Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘individualism’

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.

Why Gen X Kids Have a Permanent Thousand-Yard Stare

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Ideas have momentum because a concept, once applied in the small, will be used in other areas, expanding ever-outward, until it reaches a contrary force which can control it. The idea of individualism, or that the preferences and desires of the individual are more important than adaptation to the patterns of reality, gained momentum and rolled over us like a bowling ball.

No one has seen this more than Generation X. We were ground zero for the effects of the decisions made by the Me Generation, or Baby Boomers, who were really just expanding on what their parents (the “Greatest Generation”) did. They were all individualists, and thus egalitarians, because equality means that no one can interrupt their activity just because the result will obviously be bad.

Perhaps the most visible impact of the bowling ball was the sacrifice of the family to ideology:

I read Strauss and Howe’s 5-page description of the built-in craziness of childhood in the 1960s and 70s nodding the whole time. Someone is finally saying it: Gen X had a shortened, unsettled, unstable childhood and it permanently affected the way we see the world. Permanently. Affected. Permanently. Latchkey kids were left unsupervised daily and many of the rest of us were allowed to do adult things far too early.

…The kids in Gen X experienced family breakdown, then, because their parents flaked, because they put themselves first, because the kids in our generation weren’t “worth the parental sacrifice of prolonging an unhappy marriage.”

…Gen X is made up of kids who were told by word and action that the happiness and well-being of the adults in their lives was more important than their happiness or well-being. And many of us are tired of the unhappy housewife meme. We are tired of being told to be grateful for the freedom, to be glad we didn’t grow up in the oppressive climate of the 1950s. Plenty of Gen Xers (and Gen Ys) would have traded the “liberation” given them for Mom and Dad living in the same house and dinner being on the table regularly at 6 PM. We can’t appreciate rebellion against security and authority because security and authority were scarce resources in our childhood.

Mom and Dad were individualists. That is: their personal desires and preferences came first before all else, and their kids were collateral damage. The family — a pattern of reality, because it is a mathematically optimal adaptation to the need to reproduce and pass on social capital — came second, and therefore it was sacrificed for the individualism of Mom and Dad.

This tells the kids several things. First, “you are not important enough to us for us to sacrifice.” Second, it tells them that their origins — the very genetics that make them up — were bad, or at least mismatched. Kids, who spend more time in nature, are acutely aware of the importance of genetics. Finally, it says that Mom and Dad really care about nothing except themselves, so all that grand talk about people being equal, peace on earth, helping the poor and wanting a Black president was just external adornment designed to make the individualists look cool to their friends.

In addition, the divorce mess paralleled what was happening to society. People no longer cared if ideas were true, only that they were convenient. Institutions and learning of the past were abandoned for whatever self-help-book-styled drama was fascinating people at the moment. Politics even became a question of vanity, with each person picking a pet issue (drunk driving, abortion, Tibet, Mandela) that flattered their self-creation story.

Generation X were born knowing they were doomed, and around them saw the insanity proliferating because people sacrificed reality to the individual. As something external to those individuals that were their parents, Generation X were a scapegoat and a sacrifice, something upon which the effects of parental actions were irrelevant because it did not matter.

As a result, they took to their rooms and rarely ventured out. At jobs, they generally got bulldozed by the more ambitious, and stayed content with having enough money to survive and a job that was pleasant enough to tolerate. They did not marry as much, nor really date as much, because all of those things were threats that made them subject to the individualism of one another.

If they ever regain their heart, this generation will send the bowling ball rolling back over the individualists, and implement the kind of radical stability that a damaged child might imagine would repair the hole in his heart.

Narrative Fallacies

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Your internet clique — whichever one you have joined — is a joke.

No one is going to convert the world to their own idiosyncratic agenda.  Even if you can get a few thousand people to listen to your podcast, you still won’t have the same effect on the world that an obscure Baptist church in the middle of nowhere has.  A few thousand people showing up for a baseball game on a Wednesday night is considered a small crowd, so do try to keep things in perspective.

And why should anyone privilege an online community as being more serious for discussing politics?  The world would be a better place if people with too much time on their hands spent their free time raising chickens, fixing old cars and making rifles instead of pumping out half-baked manifestos featuring their preferred scapegoat and scheme for bring about utopia.

The common thread between the SJW activist arguing that all the world’s problems are because of white men, the socially alienated NEET who blames the Jews, and the super concerned religious person who thinks it’s the homosexuals is that they’re all falling for narrative fallacies

A narrative fallacy is any story or explanation that portrays the world in simple terms of good and bad where we, the masses who voted for all this insanity, are innocent.

There really isn’t a bad guy pulling the strings in a dark tower somewhere.  The world is a place we didn’t evolve to understand, but to survive as hunter gatherers fighting with other hunter gatherers.  People simply take a few random threads and work together a tapestry of a narrative that helps them to make sense of reality, but is in fact not reality at all.  Nothing good comes from following a map while ignoring the actual facts on the ground.

The problem with narrative fallacies is that “all roads lead to Rome,” and in this case Rome is the type of individualism that makes people both narcissistic and paranoid. Most people take the red pill only so that they can create a new narrative where they get to play the victim card, which is a simpler, easier and more convenient idea than actual analysis, so it quickly takes over any right-wing group.

What can anyone do then?

Tell the truth.

The great power of /pol/ is not in playing capture the flag with idiot celebrities or promoting any particular political agenda, but in providing a forum where information can be ruthlessly reviewed.  The value is not the funny memes, but having a place to get data about what’s actually going on.

Twisting things for purposes of propaganda doesn’t help anyone.  No one cares about your pet conspiracy theories except for your own personal social media clique.  And the only real result of your social media clique is to get into flame wars with other cliques you agree with 75-90% of the time, but with whom you disagree on as little as one minor point of political theology, so an Encyclopedia Dramatica article can be inspired.

Tell people the facts.  Call out liars and charlatans.  Don’t get sidetracked with personality cults or agendas.

We do not need conspiracy theories or narrative fallacies to explain what is going on. In fact, we need the opposite: people relentlessly tearing down the illusions until all that is left is the truth, and then we can set aside our personal drama and work together toward a realistic solution.

But that will never be as popular as the lottery of personalities that the game of cliques provides.

Pathological Sanity

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Anytime you can not speak of your accurate and realistic observations, you live in a controlled society. This means that your society is in the process of decline and has already collapsed, and is awaiting a coup de grace from some invading Vandals or Conquistadors.

We cannot speak of everyday truths at this time. Things we observe, if they contradict the going narrative, will end our careers, friendships, families and futures. And so, we self-censor, which is even worse than government censorship or the cabal censorship of large dot-com agencies.

That in itself tells us something. When accurate observations about reality are taboo, this means that civilization at that moment is based on something other than realism. This means that it has a secret to hide, and that this secret clashes with what it knows of the world around it. In other words, civilization is afraid of reality, because too much truth will point out what it is hiding.

In a roundabout way, this answers a question you may have had while sitting in history class, bored out of your mind and daydreaming as is the norm in school, all those years ago: what was it like to be in Rome or Greece before they fell? Did people know what was happening? How did it happen? What did it look like?

The answer now becomes abundantly clear. People in those societies simply went insane. It started with a few, and everyone else imitated them, and because they were afraid of sane people, they became pathological in their desire to exterminate sanity. Once that was done, everyone focused on illusions while their world crumbled around them, and if they woke up at all, it was too late.

In the centuries before the fall of Rome, bad behavior accelerated. People indulged in fetishes and excesses, became entirely individualistic and disregard tradition and sanity as a result, accepted corrupt business practices, and spent more time demonstrating their allegiance to the “right” ideas than on trying to counteract the problem.

They all went insane, for practical purposes, because they were imitating each other instead of paying attention to the road ahead.

We are seeing the same thing happen now. Our official dogma of egalitarianism cannot be questioned, and so there are many areas we cannot discuss. Those proliferate as we achieve more equality, because then we see more of the inequality of ability, and in the end, find ourselves vastly confused because ideology conflicts with reality.

Civilizations die because of behaviors which most humans find difficult to limit in themselves. What we think of as “sanity” is relative to the behavior around us; when people begin behaving in insane ways, we intensity the insanity while thinking ourselves sane.

