Posts Tagged ‘rationalism’

Reclaiming “Realism” From The Herd

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

We live in a time without a single line of authority, so “anything goes” applies to our knowledge and people routinely misapply concepts in order to make them seem more distinctive and appealing.

For example, consider the term “realism.” It sounds made-up; we can guess what it would most likely mean, sort of like we guessed on terms during tests in junior high school, but then we end up with nothing more than it is for people who like reality.

A more detailed reading we have us realize that it means reality first, but even that tells us little. First before what? Human emotions, for starters. Human self-interest. Dogma and what we “should” be doing, according to ideology. Reality first before all else, even and especially, our thoughts and emotions.

Let us take a quick look at a basic definition of realism:

There are two general aspects to realism, illustrated by looking at realism about the everyday world of macroscopic objects and their properties.

First, there is a claim about existence. Tables, rocks, the moon, and so on, all exist, as do the following facts: the table’s being square, the rock’s being made of granite, and the moon’s being spherical and yellow.

The second aspect of realism about the everyday world of macroscopic objects and their properties concerns independence. The fact that the moon exists and is spherical is independent of anything anyone happens to say or think about the matter. Likewise, although there is a clear sense in which the table’s being square is dependent on us (it was designed and constructed by human beings after all), this is not the type of dependence that the realist wishes to deny.

The realist wishes to claim that apart from the mundane sort of empirical dependence of objects and their properties familiar to us from everyday life, there is no further (philosophically interesting) sense in which everyday objects and their properties can be said to be dependent on anyone’s linguistic practices, conceptual schemes, or whatever.

Realism is the antidote to relativism of the passive form, in which we can know nothing because not everyone agrees on what it should mean. This “consensus-based” view of reality is more properly understood as humanism or utilitarianism, because whatever the herd wants is declared to be “true” independent of reality. Realism reverses this and says that things are as they, and our perceptions are often separate from that.

This in turn to us reflects a vision of human cognition. We understand reality by knowing ourselves, and then by studying reality, and through that, come to know its patterns (Plato’s forms) and thus, an order above both the material and ourselves.

In contrast, the standard definition of “realism” used in everyday speech has more in common with pragmatism, fatalism, compromise and pacifism. It means “getting along with others” by accepting compromises instead of what you know is right. This is naturally an egalitarian impulse, a terminal spirit disease.

Witness a complex version of this usage in action:

A new foreign policy can be built by recovering a traditional realist approach that held for much of the Cold War era and which was shared by both parties. Doing so will reclaim American realism from those on the right who have made it the handmaiden of neo-isolationism, while ensuring that it avoids the overreach that since 2003 has undermined support for America’s role abroad.

…[W]e should think again about the purpose of American foreign policy. Yes, it is to preserve the sovereign and independent American union. Yes, it is to protect our homeland. And yes, it is to keep us prosperous and at peace. But these are not ends in themselves. They exist to allow Americans, with due regard for the just laws of others when abroad, to be free—free to preach, to trade, to study, to help, to work, whether overseas or at home. That is how we conserve free America: by acting to make sure that individual Americans are free to live their own lives.

The interesting argument in this piece concerns the abundantly evident observation that American foreign policy see-saws between isolationism and interventionism, and the latter way always heads toward Leftist globalism or its precursors. Isolationism failed because it allowed harmful events to transpire and resulted in bigger and more horrible wars than timely intervention would have achieved. Interventionism has now failed because it ends with American troops dying across the globe for the nebulous and impractical goals of spreading democracy and consumerism.

But then, notice the sleight of hand that transitions from realism to the usual “we can all get along” philosophy: we are fighting for the nebulous and impractical goal of spreading democracy and consumerism in America. This is not realism; it is rationalization of our decay projected onto foreign policy. It affirms that the nation serves the individual, when the other way is actually true, but only if we get government out of the way: the individual serves civilization and benefits from it in turn, but principles and realities must come first before individual “freedom” and “equality.”

Everything touched by anyone infected with Leftism will always become the same message, which is essentially subsidized anarchy so that everyone is included so that no one is excluded, which is why individuals join: to make sure they are never excluded, much like they pay club fees, go to see their friends’ terrible bands in dingy hipster bars, watch boring sporting events, pay union dues, and go to cult-like political and religious ceremonies.

Realism consists of recognizing that results in reality — the outcomes of our actions, and how they compare to all other possible options — matter more than human concerns or individual needs. We are what we do. If what we do is destructive, then it is not realism to do so but its opposite. As we come up on over two centuries of egalitarianism, and see the world in ruins around us, realism demands we change.

Political Correctness: An Extension Of Archetypal Leftist Psychology

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016


The Left rose through a singular power: a simple idea that made people feel comfortable in their social group, binding them together into a band to conquer all so that it would serve this idea.

For that reason, it makes sense not to say that Leftists are individually totalitarian, but that the thinking of Leftism is inherently totalitarian and individual Leftists will not be satisfied until they achieve a state that is both totalitarian and reality-denying.

