Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘tom wolfe’

Social Control

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Humans live in a world of confusion because so many things are a mystery to us, and so we write them off, but then become subverted by lurking doubts. We accept many things in our lives that we do not understand, and rationalize them as being for the best because we see no other option.

For this reason, at least two layers exist to our human world: there is the public layer, in which we explain our rationalizations to each other, and an underlying layer, understood by few, where actual cause-effect relationships are understood.

In that public layer, we reason backward from what already exists. “The economy needs” or “bipartisanship demands compromise.” Here, we are looking not just at the material world, but the configuration in which it stands now, and reasoning from that about what our future should be. This necessarily follows a single direction, because each act accepts the last as necessary and reacts to it in order to keep it from failing. It is like building a house out of a shack; we add on rooms to support existing rooms, and end up with a chaotic design.

The underlying layer remains understood by few because it requires analytical skill and patience to understand, things that require the force of character and force of intellect that are rare in any society. And so, all of the forces that actually regulate and change our society go unnoticed, while a play is acted out onstage to provide simple answers that make people feel intelligent and confident for understanding them.

Plato argues for a cave metaphor, and the ancient Vedic scribes talked about the veil of Maya, but this is not as simple as “materialism.” It is our tendency to mistake effects for causes of themselves, much as we like to see ourselves as causes of ourselves, which manifests in materiality as opposed to seeing patterns, which is what we call idealism of the German school.

We can understand patterns only through the world beyond the part of us that consciously rationalizes and uses language. Patterns must be understood on a lower level than symbols, and can be recognized frequently by aesthetics, but this requires that we reach into our inner selves where intuition resides. Through that, we can apprehend the forms or patterns that life takes, and thus understand it as a kind of language: in certain types of situations, certain patterns arise in response to certain conditions. Patterns replicate in parallel across different media — thought, information, matter, energy — and the broader our analytical reach in these areas, the less likely we are to be able to translate the patterns we see into language or equations. Instead, we must simply take them into our inner self and assess them against all else we know to intuit what is correct. This is the opposite of deduction and rational thought; “exterminate all rational thought,” as William S. Burroughs advised, opens the gateway to understanding the intuition.

As such, our only true motivation is from within, and is based in understanding, not desire. We cannot command it to be so, write laws about it, enforce it with procedures, or demonstrate it in a lab or open argument. It is a direct understanding of the world, and its counterpart is our creative side, which generates metaphors for our comprehension of it. Together, these two sides come together to give us a more accurate portrayal of the world, even if it is not literal, because we are dealing with patterns that occur over time and across multiple media, so they cannot be visualized, tokenized or otherwise reduced. They are alone in themselves, and the best we get is glimpses, but not all glimpses are equal; those glimpses which apply a focused understanding of the world are more accurate, and these are biologically possible for only a small segment of the population. Either those people are in charge, or the rest who do not understand such things declare them to be insane and reject them.

In every human event involving two or more people, the social impulse conflicts with the inner self. The social impulse is composed of what we want done to us, and how we convince others to do what we want done. Because both we and they are human, the natural tendency arises to assume that both have the same motivations because they have the same sensations, a condition which rapidly approximates solipsism. When reinforced by the group, the condition accelerates, such that reality is gradually minimized because it naturally clashes with a human-centered view of the world, and eventually inversion occurs, where the meanings of words and things are changed into their opposite. With this comes a backward thought process of rationalizing from what is, in order to feel good about it, so that others can be motivated with this good feeling to do what is necessary despite the otherwise crushing pressure of solipsism, like an exploded star becoming a black hole.

Social control occurs through the need for this manipulation. Instead of confronting reality and acting toward purpose, individuals act toward keeping the group together (“why can’t we all just get along?” howled the exasperated kindergarten teacher). This shows the dominance of the social impulse, which is entirely external and represented reversed logic, in that it argues from material motivations as a way of preventing certain acts and forcing others to occur.

External control benefits those who wield it because it is simple to achieve. You set up rules, make them vague, and then punish anyone who deviates, which is something you selectively interpret or choose to enforce. In other words, your citizens will be at all times cowering from the possibility of enforcement, and they will attempt to do things to please you in order to pre-emptively prove their loyalty. This makes them entirely subservient, and soon the need to rationalize this external control forces them to re-construct how their internal impulses work. Over time, they will stop being able to formulate objectives and analyze their own actions without your input because before they do anything, they must ensure that it will not offender the controller. In this way, people become entirely dependent on the control yet prone to rebel against it as they sense that it is changing the core of their personalities.

In our neo-Communist society, social control goes a step further by being distributed, or not directly implemented by a centralized force. Instead, the central authorities set up a reward/punishment system which mostly functions by making rewards necessary to rise above the entry level, subsistence lifestyle. For example, a controller can rule without making his ideology mandatory. Instead he simply impoverishes everyone, or at least forces large expenses upon them, and then alleviates that pain for those who affirmatively come to him and demonstrate a willingness to be obedient. Although it does not involve high technology, control is a form of mind control in this way, in that it induces people to re-wire themselves to be essentially mental servants of the controller. Taking this a step further, social control induces citizens to enforce control upon each other, with those who impose control upon others being rewarded, and those who fail to do so also fail to advance in the system. Soon there is a gold rush for having demonstrated obedience by making others obedient.

Bureaucratic society takes on this form through its pretense of meritocracy. As a way of enforcing equality, meritocracy starts everyone at zero and advances those who are willing to sit through many years of schooling, memorize all the right facts, participate in all the activities, and otherwise have their minds shaped to fit the type of behavior that society expects. This makes people into beggars who must prove their utility by sacrificing their time to be spent on essentially make-work, since very little of what is memorized is retained, and weeds out the non-compliant ones. Social control causes people to enforce on one another a competitive race for status, such as who owns what objects or has which titles. “Keeping up with the Joneses” motivates people to earn more, which in turn causes them to trade off more of their time. All of this has the effect of altering them internally, so that like citizens of ex-Soviet republics, they become unable to act of their own impetus and are entirely dependent on external cues — social, ideological, monetary, material — to know how to deal with life. Without others to follow and set standards, they are locked in paralysis at the thought of having to act.

This use of social control to morally and intellectually neuter people demonstrates the nature of bureaucracy as a control system, rather than an efficient method of administering society:

The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus…Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapses. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existences as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host.

When hierarchy is abolished, such as by a revolution, all that is left is those in power. Hierarchy refers to a hierarchy within the citizenry, such that some have rank above others, as opposed to government or another party outside of society itself which, like a contractor or service provider, claims to provide quality governance and stability in exchange for income from taxes. A controller is neither of the group nor interested in hierarchy; control must come from on high, or outside of the group, and be obeyed or used to ostracize or otherwise damage the person who failed to obey. Controllers may implement a hierarchy within the political class, but this division represents power only, and not a role beyond administering control downward.

Leadership is not control. Government of any form seeks control because it is external to society and operates by reducing people to the rank of equals so that it can reward those who obey, punishing the rest by parallax motion of their social status and fortunes. Actual leadership separates the best people out from the rest in advance, does not demand loyalty tests or other methods of keeping the herd together, and emphasizes reward for successful achievement of goals. Control regulates methods as a means of limiting what people can do and therefore what they can think; leadership rewards achievement and has minimal influence on methods. As a result, leadership creates many paths to the same goal, where control creates repetitively similar paths to many different goals, since it does not operate by reward but by punishment for deviation from ideology, and encourages all other forms of deviation as a type of stochastic resonance to silhouette and emphasize the ideological narrative.

With control, mass culture is created, but control also arises from mass culture because with masses, keeping the group together is more important than having purpose. For control, purpose is short-circuited into a perpetual pseudo-purpose of always maintaining control. In this way it is both tautological and cyclic in a self-perpetuating way, although with each cycle, it seems to lose some energy because of its repetitive nature, and slowly runs down. Mass culture and control are inseparable from bureaucracy, which is the assembly-line treatment of people as identical objects upon which the state acts, and this requires imposing external manipulation on people through rewards and punishments as a means of “shaping” them to be obedient. For this reason, bureaucracy is totalitarianism

Thus, over the past 50 years, the consequence has been the rise of The Manager as the archetypal Modern Man – the manager is the cocrete terminus and manifestation of sixties spirituality. Indeed, the 60s-type rebels and cynics always become managers; and managers are the servants of The System – indeed managers are the dupes of The System.