Our morality and actions are referential and deferential to other humans which came before us. This is sometimes called “precedent,” but in reality, it is a trend, and like all trends it starts as an idea, and then other humans emulate it. This inward-looking tendency to a group obliterates any ability to see the whole picture, which requires seeing ourselves as a species struggling for sanity, with history as a record of what did and did not work, and how well those worked.

That measurement invokes concepts that are lost to most, such as scope, duration and quality. Scope means how deeply the effect goes, and other “dominoes” that fall when a concept takes over one area of society and then, in light of its “success,” is applied to others; duration considers for how long it succeeds, and then what the long-term effects are, which are often the opposite of those in the short-term, leading to an inversion because what once seemed good becomes awful; quality refers to how well it succeeds, meaning

We turn away from those complicated questions of the whole picture, and focus on a human-only perspective comprised of ourselves and others, in order to avoid looking at history, our existential needs and how humans as a biological species are subject to Darwinism both as a group and as individuals. The thought of being the victims of natural selection offends us because it means that we are at risk, and cannot survive simply by wanting to, but have to understand how our world works, and are graded on that by our success or failure.

As part of this great indulgence of fear and human wants, groups of people tend to agree on insanity because it makes it easier to endure the fear. The problem with this is that like any trend, this insanity gains momentum and quickly spirals out of control, culminating in reality-denial that subjects the group to the same events that it feared enough to make mention of them taboo.

For those who want to restore civilization, the only successful counter attack is pathological sanity, or a dogmatic insistence on a realistic outlook and discipline of the self to it, such that we are at lesser risk of a natural selection event and also, to beat back the human tendency to crave denial, projection and as a result, solipsism and insanity.

This change is feared by many people because if we implement any hard standard, it means that some will fall below that level and require ejection from civilization. However, if we follow the Darwinistic model, it makes sense that in every generation we will be ejecting people who have deleterious mutations, birth defects, or just general ineptitude that makes them weaker specimens. This, too, is sane.

On the other hand, the prevalence of this fear explains the power of the mental virus known as equality. The notion of equality appeals to the individual because it says that no one will face a loss of social status for being inept, and therefore, that people can feel “safe” from social threats, and that society will do its best to save them no matter what they do. It is an anti-Darwinistic notion.

When we see people cuck, or give in to the tendency to go along with the herd, we are witnessing the power of this fear. It seduces all but the strongest because they are mentally addicted to the vision of a world where they are safe from the consequences of their own actions. That is an illusion, and for that reason becomes insanity when it is portrayed as reality.

Pathological sanity retaliates against this by affirming that life is never safe and that all actions have consequences, and that us hiding those merely prolongs the disaster. In addition, it notes that it is impossible to escape loss of social status for doing something stupid, in that those above the individual on the Dunning-Kruger scale can and will notice the screwup.

The only means of adopting pathological sanity is to invert the fear, and point out that insane and inept people are a bigger threat than our fears for our personal safety. The real safety is found in competence; false safety is found in protection of the individual without regard to their actions and the results — including side effects — of those actions.

As civilization leaves the era of ideology, in which we constructed elaborate theories to justify conditions where the individual was made safe at the expense of the group, focus returns to the organic society. People will be more concerned with the health of the society around them and its future, and less about preserving those who, in the name of fear and safety, insist on equality despite its destructive effects.

Follow the Leader

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Leftism is confusing because to those who are not Leftists, the tendency is to take it seriously. It has the first mover advantage both now and throughout history because it appears as an alternative to the status quo, and because it is unknown unlike the current state of things, it is presumed to be better.

To this date, no one has undertaken a scientific analysis of Leftism, meaning systematic, comparative and analytical inspection of it. Some have come close — Plato, Nietzsche, Burroughs, Kaczynski, Houellebecq and de Tocqueville are leading that pack — but none have gotten to its roots as a human behavior, instead of ideas that humans invent to explain their behavior.

If instead of treating Leftism as a logical reaction by human groups to their environment, we look at it as a behavior of individuals seeking to achieve personal life states, we can see it as a pathology. When an animal acts for internal, finite impulses instead of in response to external conditions or internal principles, that is a pathology.

Think of a dog compulsively scratching when it is scared, or how squirrels hoard nuts obsessively, or how dolphins are compelled to play with already-dead fish. This is the internal reminder that a behavior is good compensating for a lack of understanding of the immediate external world, with the supposition that a behavior that is ordinarily good will be a benefit.

This works for us, generally, as creatures adapting to a world of normally repetitive stimulus: it is never bad to eat, until you get fat; it is never bad to try to reproduce, until you produce too many offspring or mate unwisely and produce low quality offspring; it is never bad to fight or flee, until you cannot recognize actual threats and react to false ones.

Pathologies are a last-ditch attempt by nature to start over from square one. If there is a nuclear war, the dog must eat and reproduce, and if it starts out mixing a German Shepherd and Bichon Frise, that is not ideal, but gives nature a starting point. It will then apply 30,000 years of evolution and make something like a wolf again.

Speaking of wolves, we can see the pathology of Leftism in the economics of a wolf pack. Wolf1 is the leader of the pack, and Wolf2 has challenged him before and lost. Wolf2 turns to wolves three through nine and offers a simple proposition: come with me and be equal wolves under my leadership, and we can get rid of the hierarchy that gives each of you a rank from three through nine.

The target in that case is not the head of the wolf pack, but the ranking that illustrates that Wolf9 is smaller and slower than Wolf7. Wolf9 seeks a pacifism: he no longer wants to fight with Wolf7, nor serve under him, because this way, Wolf9 can feel better about himself. He is also less at risk of losing his rank if Wolf10 enters the pack and decides he wants to be the new number nine.

For Wolf9, there is a chance to remove the obligations to him that ultimately serve to maintain the pack, and this allows him to spend less time on that and more time on what he wants for himself. This is individualism: the individual acting for themselves contra the interests of intangibles like the group as an organic whole, its culture, history and values.

Once one wolf adopts individualism, others will follow. When Wolf3 sees that everyone else is allied against him and Wolf1, he can either try to maintain his current position or, in the time-honored practice of the middle class, agree to equality and then spend more of his time hunting for kills which he will not share with the group. He might get clever and dine exclusively on rabbits, not deer, leaving the rest of the pack to fend for itself.

The wolf behavior described above is a pathology because it shows the wolves acting reflexively in self-interest without considering the consequences of their actions on intangibles like the pack. A pack is made of invisible bonds; while these are important in the actions of the pack, they are not tangible and are assumed rather than observed. It is no different than a wolf eating compulsively.

We might view this pathology as a built-in limit on the power of any species. Once it reaches a certain level of dominion over its environment, the self-destruct process begins. In the pack scenario, it might mean that Wolf1 and Wolf3 go it alone; that type of classical liberal or libertarian outlook only works when two wolves can be as effective as a pack.

This wolf behavior analogizes to The Human Problem, or why all of our civilizations eventually fail, corporations go bad, and even friend groups succumb to entropy. The temptation for us is to say that we will do away with social order, and instead just decide as a group, because that way everyone feels good. Humans love the inherent pacifism of saying that we will no longer struggle to have hierarchy and instead will just accept each other, because that sounds to us like individualism: everyone wants to do whatever they want and the group has to support them. Eventually this becomes something like “from each according to ability, to each according to need,” which always translates into the idea that whoever is neediest gets the most and everyone else takes care of them, much as their families did when they were infants. Explaining order is a hard sell because the only people who understand it are those who would be in command anyway. When there are external threats, the group clings together and demands leaders; when there is no threat, people forget about any future time beyond the time until the next pay check, and indulge in the eternal human conceit that each of us is godlike and should have 100% control of his own future, forgetting that most of us are inept at doing that. When wolves one through three work together, they can keep the rest in check, but if the pack is unusually prosperous, there is no need for leadership and so the pack begins the slow process of self-destructing. In another few generations, the wolf cubs will be chubby with blue hair and tattoos, and demand equal rights for all because (obviously) no leaders are needed.

