Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

You May Be A Leftist And Not Know It

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Patriotards, we used to call them. They were people who came just to the cusp of understanding the world outside the comfortable modern bubble, and then backed off. Instead, they went back into the safe space of ideology.

Ideology is comforting because it is so much simpler than the world itself. You think in categories like good or bad. There is a theory which gives an answer in every situation, and it is a theory based around humans like yourself that promises to gain you reward simply for being obedient to the theory.

People who come out of ideology are as stunned as those who get out of prison after fifty years. They are suddenly in a new world where none of the old routines and practices apply. They recognize many of the same things, but they have entirely different meanings now. It is like visiting a foreign land made to resemble home.

The sad thing about ideology is that it arises from a perpetual problem that got the upper hand at some point. People always want to be more important than they are, so they invent reasons why they are more important than the world as it is. These theories about how life “should” be, called ideologies, are mentally addictive because they explain life in simple ways.

Ideology corrupts people at the lowest level of their thinking. They start thinking in terms of what the ideology says they should do, instead of what they need to do by the demands of external reality. This is the oldest human mental failing ever, and it gets given names like “tunnel vision,” “cherry picking” and “inverted cognition.” Someone makes their mind up too early about what their goal is, and interprets all future data according to that image, instead of updating the image itself to reflect that the new data indicates a different situation than first estimated.

All human groups fail this way. In social groups, popularity or novelty become more important than finding bonds with each other. Power becomes more important than purpose and principle. And in nations, utilitarian substitutes for doing the right thing — patriotism, religion, success and popularity — actually replace that right thing because they are easier and less risky to achieve.

In this way, the tool shapes the user and changes the goal, instead of helping the user reach that goal. Ideology does this to everything, but the scary thing is that any idea can be restyled into an ideology. Many ideas tell us what we should do, but they do it on the basis of adaptation to reality or achieving our goals or principles. Ideology focuses instead on the individual, and suggests benefit to the individual for doing what will be socially approved of.

Your average conservative is a brain-dead robot zombie who waves the flag, supports the troops, thinks we all need to get closer to Jesus and wants us all to work even harder at our jobs because it is the right thing to do. He is in the grips of conservatism converted into an ideology, so that instead of focusing on the purpose of the activity, he just wants to look good to others because he has engaged in the accepted methods of dealing with it. This is how first-world societies have superstition, and it is more damaging than any primitive religion could ever be.

We are most likely in the midst of a massive evolutionary shift in humanity by which we learn to distrust tools that are not directly applicable to the situation at hand, and tend to shy away from people who cannot tell the difference. Tools must serve a goal or, like power, they become a goal in themselves, and by denial of the actual goal, the group fails.

Group evolution on this basis will likely weed out most of humanity since they like to engage in repetitive tasks without regard for their effectiveness. They just want a place in the social group and to go through the motions in order to get it. But, as the impending collapse of liberal democracy shows us, that is not enough, and it is also fatal to the group.

You may be a Leftist and not know it because your philosophy is an ideology and not a practical way of life. Conservatism, if not converted to an ideology, is something more like a folkway: a way to find a place within the group by doing the right thing. Ideology says everyone gets the same place and no one is forced to do the right thing. Conservatives are seduced by this easy answer all the time.

Most conservatives are secretly Leftists. They believe that all people are equal and should be treated equally in courts, society and school. They think we can indoctrinate people with the “right” answers and make idiots into the equivalent of geniuses. They wave the flag, slap the Bible, and carp on about hard work. But underneath the skin, they are the same enemy that we fight on the Left.

Mental Retardation

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

voters

The West is suffering a Muslim invasion. In the debate, people try and uncover the barbaric nature of Islam, and to convince other westerners of it. Oftentimes it is brought to our attention that Muslims still live in medieval times with laws and culture that are incompatible with those of the West.

Rather than refute that, I would like to bring up something else. Namely the prevailing mental retardation with people swallowing past ideas and becoming followers; and take the opportunity to point out that it would seem a little silly to make comparisons between the retarded as if one retard is more intelligent than the other.

Although we may borrow from the minds of dead people it is no good to leave them to do the thinking on the behalf of the living. It would serve human beings better to verify the truth on their own.

