Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘morality’

Metaphor For Modernity: The Ring of the Lydian Gyges

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Modernity presents a paradox to us: a collective, formed of individualists, acting for equality, so that each individual can have the power of the crowd but the anonymity of the mob. It conceals its core, which is a focus on the desire of the individual to never fall short of a social standard, and therefore to be “equal” despite outcomes, or in other words, not accountable for the results of his actions.

This reverses the principle that makes any society great, which is “good to the good and bad to the bad,” or rewarding people by outcome. Those who do great things have great rewards, where those who do not achieve anything good are not rewarded, much as is the case in the order of nature. It resembles natural selection and our tendency to esteem those who demonstrate proficiency.

Naturally the herd rebels against this. Most people do not distinguish themselves, so in any large group, the lowest common denominator wins out. They want to be recognized for something other than real-world activity, namely their social activity, and they insist on this to the point that everything else might as well be destroyed so they get what they want.

Humans find it hard to describe this process conceptually. On one level, they seek power, but even more, they want power to contradict obvious reality and common sense needs of civilization and the individual. This means they want to control perception and through that, force other people to accommodate their non-realistic and non-necessary “needs.”

Control proves to be a seductive virus. It says: the rules do not apply to you, and you come before everything else. When disguised as something altruistic through the theory of equality, this notion becomes irresistible to most humans, resembling a virus or parasitic infection.

Plato gave us an even more powerful metaphor: the ring of the Lydian.

According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result-when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared.

Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men.

Plato uses this metaphor to argue that where anonymity — as one experiences in a crowd — exists, there will be no honest people. To be a God among men would seduce just about anyone. In that sense, by hiding the individual, the ring reveals the individual, or how much tendency they have toward good.

Modernity is like this ring because we are atomized, or isolated as individuals, and therefore only have power in groups, for which we are not accountable. We vote anonymously, supporting a party instead of standing for its decisions. In the city, we are part of a faceless herd, much as we are at a carnival or large party. We act invisibly on a social level and are able to deny accountability.

Immanuel Kant raised the intensity of this metaphor by arguing, as did the Hindu and pagan thinkers, that the inner spirit is where we must focus in order to be able to do what is right and good. He offered us a simple idea, namely that everyday evil is the most pervasive form, and that any violation then conditions the heart, and encourages more. Kant’s concept of radical evil informs our knowledge of inner discipline:

Unlike original sin, which Christian belief has understood as inherited, radical evil is self-incurred by each human being. It consists in a fundamental misdirection of our willing that corrupts our choice of action. In Kant’s terminology, it consists in an “inversion” of our “maxims,” which are the principles for action we pose to ourselves in making our choices.

Instead of making the rightness of actions — i.e., the categorical imperative — the fundamental principle for choice, we make the satisfaction of one of our own ends take priority in the willing of our actions. We thus inculcate in ourselves a propensity to make exceptions to the demand of the categorical imperative in circumstances when such an exception seems to be in our own favor.

To steal a candy bar, then, is to interrupt the principle in our minds that we ought not to steal because we are taking from someone else a part of his wealth and through that, his time; this literally drains away his life, because time is the only irreplaceable commodity in life. Even more, a single theft conditions us to see the world through a lens in which theft is acceptable.

In order to escape modernity, we need to answer the ring of the Lydian with a strong statement of radical good. That is, our actions are measured by their ends. A theft or murder that leads to a good result is a good thing, and should be rewarded, much as it was in the ancient pagan texts like The Odyssey. If the result is bad, or out of context in the natural order and hierarchy, then it is worse than bad in a social context, because it is an insult to the gods and therefore to reverence of life itself.

Humanity struggles to find a moral order in this time of horrors. One theory suggests that people have different abilities to perceive what is good, and that those who desire good would do good in results even if by using evil methods like theft and murder. While this offends the universalist idea of a set of moral rules to which all are subject, it seems to more accurately describe the quest for human thriving.

Nihilism As A Management Theory For Human Organizations

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Over the last few decades, the gradual build-up of an insecure and even chaotic environment suggests that the world does not operate as humans think it does. Our predictions are incorrect, and so instability results we keep plodding forward based on illusions instead of a realistic understanding of the underlying structure of our world.

Welcome to the frontier of nihilism. Humans have their fantasies about how the world works, and if not restrained, these become accepted as truth which leads us into collision with the actual workings of nature. These workings are not so much material as informational or mathematical, such as the hidden patterns of standard distributions or golden ratios, but our human mindset is to ignore them and focus on what people want, how they prefer to behave, and the types of mental conveniences that they will support in political, consumer and social popularity spheres.

This is compounded by the fact that we cannot trust ourselves, at least as far as anyone who is publicly accountable goes. Lacan pointed out that any sponsored research creates ascriptive output because no sponsor wants to admit chaos, since this could be seen as self-incriminating in a lawsuit. In addition, there is no money or power to be found in telling people complex truths; they prefer pleasantly simple lies that confirm their own biases.