This type of social order causes a large game of “follow the leader.” People follow social trends because this makes them feel good; since there is no hierarchy, any participation is the same as success, and they are grateful to simply be included, and therefore spend most of their time trying to be part of the group, which effectively makes them blind to reality. They exist in a human-only world where opinions, judgments, feelings, conversations, appearances and emotions matter more than what the consequences of their actions will be. They are now acting according to internal behaviors, compulsively trying to be part of the group much like someone over-eating seeks the safety of food, and this puts their energy into behaving as others do, while noticing that paying attention to the truths of how our world works, natural order and logic, or the results of our actions does not make anyone more popular. The mob has become a runaway chain reaction.

Once you dedicate yourself to avoiding the natural hierarchy of the group, you are dependent upon public opinion, social feelings and consensus — a measure of the lowest common denominator interpretation of any issue that the group will accept — for what is right and true. This makes you pathological, or prone to do the same things independent of the changing external reality.

This transition to consensus-based reasoning breaks the feedback loop between individual and world. Normally, an individual perceives the world and reacts to it, then enters a cycle of assessing the results of that reaction and then fine-tuning the behavior until they reach a balance. When the individual is reacting to the group, there is no fine-tuning, only paying attention to what is trending at the moment.

Leftism creates this game of follow the leader. Clever human monkeys found a way around dealing with their lower social status, but in doing so, they made a devil’s bargain, because now they are dependent on what the rest of the herd thinks, since their leader (“Wolf2” in analogue) will not live forever.

From pack animals, they become herd animals, and eventually reach an order like that of insects where a single dictator presides over the rest. Ants are hated for a reason, namely that insects are almost entirely pathology. They have no brain circuits for reflection, only rote ceaseless behaviors coded in their genetics because they worked enough and so adapt to a minimal level of function.

Humans should decide whether we want to be wolves, sheep or ants, and recognize that the pressure of time and our own bad decisions is striving to make us into ants.

Given the vote, any group of humans will choose illusions over reality and society will begin its way down the path to Communism or something like it. In social terms, it is always right to vote for whatever makes people happy in the short term; it is always wrong to strive for long-term positives as a result, because these involve sacrifice of those short-term happy thoughts.

When you find yourself in a society where it is socially impossible to make accurate observations about your world, you are already in the grips of this decline. People have decided to filter out reality and replace it with what makes other people feel warm and fuzzy about the universe. This eliminates any negative or dark thoughts, resulting only in positive ones and a bias against negativity, which is interpreted in a paranoid fashion where humans assume that anything which will have a negative impact on them is in fact fact negative, when frequently, the negativity is a predictable response to their own unrealistic actions. This creates a feedback loop that systematically eliminates the realistic and replaces it with what humans wish were true. This is why civilizations exist on a spectrum from strong social order to weak social order: over time, people inevitably remove social order and in so doing, destroy the parts of the civilization that they share, resulting in dysfunction and alienation.

In follow-the-leader stages of civilization, trends rule the social and thus political, artistic, academic, and cultural scenes. Most people follow whatever trend they think will make them popular; it is like playing the stock market, but by using conversational and behavioral tropes instead of potential investments. Those who choose well become more popular.

That in turn creates a market for pretense. When everyone is equal, and they are all competing for attention through trends, the question becomes “who are you better than?” and questions of consequences of reality are ignored in favor of posturing, preening and posing. At that point, human social success is determined entirely by symbols and zero percent by reality including the consequences of our actions.

In the West, egalitarianism takes the form of Leftism. If you are egalitarian, you are a Leftist; if you support any order larger than the individual, you are the antithesis of a Leftist. Classical liberals or libertarians are simply a mild version of Leftist that insists on a lack of order and a competition by individuals for the approval of others which is called a “meritocracy,” and never is based on the actual merit of internal traits like intelligence, wisdom, and moral character, but on ability to be obedient in fulfilling the demands of a system designed to regulate all those equal individuals. If you are thinking of the average high school here, with its memorization-based tests and rewards for those who flatter their teachers, that is exactly the order that is produced, and it specializes in churning out people who are obedient to the existing way of doing things and unable to think of any other way that things could be done. It is prized specifically because it alienates thinkers with any depth to them, as those are the ones who discover unpopular and unsociable truths.

The Leftist approach is to take all sides of an issue, then eliminate whichever ones are closest to emphasizing social order. If a new park is proposed, the Leftist pretends to go into deep contemplation and consider all of the issues, but then seizes on the first complaint and uses it to sabotage the proposed plan. If any one person is inconvenienced, the Leftist leaps to their defense, mainly because they are following the trend of egalitarianism itself and expect social reward for it.

Leftism always opposes orders larger than the individual like culture/heritage, morals/religion, and markets because these create hierarchy. Hidden behind this is the Leftist desire to oppose inner traits entirely. Any contest which selects for natural ability or character is bad, and will be replaced by a competition for who does the Leftist version of the original task. For example, debaters are ranked not by who argued well, but by who argued the right thing, much as students are given high grades for repeating what the teacher told them.

The secret here is that humanity is insane. Individuals may achieve sanity in varying degrees, but groups do not, because they are referential to one another and not to the underlying reality or goal of their task. Egalitarianism is hostile to purpose, because that creates an order to implement it, and prefer a society where we all live in apartments, spend hours in rote jobs, and then engage in licentious and self-destructive behavior so that we are equally debased.

For this reason, human society needs order very strongly. We either have good leadership and a social hierarchy which keeps the natural human insanity at bay, or the craziness takes over and the follow-the-leader game ensures that the only voices which will be heard are those which affirm and promote the insanity. Societies play follow-the-leader to their doom, brazenly denying the obvious until it is too late.

People right now are looking for scapegoats for the failure of Western civilization. They would like to blame capitalism, agriculture, technology, ((( The Eternal Jew™ ))), fascism, Christianity, paganism, atheism, or even chance. The truth is that all societies die the same way, which is by revolt of the lower classes, and that this revolt is based in a desire for equality, which consists of the lower social echelons wanting to avoid competition among themselves and therefore insisting on a removal of social order.

While technology did improve conditions, and thus allow the decay to last longer than one would hope, technology is inherent to civilization. Once people start farming or hunting and making complex tools, they will begin to accrue knowledge that will eventually lead to high technology. Every society that rises becomes as technologically more advanced than its neighbors as we are to two thousand years ago.

Egalitarianism however removes the forces that can restrain free markets, technology and the flood of humanity, and in their place create a system of uncontrolled growth and increasingly chaotic behavior which flowers into brutal failure. The most advanced societies are the ones that die out, leaving a humanity of perpetually primitive people in third world conditions as the only “survivors.”

In the West, we have a pretense that the solution is “freedom,” meaning that the good people coexist with the bad and by using their independence, avoid engaging in the same behaviors. What this refuses to take into account is that behaviors have consequences, and when most people are engaged in insane behavior, the sane are reduced to a role of supporting civilization so that the insane can continue.

Freedom is not a goal in itself; given freedom, any group of people will inevitably recreate Communism because humans are inwardly wired for individualism. In one of the cruel paradoxes of nature, this impulse ironically leads to a reduction of their freedom, because when everyone behaves this way, we end up with a society of ants, each acting robotically in order to maintain the “freedom” of others.

The grim truth that none want to face is that we need order, and to have that we need to constantly raise our best people up and task them solely with maintaining that order. They must be lazy, spending most of their days in the type of leisure that forces them to confront boredom and through it, find purpose in understanding their world. They also need to beat down those among them who fall short of this standard.

Western Civilization rose because it produced a disproportionate amount of people of genius and inner strength who were able to create and maintain this order. That backfired, to some degree, because the order allowed lesser people to grow more numerous and begin their agitation. When we do not find a replacement for natural selection, we slowly poison ourselves with excessive genetic waste products, and this is what European aristocrats failed to take into account, mainly because of their noble, generous and tolerant nature.

For the last two centuries and change, we have been indulging in an experiment in not having that kind of order because it requires power and power makes a hierarchy, which trickles down to the lower echelons, where they find themselves competing for minor increases in rank much like gang members constantly fight to see who can be the next big thing. We have made ourselves hostile to the notion that any person can have inherent power and rank in our society, and in so doing, we have opened the door to people who want to use power for their own purposes, a variety of human which was in ancient times referred to as a type of tyrant.

Ancient societies avoided this internal competition by setting up caste systems where everyone had a role appropriate to his intelligence, and the only way to rise was to succeed at that role. This eliminated the infighting and also gave people a sense of purpose.

