Posts Tagged ‘morality’

Discovering The Nature Of “Control”

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Amerika has taken the lead on the Right in criticizing the unifying method of our society: control, which serves only the individualistic ego, as opposed to cooperation, which requires a purpose and therefore invokes questions like “who are we?” and “what should we be doing?” which make it unsuitable for consensus politics.

Control is a philosophy of mass motivation: break people down into individuals motivated by external material reward, create a fungible crowd, demand that it do and believe the same things, and keep it individuals in constant fear that they will “stand out” from the crowd as having violated the fundamental principle of the crowd, and simultaneously motivate them to “stand out” by demonstrating their allegiance to the idea that unites the crowd. This creates a mass of people who are fundamentally inert in their confusion but can be used as means to an end; the trap in control is that control only serves itself, and those who hope to use control find themselves being swallowed up by it. Control is at first power, and later, inversion of the will through its enslavement to the need to continue and further control.

More voices on the Right are joining a critique of the nature of control:

This system, which still dominates the present-day power structure, has some troubling aspects that help to explain the growing dysfunction and decline of our society. I want to draw attention to two in particular.

First, because power is based on control rather than on ownership, there is a constant need to justify it through appeals to the emotions of the masses. Rather than being defined by the interests of the masses, democracy is defined by what can be sold to the masses, which is definitely not the same thing. Secondly, the need to demonstrate competence outweighs the need to have actual competence.

The great irony is that these two characteristics are produced by a system dedicated to efficient control and getting results, but in effect they work against efficiency and results.

The defining attribute of control is its focus on external features and motivations. This pairs handily with equality, which insists that people are essentially the same, and that changes in behavior and motivation are regulated by their position in society, wealth, power, education, social group and other factors that are outside of their personalities.

External factors are those, in other words, outside of individuality itself: the moral and realistic choices of an individual based on what that person understands and values. The “understanding” portion of that calculus involves a good deal of genetic determinism, since intelligence and most preferences are biological in nature and thus heritable.

Control can only be opposed by cooperation, which requires a sharing of purpose and values, both of which arise from internal traits and are assessed through gut instinct and intuition including aesthetics. Cooperation unites unequal individuals in the pursuit of a shared goal, knowing that while each may benefit differently, all achieve the baseline benefit of reaching that goal.

The way to understand inner traits is to explore the nature of thinking:

We discover true hypotheses by attaining to a clear knowing, by achieving a transparency of thinking. (Such transparency must, in practice, be achieved actively – not least by rejecting false assumptions.)

Truth is then seen – but it is not imposed on us; it is possible to know and to deny (that is a consequence of human agency, or free will).

The proper conduct of science involves attaining this clear seeing – which is a question of attitude, which is dependent on motivation: on wanting, more than anything, to know.

External thinking does not focus on clear understanding of the world, but instead is inward looking toward human individuals and their impulses or reactions to stimulus. Internal thinking is more reflective, contemplative and most of all, quiet. It suppresses the cacophony of desires, whims and responses that normally fill the human mind, and sees the world as close to as it is as possible.

What this leads us to is the most interesting of hybrids: a realist approach to philosophy, anchored in the fundamental ideas of religion, namely that for those who can think, clarifying the mind, finding eternal values and pushing aside the dual social and emotional impulses of humanity to discover something approximating a moral adaptation to existence.

False Accountability

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

When control is handed over to the Crowd, all definitions become inverted because people modify them to exclude recognition of socially-damaging realities. And so, “fairness” comes to mean penalizing the good so the bad can thrive, and “accountability” means judgment by public opinion, which sees only appearance and misses what accountability actually addresses, which is responsibility for real-world results.

One reason majorities in the West are so despairing is that accountability works against us. If we act in any way that the herd disapproves of, we are punished, so we cannot retaliate against or stop those who are doing destructive things. It does not matter what the law is, or the truth is, but if we fit into the script that the herd uses of the angelic minority versus the sadistic majority, we are punished.

This makes people despairing and miserable. As it becomes clear that, under law and morality, power goes to the minority, people invent new minorities to be part of. You can get away with a lot more if you are homosexual, transgender, a religious minority, female, or an ethnic minority than you can as a normal, heterosexual member of the majority.

We have written impotence into law. In defense of the weakest, we have destroyed the strong. This occurs because people invert definitions out of fear. The idea of “equality” naturally becomes punishment of the strong because the weak are not as strong, so they must be subsidized at the expense of those who do not need to be compensated.

The West is dying because its people have given up. The rules that seemed moral and good turn out to be evil; the society which tries to be successful in turn destroys itself. Human intent inverts the order of external reality because humans fear anything outside of their solipsistic egos, and so alter how we think about the world, in turn making a hellish Utopia in which nothing sane can long survive.

The momentous choice on the cusp of the political singularity

Monday, November 7th, 2016

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Imagine a spacecraft whose captain has succumbed to space madness being drawn ever faster towards its doom at the center of a collapsed dead star, a black hole. Upon any of the crew who express concern at their impending fate, the captain inveighs condemnations, declaring them hateful and divisive.