The nature of ideology, after all, is to replace reality. It is the anti-reality. It tells you not how things work, but how they should according to human social logic. Leftism is at war with reality.

As a variant of Crowdism, Leftism is based in individualism. Every individual in the group wants guaranteed acceptance by the group. For this reason, they form a gang to make this so, but while their method is collectivism, their motivation is individualism.

What gives Crowdism power is the transfer of society from cooperative — where all people work unequally toward a goal that all understand — to control-based structures, where a formal goal is set up and applied equally to all in order to maintain power structures despite the fragmentation of society into many special interest groups, with individualists being one of these.

This gives rise to dark organization or a counter-current within society, formed of the individualist gang, that operates against its goals. Special interest groups do not share the goal of society as a whole, and therefore become parasitic: they take from the whole to support their own agendas.

For these reasons, the gang/cult of the parasite is always in motion. Its agenda never rests because it has hacked the human brain with a simple pleasing concept that short-cuts everything else. “If everyone is accepted, no one is at risk, and there will be no conflict,” is its underlying appeal, and the very fact of this simplification makes the meme powerful. It appeals to fear.

Since its motive is always conquest from within, the Crowd uses a number of hooks to short-circuit the psychology of others, and these in turn shape its own thinking into a pathological (repetitive without regard for results) obsession. This mental state can be recognized by the following internal cycles:

  • Begging the Question. To advance itself, Leftism uses this fallacy to transition political ideas to perceived social morality ideas. As we see with political correctness, the basic form is to assert that certain things are universally good, and therefore that in the converse, anyone who opposes those ideas is bad. The basic form of the fallacy is as follows:

    The fallacy of circular argument, known as petitio principii (“begging the question”), occurs when the premises presume, openly or covertly, the very conclusion that is to be demonstrated (example: “Gregory always votes wisely.” “But how do you know?” “Because he always votes Libertarian.”).

    A special form of this fallacy, called a vicious circle, or circulus in probando (“arguing in a circle”), occurs in a course of reasoning typified by the complex argument in which a premise p1 is used to prove p2; p2 is used to prove p3; and so on, until pn − 1 is used to prove pn; then pn is subsequently used in a proof of p1, and the whole series p1, p2, . . . , pn is taken as established (example: “McKinley College’s baseball team is the best in the association [ pn = p3]; they are the best because of their strong batting potential [ p2]; they have this potential because of the ability of Jones, Crawford, and Randolph at the bat [ p1].” “But how do you know that Jones, Crawford, and Randolph are such good batters?” “Well, after all, these men are the backbone of the best team in the association [ p3 again].”).

    Strictly speaking, petitio principii is not a fallacy of reasoning but an ineptitude in argumentation: thus the argument from p as a premise to p as conclusion is not deductively invalid but lacks any power of conviction, since no one who questioned the conclusion could concede the premise.

    The final line may be the most important: this argument type is a linguistic sleight-of-hand, and the only reason it works is that the premise is associated with universal moral good, a concept that itself is an assumption. But because of its appearance in a social setting, the argument seems convincing because universal acceptance is a necessary basic attribute of socializing in large and thus broad groups. This is how the Crowd forms.

    For example, consider the Leftist argument for diversity: variety is good, therefore we need ethnic variety. The only way to oppose this seems to be to criticize the conclusion of the argument, when the real solution is to attack the assumption and the inexact language that allows it to seem relevant. Variety is good in certain contexts, and only certain types of variety, and these do not analogize to civilizations very well.

    The Left moves into circulus in probando by stacking its assumptions: “Because (we assume that) morality is universal, (we assume that) diversity is good, and since (we assume that) diversity is working so well, we need to expand the program.” In fact, all of Leftism can be seen as a circulus in probando starting with the idea that personal intent is more important than reality — the core of individualism and The Enlightenment™ — and moving to universalism, democratization and finally, to the extension of those principles to other areas. Diversity might be viewed as ethnic democracy, welfare as subsidized universalism, and strong state control as democratization of power.

  • Rationalism. Humans like to think that reason alone will bring them to correct answers, but they forget that our reasoning is shaped by our minds and must correspond to a reality more complex than our minds. Reason is thus not a singular thing, but many grades of an idea, and in addition to that, it varies with the individual.

    For those reasons, saying that reason will guide us to correct answers necessarily overloads our minds with the imposition of the idea that all people are the same, and that reason works like a calculator, when in fact it is more varied. That in turn creates the curse of rationalism which is that it enables people to have tunnel vision by identifying a plausible answer and then finding facts to support it, instead of assessing all facts and finding a model which fits all of the known data.

    Rationalism in this sense is not essentially distinct from rationalization, or developing a way of visualizing an unfortunate event as a positive one. In this case, the unfortunate event is civilization collapse, and so instead of fighting it, the Left rationalizes it and directs its attention away from fixing the problem to finding a way to feel good about the problem. Both rationalism and rationalization start by accepting a perception and then altering facts by filtering out those that do not conform to the thesis so that the perception appears not just true but inevitable.

