’t paying the same marginal rate as the upper-middle class. America’s concentration of wealth is such that there’s plenty of room to raise taxes on the rich with nary an economic blip; in fact, there’s a case that income inequality is itself a drag on growth. The top marginal rate used to be above 90 percent, and was at 50 as recently as the 80s, so going higher than today’s rate isn’t some ahistorical anomaly.

The missing portions of this article furnish the most interest: we see zero analysis of cause and effect, such as “we raised the rates this much and this was the result.” Instead there is just the notice that people got away with something similar in the past, so maybe we should assume that the demands on us are identical and adopt those same old policies.

Even more, what we witness here turns from a reasonable argument about balancing a budget into a demand to keep funding exactly what we are doing now. There is no ability to say that we should look at acts of the past as something that requires assessment, or even a consideration for how we will eventually get rid of our crippling debt, which is devaluing our currency. There is just rationalization of what we have done and a panic-stricken begging for someone to keep the money tap flowing.

How do we escape this death spiral? Until there is a reckoning, known colloquially as “hitting rock bottom,” we do not, because under democracy politicians will not remove any program that benefits someone anywhere. Instead, they will insist that our current spending is the only possible universe in which we could exist, tax until they crush the producers in the economy, and spend until the government runs into default by fully devaluing its currency. Once we assume democracy, this is the only path that it can take.

Much like any other iteration of The Human Problem, this instance shows us the codependency with power that atomized individuals possess. They demand a protector because they fear personal consequences for screwing up or misunderstanding how reality works. They seek to abolish reality by replacing it with a human simulacrum of reality, and this path too leads them away from sanity.

We could save ourselves untold years of misery, trillions of dollars, and wasted potential by admitting that we have hit rock bottom because there is no other way that we can go except forward into rationalization, and thus downward toward the abyss. For us to do that, however, we must see sacrifice as part of duty, instead of merely a duty toward our individualistic selves.

“Racism” Is Self-Preservation

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Only Leftists care about “racism.” To a conservative, the fact that some if not most people prefer to live among their own is no more consequential than their choice of shoes or favorite beer. Welcome to freedom, liberty and every other term for allowing innocent choice.

Leftists care about racism because their goal is to destroy. They bargain through collectives, but these are designed to benefit the individual by separating cause and effect, in this case the performance of the individual and the reward it receives from society. An ideal Leftist society is “equal” so that individuals do not have to prove themselves.

That serves as an extension of the decline of societies, in which people fear life more than they are willing to engage with it, so withdraw into human social groups where each person is rewarded merely for being a person, which protects individuals from loss of social status or power because they contribute nothing or are incompetent. This appeals to their fear of being insufficient or inept, and so people are drawn to it because they fundamentally do not believe in their society and have trouble believing in themselves as a result.

The impetus behind this crowd hysteria originates in people rationalizing the decay of their civilization because they lack faith in other people to reward them for doing the right thing instead of the popular thing. At its core is individualism, or the idea that by making the individual part of the group, no one can make that individual anything less than equal to everyone else, which is required for hierarchy and the social order necessary to reverse our decline. In other words, instead of the social order of a thriving civilization, a mob of equals is created so that no individual will be below any other.

As part of this, any attribute which can make someone higher than another must also be destroyed. Their primary target is caste, manifested in the modern “class,” but inherent to the distribution of IQ and moral character through a population. To that end, they must remove religion, race, ethnicity, and even sex so that everyone is finally equal. This is a pathological pursuit which has no ability to reverse itself, sort of like a psychological endgame for civilization, and its appeal to people is that in a world where they feel helpless, they are at least given control over a subset of reality, the human social arena, in which they can feel powerful. This disease exterminates every human group over time through what we call The Human Problem: the tendency of any human group to focus inward on placating its members rather than orienting them toward producing results, which benefit all unequally.

For those who followed all of that, it means that anti-racism is a death impulse by those who wish to destroy civilization because they are underconfident and fear their own ineptitude. Good guys do not engage in anti-racism; they recognize the reality, which is first that people like to be with those like themselves — not just by race but by ethnicity, caste, religion, customs and political outlook — and second that anti-racism seeks to erase the original group through miscegenation in what amounts to a slow and passive-aggressive genocide. This is why conservatives, or at least coherent and realistic ones, do not bother themselves with anti-racism and believe that “racism” does not exist. There are only choices about whom to associate with and where.

In contrast to what the herd tells you, “racism” is not cruelty toward others, but defense of your own group. That requires being the master of other groups or having them be far away. The only way to survive being bred into a hybrid, in fact, is through xenophobia that is systematically and rigorously applied, which requires some amount of demonization of Otherness, although not necessarily any specific other groups. That in turn requires the ability to apply harsh standards to those who are Us, so that what is left are the strong and powerful representatives of that group; if you love something, you prune the weak versions of it so that you get more of the strong.

On a practical level, concerns over racism are dead, for now. The Obama-Ferguson effect — the tendency of minority groups to recognize that a mixed-race group will condescend to them, but not fully include them — manifests in more racial strife, not less, the more concessions are made. In fact, diversity causes every group to begin competing with others because the only way to avoid genocide by miscegenation is to dominate all of the other groups and demonize them to a degree that interbreeding does not occur. However, this current backlash against anti-racism is not a belief in itself, but a frustration with the failed policies that have spent billions over the past fifty years to attempt to fix a problem that is unfixable.

The future for those who care about such antiquated issues as having a civilization and not a giant cultureless mixed-race bazaar can be found in the idea that it is time to start positively nurturing our culture, and withdrawing our focus from specific other groups. What we fixate on, we become; what we tolerate, we get more of. And so instead of being good stupid democracy-bots and trying to herd together as many people as possible, we can focus on the people who have actual ability and reaching them, and then aiming to disenfranchise the rest because like all good zombie voters, they will simply go back to sleep and quite happily vote for any number of pro-diversity items if those are presented with the right soothing language and promises of more social benefits.

Our future lies in snapping out of the modern dream where civilization consists of a government, social engineering and the welfare state, and lacks culture, heritage, customs, and values of its own separate from the ideology of that government. We are here to restore Western Civilization, and we cannot do that through the modern model at all.

The first step in this consists of converting “racism,” as expressed in the media, or ethnic resentment of other groups, into a dogmatic and principled xenophobia, where we stop caring at all about these other groups and whether they are good or not. Even if they are high-IQ angels, we do not want them among us, because any diversity is a path to our genocide.

Instead, we can dedicate our time to understanding who we are, both genetically and as a culture, and then enhancing the attributes of that culture in ourselves and society. This will require removing democracy, individualism, equality, and diversity, but those are only stops on the road to being a greater civilization than ever before.

An Important Distinction

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

As we stumble through this modern age, ruled by an individualism that tells us both that we can be “me first” in all of our deeds and that the exterior impulses of our personalities like desires and feelings are more important than either our intuition or the external world, we find ourselves encountering many situations where people argue for the denial of reality in preference to what they wish were true.

We might rebut that proposition with the simple idea that feelings are real, but not necessarily true. To us, feelings seem more real than the rest of reality because they originate inside of our brains, and if we are not disciplined, we can mistake them for outpourings of intuition or even gestures of our souls. Some time spent on honest self-analysis reveals however that these are simply part of the natural human tendency toward solipsism that occurs because our impressions of the world are of a stronger signal than perception itself, and are more immediate to us, thus seem more vivid and important.

Some say that religion is important because it teaches us morality. For others of us, it seems clear that religion does something greater, which is reveal to us that we are insignificant parts of a much larger order, which naturally bunts that solipsism right out the door and sets us on a path of self-actualization by which we lose the external husk of ourselves and discover the kernel of a soul within.

That external husk is made entirely of the human: our feelings, the feelings of others expressed through social gestures, bodily desires and the objects we use to form a narrative of our lives that makes it seem as if we made the best decisions possible. The inner kernel consists of our intelligence, moral character, intuition and aspirations specific to who we are.

The outer kernel proves to be socially acceptable because it is equal; that is, it is under our control, and requires minimal intellect, so anyone can do it. For that reason, it offends no one in a group if we pursue desires or re-configure our appearance to make ourselves seem more important. But if we compare inner selves, then suddenly a hierarchy emerges, and that offends any social group where most people are not exceptional.

