Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

Protervitas e-Zine Launches Issue One

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Protervitas e-Zine, a compilation of short writings on philosophy and the hermetic occult, unleashed its inaugural issue as a free PDF (203k). Included among these writings is “The World of Dreams,” a 500-word piece by myself.

For those who enjoy older styles of writing and are more interested in clear statements than dubious statistical studies, Protervitas offers a clarity of thought that is rarely found elsewhere:

In extremism there is a commitment to ends, and thus there is a deeper connection to reality. Here, extremism does not exclude any side of the multi-dimensional spectrum of action, but rather emphasizes a complete adherence, to ultimate consequences, of whatever it is one holds to be true and necessary. The current mold must be broken cyclically in order to always be in contact with the essence.

With multiple pieces by those from the intersection of traditionalist, esoteric and philosophical communities, the first issue of Protervitas demonstrates a powerful new medium and shows great promise for future issues.

Why One Should Approach Politics As Philosophy

Monday, October 16th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can Philosophers Keep Politics And Economics Apart?

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

politics_versus_economics

Organized society mostly promotes separation of Church and State, as well as separation of powers such as between legislative, executive and the judiciary. This separation prevents for the most part corruptive enterprises also known as white collar crime, whereas (in other cases) sometimes the opposite is required i.e. to integrate, coordinate or to provide seamless operations.

An additional function requiring more separation these days is “economics and politics” while another function requiring less separation is “philosophy and politics”.

These functions can be combined in a continuum as follows:

Politics  Philosophy  Economics

Philosophy both separates politics from economy and serves as the balancing point between the two. We can see this in current Western civilization.

Imagine that politics decided to implement the liberal-democratic ideology for all countries. Initially this leads to fair economic growth and most people are happy because one benefit punted by this ideology, was that it will increase the middle-class. This would also lead to stability in the populace that would benefit both lower and upper classes.

But after a few generations, some people became unhappy because the economy is not good. Corporations cannot make money, so economists initiated the quantitative easing “experiment” to see if that will help. Since money was no object for corporations anymore, they promptly attempted to revitalize the middle-class. Then this failed too.
The problem is that the middle-class does not want money. Then pressure on corporations increase even further and that depletes the middle-class even further. Investors get agitated and put pressure on politicians, but politicians do not realize they have to change their ideology, so they go dark.

Disentangling oneself from this mess allows a more focused view. Politicians are feverishly playing their own “system” while economists are feverishly playing another “system.” This is getting so bad nowadays, that politicians become economists and vice versa, while everybody loses.

One way to keep them all honest (and wealthy) is to insert unbiased philosophers inbetween.

Take a specific example such as the European Union. It is a monetary union separated from its political union. Being a monetary union means businesses get priority, this allows for the importation of cheap labor from Africa. However, this is not politically tenable, leading to a serious growth in political opposition that may actually break the monetary union apart.

A philosopher-king can impose a mediating force. Neither economics nor politics alone can solve this situation, since economics will sacrifice all other disciplines for lowest cost and highest efficiency, and politics rewards what is popular at the moment.

Instead, we need a continuously monitored stabilizing factor. Philosophy looks at what is true, not what humans want to think is true or what benefits some but not all aspects of society, as economics does. By virtue of peering into long-term consequences, and their effect on civilization as a whole, philosophy mediates the extremes of politics and economics, which ultimately should be seen as tools toward the ends that philosophy defines.

When we removed the power of the kings, we took away the arbitrary strong power required to say “this is the right thing to do, even if it will not appear that way for centuries or millennia.” This is what philosophy does: it compares truths, and finds the most realistic ones, and matches them up with our rarely-articulated inner desire for greatness, meaning, mystery and significance.

Economics, as a tool and not a goal in itself, has a tendency to burn itself out by dominating the field and then for short-term gain, rendering necessary long-term implements unnecessary. Similarly, politics sacrifices the invisible stability and health of a civilization for panics and trends. Without a balancing factor in the middle, these two positive forces become destructive ones.

This theme appears in all organizations where dark organizational tendencies erupt within. The part stands for the whole, the tool becomes the master, and the short-term obviates long-term needs. Dark organizational might be seen as this process of parasitism, where purpose becomes hijacked by convenience.

As applied to the contemporary Western Civilization, this concept means more than a desire for philosopher-kings: we need a balance, or unison, between the different types of power in our society so they work together toward the same goal. More than fighting political problems on the surface, this promises a saner future by fixing the root of our disorganization.

This Is… War

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

nihilism_-_social_philosophy_-_amazon

Thanks to all who are helping this book rise, and defeating the doubt. I am grateful to you all. In the meantime, those who fear these ideas continue to rage, but that is their place in the order of things. What is important is that the truth rises above, and for whatever quotient of that was provided in this book, I am humbled and proud.

Philosophical democracy

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

inverted_world

No realist is a fan of democracy; we realize that not only do the Bell Curve, r/K strategy differences, the Dunning-Kruger effect and Stockholm Syndrome/PTSD ensure that voting produces bad results, but we also know that people are innately either good or bad, with only a rare few — probably about 20% — doing all of the good while the rest tag along and opportunistically sabotage them when they can.

However, democracy is a fun idea. We set up this system, people interact with it, and we get magical results. Somehow this herd of monkeys grandstanding for self-importance is able to, through the mystical properties of mathematics, produce the right result. Or something like it. Well, as it turns out, the results are as horrible as you might expect, but the idea sure is neat.

Watching the endless battles scroll across the TV screen to the disinterested gazes of a world made apathetic by fatalism, one wonders if democracy is not merely applied at the wrong level. Currently we vote for “issues,” which means positions on rules or actions taken by government. But this is not high-level enough; issues have already translated impetus into action and we can only decide based on that action. This conveniently allows the same issues to come up again and again without resolution.

Instead, as thought experiment, I propose philosophical democracy: that we vote on the positions behind the issues. Let us have a national vote on whether feminism is true or not, or whether the social classes are equal, or even on socialism versus capitalism. Instead of fighting these proxy wars through issues, let us cut to the chase and decide what we believe, and then stick to it.

The results would probably create instant civil war as people realize that they and half of their neighbors do not live on the same planet. They see the same things with different eyes, and as a result, have zero compatibility. How do you resolve a fundamental difference such as egalitarianism versus the idea that some individuals can make themselves more than equal? Or that women and men might be different? These choices divide us because we are fundamentally different and need different nations. Or maybe that is what democracy is hiding….

Truth and consequences

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

flute_of_death

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32

The truth is not comfortable. The truth is not easy. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow. One can no longer justify the comforting illusions one once held. You drink too much, or you are too fat, or you spend irresponsibly, or have character defects — most people cannot even stomach these simple truths. How can we expect them to digest the far more bitter fruit of the reality of Crowdism, parasitism, and the rather unfortunate fact that no, we cannot all just cannot get along?

