Posts Tagged ‘the human problem’

Doing The Wrong “Right” Thing

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

At the start of a journey, the end remains shrouded in mystery. Adventures tend to be cumulative, with each stage dependent on the previous one. When the explorer finally looks down on the objective, it may not resemble at all what was anticipated way back when the journey began.

Frequently people discover that what seemed like the right path at the start of the journey was clearly a wrong path as they approach the end, even if they were able to get to a better path from that wrong path in the first place. Something of this nature currently embroils the West as we realize that modern civilization, or maybe just civilization, is killing us.

Our species struggles with The Human Problem, which is our tendency to adapt to the audience instead of the goal. Humans are social animals because other people are closer to our understanding than the world outside of humans out there, but this creates a trap in that in order to accept others, we must broaden our standards to include both lowest common denominator and any outliers or exceptions.

That in turn forces an inversion, or removal of some truths that are not socially acceptable, which reduces our mission from what must be done to the simplified version consisting of what others can understand and what does not offend anyone. Over time, this turns the mission from its original purpose to something which fits all members of the group comfortably.

We can see this in action in all areas of human life:

  • A rock band. They finally got some recognition after their first demo. The drummer wants to be more like what he hears on the big internet stations. The bassist wants to be more arty and obscure. The guitarist wants to become jazz-fusion with a surface covering of their old style. The vocalist wants to continue doing what they did. Agreement cannot be found, so they mix it all together. The songs get more pop, with more jazz technique, but arty touches when possible, and they double down on the tropes in their music that reviewers noticed. Six months later, no one remembers them.
  • A church. The old roof leaks; a new one is needed. The elders of the church gather. They determine that it will take them years to achieve the funding for a full roof replacement, but patching the roof will take only a few months of fundraising. They also note that laying on a plastic sheath will take a few more months, and will cost half as much as a new roof, but is modern and fashionable although it does not fix the underlying problem. The group takes a vote, and it is decided that the sheath is the best option, because it is both acceptable and achievable. In six months, the roof leaks again.
  • A corporation. The old product is doing well, but competitors offer competition. Some in the committee room argue that the company should adopt something more like what the others are doing, while many say it should stay with what is true. Finally a compromise is reached: the company will offer its old product, but tweaked to be more like the competition. This pleases no one and fails, which means that within a year it is no longer on the company website.

In each case, the mission migrates from what is possible to what the group will accept, and everything else is filtered out, resulting in the choosing of a lesser option.

Our human world contains the idea of “doing the right thing” which is usually interpreted to mean ensuring that every person has a stake in what is done. However, when everyone has a stake, no one has a full stake, which means that decisions are assigned as a responsibility of the nebulous collective, and no one faces any real accountability for their actions. They blame the herd.

As we see it, “doing the right thing” involves supporting our society: first, getting a career and money; second, giving money and time to institutions; third, trying to choose the right option of many in politics, society, culture, and socializing with others. What we do not realize is that these seemingly-correct paths are in fact journeys to doom.

Consider the job. We go, because we need money. It takes up all of our time and we neglect our family, culture, learning, and souls. The job bores us because most of it is make-work nonsense. We become frustrated, and take that out on our families and neighbors, because there — unlike at the job — there are no consequences.

Much as drowning people at night often become disoriented and swim downward instead of toward the surface, in our society we are blinded by a desire to do right according to the definitions of the Herd, and so we pursue our own doom as if it were goodness and mercy.

We go off to jobs. We work hard to get ahead. We pay those taxes to support the parasite state. On Saturday, we get up and mow the lawn so that everyone else in the neighborhood sees us as respectable (for the record, neither this blog nor this author are “respectable”). We fritter away the rest of the day trying to catch the sales at the grocery store, find replacements for failing gadgets, adjust our computers into working order, cleaning the house, organizing all the stuff that piles up, and engaging our kids in respectable activities.

Then on Sunday, we rush off to church to be told how to be good and moral to the “less fortunate,” then come home and find out we have no idea what to do with the remaining time, so we turn on the television or Facebook and farm our brains out. Then we do it again, and one day we wake up at age 65 and find that the world no longer needs us. It used us and threw us away. And it took our best years for its own purposes, mainly for the eternal social goal of subsidizing the lower by taking from the higher so that an external administrative force — the State and its Leftist constituents — to have a perceived necessity.

The Human Problem manifests in this way: the smart people do what seems to be the right thing, which consists of what appears to our blocky human intellects to be an order that beats back unruly nature and substitutes a universal, level, fair, and organized system that succeeds because it makes everyone in the social group nod along, thinking that this is a good idea. We forget our purpose, and instead focus on the methods we perceive as necessary for that purpose, along the way losing our direction and souls.

Those methods inevitably involve deconstruction; human intellects favor isolated institutions with single-issue functions, which divides up the question of “civilization” into a series of disconnected roles, like the thought of a neurotic mind raging on in their own monomaniacal intent without ever correlating the whole or acting in parallel. We never look at the whole picture of survival and adaptation, and consider last if at all the question of the existential, namely whether we are living in such a way that makes us see the beauty in life and work to enhance it.

Our mania for this false type of order leads us to create cities where every person has a narrow function, jobs where we perform so that those above us approve without regard for what is actually needed, tolerance of those who are dysfunctional such that the individuals in the group are not threatened by the possibility of being noticed for their own failings, and a sense of stewardship of society as defined in terms of human individuals, such that we perceive that what is “right” is what subsidizes every member of society instead of obeying the selection instincts of nature and focusing only on those who are the type of people we want to be in the next generation.