  • Control. When cooperation can no longer exist because society is pulling itself apart into special interest groups, control appears: force everyone to go through the same procedures, or “means” versus “ends” or goals, equally or in the same way, so that details can be managed from central control or through a centralized narrative, even if independently interpreted as is the case with egalitarianism, the founding idea of the Left.

    The modern method can be seen as Social Control, or use of the threat of ostracism and reward for making people feel good as dual pincers of the control mechanism. Guilt is the primary weapon there: those who are not ideologically conforming become aware that others will be “upset” or “offended” by their acts, and are made to feel bad not about the consequences of their actions in reality, but in the perceptions of others.

    This process of regulating people through public appearance proves deadly effective because humans — like our Simian forebears — are social creatures. Alienation does not require government intervention, and because it causes others to fear for themselves if they are associated with the alienated person, spreads like a disease. It is more effective than any other means of punishment because the consequences are all-pervasive.

    When noticed by humans, social control is referred to as peer pressure with all the implications of collective punishment that this indicates. A small group, like a local community, fears being associated with bad ideas, so it punishes those who have them. In addition, this group will punish a group within it for deviation from the norm. This means that the individual is totally dependent on the group for behavioral cues and must follow whatever is decided, in an inversion of democracy but an extension of democratization. When all people have a voice, conformity results, and then it is made mandatory.

  • Crybullying. To advance a petitio principii fallacy, one must act as if the assumption therein is normal and universally liked. This requires playing the role of an innocent, benevolent and passive party. However, when someone refuses the assumption, this requires the fallacy advocate to act the role of wounded victim, which then justifies (synonyms: rationalizes; excuses) retaliation.

    This produces a type of weaponized passive aggression or indirect bullying. The Leftist needs to appear somewhere, insist on a Leftist method, and then act wounded while summoning the troops — the rest of the gang/cult — to attack. This enables Leftists to infiltrate any area of society and, by using their passive aggressive “victimhood” narrative, force others to conform to what the Leftist desires.

The psychology created by the above cannot be properly viewed as a philosophy, but an inversion of philosophy: instead of finding reasons to act in certain ways, it assumes basic human impulses — which like most undisciplined things, are usually wrong — are correct and then invents explanations for those that make them seem reasonable.

That however implicates a philosophy with two branches:

  • Means Over Ends. Leftism embraces a classic “means over ends” analysis. In that view, the goal does not matter so much as behaving in a correct way, in this case for social approval. That allows necessarily goals to be ignored if the methods needed are upsetting or inconvenient to the group, which “wags the dog” because then instead of thinking toward purpose, people think away from purpose and let methods become a substitute for goals. This rationalizes the lack of purpose inherent to a dying civilization and creates an imitative society where people repeat past successful acts without knowledge of what made them successful, simply by placing trust in the method and being afraid to contemplate goals.
  • Cause And Effect. Normally, we see our actions as the cause of an event which had certain effects, or outcomes. In the inverted world of Leftism, cause is removed by the assumption of moral goodness to methods, which signifies that the methods are both effect and cause. This removes the human ability to see cause, and by declaring the irrelevance of ends or effects, obliterates our ability to formulate independent goals. This creates atomized, infantilized, and domesticated people who depend on strong authority for guidance, as their acts otherwise are goalless and therefore become self-destructive in addition to pointless.

The root of this philosophy is a resistance to life itself: people would prefer to be gods in their own minds than to realize their place in an order — structure, hierarchy, flow of events — that makes life what it is. This is the essence of control within the human mind. It rejects all that is natural and replaces it with a world composed entirely of human thoughts, feelings and judgments. This is comforting to the under-confident and neurotic.

All high-level societies die through some form of Crowdism, which is usually Leftist. When a civilization is forming, its purpose is clear: create civilization, beat back nature and disease, and organize so that the pleasures of life are possible. After that point, civilization is taken for granted because most people cannot see the reason to choose a new purpose, since they have the effects of the work that created that civilization.

Dysgenics factor in here as well, especially in cities large enough to be anonymous. People need only to find a job, rent a place to live, and purchase food from street vendors. Everything else is optional. It is not surprising that modern Leftists are enamored of the job/rent/restaurant lifestyle. This, and the advances in institutionalized hygiene and safety that save people from their own bad choices, create people who are living but have no will to live other than the mechanical and material process of survival itself. With this, purpose and bravery die.

Anti-goals afflict successful civilizations only. One mode of thought, embraced by primitivists and Nietzscheans to varying degrees, is that civilization — if it wishes to survive — needs to back off of “perfecting” everyday life, and should preserve dangers. The idea of social Darwinism that is not in love with jobs and money holds that there should be no externalized costs to individual actions, such that each individual faces the consequences of his actions including potential death. This means strict punishment for any costs incurred to society by the individual, a lack of things like insurance and uniform methods of survival, and daily challenges so that the clueless weed themselves out.

Another possibility for civilization survival is to design it such that every action must have a purpose, and the results are compared to that purpose, with those who achieve parity between intention and reality being promoted in a hierarchy. This creates constant internal evolution and at the very least disenfranchises those who are inept at everything but collecting social approval. In other words, society must be less “social” and more purpose-driven.

