Posts Tagged ‘politicians’

What Idiocracy Got Wrong

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

The movie Idiocracy spawned a national debate about eugenics and the low reproduction rates in Western countries. The movie portrayed a future where intelligent people were too dedicated to careers to breed, while the thoughtless charged right ahead with abundant reproduction.

Although it did its best to tiptoe around political correctness, the movie made a convincing argument that Aldous Huxley was right and that our pursuit of pleasure, liberty, freedom, individualism, and happiness would lead us into a type of dystopia-Utopia in which idiocy would always rule while sanity and intelligence were mocked as “you talk like a fag.”

However, the first part of the movie proves the most realistic, in which the high-IQ nerdly white couple discuss the reasons for delaying the question of reproduction, then their health troubles, and finally, their failure. They just die out, while the rest surge onward, benefiting from the social order and institutions created by high-IQ people.

The point was not made solidly enough that what destroys our society is not the behavior of the low-IQ groundlings, who are the same in every age, but that the people we are relying on to be our high-IQ innovators are chasing phantoms. First their careers, and then, in pursuit of those careers, political correctness becomes what they pursue.

Growing up, I always assumed that we were living in a totalitarian country because there was only one way of succeeding, and it required obedience. Go to the school and memorize the “facts,” then repeat on test. Go to the job and spend hours there doing whatever you are told, even though most of it is unnecessary. Finally, chase trends so you can be “relevant” and get social recognition and through that, be important enough to be promoted and own things.

It was pervasive. If you went off and started your own business, you were still judged by the same things and because you had to socialize (to a degree) with those who were your customers and suppliers, you had to talk their language, which meant adopting their assumptions. The virus spreads through human contact.

Even those in the professions had to bleat out the same tired lies if they wanted to keep their jobs. Whether that was that fat, not sugar, caused obesity, or that race does not exist and we can all be just the same, the force of the lie was the important part: it kept you in a mental position of subservience, ruled over by an illusion chosen by others to flatter their pretense.

That, there, is the core of tyranny. It has two parts: the dogma must be untrue, and it must exist not for realistic reasons — survival of civilization, preservation of nature, increasing the good in the world — but so that people can obscure the parts of reality that make them feel small. They want to see themselves as important, as if the world revolved around them.

We are back to the Garden of Eden with that idea, or the discussion of hubris in The Odyssey. Humans have a role in a vast mechanical hierarchy of life, and it scares us because it acts for its own needs, and not ours. So we, like the rabbit in the field, can only hunker down and hope to find enough to eat while dodging predators. Our deaths and lives are not in our own hands.

Humans and other species retaliate against this smallness with pretense, which is the notion that the judgments of our species — both individual and group — are more important than those of nature, and therefore that we as individuals can be important in that social group and thus, in our minds at least for the short term, defeat death, fear, loneliness, insignificance, and the lack of innate meaning in life.

Our tendency in life as thinking beings is to become frustrated at the world for not resembling our outer intent, or what we thought we wanted to happen. Outer intent is like wishing you won the lottery; inner intent is like the desire for a comfortable life so that you can do something meaningful. When life does not match our outer intent, we tend to rage, even if it will eventually provide one possible option to match our inner intent.

Tyranny consists of humans in groups deciding to enforce their outer intent on the world through other human beings. If we say an apple is a banana, and to buy one at a store you must call it a banana, and you get fired if you call it an apple, then everyone who wants to survive will call it a banana. This flatters human pretense, or convinces us that our illusions are correct.

And yet, tyranny spreads from the top because people compete. If a new audience springs up which wants to call apples bananas, then all industries which depend on masses of individuals doing the exact same thing to support them — clicking a vote, buying a product, liking an idea — will turn toward favoring them, and those who are most driven to succeed will start calling apples bananas.

Those things are all egalitarian, in that instead of asking “what is right?” they ask “what do most people want?” Democracy, utilitarianism, social popularity, consumerism… these are all different faces of the same basic idea. And those who are smarter than average and want to make a better life for their families chase success in these areas.

Storeowners never say anything unpopular. Doctors are slow to deviate from the approved way of doing things. Advertisers play to whatever they think most people find least offensive and most appealing. Politicians know their future depends on promising what 51% of the audience thinks is a good idea. Rising from the bottom where it is formed, the rot then infects the top and trickles back down.

When you look out there and you see big companies insisting on diversity in every advertisement, government buildings lit in rainbow colors, and celebrities praising our enemies abroad, you are witnessing a “race to the bottom” caused by rot from the top. Everyone wants to get in on the latest trend so they can increase their own brand value.

This show us yet again that the real problem with bottom-up systems like equality is that they destroy us. We lose sight of any external mission and instead turn inward, which creates a competition for flattery and obedience, and that both breaks our self-respect and drives us mad as we try to conform to obvious reality-denial.