Doing so is a slow process towards maturation. Most people bypass this process, to become a follower because that has it’s advantages. They may become Christians over a cup of tea, but in this they have become insubstantial believers because they don’t know the things that Jesus spoke of. They repeat what the priests say, but do the priests really know anything?

The leftists live in the age of The Enlightenment,™ and Christians live with age-old concepts, and so it is with everyone else. Is it really that much better to be a mindless drone that serve Jesus, than say Mohammed or Marx? It probably isn’t, to the individual, although the culture would be radically different between them.

The intelligent population seek the truth for themselves because they know that that is what matters and what will yield the best results. If faced with politics or religion, it seek to verify or dismiss these things on its own, it does not concern itself with the opinion of people but rather seek to know the truth. That sort of person is very hesitant to become a follower of politics or religion.

If we can put the truth first, then we can learn what Muslims have or do not have to offer us. And we can speak honestly and say that we do not want their culture not because it is bad, but because we have our own, and any other culture will be alien to us and destroy what we have.

Make-Work

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

make-work

This is a typical event for the modern consumer:

He needs a service — given that there is great confusion between “want” and “need” — so he signs up for it. He then finds out that it does not work with his existing technology, a common type. There is a work-around: he can use another gadget, but it will be so cumbersome as to render the whole process inefficient.

He goes to the website of the service provider. There are separate websites for sales and service. He logs into sales, then goes to service, where they ask him for a customer number. He has not been given one. For this reason, he cannot login to the service he needs to explore other options, although by looking at what others have written, he can see those do not really exist anyway.

This leaves him scratching his head in wonder. Why is it that the service is so bad, and yet still popular and profitable? Does the company know its website does not work? Why do they not provide the service on the type of gadget he has, just as many hundreds of millions of others do?

Our society retires people because after forty years of observation, they know the workplace jive too well. The people who are advanced to the top are the Hillary Clintons of the world: good at the type of questions they ask in school, smugly self-serving and ready to justify their actions in terms of good intentions.

Let us look at the company that our hypothetical consumer has encountered.

At the top is a businessman. He knows he has a product that people will buy, and they buy enough of it that he can afford to hire a bunch of idiots. He hires idiots because they will not threaten him and take his company from him. He does not care about the quality of the product.

Below him are chattering women and flabby men. These are the middle management layer. Their job is to neurose. For example, when they considered expanding their service to another type of gadget, the people here Did The Right Thing, which was to send off for an exploratory study, a consultant, a feasibility study and a prototype. They hired many people out of the office and generated eighteen metric tons of memos, reports, studies and white papers.

They will not make the service for a new gadget because their experts tell them that it is a bad idea. The experts make money by being contrarian, or telling people that what is true is what is contrary to obvious common sense. The people in the business want to avoid taking risks, but since any action is a risk, this means they want to avoid action. Instead they want to spend their time on the process of being at a job, instead of trying to achieve anything.

To keep the process of the job alive, they will insist on the most mind-numbing tedium possible. They will call many meetings. They will have paperwork requirements for every activity. Every task will become formalized, awash in process and procedure, and will reference at a least a dozen books stating the obvious. To do even a simple task will take months.

For example, they will eventually roll the service out for the other type of gadget. After the exploratory and feasibility studies, the planning and budget meetings, the buy-in by all of the divisions, the marketing and legal sniffover, and then soliciting for bids and choosing vendors, it will take them a year to get the process started. Then, because no one will have thought about the practical dimensions, half of the necessary decisions will be unmade. It will take another five years of back-and-forth between the company, its vendors, and its internal meetings to even get a prototype ready, and at that point, the market (and our hypothetical consumer) will have all but moved on.

The point of jobs is that one must rationalize. The worker must be at a job, so that is good. Then they must succeed at the job. Herein is the problem of equality that guarantees that all jobs will be make-work: when all people are equal, no one is considered for his unique abilities, and so any failure is considered “equally” independent of what he was trying to achieve. This is why the do-nothing working who never does more than just act out the process of the job will always be promoted, but someone who takes a risk by attempting something more than just acting out the process of the job may get fired.