Diversity presents a fundamental problem in any society because with the presence of a single person from the Other group, either social standards must be widened to include the standards of both self and Other, or those who are Other will be at a disadvantage and appear to be victims. That in turn jump-starts the begging-the-question fallacy by making it easily observed that the Other is failing, and assuming that this is bad, and therefore that “change” must occur.

Above all else, we must remember what Walt Kelley told us years ago: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Inside of each of us is a monkey. This monkey reacts to life out of fear and lives in a miasma of superstition, projection and denial through filtering out inconvenient and upsetting information. This monkey is driven by impulse, which leads to rationalization of that impulse, and reverts thought. The healthiest civilizations are disciplined more in terms of private thoughts than public behavior, but not through Control; instead, they aim for realism and other methods of refining the spirit to be rigid about its thinking and to push down the monkey impulses.

Our inner monkey resents life for not being equal to our intent as individuals. That choice forces us to either accept reality as it is (nihilism) or to accept only ourselves, then rationalize that denial as good, and in turn blot out reality without a consensual hallucination of human thoughts, feelings and judgments. Since this has its root in the monkey impulse toward self-importance in defiance of a reality structured otherwise, it is also a regression and the source of the dark organization that is Crowdism.

We have come to recognize Typical Leftist Behavior (TLB) with increasing frequency as the achievement of Leftist goals (diversity, equality, democratization, globalism) has made reality totally unknown to most people, resulting in terrible consequences when their ideas are put into practice, as usually happens with reality-denial. TLB takes many forms but all are based in the schema above.

The threats in front of us — Leftism, The Enlightenment,&trade civilization collapse — are themselves effects of this inner transformation of human beings. We no longer intend to achieve good results; we focus instead on making our feelings happy despite the darkness around us, but this deprives us of a sense that life can be a joy and a pleasure. That in turn pushes us toward more dark thoughts and behaviors.

Salvation for Western Civilization begins when we not just reverse this process, but commit ourselves instead toward a purpose which replaces the original purpose of survival that kept our civilization united in its early years. We also must protect ourselves genetically, so that we are not replaced with the Other, even in traces, as those alter what we were and through atavisms of that, what we must be again.

The Left won because it had a simple idea that dominated all other thinking. The solution is not to try to replicate that, but to understand that simple ideas which dominate are in themselves a terrible notion, and that instead, we need a more nuanced, purpose-driven and realistic view of life. As Leftist society crashes in chaos around us, more are turning toward this idea or something like it.

“An Introduction To Nihilism” And An Interview With Brett Stevens

Friday, October 21st, 2016


Over at Manticore Press, a short writing entitled “An Introduction To Nihilism” which explains in straightforward terms the philosophy applied in Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity.

Perhaps its most biting moment:

By facing the darkness of life directly and allowing the cold wind of the abyss to lick our faces, nihilism creates acceptance of the world as it is, and then embarks on a search for meaning that is not “social meaning” because it is interpreted according to the individual based on the capacity of that individual. Nihilism is esoteric in that it rejects the idea of a truth that can be communicated to everyone, but by freeing us from the idea that whatever truths we encounter must include everyone, allows for lone explorers to delve deeper and climb higher, if they have the biological requirements for the mental ability involved.

For this reason, nihilism is transformative. We go into it as equal members of the modern zombie automaton cult, convinced that there is objective truth and we have subjective preferences. We come out realizing that our preferences are entirely a function of our abilities and biology, and that “objective” truth is as much an idol as the Golden Calf of Moses’ time: a fiction and consensual reality created to keep a troupe of slightly smarter than average monkeys working together.

Its most interesting part however may be its clarity on the idea of nihilism as a different method of finding reality than the intermediaries and symbolic realities normally chosen by humans:

Nihilism rejects the ideas of universalism, rationalism and empiricism which have ruled the West for centuries. These ideas arise from our social impulses, or the desire to include others as a group and motivate them with what is perceived as objective truth.

Universalism holds that all people are essentially the same, and therefore that values are a matter of respecting the choices of each person, truth is what can be verified in a way a group can understand, and communication relies on words which have immutable meaning. Rationalism supposes that the workings our minds can tell us what is true in the world without testing, and implies universalism, or that the workings of our minds are all the same. Empiricism, now linked to its cousin logical positivism, states that truth is only found in observable and testable, replicable observations.

In addition, for your reading pleasure, Everritt over at A Natural Reaction has published “An Interview with Author and Philosopher Brett Stevens” in which he asks the big questions and some subtler ones that reinforce them. This was a well-executed interview.

Apparently this section has generated the most reaction:

Do you have hope for the future? If so why?

There is always hope. Humans can change themselves, or at least some can, and they tend to influence others by their natural leadership abilities. Right now, every Leftist policy is failing at once, and so history will force us to make a change. In my view, it will shift toward the vision of futurism and not the old, tired, and failed system of liberal democracy.