In other words, what we think is right is in fact incorrect, which means that it is not wrong because it is morally wrong, but wrong because it consistently does not work out well in reality. Our minds are not perfect replicas of the world; in fact, we know the world only through interpretations of it, and these vary among people. If the “Bell Curve” that applies to IQ is consistent with other abilities, this implies that in fact very few of us are very good at all at understanding the world, with perhaps 5% having a mostly-clear picture, another 5% having a reasonably clear picture, and everyone else existing in a muddle.

This divides humanity into two groups, a 10% who basically “get it” and a 90% who essentially do not. As human societies grow, they become dedicated to managing people externally, or control, which basically consists of setting up an organization outside the social order in order to enforce rules, like an administrator or manager. This group is external because it is appointed or hired to do so, giving it the gloss of “objectivity” and “neutrality” that allows the vast majority of individuals to settle in like pleased chickens because they believe they are safe from loss of face, prestige, social status, and the good will of others, for their mistakes and character flaws. That external group then, because its mandate is to enforce unity, uses the 10% who are reliable as a means of subsidizing and stabilizing the 90% who are not. In defiance of evolution, it sacrifices the good in order to keep the rest in line for minimum function.

If the 10% were to cut itself free from the 90%, it would experience an exponential growth in happiness and a proportionate massive reduction in tedium, crime, vandalism, cruelty, vice, and passive aggression. However, the 10% likes to hold on to the 90% because if another society attacks, having a large number of warm bodies who can wield weapons is more important than having a few experts. This was the lesson for Europe of the Mongol Invasions, re-learned by Germany when she fought against the Soviet Union, whose quarter-Asiatic citizens fought in human waves much like is common in Asian land warfare.

Traditional societies sequestered the 90% in lower castes, kept them comfortable but without much disposable income, and limited their political, social, cultural, and economic power to avoid their bad behavior from corrupting the core of social order. These societies understood civilization as an organic whole, or not as a group of people to be managed, but as a living thing in which each person served a role. Organic civilization is only aided by doing what keeps the civilization healthy, which takes a higher precedence than trying to save each person, especially trying to save them from themselves. This allowed the 10% to prosper and the 90% to live as they always do, in a miasma of selfishness, self-sabotage, attention whoring, drama, confusion, greed, incontinence, and self-destruction.

When our civilization decided to be egalitarian, or dedicated to preserving the individual at the expense of civilization, it created the type of environment we recognize from the modern job: an external source of control managing individuals through enforced conformity so that everyone stays within the lines of the minimum required of them, and thus unity is upheld. This made the 10% into slaves of the 90%, since the 10% both contribute more and have specific mental needs, such as freedom from uniformity, tedium, conformity, and the type of ugliness that mass culture, popular architecture, and government pamphlets have in common.

Jobs serve not actual needs but the need for people to gel together like a slime mold. While businesses address needs, or at least consumer demands, jobs are partially creations of regulations, politics, and social attitudes, and as such they serve more to keep everyone busy and feeling self-important than to achieve actual end results in reality. In fact, for most people, going to work is a social event, which is why they keep going. Driven by a need to be recognized, they use the workplace as an extended social group.

This social basis creates groupthink through rampant extroversion. Extroversion, or allowing oneself to be guided by what others are doing, leads to a desire to achieve good feelings by making the group feel good. Class clowns know this; when they make others laugh, they feel better about themselves. In a group, where people are managed based on external appearance, extroversion proves to be a winning strategy because those who are getting along with the group are automatically seen as not a threat; introverts, or those who are entirely self-directed, are seen as unpredictable and therefore threatening to the group, in addition to being less present in social events so prone to be overlooked or forgotten when a time for promotions and awards comes around.

Groupthink in turn creates the worst condition of a dying civilization, namely its self-referentiality. Instead of paying attention to the results of its actions in reality, it exclusively looks inward to see what other people think of any action, which occurs because rewards to individuals come from whatever pleases the group. Like a group of people so intent on their conversation that they then walk off a cliff, civilizations in the grip of groupthink self-destruct by pleasing themselves at the expense of doing what is necessary in a reality-referential context. As with all instances of The Human Problem, the group adapts its purpose to the group instead of adapting to its environment, and so dies out like any delusional species.

In the grips of this self-referential social order based on control, people become domesticated, infantilized, and atomized, or entirely separated from anything larger than their own self-interest. From this comes many of the behaviors which are blamed on anything other than the group — capitalism is blamed for greed, under-socialization is blamed for apathy, atheism is blamed for immorality, and nihilism is blamed for lack of faith in the group morality — which form intractable social problems because the same means used to “solve” them are the methods that perpetuate them. This places the civilization in a death spiral where it will keep pathologically repeating the same behaviors and expecting better results, when it is in fact swimming downward toward a cold and lonely death.

To solve this problem, our only recourse involves ceasing to take society at face value, and also, to apply the same treatment to ourselves. What we think we want is usually a path to our doom; what we actually need, more than personal needs or social needs, is stability through a thriving organic civilization. With that, we will be rewarded for doing what is good, and those who do bad will be encouraged or forced to move on. This replicates the role that natural selection served among humans before we formed fixed, organized civilizations.

We can see that instead of worrying about Leftist ideals on the basis of face value, and concerning ourselves with whether this plan or that plan would fix our issues and problems, we should be concerned about the environment we provide for ourselves because civilization shapes us. The type of civilization that we select will in turn make us into the ideal citizens for that type of civilization, and if we choose one that indulges the group instead of striving for adaptation, we will end up becoming obese tattoo-vandalized blue haired neurotics. If we choose adaptation, all of what we see as “good” will be that which produces good results for organic civilization as a whole, and so we will make ourselves stronger, smarter, healthier, and of greater moral character.