After a few years, the only people left at jobs like these are those who are fascinated — downright excited! — by tedious and inconsequential make-work, or work activity designed to show conformity to the process of the job and therefore, “good work” according to other minds hampered by egalitarianism observing them. They drive away the competent and select for the useless.

This is why the website is broken. The people involved at the time knew it would not work, but knew that they were taking a career-ending risk by mentioning it, so they said nothing. The email address for complaints goes to someone who left the company three years ago, and piles up in her inbox.

The IT guy knows that if he says something, he can make enemies in the company of those who will now have to sort through the email. So he says nothing and simply increases the allotment of space for the account when it fills up. Customers write complaints, those go nowhere, and no one “notices” the broken web site because to do so is to take on risk.

At a job, taking any risk is bad because under egalitarianism, any failure is presumed to be a fatal failure. We cannot look at someone and say, “Sure, Charles hosed that website launch, but he is smarter than the rest of that group and he usually gets good results.” No, in order to placate the herd, who might rebel at any time, we must crucify him.

We destroy people in this society. It is our pastime, since we no longer have a goal and have not for many centuries. We all demand attention, which is why if someone steps out of line, we smash him down. He has threatened the stability by which we all receive attention and/or paychecks. The expectation has become reality because at this point only the very brave or very crazy take risks, knowing the intolerance that failure receives.

The Soviet Union also had this problem. Those who failed to deliver were shot. Since they were often given impossible tasks, they were frequently shot. The end result was that anyone sane refrained from taking any risk possible. That means that if you have a fire risk in your factory, you ignore it, because it is greater personal risk to try fixing it and fail than it is to have a fire. That can always be blamed on the capitalists, anyway.

Jobs are jails. Most of what makes them jail-like is that they are not oriented toward goals, but conformity to the process of work and avoidance of risk-taking; in other words, appearance matters more than reality. Obedience matters more than achievements. And so, people check out. Blatant errors are not noticed. Incompetence and ineptitude rule the day.

As we gather to write an epitaph for post-democracy Western Civilization, itself an epitaph of Western Civilization after it went individualistic after giving up on the ability to get consensus for another Golden Age, we should not forget to note the many ways that this time has failed us. Jobs and incompetent services seem small until you consider that these take up most of most days for the average person.

When it is said that our society died of a spiritual disease, this is true. People have no hope of anything except going along with the conformity and hoping for a regular paycheck. The thought of ambition has died, except in the narrowest sense of piling up money, as has the ability to be noticed for competence, intelligence or other inner traits. In the name of including everyone, we have created a hell on earth.

The Death Spiral Of “Expertise”

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

From a surprisingly anti-modern analysis in the Wall Street Journal:

Working to achieve a particular outcome is a good model for many crucial human enterprises. It’s the right model for carpenters or writers or businessmen. You can judge whether you are a good carpenter or writer or CEO by the quality of your chairs, your books or your bottom line. In the “parenting” picture, a parent is a kind of carpenter; the goal, however, is not to produce a particular kind of product, like a chair, but a particular kind of person.

In work, expertise leads to success. The promise of “parenting” is that there is some set of techniques, some particular expertise, that parents could acquire that would help them accomplish the goal of shaping their children’s lives. And a sizable industry has emerged that promises to provide exactly that expertise.

If we had to distill modernity to this, it would be conformity and emulation through expertise. Someone learns a way to do some task, and then that becomes the definitive model and all must at least do that. It is a game of “follow the leader” played by crowds out of fear that, by not doing what is the established norm, the individual involved will be culpable if something goes wrong.

For example, Farmer Bill wants to plant okra. In his town, there is lore that states that okra will not grow unless you bury a cow skull among the plants. Farmer Bill does not have a cow skull, so he plants the okra anyway. A tornado strikes his patch. In town, the open-mouthed nodding heads all agree: he failed because he did not bury a cow skull in the plot.

Expertise is the same. We specialize in teaching it through schools, certifications, and government qualification programs. This produces a legion of people who know techniques, but lack reasoning skills, which is why we have a proliferation of slick but contentless art, complex but non-functional and insecure software, interior design products that all look the same and are impractical, and bureaucrats who can tell us why we cannot do anything but cannot tell us how to achieve anything. It is a disease of the crowd.