Nikolai Gogol, one of the greatest Russian authors, towards the end of his life changed his liberal attitudes towards the Russian serfs, who he had previously advocated educating. Instead, Gogol told landowners that they must not beat their serfs, but instead of teaching them to read, the master must instead read Scripture to them, encourage Christian piety and become “a patriarch, the inceptor of everything, the vanguard of all things.”

But if knowledge is knowing the truth, should we not seek to educate everyone of it, to proselytize the anti-modernist way of seeing things, so that others may know the truth?

The answer is, of course, no.

Questions about truth become entangled with questions about education, and even more mixed up with issues of morality. It is true that it is worse to have a misleading or bad teacher than to have never learned anything at all. And it is also true that most people would likely misuse or misunderstand whatever they are taught. But these are questions of education, learning, exercises of the mind and not of the soul.

But education is not truth, and truth is not education. The fact that we conflate the two shows how deeply most of us have ingested the progressive narrative. What they mean by “education” has no relation to the truth: outside of the teaching of concrete theory like mathematics, it tends to be post-modernist propaganda. A false education can lead one so far down the path of nonsense that one may be completely lost. And when surrounded by an echo chamber of one’s peers in which everyone is trying to show off by demonstrating how “educated” they are, one can then never escape that false education.

A true education though, besides subjects like history and mathematics, is primarily the trivium, which is not comprised of knowledge itself but tools for assessing and applying knowledge: rhetoric for persuasion, logic to ensure consistency, and grammar to be able to communicate.

All of these things are separate from the truth. But what is the truth? In our context, what is true is what is in accordance with physical, logical, and spiritual reality. As such, the truth is something that can be checked and communicated by those who are properly educated- its existence is prior, and it does not depend on “educated” people to discover it.

But one needs to be properly educated to begin to understand more detailed formulations of the truth, and even more educated to engage with them philosophically and otherwise. So do the common people need to be educated, or know the truth, or both?

The answer is, to adopt the attitudes of Gogol. The common people need the truth; they have always needed it. Each man cannot be expected to be his own Aristotle. He needs the truth conveyed to him in a way that he can absorb, through myth and storytelling, and through heuristics, or homegrown wisdom born of experience. And he needs an example, a signor or patriarch to demonstrate to him virtue in action. This is why great epics like the Odyssey, Bhagavad-Gita and even The Bible exist: to tell us truth through concrete cause-and-effect histories like parables. These take the form of myth, but they show us the pattern of life: a decision presents itself, a character either overcomes his inner flaws to make a right decision or gives in to the wrong, and a result occurs that shows the consequences of his actions.

The best myths convey truth on multiple levels of understanding, and heuristics come into being due to wisdom being past down by those with concern for the truth. So must each man be educated? No, a thousand times no. But for each man who is educated, it will be his obligation to set an example to those beneath him and how he must conduct himself, and reinforce and re-sacralize the myth that teaches those beneath him each generation. Further, the gentleman, the signor, must allow and encourage the development of good heuristics amongst those who stay uneducated, understanding that if the right example and direction is set, the earthy wisdom of the common man will fill the gaps with heuristics.

So must each man be taught the truth, so that he might be set free? Yes, is the reactionary answer, yes, but in a way that matches his ability to understand. But shall each man be educated? No, is the answer. But if the example and environment is made that he lives in a place that loves truth, and loves wisdom, then wisdom will be all the education he ever needs.

Our STEM obsession

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

the_stem_obsession

The right wing tends to fear the “softer” side of academia such as the liberal arts for two reasons. First, that part of academia has been dominated by leftist radicals pretending to be normal since the 1960s; second, as a field without clear answers — in disciplines like literature, philosophy, psychology, and art — it seems to be the antithesis of conservatism, which is based on conserving utility by looking at past success and failure. Conservatism resembles the scientific method.

On the other hand, liberal arts seem from a distance to simply be a form of learning to use language and appearance to weasel out of hard answers. This appearance occurs because until one understands the methods of, say, philosophy, the use of argument seems arbitrary much like a foreign language may appear to be random sounds. This mistaken notion rapidly changes when one looks into the liberal arts and sees both how deeply conservative it is and how it is not prone to stumble into many of the pitfalls of populist politics.

After all, literature and philosophy and art teach a meta-science to the scientific method, which is observing cause->effect logic through the acts of characters and their consequences. Art does not — as liberal professors insist — belong to the whims of the perceiver, but to the intention of the artist. In keeping with the classical tradition, art and literature from the 1970s and before tackled “big topics” instead of personal details. Philosophy similarly takes on the big issues that STEM, being isolated to details by its need for linear comparison, cannot tackle. These are the master sciences which are needed to guide science, technology, political science and psychology.

Literature in particular offers a strong conservative bias because it shows characters struggling with decisions in awareness of how they will end up. In the same way, philosophy argues ideas to their logical extensions, such as how they would manifest in reality. Even visual art portrays the conflict between human inner worlds and the outside, showing our tendency toward solipsism versus our need for realism. Many of the greats in these fields expressed solidly conservative ideas like defense of monarchy, responsibility, self-reliance, nationalism, eugenic breeding and a deep connection to the transcendental.

STEM provides a false god in that it, like modern science, claims to answer questions far beyond its scope. Science verifies details and makes theories, but never proclaims an ultimate truth; that requires the type of inter-disciplinary study that only a more abstract approach can provide. Like law and some forms of economics, STEM tries to reduce humanity to leaderless invisible hand systems in the pattern of the Revolution. It surmises that knowledge, rather than interpretation and application, along can rule us better than those who see from above in the abstract approach of the liberal arts. This fallacious viewpoint leaves us with scientists who master a detail and make broad conjectures about it far beyond its reasonable context. This is the basis of the “social engineering” that has failed so spectacularly in liberal societies; instead of being based in knowledge of the past and logic, which converts abstractions into concrete details, it is based in concrete details turned into abstractions.

Applying science beyond its correct discipline — interpreting materials science and inventing technology — imposes a type of categorical thinking on reality which is as blocky and knee-jerk as every satire of nerds. The magic word “therefore” warns that someone has used categories to magically draw equivalence or separation in order to simplify a complex issue, and by cutting out that complexity, has totally missed the point. Much like democracy itself, rule by science creates an illusory world in which the only “solutions” are to re-apply the theory. And yet the theory has no basis in reality because it has reduced reality to several factors out of millions, run an experiment upon them, and based on a tiny result — a detail out of the big picture — has allowed human egos to claim that what they desire is objective fact.

