Posts Tagged ‘samuel huntington’

As The Era Of Formal Organization Ends, An Age Of Organic Systems Rises

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

The modern age has ended in failure: constant racial violence, debt dooming government and consumers, environmental pollution and dying ecosystems, ugly cities, first world populations failing to reproduce, and a rise in anxiety and depression among the young:

When you examine certain other data, though, there’s an interesting recent wrinkle to this trajectory. In a paper published in 2014 in Social Indicators Research, Twenge tracked the results of the Monitoring the Future (MtF) survey, “a nationally representative sample of U.S. 12th graders [administered] every year since 1976,” between 1982 and 2013. Like the MMPI, the MtF asks students about symptoms in a manner that should be generally resistant to cultural change: The somatic items Twenge examined asked about trouble sleeping, remembering things, thinking/concentrating, and learning, as well as shortness of breath. An interesting recent pattern emerged on these measures:

All the items end up significantly higher than where they started, but for many of them most of the increase happens over the first half of the time period in question. From the late 1990s or so until 2013, many of the items bounce around a bit but ultimately remain flat, or flat-ish.

Why have these symptoms appeared to plateau? “It’s hard to prove causation in over-time schedules, said Twenge, “but SSRIs came on the market in the early 1990s, and that’s exactly when these things started to plateau.” These drugs — Prozac and Lexapro, among others — have been prescribed to millions of people who experience these symptoms, many of whom presumably saw some improvement once the drugs kicked in, so this explanation at least makes intuitive sense.

It is the secret in plain sight: despite their wealth and technology, modern people are miserable. This indicates a non-material origin of their sadness, which seems to occur because of a lack of faith in the future, a failure by society to meet their existential needs, and the absence of any particularly compelling purpose to life. When our only goals are to attend jobs, buy stuff and try to escape the ongoing decline, people just do not feel like doing much, including reproducing. It is a hell from which they are only too glad to exit in death.

This, more than anything else, is what has doomed the Age of Ideology, which started with The Renaissance™ when humans proclaimed that the human form was more important than hierarchy, organization, natural order, tradition and even logic. Civilization gave up on having a purpose and decided to focus on individuals instead.

That in turn required mass manipulation, which means that an ideology must be created and enforced, and people will be treated as a fungible commodity like electric power which drives the wheels of government. This decision, made in the name of individualism, in fact penalizes individuality, and leaves people stranded in a society that recognizes their external traits only and ignores who they are inside.

With this misery, people are ready to destroy what we have. They know that it is a path that leads to nothing but death, so there is really no risk in bailing out on it; it is not like we can find something more fatal than sure death. Maybe it will kill us sooner, but if we are miserable, that is not a really disturbing thought.

The end of the Age of Ideology brings about what some are calling “the return of history,” in a nod to Samuel Huntington and his formative book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, in which he suggested that external human organizations like ideology were dying and being replaced by organic groupings that could be instantly visually discerned, like religion, race, culture, ethnicity and tribe.

The return of history is a scary time. All that we have known is dying; while daily life will probably remain similar, what we view as good has changed, and so people find themselves desiring an entirely different type of society:

Are the norms underpinning the liberal democratic governments of North America and Western Europe as fragile as the communist ideology of Russia and Eastern Europe in the decades preceding its sudden collapse? That’s the implication of a provocative essay by the political scientists Roberto Foa and Yascha Mounk in the latest issue of the Journal of Democracy using World Values Survey data to highlight the broad-based erosion in support for democratic institutions across the Western world.

…The dark specter of illiberalism across the West is symptomatic of a deep and broad-based decline in confidence in democratic institutions and ideas that has been taking place for two decades.

The decline has been longer than that. In 1789, liberal democracy began takeover of the West, and launched us into Napoleonic Wars, a series of revolutions, and finally, two catastrophic world wars. When the postwar order ended with the falling of the Soviet Union, people began to realize that this was the final condition of this path: existential emptiness, shopping, diversity, vapid public figures, dead culture, graffiti-scarred and ugly cities, divorce and promiscuity, and every other aspect of a failed culture on its way toward third world status.

We were told that social hierarchy — especially aristocrats — was the source of our misery, and that if we ruled ourselves, we would do better. That turns out to be a lie; democracy has caused more death and disaster than any other system of government, and it is destroying us from within as well. For this reason, people are backing away from ideology; they see it as a type of black magic because it always sounds good, and just as consistently produces horrible results.

Even unusual sources are observing the death of democracy:

“Democracy is always presented as if it were incomplete, because democracy is not enough by itself,” says Macron, elaborating that there is always something missing in the democratic process; some sort of void.

“In French politics, this absence is the presence of a King, a King whom, fundamentally, I don’t think the French people wanted dead,” said Macron. “The Revolution dug a deep emotional abyss, one that was imaginary and shared: the King is no more!” According to Macron, since the Revolution France has tried to fill this void, most notably with Napoleon and then Charles de Gaulle, which was only partially successful. “The rest of the time,” said Macron, “French democracy does not manage to fill this void.”

Democracy is artificial; aristocracy is natural, since human beings have different abilities and these place us in a hierarchy of capacity. Democracy is external, since we are forced to think about how our actions look instead of their results in reality, while aristocracy is internal because it is focused only on results, which apparently most people do not understand and fail to predict, as the results of democracy show.

The old West has died in a surge of mob rule and egotistic individualism as advocated in The Renaissance™ but arising far before when the middle class wanted the aristocracy out of the way so it could enjoy an unfettered business environment. We now see how that gamble ends, and we want off the crazy train to doom.