It does not matter how she rationalizes her mad quest to join the gravitational singularity; what matters is that if the few remaining crew who retain their sanity fail to stop the captain and then make immediate course corrections, they will all end up dead and compacted into a neat burial in the universe’s deepest grave.

Action is necessary, but the choice to live is binary. After a successful mutiny the range of directions the spacecraft will take is wide, and a small change in velocity before the near miss with the singularity will have a huge effect on which direction they end up speeding off afterwards, due to the gravitational slingshot effect the huge mass of the black hole provides. After the rendezvous, the high momentum will make changes in direction require more energy. As such, the mutineers must give thought to where they’d like to end up now, while they’re escorting the captain to the airlock (“Airlock her out! Airlock her out!”).

The gravity of this election provides us a similar opportunity.

The news media have exchanged their valuable but ephemeral capital of public trust for election influence, and while this will cost them in the future as their audience turns elsewhere, for the moment it has bought them what they wanted. A recent poll shows that “most voters say they think Hillary Clinton broke the law by using a private email address on a personal server while she was secretary of state”, but that these concerns may have been blunted by unproven “allegations about Donald Trump’s behavior toward women.” The frenzied lies and bias of the media have contributed to the current state where most people do not care about government corruption, in part because their minds are distracted by non-issues.

What they really care about is their side winning. If a guy on your team sneaks in an illegal hit against the other team, you cheer, but if a guy on the other team does it, you shout and clamor until the ref does something about it. You tell yourself when your guy hits, it’s OK, it’s good, because your teams needs to win — winning is more important than the rules of the game, or even the purpose of the game.

At this point in the election, the gloves have long come off and all the players are just brawling. Conservatives want to resist this, because they have an aversion to cheating and a desire for everyone to play by the rules, particularly themselves. We need to remember that we are not playing a game; we are deciding our future, including whether or not we survive. This transcends party politics, and so it makes no sense to hold ourselves to standards that the other side has long abandoned — we instead have our own standards to which we hold ourselves.

Stephan Molyneux, a man who strongly adheres to the ideals of rationality, skepticism, and a scientific results-oriented view of the world, has not only taken a side in this election, but describes our current predicament with passionate conviction: “The future of everything you treasure, everything you hold dear, everything your ancestors built is right now hanging by a thread.”

Everything’s looser now, more chaotic. People still go about their daily lives as usual, the truckers still deliver goods, the janitors still clean, and the engineers keep the electricity and oil flowing. But in their minds are doubts about the current reigning order. Most dislike the way we’re governed, but know no alternatives, and a hidden anxiety grows rampant. The heat is on, the whole system is more energized now so that pathways that were previously barred due to high activation energies now appear within reach. This whole election has been a catalyst for an until-now slowly growing reaction.

The next few years will require a consistent, strong fight. Possibly this will take the form of putting into action America’s massive civilian arsenal, but hopefully we will be able to simply maintain pressure on President Trump to not veer from his mandate. In such a chaotic environment where opposing forces escalate to unknown ceilings, we may not now see the specific paths that will open up. What will serve us best at this moment before the plunge is a clear vision of where we want to go, of what we want to build when we emerge on the other side.

Realism Versus Socializing

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

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The rise of Farage and Trump has been the final blow to a thread of Western liberalism that goes back before the birth of the US or EU. We know it as that media darling the 1968 revolution in which the Baby Boomers tried to destroy all that came before them in the name of freedom.

However, 1968 was not new. It borrowed from the beatniks… who borrowed from the flappers… who borrowed from the Bohemians… who borrowed from the Romantics… who borrowed also from the decadents of later Rome. All of them followed roughly the same agenda:

  1. Disorderly personal appearance and hygiene.

  2. Sexual liberation and promiscuity.

  3. Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs.

  4. Temporary, wandering lifestyles.

  5. Rejection of national bonds, preferring international.

  6. Attitude of irony toward all sacred values.

The motivation behind this seems to be a fear of death, and a desire to banish it with extremes of sensual and social experience. When one is in the circle of friends with a good buzz going and feeling like one’s lifestyle represents something new, different and ironic to that which is the norm, it is possible for a few moments to forget lurking mortality.

More importantly this is an assertion of individualism. The hippies, beatniks and hipsters are joined in mode of thought: they want to make themselves personally important, and this requires deprecating and minimizing the influence of civilization, nature, religion, heritage and realism. What matters instead is social power.

When people are declared to be members of a society of permanent standing, a type of proto-equality results: this means that whatever they do — so long as they avoid big nasties like murder, rape and assault — they will be accepted in the group. That in turn makes everything but the big nasties seem to be a possibly lucid choice.

Individualism is their way of demanding the widening of this proto-equality so that they can do whatever they want without social consequences. This makes them rely only on the self for judgment, which disconnects them from reality, at which point they lose transcendental knowledge and start to obsessively fear death.