The result of conservative support for STEM has been that conservatives have abandoned the gateway to culture that literature, philosophy and art provide. In addition, we have thrown ourselves into the same type of thinking that produced the Revolution, but now it wears a new name tag that validates it as conservative. This in effect lets the enemy in the gates. We have Trojan horsed ourselves. A more sensible policy would be to relegate science to what it does well, and recapture and renovate the fields of critical thinking and art so that they can express reality instead of the ersatz Potemkin vision that liberals have imposed upon them.

Brett Stevens interview at The Right Stuff

Friday, April 17th, 2015

microphone

Recently I conducted an interview with Meow Blitz of The Right Stuff. This summarizes many positions and connects past and present ideals written about on this and other sites. It also answers dicey areas such as the need for interracial collaboration by nationalists, the rejection of the so-called “Jewish Question,” and why I endorse active nihilism instead of a religious basis to right-wing beliefs.

As of last night, the interview was removed for undisclosed reasons. In the spirit of getting the information out there, it is republished here in part, leaving off some of the cultural questions that are less relevant to readers of this site:

Your output would fill a book with several thousand pages. Despite this, many people are completely unaware of your existence due to your low-key approach. Can you briefly explain how you first became involved as an internet writer and what your initial impetus was?

I started writing about heavy metal because there was a scarcity of information. As time went on, I needed to write about what made some metal good and inevitably, as a means of explaining what metal is, what its ideas are. This led to a look at “outsider” ideas that are not tolerated by society. My outlook has always been a form of intense realism that is sometimes called “active nihilism,” and it took me away from socially-accepted answers toward those that our society denies but which might potentially represent actual solutions.

The “low-key approach” you mention keeps me on the fringes because it de-emphasizes emotion and other individualist sensations. This makes less exciting reading for those who want an outlet for their frustrations, but that group is the segment of my audience who are least prone to act on what they read. I aim to describe reality, which places me in the minority because most writers intend to cater to an audience. This produces circular writing, which consists of human reactions to a topic, failing to ever penetrate the issue and find reasoning, solutions or personal growth.

Tell us about how you became involved with Corrupt.org, what kind of things you tried to do with the site, and what made you ultimately abandon it.

I was fortunate at Corrupt.org to work with some of the finest thinkers in the emerging alternative right arena. Our editor Alex Birch is a man of many talents and great depth of perception, although like all sensitives in the modern time he suffers greatly for what he notices, and I worked with him in addition to many talented writers.

Corrupt.org was an attempt to take the raw id that the writings on nihilism expressed and apply it to sober and sensible policy which could avert the twin tragedies of ecocide and civilization decay in the West. At its core, the site was about transcendence, or seeing the underlying order to nature and learning to appreciate its beauty, then applying the lessons learned to our material world, since the organization of matter and thought share a common principle. It was abandoned when Alex Birch moved on from it at a time when I lacked the time and energy to keep it going.

Let’s talk about your homepage, Amerika.org. It has been running strong for over a decade and your output has been constant and seemingly inexhaustible. I know other talented writers have been involved in the site but you have been the most consistent and dedicated writer. One of the most recurring themes of your site is the concept of Crowdism. Can you explain this theory and how it relates to the political left?

Crowdism can be compared to the process of life. A person is born and moves to an unsettled patch of land. He sets up a house, tills the fields, raises animals, and sets up a family. He then succumbs slowly to a process of calcification. He no longer thinks about conquest, but of maintaining and improving what he already has. He seeks to avoid risk and, as socializing with others and trade enter the picture, becomes more concerned for appearances than realities. As a result, he slowly drifts away from knowledge of the world into an entirely human sphere composed of his own thoughts and how he can transfer those thoughts to others. He becomes focused on control and management, which euphemisms for projection and manipulation, and tends to think in terms of the types of simple structures that support those and forgets the more complex designs of both nature and his own imaginative thought. The result is stagnation from within, and while he may identify scapegoats outside of himself, the cause and solution both lie within how he disciplines his thinking.

In the same way, Crowdism emerges from the human individual in a civilization. He already has grocery stores and hospitals, schools and roads, and other benefits of civilization, and he takes those for granted. What he wants is to avoid being seen as insufficient or inferior by the standards of the civilization. In other words, he fears not being included because he either falls short or people in society notice his motivations and find them dubious. To avoid the possibility of being excluded, he goes to war against the idea of standards itself. His main weapon is to play the victim: he claims that he has been oppressed, or otherwise injured, and demands a subsidy to raise him to the base level that others enjoy. We call this idea egalitarianism, but those who uphold it do not do so for others, but for themselves. They want zero social oversight so their behavior can never be wrong and they will always be included in the wealth and power of the civilization.

Crowdism manifests psychologically through passive-aggression expressed through altruism, which is a form of advertising by the individual. Public acts of charity are a pre-emptive defense against criticism because the person attacked can point all the good that he has done as a selfless benefactor. From that unassailable position, he can then construe any criticism of himself as oppression, play the victim and get sympathy from the group. This is where the “Crowd” in Crowdism comes in: the individual, who fears social oversight, finds others in the same predicament and bands together to form a swarm. This swarm has one rule: attack anyone from outside who attacks any one of us. This is the same psychology behind street gangs and cliques in elementary school. They swarm as a group and so people join so that they can be defended. This group offers one thing which is the promise of universal inclusion without regard to behavior, which means that all individuals escape oversight. Its natural enemies are morality, common sense, history, logic and knowledge of beauty. It wages war on these things so that it can force society to include those who are otherwise insufficient, which gives it a numerical advantage over any sane system of government or leadership. All societies are destroyed by Crowdism, which weakens them and divides them internally to the point where they cannot respond to external threats and cannot make realistic decisions, leading them into a cycle of endless foreign wars, internal crises, and faddish self-rule.

Leftism is one form of Crowdism. Leftism is the ideology emerging from The EnlightenmentTM — or as I call it, “The Age of Emo” — and it can be summarized as egalitarianism. It has two stages, the first of which resembles modern libertarianism, and the second of which resembles modern socialism, distinguished by its introduction of subsidies. The founding idea of socialism is that workers own the means of production which in practical terms means that they are shareholders to the wealth of the society and receive dividends simply for being alive. It is a subsidy and nothing more. Socialism arises from classical liberalism because once you have said that all people are equal, you rapidly start to see that results do not end up being equal; some end up wealthier than others. To avoid the appearance of inequality, societies adopt subsidies which enable them to take from the wealthy and give to the less wealthy, which avoids this “disparate impact” in end results. Leftists use equality as their goal to mask their actual intention, which is to seize power and wealth, and as a method they argue for altruism because it is a binary that is impossible to criticize.