The deal is that in return for creating and imposing The System – in return for working as-a-manager to extend the reach and power of The System via the expansion and linking of bureaucracy – the manager personally will be rewarded with wealth, power and status such that he can pursue his (or more usually her) selfish gratifications – sex, holidays, fashion, possessions…

All managers hate their work as such – and it is indeed hateful work; it being to collaborate in the intended long-term and permanent enslavement of others to a totalitarian agenda of materialism and inversion of the Good. (Bureaucracy just is totalitarianism.)

Management uses the same philosophy as other forms of control: an external authority, using external methods, manipulates people in order to shape them into a pattern of compliant behavior.

This has several negative consequences. First, it makes people entirely dependent on authority, and correspondingly unwilling to trust their own analytical ability, intuition or common sense. Second, it allows those who have no inherent wisdom to get ahead by simply being obedient and diligent, which is a form of equality when put under analysis. It also bores those who do not lack ability because for them, all of this stuff is remedial and tangentially relevant. But it delights those who find comfort in external process. People who find comfort in external process are those who are alien from the inner process by which they formulate their own purpose; control, because it is external, acts against those who have inner purpose, shaping them gradually into those who respond only to external stimulus. This is why it associates with fantasies of revenge, defense of the underdog, equality which innately sabotages the higher to promote the lower, dominance of the weak over the strong, and other fantasies.

William S. Burroughs reveals knowledge of this when he spoke of what he thought about Leftists:

All liberals are weaklings, and all weaklings are vindictive, mean and petty. (164)

Bureaucracy, Leftism and Control thus fit into the same pattern: imposition of the weaker on the strong, after subverting the strong with a mental virus based in guilt for having succeeded. This accelerates the rise of the people without souls over the small group who do all the hard intellectual and moral choice-making.

People without souls focus on the external personality of other people — obedience, social cues, favorite TV shows, shared activities — and ignore the inner core, where intelligence and moral character reside, two factors which along with the creative impulse constitute what we call the soul. That inner core is hidden from socialization, and can generate the personality from its most essential principles outward, but only if the person is self-actualized; otherwise, the personality is an artifact of the social group. Since this inner core is inaccessible to control, it represents a threat to control, which relies on the concept of universalism, or one idea applied equally in different contexts without regard for the patterns and variations inherent to those different contexts. Universalism is control because it destroys context, difference and individual traits, and replaces them with a mechanical, artificial and uniform rule which stamps out the difference between human beings so that control can remain in power. Similarly, it seeks to crush nature, which is comprised of endless variation and complexity, because nature threatens human dominion by not being human, where through social means, both individuals and groups can be dominated.

Using language, tokens and social pressure to control a human herd is the essence of modernity:

Language is a virus that seeks to supplant natural order. People are able to use language to manipulate one another, and through this can get ahead with social/ideological means instead of by producing actual results in external reality. From Tom Wolfe:

Evolution came to an end when the human beast developed speech! As soon as he became not Homo sapiens, “man reasoning,” but Homo loquax, “man talking”! Speech gave the human beast far more than an ingenious tool. Speech was a veritable nuclear weapon! It gave the human beast the powers of reason, complex memory, and long-term planning, eventually in the form of print and engineering plans. Speech gave him the power to enlarge his food supply at will through an artifice called farming. Speech ended not only the evolution of man, by making it no longer necessary, but also the evolution of animals!

And William S. Burroughs from The Ticket That Exploded (1962):

From symbiosis to parasitism is a short step. The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk. That organism is the word.

And Friedrich W. Nietzsche in the document that kicked off postmodernism, “On Truth And Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense” (1873):

But because man, out of need and boredom, wants to exist socially, herd-fashion, he requires a peace pact and he endeavors to banish at least the very crudest bellum omni contra omnes [war of all against all] from his world. This peace pact brings with it something that looks like the first step toward the attainment of this enigmatic urge for truth. For now that is fixed which henceforth shall be “truth”; that is, a regularly valid and obligatory designation of things is invented, and this linguistic legislation also furnishes the first laws of truth: for it is here that the contrast between truth and lie first originates. The liar uses the valid designations, the words, to make the unreal appear as real; he says, for example, “I am rich,” when the word “poor” would be the correct designation of his situation. He abuses the fixed conventions by arbitrary changes or even by reversals of the names. When he does this in a self-serving way damaging to others, then society will no longer trust him but exclude him. Thereby men do not flee from being deceived as much as from being damaged by deception: what they hate at this stage is basically not the deception but the bad, hostile consequences of certain kinds of deceptions.

In other words, language is used to obscure the selfish motives of the individual which are cloaked in the idea of altruistic motives to help others. This is the essence of Crowdism.

Control, like tyranny, represents the ultimate selfishness: it is defensive in that it seeks to quash variation and independent thought in order to smash down the accurate analysis and perception of the most accomplished in force of moral character and force of intellect in our society. Control works by removing the natural leaders of society and replacing them with rote laws and a single universal standard by which all people are molded, making them replicants of the intent of the controllers, which does not offend the 90% who are weakest in the parallel of force of intellect and force of moral character, but destroys those who might know better by being able to more accurately perceive reality.

At the core of control we find the human impulse to avoid fate. Humans claim to want safety, but what they mean is freedom from being incorrect in their assessment of reality, thus subject to natural selection via physical or social means. In nature, the man who fails to make a fire on a cold night dies; in human society, the rest of the group is obligated to save him, thus dooming the group to drown in incompetents as more of them are saved and reproduce. Fate treats us all unequally. Some are born to sweet delight, and some are born to endless night, but social control would have them all be born to a state in-between, a perpetual grey mediocrity where they are safe but also prohibited from reaching excellence, beauty, realism, honor and virtue. And yet, this is popular with a crowd who by its very nature is formed of people who have nothing to distinguish themselves, therefore must rationalize that they have been wronged in order to continue believing that they are in fact good. All human efforts perish by this standard.

Inside of humanity lurks a great weakness. We try to avoid fate by eliminating possible error, and in doing so, neuter and domesticate ourselves. We are looking for excuses to do nothing, to rationalize life instead of acting it and by so doing, coming to terms with our limitations and the fate that awaits us beyond our control, like natural selection itself. This becomes a fear of life itself, and it is why every human effort fails and over time, becomes replaced by an oblivious mediocrity which dooms its original purpose and removes access to an honest enjoyment of life for all.

Anti-Diversity Distinguished From Racialism, Human Biodiversity and “Racism”

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

We know that diversity is dysfunctional because throughout history, we see no examples of societies which adopted diversity continuing to thrive after that point. In fact, all of them dove straight into third-world disorder and consequent erasure from history.

There are many arguments against diversity. Some are based on genetics, others on culture, and some on looking at current examples of diversity. These are often convincing, but a more fundamental argument can be made which we might call the “Machiavellian argument”:

Every ethnic group has its own agenda, which is to be dominant in any lands where it is present. The reason for this is that any ethnic group is unstable if it is not dominant, because one can only be dominant or conquered. There is no middle ground, but diversity pretends to be this, which more resembles a temporary truce than a long-term plan. Each ethnic group seeks to make its culture, values, language, standards, beliefs and behaviors into the norm wherever that ethnic group resides, because if it does not do this, those are quickly supplanted by either those from other groups, or the standard-of-no-standards that occurs when a standard is designed to incorporate the standards of multiple ethnic groups. Ethnic groups have their own self-interest, or goal of dominating so that they are not dominated, and no amount of laws, economic incentives or government propaganda can change that.

This means that it does not matter who the racial or ethnic minorities that make up a diversity society are, only that different groups be present. They do not need to have pre-existing culture; if cultureless people of different groups were put on a desert island, they would quickly separate by appearance, and invent a culture that makes each group feel as if it has a unique purpose and quite possibly, is the best group in the world. We know that all cultures do this, as do groups within cultures. As Tom Wolfe writes, this is the “fiction-absolute”:

Even before I left graduate school I had come to the conclusion that virtually all people live by what I think of as a “fiction-absolute.” Each individual adopts a set of values which, if truly absolute in the world — so ordained by some almighty force — would make not that individual but his group…the best of all possible groups, the best of all inner circles. Politicians, the rich, the celebrated, become mere types. Does this apply to “the intellectuals” also? Oh, yes…perfectly, all too perfectly.