The path of individualism necessarily leads to the social world because the individualist needs a mirror to confirm his biases and make him feel important or noticed, since without a transcendental view, the only importance one can have is in the eyes of others.

The Baby Boomers were the peak of this social influence, which took over from the realist/transcendentalist underpinnings of Western Civilization. Realists tend toward transcendental thought because, having been forced to accept reality as it is by realism, they then realize they have to find meaning in the world and not outside of it, including in themselves and the consensual hallucination of social control and social reality.

Right now, the tide is turning. After many centuries, the Age of Ideology is over, and the time of the realist has begun again. We are witnessing the rebirth of a society. Donald Trump, born the year after WWII ended, has refuted the dominant theme of the “Me Generation” that the Baby Boomers created.

most reliable poll

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online White House Watch survey finds Trump with 43% support among Likely U.S. Voters to Clinton’s 40%.

This is causing panic because without the reign of egomania that the ‘Boomers offer, we lose the sense of universal meaning. With social reality, we feel that whatever the group recognizes is universal and created equally in all observing, which is probably an artifact of how language makes us feel, but we do not notice our own projection of interpretation onto it, so this is incomplete as an understanding at best.

In the world after Farage and Trump, the only truths are personal and other people are entirely different worlds. Instead, we find meaning by looking within ourselves to understand the world through intuition, and follow our unique role in it without deferring to what the crowd thinks.

This change is epic on the scale of a thousand years or more. It will reverse the passivity of the West that has led to its ongoing collapse, and will redirect us toward a new world that seems at first to be filled with emptiness, but over time will reveal its greater possibilities.

It could be yuge.

Civilization Is A Trap

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

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Civilization is a disease which is almost invariably fatal.1

The rich are different than you and me. In particular, they are better at making money, which requires having the pulse of trends and being able to see to some degree where they are going. From a story about bunkers/panic rooms for the wealthy comes this tasty tidbit:

Adds Mike Peters, owner of Utah-based Ultimate Bunker, which builds high-end versions in California, Texas and Minnesota: “People are going for luxury [to] live underground because they see the future is going to be rough. Everyone I’ve talked to thinks we are doomed, no matter who is elected.”

What do they know that the rest of us do not? They have probably noticed the downfall of the Obama years — the declining currency, increasing corruption, decreasing competence — and view the current presidential contest as a disaster, perhaps because of Hillary Clinton’s ability to evade prosecution for obvious lawbreaking and the tendency of media to act as her propaganda organ. These are third world events, not first one ones.

We are now at a point of what Guillaume Faye calls a “convergence of catastrophes.” This refers to what happens when 227 years of bad politics and seventy years of extremely bad Leftist rule drive a civilization, like Western Civilization, to the point of collapse. Ecopocalypse hovers on the horizon, either from environmental crash or the rising amount of environmental pollution that will eventually render the planet inhospitable. The economy is not just crashing, but leaves behind record debt and devastated industries destroyed by globalism. Political instability is at an all-time high. Leftism will leave us in a cloud of shame, again, as the destroyer of all that is good, based on an idea — equality — that was really popular because it sounded good. Appearance is not reality.

In addition, modern life is hell. Cities are designed around retreat to the home and blocking out of life around us. Jobs are tedious and pointless, usually achieving nothing but make-work and titles to peacock around with. The consummate ugliness of our architecture, graffiti, urban decay and product-oriented lifestyle is repellent. Social groups are warzones between races, ethnic groups, social classes and political factions. We are surrounded by “null culture,” or music, art and literature advertising fatalism and self-indulgence without any glimpse of what is real, beautiful or accurate.

People are asking how we got to this point. The answer is that we got conned, but as every good con man knows, the person who is conned is a collaborator in the deception because of his desires and fears. In our case, the desire to be important and to have our intent — not our will, because that would be unequal — render unto reality has made us egomaniacs, and our fear of being not equal enough has made us into nasty, squabbling people who treat everything like a negotiation at a bazaar.

How did it all come down to this?

The answer is that civilization is a deviation from the balance of nature, and unless that is compensated for, civilization quickly self destructs. The most intelligent civilizations seem to rise the fastest and fall the hardest. This points toward a disparity between what humans think they should do, and what they actually should do. The problem lies in human intent.

Intent defines our lives. We seek to adapt to our world and put plans in motion toward that end. Those plans are based on what we know of the world, plus a hypothesis about what will achieve the results we intend. The question arises then whether those results are actually the results we need. Our brains like nice, orderly, equality-based structures where each part is divisible and replaceable, where nature prefers complex tiered orders of inter-related balances based on inequality, with each part serving a different role in the organic method.

In designing human society, this leads us toward the idea of the one-step solution. If there are too many people, put them in apartments in big cities for convenience. If people are displeased, make them equal. If the group fragments, implement an ideology to keep the team together. If some do not fit in, beat them down until they do; if some fall behind, subsidize them. If it is too large to know who is good, implement proxies — tests, certifications, schools, laws, middle management — to choose the ones who can implement the goal.