You may also notice that we have a new site design. This arose from practical concerns — how to make the text more readable, work around some technical glitches and support mobile devices — but also as an upgrade to our aging three-year-old site design. There will be minor corrections over the next few weeks as there always are, but if you spot something that has gone wrong, please mention it.

Sour Grapes

Saturday, October 1st, 2016


We are always looking for a word for what ails us.

This world works by cause and effect. Each effect has exactly one cause; however, it is not true that because an effect has a cause, that cause is the only source of that effect. This means that for every ill of our modern time, there is a cause in the past.

It is no longer controversial that democracy is in decline worldwide. Everywhere it is tried, the fundamental bigotry of the human mind toward illusion and against reality comes out. And, as anyone who has ever sat through a decision by a committee knows, groups make terrible choices because they are fundamentally indecisive, timorous and influenced by social pressure more than knowledge of what worked in the past.

But somehow we got to this current phase, which is the result of a previous phase, and a long line of bad — or at least mediocre — decisions stretch back over decades, centuries, millennia.

Where did we go wrong?

We can identify individualism, or the eternal human temptation to make the ego more important than reality, as the mechanism of our decline. Many Rightists point to what they call “nihilism,” but might more properly be called pessimism, defeatism or fatalism, as the cause of that.

What they call nihilism is in fact something simpler: sour grapes. You may remember the old fairy tale. A fox wants some grapes, and cannot leap high enough to get them, so he declares that he never wanted them. They are sour, he says, and so he is better off not having them. This type of rationalization is the root of human error.

For starters, it makes us think backward. Instead of looking toward goals, and then making events happen in order to achieve those, we content ourselves with what is convenient, and then backward-justify or “rationalize” it as good. Good is redefined to be convenient; this means more than physically convenient, mentally convenient.

Individualism and rationalization have a symbiotic relationship. When we assume the individual is the source of all good, we rationalize every act as necessary based on the desires of the individual. When we think clearly, we see the individual as a means to an end, which is the experience of life and moral rightness, which is (believe it or not) needed for a good experience of life.

What the right calls nihilism is in fact fatalism, which is in fact “sour grapes.” In humans, it takes on a virulent form: if people cannot have reality in the way they desire, they seek to destroy what is there for having insulted them and oppressed them by depriving them of the belief in their own cleverness and goodness. It inspires rage, a consumptive and destructive rage.

This is why many Rightists are taking The Black Pill. We deny the importance of self, the ability to communicate with others, and the presence of universal value systems. Instead, we see only reality, and the esoteric prospect that it is perceived unequally on a biological level, therefore we need people like us around us and we need a hierarchy which puts the best perceivers at the top.

Even more, nihilism tells us exactly how venal and short-sighted most people are, because it explains how they are trapped in the self and unable to connect to the world beyond. Whether they become materialists or religious fanatics, they embrace the same dysfunction, which is idealizing the mental model of reality more than the quest to refine that model.

In so doing, they make themselves agents of the anti-real. Instead of a study of life, we have a study of the self, but only on the surface, because to look deep within — at the level of existential, moral, spiritual and intellectual growth — is to discover the necessity of reality. To avoid that, they fetishize the trivial as a means of aggrandizing the personal, and the result is a steady flow of mental spam and social demands.

Nihilism acts like a paint stripper, removing the false external and the herdist social control instinct, replacing it with a raw emptiness which will devour the personality unless a purpose related to reality intervenes:

The passage evokes a kind of impersonal awe, a cold rationalism, a null-state. In the late 1940s, the Japanese philosopher Keiji Nishitani would summarize Nietzsche’s fable in different terms. “The anthropomorphic view of the world,” he writes, “according to which the intention or will of someone lies behind events in the external world, has been totally refuted by science. Nietzsche wanted to erase the last vestiges of this anthropomorphism by applying the critique to the inner world as well.”

Both Nietzsche and Nishitani point to the horizon of nihilism – the granularity of the human.

Most people do not act except with a social target, which in turn flatters the ego because other minds like their own seem like extensions of their own minds at that point. The goal of the individual in this case is not to make the most of life, but to control what is convenient for them, so they can continue to think backward via rationalism.

In this sense, modern people are like Ahab in Moby-Dick: obsessed by the need to control that which refuses to bend to their will. This process is addiction like masochism or heroin, and it gradually destroys them, much as it eats up a society when it is weaponized in collectivized individualism, or Crowdism.

We can see two alternatives to this that do not work. The first is the raw unselfconscious impulsive behavior of third world societies; the other, the impassive solipsism of the Oriental religions. The former removes all function of the conscious mind in order to avoid the possibility of error, and the latter craftily confuses the mind with the world in the name of doing the opposite.

The Asiatic method renders the quest for reality as an entirely personal endeavor, at which point it takes on the aspects of backward rationalization: instead of pushing the individual to accept more of reality, it selects those parts of reality which are convenient, creating a “cherry-picking” effect. This is similar to Western dualism, which erects a false secondary “world” of theological symbolism that is designed to placate the individual.

The Black Pill is the only alternative. It removes the various crutches — material, ego, emotion — used by the individual, and renders the individual as a means to the end of perceiving reality and doing right by it. This de-emphasizes the individual and moves thought forward once again.