The human beast’s belief in his own fiction-absolute accounts for one of the most puzzling and in many cases irrational phenomena of our time. I first noticed it when I read a book by Samuel Lubell called The Future of American Politics. Lubell was a political scientist and sociologist who had been as surprised as everybody else by the outcome of the 1948 presidential election. That was the election in which the Democratic incumbent, Harry Truman, was a president whose approval rating had fallen as low as 23 percent. Every survey, every poll, every pundit’s prediction foresaw him buried by the Republican nominee, Thomas E. Dewey. Instead, Truman triumphed in one of the most startling upsets in American political history. Lubell was determined to find out why, and so he set out across the country. When he reached a small Midwestern town that had been founded before the turn of the 19th century by Germans, he was puzzled to learn that the town had gone solidly for Dewey despite the fact that by every rational turn of logic, every economic motivation, Truman would have been a more logical choice. By and by Lubell discovered that the town was still predominantly German. Nobody had ever gotten over the fact that in 1917, a Democrat, President Woodrow Wilson, had declared war on Germany. That had set off a wave of anti-German feeling, anti-German prejudice, and, in the eyes of the people of this town, besmirched their honor as people of German descent. And now, two World Wars later, their minds were fixed on the year 1917, because like all other human beasts, they tended to champion in an irrational way their own set of values, their own fiction absolute. The question Lubell asked was very much like the question that Thomas Frank asked after the election of 2004 in his book What’s the Matter with Kansas? By all economic and political logic, the state of Kansas should have gone to John Kerry, the Democrat, in 2004. But it didn’t. Had Frank only looked back to Samuel Lubell, he would have known why. The 2004 election came down to one state: the state of Ohio. Whoever won that state in the final hours would win the election. Northern Ohio, the big cities of Cleveland, Toledo on the Great Lakes, were solidly for Kerry. But in southern Ohio, from east to west, and in the west was the city of Cincinnati, Ohio went solidly for George Bush. And the reason? That great swath of territory was largely inhabited by the Scots-Irish. And when the Democrats came out in favor of gun control, the Scots-Irish interpreted this as not merely an attack on the proliferation of weaponry in American life but as a denunciation, a besmirching, of their entire way of life, their entire fiction absolute. Guns were that important in their scheme of things.

For a group to be living the best of all possible lives, it would have to be the best group on Earth, and for that to be true, there can be no competing groups, which means that even if at a glacial pace, that group will work to subvert and conquer all nearby groups that are discernibly different. This is as much part of nature as natural selection.

The fiction-absolute guarantees that every ethnic group will act in self-interest, and over time realize that this self-interest includes conquest of others. This was once recognized as a principle of human nature, but even more, it is a principle of nature, and we see it in other species as well:

Slave-making ants—yes, that’s actually their common name—also stage raids on other ant species, notes Katy Prudic, an entomologist at Arizona State University.

…“There’s good evidence that chimpanzees conduct deliberate raids on neighbouring communities, and that this can lead to annexing of territory.”

For instance, during a ten-year study of a chimp family in Uganda’s Kibale National Park, the primates killed or injured 18 chimps from other groups and took over their land. (Related: “Chimp Gangs Kill to Expand Territory.”)

“The behaviour of chimpanzees is much more akin to a guerrilla band”—wearing down the enemy—than what we think of as a traditional battle, Newton-Fisher says.

Others point out that there are battles between groups within the same species, usually over who predominates in a certain territory, such as ants and termites whose competing colonies frequently go to war:

Insects, particularly ants, have become popular examples of this form of warfare, where tens of thousands of members from rival colonies will do battle, often tearing one another apart, and engaging in other strategies and tactics that might be seen on a human battlefield from the Middle Ages.

These insect battles, which are also seen in termites and other colony-based species of insects, are typically started over territory.

In other words, ethnic battles within species are common in the animal kingdom, and for the same reasons that human ethnic groups clash: only one group can predominate. That group gets to choose its destiny instead of having it chosen for it, and can set standards, cultural values, habits, cuisine, customs, language and other identifiers that support the fiction-absolute of its members.

Examined in the context of a logical racialist analysis of diversity, we can see how our refusal to admit that each group has self-interest dooms us to race riots, violent crime, political agitation and other forms of guerrilla warfare:

Race or any of the fashionable victim statuses may and must be substituted for sex. Further, race doesn’t exist. This is why strict mandatory quotas based on race must be enforced, to teach people that race doesn’t exist. There are thus no differences among people based on race. Yet Diversity is our strength, so ensuring quotas based on race, which doesn’t exist, will make outcomes better, outcomes which must be the same, since there is no such thing as race, therefore there can’t be differences in performance among peoples of different races. This is why Diversity is our strength.

All disparities are formed and held in place by power. Where there are more men than women in a position, or more whites than blacks, it is because of the power men have over women, or whites over others. Yet Equality says men and women and the races, which do not exist, are not inherently different, therefore this power must be illusory. This is why the men who think men and women are different, or those who say race exists, must be fired from, or kept from securing, their positions, so that they may not wield the dangerous power they by theory cannot have.

This sardonic view correctly deciphers the Leftist attitude toward race and diversity: the only idea of Leftism is that all people are equal, which enables the caste revolt they seek, so this means that diversity must exist in order to prove that we are all equal, which requires quashing anything and anyone who is not 100% on board with diversity.

In this way, even diversity logic recognizes that groups have different interests. In order to prove equality, diversity must be enforced, which means that some groups must be favored over the others in order to erase natural differences and make those groups equal, which makes diversity a weapon of the guerrilla war. It is a deceptive weapon, in that the end goal of diversity is a beige race, not any one ethnic group becoming victorious. Diversity will destroy whites, blacks and Asians as it has in the past, leaving behind populations like those in Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East and parts of near Asia where the people are mostly Caucasian, a good bit Asian, and traces of any other groups. This mixture corresponds to how well those groups do in a civilization, namely through commerce and productivity, and the mixing occurs as people find others on their socio-economic level and have children with them, even though they are of another race, mainly because the increased disorder of social chaos caused by a lack of trust then forces people to become insular on the basis of class.

This view liberates us from the notion that other racial and ethnic groups (even The Irish) are our enemies. Instead, they are symptoms of a broader problem, which is the adoption of diversity by a civilization dying from caste revolt. The actual enemies are the ideas of diversity, equality, and pluralism, and these create a civil war within the civilization that, being a guerrilla war, grinds on until there is nothing left to destroy:

The war for civilization is almost entirely between groups of whites, in fact mostly white Christians. The white Left has drawn in other groups, but mostly as auxiliary forces. The same battle would be going on, as it has been in much of Europe, if we were only dealing with white opponents. None of the multiculturalists I have known has been black; and calling white multicultural fanatics “race traitors” is a gross oversimplification because the object of leftist hate goes well beyond their own racial group. It now includes all normal people who have not been reconstructed by the managerial therapeutic state or are fighting the scourge of Political Correctness.

Our struggle is not a race war. It is a war against the collapse of civilization, and we cannot fight that directly, but instead can only orient ourselves toward a renewal of civilization. That process automatically excludes those who wish to, like parasitic insects, devour civilization for their own sustenance. There is no middle ground in this fight.

When we refocus our views on the failure of diversity along with other civilization destroyer programs, we reveal exactly why there is no middle ground: as in the struggle against Communism, or against any tyranny or power which serves itself, we are waging a war of ideas through culture. Through that, the necessity of our struggle becomes evident.

After Charlottesville, the battle lines are drawn and the sides are polarized. Those in the middle are realizing that to waffle makes them a double target, and they are looking for a side that will win so that they will not be targeted. Since our side is the only side that includes the survival of our civilization, and thus the comfortable life to which people aspire in the West, we will win over time.

Confronting Inequality

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Almost no one understands what “equality” means. To the man on the street, it signifies that he can do whatever he wants as long as he can pay for it. In politics, it means subsidizing those who are not thriving. In reality, it has a more significant meaning.