As Plato points out in Chapter II of The Republic, people are not challenged by those who are actually on the same level as they are; there is no tension or “inequality” between them. But when shown someone risen or rising above them, people reflect on their own status and become underconfident, which makes them revengeful in retaliation. People are fundamentally defensive regarding others because of competition, which makes people think that if someone else is rising, they themselves are falling.

This shows us the basis of the confusion between feelings=real and feelings=true. Feelings are mental impulses which we perceive with the same intensity as any observations about the world, but because they have an origin within the individual, the individual sees them as most reliable, important and relevant.

However, what we mean by “true” is that something corresponds to the external world, such that it is verified by something other than our own intellect. In this sense, feelings are not true… they exist within a person, and it is true that they are emanating from that person, but they have no claim to the wider world.

This shocks the solipsist.

Humanity is separating. There are those who thrived under the former order of individualism are finding themselves excluded from the future; those who were excluded in the past are finding themselves proven right and, as a result, inheriting the future order where feelings are real but not true, as opposed to the past where they were considered both real and true.

The species will separate into many groups, but within Western Civilization, two main groups are emerging.

Individualists comprise the first group. This consists of those who need to be part of a social group so that their individual needs can be expressed. They are both “me first” self-interested people, and those who need their external characteristics recognized by a social group so they can feel important. In groups, individualists form collectives, or little gangs dedicated to supporting their own members at the expense of civilization.

Naturalists form the second group. These are people who accept their relative insignificance and role as part of a larger structure, which cures them both of “me first” and thinking that having social recognition somehow changes the conditions of life. Instead of dedicating themselves to the self, they spend their effort on families, culture, race, heritage, civilization and abstractions like learning, fairness, honor, wisdom and realism.

Divisions between these groups are vast. Individualists believe that feelings are not just real, but true, because their entire worldview is based on first declaring what they want and later finding a way to rationalize it according to what they know of reality. Naturalists see feelings as real, but that it is necessary to consider them in a broader context where the individual is secondary to the order of nature, civilization and logic.

As humanity enters middle age, we are seeing that individualism always leads to failure, and that we need a naturalism which navigates between the zombie-like collective of the individualists and the blind obedience of those who make “the system” their only goal. It begins with recognizing that feelings are real, but that does not make them important beyond the individual.

Did Technology Destroy Society, Or Leftist Social Changes?

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Frequently people argue that our society was just chugging along fine until technology came along and destroyed us. This proves to be a clever way of letting us off the hook for our bad decisions, and joins bias against the Rich,™ anti-Semitism and blaming climate change as a variety of scapegoating.

Scapegoating technology is convenient because it guarantees that nothing will ever be done. We benefit greatly from technology, so asking us to drop it all and move to mud huts is something few want to do, not to mention the geopolitical reality that any society which does so will be invaded and conquered by those who did not drop their tech.

If we are honest, we will place the blame where it belongs, which is in the thread of individualism running from The Renaissance™ through The Enlightenment™ and finally getting voice with the French Revolution, in parallel to the events in ancient Athens that ushered that formerly-promising civilization into the dustbin of history.

We can see this rationalization present in a discussion of the sexual revolution and the negative impact it has had:

My own research points to a more straightforward and primal explanation for the slowed pace toward marriage: For American men, sex has become rather cheap. As compared to the past, many women today expect little in return for sex, in terms of time, attention, commitment or fidelity. Men, in turn, do not feel compelled to supply these goods as they once did. It is the new sexual norm for Americans, men and women alike, of every age.

This transformation was driven in part by birth control. Its widespread adoption by women in recent decades not only boosted their educational and economic fortunes but also reduced their dependence on men. As the risk of pregnancy radically declined, sex shed many of the social and personal costs that once encouraged women to wait.

These forces have been at work for more than a half-century, since the birth-control pill was invented in 1960, but it seems that our norms and narratives about sexual relationships have finally caught up with the technology. Data collected in 2014 for the “Relationships in America” project—a national survey of over 15,000 adults, ages 18 to 60, that I oversaw for the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture—asked respondents when they first had sex in their current or most recent relationship. After six months of dating? After two? The most common experience—reported by 32% of men under 40—was having sex with their current partner before the relationship had begun. This is sooner than most women we interviewed would prefer.

It is always easier to blame something external like the birth control pill, but the grim fact is that sexual liberation had already been increasing for over a century thanks to earlier forms of condoms, diaphragms and other more complicated but still reasonably effective means of birth control, and that this was part of a larger movement of female liberation from traditional roles that included the ability to vote, own property, and most importantly, to have jobs.

A woman with a job is no longer dependent on moving from the house of her parents to that of her spouse. She can get herself an apartment in the city, where she is anonymous, and behave however she wants, knowing that it will not be remembered when it comes time to get a spouse. She can lie about her sexual past, and then have the best of both worlds: she can have her fun and get married later, a sort of sexual Pascal’s Wager.

The so-called “good news” that divorces are declining conceals the fact that the main reason for this is that fewer people are getting married. Courts favor the woman, and so for a man, there is nothing but risk. He knows instinctively that women who have more sex are less likely to form lasting bonds, and she can easily get a job and move out, so he will be left paying alimony and child support while she goes on to have more sexual liaisons. For a man, the only winning strategy is not to play, unless he is fortunate enough to find a traditional woman.

Her job quickly becomes the most important thing in her life because it is a lifeline which has replaced her parents and any future family she might start. With the job, she has money, so she can have an apartment and live on her own, a bold and independent woman! Interestingly, the world wars contributed the most to this mentality, because for the first time many women were working.

The job appeals to the narrative of personal power that modern people adore. In an age of individualism, nothing is more important than making choices that reflect your personality and interests. For women, this makes them more powerful than men, because they control access to reproduction, and therefore, have men dependent on them. This is why they keep these jobs even after marriage, despite having to shove the kids into daycare and then school days crammed with make-work.

But like the other Leftist social changes, it takes decades for the effects to shake out, but now we see that women having jobs results in mental instability for their children, a cost passed on to society that lessens the chance of that child, in turn, having a family:

Ms. Komisar’s interest in early childhood development grew out of her three decades’ experience treating families, first as a clinical social worker and later as an analyst. “What I was seeing was an increase in children being diagnosed with ADHD and an increase in aggression in children, particularly in little boys, and an increase in depression in little girls.” More youngsters were also being diagnosed with “social disorders” whose symptoms resembled those of autism—“having difficulty relating to other children, having difficulty with empathy.”

As Ms. Komisar “started to put the pieces together,” she found that “the absence of mothers in children’s lives on a daily basis was what I saw to be one of the triggers for these mental disorders.” She began to devour the scientific literature and found that it reinforced her intuition.

When we replace the family with the workplace, children suffer from neglect and an enduring sense of being unwanted. This in turn makes them more likely to carry their mental instability into society and pass it on to any children that they may have.

We could try to blame this on technology, but like many things, it is a symptom or an enabler, but not the cause. As individualism has risen, the individual has become more important than the evident mathematics or nature, called “natural law,” or social and cultural values. At the same time, cities and social mobility have made people more anonymous, with their bad acts forgotten.

This creates a “tragedy of the commons” where people rush to exploit what society offers, knowing that there are no consequences to them personally. From this comes the condition that, as the saying goes, we cannot have nice things. With the rise of individualism worldwide, this can be seen in non-Western societies:

In China, where there are some 16 million shared bikes on the street and MoBike alone now has over a million, the authorities have been forced to clear up ziggurats of discarded bikes. Residents of Hangzhou became so irritated by bikes lazily dumped by riders, and reportedly sabotaged by angry cab drivers, that the authorities were forced to round up 23,000 bikes and dump them in 16 corrals around the city.

“There’s no sense of decency any more,” one Beijing resident recently told the New York Times after finding a bike ditched in a bush outside his home. “We treat each other like enemies.”

We either have social order, or we have equality, which guarantees individualism by separating the individual from the consequences of his actions against the larger social, natural and cultural order. Technology simply accelerates the power of the individual and the anonymity, allowing this to spread any further.