The Animal In Man And The Logic In Nature

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Over at SoloPassion, Linz opines:

…I asked where Objectivism allowed for the animality in man, the “rational” animal.

Objectivism’s failure is its contention that any conflict between the two elements is illusory—a mere error in thinking; that they are fundamentally, metaphysically harmonious and the trick is to strip away the illusory barriers to their being in harmony. It’s a bit more difficult than that. It’s a matter of identifying and acknowledging without philosophical qualm that certain elements of our animality are vicious and destructive and just downright stupid … and given; while others, when informed by mindfulness, are not only joyous and intelligent but contain the seeds of our next evolutionary leap.

Objectivism’s failure is that it is both total nonsense, and correct on many points. As a philosophy, Randian Objectivism is gibberish, but as a capitalist restatement of Nietzsche, it is wholly accurate — and often terrifyingly insightful about the nature of the Left. This is not surprising, since Ayn Rand was born Alyssa Rosenbaum in Russia and watched as the Bolsheviks stole and dismantled her family’s business and failed to replace it with a functional option. She knows the Left because she has seen them unleashed.

But let us ask: is there an animal in man, and is it a logical animal? This leads to the other question: is nature logical, or can man do better?

I suggest that here we are imposing a category of good/bad onto a situation that is best measured in degree and degree over time. Nature thrives because it works under any circumstances, and slowly builds itself to higher levels. This is what is meant by degree: natural methods always work, but have the ability to do better when we act according to the same type of barebones literalistic realism that nature employs.

For example, rats in cages will eat each other if not fed. Humans might avoid doing the same in the hope of escape, knowing that they might be just around the corner from escape and that if not, eating others to prolong their own survival for a few more days would not help anything. At the same time, this can become a “pretense” or social signal through moral posture of being above such acts, when sometimes they are the right thing to do.

People trapped in a cabin over winter might eat each other in order to survive until spring. If you have a malevolent sociopath (as opposed to a benevolent sociopath like myself) among you, killing and eating him is a good solution. In warfare we kill; we kill bad people; to achieve good ends, one must often be evil, which is the conservative ends-over-means calculus (the Leftist ends-over-means calculus is that no sacrifice is too great to advance the Glorious Egalitarian Ideology, comrade, and if this means you die in horrible ways, we thank you for your sacrifice).

If the animal in man is illogical, then nature too is illogical. And yet nature works better than all of our “rational” designs. Human civilizations tend to collapse at the height of their rationality, and so far, there are no survivors, just a long trail of civilization-corpses. Maybe rationalism is a dead end, and the order of animals is more logical? And that if we are going to surpass it, we need to first understand it, then construct our version of it, instead of simply insisting that our feelings are more real and we need to act according to social sensations like compassion, fear, affection and the like?

One commenter adds a significant rebuttal:

Objectivism, as is the case for all Classical Liberal derived philosophies, is a blank slate worldview. This is a big problem; the source of *all* the problems we’ve seen in its history. Blank slatism leads to views that are consistent with both social constructivism and environmental determinism; ie it leads to views that are the same as those held by the Left (and by that I mean both the Left and the Neo-Conservative Progressive Right).

Excellent point. The assumption of people being equal/identical/interchangeable or otherwise “the same inside” (we all bleed Red, etc.) is the foundation of demotism, and it is expressed in politics through democracy, in business through consumerism — often funded by the welfare state, in sexuality through female promiscuity, and in socializing by the “we must all get along” kindergarten-teacher school of management. All of these make the same error, one which nature — being more logical than rational — does not make.

Morality Does Not Require God

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016


For some reason, many people of a traditional bent believe they are fighting against “nihilism,” or the denial of innate value and purpose to life.

They view life as having one of two options: either there is a plan which we must all obey, or all choices are optional, and we might as well do whatever.

That notion, as you will see in the forthcoming words, is an artifact of our time and its belief in equality. It is a false dichotomy and a pointless choice.

Here, for example, from someone who should know better, is a clear statement of their fear:

To take one example, if you say there is no God and then turn around and tell me I should not be a racist, or that I should help someone in need, and I say, “why should I?” how do you respond? If we are all evolutionary accidents, why can’t I believe and practice anything I wish?

Let us refresh our historical memories with a short insight from Friedrich Nietzsche:

“Where has God gone?” he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us – for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto.”

Nietzsche’s point is that God did not die by his own hand, but by ours. We forgot how to value and notice God, and so He passed out of our consciousness.

In other words, choosing God is like everything else, a choice. Before we can make that choice, we must choose to choose, which means we must decide to be good, or that we value good more than its alternatives. Then we can discover what is good and pursue it, but not before we make the conscious election to want good and not any other option.

It is a narrow path, as they say.

It is the same with God. We must choose Him. Otherwise, we continue to live like the other beasts, limited in what they can do. And in fact, many humans have no choice but to be godless as they are unaware of many things. They lack the wiring to understand things more complex than cheeseburgers and the time period until the next paycheck.