Our nervous minds seek ways to make the world feel safe. They do this by creating symbols that make the world seem simple and easily manipulated. The primal archetype of this is to treat the world as one single thing, with a personality that we can reason with, and which will reward us if we do what is sociable, pacifying that personality.

Every primitive superstition involves appeasing a blood-god, and this might be the most honest form of this widespread human pathology. In modern times, we use “equality” to render the rest of humanity into a single entity that we can control with language and symbol.

The pathology of equality treats other humans as a fungible commodity which can be commanded to do what is necessary. If humans are regulated solely by external forces like incentives and punishments, the individual ego can feel safe that it can manage other people, without having to get into the nitty-gritty of how they are different and what actually motivates them.

One might term this a “consumerist” view of the world because it treats other people like products, machines or objects on a factory assembly line. All of the troublesome detail of life is left out, replaced by the self versus a world of identical people who can be controlled.

If equality has a founding myth, it is the notion of universal human reason, an idea which comes to us from The Enlightenment.™ They are manipulated by their reason, because they rationally respond to incentives and punishments. This requires us to assume that all people think alike and understand exactly the same thing from our words and symbols.

Consider a typical misunderstanding of Fred Nietzsche:

Nietzsche has been blamed for a more silent disaster: the rise of relativism and the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth. Seldom now, especially in academia, do you now read the word ‘truth’ written without those doubting – and even contemptuous – inverted commas. One of the most resilient doctrines of our times is that all knowledge depends on who is saying it and for what motive. This relativism is invariably traced back to Nietzsche.

This is largely to do with French philosopher Michel Foucault’s rehabilitation of Nietzsche. Foucault’s writing on power and knowledge in the 1960s and 1970s, which has been widely disseminated in society ever since, drew upon quotes from Nietzsche that ‘truth’ stems from the desire for power and has no eternal objective foundation. In his landmark lectures, ‘Truth and Juridical Forms’, delivered in 1973, Foucault said of the myth of ‘pure truth’: ‘This great myth needs to be dispelled. It is this myth which Nietzsche began to demolish by showing… that behind all knowledge [savoir], behind all attainment of knowledge [connaissance], what is involved is a struggle for power. Political power is not absent from knowledge, it is woven together with it.’

As the author of a book on nihilism, it behooves me to offer a comparison to the definition of nihilism:

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.

For convenience, we separate this into three parts:

  1. All values are baseless
  2. Nothing can be known
  3. Nothing can be communicated

How do we reach relativism, or the idea that all truths are relative to the individual, from this? We filter it through equality. Equality demands that we affirm that what each individual sees as true is actually true, so instead of rejecting that, we say that they have truths which are true to them.

A more sensible version would be esotericism, which would say that truth is discovered in degrees according to natural ability and how much of the cumulative underlying truths one has discovered so far. In other words, reality is real, but people are discovering it like a detective uncovering a mystery, with some getting farther than others. But that is anti-egalitarian.

Back to the topic, what Nietzsche affirmed is the end of equality: all “truths” are symbolic manipulation expressed in self-interest, but those of the highest type of human tend toward being as accurate as possible because their intelligence allows them to see the value of accurate information.

This follows from his statement “there are no truths, only interpretations” and his comments in his initial work that defined the scope of what was to come, On Truth And Lies In A Non-Moral Sense (more accurately translated as “On Truth And Lies In A Sense Outside Of Morality”).

So, now we see the modern time as a struggle between relativism and esotericism. In one, everyone is equal and everything is true; in the other, truth is a question of degree that varies with the observer, much as it does with the quality of instrument such as microscopes, which come in varying degrees of magnification and lens acuity.

This means a number of things, including that we cannot have a society without caste, because if we want good results, we have to put those who are more sensitive instruments at the top of the hierarchy. We also cannot have democracy, because the “reason”-ing ability that people use to vote is actually a rationalization of whatever they think makes their lives seem perfect and reasonable, a measurement of appearance and not actuality.

Tom Wolfe described this mentality as the fiction-absolute:

Even before I left graduate school I had come to the conclusion that virtually all people live by what I think of as a “fiction-absolute.” Each individual adopts a set of values which, if truly absolute in the world–so ordained by some almighty force–would make not that individual but his group . . . the best of all possible groups, the best of all inner circles. Politicians, the rich, the celebrated, become mere types. Does this apply to “the intellectuals” also? Oh, yes. . . perfectly, all too perfectly.

Through that lens, we see not reasoning man, but rationalizing man. If you want to know why society is inverted, or that its most fundamental terms seem to mean the opposite of what they should mean if used descriptively, it is that human thinking movies backward from conclusion to reason why. Cause and effect are reversed in order.

Lawrence Auster, one of the bright lights of modern conservatism, described one instance of this pathology as the unprincipled exception:

The unprincipled exception is a non-liberal value or assertion, not explicitly identified as non-liberal, that liberals use to escape the inconvenient, personally harmful, or suicidal consequences of their own liberalism without questioning liberalism itself.

Alternatively, the unprincipled exception is a non-liberal value or assertion, not explicitly identified as non-liberal, that conservatives use to slow the advance of liberalism or to challenge some aspect of liberalism without challenging liberalism itself.

Brainwashed by the notion of equality, conservatives see hypocrisy in it. But really, it is another self-interested animal rationalizing its choices by what makes it “feel” comfortable in the life it has chosen. This is a moral challenge; individuals are not just arguing for their own wealth, but that their choices were right by others, by logic, by any gods they believe in.

A Leftist (liberals are one variant of Leftist, or those who endorse egalitarianism, but it a matter of degree, much as Libertarians and Communists both agree on equality) will enact Leftist policies in order to gain wealth and power, but also to justify lifestyle choices made by the Leftists and previous Leftist policy, even if it has turned out poorly.

In turn, conservatives — who are those who accepted the new order, and by doing so were able to sit on the right side of the National Assembly in post-Revolutionary France — by the virtue of having accepted equality, cannot act in any way other than to affirm equality, which forces them to thwart the oncoming decay as much as they can but never attack its core.

Its core is the concept of equality.

With that in mind, we on the Alt Right must look toward the future: the decline of the West, as Plato tells us, began when people became more interested in wealth than in doing what is right by civilization alongside natural and divine order. The philosophy of prioritizing short-term self-interest over the need for logical planning for the future is known as individualism, and it afflicts high-IQ societies through rationalization, or the inverted and backward thinking caused by relativism.

Let us look at how this confusion afflicts even underground conservatives like the Alt Right:

The recent defeat of Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election has predictably triggered yet another tidal wave of haughty pronouncements by Alt Right adherents scornfully rejecting elections as a means of achieving our goals. “We’ll never vote our way out of this!” “Elections are a waste of time!” “Democracy doesn’t work!” The same chorus of noisy negativity broke out into mournful song the instant Trump began to cuck for the establishment last month.

This is a perennial phenomenon among the Alt Right, or I should say within the so-called white nationalist movement. We try to win through elections, we get our hopes up, we work our asses off, we get defeated – and we immediately begin wailing, gnashing our teeth and shaking our fists at the heavens as we swear off elections forever.

Let us first look at where this writer is correct: on the Right, we get our hopes up before elections, and then when the herd follows its usual mix of self-interest and “don’t rock the boat” complacency, we become enraged that we were betrayed again, as we have been by every election in varying degrees since those elections in Athens so long ago.

After that, he loses the train of thought.

His statement divides the questions of goal and method. As far as methods go, he is correct: when one lives in a democracy, it makes sense to do as much as possible with democratic methods. They involve little bloodshed, are relatively civilized, and can be influenced by a cultural wave such as the Alt Right.

However, in terms of goals, we must admit that the core of the Alt Right, which is a desire for Nietzschean traditionalism instead of a modern System that we think will swing our way, rejects egalitarianism. There is no human equality. All people and groups have different degrees of accuracy regarding the perception of reality, act in self-interest, and rationalize the result with abstract theory.

Our goal is to replace democracy with kings, an egalitarian social order with hierarchy, regulated markets with competition limited by culture, and diversity with nationalism. We are anti-egalitarian. If we try to escape that, we become mainstream conservatives and will invert our most sacred values through relativism.

Any deviation from this clear goal will guarantee our defeat. We must, as Bruce Charlton says, first become clear in our minds about what is logically true, and after that, make our way toward it, learning as we go.