The root of this failure is control. Control occurs when humans micromanage by deciding that instead of having unequal people working in parallel toward a goal, they want to specify that goal and force it to be applied exactly as they intend. It is a mark of bad leadership, and also of a situation where there are too many fools to be trusted with their own work. There is a path to power in organizing all of the fools together and telling them exactly what to do like equal interchangeable cogs, and this is the order that overwhelms all civilizations.

At the right level of zoom, humans and yeast become nearly indistinguishable in this regard. They encounter an opportunity, multiply beyond carrying capacity, and then die out. The civilization of the future is the one that solves this problem.

Amerika is a blog for hard truths, which is why it is not as popular as the blogs from the easy answers crowd, which takes infinite forms and so can come from any orientation, outlook, ideology, discipline or perspective. As such, the texts on Amerika appear to be absurdly effete, stating plain observations without the usual emotional agitation and calls for extreme action; then again, the blogs that succumb to those tendencies are either from the easy answers crowd or inevitably assimilated by it as the blog owners attempt to remain relevant and popular.

We now have a mandate for extreme change. Most people have no idea how big the screw-up is. Leftism, and its final stage globalism, have left a ruin of the first world and made its citizens so existentially miserable that they are refusing to reproduce and in many cases, refusing to leave the house. Globalism has collapsed just like the previous Leftist scheme, world Communism, has. Like the Soviet Union, it has fallen apart in a shambles of the failure of its own policies. It has no one to blame, and people are struggling out of their democratic stupor to reach this realization.

That leaves humanity with a long trail of failed Systems. National Socialism failed, Communism failed, and now it seems like liberal democracy and its socialistic understructure has failed, leaving us wondering what could possibly come next. This gives us a hint: not a System.

Systems rely on the modern notion of the mass. A mass is formed of equal people who have no hierarchy but are ruled by government. They act in self-interest disconnected from its effects on civilization or nature, a condition called individualism around here.

This mass motion acts according to human social rules, meaning that it is based on appearance and including all others in order to keep the group together. This is the basis of the universalist values that since the Enlightenment™ have formed the basis of Western political thinking. This is not unique to the modern West; universalist values arise any time a society has lost purpose, and instead of finding one, chooses control as a means to keep itself together.

Whenever people are grouped together in a mass, or group without internal hierarchy, and herded through mass motion, a System results. This contrasts the hierarchical and tiered orders of nature in which each type of thing has a role and fulfills that activity alone, relying on the combined actions of all parts in balance to produce the stability of the order.

In order for a System to work, it must create a consensual hallucination of an objective space in which symbols are actuality. We reference this space any time we say “science proves it” or “it is recognized that” in reference to an idea. The space of ideas, in a universalist system, is assumed to be shared equally among all people and therefore, people react to ideas as if they were programming distributed through a computer network.

From this come the pitfalls of civilization: the cities where people are anonymous, the accumulation of broken people and deleterious mutations, the loss of any culture or idea which cannot be spread universally, which requires it to be very simple and based on the archetype of the idea of universalism itself. These ideas flow from the basic assumption of egalitarianism which arises when a civilization becomes prosperous enough to lose its implicit goal of establishing itself against the restrictions of nature and lack of knowledge of the world, and become the toxin that destroys it.

Civilization is a trap. We go in expecting to make things better, but by improving our lot, we create a path to fatality. When civilization goes, all that we have contributed is lost. In the process, civilization forms its own sort of Darwinism that selects not for the smartest and strongest, but for the least offensive. It turns Vikings into pajama boys. It takes a thriving people, and leaves behind a stupider, more docile version, as if they were domesticated animals.

What can be done? This task seems hopeless. And yet, as the good book says, our suffering is what makes us know who we are; it is a gift from God (this is not of much comfort during the suffering, however). This is a challenge which demands our best of intellect and heart, and charges us to rise above the malaise and sloth into which we have fallen.

Instead of relying on Systems, we can move toward a traditional civilization. This will include, in addition to the “big theory” four pillars, the following methods:

  • Anti-Formalism. Instead of rules and laws, depend on people. That is: put your best people in power, and let them learn what life is, organically. This means a lack of uniformity, which offends our minds and pretense, but a breeding ground for people of more complex understanding.

  • Localism. Big, anonymous cities are death. Small cities and towns provide places where each person knows everyone else. This encourages decisions based not in the moment, but upon what someone has done with their life. Anonymity destroys trust.

  • Anti-Control. Control seeks to rule details from a centralized place of abstraction; traditional societies allow a cascade of authorities, from the highest to lowest, with each one managing only its domain.

  • Hierarchy. This has two parts: first, we elevate our best people — morally, intellectually, by character — to positions of authority, so that they may oppress the rest, as a binary option to the inverse, where the rest oppress the best. Second, we allow Darwinistic competition, including in free markets, to fill in where authority is not needed.