A healthy civilization rewards the good and punishes the bad; an unhealthy civilization equates good with bad so that all are equal, and therefore that they can be used as a mass for purposes of warfare, profit, or staying in power. This is the difference between noble rule and tyranny, more so than methods, because one can have a good dictator or a bad democracy, and in fact, all democracies rapidly and inexorably become bad.

Human minds work through symbols. As with the difference between religion and a cult, at some point in every human group the symbol for the goal replaces the goal itself, and this inverts the value system so that instead of rewarding productive behavior, it penalizes it by forcing the productive to serve the unproductive. This occurs through social means because we try to motivate the group to stay together so that it works as a mass, and therefore control remains uninterrupted, instead of realizing that power is rare and is the property of those who have the intelligence and moral character to use it well, because if not used well, it self-destructs.

Motivating the group toward a hierarchy naturally enforces a focus on purpose because this is how more intelligent and moral people operate: they measure the results of our actions in reality, and select the best, so that they further beauty, excellence, and realistic thinking (“truth”). When a society orients toward hierarchy, it creates what is best called “the genius pump”: a constant upward pressure that produces people of great ability because their contributions are recognized, instead of used as a weapon against them as happens in egalitarian societies. If the good are rewarded and the bad punished, this creates a sorting mechanism where those who consistently do good — the 10% — rise above the rest, and then are further rewarded for doing well in their new capacity, so that the most competent and best ascend toward the top of the hierarchy. This intensifies competition among the best, elevating those who are genius at leadership and ensuring that they find mates of similar ability. From this comes a healthy aristocracy not impoverished by property taxes to pay for the 90% and a sane society encourages such people to have large families, and the best of those children then rise further, creating a constant stream of better people to keep the rest in line and drive the group not as a mass but as many unequal roles working toward the same goal toward greater degrees of qualitative excellence, or gradual improvement in the details of what the organic civilization already is, instead of looking for new methods on the broadest level, or the opposite of details.

To appreciate this type of society, we need to accept that we live in a relative universe. As Plato points out, a drawing of a circle is never a circle, only an approximation thereof; Schopenhauer says that we experience life only through layers of interpretation, since we never make contact with the thing itself, being removed from it by intellect and the distance inherent to perception; Nietzsche tells us that there are no truths, only interpretations. This means that there is no subjectivity or objectivity, only an ability to have greater precision in approximating what we know of reality. In this esoteric view, people are not equal in their ability to perceive the world, and knowledge is cumulative and relative to the individual, so only those with the ability and the drive to be more accurate in their perceptions will achieve greater levels of approximation of understanding reality, creating a hierarchy of accurate perception that parallels the hierarchy of the good.

In the traditional view, we each are part of a whole living thing known as the cosmos, and civilization emulates that in order to be as efficient and excellent as possible. We serve our roles like cells in a body, not focused on making the cells happy, but on achieving the goal that they share despite each having a different place in the hierarchy, both vertically by ability and horizontally by location and competition between those on the same levels. In contrast, the modern view holds that life is something we manage from outside as if we were hired in a job to administrate it, independent of our own connections to the world or inner traits like excellence and intelligence. The traditional view makes us active participants who take responsibility for their actions; the modern view delegates all thinking to an external party, the State, and designates obedience as our only obligation.

That viewpoint descends from government through society. We treat ourselves as means-to-an-end at jobs, and we condition our children to be defensive and neurotic by treating them as products to be managed. Husbands treat wives as tools, and wives see men as managers, eliminating unity and even actual love between them. We treat nature as a substrate to be exploited, and instead of making our cities into a glorification of beauty, we create ugliness as if it were the fundamental design goal. All of this flows from equality, which makes the individual the focus and civilization the means-to-an-end, at which point inner traits are denied, and therefore hierarchy is forgotten, reducing us to a mob that consumes everything in its path through a tragedy of the commons comprised of individual wants, desires, needs, and assertions of authority.

At the time of this writing, The Age of Ideology is ending, putting to rest the egalitarian delusion. In the final calculus, ideology was the product of individuals using civilization for their own ends, and this conditioned people to be less thoughtful and more destructive. We are now searching for a new or at least different civilization design, one that puts the goal first and the audience second.

When we look back over this time through the lens of history, we will see a broader scope than ever before. Human civilizations will be seen like rocket tests, where each time a design is tested and it blows up on the launching pad, it is redesigned. Every human group so far has detonated because of The Human Problem sabotaging it from within, and it has become clear that for our species to explore the stars, we will need a civilization design based in hierarchy and transcendental purpose, or a type of purpose that is ongoing and immutable, meaning that it can never be fully achieved but we can always more closely approximate it.

Humanity has suffered from exhaustion for some time. Our rockets keep blowing up, but we have been unable to change the design at a low enough level to make it succeed. Instead, we keep applying the same bad theory and seeing the same sad results. When we finally get to the root of that theory, we find (as always, with bad things) the fear that human individuals have for themselves has unreasonably swayed us toward denying the need to be good. When we overcome that fear, nothing holds us back; the stars await.

How Modernity Will End In The Collapse Of All Empires

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

We are accustomed to thinking of our present time as the ultimate evolution of humankind. We look back and see that all of our ancestors existed just to produce, we think, what we have right now, which avoids some problems of the past, so we assume it is good. However, this is merely bias toward the present.

The problems that we consider solved comprise only part of the list of problems that we face, making our self-congratulatory triumph more a case of distraction than completion. If there is a possibility of something better, then our present time is far from and end position and more resembles a downturn before correction. Even more, we ignore the glories of the past.