The bigger principle is that we cannot abolish power: no matter what we do, someone will have power, and so that someone must be someone good, and they must use it according to principles that are realistic not humanistic, which I mean to indicate those ideas which are focused on the idea of self and social group, or what humans prefer to believe about reality versus what it is.

Follow-the-leader is a game of temporary power. Whoever is most popular at the moment, or whatever is trending, takes over our minds as we all compete to gain status by following it, mainly because once we are equal, we are all equally not worth noticing, and so the only path to power is to compete for attention.

A saner approach will be to adopt a pattern of order and purpose. Individuals need to be ranked approximately, so that they are grouped with those like them. There needs to be a goal, so that those who fall short can be exiled or otherwise removed. And there must be constant upward pressure to make our best people — by internal traits — rise above the rest.

It is a fascinating privilege to watch a civilization die. If one were to explain it to a child, the answer would be that everyone goes insane, but the finer nuance is that they follow each other in going insane, creating a feedback loop of illusion. The simple answer of how to avoid this is to note that civilizations, like animals, require an order of the pack and a goal, or things fall apart and no one thrives.

Conservatives, Conserve Heritage; Miscegenation Is Death

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Conservatives are those who conserve, and because not all actions turn out as well, they conserve the best of what is offered. This is the opposite of a utilitarian standard: instead of whatever is “okay” by the lowest common denominator in a large herd, they choose what is best, even if most people are not clear in their understanding of that.

As part of this, conservatives are natural environmentalists, despite mainstream conservatives doing little along these lines. They are also defenders of culture, although mainstream conservatives have done nothing there. But even more, they conserve genetics, which means keeping the best of the past and bearing it forward into the future.

This is why miscegenation is death, as Jared Taylor notes:

There is one argument for anti-miscegenation laws that is stronger now than ever. Whites used to have eight or ten children, but now they are not even replacing themselves, and every out-marriage is a tiny step towards extinction.

…But why preserve a white majority? Is it not because whites have a legitimate yearning for societies that reflect their own nature and culture, and that only whites can build such societies? If, in every generation, 9 percent of whites are contributing to their own demographic dispossession, that alone will ensure that they eventually disappear.

And what about the victims of miscegenation whom Derbyshire himself writes about: the Chinese men who wanted to attack him when they saw him with a Chinese woman, and the black women who hate it when black men chase white women? (Derbyshire leaves out other combinations but they can produce resentments that are just as strong.)

Racial-sexual loyalty is a powerful emotion. Should we just ignore it?

Racial, and more importantly ethnic, loyalty is powerful because it protects something powerful: traits are not just heritable, but genes cluster together in groups to produce those traits, and so when miscegenation — mixing of races and ethnic groups — occurs, not only are some traits lost, but the overall makeup of the ethnic group, like a network of traits, is lost too.

When Germans are 1/4 Korean, they are no longer Germans. They are something new. In the same way, if Germany because 1/4 Polish or Irish, Germans would no longer be Germans, with the same habits and abilities of Germans, but something new that has through a process of genocide replaced the Germans.

Seen through sane eyes, avoiding miscegenation is how a population maintains its health, along with other breeding habits that we have denied because the individualists among us want to believe that what matters is what they intend, not who they are. As Billy Roper writes, ethnic preservation cannot be separated from other healthy breeding practices:

People understood that eugenics, or purposeful, conscious and selective breeding, is just as real for two legged animals as it is for any other variety. They strove for quality in their offspring, which meant that they strove for quality in their mates, whether they were selecting breeding partners for themselves, or as was often the case traditionally, for their children. Not any more, of course. People drag around their accidents of birth like proud badges of martyrdom, forcing them on everyone else, eliciting painfully awkward, nervous grins and tolerance. Or else. Hell, most of you probably think I’m the world’s biggest jerk already, for not wanting to group slobber hug the cast from ‘The Ringer’, which is a funny movie, by the way. Hold on, I get worse.

When people no longer care about the genetic quality of their offspring, when they actively deny that genetic inheritance plays a significant role in intelligence, personality, temperament, and jump shots, they get just what they deserve. When they fail to see that inherited psychological and cognitive characteristics cluster in racial groups, and pretend that “love” is blind to color and really all that matters is a person’s heart, Kumbaya, then they get what they pay for.

Not only did America’s Founding Fathers make it illegal for nonWhites to become citizens of the United States, they also made it illegal for different races to intermarry. A lot of people don’t know that until very recently, those laws were still on the books, too. Anti-miscegenation laws were a part of American law in some States since before the United States was established and remained so until ruled unConstitutional in 1967.

Why would someone care about the genetic health of their offspring, the level of pollution in their rivers, the future of their civilization, or the presence of great art, symphonies and novels? After all, we will all be dead relatively soon, and what happens after that is not directly relevant to us. However, that is not quite the full story either.

We find meaning in life through connection to things larger than us. These can be material things or spiritual things, but either way, by connecting to the world beyond ourselves, we have discovered beauty and importance to life. We cannot make life important on the basis of ourselves as individuals, because we are pursuing tiny pleasures, miniscule powers and transient wealth. We can however discover what is great in life and, through it, find what we value in ourselves.

That drive to virtue is the basis of dislike of miscegenation. It is beautiful that our people have existed for millennia, upholding their values and unique abilities, and conquering many obstacles in order to create great civilizations. It is amazing that all of us, no matter how small, can have a role in that if we choose to do so.

But, in order to do that, we must overcome our egos. This is what is meant by the idea from Toynbee that great civilizations are not killed, but commit suicide, when we pair that idea with another from Plato, which is that in order to know what is true, we must first want to be virtuous and take our place in a complex order where we each have a unique role, but we are not all the same, either as equal individuals or one mass hive-mind.

The ancient Greeks knew that hubris was the death of a civilization. Once people see themselves as more important than any external order — nature, logic, civilization, morality, or religion — they begin to act like squabbling monkeys, fighting over personal importance and temporary issues. The goal is forgotten, and the possibility of anything great is foreclosed.

You can see this individualistic outlook in some recent entertaining Communist propaganda from The New York Times:

Having lived her first 43 years under Communism, she often complained that the new free market hindered Bulgarians’ ability to develop healthy amorous relationships.

“Sure, some things were bad during that time, but my life was full of romance,” she said. “After my divorce, I had my job and my salary, and I didn’t need a man to support me. I could do as I pleased.”

Ms. Durcheva was a single mother for many years, but she insisted that her life before 1989 was more gratifying than the stressful existence of her daughter, who was born in the late 1970s.

“All she does is work and work,” Ms. Durcheva told me in 2013, “and when she comes home at night she is too tired to be with her husband. But it doesn’t matter, because he is tired, too. They sit together in front of the television like zombies. When I was her age, we had much more fun.”

Nevermind that the actual topic of this article is that people in “free” societies work too much. You can also ignore the fact that Communism failed to produce much of anything consistently, where the West built a great industry. The answer is somewhere in the middle, perhaps a capitalist state without any government entitlements or benefits, so that people could work less and have enough. But the real point is that Ms. Durcheva was proud of her days when she did not need a man to support her and could do whatever she wanted.

Whatever she wanted. That is the face of individualism: do not do what is right, or what is meaningful, but what you, the raging ego, decide that you want. Notice that there is no discussion of whether this activity was productive or filled her soul with joy. She was a king in her own little sphere, with her job where she was important and a personal life where she could be free from commitment. Life became not an activity with purpose, but a series of sensations, all dedicated to the individual. That is why we call hubris “individualism” now.

The New York Times only wants to draw more women to Leftism with the promise of being able to do whatever they want. It is the call of manipulation because every human responds to it: the idea that they do not need to struggle for meaning or sanity in life, but can become entirely self-sufficient, separate from nature and the logical results of their actions. They are in control, and no one can make them live up to standards, be good, or even be useful. It is all about the ego, which is both a warm feeling and an infinite abyss.

We face the same problem in explaining why miscegenation is destructive. Why care about anything but the self, my beautiful self? Even if that portends the death of meaning, people do not seek meaning because they do not understand it. When it is there, they appreciate it, but when it is not, they settle for egomania and hollow, simple pleasures.