As Plato showed us, democracy changes us from people who can focus on a goal to people who are constantly distracted by new needs for entertainment, novelty, popularity, and whatever other trend is passing by:

And now what is their manner of life, and what sort of a government have they? for as the government is, such will be the man.

…After this he lives on, spending his money and labour and time on unnecessary pleasures quite as much as on necessary ones; but if he be fortunate, and is not too much disordered in his wits, when years have elapsed, and the heyday of passion is over –supposing that he then re-admits into the city some part of the exiled virtues, and does not wholly give himself up to their successors –in that case he balances his pleasures and lives in a sort of equilibrium, putting the government of himself into the hands of the one which comes first and wins the turn; and when he has had enough of that, then into the hands of another; he despises none of them but encourages them all equally.

Neither does he receive or let pass into the fortress any true word of advice; if any one says to him that some pleasures are the satisfactions of good and noble desires, and others of evil desires, and that he ought to use and honour some and chastise and master the others –whenever this is repeated to him he shakes his head and says that they are all alike, and that one is as good as another.

He lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour; and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the life of a philosopher; often he-is busy with politics, and starts to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head; and, if he is emulous of any one who is a warrior, off he is in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that. His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted existence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so he goes on.

These systems — consumerism, socializing, and democracy — destroy us because by making us “equal,” they create an absence of power into which the raving and raging of the mob mentality rises to have control. They start by destroying our elites and making them corrupt, but ironically, this occurs because those elites are soliciting approval from the masses.

When people tell you that our politicians, celebrities, elites, business, or capitalism is the enemy, it is important to recognize why they are wrong: the rot starts from the top, but that is because egalitarianism has changed the requirements for success to center on popularity with the herd.

Capitalism did not do this to us. Even the media did not do this to us. Nor did our politicians. We did it to us because we demanded — or at least enough of us did — that any official word flatter us, the people, and our notion that we are all equal. Political correctness results, and our society becomes a dog chasing its own tail, racing in circles until divested of its energy, it collapses.

Democracy Works Like A Good Confidence Scam

Friday, May 13th, 2016

When we refer to something as a “con,” we use a term that has been around for quite a long time and originates in the idea of the confidence trick, a type of swindle that involves using the mental blindspots of the mark to induce him to lunge after an illusory too-good-to-be-true offer.

The most common con job today is the Nigerian scam. Millions of emails go out to lonely and retired people claiming that a prince in Nigeria needs just a few thousand dollars to unlock millions of dollars, which he will share with the mark. The mark, being both credulous and greedy, visualizes those millions just like a lottery play and pulls the trigger. His thousands — sometimes hundreds of thousands — disappear, and now the rest of us have to subsidize his survival while the scammer runs free with the dough.

A good confidence scam is a force multiplier of sorts: like martial arts, it is based on using your mark’s momentum against him and then locking him into a posture from which there is no defense. The trick must involve a semi-plausible story which like any trap is believable to the hungry and incredible to the well-fed, so that those who fall for it are afraid to tell others and others, upon seeing someone fall for it, assume it was stupidity that ensnared that poor fellow.

The way to see through a trap is to treat it as a strict business deal. X is traded for Y during time frame Z with parameters A, B and C. When exposed that bright light, most scams fade away because it becomes clear that the promise is vague. It is that vague promise which traps the consumer: motivated by zeal, he projects his mental visualization of his hopes onto the fuzzy promises made by the salesman. Then when he leaps, the salesman or con man steps back and hides behind the limited language of the promise.

Now let us look at democracy.

In theory, or rather “in terms of its stated promise,” democracy means that people select politicians on the basis of self-interest. The crowd hustles to the voting booths, and whoever gets the most votes wins, and then applies the will of We The People when he gets elected.

In reality, or by reading the strict terms of the contract, actors go on stage and offer pleasant visions. These are exchanged for votes. At that point, obligation ends; the election has been won, and the candidates — who are selected on the basis of being the “most qualified” and to whom judgment is delegated — do whatever they want. They also have a permanent excuse for non-performance, which is that the other party stopped them or the law got in the way.

The salesman claims the product being sold is government, but the real product is the sales pitch itself. Whatever makes people feel happy and warm inside, especially with women and under-30 voters, is selected on the basis of those warm feelings. Voting is a competition for who has the best speech and most flattering platform to the voters, not any choice of competence, honesty, integrity or intent to actually do the things that were promised. It is American Idol writ large.

Naturally, a good part of our political activity consists of concealing this from the voters. Politicians always talk about integrity, honesty and strong “signals” or acts which confirm an ideology or tradition. In reality, they are like any other entertainer: the one who is most comforting, interesting and good-looking wins. It has nothing to do with results in the end calculus, but the media and political pundits do their best to conceal this.

Every now and then, however, someone lets slip the lie, usually as the basis for making a second career in media and publishing:

‘Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on,’ the anonymous legislator admits. ‘I don’t even know how they’ll be implemented or what they’ll cost.’

‘My staff gives me a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?’