When leftists say “we want equality for everyone,” the only inversion of that which is recognized by the average person is that someone wants inequality for everyone, and that sounds bad in the social logic of human beings which says you should be inclusive and share with others. In reality, there is a third option which is neither equality nor inequality, but as Plato said, “good to the good and bad to the bad,” in varying degrees. People should get what they give, based not just on effort but competence. However, competence is mostly biological, starting with IQ, and this makes it unpopular because it is not under the control of our intentions. We cannot will ourselves to be smarter than we are; we are what we are, and no amount of pretending or engineering can change that. For this reason, altruism wins out socially and becomes a form of social control. Those who oppose it are presumed to be enemies, and the Crowd attacks them, without government having to do anything. This is why Crowdism is a more advanced system than totalitarianism, but achieves the same ends.

Amerika documents Crowdism and the ongoing collapse of the West and counters the leftist notion with a few ideas. The first is self-interest, which is that no person should be obligated to take care of another. The second is social hierarchy, in both caste system and aristocracy. The third is purpose, which requires identity, which requires nationalism. This complex chain of notions holds that social standards are not the enemy at all but the only thing capable of saving us from our callowness as individuals, and that to have social standards society must have a moral standard, which requires a goal so that we can compare our actions to that goal and see what results we have achieved in reality. This is a complex form of the conservative notions of consequentialism, or measuring our acts by results not methods, and responsibility, meaning that we are assessed by whether or not we achieved the goal or purpose of our society if even in a small part. This philosophy is called Futurist Traditionalism for lack of a better term and it is the subject of several ongoing writings.

At many points you have described yourself as a pan-nationalist. Do you still consider yourself to be one?

Absolutely. The news media and academics have hidden a secret from us all:

white power = black power

Nationalism for any group leads to nationalism for all because the idea of nationalism demands a world order where each nation is composed of people who are more related to each other than to anyone else. To want nationalism for Germans is to also want it for Zulus, Basques and Jews. Our current civilization is based on the idea of internationalism, or one type of utopian ideology for every society on earth and every type of person in each of them. This order ensures that there is never any actual culture in any place, which means that people have no reason to obey social standards except fear of getting caught, which in turn necessitates governments with increasing amounts of power over their citizens.

Identitarianism holds that we cannot police individuals. Policing is a negative goal, the threat of punishment. We can however use positive goals, like collaboration, to establish social standards and exclude those who violate them. Social standards require culture, and culture requires identity, which is a sense of history and an immutable notion of belonging to a specific land. That sense of “belonging” makes people personally invested in its well-being — including that of nature — even involving acts that do not directly impact the individual. Nationalism confers self-determination and self-rule to each group through the use of culture instead of force alone. Leftism hates social standards, which is why it opposes nationalism and imports third world peoples to destroy it.

Unlike others on the right who want to forcefully eliminate or at least suppress certain decadent behaviors (drug abuse, homosexuality, pornography, etc) you have recommended creating sectioned-off communities, like little Amsterdams, where people can participate in those activities without bothering the rest of the population. In some instances you have recommended this solution but in others you have stated that you want such lifestyles to be driven underground for the sake of modesty (the quiet gay relative, if you will). What is your current position and what are the limits of permissible behavior?

These two positions are the same. Homosexuals, for example, should have communities for themselves where they can practice as they want. This however requires them to localize the behavior to that community. This means that their homosexuality no longer becomes public, except in the community where it is the norm. Conservatives tend to say “what happens in the bedroom remains private,” which has two elements to it: first, we do not run around trying to find deviants for their sexual behavior, but second, they also keep their sexual tendencies private. In that outlook, there would not be such a thing as gay marriage because homosexuality is an exclusively sexual behavior, not a reproductive one, and is thus unrelated to family and needs to remain a private choice of the individual.

Allowing gay communities extends the bedroom further for the simple reason that it allows gay people to search for mates. Homosexuality has occurred in every society known to humanity, and persecuting it only drives gay people into cover as heterosexuals, at which point they have children and introduce possible deleterious behaviors and genetics — homosexuality is often a signal from nature that particular genetic combinations should not be reproduced — into the gene pool to the weakness of all. While it seems paradoxical, this policy of tolerance in exchange for invisibility offers both homosexuals and heterosexuals a chance to not just co-exist but not loathe each other when doing so. No one likes to mention this, but homosexual behavior is something heterosexuals are biologically inclined to find repellent, and vice-versa. We will never like what the other group does, so it is better that each has its own locality.

What would you say your current political and philosophical views are? You had once mentioned an ideal world of small kingdoms connected by trains.

My current political view is: get rid of liberalism, government and ideology. Replace it with what has worked for most of human history, which is aristocracy and a caste system, monarchy, strong national culture which produces a binding between individuals, society and nature through identity. The real questions are not being asked. Those are how we get leaders of quality at every level, how we establish working social roles, how we limit growth, and how we enforce rewarding the good people and exiling the bad without having to rely on a strong centralized government or decentralized mob.

In my ideal, people would associate with those like them. This would lead to a world of smaller kingdoms which would be aware of one another, but also so virulently xenophobic that they did not mix. This would enable each ethnic group to refine itself and improve qualitatively, instead of obliterating its refinements through mixing, but also allow co-existence and a trade in ideas. In addition — and this is what the left fears — it would allow some societies to be visibly more successful and/or more civilized than others.

Which figures have had the biggest impact on your philosophical views?

The most important thinkers in my world are Plato, Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich W. Nietzsche. The biggest influence on my thought however is nature. I walk in the woods and think, using equal parts analytical thinking and synthetic thinking (cf. Vikernes’ “syncretic eclecticism”). The result is a greater clarity than can come through the filter of language (in philosophy) and character drama (in fiction).

In addition, I gratefully acknowledge the following influences: Julius Evola, Ted Kaczynski, Aldous Huxley, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Guillaume Faye, Alain de Benoist, Joseph Conrad, William S. Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, Immanuel Kant, Paul Woodruff, Guillaume Faye, Alain de Benoist, Ralph W. Emerson, Paul Gottfried, Michel Houellebecq, Pentti Linkola, Theodor Herzl, Colin Flaherty, Garrett Hardin, Dr. William Pierce, Michael Crichton, Samuel Huntington, Steve Sailer, Gwendolyn Taunton, Johannes Eckhart, G.K. Chesterton, Bruce Charlton, C.S. Lewis, Nigel Farage, Graham Greene, Jane Austen, Christopher Alexander, Mary Shelley, David Brooks, Knut Hamsun, Thomas Sowell, Jared Taylor, Tom Wolfe, William Faulkner, Arne Naess, Bill White, the Prince of Wales, William Blake, Chinua Achebe, Peter Brimelow, Lawrence Auster, Junichiro Tanazaki, Richard M. Weaver, Anders Breivik, and many others including essentially all of the classics of Western literature. Most of my heroes are philosophers or fiction writers. There are many others as well, too many to count, including a number of conservative, traditionalist, New Right, Neoreaction and far-right blogs.