Avoiding miscegenation is part of a path to meaning. Some of us naturally connect to something larger than ourselves; we are the producers and the civilization-builders. Others do not, and will pretend they are not miserable by rationalizing how much of “muh freedom” and independence they have. But in the end, that is a path to emptiness and death, even if the body lives on.

Individualism and Nature

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

The courtroom filled with vultures and snakes, and each one wanted me dead. As an outsider to this group — coming from one of the outer belt moons instead of a nice, middle-class planet — I was already not one of them, and the fact that I had made their clique look bad was the clincher. This was through no fault of my own.

“All rise…” intoned a bailiff, hand on his stun weapon, eyes on me.

There was the usual boilerplate, introductions, disclaimers, miscellany, and other formalities before I found myself on the stand. The whole trick in court is that when you are on the stand, you see an entirely different room than you did before. Before, you saw the judge. Now, you see a group of people and know that whatever herd instinct they fall into relying upon will decide your fate.

“Describe for us the events of the date in question,” said my lawyer. As far as I could tell, his job was to make a bargain — a compromise, a pragmatic quid-pro-quo — with the other team, and deliver me into an appropriate sentence. On the other hand, in my view, I had done nothing wrong, which is why I was surprised to be arrested hours after the event, where they found me in an unlicensed church. I have no idea how they found me, but fifteen guys in combat gear came in and bodily removed me, and ever since I have been spending time in a locked cell with only a single window to view the world as the finite hours of my life passed by.

The judge nodded, and so I began. “We were a combat scout team deployed to a new and promising world. It had Earth-like temperatures, slightly on the warm side, and dense vegetation resembling that of the Triassic Era of our planet of origin. As scientific advisor, I was sent along to assess feasibility and to serve as second rifleman, which has always been my technical rank in our unit, since I lack the ambition to be formally recognized by military rank.”

“Objection, irrelevant,” said the prosecution.

“Overruled. Irrelevance itself is not against the rules of this Court; he is simply rambling. Witness, keep your attention on the narrative. Go on,” the judge rustled in a bloom of black silk.

“Where was I? Right, so we landed at about 0400 hours. Myself and my fellows — Dak, Zak, Mak, Vak and Hak — went north to the foothills of a mountain range, covering a half-dozen kilometers of jungle and prairie. I took numerous samples which are listed on the evidence table over there. Most of what we sampled were small invertebrates of two varieties. One had webbed wings like an insect, but soft bodies like butterflies, and the other were blind worms that thrashed along the surface of the dirt, eating vegetable matter like a cross between slugs and roundworms.”

I continued, since no one had objected. “Life was bountiful here. We spotted thousands of these little creatures. I kept sampling the air for microbes but found nothing threatening, similar perhaps to the ‘crobes of our own Jurassic period. My impression was that this world had a lot of potential, but that the hotter a world tends to be, the higher the presence of parasitism is because nutrition is easier for organisms in a hot climate, so there is excess which is exploited.”

Sort of like this courtroom, I thought, but did not add.

“Dak, who was ranking as a corporal, said we should acquire a vantage point to see if we could observe any large animals, as we had not seen any for some time. We climbed a small mountain or large hill, depending on how you look at it, and found ourselves on a jungle plateau. I took additional samples here which were lost somehow after my arrest, although they were in the custody of the military-scientific liaison group. My defense team has petitioned for these but received no answer.”

“Objection, hearsay,” said the prosecution.

“Sustained.”

I sighed. “These activities took us until mid-day, at which point it was decided to break for rations. Having covered quite a bit of ground, we were famished. We broke out rations, heated them, and started to eat, then Hak found a tea bag — ”

“Objection, witness is trying to deflect,” said the prosecution.

I waved them off and continued. “A teabag was found. It was decided that water was needed. One member of the team was either dispatched or dispatched himself to find water, over my objections, since we had not sample any aquatic life and so had zero verification of its safety. However, it was decided by ranking leadership that water itself, if properly boiled, could not harm us. But through this act, our doom was decided.”

As it turned out, Hak had found quite a beautiful little pool. Surrounded by gentle trees, with a soft breeze rushing over it, it was the loveliest and most inviting pool I had ever seen. These guys would not care about that, so I continued: “We found a small pond. At this point, it was blazingly hot — the notes are in my after-action report, if you can find it — and so Zak asked permission to strip down and go for a swim. Morale was sort of low at this point, since we had quarreled over whether there could be water for tea, and so over my objections, leadership decided that we should have a swim.”

“At that point, the events in question began. The others got into the water, but I refused to go, even when told by a commanding officer to do so. In my view, his order was illegal because we had not yet sampled the water to see what kind of life, if any, was in it. This is detailed in my report, which I do not see on the evidence table, where I felt strong objections to going into the water.”

The prosecution flexed his fingers below his chin. “And so, at this point, you began to resent your colleagues?”

I thought. “No, I would not call it resentment. I was determined not to follow them in their folly, mainly for the risk of bringing an unknown organism with multiple life-stages — think of a liver fluke — back onto our craft. It was bad procedure and there was no way I could ever agree to it. I would do the same today, honestly.”

A murmur went up from the crowd, earning a hawk-eye of disapproval from the judge.

I went on. “At this point, the group was fairly agitated. They were having fun splashing around, and were finally free from the heat. I wished for the same, but not through their methods. They started to call to me where I was seated on the bank of the pond.

‘Don’t be such a fag, get in here!’

‘Always a spoilsport. Quit being such a bitch.’

‘We’re all doing it, why are you such a nerd?’

‘Whatsamatter, what’s good for us isn’t good enough for you? Such a little prince, nose in the air.’

‘He thinks he’s too good for us! What a bigot!’

And so on. I have to say here that I did not particularly take heed of this, as I am told that such ribbing is in the tradition of our unit, so I had mentally filed it under camaraderie instead of antagonism. But after they had been in the pool for just, well, about two or three minutes, something changed.”

The silence in the courtroom made other sounds loud. I could hear the electricity arcing through the lights above, and the fan on the computer the court reporter was using. Even through the thick insulated doors, the mutterings of the crowd outside reached me. My stepfather and surrogate mother were out there somewhere, probably disappointed with me as they had been my whole life, except when I finally got appointed to this team which I had, in their view, screwed up.

All eyes were on me. “I noticed it first with Mak. He had been swimming in little circles, but then he started wriggling.”

“Wriggling — ?” the prosecution asked me.

“Yes, shaking, squirming, moving uncomfortably, like a weird dance or an uncomfortable child. It was an odd motion, now that you mention it, and that must be why it caught my eye. I called out to him and he turned to me. Dak told me to shut up. But as Mak turned, I saw that he was writhing in pain, and that there were… creatures in the water around him. There may or may not have been samples taken, and if they were, they were filed along with my after-action report, alive, but I do not see the chit on the table either. I will describe these creatures.”

The court remained silent. If I were on a power trip, or just an egomaniac like most people, I would have relished this moment. “They were about ten centimeters long, and were segmented worms with an outer carapace, like Earth millipedes or centipedes, but instead they had mouths like a lamprey inside a little armored head, like a tiny placoderm. And in place of legs, they had little flippers that were like the bodies of tiny flat snakes, so not bony like ordinary fish fins or flippers, which are usually a mammalian or bird adaptation. Any samples that I may have taken were extracted very carefully from the surrounding water using medical tweezers and a solid glass, kevlar-topped sample container.”

“But I am getting ahead of myself. Before I took the samples, I was talking to Mak. The others had stopped swimming at that point. Mak was in the deepest water, and he was doing this writhing dance, but was clearly not drowning. Then he turned to us, and opened his mouth, and inside of it I saw all of these creatures thrashing as they dove into his flesh. He looked at me with tense eyes, clearly in pain, and then the creatures thrust upward and all the life went out of those eyes as they ate the brain. He was dead before he sank into the water.”

A ripple of emotion cross the courtroom, bounced off the far wall, and lapsed into the middle in an entropy caused by lack of actual caring.

“At this point, I yelled to Dak to get the others out of the water. Zak started slashing at the water, and said, ‘They’re coming in through my penis!’ at which point the others started heading toward shore. But it was too late. They each started to do the death-dance, the little creatures having drilled into them and then attached their limbs to one another so that they formed a big rope, which then was sucked into the body where they began to feast. Piranhas and candiru have nothing on these little guys.”

The judge waved for me to go on.