If we want civilization back, and now that globalism has failed and with it cast doubt on Leftism and democracy, we will find the necessity of unraveling individualism and replacing it with a sense of obligation to nature, social order, culture and heritage. We have seen the other possible direction, and it leads to horrors and misery.

Inner Values Versus External Values

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Some years ago it became clear that the Right was divided between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. The former group were essentially classical liberals who wanted low government intrusion and decisions to be made by the open markets; the latter believed there were values above what socialism or capitalism could address, and argued in defense of culture, heritage and hierarchy.

This situation became more complicated because most social conservatives agree with the basic idea of fiscal conservatism, namely capitalism with small government, but believe that something else must be added above it. As many have observed, any single thing given absolute power tends to re-arrange what is under its power so that it can increase that power.

In traditional civilization, leaders attempted to unite each society around the central principles of its culture as expressed in aristocracy, caste, religious customs, and learning, with those then regulating the markets and social behavior. Modern society inverts this by placing markets and social behavior above that inner social order.

With the rise of the Alt Right, this debate continues to play out, with Hans-Hermann Hoppe taking a middle position:

If there were no scarcity in the world, human conflicts or more precisely physical clashes would be impossible.

…Absent a perfect harmony of all interests, conflicts regarding scarce resources can only be avoided if all scarce resources are assigned as private, exclusive property to some specified individual or group of individuals.

…The peaceful cohabitation of neighbors and of people in regular direct contact with each other on some territory – a tranquil, convivial social order – requires also a commonality of culture: of language, religion, custom and convention.

He comes short of recognizing race-culture theory, which holds that culture has a genetic basis and also shapes the genetics of the population in a feedback loop, but points out the duality of conservatism: it relies on self-organizing systems like capitalism, but also requires defining an environment for those systems, and this works when done through innate and inner traits like culture, heritage and values but turns totalitarian if based on elective traits like ideology.

One attempt to synthesize the two comes from propertarianism:

The physical universe, at its lowest level, consists of a market, just like our own markets, wherein humans are just a very complex (high) scale, across multiple hierarchical markets, each of which consists of symmetries, produced by the limits of operations – just as man is limited by his physical, emotional, and intellectual operations that we call ‘actions’.

When we operate by markets we operate in harmony with the physical universe – meaning the lowest possible friction – and we fulfill life’s purpose at the highest extant level of symmetry, wherein all life serves the purpose of defeating entropy. As such we defeat entropy by the incrementally fastest means possible.

…which also includes some aspects of traditionalism:

We had the Best System of Government (Perfect Government) and we blew it:

1) Nomocracy (Rule of Law by Natural Law of Torts: Reciprocity)
2) A Hereditary Monarchy as Judge of Last Resort, and custodian of territory, institutions, organizations, families, and individuals….. A State(Foreign Relations) Organization, …. A Professional Military, …. A Professional Judiciary, and …. A Treasury of Last Resort.
3) A Market for Commons consisting of:…. Regional Nobility(Persistent families) serving as a normative Supreme Court …. A House of Industry(Commons) for those with responsibilities….. A Church Serving as a House of Labor and family.
4) A Local (Democratic) Polity(private partnership) of Property Owners…. A Militia and Sheriffs…. Voluntary Civic Organizations
5) The Nuclear Family. And Family and Nation as subject of policy
6) The Individual and Property as the subject of law.

In other words, it combines the formal and informal aspects of the republic that the founders of America intended, but grafts onto it the hereditary monarchy that those founders wanted but were afraid to formalize, knowing that it would again become a target of the Church and mercantile classes.

While this is a wonderful start, it needs enhancement, because it forgets the ultimate properties: intangibles like culture, race and heritage, which includes the history of a people that centers it within an identity. We need to be proud of our past and know we have control of our future. That can only occur if we stop relying on systems and instead build a civilization.

If we are going to use the property model, we should consider past and future to be properties as well in which all of us have a stake. These properties need to be curated at a level more intense than that applied to tangible properties because the intangibles cover a greater span of time and have more ultimate effect.

Traditionalism acknowledges this need. We cannot use materialism to enforce virtue; that method only works for the Left through its mental control of political correctness, where fear of saying the wrong thing leads us to alter our thoughts. We must acknowledge the non-material, namely the ideas that make the best quality of civilization, and elevate it above the tangibles.

Our other option is to face the emptiness of a market society

No, I’m not surprised. I mean, what binds us? What do we all have in common anymore? I think we have to think about that. I think this is — when I was a kid, even as we had laws that held us apart, there were things that we held dear and that we all had in common. And I think we have to — we always talk about E pluribus unum. What’s our unum now? We have the pluribus. What’s the unum? And I think it’s a great country. I think we, for whatever reasons, have made it our — some people have decided that the Constitution isn’t worth defending, that history isn’t worth defending, that the culture and principles aren’t worth defending. And, certainly, if you are in my position, they have to be worth defending. That’s what keeps you going. That’s what energizes you. … I don’t know what it is that we have, we can say instinctively, we have as a country in common.

Both Communism and capitalism have been used to create market societies. In each case, money is used to manipulate people into doing what those in power desire. Whether that money is distributed equally, making people dependent on the state, or unequally, making them dependent on their customers or employers, the result is the same: social control enforcing lowest common denominator standards.

People love materialism because, by eliminating the question of inner attributes, it makes all people equal which means that none can suffer a loss in social status because of the bad results of their actions. This is individualism, because it means that the individual is protected from the consequences of his actions.

The Left tries to hide this, and wants you to see “individualism” as the mental habit of caring about how your time (and thus, money) is spent and to want that time to be meaningful. This was expressed stunningly in an article about how identity politics as the result of confused identity:

“[T]hirty years of economic growth and technological advance that followed the Second World War,” he argues, combined with new geographic, institutional, and erotic mobility and led to a “hyperindividualistic bourgeois society, materially and in our cultural dogmas.”

Flush with prosperity and unprecedented new freedoms, we moderns, Lilla believes, went on to atomize ourselves: “Personal choice. Individual rights. Self-definition. We speak these words as if a wedding vow.” By the 1980s, such hyperindividualism coalesced into what he calls the “Reagan Dispensation,” which prized self-reliance and small government over the collective—thus marking a radical break from the preceding “Roosevelt Dispensation” emphasizing more communal attachments, including duty and solidarity.

…In this head-on collision of purported creation stories about sexual and gender identity that cannot possibly both be true, we see once more that the question Who am I? is the most fraught of our time.

…In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of how democratic governance shapes familial relations, rendering fathers and sons more equal and closer and less hierarchical than they are in its aristocratic counterparts. If it’s obvious that a form of government can shape the family, isn’t it even more obvious that the first polity to which future citizens belong—the family—will shape the kind of citizens they become?

Our macro-politics have gone tribal because our micro-politics are no longer familial.

They forget that the 1980s were a response to the insanity of the 1960s, and that the “geographic, institutional and erotic mobility” was a result of Leftist policies designed to remove natural hierarchy within humanity. This caused the atomization described in the article, and that caused the rampant self-interest as people scrambled to escape the disaster before it dominated.

Ultimately, as in many things, de Tocqueville has the last word: without civilization acting as a larger family, including hierarchy, entropy wins as individuals seek their own directions, causing a crippling lack of unity which then creates atomization and the rampant self-interest which Leftists bemoan.

Our future lies in making inner values the essence of our society. A hierarchy of those with “force of intellect” and “force of moral character” provides a familial structure, fosters sanity and encourages fairness in judgments. While capitalism is a cornerstone of this, it is not the full story, which is why fiscal conservatives need social conservative ideas to make their “systems” work.

What Is Conservatism?

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Much confusion follows the terms conservative and conservatism. This misunderstanding arises from the fact that we live in a time of ideology, but conservatism is not an ideology; more like customs or folkways, it is a philosophy of life based on direct experience, and does not summarize into handy bullet points like the much simpler Leftist doctrine.

Leftism has one idea: it believes in human equality, which is another way of saying that any given individual can never be wrong, barring a crime against another individual. Equality means that sensible decisions are on par with nonsensical ones because in each case, the person making the decision is equal and therefore accepted and given a minimum basic social status regardless of outcome.