A lot of people on the dissident and mainstream right have come down hard on Michael Brown and mocked him not only as a symbol of modern black American degeneracy but as a symbol of a failed and increasingly idiotic liberal narrative about black victimhood and white evil. It was very surprising when I opened your page and saw that unusual article in which you basically defended Michael Brown, not as some innocent victim, but as the product of the failure of multiculturalism. I understand this concept but what would you say to a rightist who is completely cynical about the abilities of blacks to successfully govern themselves due to genetic shortcomings? Should we simply respect that blacks will never be on our level or is there hope for making them some kind of superior race?

“Superior” and “inferior” both require an object. Superior or inferior for what purpose? Africans have been happy in Africa since the dawn of time and see no reason to change. I do not either. The root of the problem in America is diversity, which forces different groups to either give up their culture and be assimilated or be perpetual outsiders living in relative poverty. This destroys the good people, who will want to hang on to culture, while rewarding those with no sense of pride in who they are except at the most trivial level of “personal accomplishment,” which is financial success through obedience in the workplace and to government.

I wrote an article once called “Creating the African Superman.” In it I described what would happen if eugenic principles were applied to African-Americans, namely keeping the best and removing the rest. This would have the same effect as the bottlenecks enforced on societies by nature that select for morality in order to get along with others and higher intelligence and a willingness to work collaboratively. Were I African-American, I would look toward this solution, and also read the writings of Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Osiris Akkebala who champion a strong African nationalism and repatriation to Africa, which if it does not thrive under African rule will quickly be re-colonized by China, India, the Middle East or some combination thereof. Africans risk being dispossessed of their homeland within the next century if strong indigenous leadership is not found.

Through my upbringing in the South, I have been fortunate to know good people of every ethnic group. It shocks and disturbs some white nationalists when I say that I know good, moral and loving black people that I would not mind having as neighbors if it were not for the long-term social consequences of diversity itself. While Asia appalls me, I know some wonderful Asian people. It seems to me that in every race that are castes, and in the highest caste among each are good people who both intelligent and able to apply that intelligence on a practical level. That combination is rare and denotes the people who should be in leadership positions but under democracy they never are. These people tend to oppose diversity, although if they are from third-world populations less so, mainly because they are humiliated by the low quality level of the society around them.

Diversity on the other hand can never work. The Robert Putnam study on diversity, which found that higher levels of diversity reduced trust both among different ethnic groups and within those groups, was one of the first cracks in the wall of zombie-like assumption that “diversity = good.” Diversity is a weapon of the left which hopes to destroy majority culture and remove social standards so that we can all be equal; it is a successful weapon because it is a binary, where you either support diversity or you are assumed to be Adolf Hitler II who wants to kill all who are not white. In reality, no race likes diversity. Under integration, all races will be replaced by a mixed-race group — a form of passive genocide — as has occurred to notorious failure in Brazil, Mexico, parts of the Middle East and many other of the formerly-great but now ruined civilizations worlwide. Somehow, every civilization that extinguishes itself manages to go the mixed-race route right before the end. The problem is diversity, no matter what groups are involved. Even where hybrids have been attempted between supposedly superior variants of Asian and European, the result has been an average of the two that loses the exceptional traits of both.

Mike Brown never had a chance. He grew up in a culture destroyed by diversity. He could either be the lapdog of liberals and assimilate, or stick with a “black culture” mostly managed by Hollywood. Absolutely no one gave him a positive direction he could follow because to do so would be to refute diversity and say, “Forget integrating into mixed-race America — be good by the standards of your community alone.” He was thrown into a social world that embraced victim culture and took on its trappings through gangsta rap and racial resentment, all of which primed him for the events which ended his life. Stoned, probably paranoid, angry and confused, he went on a crime spree and then panicked and assaulted a police officer. These actions ended as one might expect and ultimately, while he was not a positive actor in the situation, he was very much someone who never was given any realistic option to his fate. We all know about the black kids who are good at school, go on to Harvard and make lots of money, but Mike Brown was not that. He was probably an individual of 90-95 IQ points who could have been a perfectly normal contributor in an African identitarian society, but in a mixed-race and racial pity infused society, he became a pawn for the political struggle of leftists to destroy majority culture, and it destroyed him.

You caused a bit of controversy over your views on Neoreaction. I know you are friends with many in the NRx crowd but you look like you may have burned a few bridges with your statements. What specifically do you find wrong with NRx?

Neoreaction has many positive attributes. It inherits the idea that ideological government is a parasite from its post-libertarian origins, and instead wants to take social engineering to its logical extreme: run government like a corporation, where it bills citizens for services and delivers limited and functional services only, doing away entirely with the ideological State which is the basis of liberalism. This is the starting point of Neoreaction, which then branches out into other areas including monarchism, theocracy and nationalism.

My critique of Neoreaction is based in two areas. The first is that, in an effort to attract a popular audience, it reduced itself to a form of individualism. This happens to all internet movements as people want to join so they can appear “edgy,” but fear getting too far from socially acceptable ideas. Second, Neoreaction refuses to accept its conservative heritage and to endorse organic civilization. Liberalism operates through “systems” which are designed to avoid strong culture and leaders, relying instead on “invisible hand” methods like market forces and popular votes. Conservatism desires almost no government and self-rule by culture. Culture requires a racial basis and race requires nationalism, and those three are necessary together to create identity, without which social standards — other than the nominal prohibitions on murder, rape, pedophilia and the like — are impossible. Neoreaction without strong nationalism simply becomes libertarianism, which then quickly degenerates into liberalism.

I read a good many Neoreactionary authors, including but not limited to Nick Land, Justine Tunney and Henry Dampier. I have in the past read Mencius Moldbug but previously found most of his ideas elsewhere, notably Huxley, Houellebecq, Plato and Nietzsche. Neoreaction also denies many of its invisible influences, like Houellebecq, Charlton and Kaczynski, and its Nietzschean basis. But Moldbug was significant in that he said that while he was not a white nationalist, he had sympathy for them; that broke the invisible barrier that kept people from accepting ethno-nationalism as an objectively better method of social organization than the nation-state.

On the topic of NRx you recently suggested that it was becoming a spent force or dividing into bickering camps. Can you elaborate a little more on this?

Conservatism will inevitably absorb Neoreaction because the philosophy behind Neoreaction is a type of Conservatism. It is hard to realize how almost all political movements are variants of leftism, and how leftism infects all political movements because it introduces the individual as a reference point. People think that unless everyone in a room recognizes something as truth, it cannot be true, and this leads to making decisions by consensus or popularity instead of simply picking which point of view is most accurate. Neoreaction struggles with this because it is an internet movement, a young movement, and its members are undertaking the tremendous psychic weight of defying taboos and looking toward a direction that is not a variation of mainstream ideas.