“Before they died, Dak and Vak called for me to save them. They wanted me to pull them out of the water, or use my shock rifle to help. The problem is that the shock rifle would have killed them as well, and that going into the water would have put me in danger.”

Aha! The prosecution leaned in and said, “Isn’t it your job to go into danger in service of your comrades?”

The entire audience sat back. This was the moment they were waiting for, when the person who violated the sanctity of the herd would be punished.

I thought, and then said slowly, “There is no part of the rule book that says I am obligated to destroy myself to rescue a doomed comrade. You will see in my defense brief a listing of military cases where soldiers refused to aid those who had made bad decisions and doomed themselves. As it stated in our military book of law, there is no general obligation to render aid to another where rendering such aid would not change the outcome. And in my view, there was no hope in this case.”

“And on what authority did you make that determination?” sneered the prosecution, angry that his guillotine moment was over.

“The timing. Mak died in a matter of minutes, but even before that, he was beyond saving because his internal organs had been consumed. They eat the brain, heart and lungs last, probably to keep the meat as fresh as possible during their feasting. From the fact that these organisms had already entered their bodies, I knew that my comrades were doomed, and by their own choice, against my advice.”

The prosecution swept toward me, his robe forming dark wings behind him with the sudden movement. “But you were not the ranking officer here, so it was not your decision to make,” he said.

“No, I was not. However, I was the only scientific officer, and this was a scientific and not military question. There was no military objective in the pond. Nor was there any part of our mission that covered the pond, or I would have objected until we brought equipment that would allow us to safely sample the creatures within. None of the others had scientific training or background with biology, as I did. And so I had to make the determination on that basis.”

The courtroom fell into a complete lack of energy. The moment was defused. The excitement was gone. I had stood up to the crowd and, whatever they did to me, they would have to lie about it in order to make it seem like my defense had no basis. Then again, with so much of my evidence missing, I had zero expectation of fairness. But I went on.

“Seconds later, all four of the survivors were doing the writhing dance with increasingly frequency, like Mak had done in the moments before his brain was consumed and he lost consciousness, leading to animal death. In sequence, they each turned toward me, opening their mouths so I could see the swarming mass, and then the eyes went out as the creatures dove in and ate the brain. Then they fell back into the water, and the mass of creatures converged upon them, eating everything. They were even able to consume bone, which is why I was careful to use the bite-resistant sample container. They ate everything — eyes, sinews, hair, bone, and teeth — and left only the contents of the intestines. Three minutes, maybe, after the event began, all that remained of my comrades were five heaps of dung on the bottom of the pond, which I could see through the clear water.”

“In my opinion, we encountered a world that stayed in its Triassic-like state but for some reason, kept earlier creatures around from the Devonian era. These evolved, but instead of becoming new creatures, became more effective versions of themselves. The planet may have simply been too rich with life to squeeze creatures into new forms. Needless to say, this explained why we saw few larger creatures. These nasty little attack-worms normally feasted on the blind and idiotic invertebrates who moved randomly and so, inevitably, ended up in the pools where they were eaten. But any larger creature that came to drink water would have been destroyed immediately, so the parasites blocked further evolutionary potential.”

The prosecution fulminated in a corner. Seeing this, the judge asked, “In your mind, did you do anything wrong?”

I pursed my lips. This smelled like a trap. “The question is not in my mind, your honor. Human reasoning comes in three varieties: deference to the individual, or individualism; deference to the group, or collectivism; and deference to principle, logic, knowledge of nature, science and other abstractions that reflect an understanding of how the world works. Ironically, while the first two are purely social determinations, religion and philosophy belong to the latter, because they too are based on principles of how our world is composed and how acts in it tend to resolve, and from that, how to make the most of what we have. I defer only to science, somewhat, but even more, logic.”

“There was no way to save those men once they went into the pond. At that point, they had to be considered infected because of the presence of a parasitic species in the pond which our science does not yet know how to counter. For me to touch them was to risk exposing myself to the parasite, and it was more important for the safety of those to follow that this information be passed along. Their loss was a result of their choices.”

At this point, the courtroom returned to an uproar. Blaming the victim! Desecrating the dead! The energy returned back to the lifeless room. The bailiff hustled me out because he was afraid that the crowd might attack. But I knew this was theater. The real attack would come through the judge who, apologetically shrugging, would explain that from the necessity of keeping the group together, I, too, had to be sacrificed. And that is what happened. As it turned out, the ship taking me to an off-world penal colony suffered a fire, and had to crash-land on a distant moon, putting me right back to where I started. But that is a story for another time.

How Political Correctness Paired With “The Customer Is Always Right” To Make the New Totalitarianism

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

As the Alt Right struggles to find its new direction while other Right-wing movements fade away, some of us offer a radical piece of advice: it should face the grim fact that our downfall has come through our own bad decisions, which arose from a selfishness and desire for power that led us to deny the natural order of life, and so our solution lies in undoing these bad decisions by replacing them with healthier goals.

For us to do this, it makes sense to inspect in depth the mistakes of the past so that we can recognize in each a fundamental principle, and through that, avoid repeating that principle in a new form. Principles are invisible; they can only be found by understanding the structure of an idea. They repeat in entirely different-looking forms, and when we do not recognize them, they cause us to repeat the same mistakes.

What rankles the Alt Right begins with a typical Leftist behavior, namely the tendency to change thought by making certain methods or ideas taboo. When you cannot use the appropriate method or idea, any given task or issue becomes “inverted,” or comes to mean the exact opposite of its original meaning because the thought process required to understand it is prohibited but its inverse is not. Language shifts and soon, everything in society is upside-down, and nothing means what it should.

One of the prime methods for this in our present time is the issue against which the Alt Right stacks “free speech”: political correctness, or the habit of making certain topics, notions and words off-limits in order to invert the meaning of the issues to which they refer. One explanation of why this is destructive comes from a striking critique based in utility, not morality:

[I] agree with Peter Thiel that political correctness is important in sustaining the stagnation of the West. It’s not even the particular topics that can’t be discussed. It’s the cowardice and the getting in the habit of constantly watching what you are saying that leads to a suppression of intellectual daring and genuinely creative thought.

Early on here I was named by a man who made a living from wind energy as one of the top 10 climate deniers on Quora. A strange honour, I suppose, but also just a little sinister. One had the sense that there was a gunning for such people because one by one they were banned and suspended. Baiting people into saying something that could be considered a violation of the cult of nice, something easy to achieve when you are close to a moderator. Probably it would have happened to me too, except I mostly write about other topics and some people liked what I wrote. If I worked for a big company with a bureaucratic social media policy, possibly it would have been much more effective.

The context is people have proposed criminal sanctions against those with differing views about causation of fluctuations in climate and what if anything we should do about it. Combined with the social ganging up I described above, do you not think this is likely to have a chilling effect on peoples’ expressions of ideas in this domain, and perhaps also in others.

Most people are smart enough not to disagree with the consensus of the group. The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. Group think isn’t some esoteric mildly interesting phenomenon but is at work every day in human groups, large and small. If there had been more people like Michael Burry, the financial crisis wouldn’t have happened. But, as Peter Thiel says, what does it say about us as a society that it’s the mildly autistic and more that are able to go against group norms and those who are more neurorypical don’t do that. It wasn’t always like this, and it probably won’t be in future.

A healthy society needs to be able to tolerate dissent, even about painful or controversial topics. The way to regulate conversation is to replace bureaucracy with good manners, because those can be much more adapted to changing and heterogeneous situations and are less susceptible to being exploited by opportunistic players that game the system. See also Scott Welch’s response below, about which I make no further comment. Except to say that the language used in his answer and in the comments is a pretty nice illustration that Quora does not appear to be serious about creating a forum where people are expected to exhibit nice and respectful behaviour (let alone good manners). BNBR is used as a weapon to shut out dissenting views (see Solzhenitsyn below) – but there’s a lack of seriousness about it. It’s one instrument but one that’s wielded according to the belief systems – and, more problematically, values – of the people running Quora.

Solzhenitsyn at Harvard: Harvard Commencement Address (A World Split Apart):

Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day. There is no open violence such as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to match mass standards frequently prevent independent-minded people giving their contribution to public life. There is a dangerous tendency to flock together and shut off successful development. I have received letters in America from highly intelligent persons, maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, to blindness, which is most dangerous in our dynamic era. There is, for instance, a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation. It works as a sort of a petrified armor around people’s minds. Human voices from 17 countries of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia cannot pierce it. It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events.