These dual factors lead to the behavior for which corporations are famous, namely “socializing risks while privatizing profits,” which means that they avoid engaging where society is delusional, and simply take advantage of the disaster and leave a mess behind while extracting profit. Then again, what else are they supposed to do? Human history provides a long list of grave sites of those who challenged the wisdom of crowds.

Nihilist states that there is no universality. Reality is seen to different degrees by different people, and natural ability and character determines how far — to what degree of accuracy — each person sees. Much like the Right represents order into which the individual fits, while the Left represents an order comprised solely of the individual, into which reality fits, the human struggle to avoid chaos is a balancing act between nihilism and humanism.

Looking further into chaos, it becomes clear that its impact is felt by ordinary people but that it originates mostly from organizations such as governments or businesses. Right now we are in the midst of a populist cultural wave against globalist governments, but no similar movement has emerged against business, which is the actual driver of the globalist agenda.

Ordinary people would welcome a counter-reaction to the domination of business over their lives. Marx anticipated this, but his solution was incorrect: the same mob rule that propels democracy also propels business, and the “populist” wave is in fact driven by the middle class, who know enough to see that globalism and rule by finance are bad for the future of our people.

Since business is a natural part of human life, the question becomes not pushing back against business per se, but against bad practices in business, which leads us to nihilism. Business risks do not address fake information; in fact, they ignore it.

However, for us to escape the pattern of human entropy, we must separate real information from the fake, which requires denying what humans believe to be true and instead focusing on radical realism and consequentialism, which look at results in reality instead of emotions, rights, feelings, judgments, desires and other human motivations.

Results are a better way to assess our actions than what is popular, and what is popular reflects motivations, not logical choices based on results. We can see this through several examples:

  1. Education. Students go to college in part for the experience of activism. When they arrive, they find that major issues are ignored in favor of those that are instantly polarizing, like the recent crusade for transgender bathrooms. This occurs because despite wanting to be politically active, the only risks that most students are aware of are STDs and student debt. The people who are charged with activism — the students — lack the experience to know what to be active about.
  2. Design. Aircraft designers undertake extensive risk-assessment activities to ensure safe passenger flight. But there are things they cannot address such as “fake data” including hoax bomb threats. These risks are typically categorized under the heading “operational risks” and ignored by designers with the assumption that each airline will figure out its own solutions. This endangers airline design itself, because if these operational risks are not managed, it could result in decreased demand and thus industry collapse, at which point no one would need airplane design.
  3. Industry. A Canadian CEO takes a job in South Africa where there is political pressure to increase the percentage of ethnic African people in senior management. He order this increase, relying on the notion that the Quality Manager will cover the risk of under-performing employees in general, and therefore will do so with affirmative action employees as well. However, since the goal is to get more black faces into the high offices, the CEO does not performance manage his black appointees. The result is that there is blind risk with these new employees, and since no one is overseeing it, losses pile up before anyone notices. The company goes bankrupt, and all employees including black ones find their jobs at risk.

In each of these cases, a “fake risk” is addressed while actual risks go unnoticed as part of the process of externalizing risk to others (non-students affected by student activism, airlines, and the employees of a firm) and internalizing profits. Donald Trump provides a classic example of a manager who quickly separates fake risk from operational risk and focuses on the latter while his competition waste time with the former.

That however flies in the face of politics itself, which demands a dual-risk assessment that looks at both operational risks and political risks, sometimes referred to as “optics.” In South Africa, this has resulted in a redundant management structure where South African corporations typically have two CEOs, one managing risk upward (operational) and the other downward (political).

Dual management however introduces neurosis and an inability to act where operational and political risk are not in unison. The task before any organization which wishes to survive is to solve the unintended problem of unrealism versus realism — or to separate the “fake news” from the real news — as a means of separating real risks from fake risks, and managing both with a priority on the real.

The emphasis on real risks as a priority above fake risks could be described as the nihilist mindset, and it has its own school of management theory in which nihilism is the first step in any process. The manager separates real from fake, then acts on the real and later attends to the fake, instead of making himself neurotic by trying to balance the two, which results in the fake taking precedence over the real because it can thwart the real if the two are not in unison.

Risk management is unique among management theories because it is not prescriptive; it does not tell you what to do, and instead only identifies risks. Nihilism suggests that “unpopular risks” be compartmentalized and addressed as risks to the organization itself, while “popular risks” — the “fake news” variety — should be considered as possibly raising or lowering the public value of the organization, but generally not threatening its destruction.

Managing risks is what Mother Nature expects us to do, failing of which, we will simply die off like the Egyptians, Athenians, Aztecs, Maya and Romans. There is no morality in Nature. Nature is the real news and the real risk, grounded in consequence and not human motivations, and when we fail to grasp its primacy, our organizations self-destruct and pass into history.