If we reduce the argument to its simplest form, we find an argument that modernity has technology and wealth and is safer than any previous time, therefore is better, mainly because we fear those other times. We see bad things that happened to others and fear they could happen to us, despite making different choices than those who faced fate in the ways we fear.

Maybe that will convince us at first, but in the long term, that explanation begins to develop cracks. We see how many of our problems have been intractable because we will not admit the truth of them. We recognize that our art, literature, architecture, and even public speaking have declined to be pitiable, simplistic, and child-like. We see the corruption, insincerity and lack of innocence.

As a result, we realize on some level that our civilization is in decline. Occasionally someone says this in public, but always couches it as an inevitable result of history, and not a consequence of our choices. A prime example can be found in this chronological view of the inevitable end of the American century:

My third heresy says that the United States has less than a century left of its turn as top nation. Since the modern nation-state was invented around the year 1500, a succession of countries have taken turns at being top nation, first Spain, then France, Britain, America. Each turn lasted about 150 years. Ours began in 1920, so it should end about 2070. The reason why each top nation’s turn comes to an end is that the top nation becomes over-extended, militarily, economically and politically. Greater and greater efforts are required to maintain the number one position. Finally the over-extension becomes so extreme that the structure collapses. Already we can see in the American posture today some clear symptoms of over-extension.

Blaming over-extension provides a convenient scapegoat and to avoid the obvious condition that with power, societies become unstable, and that then shapes their citizens toward certain behaviors. The crisis proves to be not external, as he argues, but internal, as the civilization becomes unable to make choices, perhaps caused by how much a concentrated form of power is under attack from those who would usurp it. Another interpretation suggests that states which cease to focus on the internal, or self-improvement, become committed to the external as a means of holding themselves together, which is why they peak and then fall.

As is often discussed on this site, we see in these crises different manifestations of The Human Problem: our tendency to shape any activity around its audience, instead of around purpose, which we might see simply as social influences and peer pressure winning out over an ability to focus on the abstract goals of the activity. The failure of nations relates to The Human Problem, not “over-extension,” and democracy, diversity, and wealth expand it, but its fundamental method is caste revolt, by which The Herd of people without purpose overthrow those who are actually useful.

While this group are not entirely comprised of lower classes, it is the expansion of people who are lower echelon in consideration of their parallel “force of intellect” and “force of character” that overthrows nations. They are opposed by The Remnant, a small group of people who are capable of making both realistic and qualitatively good decisions — maybe five percent of your average European population — but this group usually does not recognize itself as what it is, so seems to always become overwhelmed by the others.

The basics of human civilization have not changed since before Biblical times. There are a few people who have an actual sense of identity, meaning a purpose which unites self and civilization with nature and the divine, and they make all of the important decisions that give civilization shape, where the rest are a vast crowd of people just milling around, competing for wealth and status, acting like a counter-current to the qualitative refinement of that civilization. The good want to go one way, and the rest are not so much an opposite, but people who are engaged in chaotic, pointless, distracting, or otherwise non-contributive behavior toward that goal. Certainly they do their jobs, pay their taxes, and obey the laws, but these are negative considerations, as opposed to measuring whether they advance the cause of civilization itself.

When this group wins out, society becomes internally disordered, and reverts to its most basic form, which is a mixed-culture crowd overseen by tyrannical leaders and run as an open-air bazaar. Almost all of the world, which exists at a third-world level of subsistence living, lives under these conditions, and not surprisingly, they produce little except when told exactly what to do with imminent consequences for failing to do so. Most people are slaves in their hearts, regardless of their condition outside, which is why they constantly blame others for oppressing them; this is their way of rationalizing their inner inability to be anything but slaves.

This means that degree of social order, not wealth, determines when a civilization will collapse.

Unlike Freeman Dyson who is quoted above, many of us see the broader problem: humans have forgotten — through centuries of willfully denying, erasing history, obscuring truths, and otherwise indulging in individualistic behavior at the expense of civilization — how to be civilized, which means the condition of having both social order and people who are genetically inclined to perform within it. In other words, the group gave in to the weakness of individuals, and lost its order which was larger than those individuals, thus like a body whose cells have turned against it, died.

What this means for us students of human history is that any society which does not restrain the impulses of individuals will be torn apart and consumed by them. Regulatory systems like democracy, including democratic republics, do not limit this, but rather enhance it, by shifting the moral center from the individual to following the rules. This sentiment appears also in some apropos words from John Adams:

Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. … Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.

Adams notes what Plato noted: the problem is individualism. When leaders are good, they pursue virtue instead of personal wealth because they have the foresight to know that with virtue comes qualitatively-enhanced adaptation, and with that comes wealth for everyone, but that with decline, all wealth is short-term because it is based on the stability of an increasingly unstable civilization. You can run away with your gold, but what can you buy with it, when there is no advanced civilization? At best, you get a rich man’s house in a poor man’s nation, where your children will find no mates of their own intelligence, and you will grow old among the sounds of foreign languages, with alien customs and none of the people or institutions that would appreciate anything good that you did.

With the rise in individualism, society becomes more inclined to cater to individuals, and this in turn changes individuals. Deleterious mutations increase because life is easier. Bad behaviors proliferate because they are rewarded. The ability to focus on purpose and principle disappears because it is irrelevant. Civilization turns into a race to the bottom as the lowest common denominator is rewarded. No matter what form of government this occurs under, the symptoms of the same: a managerial or outside-in approach, bureaucracy, consumerism, recycling wealth through self-referential economies, and the formation of a crowd which enforces these ideals on others.