  • Incompleteness. The societies that thrive are those which preserve an internal dialogue and combat between extremes. This reinforces the reasons why for positions, instead of merely repeating thing, and strengthens them by testing.

  • Darwinism. In every society, some will arise who are either chronically negative or without any direction. Natural selection demands these be exiled, along with any defectives, for the greater strength of those who remain. Nature is cruel; so must we be.

Civilization creates proxies, or intermediates which can be gamed by the unscrupulous, wherever it is afraid to directly confront the question of hierarchy. It works best when administered by culture, not government, and kept focused on ongoing and unattainable goals like excellence. These things seem contrary to the very idea of civilization itself in appearance, and so they are rejected universally, despite being salvation.

As we approach the doom of this particular instance of civilization, it will cheer us to know that many civilizations have died before. This one is no different. We chose a wrong path, and now it is time to find a better one. As we discover it, we can let go of the past like memories of a fever, and instead aspire to the greatness to come.


1 — William Ralph Inge, “The Idea of Progress”, Romanes Lecture (27 May 1920), reprinted in Outspoken Essays: Second Series (1922).

The Infaustian Civilization

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

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Some like to characterize the West as “Faustian,” a term inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust who metaphorically sells his soul to the devil in exchange for power beyond what he could otherwise obtain

This story, based in medieval myths, re-envisions the classic morality tale as one with another dimension. In the classic tale, the anti-hero sells his soul to evil for power, then becomes destructive, and eventually either returns to good or self-destructs through hubris. In Goethe’s re-styling of it, the anti-hero rebels against the categorization of good and evil, which are actually proxies for realistic versus dysfunctional.

For Western Europeans — up until the 1960s this was the group we meant when we said “white people” — the idea of Faustian has appealed because we have for a long time wanted to reach beyond the nu-Christian “good and evil” toward reality, and since that has been demonized by the herd, we see ourselves as wanting to reject morality itself. However, the Faustian legend points us toward something else: perhaps evil is merely misidentified.

The Western Europeans might be more properly referred to as Infaustian, or that which is the inversion of Faust: we do not seek power, but we seek order. We require a transcendental goal in order to motivate us to live, and this is only found in the type of order that is both natural and extends into human society. We need something more than proxies for what is real, such as truth or morality, because we need an understanding of the real itself.

The Faust story could be viewed as a re-statement of the Garden of Eden mythos from the Bible. The serpent offers power without wisdom, or in other words, power beyond our state in the golden chain of hierarchy which constitutes the actual natural order. However, this has always been the antithesis of the West; our method is to make ourselves powerful not through fantasy, but by understanding reality.

Infaustians have both Faustian and anti-Faustian characteristics. They are unconstrained by good and evil, because they view reality as good and any deviation from it as evil, so they do not need the proxies. Instead they seek power through knowledge, including the knowledge of how to apply it, so that power becomes a means to an end and increases power in the future, rather than having it now.

The story of Faust is that of an ingenue who stumbles into the world of supernatural evil by wanting more than he should have according to natural order. The Infaustian mythos is one in which a potential Faust instead makes himself the source of power by negating himself, and discovering reality, and through it finding a way to perpetuate power by making it the cause of itself, instead of a cause in itself.

As with any rising society, Infaustian societies seek not the Soviet-style legitimization of hubris through personal power, but the source of power, which is found in understanding the invisible portions of reality, namely the methods that work in any situation because they appeal to an underlying mathematics and structure to our universe. This will always be the opposite of the Faustian as well as the insect-like standards of the third world, where people seek neither power nor knowledge.

Social Morality Versus Realist Morality, Or, Why Horror Movies Work

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

scohol

We live in an age of inversion when the definitions of common terms have not only become confused, but turned on themselves, so they mean exactly the opposite of what they originally meant. One such term is morality.

As the practice of being social, and compelling others to “like” us by modifying our behavior, spread through society, it took on a will of its own as all control mechanisms tend to do. It was no longer enough that it modified bad behavior, but it began to modify merely unpopular behavior.

The problem with this is that socializing is an extension of the human ego. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, and included, so the temptation is to remove standards so that each person has a place — which means they must be immune from any (real) criticism, such as that involving inner traits like moral goodness, intellectual ability and character.

Since moral character is the most important part of any human being, it became the first target of the socializers. They redefined it from traditional morality, which emphasized doing what was right according to an order larger than humanity: nature, God or gods, and the hierarchy of human ability and character.

We might call traditional morality a form of “realist morality,” or morality based in the consequences of individual actions beyond the individual. Its replacement, social morality, emphasizes the appearances of acts to other people and how those acts influence the social commandment that all must be included.

Social morality will be familiar to you from your kindergarten class. What is important is that the teacher remain in control, and for that to happen, all conflicts must be erased so that everyone engages in the same activities and thus can be manipulated by the same incentives/punishment structure. Control is necessary because the natural sorting of people into hierarchy has been interrupted.