Notions like egalitarianism — that all individuals are equal, and therefore beyond criticism with any impact on their social standing — fit within the form of ideology, or prescriptive belief systems which tell us what we should or ought to do. These assume the presence of civilization as a constant independent of our actions.

Conservatism centers itself around the idea of adaptation, or instead of thinking in prescriptive terms, to conserve the best of what has been done in the past. This contains two notions: first, that we look toward cause-effect relationships over time to determine what is functional, and second that we look at a qualitative assessment of its results.

Prescriptive belief systems measure entirely by human standards, as in what we think should be true or should be made true, where conservatism applies a results-based standard known as consequentialism which measures effects in reality over both short-term and long-term.

We can see glimpses of this in how others have described conservatism. Jonathan Haidt introduces conservative thought as a balancing between multiple factors that measure goodness:

Haidt (pronounced like “height”) made his name arguing that intuition, not reason, drives moral judgments. People are more like lawyers building a case for their gut feelings than judges reasoning toward truth. He later theorized a series of innate moral foundations that evolution etched into our brains like the taste buds on our tongues—psychological bases that underlie both the individual-protecting qualities that liberals value, like care and fairness, as well as the group-binding virtues favored by conservatives, like loyalty and authority.

…Researchers have found that conservatives tend to be more sensitive to threats and liberals more open to new experiences.

…”People do indeed reason, but that reasoning is done primarily to prepare for social interaction, not to search for truth.”

…Building on ideas from the anthropologist Richard Shweder, Haidt and his colleagues synthesize anthropology, evolutionary theory, and psychology to propose six innate moral foundations:

  • care/harm,
  • fairness/cheating,
  • liberty/oppression,
  • loyalty/betrayal,
  • authority/subversion, and
  • sanctity/degradation.

…Liberals jack up care, followed by fairness and liberty. They rarely value loyalty and authority. Conservatives dial up all six.

Because Leftism is based in a human-oriented instead of results-oriented framework, it perpetually seeks to control, or impose a uniform standard on all as a way to use them as a means toward its goals which are outside of the civilization itself. The goals of Leftism exist independent of any civilization, and are intended as ideological achievements, not practical or realistic ones.

Control consists of removing any variation and directly imposing the will of some central entity or idea, rejecting individual assessments of how to apply it or how it should be adapted in different contexts. Control, like universalism, exists without context, and imposes a world of human symbols upon the more complex contexture of reality.

For control to succeed, it must address the individual outside of civilization. This is why liberals jack up care/harm, fairness/cheating and liberty/oppression. Conservatives favor social order instead, and so for them, while fairness and non-tyranny are important, so are loyalty, hierarchy/authority and having something sacred at the core of what we do. This is geared toward perpetuating civilization.

In this way, we can summarize the two belief systems as follows:

  • Right = order
  • Left = individualism

Order occurs outside of the human individual, but requires the individual to have an inner motivation toward achieving it, because it is not the kind of thing that can be measured as in a meritocracy or allegiance to an ideology. The symbol and reality are separate, where with ideology, the symbol intends to become the reality.

We find this hard to understand, because all of our modern thinking is strictly ideological:

Note the difference between concept and ideology. An ideology has a tight, well defined set of rules, while a concept is amorphous and changing.

Once you go outside of ideology-land, you find yourself in a nebulous space where you have principles and knowledge of the past, but have to apply these as best you know how. There is no right answer; there are some wrong answers, and then others which are varying degrees of quality in terms of results, and whoever gets the best one relative to the others wins the race, with everyone else getting second, third, or fourth place (and so on).

Ideology guides control, which tries to force everything to fit a human ideal, which is an artificial construct because it is our simpler minds imposing what we think is order on a more complex world, created by something smarter than us. For those who are agnostic or atheist, this greater intelligence can be as simple as millions of years of iterations, each time testing what existed against its environment, and selecting the improvements. If you have ever watched a computer program loop through successive calculations, maybe graphing the result on a screen, you know how many thousands or millions of iterations can make a huge difference in precision.

Human thinking tends toward squares. We like blocks, evenly spaced, in rows on a grid. We like absolute balance such as opposites. We have things we desire, and things we fear. We like to believe we are unique and important in a cosmic or universalist sense, and that the proof of this is that we have many different goals for many different individuals. This simplistic vision contrasts the organic essence of nature, where every action is indirect and seemingly spontaneous, objects are unequal and scattered in dense patterns, and there is no factory-style process repeated identically for every object or person, only many different paths which hope to reach the same goal and do so in varying degrees.

Even more, our thinking tends toward centralization. We have trouble separating our individual perspective, as beings occupying a single part of a complex system, from what it would be like to be in charge of that system. If something bad happens to us, we want to ban all methods by which this bad thing could happen to anyone, because only by doing that will we have banished it, and therefore made ourselves safe.

Along those lines, we also do not handle cause-effect reasoning well. When we see an effect, such as poverty, we want to operate directly on it, by having an all-powerful force send out money and police to force everyone to be in conditions where they are not facing the evils we fear. It is not so much that our minds tend toward the totalitarian, but we favor one-step solutions, because to us problems appear out of nowhere in a single step, so there should be some simple and all-powerful counteraction that we apply like swatting a fly, ripping out a weed, or hammering a board over a broken shutter.

Unfortunately, reality does not reward centralization:

The contrast with national solutions to problems rather than federal (i.e., state government) solutions to problems is the difference between monopoly and markets. When states exercise power over education or labor relations or abortion or civil liberties, then the wise exercise of that power will attract to well-governed states people, commerce, brains, and talent.

This marketplace of governments works in practice and it also allows the sort of diversity which leftists pretend to pine for so deeply. The greater the nationalization of government, the fewer areas in which states can be truly independent, and the less those independent policies matter.

N.B. the above source uses the term “national” to refer to central control at a nation-state level, not nationalism.

There are a number of “2D political compass” type tests floating around that try to add another axis to the Right-Left divide, which they erroneously categorize as individual-versus-collective. This new axis might be called method in that it covers the spectrum from anarchy through totalitarianism, but its essential goal is to blur the difference between Right and Left.

Either side can adopt any methods, including centralization, and so this distinction is not sufficient to differentiate them. The Rightist method, however, is to eschew human control and instead to see what actually succeeds, and pay attention to that, instead of what we think should succeed.

In Right-Left hybrids, such as neoconservatism or National Socialist, this distinction becomes confused because, by pursuing a Leftist idea of equality, they commit themselves to the model of the universal human, which in turn requires an assembly-line style of applying equal pressure to all people. This causes them to fail through an informational counterpart to thermodynamics:

But what specifically established de facto socialism in Nazi Germany was the introduction of price and wage controls in 1936. These were imposed in response to the inflation of the money supply carried out by the regime from the time of its coming to power in early 1933. The Nazi regime inflated the money supply as the means of financing the vast increase in government spending required by its programs of public works, subsidies, and rearmament. The price and wage controls were imposed in response to the rise in prices that began to result from the inflation.

The effect of the combination of inflation and price and wage controls is shortages, that is, a situation in which the quantities of goods people attempt to buy exceed the quantities available for sale.

Shortages, in turn, result in economic chaos. It’s not only that consumers who show up in stores early in the day are in a position to buy up all the stocks of goods and leave customers who arrive later, with nothing — a situation to which governments typically respond by imposing rationing. Shortages result in chaos throughout the economic system. They introduce randomness in the distribution of supplies between geographical areas, in the allocation of a factor of production among its different products, in the allocation of labor and capital among the different branches of the economic system.

The rigid nature of control, which creates identical objects or events regardless of context, naturally leads to chaos because these are imposed on an uneven topography and by their centralized nature, are oblivious to different local conditions, where a cascading authority — king, duke, baron, lord — would have someone recalculating at every level, especially the lowest.

This shows us the two models we can use in our approach toward life.

The first, which is high entropy, relies on us treating the world as an extension of ourselves. We find what we want, and then apply that rigidly everywhere, which leads to a gradual introduction of greater amounts of variation, leading to chaos. Identical responses to different starting points lead to radically different outcomes over time.