In addition, they fear conservatives because most who publicly identify with being on the right are in fact “cuckservatives” or those who value compromise with the left over taking a stand. The problem is that Neoreactionaries take the term “public conservative” and focus on “conservative” when they should look at public. Anything which is designed to curry favor among a large number of people is by definition driven by compromise and appearance instead of actual reasoning. This clashes with the nature of conservatism, which is consequentialism (results in real world) and transcendence (a focus on the best results, i.e. “the good, the beautiful and the true” and “the perennial things” per Huxley or “tradition” per Evola). The idea of a popular conservative movement is nonsense and that is a hard pill to swallow. Liberalism and other forms of populism exist only as denial, apologism and distraction from this truth and the awareness that our society is in decline.

Neoreaction had the greatest power when it said that our society took a wrong turn with The EnlightenmentTM and that now we must fix that by moving away from the notion of equality entirely and embrace social hierarchy and consequentialism. This was too extreme for most of its audience. They want to make little fixes and then go on with life as normal. The result is a loss of focus and a gradual entryism of populism. People are looking for reasons to avoid the obvious task ahead of us. As a result they — like generations before them — distract themselves with what are on the surface innovations, but essentially justifications for remaining with the status quo.

Another point of controversy involves your views on Zionism. Yes, here comes the inevitable and obligatory Jewish Question. I find your approach to be strikingly contrarian. Can you explain why you hold this position?

If I wanted to destroy white people, I would create a false target for them. They would then exhaust themselves in that pursuit, as they did in the great wars against nationalism from the Napoleonic Wars through WWII, and be left weakened. The “Jewish Question” (JQ) is such a false target.

Theodor Herzl — the writer who inspired the founding of modern Israel — wrote that Jews would be safest and happiest in Israel because the cause of anti-Semitism was Jews standing out among other groups who were trying to preserve their own national identities. He recognized that strong nationalism is inherent to any population which wishes to save itself. The modern West fears nationalism because it clashes with the fundamental idea of liberalism, which is equality. The decay of the West came from The EnlightenmentTM when we decided that the individual was more important than social order or natural law. Our society will be in decline until we identify egalitarianism as the actual target, and the JQ distracts from this.

The JQ is tempting because it is an excuse for our failure and enables us to avoid taking responsibility for our actions. We did not do this to ourselves, we say, it was those evil Jews. They somehow came in here as a tiny population and took over. Then all evil came from them. If we just remove the Jews, the thinking goes, the good times will return again. The ugly truth is that the cause of our decay is within us and we can blame no one else. Our people chose the degenerate products, illusory ideologies and venal behaviors that JQ-ites attribute to Jews. Even if we assume Jews promoted these behaviors, we cannot blame the salesman for the popularity of his goods.

This leaves us with the hard recognition that we must reject the flattering idea of individualism and the guaranteed inclusion in the group that it provides to the individual. That type of thinking rejects the parallel roles of natural selection and morality which exile people who will do harm to social order. This offends the ego, but throughout history, we see this kind of “group individualism” manifesting before empires collapse. Originally it was called decadence and it comes from within. Until we accept responsibility for our decadence, we remain in a “victimhood narrative” that makes us passive and whiny.

Where were the Jews when the Maya collapsed internally, long before the Spanish arrived? What about the collapse of ancient Angkor Wat or the Tocharians? No Jews there, nor did they play a sizeable role in the collapse of Greece. Using the Jews as a scapegoat will lead us to attack a false target. By doing that, we will miss fixing what we must to survive and guarantee our doom. In the process, we will commit atrocities that make us hate ourselves. While The Holocaust began as a slave labor program, it became mass extermination. No person of noble European heritage wants to murder men, women and children.

Further, we have much to learn from the Jews. While they have their own struggles, most notably neurosis and venality, they also have a rich tradition of scholarship and a practical outlook that has every Jewish kid studying to be a doctor or lawyer while his white cohorts are busily fixating on football, video games, masturbation and Big Macs. If white Europeans emulated this and the strong nationalism of Judaism, they would be a healthy society again. The JQ is just a distraction from that necessary goal.

Amerika has had a love and hate relationship with the GOP. What role do you think the Tea Party still plays in the GOP today or at least conservatism at large?

The Tea Party represents a desire to reverse leftist drift. Since every journey begins with a single step, the Tea Party redirects mainstream conservatism toward conservative goals. I have zero faith in democracy but while it is available to us, we are fools not to use it. It is easily subverted by even small groups who are organized and motivated. It also avoids the sheer chaos of armed revolution and the unsavory possibility of having to murder our fellow citizens for following the orders of a decadent regime.

As far as the Baby Boomers go, the Tea Partiers are the best of them. They either never believed the 68er hippie quest or have repudiated it and are pushing hard in the opposite direction. The original name for the Baby Boomers was as you probably recall “the Me Generation.” There has never been a more self-focused group of people, and their modus operandi was to take all they could and then sabotage the means by which they got it so no one else could. They know nothing but themselves and want the world to be consumed by fire when they die.

The rest of us have inherited a world the Baby Boomers ruined. We should confiscate their assets and exile them to Mexico, then burn their garbage music, neurotic films and vapid literature in vast heaps. But the kicker of it is that Baby Boomers themselves were victims of decay. Their parent generation were the same people who embraced jazz and speakeasies in the 1920s and became flappers. The parents of that generation were the Bohemians, following the same regimen that the hippies did of free love and peasant living, much like self-styled iconoclasts for the previous two centuries. It is a perennial sham. These are first-world people adopting third-world lifestyles, much like anti-racists today, because they want to make a name for themselves as being egalitarians.

You have mentioned Hinduism as an important influence on your thought. What role, if any, do you think Hinduism has in reviving the West?

Hinduism resembles the other pagan religions I admire, mainly those from Northern Europe and ancient Greece. Several really important ideas come from Hinduism. The biggest is esotericism: there is one reality, thus one truth, and all religions try to approximate that truth, but religions learn like people do, which is that at each stage of revelation a new level becomes apparent and those with more ability and drive make it farther than others. I find great inspiration in the Bhagava-Gita and other writings of classical Hinduism.

It does not make sense to treat religions as discrete ideologies; as a wise man said, “There are no facts, only interpretations.” I would view any religion as a fact and most of those practicing it as interpretations. At that point, it becomes clear that some are farther along than others. This knowledge, and the Hindu monist cosmology, could go far in revitalizing Western Christianity to be not only coherent, but relevant in a scientific age.

You’ve had a dramatic shift in your views on Christianity, from hostility to some kind of acceptance. What is your view on Christianity?