We can even see this occurring in seeming opposites to our democratic modern state, as it did in the Soviet Union, such as modern China, which is heading for a similar boom-bust cycle because its power is based on the individualism of a consumer economy:

Alibaba has set another Single’s Day record after the e-commerce giant sold over $25 billion of product on the Chinese biggest online shopping date.

…That represents an impressive 39 percent increase on last year’s sales total of RMB 120.7 billion ($17.79 billion), and it comes nicely on the heels of another blockbuster quarter in which Alibaba’s revenue surged by 61 percent thanks to its core business in China.

For comparison, Alibaba’s Single’s Day haul puts America’s largest shopping days in the corner. Retailers pulled in a record $3 billion on Black Friday and then $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday, both of which were records.

We are emerging from The Age of Ideology, a time when what humans felt “should” be true was considered to be true because we had a self-referential crowd to enforce it through social pressures, democracy and consumer economics. When those reached global control, people realized that our way of life was miserable and would never change under the current order, and the pushback that has manifested in Brexit, Trump, and European identitarian cultural revolutions began. While the old order looks stable because it is generating money, much of this is merely hype based on its ability to sell junk to itself, and so will be as fragile as the dot-com bubble and bust cycle which is about to consume the American economy. These economic tragedies are not isolated events, but part of the larger process of civilization decline.

Donald J. Trump won because he conveyed two ideas to his audience:

  1. We need to act for ourselves, not some universal vision of humanity called “globalism”; and
  2. The old America — last seen in the 1980s — was better than the new, Leftist, globalist version.

His appeal was both practical and emotional. Americans had seen their country change radically since the increasing diversity push of the 1960s-1990s Leftist parties, who adopted the Communism vision of importing different races to erase national culture and leave only the Party as a source of meaning for citizens. Clever monkeys, they knew how to manipulate others, but only did so in a negative way which removed connections to the outsider world, and failed to build corresponding connections. This manipulation without regard to the needs of civilization creates the conditions for collapse.

Right now, the people of the West are trying to resist collapse because we are the only group with something to lose. If China collapses, it goes back to being a third-world country for another thousand years, which is not exactly unexpected anyway; if Brazil or Russia return to their original role as serf colonies, they will shrug and say “oh well,” because they never really anticipated having more than that anyway. But the first-world nations of the West, and those at the periphery like Israel and Japan, we depend on being organized as civilizations in order to survive, because only civilization recognizes what we have to offer as more important than the gyrations of tropical music, tasty ethnic food from climates where spices thrive, and the sexual license of impoverished lands.

The rising fashwave in the West emerged from this realization: people recognized that, in our zeal to tolerate the individual, we abandoned social order and gave way instead to socializing, or the habits of people that flatter each other and prize novelty in social settings, sort of like the “peer pressure” they warned you about in anti-drug ads in the 1980s. We see that the entire world has begun following this path started in The Renaissance™ and that it will doom them all, first by destroying social order, then crashing economies, then revealing a natural world savaged by our excess, and finally through the misery of people themselves, who will have become smaller, weaker, dumber, and of indecisive character.

Those who wish to avoid this fate will need to convince The Remnant of the following:

  1. Our current worldview based in individualism does not work, and any amount of it will lead to our decline;
  2. In planning our future, the relevant time scale is the 10,000 year view instead of the immediate.

We, the people who can still independently think and may possess souls, can see the crowd forming around us. They are chaotic, pursuing individual ends that ultimately do not reward them, and they are defined by being unstable, mainly because they have no direction and instead fill in the gaps with a pursuit of self-interest based on whatever trends, illusions, fads, panics, or opportunistic situations present themselves. They are a vast group of no pride in its heritage mainly because it either has mixed heritage or no distinctive ancestors, that is cultureless for the same reason, and is filling the void with consumption such that it becomes like a plague of insects, consuming whatever it can in the moment and rejecting anything more complex, essentially cannibalizing civilization for a few moments of feeling better about its pointless existence.

The modern age winds down around us as we speak. Technology will remain, so long as we have enough social order to support it with the knowledge and innumerable parts it requires, but the belief in the individual and through that in mass culture has fallen. People are finding refuge in the “old” concepts of identity, culture, values, customs, faith, and naturalism. They no longer believe that humans can socially engineer a Utopia, or that socializing provides an alternative to understanding our world and mastering it. They know that this Utopia is crashing down around them, slowly at first, but that this will accelerate.

That Utopia made itself doomed by having no internal order. It built itself around the individual, which means a civilization of many small parts, not coordinated parts which produce an order greater than the sum of its constituent elements. As it turns out, we needed that gestalt in order to have a civilization, and we need a civilization in order to be appreciated, and to know who we are. The passage of modernity into oblivion will not be much lamented.

Horseshoe Theory: Large Corporations Behave Like Communism

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

The theory of Crowdism states that our problem as a species is not a particular ideology, but any behavior in which humans become a goal in themselves. This is equivalent to a means-over-ends analysis that selects for methods which do not harm, inconvenience or embarrass any individual.

Since the dawn of our species, humans have been self-destructing in groups because at a certain point, the herd wins out. The innovators, leaders and pioneers are always few and the herd many, and the herd takes over and makes the activity about the herd, instead of about its ostensible purpose.

And so a business becomes a support system for its workers (unions, socialism); a government becomes an industry for lobbyists and bureaucrats; a church group becomes a social opportunity for bored middle class ladies; a gang becomes a cult centered around a leader who tells people what they want to hear.