Social morality takes several forms:

  • Some people are starving, so we must give them money.

  • Some people are being arrested, so we must change our laws.

  • Not everyone can participate in this activity, so we must change it.

  • This knowledge makes some people uncomfortable, so it must not be mentioned.

Realist morality looks different:

  • If people are committing crimes, this damages our civilization; protecting those who are not committing crimes is most important.

  • If people are starving, we should look at what led to this starvation as contrasts those who are not starving, and suggest that behavior instead.

  • If an activity requires certain abilities for participation, then that activity is most useful when done by those with those skills.

  • If some knowledge makes some people uncomfortable, we should change the conditions that make them uncomfortable instead of editing our knowledge/history.

Alert readers may note that the second list is more complex in argument. It does not operate in the simple form “Some are not participating, therefore all must participate.” The nature of people is that they like simple answers because they are easier to understand. However, this does not make them correct.

Moral realism says that if some cannot participate, then the answer is to fix what makes them unable to participate, instead of altering the criteria for participation. Social morality employs moral relativism which demands that civilization lower its stands instead of holding people accountable for their ability to meet those standards.

You may notice that in your favorite horror movies, a conflict between characters arises: the more insane characters (MICs) struggle with the more sane characters (MSCs) for control of the human side of the situation, notably the question, “What do we do?” The MICs will seek to emote and will consequently dominate discussion; the MSCs have a tendency to give up and sulk because they realize they cannot make the group see sense.

In most films of that nature, the MICs win out at first, and then the group turns to the MSCs, at which point it becomes clear that “saving everyone” is not an option. MSCs at this point become more willing to sacrifice MICs for tactical advantage, as if recapitulating Darwin and perhaps history itself. Evolution rewards the saner, but only in the very end.

Humanity faces an evolutionary challenge of a similar nature. Every society that has existed so far has failed and collapsed to a third world state, especially the highly intelligent ones. Technology, power, wealth and military strength do not save them. There is something that all of us are doing wrong, and it is fatal.

An analysis of the changes in these societies throughout history shows that as they succeed, they become more concerned with social morality than realist morality. As this pre-dates even political changes, it suggests that the root of their failing can be found in this moral shift, and that it is the cause of their demises.

The Fountain of Human Success or Failure

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

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Finding the fountain of truth, or the Holy Grail or the Tree of Wisdom has been a human pursuit for a while now. This pursuit is flawed in the sense that gold has similar characteristics to fool’s gold which is often found in the same place.

A singular pursuit for “only” gold can therefore end up in failure despite good intentions. You have to be aware of the presence of fool’s gold too, because that would be a success in itself, despite being a failure relative to gold.

The positivist will stubbornly pursue a foolhardy quest to save the world and will be very disappointed when his horse breaks a leg. On the other hand, the arrogant pursuit of what one believes to be his entitlement is also destined to end in failure.

The fact of the matter is that success is available, visible and achievable despite the real and abundant opposition to it. Think about competition, the crab effect and parasitism and it is no wonder that success is in short supply and failure so easy to achieve.

One example of this is described by Jim Collins where he assessed more than 20,000 listed companies in order to identify only eleven successful feel-good stories.  It is therefore difficult to believe that success and failure emerges from the same fountain. This is not about “hoping” or “thinking” to be successful, it is about actual success or failure. However, it is not binary either, there are grades of success or failure too, but it suffices for the sake of argument to estimate that the choice itself is binary with the outcome less so.

Therefore, one makes a choice and then manages the risk towards that selected choice. There is no other way to success. For example, should one desire a child the decision is fairly binary, but getting that baby delivered safe and sound requires a number of very serious hurdles. In fact, it’s quite an industry with insurance cover, labor law etc. and depending on boy or girl, sick or healthy, there is an entire world waiting (in anticipation) for that baby.

But, getting back to the fountain of success and failure I have to first refer to Maslow’s hierarchy of human potential. This is a simplistic reference and will undoubtedly require further investigation by experts in the field. However, it looks like this:

maslows_pyramid

What Maslow found apparently was that some individuals were only motivated by their basic needs while others found self-actualization attractive.  It is possible that an entire group of individuals share a potential for basic needs and likewise for self-actualization. It is therefore possible to imagine that a change-over in group potential happens in the area depicted as psychological needs. The assumption is that there are no other groups. In other words, one group is working its way up, while another group is working its way down ending up with both groups meeting in the middle, as it were.

It must be recognized that when Maslow defined this pyramid, he did not envision a group “working downwards”, but actually that everybody (and each) working their way upwards with some going further than others. However, when he sampled students for this study, they were already distributed in this fashion. So, it’s not just a question of getting wiser as you get older.

For example; a group that might have a strong(er) potential for “belongingness and love needs” could be collective societies whereas a more individualist societal group would exhibit a “need for Esteem”. There is no right or wrong here although it would be easy to start the accusation trade of insults at this point. Remember that it is a question of graded “chance” slowly changing in perhaps a linear fashion across both psychological needs as identified above.