This produces a death spiral where superstitions are established and can never be removed, much as laws are created and never renovated or struck when they are obsolete or inexact, and bloated companies and government agencies linger long after their relevance. People are afraid to work against the wisdom of expertise lest they, like Farmer Bill, get blamed for an unrelated failure and worse, jailed or sued for denying “contemporary standards.”

Moribund institutions like modern art and rap music linger because people are afraid to criticize them as the calcified and talentless zones they are; absurd government doctrines like affirmative action persist long past their plausible expiration date simply because everyone is afraid to criticize the prevailing expertise. In the meantime, expertise conveniently blocks the vital skills of judgment ability, critical analysis and aesthetic taste.

One way to tell a healthy society is that its behaviors exist as principles which are constantly reinterpreted in the abstract, and perpetually interpreted when applied to specific localized situations. In contrast, a dying society exhibits expertise which is both fixed in a universal sense, and never interpreted locally, meaning that its inexactitude gets spread around much as inefficiencies are spread by subsidies and collective bargaining, in which the least competent is favored as much as the most competent.

The parenting propaganda is another form of this. Instead of producing people who have principles for living, and goals and healthy lifestyles, we come up with a set of universal roles so that broken people can still pretend to be doing the right thing, even though they are just kicking along antiquated and calcified “knowledge” because everyone is afraid to criticize it. As usual, the Emperor has no new clothes after all.

Unplanned obsolescence

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

At any given time in history, most people are oblivious to what is happening because they are focused on what has just happened. They are after all doing what is normally the smart thing in civilization, which is to look at what has succeeded and emulate it.

Their problem is that the events that transpire are the result of an ongoing process, so any time you emulate those events, you have missed the timeless part (the process) in favor of a signal of its existence, a result specific to a certain time that has now passed. We can see this in current politics.

Most people out there are following the cues they get from movies and pop stars. These people suggest that the same values that people trotted out in 1968 are still valid. Even more, they hint, the only way to stand out in a crowd is to be different, progressive, fair-minded etc. by accepting this stuff.

But even the 1968 values were backward-looking. A society wracked by two hot wars and a cold one was scanning over its past mistakes, trying to find an easy way out. It took many years for people to realize the situation was not as simple as appearances suggested, and that a solution would require not dodging unresolved issues but tackling them head-on.

However, in 2011, the 1968 values endorsed by politicians, entertainment figures and television commercials are even more backward-looking. Those endorsing them are looking for symbols of the hip, the young, the good and the exciting. They can’t invent something new; they need something we already know.

And so the propaganda rolls on. Any time they want to sell a car, for example, as being hip and young, they trot out the same stuff and hope we all jump at the mention of something so obviously socially promoted. Yet because they’re looking backward, they’re missing the real story.

A new report from the Military Leadership Diversity Commission says yes. It argues that the battle lines in Afghanistan and Iraq have been so blurry that women basically are in combat, but don’t get the formal combat credit needed to advance in rank. That’s because of a 1994 Pentagon ban — the so-called “combat exclusion rule” — that keeps females out of small units where most combat takes place. The rule should be junked, the commission says.

The panel, created by Congress in 2009, spent 18 months coming up with ways for the Pentagon to improve the promotion of women and minorities as the nation becomes increasingly diverse. “The armed forces,” it warned Monday, “have not yet succeeded in developing a continuing stream of leaders who are as demographically diverse as the nation they serve.” – Time

The writers of this article, and this report, are attempting to be good guys. They want us to think that they’re including everyone and being fair to everyone equally, so they’re on the side of the right and progressive. There’s only one problem: their crusade has absolutely no bearing on the quality of our armed forces, e.g. can they win wars.

It’s like being at a job where they insist the new client team have members from every floor. While that makes the team more representative of the workplace, it has zero bearing on how well it performs. Often the best teams don’t represent the organization behind them faithfully, but show a specialized ability. Even more, other factors determine the effectiveness of the team: its organization, training, equipment and direction.