On Utilitarianism

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

About two decades ago when my career as an underground conservative writer began, it became clear that the Right — which steers itself mostly by gut instincts, aesthetics and memory — was philosophically confused.

This philosophical confusion leads to terms being used in a single context as absolute categories, and this creates the “football game” mentality of politics. Someone says that collectivism is bad, and so the knee-jerk reaction picks up momentum and soon people are opposed to anything that allows people to work together as a group because that is, you know, “collectivism.”

Remember that conservatives have always been the “stupid party” because they tend to be unsophisticated innocents whose only claim to fame is being more realistic than the Left. We are not morally better because there is no innate or universal morality; we are more accurate, for those who want things like civilization, greatness and the best possible lives for themselves and their families.

This means that our instinct is not to come up with fancy terms and theories, but instead to try to distill down to the center of an issue for the plain truth, because although things get complicated after that, this is necessary for context and orientation. The Left does not need that, since it exists in a single context — the progressive path from primitivism to Utopian egalitarianism — and interprets every idea on a flat-level hierarchy as a result.

Conservatives misunderstand this and fail to understand Leftists as a result. Leftism is a fanatical belief system, perhaps the most fanatical ever to exist. Those in its grasp, especially those who need it as part of a personality construct, are not to be reasoned with because they reject any logic broader than their narrow categories.

The Right has LARPed itself into non-existence by insisting on “being the better man” and “taking the moral high ground” when this misunderstands morality because they see it through the “football game” mentality and filter it through the lens of the self alone. Morality is about results, not the judgment of individuals; we either achieve what is good or we do not.

With that knowledge, we can see that the only moral path is doing right; this is a ends-over-means calculus, which is fortunate because means-over-ends is insane. To take that moral stance is to reduce morality into posturing and to proclaim that you would rather lose with your dignity intact than win and solve the problem by having to be flexible in morals.

An instance of this confusion can be seen in this analysis of Utilitarianism from a blog that is frequently read around here:

An essential aspect of statism, and communism in particular is the amoral component to it. The only virtue of communism is increasing state control. If accomplishing that requires you to shoot people kneeling in a shallow ditch or starve an entire nation of men, women and children, then it is a moral act. If history is any indication there is no act of depravity that someone, somewhere will not do to usher in this ‘utopia’ of theirs. Much of this goes back to Bentham, Hegel and the utilitarian school of thought. The ‘greater good’ fractures any moral compass of the believer, replacing it with permission to do any act which ‘benefits’ the ‘whole.’ What the greater good is, what benefit means, and what the whole is cannot be defined except on an individual level. As Satanist Aleister Crowley put, ‘do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.’ Utilitarianism is exactly that. You define the greater good, you define what benefits the whole.

The problem with utilitarianism is not that it places the greater good over the moral compass of the believer; if anything, that is what is likely to be its salvation, since this is the classic ends-over-means calculus that is central to conservatism.

The problem with utilitarianism is that it is based in what people want to believe and not what is real. “The greatest good for the greatest number” cannot be assessed except by asking them, in other words through democracy, and since people are unequally competent with the vast majority being somewhat delusional, this results in wrong answers most of the time.

Nature and reality endorse ends-over-means. You have the choice between winning brutally or dying with your moral pretenses intact. One wonders why humans find this so traumatizing. Perhaps it is that we project ourselves into the losing party, and so create a morality of “saving everyone” to ensure that we personally never lose. Collectivism is individualism.

Instead of facing a moral question about the individual, we confront a moral question about human self-governance. We must do what works, and acknowledge that much as very few know how to do brain surgery or compose a symphony, knowing what works is the province of very few, an elite of competence. We need social hierarchy or we become a mob.

The problem, as is evident to anyone who has spent time in the world and can be honest about it, is that most people are foolish and that even intelligent people in groups behave like herds. They panic and stampede, or stand around oblivious while the wolves get closer, then trample each other fleeing in disorganized terror. Utilitarianism does not work.

Utilitarianism will always be popular because people like herds. When we talk about the horrors of utilitarian governments in the past — shooting people in ditches, starving whole nations, beheading whole families — we are not talking about individual moral failures, but the fact that choosing policy by popularity is itself a failure.

Modern conservatives are confused on this issue because they approach it from the sportsball perspective instead of looking at the meaning of the terms themselves. Utilitarianism is bad not because it is morally bad, but because it always fails; it is not an issue of individual morality, but the morality of results.

To be truly moral, we must choose ends-over-means thinking because it achieves good results, and this means that everything else is toxic because it achieves bad results. Our morality must be that of results and not the crowd, however, because the crowd always chooses wrong. To think otherwise is to be utilitarian, and to participate in social decline.

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

nwo

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

civilization_is_a_trap

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

the_infaustian_night_sky

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.

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