The second, which is low entropy, involves us treating ourselves as an extension of the world. We establish a general goal, purpose and set of principles, and then apply it on a case-by-case basis as has been the wont of conservatives since the dawn of humanity. This looks more chaotic, but because all results adapt to the same end-point, it involves many different paths leading to similar results.

In Leftism, the paths/methods are standardized; in conservatism, the purposes/endpoints are the same, and so parallel paths eventually reach similar goals. There is no pretense of making objects, people or ideas identical, because identical objects are only fit in the flat, grid-like topography favored by human minds.

This distinction between individualism and orientation toward order shows us why all political systems ultimately break down into Left and Right or something like them. We either favor the self, or we favor order, which requires the sacrifice of the self, which is necessary for any self-actualization, self-discipline, mindfulness or virtue:

The big difference between these two schemes is that The Four Kinds of Happiness moves from the self-transcendence individual to the relational and finally to the transcendent and collective. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, on the other hand, moves from the collective to the relational and, at its peak, to the individual. In one the pinnacle of human existence is in quieting and transcending the self; in the other it is liberating and actualizing the self.

Most religions and moral systems have aimed for self-quieting and, figuring that the great human problem is selfishness. But around the middle of the 20th century, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and others aimed to liberate and enlarge the self. They brought us the self-esteem movement, humanistic psychology, and their thinking is still very influential today.

…Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has always pointed toward a chilly, unsatisfying version of self-fulfillment. Most people experience their deepest sense of meaning not when they have placidly met their other needs, but when they come together in crisis.

Through this distinction, we can see what conservatism is not: it is not any order based in the individual, all of which depend on egalitarianism or meritocracy as a means of reducing individuals to a uniform standard and then elevating the most obedient, which is a hallmark of control. Tyranny, totalitarianism, the managerial state, bureaucracy, administration and external discipline are all forms and methods of control.

We can see now why “classical liberals,” sometimes called neoconservatives or Libertarians, are not conservatives. They refuse to consider anything at a level above that of the individual.

They are correct when they defend capitalism, because unlike socialism this is not centrally controlled and so is low entropy, but incorrect to make it out to be more than it is. Capitalism is an economic system, and it requires inputs from culture and leadership to function; if we remove those, it becomes self-serving like anything else and consumes all in its path.

Conservatives are not strictly capitalist, but see capitalism as a means to an end, which is that of implementing a flexible economic system in which results are more important than human intentions or desires.

In fact, the only civilizations which we can plausibly call “conservative” belong to the category of designs which are oriented toward a singular goal through flexible, independent methods, and these cannot be classically liberal, because in those the goal is determined by individuals, and thus the system becomes self-serving like anything else and consumes all in its path.

For these reasons, people who discuss individualism and capitalism as the cornerstone of conservatism have missed the boat; conservatives are those who aspire to being as great as ancient Greece and Rome, who defend the monarchy, and who believe strongly in the genetic roots of populations. Our unstated and informal goals are to restore Western Civilization and make it great.

“American conservatives,” who are essentially classical liberals who like a strong defense budget and Christian-ish morality, are not conservatives; they are a hybrid with Leftists, like the National Socialists, who do not realize that their methods will lead to social breakdown just as any other Leftist approach will.

The Alt Right came about from a fertile brew of influences — libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, neoreactionary, human biodiversity, Old Right, radical traditionalism, anarcho-monarchism — which ultimately synthesized into a Right-wing movement which favors hierarchy and social order over individualism. This was not random.

The analysis above shows that there are only two options, Right (order) and Left (individualism). We cannot escape the duality of approaches inherent to being human. Neither should we try, since to avoid one is to embrace the other, which means that any “third way” will ultimately distill to one or the other, as the evolution of the Alt Right in recent history shows us.

Understanding r / K Strategies

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

The Right is obsessed with finding the root of our downfall, and it will be our doom if we let it continue. We are wondering how deeply the rot goes, which is another way of wondering out loud what we can trust in a wasteland of failed ideas, lies and corrupted institutions.

In my reading of history, the answer is simple: any time herd behavior takes over, which always happens, human institutions begin focusing more on unity than purpose, and through that lose unity, because focusing explicitly on unity causes us to concern ourselves with bribing and cajoling people to stay in line. That then empowers them to act in chaotic, selfish ways.

Our society hit this one hard simply because we were good. We rose above the rest, and beat all of the relatively simple challenges of early civilization, but that meant that we then encountered other challenges that were harder. We leveled up, and the new level boss is more of a beast machine than any of the others.

People keep looking for “automatic” reasons that we failed, all of which are essentially versions of, “well, that’s just how things happen, everything fails over time.” This attitude is an artifact of our time, where everyone is having a screaming tantrum in order to avoid seeing the truth:

This was a choice. We made a bad choice. It did not need to happen. We screwed up and wasted centuries and many lives.

There, I feel better now that I have gotten that out. I know the temptation to rationalize/justify is immense, and I am sympathetic to those caught in its grip, because who wants to face the fact that most of their lifetime is wasted on garbage, their society is thrown in the dungheap, and almost all recent achievements are landfill? But that is what equality does really well: destroy things.

Out there, everyone has someone to blame. The white nationalists blame Negroes and Jews; the Left-wing Jews blame the white nationalists; the poor blame the rich; the middle class blames the politicians; the politicians point out that the middle class voted for them, without complaint, for a hundred years. On and on it goes.

In fact, as written about on this site, what kills civilizations is the same thing that kills other human organizations: they focus on their members instead of their goals, creating entropy because each member, when encouraged to do so, will name something different that they want as a way of demonstrating that they are unique. This enables them to stand out from the crowd and socialize with others more effectively.

As Anonymous Conservative was kind enough to point out, this puts me and people who think like me at odds with most theories of our decline, including the notion that imbalance between r/K reproductive strategies is the origin.

In my view, the r/K strategy differences are inherent to humanity because of the way the standard distribution works. In any group of things, there will be variation of any given attribute that approximates a bell curve; for this reason, there will always be mostly r-strategy people in the lower castes, and K-strategy people will occupy the upper castes.

AC’s explanation of r/K strategies shows the deeper problem, however:

One microbe might find that other species of microbes would take their food, or even eat them, and these threats too, had to be dealt with through expenditures of energy, and the production of still other materials. The food available to them was limited in nature, and thus they would evolve complex machines designed to only digest a specific compound or compounds, to exploit a specific niche. They might even evolve to alter their metabolic processes, extracting energy less efficiently, but producing metabolites which killed their competition.

As a result, these organisms would spend a lot of the energy they consumed doing a myriad of things to survive, and this energy would, as a result, not go into reproducing. In nature, any microbe which did not have all of these adaptations would be quickly killed, and would be a Darwinian dead end. Thus those I isolated were programmed by eons of evolution to expend a lot of energy on a lot of complex efforts to keep themselves alive in their natural environment. As a result of all of this magnificent complexity, they grew quite slowly following their isolation.

On Tryptic Soy Agar, however, millions of cells would each grow freely, absent any selective pressure like that applied by nature. Invariably, a few would lose a gene here or there, which would disable some of these complex adaptations to their natural environment. These cells, now unburdened by these complexities, would channel all of their energy into reproducing their simpler descendents, and they would grow faster. Instead of preparing to fight off the microbial hordes, they would simply focus on converting substrate into new (simplistic) cells, thereby reproducing as quickly as possible. They would out-populate their more complex peers, and eventually become the defacto form of the isolate.

In many areas of life, and in the West since the Mongol invasions, the simple truth has been that whoever produces the most people will not be clobbered by his neighbors, and when it comes time to launch industry, he will have plenty of warm bodies to do that, too. This probably goes back even before agriculture, when warring bands ran at each other with swords and spears.

In fact, the history of Europe may be that of a roving band of people who avoided such behavior, and as a result were able to refine themselves to a higher degree of ability, even if that meant that they had to avoid conflict by remaining nomadic. When they settled in Europe, they became prosperous, and this allowed them to become bottom heavy with r-strategy people.

For many centuries, an aristocratic system kept this in check by relegating proles to subservient roles. After enduring many crises, including the Mongol invasions, the Black Plague, Islamic invasions, religious wars and the imperial wars following the rise of ancient Greece and Rome, the European aristocracy gradually began to fall behind in numbers.