1968-logic is to make a shiny happy symbol out of everything. Make sure everyone is included. Results? — err, not our department. We need to make everything fair, everything new and exciting, everything different. The rest will work itself out, or not, but at least we did the right thing, and gained social popularity, votes or product buys from it.

Social democratic parties across Europe are losing elections on an “unprecedented scale”, according to former foreign secretary David Miliband.

He said the parties were “fragmenting as the right is unifying”. He named six countries – Britain, Sweden, Germany, France, Holland and Italy – that he said had a “good claim to represent the historic heartland of European social democracy”, but that are no longer run by the centre-left.

“Not since the first world war has there been this kind of domination from the right. The whole era of democratic suffrage,” said Miliband. – The Guardian

How could this be? The right wing is future-oriented, even if it uses the methods of the past. The right cares about results, and about having goals in common, where the left is about individualism and fond notions that may or may not be true but sure are interesting.

While they want you to think that leftist thought is new and exciting, the truth is that it’s old. Not only is it a calcified ruin held over from 1968, chaperoned by the now white-haired burnt-out hippies who tell us in drooling repetitive detail about their glorious victories, but also, it’s irrelevant. We face a new world in which no absolute morality exists, or even any shared culture. Instead, people want results and stability.

Let one of the leading thinkers of the 1990s, who proclaimed that liberal democracy had taken us to the final stage in history before recanting that progressive Utopian theory, show us what’s replacing our “moral” and social judgments:

Dr. Fukuyama, a political scientist, is concerned mostly with the cultural, not biological, aspects of human society. But he explicitly assumes that human social nature is universal and is built around certain evolved behaviors like favoring relatives, reciprocal altruism, creating and following rules, and a propensity for warfare.

Because of this shared human nature, with its biological foundation, “human politics is subject to certain recurring patterns of behavior across time and across cultures,” he writes. It is these worldwide patterns he seeks to describe in an analysis that stretches from prehistoric times to the French Revolution.

Previous attempts to write grand analyses of human development have tended to focus on a single causal explanation, like economics or warfare, or, as with Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel,” on geography. Dr. Fukuyama’s is unusual in that he considers several factors, including warfare, religion, and in particular human social behaviors like favoring kin. – NYT

In the past, we took one thing out of thousands and called it a cause; more accurately, it would be called a symbol of that cause, or a subset of factors representing all other factors.

Now we need to look at multiple causes at once and figure out that rather than being puppets to whatever political aspect strikes our fancy, nations are organic. They operate as a result of multiple causes and with multiple results, simultaneously.

This negates the idea that a social or symbolic factor could trump all others. Morality and popularity are just one factor of many, and they are explained by other things. Morality is a means to an end for these civilizations; they decide what they want, and backfill the moral charge to make it stick.

For those in 1968, or even in 1996, this would have been unthinkable. It’s a reversal of all they have worked for, which is a moral society, and replaces it instead with a practical society that adapts to realistic expectations of the world in response to its actions. Such a society is consequentialist, or concerned with results more than feelings/popularity/symbolism.

Time has marched on, yet many people remain stranded in 1968-think, probably because they’re accustomed to using the 1960s as a marketing flavor. Want it to be edgy? Put Bob Dylan on it, or Jane Fonda if you dare. Want it to be fun? Led Zeppelin or hippies with a giant doobie. Profound? John Lennon or Pink Floyd.

It’s just like adding a little cream flavor to your cheap bread and calling it “Dutch style,” or covering a normal chair in chrome and calling it “urban style.” It is just as false as the advertising we distrust, the speeches of politicians we know are lies, and the little white lies people tell in social situations that we know are false (the stripes do make you, or anyone else, look fat).

A whole generation is about to be caught unawares as they continue to spout the hide-bound, calcified and stale ideas of the past and insist they are new. We have real problems instead:

Government payouts—including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.

Even as the economy has recovered, social welfare benefits make up 35 percent of wages and salaries this year, up from 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960, according to TrimTabs Investment Research using Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

“The U.S. economy has become alarmingly dependent on government stimulus,” said Madeline Schnapp, director of Macroeconomic Research at TrimTabs, in a note to clients. “Consumption supported by wages and salaries is a much stronger foundation for economic growth than consumption based on social welfare benefits.” – CNBC

Our economy is a circular Ponzi scheme. We depend on importing new workers and paying them nothing so we can all rise, and then pay everyone through the government, robbing the active parts of the economy to put money directly in the hands of the citizens, who spend it in ways that generate no further wealth. Dead ending it, in other words.