This is the real horseshoe theory: at any point, human endeavors become their opposites because the need of the herd to be a goal in itself inverts the purpose of the organization.

Witness the similarities between monopolistic businesses and Communism:

Look at how Google games searches. A study reported in The Wall Street Journal found that in 25,000 random Google searches ads for Google products appeared in the most prominent slot 91% of the time. How is that not the unfair leveraging of search dominance and the abuse of algorithm? All 1,000 searches for “laptops” started with an ad for Google’s Chromebook — 100% of the time. Kim Jong Un would be envious of results like that at election time.

And then there are the recently launched Google snippets, which stylistically highlight search results as if they were written on stone tablets and carried down from the mountain. Their sheer visual physicality gives them apparent moral force. The word “Orwellian” is flagrantly abused, but when it comes to the all-powerful algorithms of Google, Amazon and Facebook, “Orwellian” is UNDER-used.

As for news, institutional neglect has left us perched on the edge of the slippery slope of censorship.

Interestingly enough, Mencius Moldbug picked up on this years ago by noting that organizations who desire a monopoly no longer act out of need, but out of aspiration to total power and total control:

Sometimes I get an almost Soviet feel off Google. After all, what was the Soviet Union but a whole country run by a single company? Of course, Google is much better managed than the Soviet Union. But give it a few years.

When you are writing a large piece of software in order to just give it away, it has to be a labor of love. If it’s not a labor of love, the task becomes Brezhnevian. Google will do just fine if everyone in the world accesses their servers via Apple or Microsoft phones. The commercial justification for writing Android strikes me as quite thin.

While this passage argues against his own theory of Neoreaction — if big corporations running a country end up like the Soviet Union did, then Anarcho-Capitalist Libertarianism is not an escape from the human problem described in the first paragraph of this essay — he makes a good point: we either act toward ends for the sake of those ends alone, or we become the ends, and then regulate method until we invert ourselves from ends-over-means to means-over-ends and filter out anything that offends the herd. That in turn produces the entropy that takes down every human group from a cluster of friends through a civilization, namely that internal division predominates over cooperation because the meaning of the activity has been lost through inversion.

Any corporation, if it becomes large enough, comes to serve itself, just like any government without hierarchy and culture becomes a parasitic predator determined to use its people as a means to the end of itself. Without some kind of cooperative goal, as is found in culture and transcendent appreciation of life, the activity becomes merely technical and then, becomes a purpose in itself.

Plato noted this in his own account of the end of a golden age and the degeneration to the point where democracy “seemed like a good idea” to the round-headed herd:

When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things. There was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war and in keeping a watch against them.

You either do things for their own sake, or they become masters over you. You can feed your people because you love them, strive for excellence, fight for supremacy, and try to build the greatest civilization ever, and fortune will shine on you. But when you are doing things because of the things themselves, like “we gotta keep the corporation running” or “the Party demands sacrifice,” then everything falls apart. That is the horseshoe in effect: whether Communist or Capitalist, you will end up in the same place without some kind of transcendental goal.

Plato calls it virtue. Christians call it holiness, but that seems too serving of itself as well. To the ancients in The Odyssey, it was a sense of putting the world to right, both morally uncompromising in a way that the Christians wish they could be, and geared toward balance more nuanced than the silly yin-yang that every teenager puts on their bedroom wall next to the dreamcatcher and Che Guevara poster.

Without this transcendental goal and people smart enough to keep us focused on it, every one of our ventures comes to serve itself and then self-destructs. This even applies to Metallica; when they were out there to make the best music they could imagine, the band had quality, but as soon as the goal became making the band more successful, the quality dwindled and popularity surged. This is the sign of an entropy bloom: like a red tide, at first the algae seem to be successful because their numbers have increased, but then there is a population crash. Like yeast in a bowl of syrup, or lemmings in a field of grain.

That transition from cooperation to control is what wrecks human endeavors, even solitary ones.

Consider the church. First it came to save the souls of men, but then it started competing with pagans and other sects, and acted toward its own power and control. This made it corrupt. That then removed the value it offered — salvation by inducing people to do what was necessary to save their minds, souls and logical ability — and it went into decline, but first it became wildly popular because it had lowered standards to the point where the herd could participate. Profiteers surged in and made themselves famous, but now, it is basically a dead institution in the first world. So it goes.

Power serves only itself unless you have an aristocrat — a philosopher king, in the sense of Marcus Aurelius and Meister Eckhart — to intervene and redirect things toward intangible and immutable but ongoing goals, known as the transcendentals. These are exclusively qualitative and relative, such as the classic formulation “the good, the beautiful and the true,” and also include the Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure sense of just wanting excellence, a form of benevolent elitism. Make everything the best of everything.

As the old saying goes, you either struggle upstream or are swept downstream. Civilizations either reach for constant improvement or are swept into the third world mentality of subsistence living, essentially dishonest people, and warlords to act as fences to keep the herd from running loose and harming itself.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Organic versus Linear Thought

Monday, June 20th, 2016


In an effort to uncover The Human Problem (or The Civilization Disease, as it is sometimes called), Outside In looks at a recent exploration of human linear thinking in defiance of obvious reality:

[H]umans are, by nature, envious, resentful and unable to comprehend, let alone appreciate, a sophisticated economic system that has evolved in spite of, not because of, our best efforts.

Humans possess a massive ability that overshadows all other knowledge because it is more easily accessible to our minds. This ability is our faculty to assess risk, and with it, our analysis of the degree of order to any scenario.

Disorder implies greater risk; order implies stability.