Unfortunately, Maslow did not do an intelligence correlation as far as I can tell at this stage; however, what he did may help further investigation. In addition, self-actualization points towards people with emotional intelligence without guilt or shame. The group populating the self-actualization need category must be relatively small when compared to the basic need category. Although a limited number of people are born into the self-actualization group, most people (like myself) will have to slog their way ever upwards.

The last point concering single humans (which is what the pyramid refers to) is that it is fairly obvious that the basic needs individual will be a lot more focused on his safety than the self-actualization individual. One example is that collectivist societies exist precisely to “save the hive” (r-selection etc.). Another example is that the Mensa organization describes their participants as “dependents” meaning they require general support and not just to fix their washing machines, but to protect them. I can well imagine me and my entire family being quite defenseless while in a “heightened state of self-awareness.”

The next stage of this discussion starts by pointing out the risk of improving oneself. Let us assume that I have a basic need to survive as it were. That means I need food and water and while sleeping, some safety too. In fact, I will also need to be very aware of my safety while searching for water and food. Typically this sort of potential is quite an achievement and those people capable of doing it are sometimes called loners while staying on mountain slopes.

However, imagine you are a mountain lion when suddenly one day, you get that smell of a female lion. That will trigger those survival genes because unbeknownst to the lion, his genes know that his own survival improves with a family around him. The female genes know exactly the same thing hence a family is born. What really happened though, is that the individual risk for each member of the family has been reduced, causing them to have a better life expectancy. In other words, by moving into Maslow’s “belongingness and love needs” category the family exhibits a better potential not only to survive but to develop those tools only available to a group. In fact, those tools a single lion never would have had.

The important point here is that the lion is already programmed for group behavior. The same applies to humans. We are actually organized already without knowing it and although physically independent we remain psychologically dependent. In fact it takes effort “not” to mix with family, friends, colleagues and even strangers. Unfortunately in the case of humans, there is no natural organization beyond the natural family of which monarchy may perhaps be seen as an extension.

This is the point where organizations must be incorporated in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Recent studies show that organizations exhibit (on their own) similar traits as humans. Therefore an organization can also be categorized as “basic” (such as a school) or as having “esteem” (such as a professional society).  Therefore organizations can also grow and improve themselves by learning and becoming wiser.

The above is the upside. The downside is where (most) humans decide not to improve, either voluntary (such as a hermit) or involuntary (such as someone caught up in a collective group).  That also applies to organizations. Therefore, the deduction is that a single person cannot improve “itself” without an accompanying organizational change.

To reiterate: humans can only improve if their organization allows it.

The lion improved his life expectancy by taking on additional responsibility i.e. responsibility for himself as well as responsibility to his group. However, overall the risk is less, despite the added responsibilities. In fact one can say that the total responsibility is less although it is different when compared to being single. The real reason therefore, why emotional intelligence was identified, is because the individual will have to be able to adapt to something different in order to grow his potential.

The same fountain of hope can also be a fountain of despair because the individual or organization may not be able to adapt, in fact even refuse to adapt to grow its potential. This is quite natural and these people and organizations must be allowed to state that desire (Amish).

A test for the above hypothesis is to apply it to Western Civilization. In short it is an Individualist society that aspired to improve its esteem by colonizing the world. However, as they improved their potential they lost the capability to keep themselves safe. This opened the door to migrants and subsequent mayhem because the migrants do not care for esteem.

The mistake in Western Civilization is that it did not cover the loss of safety as individuals and organizations improved their potential. This new level of safety is not just more safety, but “different.” The benefit was accrued, but the organization never adapted to implement the “different” safety required by that improvement. Hence society improved to a point after which it was dragged back down, as is now evident in worldwide fatality increases and general loss of vision which previously equated to a Type 1 civilization.

This also goes some way to identify the mechanism that initiates societal entropy that previous civilizations missed. The human-organizational dependency was never explored and it would be a good time to start now.

Just You And The Universe

Friday, August 26th, 2016

just_you_and_the_universe

One of these Friday nights, you will find yourself in the Texas hill country, looking up at a vast black sky speckled with stars. At that moment, you will understand the essence of the human condition: total, complete and all-encompassing isolation.

You are alone on this journey. When you duck back into that dive bar and talk to Dave about his band and Phil about his media company, you are sharing in an illusion that any of that is anything more than a means to spend time and derive sustenance. It has no greater importance. At the end of the night, Dave and Phil (like you) go home to wait for death, and to hope that the time they are spending has somehow offset the inexorable onrushing emptiness.

No matter how many symbols or activities we invent, we are alone with our nihilism at some point. The big questions — eternity, meaning, purpose, value — strike us from out of invisible corners where they hid. The fears and doubts rise with nothing to blot them out or distract us. We are alone, as we were born, and as we shall die.