And on controversial bills, he says, ‘I sometimes vote “yes” on a motion and “no” on an amendment so I can claim I’m on either side of an issue.’

‘It’s the old shell game: if you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em.’

Let us translate this for the audience:

The process of getting elected > What is done after elections.

Politics is a career and a job. What is the purpose of every job? To get paid. And the purpose of every career? To make a name for oneself. In order to survive, politicians — like good salesmen — must raise funds and votes. Then, they must show the right signals so that their audience follows them throughout their career. This is how they both avoid being eliminated from the game, and how they succeed at the job of politician.

You may notice that nowhere in there is effective governance mentioned. The ugly truth is that doing the job of politics correctly eliminates career advancement for the politician. The representative who gets into a position and does everything right will quickly become forgotten because good news does not make the news, especially when mundane and not all that interesting. A competitor will come along and promise free stuff instead. Career over.

‘Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe, and the next f***ing Twitter message,’ the congressman gripes in the book.

‘I worry about our country’s future when critical issues take a backseat to the inane utterings of illiterate athletes and celebrity twits.’

More importantly, what is hinted at but not said here is that voters treat elections with the same seriousness that they display when approaching the news. Cute, sexy, edgy and social messages win out over substantive ones, every time.

Notice that the politician who speaks in this piece, a Democrat, gets in a little propaganda for his side:

‘The GOP have their crazy wingnuts, and we have our loony leftists. Screw them both. What we need are more common-sense lawmakers. Folks who see both sides of an issue. Who are open to accommodating each other’s priorities. Today, both sides assume their views are the only logical ones.’

Translation: “compromise” means that you must accept insanity in the name of us all getting along, which is exactly the situation that produces the conditions this politician complains about. True to form, he has put self-interest first here as well. Compromise for compromise’s sake is as stupid as war for war’s sake, or using a hammer in place of a screwdriver because you like hammers.

The grim revelations continue:

‘My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.’

…’Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works,’ the anonymous writer claims.

‘It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.’

…’Nobody here gives a rat’s a** about the future and who’s going to pay for all this stuff we vote for. That’s the next generation’s problem. It’s all about immediate publicity, getting credit now, lookin’ good for the upcoming election.’

The idea of democracy is that we are all equal. This means that no person should rule like a king because, if we are all equal, he is just as fallible as the rest of us. Instead, we have a System: a maze of rules designed to limit power so that it works out for the best. But in reality, it is just another sales job.

More than cuckservative: the passive mentality

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Most of us at this point, if we were paying attention, know that our “elected leaders” are not just surprisingly weak but incompetent. This is the nature of parasites, who once they get elected view their job as an entitlement where they succeed by making happy feelings in other people in the way of salesmen, and actually getting anything done is secondary.

But what unnerves us is how comfortable the whole situation is. Government seems to work like an episode of The Office: people show up every day to pretend to hate on each other, make a lot of drama and accomplish very little. That one half of them claim to be “the Opposition” means very little because to them, it is a job. They show up to do job-things, act out the roles in which they stand, and make others like them. The consequences of this? Accountability? Responsibility? Those are not even on the menu.

I wanted to point out three parallel areas in which this process can be observed: cuck, the merchant mentality and the band-aid.

  1. Cuck: This simply means what happens when “regulatory capture” takes over on the level of personality. Guys and gals who go to Washington enjoy their coworkers and so they start a comfy little society where no one really rocks the boat. They also do not want to violate the moral pretense involved, to flatter the voters, that “equality” is anything more than the words of a salesman.
  2. The Merchant Mentality: When customers get used to being customers, they fall into a permanent passive role because (1) the attention flatters them and (2) someone else is responsible. The best of both worlds, right? You buy something because the nice salesman said such pleasing things, and then if it is not what you needed, you take it back and get something else. This is the mentality not just of voters, but of politicians to entrenched interests like minorities, foreign powers and big business. The goal of white politicians and voters is to keep signing the checks to buy off these entrenched interests, and if we step outside of that role, there will be hell to pay… or maybe not.
  3. The Band-Aid: You will notice as you go through life that any failing enterprise will have the same general tendency, which is to apply band-aids to broken things so it can avoid thinking about the process as a whole. If the pump keeps breaking, get a repair contract. Do not think about why the pump keeps breaking. When the repair contractor is not fast enough, get another contractor to compete with them. There, that’ll show ’em! If that doesn’t work, hire an intern… on and on it goes, never ending. At the bottom is the truth: something is out of place which keeps breaking pipes. The direct solution probably means a lot of pain right now, and then no pain after… but in the tried and true manner of humans, we will instead opt for the delayed monthly pain plan and avoid fixing the problem, and instead fix the public image.

When you wonder why government is dysfunction, in addition to to obvious appearance-over-reality failings of democracy, look for the above. They are all the same basic mentality, which is to compromise what one knows is true for the sake of what is socially popular, but they take such interesting forms.

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