A New Decentralized World Order

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Humans move slowly because it takes us time to organize our internal assumptions, like someone packing a house for a move, before we can see the big picture. But the end of the liberal democratic world order is upon us, and we will be moving from a centralized ideology to a patchwork of many different civilizations:

Their sick ideology and false theology requires that we be enslaved or exterminated – we can’t be tolerated, and we certainly can’t be allowed to hold the reins of power.

…So the only outcome is that one side wins and the other loses. There’s no truce to be had, no possibility of a tie. And the frightening thing is that the Left is so foolish, so stuck in its bubble that it has no understanding that it can only push so far before the people with all the guns and all the training push back. That’s the problem with kids who were raised on participation trophies and who never got into a fistfight – they don’t consider the possibility that they will lose, and lose hard.

We must ensure they do. Understand your enemy. Understand that the Left will exploit your principles and morals to make you disarm yourself – figuratively and literally. Don’t play their game; don’t fall for their manufactured outrages.

In the old order, it was assumed that many different types of people — races/ethnes, religions, castes/classes, political beliefs — could coexist in the same society, so long as it was controlled by a centralized ideology and economic system. Now, we realize that we are all heading in different directions; the center could not hold. This means the demise of liberal democracy.

Taking its place will be what Samuel Huntington described in The Clash Of Civilizations And The Remaking Of World Order, a world defined by many different civilizations, each based on whatever it is holds them together. Some, for example, might be theocracies; others will be nationalist entities. The point is that they are not united by ideology, but by some identity that makes the group seem innate to its members.

This leads us to an important need, which is to decide what our civilizations will be:

And behind those immigration policies lies a profound question facing Americans: what kind of country do they want their country to be?

For most of our history, we have been largely a country of Europeans, a country of the West, with Western sensibilities and a shared devotion to the Western heritage. Now we are in the process of becoming something else—a mixed country without a coherent, guiding heritage of any civilization and certainly not of the West.

…The American left and most of the country’s elites considered it a natural and beneficial development, a testament to the value of diversity and a shared aversion to discriminatory practice or even discriminatory thinking. Any suggestion that this sweeping change in the makeup of the American population could be ultimately detrimental was considered an assault on the country’s core values and hence our foundations. That tended to stifle dissent. And, if wary critics got too uppity, there was always the allegation of racism to shut them up.

The old order was a binary between diversity and racists. In the new order, everyone is racist, and classist, and sexist, and elitist, probably hompohobic or transphobic, and so on. We cannot all get along, so we are all going our own ways. And through this, we will preserve the diversity of the human species and allow its internal parts to compete for which methods and principles work best.

This decentralized new order replaces the centralized New World Order of the last thirty years. Instead we have independence of association, which means that people will gravitate toward those like them. The centralized order was a fantasy by those who desired power. The new order is for those who can survive without being part of the Crowd.

World Order Shifts As Liberal Democracy Fades

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016


Sometimes, after years of education and successful business activities, your historical importance comes down to using a key term like “alt right” during a political campaign. In an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Trump presidency Chief Strategist Steven Bannon backpedaled on any association with nationalism:

“People are not going to buy this,” Bannon said. “The deplorables are not racist.”

Trump can win support among African-Americans and Hispanics, he said, if the new administration can deliver on a “unifying message” of strong schools, safe streets and jobs.

“And condemning any kind of form of racism or hatred that’s out there,” Bannon said.

The fears of those who think racist groups have been energized by Trump’s hard-line campaign stances against immigrants and Muslim refugees were heightened last weekend when the National Policy Institute, led by alt-right figure Richard Spencer, held a gathering in Washington that included Nazi salutes and shouts of “Hail Trump!”

The point that was missed is that the Trump voters are a massively mixed bag, but include — possibly as their largest majority — people who do want ethnic nationalism, or the meaning of “nationalism” that historically-aware people use by default.

The world order has shifted. In the 1990s, there were two competing voices: Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington. Fukuyama thought that human politics had reached their final evolution with liberal democracy; Huntington saw that as the calm before the storm, and predicted that increasing contact would lead to tribalism.

As it turns out, Huntington was decisively correct. Even Henry Kissinger is doing his best to re-state Huntington’s theory as his own. He speaks of a world order arising from regional identity instead of the organizing principle of the former world order, which was loyalty to a certain political and economic system:

In his most recent book World Order (2014), Kissinger argues that the world is in a parlous condition verging on international anarchy. This is not only because of shifts in the material balance of power from West to East, but also because the legitimacy of the postwar world order is being challenged. Four competing visions of world order—the European-Westphalian, the Islamic, the Chinese, and the American—are each in varying stages of metamorphosis, if not decay. Consequently, real legitimacy inheres broadly in none of these visions. The emergent properties of the new world disorder are the formation of “regional blocs” with incompatible worldviews.

In other words, the world is now divided into four orders which are remnants of the old order, irrelevant because they failed to predict the turning of the tide. What will remain is the general identity of these groups as they shift toward something less ideological and more practical.

The age of liberal democracy was a time of ideology when humans thought that having opinions which pleased others, like something out of a Dale Carnegie course, was more important than having those opinions when applied turn out to have positive results. This mentality allowed the postwar Left to seize power and then be condescending to all who did not follow its path, but that same inertia caused the Left to fail to notice that its fall of the Soviet Union moment had arrived.

Bannon has backed the wrong horse in this moment when he should be relishing victory. This is unfortunate for him and for Donald Trump, but will not affect their victory. They are part of the rising libertarian wing of Western leaders — part of what the above quoted article refers to as a backlash against “bureaucratic introspection” — which makes way for the transition to the Huntingtonian world order.

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