As a result, our minds tend to want to impose order on any situations we encounter, but this question depends on how well we know what order is. Our tendency is to like blocky structures in which all elements are equal because from a linear thinking perspective, this is orderly and permits assembly-line style processing.

Nature is several steps ahead of us however and prefers ecosystems, or organic, systems which are “self-arising” through a process of internal conflict, unequal roles, and a few principles which translate into radically different results in different highly particular situations.

Evolution allows these systems to “emerge” by starting with simple principles and developing in reaction to conflicts. This ensures that every granular detail is consistent with the comprehensive whole, and relates to the founding principles which govern the system.

Humans remain confined within the boundaries of their linear thought because to do otherwise is to relinquish the illusion of control by the ego, a necessary fiction perpetrated to enable our parallel-thinking brains to assume they are the product of a single will. However, humans have the ability of choice, both among internal impulses including thoughts, and between actions they can take, so can re-program themselves to think in a non-linear manner.

A 12-step plan to save humanity

Thursday, August 7th, 2014


Some say that the decay has not reached critical levels, so we should do nothing. Others say it hovers at the brink of disaster and we must do anything that might have a chance of working now. Some want cadres; others want newspapers; others want to drop out and run away to some obscure place to go it alone.

All of these strategies have been tried before. Cadres lead to Revolutions which then swing leftward as a means of motivating their participants. Newspapers have a chance at influence, but the audience wants lies and thus will bypass a truthful newspaper. Dropping out and going it alone makes you inconsequential and low-hanging fruit for others to victimize, because they outnumber you and always will.

No, sadly, there is no escape from The Civilization Game. Once your species goes down this path you must either master it or be destroyed by it. When the game gains enough momentum, it has the potential to thoroughly vandalize our planet in addition to bringing all of us down with it. Like technology, it is a force that must be controlled by the intelligent or it will dominant the rest and become a force for its own interest at the expense of ours.

So what can we, the people who realize that humanity has been running itself off a cliff for centuries or longer, do? In the grand tradition of self-help writing, I present to you a 12-step plan:

  1. Know what you want.

    In my experience, the biggest glitch here is that people invent new philosophies to personally express themselves and ignore the real need, which is a philosophy of a new civilization. Humanity has been in decline for at least 2,000 years but more likely longer. The ancient Greeks spoke of a Golden Age long before their present time, and they were probably right. That Golden Age got invaded by individualism and millennia later we are the fallout. We can either head back toward the Golden Age or continue down our path to decline; nothing is static. That is what our philosophy needs to address. So far most people are more focused on differentiating themselves and their writings as product that addressing a real need, primping and preening like pretentious animals. My suggestion is a simple one: pick a philosophy that (a) focuses on results, not feelings/desires and (b) has a transcendental aspect to it. That philosophy will fall under the banner of conservatism not because liberalism rejects #b as most of your “wise” pundits would say, but because liberalism rejects #a. A fully-developed philosophy will be simple and consistent, showing a relationship between each of its parts to a primary goal, which I would describe as “human thriving” in the context of an ascendant civilization.

  2. Find a way to communicate this

    Most writing serves to put people into a loop. It inflames emotions, then offers a partial solution, which keeps those emotions inflamed so people need more of that type of writing. This creates a product cycle for the writer. Political writing is almost universally of this type. It never quite expresses a lack of doubt, so people rely on it and then encounter doubt and come running back to it. Some of the best writing for actual communication is literature because it shows exactly what it means in concrete terms with characters who represent parts of the subconscious mind of each of its readers. Other types of learning like philosophy manage precision and broach difficult topics but exists in a form that few can read or understand; this would be useful for informing your leadership caste, but not much else. This leads us back to a means of communication. I suggest it take the form of narrative, whether political or fictional, and that it be in a form that could be spoken to others.

  3. Take back your social institutions

    When you run away or apologize, you legitimize the complaints of those who oppose you. Our society includes every institution it needs to function but these have been infiltrated by reality-deniers. A sensible response is to counter-infiltrate which means joining them, gaining power, and then steering them toward a healthier direction. This healthier direction takes two forms: first, get issues on the table, which causes conflict to rise around them; second, focus on results-oriented plans which mirror the values you find that are eternal in the best of humanity. In politics, third parties fail unless they have warned of some great calamity and it has come to pass. In the meantime, allowing the existing parties to keep doing their thing is consent to what they will do. A better plan involves getting inside the gates of these glacial giants and subverting their bad ideas while replacing them with better ones. The Tea Party in the United States led the way here by forcing a results-oriented economic plan and traditional conservative values on an otherwise slumbering insider major party. Similar results can be achieved elsewhere by participating in and then converting these institutions to a more useful form.

  4. Destroy that which needs to be destroyed

    The media will always be hostile to reality-based thinking because fantasy-based thinking makes for a better product. Who wants to hear about the difficult path of surrendering the ego and doing what is realistic, when there is ego-drama and other things that make people feel self-important to report about? Support piracy; come up with lawsuits; sabotage their displays; turn off televisions. Shut down the great zombie ritual by removing its ability to effectively do business.

    Many of our people cannot hold a coherent thought and yet insist on intervening in public affairs. Their careers must be ruined by any means necessary. Dredge up any scandal, complain en masse, bring them down with legal means, smash them and leave them as a warning to others. The left uses this strategy to great effect and business responds. There is only one known way to stop a rioting mob and that is to pick those who are serving as leaders and destroy them.