Ultimately it doesn’t really matter if the most pro-PC people accept these arguments or not, because the world is already changing. People increasingly value an unpolished authenticity, and I don’t think anything is going to stop this new trend from developing now it has gotten started.

This is a basic utility argument: when some ideas are taboo, it prevents them from being discussed at all, and this is enforced by decentralized totalitarianism where the majority of people refuse to engage with these ideas from fear of ostracism and retribution, so they simply fall into a memory hole and disappear entirely from public consciousness.

Equality itself gives rise to this phenomenon. When all people are equal, all viewpoints must be tolerated, but this quickly comes into conflict with the noticing of natural inequalities — mostly between social classes, but also including sex, ethnic group, race and sexual preference — which means that some of the equal people will feel marginalized.

Compound this with the fundamental method of equality, which is to “make” people equal by Robin Hood style actions involving taking from the more-successful and giving to the less-successful, or in other words, defending the underdog as a categorical practice. Whenever someone more-successful is in conflict with someone less-successful, the more-successful person is attacked.

Aha. This gives us the root of political correctness, which is that if one of the equal citizens finds himself being observed to be unequal, the right way to fix this is to penalize the person who notices the inequality. Given the power of the Dunning-Kruger effect, this means that only those with the brains to observe reality semi-correctly are censored, and idiocy is given center stage in the ultimate inversion.

Naturally, this leads to domination of the less-successful — who are most likely lower in caste, intelligence, wealth, power, class and competence — over the success. The weak eat the strong because the Crowd enables the weak. Witness this in action in an otherwise advanced legal system where noticing caste differences is a crime:

Calling a Dalit by his caste with a view to insulting him or her is an offence under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), the Supreme Court has ruled, upholding the conviction of two persons in Tamil Nadu.

…”The word ‘pallan’ no doubt denotes a specific caste, but it is also a word used in a derogatory sense to insult someone (just as in North India the word chamar denotes a specific caste but it is also used in a derogatory sense to insult someone).

…”In our opinion, uses of the words ‘pallan’, ‘pallapayal’ ‘parayan’ or ‘paraparayan’ with intent to insult is highly objectionable and is also an offence under the Scheduled Cast/ Scheduled Tribe Act. It is just unacceptable in the modern age, just as the words ‘Nigger’ or ‘Negro’ are unacceptable for African-Americans today ,” the bench said.

Equality always goes this way. Diversity just makes it easy because it enables the herd to analogize caste to race, and in our modern egalitarian agenda, racial discrimination is the worst sin ever. This may go back to the days when Americans allied with China and had non-whites serving in its military, and so had to ban discrimination as it threatened loyalty to the State.

Egalitarianism itself mandates diversity. If all people are equal, all races are equal. And nothing seems more discriminatory and inegalitarian than singling someone out for something he cannot control, namely a condition he was born with such as race or caste. Equality must be achieved, and to do that, all differences between people must be eliminated or hidden, in this case by social taboo.

What this means is that in our minds, the idea of equality becomes a runaway train that rolls right over every aspect of life. This egalitarian outlook leads to a type of inward focus that becomes a paralyzing narcissism:

The cause of our narcissism is equality. Not equality before the law, where everyone is bound by the same legal code. That is a fundamental right and necessary for justice, freedom, and happiness in a democracy. I’m referring to equality of conditions—our economic well-being and social status, the material aspects of equality Europeans experienced when they broke from the caste system of their homeland, shedding aristocracy and an impenetrable class structure that denied them access to material wealth and limitless possibilities.

…But equality, like freedom, has its dark side. Just as too much freedom leads to libertinism, anarchy, and destruction, equality (or the expectation of equality) leads to entitlement, self-centeredness, isolation, idealism of human perfectibility and progress, autonomous individualism, materialism, and ultimately despotism.

As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “One must recognize that equality, which introduces great goods into the world, nevertheless suggests to men very dangerous instincts…it tends to isolate them from one another and to bring each of them to be occupied with himself alone. It opens their souls excessively to the love of material enjoyments.” It makes him a narcissist.

Who is de Tocqueville restating here? He is channeling Plato, who famously said:

The State demands the strong wine of freedom, and unless her rulers give her a plentiful draught, punishes and insults them; equality and fraternity of governors and governed is the approved principle. Anarchy is the law, not of the State only, but of private houses, and extends even to the animals.

Father and son, citizen and foreigner, teacher and pupil, old and young, are all on a level; fathers and teachers fear their sons and pupils, and the wisdom of the young man is a match for the elder, and the old imitate the jaunty manners of the young because they are afraid of being thought morose. Slaves are on a level with their masters and mistresses, and there is no difference between men and women.

At last the citizens become so sensitive that they cannot endure the yoke of laws, written or unwritten; they would have no man call himself their master.

With these two views of the same thing, we see the problem with equality: without focus on something outside of the self, people become obsessed by the self like a golden calf or the One True Ring, and pursue it with a mania like addiction, because like all good dependencies it provides brief relief from noticing drab reality, and then as the situation settles back into normalcy, requires more of the drug.

Diversity serves this pressure for inward focus by enacting a pincer strategy on civilization: one claw of the pincer is increased alienation and atomization, and the other is a need for self-validation in order to keep the addiction going. People simultaneously flee the public sphere and cling zombie-like to ideology.

All of this arises from the need to “create” equality through banning negative but true observations about the lower castes. Diversity happens in parallel with the maniacal, Soviet need to enforce equality for other groups — women, homosexuals, transgenders, odd religions, the retarded — because both originate from the same root in egalitarianism, and naturally and inevitably develop into these special interest “identity” politics.

This identity in turn reflects a lack of actual identity, because egalitarianism has eaten that right up, and instead a need to find some reason why one is special and hopefully a victim, because that way the individual deserves to be made more-equal through wealth and power transfer from the more successful. This is the crisis of identity:

But the truly notable thing about today is not so much the obsession with identity – it’s the instability of identity. Humans have been hunting for identity for centuries. The instinct to define ourselves, to project ourselves into the world, is strong. And there’s nothing wrong with it. What’s new today is that identity has become an incredibly subjective phenomenon. ‘I identify as…’ Where once an individual’s identity was informed, or shaped, by experience and belief, through an engagement in the public sphere or with a party or association, today identities are self-consciously and often defensively constructed. The NYT, in its description of 2015 as the year of identity, asked: ‘How do you identify? [W]hat trait or aspect of your being is central to your idea of yourself, and your relationship to the world?’ The keyword here is your. The NYT doesn’t ask ‘What are you?’ or ‘Who are you?’, which would speak to a strong sense of being something; it asks what ‘aspect of your being’ is most important to ‘your idea of yourself’. ‘Being’ is treated almost as something external to the individual, a thing to be mined for ‘traits’ we might identify with. Identity is not something we are or we experience; it is a technically cultivated category, built from ‘traits’ and ‘aspects’ to give ‘an idea of yourself’.

What the NYT and many others describe as new era of identity politics is in fact an era in which the historical, traditional underpinnings of identity have been ruptured, or even destroyed, unleashing an often desperate search for new identities, a rush for self-identification, for shallow identity construction. The subjectivity of human identity in the 21st century is striking, and alarming. Today, to feel something is to be something.

Arising from the nature of equality itself, identity politics speaks to a need for self-validation, which is the second claw of the pincer. There is no identity outside of the self, so people look for a group to join, but since this is not related to any actual membership, it becomes entirely symbolic. The individual wants a position from which they are able to justify their narcissism.

Not only that, but any existing identity that is actual threatens their ability to choose any identity they want, which in turn limits them to being what they are, which violates equality. The manic, all-devouring instinct of Leftism toward culture, religion, heritage, race, ethnic group, customs, calendar, cuisine and even symbols comes from this need to be the determiner of their own identity.

Equality makes people into crazed individuals, gazing inward and finding nothing, thus trying on different identities as a means of being special enough and marginalized enough to have power in a society that is constantly pushing people downward in order to enforce equality. The root of this churn lies in the nature of Leftism itself:

It is Liberalism that believes in the Autonomous Individual, it is Liberalism that always hides its real beliefs, it is Liberalism that has turned us from Nations into mere economies.