Infection Model Validated: “Thought Virus”

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

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William S. Burroughs famously said, “Language is a virus.” It seems that social science has finally caught up with him, and the idea of mental viruses spread by social contact has gone mainstream:

We are used to the idea that diseases can be passed down from person to person. One gets ill and gives the sickness to everyone he meets, and so on till you have an epidemic. But what about ideas? Can ideas infect societies like viruses?

“Memes should be regarded as living structures, not just metaphorically but technically,” writes Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene”. “When you plant a fertile meme in my mind, you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme’s propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell. And this isn’t just a way of talking — the meme for, say, ‘belief in life after death’ is actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure in the nervous systems of people all over the world.”

The important idea here: the virus makes you like it because it seems to make you look good in a social context, but it is using you for its own ends. Its goal is to live on.

There are interesting metaphysical implications here as well. If ideas live on beyond us, do they live on beyond humans? At some point, if enough people believe something, does it become incarnate? Or if the right people believe it? Woolgathering for future meditation.

In addition to William S. Burroughs and Richard Dawkins, noted cultural commentatory curmudgeon Tom Wolfe has also spotted language as a virus, or at least a nexus of control:

Evolution came to an end when the human beast developed speech! As soon as he became not Homo sapiens, “man reasoning,” but Homo loquax, “man talking”! Speech gave the human beast far more than an ingenious tool. Speech was a veritable nuclear weapon! It gave the human beast the powers of reason, complex memory, and long-term planning, eventually in the form of print and engineering plans. Speech gave him the power to enlarge his food supply at will through an artifice called farming.

…One of Homo loquax’s first creations after he learned to talk was religion. Since The Origin of Species in 1859 the doctrine of Evolution has done more than anything else to put an end to religious faith among educated people in Europe and America; for God is dead. But it was religion, more than any other weapon in Homo loquax’s nuclear arsenal, that killed evolution itself 11,000 years ago. To say that evolution explains the nature of modern man is like saying that the Bessemer process of adding carbons to pig iron to make steel explains the nature of the modern skyscraper.

Language is power, and language is seductive. It knows no master but itself. We have all been warned. Not only that, as Immanuel Kant would note, we now know what evil is and the burden has fallen on us to avoid it. Perhaps the greatest evil is to tell a lie or a partial truth, knowing that the words used will program someone else, and lead to consequences in physical — and perhaps metaphysical — reality.

The Kingdom Of Speech by Tom Wolfe

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

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The Kingdom of Speech
by Tom Wolfe
Little, Brown and Company. 169 pages (2016)

While some have identified this book as an assault on Darwinism, it is more appropriate to view The Kingdom Of Speech as a critique of the arrogance of science in drawing broad conclusions from scant evidence.

Wolfe approaches this topic by looking at the sub-discipline which inspired the title of the book, linguistics; specifically, he targets Chomsky-era “theoretical” linguistics in which academics invented conjectural theories and then defended them against actual evidence that refuted their assumptions. This was achieved when anthropologist Daniel Everett studied the Pirahã people of the Amazon rainforest and found that their language lacked a key Chomskian trait, recursivity.

That revelation in turn provoked another: language was not, as asserted, an inherent structure that arose from evolution itself, but a human tool for understanding the world, and it does not have a single structure shared among all people, or a universal structure. Universal structures support the idea that all humans are basically the same and suggests they share an origin; arbitrary structures show that humans are widely different and think in vastly different ways.

Everett didn’t so much attack Chomsky’s theory as dismiss it. He spoke of Chomsky’s “waning influence” and the mounting evidence that Chomsky was wrong when he called language “innate.” Language had not evolved from …anything. It was just an artifact. Just as man had taken natural materials, namely wood and metal, and combined them to create the ax, he had taken natural sounds and put them together in the form of codes representing objects, actions and ultimately, thoughts and calculations — and called the codes words. (141)

This point cannot be stressed enough: Wolfe has discovered Nihilism of the kind discussed in this journal. Language is arbitrary, or at least begins arbitrarily, and is an invention of humanity, not the other way around. It is a tool. It has no innate worth other than the fact that two or more people can use it to communicate. And as Nietzsche discovered, it is also a powerful weapon that can destroy good things:

But because man, out of need and boredom, wants to exist socially, herd-fashion, he requires a peace pact and he endeavors to banish at least the very crudest bellum omni contra omnes [war of all against all] from his world. This peace pact brings with it something that looks like the first step toward the attainment of this enigmatic urge for truth. For now that is fixed which henceforth shall be “truth”; that is, a regularly valid and obligatory designation of things is invented, and this linguistic legislation also furnishes the first laws of truth: for it is here that the contrast between truth and lie first originates. The liar uses the valid designations, the words, to make the unreal appear as real; he says, for example, “I am rich,” when the word “poor” would be the correct designation of his situation. He abuses the fixed conventions by arbitrary changes or even by reversals of the names. When he does this in a self-serving way damaging to others, then society will no longer trust him but exclude him. Thereby men do not flee from being deceived as much as from being damaged by deception: what they hate at this stage is basically not the deception but the bad, hostile consequences of certain kinds of deceptions. In a similarly limited way man wants the truth: he desires the agreeable life-preserving consequences of truth, but he is indifferent to pure knowledge, which has no consequences; he is even hostile to possibly damaging and destructive truths. And, moreover, what about these conventions of language? Are they really the products of knowledge, of the sense of truth? Do the designations and the things coincide? Is language the adequate expression of all realities?

Only through forgetfulness can man ever achieve the illusion of possessing a “truth” in the sense just designated. If he does not wish to be satisfied with truth in the form of a tautology—that is, with empty shells—then he will forever buy illusions for truths. What is a word? The image of a nerve stimulus in sounds. But to infer from the nerve stimulus, a cause outside us, that is already the result of a false and unjustified application of the principle of reason. If truth alone had been the deciding factor in the genesis of language, and if the standpoint of certainty had been decisive for designations, then how could we still dare to say “the stone is hard,” as if “hard” were something otherwise familiar to us, and not merely a totally subjective stimulation! We separate things according to gender, designating the tree as masculine and the plant as feminine. What arbitrary assignments! How far this oversteps the canons of certainty! We speak of a “snake”: this designation touches only upon its ability to twist itself and could therefore also fit a worm. What arbitrary differentiations! What one-sided preferences, first for this, then for that property of a thing! The different languages, set side by side, show that what matters with words is never the truth, never an adequate expression; else there would not be so many languages. The “thing in itself” (for that is what pure truth, without consequences, would be) is quite incomprehensible to the creators of language and not at all worth aiming for. One designates only the relations of things to man, and to express them one calls on the boldest metaphors. A nerve stimulus, first transposed into an image—first metaphor. The image, in turn, imitated by a sound—second metaphor. And each time there is a complete overleaping of one sphere, right into the middle of an entirely new and different one. One can imagine a man who is totally deaf and has never had a sensation of sound and music. Perhaps such a person will gaze with astonishment at Chladni’s sound figures; perhaps he will discover their causes in the vibrations of the string and will now swear that he must know what men mean by “sound.” It is this way with all of us concerning language; we believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things—metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities. In the same way that the sound appears as a sand figure, so the mysterious X of the thing in itself first appears as a nerve stimulus, then as an image, and finally as a sound. Thus the genesis of language does not proceed logically in any case, and all the material within and with which the man of truth, the scientist, and the philosopher later work and build, if not derived from never-never land, is a least not derived from the essence of things.

Wolfe explores this idea through a volume that is mostly historical, describing first the clash between Darwin and other competitors for the idea of natural selection, and then how that failed to explain language and this drove the rise of Chomsky and the theoretical linguists. The book then detours into the explorations of Daniel Everett and how these refuted the prevailing Chomskian regime, and how nastily and dishonestly that regime fought back.

The Kingdom Of Speech shows Wolfe at his most palatable. Starting with I Am Charlotte Simmons, a type of plain-spoken low-adornment speech crept into his usual bombastic writing, and here it flowers with mostly potent descriptive language bursting into occasional bits of what we might call “song.” Wolfe waxes lyrical with new expansiveness, bringing in cultural and political fragments as metaphor indirectly, giving his writing more of a broad halo of context than a straight narrative could allow.