  5. Create alternative activities

    You are intending to replace a culture. It is a culture of consumerism, altruism and egalitarianism. You need activities which emphasize health in the opposite direction, which is results-oriented, masculine and hierarchical. Sports teams will not do this, nor will church charities, nor will video gaming. You need groups of people heading out into the countryside to do healthy things like orienteering/hiking, construction, hunting and exploring. You need people in town who are preserving culture, having heritage events, and socializing. Emphasizing practical learning of both liberal arts and technical backgrounds is important too. The left won by signaling status; these need to become your new status symbols.

  6. Conquer the two vital groups

    Within your society, you must conquer two groups: the thinkers and the natural leaders (there is much overlap). Thinkers, which are the natural equivalent of what city people call “intellectuals” (a badge similar to owning a Mercedes-Benz), are those you can find who get to the core of a problem in a way that no one else understands. Natural leaders are those you find at every level of society who are able to organize responses to both daily events and emergencies. Every office has one person who keeps everyone together, every local PD has one cop who keeps the others on point, and every church or business has one person who knows how to do everything and gets to an expedient solution quickly. These groups need outreach on your terms. They need to be pushed to mock their old beliefs and accept new ones. Much of this process involves the production of written documents and artworks that they can understand.

  7. Gain critical mass

    If the above happen, a critical mass will form where 2-5% of the population will agree and are motivated by a need to accomplish change. This group will then accomplish the work of infiltration by bringing up these ideas in public, taking over institutions, forming a product base for objects which reflect these ideas, and creating the basis of an alternative media. The Tea Party and Front National show the best possibility here. My suggestion is to be the non-ironic equivalent of “edgy,” or dangerous, unconquered, a wild terrain. People love new spaces to explore; it is hard-wired into our glorious simian heritage. Be the leather jacket rebels of the 1950s, the biker gangs of the 1960s, the punks of the 1970s, the survivalists of the 1980s. Push yourself onto society as a new idea that also touches something raw and essential inside of each one of us.

  8. Dominate through elections

    The other side is always screwing up and the media covers for them. Begin the rise in local elections, then regional. At every step sabotage and subvert your enemies. Tax media until they go bankrupt. Destroy social programs and transfer the money to something useful. Use the resources of office to point out where your opponents have failed. When a liberal program is mid-failure, use your influence to make its failure more apparent or inevitable. Always push the same consistent message: the Left is the old and calcified, the crazy and the weak, the effete and the miserable. Gain power and then begin dismantling all laws made since 1790. As momentum picks up, it will be possible to gain the quorum necessary to remove Constitutional amendments and other liberal vandalism of our system of government.

  9. Disenfranchise your opponents

    Roll the voting age back to 30 for landed owners only. Deport all illegals; remove all anti-discrimination law. Tax the media until it dies, smash Hollywood with regulations, and provoke our international enemies until they are forced into defensive and strident positions. Liquidate federal and state agencies and send those employees home. Remove all welfare and channel the unemployed into the military. Fire all leftists and anyone sympathetic to them, but replace them with only those who are both sympathetic to your view and competent. Cronyism and nepotism are death.

  10. Force an international union

    Nothing official is required. State your beliefs; give preferred trading, political and social status to those who support you and marginalize others. Again avoid cronyism and nepotism or those who support them. Force an international agenda of “no guilt”: each nation does what is best for itself, and if its neighbor dies, make the assumption that the neighbor used an inferior system and thus their demise is Darwin’s laughter not the tears of an overly compassionate, overweight, couch-bound suburbanite just looking for “what is real.” Remove any international obligations beyond self-interest. The best obligations are informal through shared goal.

  11. Re-shape humanity

    For the past several thousand years, humanity has followed a steady path of decline from an originally more brilliant point. With the rise of civilization and specialized labor, efficiency allowed society to include people who were not useful. Those in turn found themselves fond of simple obligations called jobs, simple political systems that made their numbers outweigh anything else, and social systems that enable any behavior that does not achieve immediate bad results or appearances. That attitude, called Crowdism, originates in human egoism/individualism and in groups causes madness that destroys civilization. Any human species of the future will cut back on the useless or single-function people and replace them with a network of capable leaders and a group akin to the top half of today’s middle classes in ability who do everything else, but do less because they will not invent the make-work jobs, mindless bureaucracy, and consumerist frenzy of today’s society. Leaders can reform education by getting rid of it, reform job promotion by making it informal, reform law by throwing out all laws and replacing them with principles. This forces people to stop relying on external guides and use their brains instead, which will quickly separate the useful from the useless. I suggest exile for the useless and massive reward for the useful so they have lots of children and replace the useless with a functional species.

  12. Gain a new transcendent goal

    Early humanity had it easy because they had a clear and luminous goal: avoid becoming apes again by building civilization. With civilization comes communication, with that learning, and with that philosophy and art; then people build the final layer on Maslow’s pyramid which suggests a need for purpose and transcendent meaning in our lives. We need a new source of transcendent meaning via an ongoing goal that we cannot ever fully achieve but can always pursue, approximating it much as we always get closer to a knowledge of reality itself but can never fully know it. Space travel, a new Golden Age of art and philosophy, and self-refinement into Nietzschean supermen are all good goals. The goal will not only direct us, but bring us closer to knowledge of the sacred, and will also serve to further exclude the useless, criminal and selfish.

At this point you are probably saying, “Oh, well that’s all,” in a rather sardonic voice. This is not a todo list for this weekend, or even for this century. It is a todo list for the rest of time, with each successive generation accomplishing what it can. The first three items are the most pressing in the immediate time but also the easiest. As those occur, the others become easier. Not for the faint of heart.

Image: Unknown man tending his garden in a wasteland. Let it inspire you as you struggle with similar — but less visually obvious — circumstances.

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