The result is predictable:

Cities across America are facing dire financial distress. Meredith Whitney, a banking analyst turned independent adviser who correctly predicted the banking meltdown, has issued an Armageddon-like prediction of mass municipal defaults. Others — notably Newt Gingrich — have suggested that state governments as well as cities should be allowed to file for bankruptcy. Congress held a hearing to examine the idea.

These forecasts of apocalypse have touched a nerve. Americans, still reeling from the devastating impact of the mortgage debacle, are fearful that the next economic disaster is only a matter of time. To anyone reading the headlines of budget deficits and staggering pension liabilities, it takes little imagination to conclude that the next big one will be government itself. The problems of cities are everywhere. – NYT

These are real problems. They are bigger than economics; you don’t get into such radical debt spending unless you’re also having trouble with leadership, or at least leaders who refuse to make the tough decisions and instead pander to the crowd by offering “free” bonanzas. These problems are the sign of a civilization veering out of control, careening off the walls of its own problems, yet unable to plot a course away from inevitable collision.

And yet the people who are accustomed to getting popular, rich and acclaimed by pandering to us using the played-out symbols of the past keep at it. They keep hitting us up with that 1968 symbolism, forgetting that most of us were not alive back then and have no allegiance to being hippies, at least if we’ve seen past the marketing and realize being a hippie doesn’t make us cool, it makes us a perfect consumer.

On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said. – Daily Caller

It would be threatening if it weren’t so simplistic. He’s used to saying such things and having a crowd of people applaud him, so he keeps saying them, like everyone else whose acquaintance he has made. Even more, he will refuse to get to know someone who feels differently, so it’s the only perspective he’ll see.

And right now, the circular favoritism continues unabated. But it is a small group, and while they keep themselves occupied, the world is pulling away from the tired and washed-out ideas of 1968. It’s not enough to just call your opposition racists anymore; you need a practical plan instead.

If history follows the usual patterns, these folks will keep bleating the same obsolete dogma up until they are removed from power by popular will or political crisis. They have shut their minds, and are using expired symbols to manipulate each other, but are not looking to the road ahead. The future belongs to those who can focus on that path.

Quality

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

third_world_benefit_scrounger_immigration_invasion

Plenty of people out there would like you to believe that there’s a binary distinction in quality of people. Those who earn money, idealized liberal politics, are white or black, or straight or gay, are seen as the Chosen Ones who can do no wrong, and the rest of us are lesser. This kind of clubhouse mentality appeals to the Crowd best of all, since if there’s an elect who will solve all of our problems, the rest of us can go back to slacking off and watching TV while they fix things.

Quality is an illusory concept in some usages, but a fundamental one. Consider that even among a highly-refined Nordic population, such as in Scandinavia, there are vast differences between individuals. Some are geniuses, some are superior warriors, and some top out at being short order cooks who can drink entire bottles of vodka. These are different qualities between people, but does this mean we can put them on a linear spectrum? After all, much as a body needs a stomach (dumber than a brain), nervous system (weaker than muscles), and muscles (less durable than a stomach), doesn’t any healthy society also need genius leaders, brave warriors, and durable artisans and laborers?

Within any population, there’s a great deal of diversity. Consider your friends, or at least the people who are dear to you — undoubtedly, some are smarter, some are stronger, and some more steadfast in day-to-day tasks. Geniuses make poor short order cooks, as their attention tends to wander and they want to “innovate” with each iteration of the process, which is moronic if you want a traditional omelette (did it really need raisins and cilantro with avioli sauce? probably not). Each friend has different strengths, and together, they work in parallel to form a healthy friend group. You don’t hold it against big Ed if he’s not as smart as Stan the computer geek, because you care about him for other qualities.