In the end analysis, the attacks on Darwinism in this book are not attacks on Darwinism, but on its interpretation. Wolfe indirectly asserts parallels between the Chomskians and the Darwinians, pointing out that more is unknown than known, and that theoretical extrapolation is most frequently wildly, hilariously, and absurdly wrong. This allows his main topic to rise in an evanescent fashion from the center of his argument, which is nothing is universal nor inherent; these are merely things that occurred ad hoc as humanity struggled to evolve and then understand itself.

Following on his discussions of homo loquax from earlier works, Wolfe shows us how language is a weapon — and the Chomskians are exhibit A. He hints that their insistence on universalism in language was a method of backdooring egalitarianism into science, when no such assumption can be proven or has foundation. In his view, language when viewed as a tool becomes something more like combat than an expression of some inward truth shared between all humans:

Only speech gives man the power to dream up religions and gods to animate them…and in six extraordinary cases to change history — for centuries — with words alone, without money or political backing. The names of the six are Jesus, Muhammad (whose military power came only after twenty years of preaching), John Calvin, Marx, Freud — and Darwin. And this, rather than any theory, is what makes Darwin the monumental figure that he is. (165)

Careful readers will note that this is not Wolfe attacking Darwin, but pointing out that Darwinism as a concept has power far greater than science. It is a political statement and a social one, even religious if one views it as a replacement for religion. In the Wolfeian analysis, language dictates history, and the concepts in it have the ability to subjugate others and bend them to the will of whatever intention directs those concepts, which leads us to wonder if communication and manipulation are not one and the same.

His timing is fortuitous. Across the globe, a general backlash against universalism has begun that very likely will be as profound as the changes wrought by Darwinism. For example, in a parallel event to the research of Daniel Everett, researchers have found that human facial expressions are not universal, just as language is not, by finding an exception to the rule:

When you’re smiling, it may feel like the whole world is smiling with you, but a new study suggests that some facial expressions may not be so universal. In fact, several expressions commonly understood in the West—including one for fear—have very different meanings to one indigenous, isolated society in Papua New Guinea. The new findings call into question some widely held tenets of emotional theory, and they may undercut emerging technologies, like robots and artificial intelligence programs tasked with reading people’s emotions.

For more than a century, scientists have wondered whether all humans experience the same basic range of emotions—and if they do, whether they express them in the same way. In the 1870s, it was the central question Charles Darwin explored in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. By the 1960s, emeritus psychologist Paul Ekman, then at the University of California (UC) in San Francisco, had come up with an accepted methodology to explore this question. He showed pictures of Westerners with different facial expressions to people living in isolated cultures, including in Papua New Guinea, and then asked them what emotion was being conveyed. Ekman’s early experiments appeared conclusive. From anger to happiness to sadness to surprise, facial expressions seemed to be universally understood around the world, a biologically innate response to emotion.

In this case, what was assumed to be true of all humans turned out not to be, which causes us to reassess the idea of universality in itself, and brings up other challenging ideas like parallel evolution, if we assume that our traits cause us to make facial expressions in a certain way. Or perhaps like language, it is random, given that there are only a certain number of distinctive facial expressions that can be used to communicate.

To read more deeply into the topic introduced in this book, Wolfe writes about linguistic hacking, or the use of language to re-program other people to do the will of the speaker, especially if it is disguised through the use of categories to shape our understanding of the relationships between objects, or causes and effects. This idea comes to prominence in his analysis of Darwinism.

Like Chomsky’s idea of universal language, Darwinian natural selection is an idea so well entrenched in the scientific community that it is viewed as beyond assailing. Wolfe, who is an atheist, describes science — but even more importantly, the views of certain scientists — as a new religion which controls our thought as much as the words of Jesus or Mohammad are influential. In particular, Darwinism gives us a bias toward the present tense and our own civilization as it is now, because whatever exists now must have happened through natural selection, and therefore is as close to “good” as we will admit anything is.

Wolfe has made a career of crushing sacred cows and sacrificing popular idols. With The Kingdom Of Speech, he takes on the cornerstones of modernity itself: that our interpretation of Darwinism that favors our current state is correct, that people really are the same everywhere, and that humanity was shaped by external forces like language instead of inventing these things to help itself grow. Reading between the lines, he is tackling the myth of progress itself.

For a short book, and one in which most of the text is narrative, The Kingdom Of Speech packs a heck of a punch. There is plenty to think about here, and as usual Wolfe has zoomed in on the nexus of support structures which holds up our present-day self-conception. These attributes guarantee it a place in history, but it also provides a fast and enjoyable read for those who like seeing finer logic defeat popular ideas.

Success for me, but not for thee — the secret of guilt culture

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

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Neoreaction stands out among right-wing movements because it is essentially a toolkit of arguments to use against the vast flood of liberal propaganda in which we are immersed constantly. Liberalism has dominated the discourse for 226 years by generating a constant flood of “new” ideas which are picked up by compliant voices among intellectuals, media and the arts.

One of the best arguments to come from Neoreaction is the notion that liberalism operates mainly by “virtue signaling,” or allowing preening individual animals to show how good and moral they are by repeating the right dogma. I propose a more radical amendment: liberalism is virtue signaling in order to throw others off the scent of success, which is achieved by conservative methods.

In addition to explaining the somewhat schizophrenic nature of liberals, who tend to embrace realism when it concerns their own profits but publicly condemn realism and preach liberalism, this theory explains the utility of liberalism: it enhances success by allowing individuals to hide their actual motives behind flowery words, like politicians donating a few bucks to the poor and grafting millions behind the scenes.

Interesting, Tom Wolfe covered this years ago as part of his analysis of how competition for social status as a means of distinguishing the individual from others is the basis of all contrarianism, which is the essence of liberal thought. In other words, people hope to get ahead by loudly endorsing dogma that makes them seem different and unique from the rest of the herd:

Status groups, Weber contended, are the creators of all new styles of life. In his heyday, the turn of the 19th century, the most stylish new status sphere, no more than 30 years old, was known as la vie boheme, the bohemian life. The bohemians were artists plus the intellectuals and layabouts in their orbit. They did their best to stand bourgeois propriety on its head through rakish dishabille, louder music, more wine, great gouts of it, ostentatious cohabitation, and by flaunting their poverty as a virtue. And why? Because they all came from the bourgeoisie themselves originally and wanted nothing more desperately than to distinguish themselves from it. They seldom mentioned the upper class, Marx’s owners of “the means of production.” They seldom mentioned Marx’s working class, except in sentimental appreciation of the workers’ occasional show of rebelliousness. No, as the late Jean-Francois Revel said of mid-20th century French intellectuals, the bohemians’ sole object was to separate themselves from the mob, the rabble, which today is known as the middle class.

I thought bohemia had been brought to its apogee in the 1960s, before my very eyes, by the hippies, originally known as acid heads, in reference to the drug LSD, with their Rapunzel hair down to the shoulder blades among the males and great tangled thickets of hair in the armpits of the women, all living in communes. The communes inevitably turned religious thanks to the hallucinations hippies experienced while on LSD and a whole array of other hallucinogens whose names no one can remember. Some head–short for acid head–would end up in the middle of Broadway, one of San Francisco’s main drags, sitting cross-legged in the Lotus position, looking about, wide eyes glistening with beatification, shouting, “I’m in the pudding and I’ve met the manager! I’m in the pudding and I’ve met the manager!” Seldom had so many gone so far to feel aloof from the middle class.

While this seems like competitive behavior, it more resembles compensatory behavior of the form “If I can’t get to a good place, I’ll at least be a big fish in a small pond.” No one seriously doubts that the West is in decline any longer, although they will not admit it in public because that makes it look like they are complaining in order to excuse their own failures. There is no longer an expectation of a good life for people here other than materially (desirable zip code, fancy car, good money). They accept that, and then try to make themselves seem important. To such a person, posturing becomes the basis of all their acts, with it becoming important to demonstrate moral and social pretense that affirms their role. A status-seeking person will never complain about a bad meal, or a ding on their bumper, or someone slowing them down by moving slowly, because to demonstrate pretense they must show that they are masters of their time, that a few hundred dollars are “nothing” to them, and that they are altruistic, egalitarian and moral potlatch-givers who expect everyone else to screw up and in response just pat them on the head and say, “There, there, good little serf.”