We also do not need God for morality. We can choose to be moral the same way.

We need God for an entirely different reason: God is part of reality, and the only sensible answer to many of our questions. Reality without God is incomplete, but reality without being able to speak German is incomplete, too. This is not a binary choice, but an option to optimize our experience.

Pursuit of God is like the pursuit of any other transcendental — such as “the good, the beautiful and the true” — in that these are things above and beyond mere survival, but they enhance life from subsisting to thriving. Thus to those who reach a certain level of understanding, they become essential. This is the philosophy called esotericism.

A human needs food, shelter, and water to survive. Above that, life becomes better, but only when those basics are so well taken care of that the mind can look to other things. This is both Mazlow’s hierarchy and our own evolution. As we became more powerful, we turned to questions that required more power.

But in each individual, evolution is recapitulated: we must develop ourselves to the highest levels we can, and we are limited by what we are given to work with. Someone with an IQ of a hundred has far fewer options than someone with an IQ of 130.

Morality comes from realism. We are here to adapt to this world in all of its complexity and, once we become aware of an option, we must either choose it and rise or remain where we are. There is no Hell, only a knowledge of “what could have been” which is beaten into our heads by time. Foreclosure and regret and strong teachers!

All traditional morality consists of choosing the things that work out better than others. The family, culture, tradition, even religion itself — these things are important to us because like other methods of survival, they work better than the other options.

And yet there is no need to choose them. Not everyone can, and not everyone wants to. The human notion of rationalism — based in the presumed but unproven and illogical belief that all people are “equal,” an algebraic notion applied to a multi-dimensional space — demands that we see God as universal and therefore accessible to all.

But in reality, like understanding The Republic, God is not open to all. God is not a machine or a wonder-drug. God is first and foremost a state we must reach within ourselves to choose God.

There is no equality. Equality is the death of God because it assumes that what is shared between humans, the human form, is perfection and is therefore superior to God’s order a.k.a. reality. Egalitarianism is our arrogance and denial of God, but most insist that it is necessary so that God can be universal instead of optional.

But He is optional, like every other good thing. He is also “racist”: God made the different groups with different abilities, and they serve different roles. Race, too, is not universal. Universalism is the bigotry of humans against the complexity and unknowability (for everyone) of God.

And yet, we must beat back our raging human Ego. What is important is reality, including its transcendental dimensions if we can fire up the inner gumption to seek them out. And with that, we will rediscover God, and he will no longer remain dead.

“Exterminate All Rational Thought!”

Monday, April 4th, 2016


The modern world is based on rationalism, or the idea that we can understand our world using logic independent of direct experience. It tends to overlap with empiricism, or the idea that replicated results are the highest form of sense-experience.

From the opposite side of the debate comes the older view: human reason is misleading unless it is deeply intuitive and guided by morally honest, self-disciplined character. Our logical deductions often reflect more of the chaos of our own minds than the world around us.

In practice, rationalism means the assumption of equality a.k.a. “universality.” This thinking assumes that all objects sharing some attribute belong to the same category, and they behave the same way. It allows those objects to be treated as generic, and without any changes to our logical approach for their type versus another.

This reveals the human projection behind rationalism: we want the world to be uniform for the convenience of our thinking, which does not want to know particulars. It wants to make broad conclusions and apply them mechanically to achieve magical results. That provides the maximum convenience and ego-flattery for the individual.

Rationality starts with deduction, and ends with broad almost religious conclusions, but in the middle there is the imposition of assumptions about logic. Rationalists tend to assume that the boundaries of a category are more important than its center, in the same way the nuances of words in interpreting law has become more important than the spirit of the law. “Technically correct” is the hallmark of rationalism.

The utility of rationalism is found purely in material sciences. Technically, its results are correct, although there are always externalities and imprecisions that somehow were never noticed, and they are usually not mentioned.

If you wonder why our society is so advanced and yet so incapable of getting basic things right, you are seeing this rationalistic approach in action. When Microsoft Word glitches constantly and does by default some very stupid things, rest assured you are seeing the remnants and externalities of rationalism at work. People looked at the details and treated them as universal, instead of seeing how the parts connect up.

Rationalism has one sole advantage: it extends analytical thinking, or a bad analogue of it the way Budweiser is technically “beer,” to people who are not geniuses. The Crowd can participate if they memorize enough equations, rules and methods to be able to have some way of breaking apart a problem. But as with all things modern, the deconstructed is never assembled again into coherence, spreading entropy and misery alike.

The organic critique of modernity

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016


The American Interest wrote up an interesting profile of recent interest in the writings of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who we might describe as an organic critic of modernity:

Instead, they take the essence of his critique of rationalist Western universalism and the structure of his solution, which is to retrieve a lost, organic communal life not as a traditional inheritance, but through a revolutionary project.