…Lying is the only way they can gain support so they do. They never talk about the Autonomous Individual instead they talk about freedom, about freedom of choice and other such nonsense. Why?

Because the Autonomous Individual has no need of a country, or a family, or a God, or anything. It is a life of hopelessness and pointlessness and they know it. They don’t talk about it because they see a perfect world and the Autonomous Individual lives in that perfect world. But if they went to the next election talking about people getting to live in a perfect world people would reject them and they know that. They never talk about where their philosophy leads because to any sane person it holds absolutely no appeal. Who wants to live a life were they have no family, no roots, no history and no future, only today repeated endlessly until death?

Political correctness is the vanguard of Leftism. Like the outer shell of a virus, it merges with the wall of a cell, making it think that the virus is part of itself. Then, the virus enters and reprograms that cell with its own DNA, so that the cell propagates the virus, sacrificing itself in the effort.

Pair that with “Keeping Up With The Joneses,” which in this case is symbolic, and people begin excluding dangerous ideas while repeating obvious lies, just so that they stay relevant and are part of the in-group that gets all the wealth and power. They will eventually adopt a victimhood pose through the identity Olympics, and act out increasingly extreme versions of egalitarian idealism.

Enter another cliché: “The Customer is Always Right.” This is the basis of mercantile middle class ethics and explains how societies are taken over by bad ideas. Bad ideas are always popular because they are simpler, and therefore make the person considering the idea feel more powerful for having this simple, clear and absolute bottom line. No merchant will refuse a customer the right to purchase an illusion. For this reason, business and law follow public opinion, and when enough people are keeping up with the Joneses by being politically correct, the governments and corporations follow suit.

From this, all of the evils of civilization decline flow, and the society goes out like Rome, anesthetized to its own decline because the way that individuals succeed is by jumping on the bandwagon. What is right, is wrong. All values have been inverted. And so the people of that society play follow the leader all the way to their eventual doom.

Our only hope of avoiding this is not to fight political correctness, but to orient our civilization toward a different direction entirely, one in which what is true, right, sensible, logical and leads to the good is more important than our selves and our individualism. This requires a breakaway group who will rise above the rest, who seek authenticity so thoroughly that they aspire to a society of virtue:

In the succeeding generation rulers will be appointed who have lost the guardian power of testing the metal of your different races, which, like Hesiod’s, are of gold and silver and brass and iron. And so iron will be mingled with silver, and brass with gold, and hence there will arise dissimilarity and inequality and irregularity, which always and in all places are causes of hatred and war. This the Muses affirm to be the stock from which discord has sprung, wherever arising; and this is their answer to us.

The primary idea of virtue is that we, as individuals, are less important than the patterns of reality that show us how to adapt to our world. The inversion of this idea, individualism, arises from the Renaissance™ and Enlightenment™ and holds that the human individual is the new order that replaces nature, and therefore we can ignore both the physical aspects of nature that our wealth and technology have conquered, as well as the pattern-order of nature that determines what thrives and what dies in the long term.

Virtue commands that we eschew individualism in favor of purpose, and that this purpose must be like that of nature, which is an aristocratic and relentlessly aggressive drive toward constant improvement. Our society beat back the wolves and starvation, but it cannot beat the cycles of time and the logical way in which nature works. Virtue is the ultimate realism.

Right now, our civilization has fallen, which was formalized in the World Wars. All of our decisions leading up to those were based on individualism. If we want to rise again, and at the core of the Alt Right is a desire that we do, we will need to rediscover our virtue and discard the individualism that leads to political correctness and eventually, downfall.

Hubris, Odysseus, Captain Ahab And Saruman

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Perhaps you are tired of hearing about hubris, a concept which like all good ones is easy to grasp but has many nuances. Who wants to hear that there is an order to nature, and human order imitates it, so we have a hierarchy based on intelligence and moral character? This means that most of us are Indians and there are only a few Chiefs.

Upsetting.

The point of avoiding hubris, however, is that then each person finds themselves in a place where they are both not threatened by excessive competition, and able to excel in what they do. A peasant acting as a king would fail; a peasant as a peasant is within his element. Balance, order and sanity are restored.

Human history resembles a cycle by which people come along, ignore the natural order, rise above their place in the hierarchy, and then destroy not only themselves but the work of others. Great tragedies come from this, including the eradication of entire civilizations. This is why the ancients identified hubris as the core problem of humanity.

Perhaps the most famous tale of hubris is The Odyssey. In it, Odysseus is praised for being a crafty, wily, cagey and sometimes deceptive man. But before he can be at peace with his powerful intellect, he has to get over the arrogance which he displays as a kind of “tee hee I’m so clever” hipster-style behavior. The whole point of the book is his voyage to conquer himself.

The Bible references hubris as well, carrying that ancient idea into modernity. In the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree, they are attempting to gain the knowledge of God, which would be rising above their place in the hierarchy. Their hubris gets them exiled from the garden.

In another story, King Ahab — one of the “bad” Jewish kings that coincide with a rise in pretense in the nation — made himself notorious by marrying a pagan woman, Jezebel, and turning toward worship of idols, which are physical objects pretending to be gods. Idolatry is important because it confuses method or symbol with purpose or goal.

When the purpose of an act is to worship the divine, and the method of worship, which is fashioning a symbol or a symbolic object for the divine, becomes confused with that purpose when people worship the idol instead of the divine, religion has been inverted. In ancient cultures, they were well aware of the risk of finding facts to fit a theory instead of a theory to fit the facts, and that is exactly what inversion is.

Ahab gave his name to one of the most distinctive characters in Western literature. Captain Ahab, who destroys himself and others in pursuit of a white whale, provides the archetype of modern fiction: people caught by the lure of hubris, pursuing some object that gives them power so that no one can tell them what they cannot do. It is the quest for freedom, revealed as the lust for power that it is.

To realists, freedom is kind of a bad joke. We recognize that most people need only a small amount of leeway to be happy, that they need a goal, and that some acts are destructive and must be minimized if not outright prevented, and so “freedom” is a substitute for doing what is right, which is to encourage the good and discourage the bad. But humans perpetually seek freedom, a kind of hubris in that they are no longer restrained to act exclusively within their part of the hierarchy.

Moby-Dick was probably the inspiration behind The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s study of the pursuit of an object that grants unlimited power to its wearer. This ring represents the human lust for hubris and having no one who can tell you what not to do. And yet, having people who can tell others what not to do is the basis of not just value systems but hierarchy itself.

The ring reveals the nature of our desire for power, which is really a form of hubris:

In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien writes about a mysterious ring that essentially dominates the minds of those who possess it. Many theories have been written about the ring and what it symbolizes, including that it is a metaphor for technology or even language itself. I suggest that Tolkien told us exactly what the ring meant: it is referred to as “the ring of power,” and power is what it wields. We might describe power as meaning the ability to control without a natural parallel, or power for its own sake. This separates the type of power the ring wields, which is a freedom from natural consequences, from the might of a king which involves nurturing what exists and improving its prospects. The ring allows a person to detach from the rules of nature and in secret — because its power hides them from view — doing what they wish for themselves alone.

The irony of the ring — based loosely on the tale of the ring of the Lydian Gyges in Plato and the ring in the Nibelungenlied — is that it changes its wearer. They gain power, invisibility and immortality but in turn, they become servants of the ring because it replaces their motivation toward life with a will for power alone. Hubris destroys civilizations and makes us all slaves to the false hierarchy of power, in which there are a few in control and a vast mass of equals who are used as a mass.

The one consistent attribute of power is that it requires turning the rest of the world into a means-to-the-end of the perpetuation of that power. It is an addiction. We can all imagine a king in this position, but more commonly, each individual desires power, and if they take the path of hubris, they are then forced to fight to maintain their status, like a gang member in prison.

Nowhere is this made clearer than in the parable of Saruman in Lord of the Rings. Born a wizard, he sought to rule Middle Earth along with arch-nemesis Sauron. This quickly led him out of his depth, and Sauron — who had even less of anything in his soul besides a lust for power — quickly manipulated Saruman to his doom. Thus it always goes, when hubris is the agenda.

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