Such is the case also with human populations. At some point, tolerance and intolerance merge, and this is along the mental creasing point of parallelism: there are different societies, localities, groups and even people. Together they can form larger and more flexible structures, especially if they do not try to linearize – or become one single entity, under a single set of rules. This doesn’t mean it’s not time to thin the herd; there are plenty of people who are extraneous, even if we decide they have some positive qualities. The bottom line is that with fewer people, our ecosystem can continue to operate autonomously, which requires 3/4 of earth’s space for it and 1/4 for us, which requires fewer people living less “first world” lifestyles. It does mean however that we can understand each other without being “equal” and without comparing ourselves by the same yardstick.

In this thought, the greenest hippie and the most diehard National Socialist converge: they believe that local communities should rule themselves, avoiding the creation of a linear society that, lacking any goals outside of its own growth, cancerously expands until it threatens the very system that birthed and sustains it (“nature”). Even some fag-hater like Rev. Fred Phelps and an ACT UP activist can agree that not everywhere on earth needs to tolerate blatant homosexuality, and that not everywhere on earth needs to be ruled by the Iron Hand of interpreted Christ. Perhaps some communities will choose to live that way, and some will be like the Montrose in Houston, so gay friendly that the parking meters make kissing noises. Perhaps some communities, even nations, will be happy under future Hitlers, and others will be perpetual Clintonites. Can they coexist? Definitely; the only thing keeping them from doing so is the idea that we need large centralized republics like the USA, EU or China to unite us.

There is an inverse relationship between leadership capability and the number of people trying to make a decision. In most cases, an individual will arrive at some “work in progress” decision when confronted with a problem, and by developing their response, eventually solve it. Two people take longer, especially if they have different goals. When you get to a decent-sized committee, it’s more likely that they will reach a compromise that takes no decisive action, unless the problem is so obvious that response is more reaction that considered design (giant rubbery monsters attacking Tokyo require dramatic response). When you get to the point of a nation with 300 million people all voting on the same issue, some with the wisdom of genius leaders and others with the knowledge limitations of fry cooks, there’s no chance. They are doomed by the very act of trying to find one rule that fits all of them.

No clearer example of this problem occurs than in American politics. The big cities on the coasts have one outlook on the world, which is a liberal democratic cosmopolitanism, but the other states – where actual work gets done (just kidding, sort of) – have an entirely different pragmatic traditionalism. Both groups get yanked around by politicians who do their best to appear to be one thing, while continuing business at usual behind the facade of token issues (abortion, civil rights, evolution in schools, drugs, homosexuals in military). Did George W. Bush really represent Texas, for example? Or Clinton really represent liberalism? These guys are showmen, and they’re not evil; they’re earning a living like the rest of us, but by being public symbols. This system created them and perpetuates them.

You’d never think that hippies and Confederates would walk on the same path, but what’s come out of the sensible extremes of leftism, especially where it converges with environmentalism, is an emphasis on localization. Not coincidentally, the more traditional elements of American society (almost exclusively in the South) came up with the same idea some centuries ago, realizing that a federal coalition of self-ruling, independent States made more sense than a monolithic federal entity. What’s true in Georgia might be irrelevant in New York, and vice versa. If we overcome our balkanized identification with a political outlook, left or right, we can see that above those divisions common sense alone is king, and that common sense says we are different in local community as much as in individual spirit. We can work in parallel, but only if we accept our differences, and the way to do that is not to force “tolerance” on everyone (thus asking them to give up their own character) but to tolerate differences between communities, and to sort according to that agenda. If people really want to be stoners, they can go to California; extremist Catholic communities that don’t want abortion do not have to have it.

That’s individuality. You can either accept it or freak out about it, but one thing’s for sure: modern society crushes individuality and parallelism by forcing us into linear, gigantic, one-size-fits-all conglomerations that by representing “all” of our interests, represent no one, unless you can find a person who naturally is an average of all other people. Nature’s order clashes with the rigid binary logic of humankind, but is that kneejerk logic really natural to us, or is it a pit stop through history caused by democracy and the corresponding consumerism and egomania of a group of individuals trying to find one standard for all? Think each, not all. Individuality – whether of belief, behavior, race, sex preference or regionality – is superior to creating a vast machine and forcing us to conform to an average. It’s the only way to preserve our unique roles and through them, the overall quality of our species.

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