When I started out, I wanted to murder every Christian in existence, burn down their churches and tear up their holy books. Over time, I came to see how “Christianity” has become infected by liberal logic and not the other way around. The herd does this to every idea it gets its paws on, so there is no advantage to choosing another religion, but our interpretation of Christianity can be improved.

No religious principle can exist which contradicts that which is apparent from reality. The herd Christianity, like liberalism, promises reward in another world for doing moral good. That in itself is the problem, not Christianity, which can be re-interpreted to de-liberalize it and remove its populist elements and replace them with warlike and realist tenets, creating what Adolf Hitler called “positive Christianity” as inspired by the thought from Schopenhauer that Christianity had positive attributes which could be brought forth by a Hindu influence.

Some years ago a fan archived all of Amerika’s articles into a PDF file. Is there a possibility that you’ll put out a collected works of Brett Stevens?

I remember someone archiving the ANUS articles, the 2009 articles from Amerika.org and the 2010 articles from Amerika.org. These are great resources to have. I can say that there is something similar planned for the future, but cannot elaborate at this time.

I recall your writing starting out very bleak and edgy. Later, the site adopted a pan-nationalist and even a Zionist and Christian-friendly view. Can you tell us a bit more about the bizarre political history of the site and how it changed?

The basic opinions offered on the site have never changed, but over time, they have evolved to get closer to the root of the diagnosis of the human problem, and as a result have removed some intermediary targets from their radar. The philosophies of Pentti Linkola, Julius Evola and Varg Vikernes still have an influence, along with Nietzsche and the Western canon of literature and philosophy. My contribution to this heap of historically unprecedented mental clarity is to recognize the causes of social decline in the individual, and the importance of identitarian culture and realism together in counteracting those.

Conservation is a conservative ideal. Environmentalism makes sense with the liberal ideas that make it unworkable removed. Most humans not only contribute nothing but actively sabotage civilization through carelessness or selfishness. They go to jobs, sure, and buy stuff, sure, but they are fundamentally not active in maintaining and advancing society. They are aware of this, and it makes them underconfident, so they adopt a surrogate belief system in liberalism which lets them claim to be anything but the self-absorbed and parasitic little monkeys they are. I couple these green outlooks with active nihilism, which is widely misunderstood. Nihilism denies all human thoughts and sensations which do not correspond to reality on a structural level. It prefers to know how things actually work, as opposed to their appearance and the (endless) “reactions” through human response in the form of desires, judgments and “feelings.” This vein of thought rejects all human illusions, including democracy and the basic goodness of human beings, culminating in a viewpoint that advocates a less formalized and less inclusive society where natural selection and hierarchy prevails.

As far as extreme environmentalism goes, my philosophical writing began in order to solve a single issue: ecocide. Over the past century, humanity has gone from co-existing with nature to consuming it. The problem is that solutions cannot be found at the level of method. We need entirely different leadership and values. Any society which, as the West has since The EnlightenmentTM, sacralizes individual choice will make reality optional. When reality becomes optional, people — most of them being as selfish, venal and manipulative as monkeys — do what is convenient for them and as a result, consume all resources and crowd out nature.

We cannot stop ecocide with “green” or “environmental” solutions; the only solution is to change our leadership and our culture so that we regard our environment as necessary, as the Deep Ecology movement pointed out. That in turn requires us to subordinate the individual to both natural law and social hierarchy, which requires putting the smarter and better people in leadership above the rest. This is perennially unpopular because it contradicts our view of our individual selves as uniquely important and valuable just for being alive, and incompatible with democracy, equality, inclusion and other modern Western sacred cows, but it is also a better representation of reality. If we choose it, we succeed; if we do not, we fail and destroy the ecosystems around us, eliminating the diversity of species and leaving only the “adaptive generalists” of fast-growing small trees, rapidly-seeding ground cover and generic critters like raccoons, squirrels, rats, sparrows and crows.

If any readers have questions inspired by the above, feel free to drop them in the comments here.

The Glory of Philosophy

Monday, August 8th, 2011

I recently came across a debate, or rather, fight, between people arguing whether or not philosophic quotations were worthwhile or useless. Allow me to clear up this important matter as well as the misunderstandings surrounding it.

Amerika.org calls itself ‘New Right’. I hung out with New Right people during my youth. Friends of my cousin. They were what one might call ‘proles’; making their money from hustling and menial labour, which they spent on beer and cigarettes that they consumed while hanging out on the streets. These people lived with their parents or in cheaply rented rooms. One thing they had in common; they said they loved their fatherland and that it didn’t belong to immigrants. They didn’t avoid fights either when it came to confrontations with other ethnic groups in the nightlife, so that they usually had some strong stories to share once they did their time and were back out on the street.

You are not that kind of a New-Righter are you, since you are here reading. Which means to say you love your culture, or at least have an affinity for your nation’s history, beyond listening to folklore songs and cherishing resentment against foreigners. You are probably a person who cares about the ideas behind the events that comprised the past. And if you honestly don’t care, then you might as well go outside right now to drink beer and smoke cigarettes on the streets.

Saying that philosophy is pointless, stupid or obsolete is the same thing as saying that even if one could learn from other people having waged the same debate before, it would be pointless to do so. It is saying that one had nothing to gain from examining their arguments and the objections to those arguments. It’s basically taking a dump in the face of Tradition.

Many Paleo-Conservatives would say that this is where the problems started; with Luther, Spinoza and the people who think like them. At that time folks started to think their individual conscience was only responsible to God and not to the rest of the world. It was when they started holding their own interpretations of the Bible as equal to those of the priests, and when they considered the light of their own reason beyond that of learned men who lived before. Peasant revolts were the result and Luther found himself forced to rewrite his theories.

Once one becomes sufficiently enlightened to regard arguments as Truth-claims, that one learns that for objective discussion, it doesn’t really matter who brought an argument forward. What matters is what can be learned from that argument. It is not a shame to quote a Truth formulated by men who said it better than you ever could yourself.

On a different note, it does matter who said what, because to make sense of the active political currents one has to understand Socialism, Liberalism, Conservatism, and thus the leaders and thinkers who gave those movements their impetus and directions. It greatly matters to one’s course of action if he calls himself a Marxist or Kantian, for example. A hypothetical person could say: “I’ve read Nietzsche and Plato and arrived at their same conclusions, so I don’t need philosophy because these thoughts come so naturally to me.” Yet one can only say after already having read them and thus borrowing off the prestige of philosophy to push the point. Nietzsche would describe that as a weak Will to Power. 