Eventually, the mercantile middle class — people who were good at making money, but were not bright enough to foresee the problems with their desire for more — and the proles joined together and overthrew the aristocrats. Since then, our civilization has been in the final stages of decline.

My guess is that the decline began even earlier, after the end of the nomadic days, when the rise in fixed civilization essentially made the leaders beholden to spend most of their time taking care of the rest of the herd. This is the nature of any human group, and the only solution is to have a strong internal hierarchy, but that was weakened by crises.

If we make a bad decision, we can later stop doing that thing and then reverse it, and it is that for which I argue. Instead of seeing a two-stroke cycle by which society gets good and then inevitably fails, so that it is no one’s fault, and then society gets good again, I see that we made a bad choice and must resolve to never do that in the future.

Another view of this can be found through a view of population roles:

According to Eric Gans, the first human scene, upon which we can model later ones like that sketched above, is more precisely specified. Here we have a desirable object, presumably some food item, at the center of the not yet human group: these advanced, highly imitative apes, have their appetite for that central object inflamed, made into desire, by the awareness of the desire of all the other members of the group. This intensifying desire overrides the animal pecking order that normally maintains peace within the group—the alpha animal eats first, the beta animal eats when the alpha is finished, and so on. The alpha could never withstand the force of the group as a whole, but animals never “organize” themselves as cooperative, coordinating groups. Now, as all start to rush to the center, the animal hierarchy is abolished. What takes its place, according to the originary hypothesis, is the sign—what Gans calls the “aborted gesture of appropriation.”

…I’ve explored in a couple of recent posts the problems involved in the process of institutionalization. There’s nothing new here—in one of the commemorations I’ve read recently for the just deceased science fiction and military writer Jerry Pournelle, I’ve heard attributed to Pournelle the observation that in every institution there are those who are concerned with the primary function of the institution, and those concerned with the maintenance of the institution itself. Anyone who has ever worked in any institution knows how true this is, with the exception that plenty of institutions don’t even have anyone concerned with (or cognizant of) its primary function any more. Those concerned with the primary function should be making the most important decisions, but it will be those interested in institutional maintenance who will be most focused on and skilled at getting into the decision making positions. But someone has to be concerned with the maintenance of the institution—those absorbed in its primary function consider much of the work necessary for that maintenance tedious and compromising. (The man of action vs. the bureaucrat is one of popular culture’s favorite tropes—in more fair representations, we are shown that sometimes the bureaucrat is needed to get the man of action out of holes of his own digging.)

If we go back to the simple scene outlined in the beginning, we can see this is a difference between those who are first on the scene, and those who are second—for simplicity’s sake, we can just call them “firsts” and “seconds.” The seconds establish the guardrails around the firsts as the latter do their work, and they make for the “interface” between the firsts and those who gather around the scene (the “thirds”). They will also decide which resources get called for and which get through to the firsts, who are too busy to see to such details. There is no inherent conflict between the firsts, seconds and thirds, but there is the potential for all kinds of conflict. The firsts (and the first among the firsts) should rule, and should be interested in nothing more than enacting all the signs of deferral that have been collected through successive acts of rule. Even defense against external enemies is really a function of enhancing the readiness of the defenders of the community, and the community as a whole, and doing that is a function of eliminating all the distractions caused by desires and resentments, with the most attention dedicated to where it matters most. The seconds should be filtering information coming from below, marshalling resources, and transmitting commands and exhortations from the ruler. And the thirds, the vast majority of the community, should be modeling themselves on and ordering their lives in accord with the hierarchy constitutive of the community.

Like r/K strategy theory, this explains how people corrupt their own organizations, but not the cause. The fundamental cause is a failure of hierarchy, usually brought on by many sustained threats, and its replacement with an order based on social concerns, like what is popular and who wants to do what.

The West has avoided this realization for some time because it means that we are the source of our own failure, and that we must actually change in order to fix it, including rejecting the idea of equality. External “this just did it to us” theories make it easy for the individual to continue his path of hubris without accepting responsibility for the role of individualism in our decline.

Fundamental Transformation

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Very few people understand what a fundamental transformation has occurred in the USA and EU over the past seventy years. Society has become inverted, meaning that it is the opposite of what it set out to be, simply because we have adopted egalitarianism in its raw form, which is a mental virus that seemingly overcomes all human resistance.

This fundamental transformation involved social engineering which was commanded by the ideology we adopted starting in the Renaissance™ but formalized with The Enlightenment™ where we decided that the human individual was more important than natural order or social order, kicking off centuries of egalitarian thought, or thinking which assumes the equality of all humans so that the individual cannot be excluded or judged.

Most deceived themselves into thinking that the core of an idea could expand so much. In reality, however, related ideas expand to fill all available space and conquer any competing ideas, so the situation more resembled the proverb:

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.

We started with a simple idea: instead of giving credit to those of higher social rank, we would treat everyone equally before courts of law. Some cautioned against this because, while you may have some higher rank people who are bad, in general the ranks reflect what each has contributed, and so the productive need to be protected against the rest.

But we inverted that, and instead protected the rest against the productive by removing any positive claims that the productive could make. This gave the advantage to those without any positive claims about past history to make.

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;

With equality, we suddenly had the notion that people should be treated equally, but this led to a converse assumption: if results differed, it was because of unequal treatment, not unequal aptitudes. Worse, saying anything against this was considered cruel. As a result, we began to consider any outcomes which differed from our expectations to be the result of racism, through the American “disparate impact” doctrine.

These began at first in respect to caste and class, which were the sources of great tension in the UK. Our society was outraged that once, we had aristocrats who were considered above others. In order to gratify our pretense, we began to systematically remove any distinctions between people. At first, this seemed to pacify the herd which felt ready for revolution, but then decay began.

For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;

In order to justify this affirmative action, our society began to work around uncomfortable clashes of difference. It does not matter, in the big accounting, what caused them or what they were. Just let it suffice to say that different ethnic groups are different for a reason, having evolved apart and for different regions and goals, and so incompatibilities arose.

Instead of admitting these, which would require backtracking on both diversity and equality, we lied. We covered up the clashes, hid the bad statistics, re-categorized certain crimes as not-crimes and certain events as non-existent, and basically forged our way until we got to the point where the whole system seemed to be working.

In addition, a gap in wealth persisted, so we adopted a social welfare program for the Other among us so that we could claim to be a fair, generous and equitable state. Instead we simply bankrupted ourselves, but we covered that up, too. In order to make diversity work, we shifted our economy toward a socialist model and taxed everyone more.

Precedent really crushed us here. Once you accept one lie, you must either (1) admit it was a lie or (2) build everything else on the basis of that lie. This is one of those truly binary areas in life. Once we accepted that “all people are equal,” it naturally flowed from that idea that caste was obsolete, diversity was good, socialism was fair and mob rule was intelligent. All unraveled from that point.

For want of the horse, the rider was lost;

This in turn produced problems because the socialist order took from ordinary people in order to subsidize the permanent minority underclass (PMUC). That in turn made people wary of government, which meant that government had to demonstrate its day-to-day relevance and importance in the lives of ordinary people, which in turn made government grow more powerful.

Throughout the next decade, well-meaning government reached into every area of human life, creating rules and people to administer them. Soon government became one of the biggest industries in the land, since a government job meant an end to financial troubles. The government borrowed itself into debt. Since there was no point doing anything else, the people did the same.

At this point, reality had drifted far away. All of the money was monopoly money and when you wanted more, you borrowed it. The social welfare programs that make up nearly 60% of the budget resulted in a massive debt, and any attempt to reduce it would raise cries of “racism” so was immediately discounted.

People began to experience the neo-Communist nature of this society when they accidentally spoke out in some way that contradicted the official explanation of how everything was going well and diversity was our strength. Widely-known truths from fifty years prior became thought-crimes, investigated by the police and ending with firings, massive news coverage, destruction of reputations, loss of home and income, and the shattering of families.

It became mandatory to praise diversity, equality and pluralism (“tolerance”) at every juncture, and those who did not risked having their careers and fortunes destroyed if any complaint surface against them; the only way to fend off these attacks, most of which were spurious and destroyed their targets before the facts came out, was to have a longstanding record of pro-diversity activity.