This compensatory behavior consists of not going to war against the problems that make the West slide into oblivion, but trying to be the most important fish in the pond left by the collapse. Their pretense is such that they do not even bother to note the decline, but wave it off like an undercooked soufflé as if to say, “Well of course society is self-destructing my dear, it’s what these little monkeys do. In the meantime, I’m getting a promotion and a BMW that runs on used cooking oil.” Wolfe was followed by David Brooks who wrote one of the most important books of our time, BOBOS in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, showing how these new pretentious citizens replaced the old Western European order back in the 1960s by using the pretense of liberalism. What to know why today’s SJWs, hipsters, nouveau riche and status climbers all employ public and hyperbolic liberalism? Because it worked last time.

Wolfe again on compensatory behavior:

Even before I left graduate school I had come to the conclusion that virtually all people live by what I think of as a “fiction-absolute.” Each individual adopts a set of values which, if truly absolute in the world–so ordained by some almighty force–would make not that individual but his group . . . the best of all possible groups, the best of all inner circles. Politicians, the rich, the celebrated, become mere types. Does this apply to “the intellectuals” also? Oh, yes. . . perfectly, all too perfectly.

What he has described above is pretense. You set up values that benefit you and make you look like the center of the universe, and then act like these are universal truth, which allows you to retaliate against anyone who does not accept them as if they attacked you. It is both passive-aggressive behavior and the “Begging the Question” fallacy in behavioral form, and the more pretentious and unrealistic it is, the more you force others to recognize your importance and grant you social status.

This explains the combination of nanny-style Agony Aunt and Berkeley radical that defines today’s liberals. From Brooks:

Bobos turn out to be the parsons of the pubic region. Nearly gone are 1960s traces of Dionysian wantonness. Instead, “Play Safe” and “Play Responsibly” are the slogans that are repeated again and again in sophisticated sex literature. The practicioners talk so much about how healthy it all is you’d think they were doing jumping jacks…Today’s Marquis de Sades don’t want to create an immoral underground society. They’re not trying to subvert normalcy. They’re trying to join it. They want to win mainstream acceptance and so gain a respectable place in the middle-class world.

To them, ideology itself is a means to an end of raising their status, justifying their lifestyle as necessary, and showing higher pretense than others thus making them look appealing and powerful as people. It is no different than birds puffing up their feathers before a fight, or monkeys posturing before throwing feces at one another. It is one of the oldest animal processes and no amount of layers of business clothing, perfume, Marxist theory, or even hip club lingo can disguise the raw animality of it.

If we decode liberals in this way, we see them as not outsiders trying to take over our society, but insiders trying to hide their own middle class origins and rise above them with pretense and the social boost that having the right opinions gives in liberal circles. If you look through media, government, entertainment of much of business, you will see the reason that liberals like Masons or Toastmasters remain popular: liberals helping liberals get ahead by promoting fellow liberals above everyone else.

Looking at this psychology through other eyes, we come to the question of guilt, shame or pity culture — from a post over at Dividuals:

Basically, it is about prestige. When we argue we have a moral obligation to do X we are saying we should deduct prestige points from people who don’t do X…the West is a guilt culture, not a shame culture.

As shame is basically low social prestige, it is fairly obvious how shame cultures really work like this.

For a guilt culture, the simplest explanation is that guilt is internalized shame, and thus the idea of moral obligation is internalized shame, internalized prestige loss, you feel bad about yourself if you did something bad, thus basically reduce your own prestige points in your head even if nobody else did.

This is probably a good thing, at some level. Installing a prestige policeman in everybody’s head.

The distinction between guilt and shame cultures strikes me as nothing more than a gap between pre-emptive mental process filtering and post hoc behavioral filtering. In guilt cultures, people use compliance as a means to get ahead, as if in a free market; in a shame culture, the only consideration is getting caught. If you look at shame cultures worldwide, whatever their average IQ, they have less of a strong middle and upper echelon level of intelligence than we do (still) in the West. These are cultures where it is acceptable to destroy certain individuals when they are caught doing wrong because they become token sacrifices and scapegoats.

Let us look at the successful psychology of guilt culture in what Vaclav Havel calls “post-totalitarian” systems:

THE MANAGER of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?

Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,” he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with the workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.

Guilt cultures control everyone. We all want to rise, so like Havel’s grocer, we clearly signal our obedience to the dominant paradigm of liberalism. Our modern SJWs for example form a shame culture as a means to guilt culture; SJWs gain personal prestige for shaming others. Thus we see that the guilt-shame distinction really gets in the way of seeing what is actually happening here: whether by consuming others (shame) or censoring themselves (guilt) modern people are raising status, and raising job prospects, through liberalism. That is all it is: a giant street gang where the secret handshake involves repeating something you read in The New York Times or Salon. When you join the gang, the gang will help you out and defend you, and you can gain power in the gang by doing audacious stuff. The kids of a century ago who lit firecrackers under police horses and became legends on their blocks are the kids of today who go on Twitter and Tumblr to demand that people stop using gendered pronouns.

Now for the “Success for me, but not for thee” part: at the same time these people are using liberalism to advance themselves and push down others, they are also using it to conceal their greatest secret. If they are succeeding, it is with conservative methods and principles, but they must hide these because they are unpopular, so like the politician kissing babies they make a big public show of liberalism, and then in private, act as conservative as possible. As a mainstream source notes:

Greg Gutfeld says conservative principles are more common than you think in professions sometimes identified with liberals—music, exercise, and cooking. “If liberals applied their no-score, no-winner, no-loser belief system to their hobbies and professions, they would fail miserably,” says Gutfeld, author of “How to Be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct.”

The best thing about liberalism is that it is old. Ancient, even. 1789 was its first real formulation, but the disease had been festering for some time. People like me argue that liberalism came about because the West overpopulated itself with idiots after sacrificing too many of its good people to fight off Mongols at the same time it became diverse from too much trade, but the gory truth is that every society faces this high noon. If you do not purge the idiots, outsiders, perverts, fetishists, neurotic intellectuals, criminals and grifters among you, they eventually gang up on you and win out by superior number.

Luckily the situation is easily changed — from Dividuals again:

Thus the only potential for true change is to change how prestige is assigned. I mean, prestige is assigned by e.g. socially valued achievements, but also by moral arguments, such as “we have a moral obligation to do X”, thus doing X is high-prestige and not doing Y is low-prestige.

When a civilization shifts from an individual-based model to a culture-based model, these guilt/shame/blame/pity feelings get redirected into a singular question: “Did you uphold the culture?” Since culture takes the form of values, honor, pride, behaviors, aesthetics, customs, and includes in itself things such as civilizational goals, this serves as a non-intrusive control mechanism that harnesses these weird animal impulses and directs them toward a positive end. With individualism, we get animals competing for pretense; with culture-based societies, as known in Nationalism, we have individuals competing to achieve things that benefit all people in past, present and future of that society.

Wolfe himself affirms this with a nod to the rising prevalance of Nationalism in societies where people are not divided against themselves by competing for status:

More recently, I returned to Washington and Lee for a conference on the subject of Latin American writing in the United States. The conference soon became a general and much hotter discussion of the current immigration dispute. I had arrived believing that, for example, Mexicans who had gone to the trouble of coming to the United States legally, going through all the prescribed steps, would resent the fact that millions of Mexicans were now coming into the United States illegally across the desert border. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. I discovered that everyone who thought of himself as Latin, even people who had been in this country for two and three generations, were wholeheartedly in favor of immediate amnesty and immediate citizenship for all Mexicans who happened now to be in the United States. And this feeling had nothing to do with immigration policy itself, nothing to do with law, nothing to do with politics, for that matter. To them, this was not a debate about immigration. The very existence of the debate itself was to them a besmirching of their fiction-absolute, of their conception of themselves as Latins. Somehow the debate, simply as a debate, cast an aspersion upon all Latins, implying doubt about their fitness to be within the border of such a superior nation.

In other words, identity works not just because it is a motivator, but because it motivates people to act in their own interests. Who cares what’s fair? Get more of us here!

As modern society crumbles from within, not only Nationalism but every form of “birds of a feather flock together” is rising. People are grouping together by ancestry, values, caste and moral system as they anticipate the acceleration of decline.