Taking these two movements as representative examples of a certain strain of Heideggerian political influence, what stands out is, first, the comprehensive dissatisfaction with the rationalist order, in each case described as a Western, politically liberal, or capitalistic set of structures. Second, in this view, liberal universalism—including its insistence on human rights, rights of property and contract, and the attendant rule of law—stands for the thinnest, narrowest basis of community, and indeed represents the corruption of truer, thicker, particularist forms of communal existence. Third, the power of the established liberal order is sufficiently entrenched to warrant, even to require, violent force in order to disrupt it. And fourth, urgently required though it might be, the political form of that post-revolutionary order is apparently ambiguous.

Modernity consists of a narrowing of focus to the material and instant. All people are equal; like an assembly line, universals act upon them and channel them toward ideologically correct behavior and self-interest. Connections to the community and nature are lost through this assertion of modern control.

Opposing this, the organic society is a broadening. It considers all factors at once, and sees society not as a bucket of sand but as something like an ecosystem, where unequal people in different roles collaborate toward an end, which is the health of the society itself. Modernity does not even have a basis for understanding this.

The organic society is at the root of traditionalism, and even the German wanderlust literary school of Hesse and others who undoubtedly influenced Heidegger. It is not a third way; it is an entirely different way, separate from politics and the self-consciousness it imposes on all.

Interest in Heidegger shows the most recent burst of modern people desiring to understand this ancient and future way of living. At the very least, it provides a toe-hold for those who want to see what might be on the other side. Its increasing volume shows how much they are drawn, on an aesthetic and emotional level, to what they see.

What is modernity?

Sunday, December 6th, 2015


A quick and easy meme (a flyer in an image) for aggrieved parties, who recognize that society is intolerably miserable in its present state and heading for worse, to spread on their favorite anti-social media and riotously reactionary platforms.

The genetics of ideology

Monday, August 31st, 2015


Taylor’s Law of Ecology observes an inverse power law relationship between population size and variance. As the population of a species per area of habitat becomes more numerous, the differences between individuals decreases, as if a form of genetic entropy has appeared. If this law is applicable to human thought, we can conclude that the more prevalent an ideology becomes within a civilization, the less it is capable of producing variations on its ideological genus. This process can be explained by Darwinian reproductive fitness.

Exploring this topic requires analysis of reproductive fitness in terms of ideology. In the context of human society — much to the chagrin of partisans of Rationalism — the human mind is not convinced by logical reasoning alone. It is not even a primary motivator. The Greeks understood this fully and hence extolled the virtues of rhetoric as it includes authority and emotion alongside logic.

Successful ideologies must rely heavily on authority and emotional appeal. In the real world, this takes two forms: convergent philosophies who insist on their own objectivity and appeals to popular sentiment and sensibility. This fitness is not environmental fitness, but rather, what it takes to reproduce. Ideologies, like species, can produce offspring even when maladapted to the external environment. Sickle cell anemia allows for a human to reach reproductive age, yet kills the host in relatively short order thereafter.

Likewise, ideologies also carry genes which are dominant or recessive in the form of mythology and values: historically contingent and flawed presuppositions about the shape of the cosmos and procession of time, humanity’s place therein, and rules to govern its behavior as best not to muck things up.

Communism, as one notable example, spreads by appealing to the rhetoric of progress, displeasure with the inequalities of capitalism and the political failings of extant structures yet in the long term it kills its host for simple reasons: industrial civilization requires the formation of concentrations of wealth and capital to afford the creation of a new factory. Diffuse wealth and capital under egalitarian distributions does not allow for the production and maintenance of factories and thus results in economic stasis.

The expression of “fit” genes over time is flattened to a lowest common denominator with the most broad appeal emotionally and authoritatively. Its logic at this point is taken as common sense: of course things will continue to improve as they always have; we are in a hiccup is all! Of course we can continue to expand the Empire, subduing our barbarian neighbors has always worked and will continue to work! The psychology goes deeper than that however.

The underlying logic of an ideology may correspond highly to the particular social and ecological conditions it finds itself explaining. In accordance with the narratives of contemporary western Progress and late Roman imperial rhetoric/civil religion we can find that both narratives did indeed explain much. The former came at a time when the West found itself sitting on top of millions of years of stored sunlight as well as a few ideological gifts from Bacon and Newton which allowed for quantitative thinking of scientific inquiry to be used alongside these sources of enormous potential energy to produce the largest period of sustained growth the world had yet seen. Betting on that growth reliably produced success whereas those who did not bet on growth failed.

The Roman submission of its warring neighbors allowed it to create stable and productive vassal states in which agriculture could be used to concentrate wealth in Rome. Slave trade allowed for negation of the human costs of production. The success of each strategy drove Roman Imperialism and reinforced the ideology of Empire. Even when the cost of its institutions, expansive military and its bloated intermediary market system became a burden on Roman society, the response had been to implement more extreme measures of the status quo: larger military and more centralization.

The broad consensus and the lack of variation creates an illusion of objectivity which lends to self-policing and group reinforcement amongst the individuals of a society operating on the levels of grassroots action, political organization, and institutional decree. Non-believers and those on the fringe are routinely mocked, shamed and ignored while every cultural and political outlet extol the virtues of the prevailing consensus. The result is the phenomenon this site has termed: Crowdism.

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