At this point, diversity had become the pro-Party sign of Vaclav Havel’s greengrocer:

The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence.

At this point, the diversity agenda took on an inertia of its own and essentially rolled over everything else. To succeed, you had to have the right opinions, and in the post affirmative action employment market, this meant that one would not hear a word of dissent. Society had become acephalous (headless) and was careening onward purely on momentum, without any way of checking itself.

For want of the rider, the battle was lost;

Now it was agreed that society must be transformed, and the election of a black president to the most powerful nation on Earth was a guilt-offering and sacrifice to the voracious monster of political correctness. However, this merely intensified feelings because there is no such thing as null bias; one acts in favor of a group at all times, even if it is the group of not having a clear group.

The disgruntled assembled a group of themselves and others with an interest in taking over our civilization, namely ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, angry single women, large corporations, megalomaniac billionaires and media empires. They then summoned a new group, formed of SJWs or “Soviet Jurisdiction Workers,” and SWPLs, which is shorthand for “Stuff White People Like” and refers to white people who draw attention to themselves and show off their presumed inner goodness by being excessively, tritely and painfully politically correct.

At this point, the culture war that had been brewing for a century reached its apex and the revolutionaries clearly won. All of media, entertainment, academia and government was in lock step with the “new” and “innovative” methods of the neo-Communists. No one dared speak out in resistance because their lives would be destroyed.

For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;

Revolutionary thought has an Achilles Heel: it is essentially a bribe that promises no loss of status for being unrealistic or crass, offers power to be seized from a hierarchy, and beckons with the thought that instead of spending our energy and money on building civilization — which must be done on a regular basis to stave off entropy — we can spend it directly on citizens.

This bribe holds the attention of the crowd as long as the economy is in good shape; when the economy goes sideways, people have less confidence in democracy because it has failed to deliver on its dual promise of prosperity and individualism at a more anarchic level than social order will allow:

In 19 countries, people who say their national economies are in bad shape are less likely to believe representative democracy is good for the country.

In 23 nations, the belief that representative democracy is good is less common among people who think life is worse today than it was 50 years ago. In Spain, for example, just 63% of those who believe life is worse than before consider representative democracy a good thing for their country, compared with 80% who support representative democracy among those who say life is better than it was a half century ago.

Similarly, pessimism about the next generation is related to negative views about representative democracy. In roughly half the nations surveyed those who think today’s children will be worse off financially than their parents are less likely than others to say representative democracy is a good form of government. Among Mexicans who believe the next generation will be worse off, only 52% say representative democracy is good for the country. Backing for government by elected representatives is at 72% among those who say children will be better off than their parents.

When the neo-Communist years came, away went the wealth. The currency fell in value; people noticed that real wages had been stagnant for a long time; taxes, including the new 0bamacare tax, savaged the middle classes; sexual tension reached an apex of false rape accusations; people had nothing in common because every interaction was highly politicized, and so soon we saw the future of America: the destruction of its population, everyone lonely and enslaved to pointless jobs while living in apartments that, if you scratched off the facades, were decidedly Soviet in their layout.

And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.

And so we come down to the cause of it all: the proliferation of people who both do not understand what is needed to have civilization and are stunted enough in self-actualization to be individualists, a condition the ancients called hubris. This was legitimized by The Renaissance™ and The Enlightenment,™ both of which shifted focus from natural law, divine hierarchy and social order to the glory of the human individual.

Our only useful metaphor for this process is obesity. When we are prosperous and have more than enough food, we get fat unless we take conscious steps to avoid that process. In the West, our wealth allowed a vast breeding program of those who are naturally “drones” as Plato calls them, or people oriented toward a mentality of parasitic dependency.

At first, it did not seem that it would unravel so fast or go down this dark path. But humans suffer for their big brains which allow them to rationalize, and in so doing, to alter their knowledge of what is true in order to make it fit a human narrative. This causes inversion of our thinking, which is then mirrored when society inverts the meaning of words and ideas by filtering out what contradicts the human narrative.

We see also that the differences between “types” of Leftism are inconsequential. They share the same philosophy and, more importantly, the belief that everything else is a means-to-the-end of achieving that condition, such that we are all expendable. Leftism starts with the idea of equality, an addicting mental virus, and as it grows in power, it becomes closer to full Communism, even if it hides that fact behind decentralized structures as used in neo-Communist states across the West.

When all is a means-to-an-end, we engage in “social engineering” which really means the destruction of anything which does not fit the narrative so that the narrative can be converted into ideology and used to control the masses. This only happens when equality has already taken over, so that mass opinion can be used as a substitute for fact or logic, and then the takeover is complete.

At some point, humanity will have to face the fact that all of our best intentions are destructive, and that what matters is a cold logical look at how to adapt and what has worked in the past. Then, we can broach the qualitative dimension, and choose the methods and principles which worked best in the past, avoiding the spiral of decline in which we now find ourselves.

We Reach Peak SJW As Equality Includes Obesity

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Very few realize that the modern “social justice” movement has its roots centuries ago, in the French Revolution or The Enlightenment™ and The Renaissance™ before it. The idea is simple: do not focus on external order (society, God/gods, nature, logic) but instead look at the individual and its desires.

This came to a demi-peak in the “Me Generation,” otherwise known as the [expletive deleted] Baby Boomers, who insisted that only what flattered them as individuals was true, and they would act on that, and ignore the rest of reality. This of course causes isolation and paranoia because most of the world is filtered out, and so random events can occur without being anticipated, at any time.

But the Leftists got their hooks into the West after the 1960s, brought on mainly by how boring and corporate the 1950s were, causing anyone with spirit to revolt against our commercialized, democratized, and simplified mass culture. Unfortunately, as is almost always the case, the Revolution was a case of the cure being worse than the disease, as often happens.

And so for Generation X and others, we grew up in a time where adults insisted on what obviously was not true and denied what obviously was. Even to a child, this signals hopelessness: your civilization has opted to commit suicide, rather than looking deeply enough to see its actual problems, even though those are not that complicated. We were abandoned children.

The generation after us, the Millennials, they grew up believing the lies because they had never seen anything different. They never knew a time when people were honest, had culture, and managed to stay married without divorce or stay in love without a bribe. They had never seen pre-multicultural America, a place of trust and easy normal socialization, and were entirely lost and thus dependent on what their 1960s-style instructors told them.

Eventually, these cordycepted toxoplasma zombies gained enough power to elect a president, and then they assumed Utopia was near; it turned out that all their ideas failed, and so instead, we entered dystopia. But before that became apparent, because most people are incapable of analysis or thought beyond one level deep, we would see “peak Leftism” or “peak SJW” as the long tail whipped around. Witness the genius of obesity as a human right:

Following online backlash, Google is removing a planned feature in Maps that shows you how many calories you’d burn when in walking mode. Google’s attempt to promote a healthy lifestyle caused a number of people to lambast the feature on Twitter, claiming it would “shame” and even “trigger” those with eating disorders. Engadget reports:

Taking note of the negative reaction, Google is now dumping the experiment. It confirmed to Engadget that the update was briefly tested on iOS, and has been abandoned based on user feedback. As The Hill’s Taylor Lorenz noted in her tweets, there was no way to turn off the feature. Lorenz also claimed that using pink cupcakes as the unit of measurement was “lowkey aimed at women.” Others pointed out that Maps wasn’t the appropriate place for the update. After all, there are plenty of fitness and calorie counting apps that keep track of your activity and consumption — again emphasizing how misplaced the feature was.

The point of equality, although egalitarians will not tell you this, is to save the individual from being judged wrong for their opinions. Each of us tries to understand the world, and acts on our mental image of it, and when we screw up, it means that we were too neurotic, delusional, dysfunctional or otherwise less-than-superior to handle that simple task. Sneers and scorn rise like locusts from a field of dead corn.

As a result, egalitarians try a simple formula, which might be said to be “good = bad” or at least that good and bad are arbitrary, relativistic and irrelevant, so we might as well approve of everyone at the same social level. Their great fear is losing social position by being inept, and so they have banished judgment for ineptitude, at least in the public forums where it once kept our leaders competent.