Let me just quote some fragments of discussion to show what happens when supposedly scientific people start discrediting philosophy:

Philosophy of science maintains that science itself cannot know whether a question is of benefit or of detriment. But this is false, because scientific investigation is based on human need. So all questions are inherently valuable. Simply put, we know what benefit and detriment are without philosophy of science! – Richard Zeitgeist

Saying philosophy of science is useless since you have defined that science pursues what is “detrimental” and “benefiting” to the needs of man, is incorrect. Some definitions may not incorporate things that, on closer inspection, you would want to include within the definition. Once having completed the definition, the scientist will use that definition as a searchlight which will accentuate and reveal some things, while leaving others in the dark. Science works systematically applying that searchlight, while philosophy has the ability to adjust and to broaden that searchlight. The scientist has assumptions of what qualifies for proof, that he is unaware of, that guide him when he sets up his hypothesis and when he makes an analyses of the experiment’s outcome. He has (implicitly) accepted certain principles and theorems that influence the way he will set up the experiment. Philosophy of science adjusts and broadens the searchlight by reflecting upon the principles applied by scientists.

Philosophy of science begins with the question of how to understand “benefit” and “detriment”. Then it asks the question what can be known and what cannot be known, before jumping to conclusions. Philosophy is about asking questions more than it is about giving answers. And questions start on assumptions of what is valuable. This is why some (possibly valuable) results of an experiment may not be noticed by the scholar, because this is not what he was searching for.

Doesn’t sound very scientific to me – sounds like you are going to get biased results based on arbitrary philosophy. There isnt a scientist in the world you would use this method because they would be changing the questions based on archaic philosophical decisions.

We should apply science based on any and all questions that emerge without changing them with philosophy. That way we get the maximum and most accurate data based on questions that have directly emerged out of human necessity.

I think you are emotionally identified to philosophy and that you connect to it out of enjoyment of romanticism and you have built up a character along these lines, but on analysis your methodology would distort the scientific method into arbitrary opinion and obtaining biased results. – Richard Zeitgeist

This argument, however, ignores Truth is timeless. The fact I close the window does not make it untrue that the window was open. Once a Truth is expressed it is a Truth for all time. It does not matter in which period it was expressed. The fact one lacks knowledge from the archaic period might be a flaw which can be overlooked – but the flaw of dismissing this knowledge before having studied it, cannot.

The clear observer will perceive how the rest of the argument (about the maximum and most accurate data) has been refuted by my previous reply since I pointed out how philosophy helps to detect any arbitrariness in the assumptions of the scientist. The implication is that personal affinity with a subject goes at the cost of one’s judgement. Well if that is so, not only has this problematic consequences for the interlocutor’s defence, but also it ignores that personal affinity drove any improvement that ever happened. Be it an improvement in terms of scientific breakthroughs or civic freedoms.

Lastly, we should conclude it ill-advised to respond with speculative assumptions regarding people’s personality – a move typical of any zealot, be it religious or ideological. Doing so generally indicates that the group one is representing is anything but objective. Resorting to personal statements based on emotion and personality demonstrates a lack of respect for objectivity in the reasoning, making the interlocutor and his methodology less trustworthy as a source of knowledge to me, not more.

 

Three books about crossing the abyss

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Friedrich Nietzsche is associated with nihilism not because he advocated it, but because he saw it as an essential stage. Civilization, sensu Nietzsche, has a life cycle through which it ages and dies as its symbols become increasingly disconnected from reality. For people in a dying civilization, the only hope is a Viking funeral for all values, and then a rediscovery of what matters in life — an awakening.

Since Nietzsche, novelists have attempted to chronicle this awakening in different forms. Thomas Pynchon explicitly mentions it in his short fiction; William S. Burroughs takes us through the darkest depths of hell to find redemption in action; even popular fiction like Paulo Coelho tries to show us an invisible world beyond the world of appearance as dictated by society. Today I mention three classics of this genre from the oldest school of the philosophical novel: how to discover what you’re willing to die for.

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Lancelot: A Novel
Walker Percy. Picador, $10

In this short book, a man discovers the life he was living was not what he thought it was, and then leads him to ask the fundamental question: how was I deceived? In fitting with the title, he discovers in himself a knightlike desire to wage warlike action in the name of moral alertness, or being awake to what goes on outside the visible, categorical, plastic-clean definitions used by our society to transact daily function. The book flirts with dangerous ideas and then quickly revokes them, much as Nietzsche flirted and then contradicted, to force us to invoke those issues and then pick our own reality more complex than voting for option A or option B, buying product Z or product W. While its topic is vital and kept me riveted, the use of language is somewhat heavy-handed. In fact, this book would benefit by losing a hundred pages or so (like many novels). There’s a mystery underlying the fundamental event of the novel and how it transpired, but what makes Percy a great writer is that by the time events are revealed, we the reader are so invested in his protagonist that it all seems quite natural, which is where we agree with what I surmise is Percy’s thesis: that in all of us is a Lancelot, and we’re happiest if we not only morally awaken but wage constant moral warfare against the slumbering, ignorant, beastlike complacency and deceptiveness of our species.

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The Manticore
Robertson Davies. Penguin, $10

This book approaches a man after The Fall, or his descent into dissolution that masked a deeper void in his soul. He has gone partway through the descent and recovery process Nietzsche describes, wherein he is aware of the hollowness of social reality but cannot yet grasp something better to strive for, and so remains becalmed in negativity and self-destruction, like most people under 45 are today. Although the book is told through Jungian archetypes, its fundamental process is one of rediscovering value by confronting life itself and all of the illusions society uses to cover its fears — mortality, natural selection, failure — and so is a slow, cerebral buildup to an animalistic finale. What is most interesting about this book is that it shows a character before awareness coming to the ground of that awareness, and lets us breathe our own hopes into him instead of closing the cycle. Like all books from this author, it mixes wit with that multi-axial sense of being suspended between emotions and actions that is at home in the modern consciousness, and prized when it is truthful.

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The Quiet American
Graham Greene. Penguin, $10

At its simplest level, this is a wartime political novel, written before American involvement in Viet Nam really took on stature, but showing the fundamental flaws not of an army, a political party or a nation, but of an attitude. In this circuitous novel that veers between disturbing action and contemplative scenes of social interaction, characters wrestle with their own balance between wanting to do what is logical and getting caught up in the forest of symbols, emotions, ideals and subterfuges that define the modern West. Much like Heart of Darkness and later Apocalypse Now this shows us people unwilling to win wars, or make their personal lives achieve clarity, because they are ghettoized in their individualism, comfort, and lazy self-deception. Like most books of this genre, it comes to a crashing denouement as one character grows a pair and risks the confrontation with social illusion — not social morality, not its conventions, but the basic illusion of society itself: that now that we’re part of it, we must no longer struggle for clarity, but can let its bureaucratic and unctuous socialization define that for us — and goes to war with the assumptions that lead to misery.

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