The complexity arises because there is overlap between the false social world and this cosmos of nothingness. We need something to do to keep the bucks flowing, and some activities to pleasantly spend or time or even better to derive meaning from. The social world is just the appearance of these, based on the illusion that if a whole group of people are doing something, it is more eternal than the eternal, which is both void and mystery.

Our social groups are empty, our governments and awards transient. Celebrity is isolation even now, because the celebrity is the most recognized and least known person on earth. Fame and notoriety are equally hollow. There is nothing here, nothing that lasts, except what you discover in union with the cosmos.

Even truth is a lie. There are universal aspects to reality, but no universal truth, because truth requires a perceiver — and unless that perceiver is intelligent, moral enough to be diligently honest, and fascinated by the world in which he finds himself, he will hover around the lower levels of perception. What he finds cannot be communicated, only experienced, and then enforced on others by the sword and axe (or FN FAL for you sticklers).

Embrace the nihilism. Total emptiness. Total nothingness. Except for you, your mind, and whatever reality you can discern. This gives rise to the question of how to give your life meaning, as you will be gifting yourself with significance to existence by making choices. None are inherent; all are optional, entirely preferential, on the level of aesthetics more than morality.

Are you a great warrior? A thinker, an artist, a steward, a king? You must shape yourself through self-discipline and the choices you make. You will be a creator, not a consumer. As part of that, you will want to adapt to your environment and then, being consistent with the principles of that adaptation, gradually improve your lot.

This necessarily includes civilization. Humans evolved by tribe and tool, and are dependent on a civilization for their ideas to take root. You can communicate or improve things, or even point civilization in an ascendant direction rather than its default of decay. In this, you have the power to use creative energies to not only leave a legacy, but to feel the significance of sacrifice and excellence.

Civilization is not complex. The way to do it right is well known, as over 6,000 years of recorded history only one approach has made civilizations that not only survive but thrive. However the basics are easy. Life rewards in degrees, not binaries, and so mediocrity alone guarantees survival.

This points you to a fascinating study. If mediocrity is enough, why do civilizations fail? Look to a biological metaphor: parasites draw away energy and resources and this then conveys the civilization into senescence. The question of life is not one of positivity, but of negativity: those who thrive are the ones who suppress the negative, leave the mediocre, and celebrate the excellent so more of it arrives.

In your life, you can see the same thing. Mediocre behaviors waste time and foreclose possibilities, but negative behaviors sabotage prospects. It is the same in civilization. There are normal people, some excellent and most mediocre, and then those who engage in behaviors that sap the vitality of civilization. To succeed, a society must oppress and exile those people in imitation of Darwinian natural selection.

This seems unduly grim. An empty universe, a humanity of failures, a seemingly impossible task. And yet, this is the only canvas on which many great people have found it stimulating enough to paint. It is a backdrop for the greatness of the human mind, harnessed by self-discipline and realism, and it will not abolish the emptiness but will make life a bright enough light that the darkness is kept in balance.

Moral Replacement

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

survival_of_civilization

Setting aside the question for a moment of whether Christianity caused liberalism, we should look at what that notion gestures at, an underlying thought: Leftism functions as a replacement for morality.

When a society defines equality as its ultimate good, it creates a preference for equality before all other values. If a question comes down to a competition between inequality and murder, the crowd will want to crush inequality first and only then get around to murder, if at all.

This can be seen no more clearly than in the American presidential race. We know that the Leftist candidate has lied, left men in the field, hidden her activities through private email, and been involved with corruption. Now we see the true face of her campaign as it aims to censor the press:

“Now, we’ve had a conservative media in this country for a while. I don’t always like what they have to say, but I respect their role and their right to exist,” said the email from Clinton’s deputy communications director Christina Reynolds.

“Breitbart is something different. They make Fox News look like a Democratic Party pamphlet. They’re a different breed altogether — not just conservative but radical, bigoted, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic conspiracy peddlers who never have been and never should be anywhere near the levels of power in this country.”

The email continues, “It goes without saying that we have to beat these people. But I want to beat them so decisively that their kind never rises again.”

For people in the grips of this delusion, beating back those who are not pro-equality becomes a goal that supplants all others. And so they are willing to do insane and immoral things, from the guillotines in France to the gulags in Russia to the reckless lawbreaking that has characterized the Clinton and Obama years.

They do not care that their candidate has done terrible things or plans to do illegal things. All that matters is the ideology, like the One Ring from Tolkien, which they view as their path to power. This is why they are zombies: they ignore reality and consequences so that they can keep the feeling of power, even if it is hollow.

When morality is replaced by this kind of substitute, it creates a feeling like addiction where the person in its grips feels good for simply having the right idea and beating back any competing ideas. This does not require them to actually do good, because it has redefined doing good as advancing the ideology. It creates a compulsive, consuming mindset.

And so our task comes down to this: do we want to be good, or do we want good feelings? Do we want to achieve excellence, or have a symbolic representation of having done so? Before we can make this decision, we must deep inside of ourselves want to strive for what is real and what is right, and history will judge by this decision.