We can extend this to any choice by the individual. No one should lose social status, or be punished, or be made to feel bad, for any choice. Being obese, on drugs, metrosexual, incompetent or anything else is just an arbitrary choice, you see, because everything is relative. It is not that we have a purpose, or a world to which we can objectively derive adaptive strategies, but a question of what the individual wants.

If you wanted greater proof that egalitarianism is individualism, and collectivism is merely a shield for the individual to use others to advance his own agenda, it cannot be found than in this great panic over criticism of obesity. Not even criticism; Google simply wanted to help us all stay fit. Maybe now they are reconsidering the monster they have been supporting.

Why One Should Approach Politics As Philosophy

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Most people possess little analytical ability and so approach the world through a process of rationalization by which they seek to contort their minds in order to explain what is happening around them in such a way that it does not threaten their mental state.

This can be both submissive and combative; for example, someone may decide that most people are good and therefore deserve subsidies, but that because our government does not do that, it is evil and we must wage war against it.

While they may convince themselves that they believe these things, belief can be a crutch, and what they have actually done is to tell themselves a story about the world in which there is a way for their role to make sense and for them to be important and relevant. Their primary act is biological, that of pre-emptive self-preservation by filtering out scary thoughts.

To avoid this, long ago people invented philosophy, which is the science of our minds and our world, understood at an abstract level where facts and logic must be in parallel. This forces us to think, not from the individual, but from the world, and then to explain the place of the individual within it. That mostly avoids rationalization.

The only sensible approach to politics is through this method. Without it, the cart goes before the horse as people rationalize what they want to believe as true, and explain everything else as some sort of evil witchcraft. This rationalization proves more popular because it is centered on the present day and the concerns of individuals, where philosophy is more timeless and focused on either truth or civilization.

Martin Heidegger, in his Introduction to Metaphysics, Chapter 1: The Fundamental Question of Metaphysics, gives us more:

Philosophy is essentially untimely because it is one of those few things whose fate it remains never to be able to find a direct resonance in their own time, and never be permitted to find such a resonance. Whenever this seemingly does take place, whenever a philosophy becomes fashion, either there is no actual philosophy or else philosophy is misinterpreted and, according to some intentions alien to it, misused for the needs of the day.

Philosophy, then, is not a kind of knowledge which one could acquire directly, like vocational and technical expertise, and which, like economic and professional knowledge in general, one could apply directly and evaluate according to its usefulness in each case.

But what is useless can nevertheless be a power — a power in the rightful sense. That which has no direct resonance in everydayness can stand in innermost harmony with the authentic happening in the history of a people. It can even be its prelude.

What this means is that philosophy, like travel or even one too many glasses of wine, can give us a sense of our world by removing us from it, intellectually, and then approaching it as strangers, and those revelations can show us a potential option for our future which, because it becomes clear and appealing, then triggers that next part of the historical cycle.

Although rationalization gives us a better personal story about the world, as it begins and ends with our own lives, it fails to give us a story of meaning, whereby a small species evolves, becomes powerful, and then finds a way to be better so that it is connected with its world and finds purpose within it.

Fantasies of universal purpose — some inherent goal or innate value that is accessible to everyone — tend to be forgeries, and rationalization relies heavily on them because universal purpose suggests an inability to act otherwise by the individual, and therefore a compulsion to rely on that values system, which takes away the possibility of being wrong in the assessment of values made by the individual, since the individual does not need to assess values at all, only go along with what is allegedly as universal as sunlight.

This perception of universality allows people to believe that their perceptions are not self-serving, and therefore, that self-serving behavior is justified in pursuit of the validation of those perceptions. This leads to a sense of narcissism, a variety of individualism marked by self-worship, which arises from the general hubris of anyone who believes it is justified to act in self-interest where it conflicts with the logical, natural order of human life.

Ultimately, the rationalization view, because it is self-centered and thus individualistic, leads to a self-aware narcissism:

How exactly do narcissists maintain such positive self-views despite others’ dislike of them? Carlson proposed a few interesting ideas. First, narcissists might believe others are just too stupid to see how amazing they truly are, or they may believe others’ negative views are simply the result of jealousy. It might also be the case that narcissists, aware of their deteriorating reputation, cut off long-term friendships and instead, maintain a flow of new acquaintances that see them as the charming and likable person they believe they are. The process by which narcissists retain their positive self-views remains an interesting and important question future work should address.

The mental process is a form of rationalization: they must believe good about themselves, so they contort their understanding of how the world works in order to support that self-view.

This leads to them using other people as objects that reinforce that rationalization, much as in a mob the individual uses others as a means of escaping accountability, or as in a totalitarian state, the ruling powers use others as means of achieving an ideological or political set of goals. This is why Leftism is based in individualism, not “collectivism,” because the collective is a device of the individual for enforcing individualism as a universal standard.

Manipulation of others in order to enforce a certain non-realistic perception of the world is the classic attribute of control. Control is invisible to most because they cannot see where the ideology or commands from above diverge from reality, but for those who can see, control is both unnecessary and destructive because it is unrealistic, or based in human preferences and rationalizing from those, as opposed to based in perception of the world and oriented toward human self-discipline to adapt to the logical consequences one can anticipate from the knowledge conveyed in that perception.

Differences between Leftists and conservatives can be explained by this schism of perspective.

Under the influence of Leftism, which boils down to individualism enforced by a collective through “equality” which essentially reduces the power of those who are more competent and promotes the lowest common denominator instead, our society has steadily become more narcissistic in its daily behavior:

Darlene Lancer, a therapist writing at Psychology Today, offers up a tidy list of behaviors narcissists often employ in their interactions with people. Here is her list (with some abridged definitions):

1. Verbal abuse: Verbal abuse includes belittling, bullying, accusing, blaming, shaming, demanding, ordering, threatening, criticizing, sarcasm, raging, opposing, undermining, interrupting, blocking, and name-calling.
2. Manipulation: Generally, manipulation is indirect influence on someone to behave in a way that furthers the goals of the manipulator. Often, it expresses covert aggression. Think of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
3. Emotional blackmail: Emotional blackmail may include threats, anger, warnings, intimidation, or punishment.
4. Gaslighting: Intentionally making you distrust your perceptions of reality or believe that you’re mentally incompetent.
5. Competition: Competing and one-upping to always be on top, sometimes through unethical means. E.g. cheating in a game.
6. Negative contrasting: Unnecessarily making comparisons to negatively contrast you with the narcissist or other people.
7. Sabotage: Disruptive interference with your endeavors or relationships for the purpose of revenge or personal advantage.
8. Exploitation and objectification: Using or taking advantage of you for personal ends without regard for your feelings or needs.
9. Lying: Persistent deception to avoid responsibility or to achieve the narcissist’s own ends.
10. Withholding: Withholding such things as money, sex, communication or affection from you.
11. Neglect: Ignoring the needs of a child for whom the abuser is responsible. Includes child endangerment; i.e., placing or leaving a child in a dangerous situation.
12. Privacy invasion: Ignoring your boundaries by looking through your things, phone, mail; denying your physical privacy or stalking or following you; ignoring privacy you’ve requested.
13. Character assassination or slander: Spreading malicious gossip or lies about you to other people.

Lancer rounds out her list with violence, financial abuse, and isolation (isolating someone from other people in their lives).

If we could describe the modern West, the above list would be a good place to start. Individualists pursuing their own goals and then rationalizing them have as a consequence both discarded any concern for the future of humanity or our environment, and in the process, have made themselves into narcissists; then, their standard of behavior becomes the norm as others compete.

All of this can be easily perceived if one takes a philosophical view at life, rather than a personal view. Most humans, however, are wired for exactly that personal view, and once they go down that path, fear the philosophical view as it will reveal how much of their lives have been manipulated and wasted. That in turn will cause a crisis of self-confidence for them, so they persist in the lies.

As the rising Right turns to combat the decline of Western Civilization, one of the biggest weapons in its tool chest is to shift our perspective from self-focused to history-focused, so that people can take the philosophical view and see for the first time how existentially unsatisfying and suicidally destructive our modern society has turned out to be.

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