This shows the importance of Nationalism as the vital cornerstone of a successful society. With Nationalism, people work toward values; without it, they become chaotic beings competing with each other to see who looks coolest according to an unrealistic and delusional ideology. Others argue that we need conveniently one-step fixes like a restoration of religion, and a return to pure capitalism, and while we need those also, they will get nowhere without a return to rigid nationalism. Only the group with an unbroken identity can construct for itself a society that does not tear itself apart from within.

What we see with modern liberalism is merely more of the tearing-apart: people who have given up hope on a future, trying to make themselves more important now, so they can justify their inaction in the face of obvious problems. As history shows us, most great empires go out that way, not so much in flames but falling from the pages of history and resurfacing centuries later as third-world ruins.

Where did the “diversity=genocide” meme come from?

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

ann_coulter

The left rages as usual, but this time they have found a quality target: the DIVERSITY = WHITE GENOCIDE meme has enraged them, probably for the same reason people usually get upset, which is that it contains enough truth to hit a nerve. The left has fired back with accusations that this is a far-right meme.

But where did it originate? Preliminary research suggests it was either trending back in 2007 or was invented by Ann Coulter in her column titled “Bush’s America: Roach Motel”:

One may assume the new majority will not be such compassionate overlords as the white majority has been. If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any group other than white Americans, it would be called genocide. Yet whites are called racists merely for mentioning the fact that current immigration law is intentionally designed to reduce their percentage in the population.

Why is it that the best defenders of majority interests are white and near-white women like Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Pamela Geller? They have seen what life will be like for women and families if the white male patriarchy and its associated cult of wisdom and powerful leadership fades. There will be no future, and they are willing to step out in front and say that.

Over the last seventy years, the “far right” has done nothing but rage around with its own drama and then self-destruct, providing convenient headlines for all who hate the idea of majority-white nations to champion. In fact, there has not been a better tool for the left than the cruel, violent, thoughtless and one-note far-right. If I were the propaganda chairman of the Communist party, I’d send them all bonuses. Each time the far right appears, the majority of mainstream Americans edges left as it recoils in horror.

Instead the reform against progress has been driven by writers like Michel Houellebecq and Ann Coulter, thinkers chipping away at the myth of equality like Stephen Pinker and Robert Putnam, and sociologists hammering away at liberal ideas like Charles Murray and Tom Wolfe. The growth of the diversity=genocide meme shows just how far we have come, since many things can be said now which would have brought flashing red and blue lights back in the 90s, and the methods that have taken us to success.

Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe

Saturday, November 17th, 2012


Back to Blood
by Tom Wolfe
704 pages, Little, Brown, and Company, $17

Schopenhauer says there are three types of writers. The first write for money; the second think so that they may write; the third type write because they have thought of something that needs saying.

For five decades now Tom Wolfe has been that writer who brings up what we need to think about, but would rather push to the back of the queue so we can get on with life. He takes our sublimated doubts and fears and, like a like a man finding a loose rope emerging from the edge of a circus tent, he gives a hearty yank to see what collapses.

Among his themes are three important ones for a modern era: first, how underneath a surface of normalcy there are many outsiders; second, how people rank themselves through status and identity; and finally, above all else, how people can become instant exiles through faddish shifts in fashion or trend.

The two men locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity…Triceratops and allosaurus confronted each other on a cliff overlooking the Halusian Gulf… until the big americano looked down at his wristwatch and said, “Yeah, and I gotta be outta here and bock on the site in ten minutes. You got a problem with that?

Nestor nearly burst out laughing. “Not at all!” he said, chuckling. “Not at all!” The contest was over the minute the americano averted his eyes, supposedly to look down at his watch. The rest of it was double-talk…trying to save face. (649)

In these lines of pursuit, Wolfe’s books are equal parts sociology and morality play. One of his first epics, The Pump-House Gang, provided an archetype for outsider literature to follow, besting the Chuck Palahuniaks and S.E. Hintons of the world with a story of a dissident group of outsiders and what that revealed about those who stayed inside. His most famous work, The Bonfire of the Vanities, showed Wolfe exploring how attitudes toward popular notions of egalitarianism determined rank in the new social hierarchy.

In many if not all of his fiction works, a protagonist or other is forced into an outsider role by something he or she did that offended the mob of others waiting in equality for a chance to pounce and thus, perhaps raise their own equality level a bit. Back to Blood is no different.The theme of this book is the clash of cultures, and how no matter what your background, you’re faced with a difficult choice between assimilation and identity.

While most reviewers praise Wolfe’s somewhat dramatic, beat-influenced experimental and bombastic writing style, this reviewer is glad that Wolfe has reined it in. Instead of focusing on the wordplay, he’s written some great scenes that would be equally at home in the theater or on the screen. These characters struggle with the concept of identity, and from that, a sense of the what-should-I-be-doing-with-my-life morality that common sense needs. He shows people in progress toward something they don’t understand, when they really want to figure out how to be themselves.

Naturally, this touches on some difficult areas and Wolfe does not spare us. His writing would seem polemic if it were not for the well-researched, diligently observed construction of an arabesque of details, and the accuracy of his many insights. Another recurring Wolfe theme, which is the failure of modern art to be anything but a theoretical object because it is devoid of meaning, features heavily in the plot but is done adroitly with characters offhandedly observing how strange and worthless it all is, at least once in gets in their way.

Wolfe is careful to spare no one. White Anglo-Saxons get a fair treatment in this, down to the ugly roots of a culture in freefall in which sex, drugs and megalomania have replaced any kind of actual goal. The ugliness of politics, the viciousness of cities, and the immensely fickle nature of people also get center stage. He has toned down his tendency to wallow in these situations, and instead lets them pass like pictures at an exhibition, leaving a lingering impression that our brains chew over for the next week or so.

A phrase pops into his head from out of nowhere. “Everybody…all of them… it’s back to blood! Religion is dying…but everybody still has to believe in something. It would be intolerable — you couldn’t stand it — to finally have to say to yourself, ‘Why keep pretending? I’m nothing but a random atom inside a supercollider known as the universe.’ But believing in by definition means blindly, irrationally, doesn’t it. So my people, that leaves only our blood, the bloodlines that course through our very bodies, to unite us. ‘La Raza‘ as the Puerto Ricans cry out. ‘The Race‘ cries the whole world. All people, all people everywhere, have but one last thing on their minds — Back to blood!” All people, everywhere, you have no choice but — Back to blood! (22)

What will make Back to Blood controversial is its theme: people are giving up on the politics of a hopelessly confused society, and reverting to their ancestral cultures. Borrowing a little bit from Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, but setting it within the collapsing American nation-state, Wolfe also infuses his fiction with an almost Biblical sense of identity as the root of morality. His characters cast about looking for not just a role model but an actual culture, and this makes all of us unsteady as this book challenges our notions of what the future will look like.

Basic concepts: Mau-mauing

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

“Mau-mauing” refers to a process that Tom Wolfe described in his essay, “Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers”. In it, members of minority groups use guilt to force majority members to give them money and power.

Witness:

Brothers like Chaser were the ones who perfected mau-mauing, but before long everybody in the so-called Third World was into it. Everybody was out mau-mauing up a storm, to see if they could win the victories the blacks had won. San Francisco, being the main port of entry for immigrants from all over the Pacific, had as many colored minorities as New York City. Maybe more. Blacks, Chicanos, Latinos, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, American Indians, Samoans–everybody was circling around the poverty program. By the end of 1968 there were eighty-seven different groups getting into the militant thing, getting into mau-mauing.

…Black people began to realize for the first time that the white man, particularly the educated white man, the leadership, had a deep dark Tarzan mumbo jungle voodoo fear of the black man’s masculinity. This was a revelation. For two hundred years, wherever black people lived, north or south, mothers had been raising their sons to be meek, to be mild, to check their manhood at the front door in all things that had to do with white people, for fear of incurring the wrath of the Man. The Man was the white man. He was the only man. And now, when you got him up close and growled, this all-powerful superior animal turned out to be terrified. You could read it in his face. He had the same fear in his face as some good-doing boy who has just moved onto the block and his hiding behind his mama and the moving man and the sofa while the bad dudes on the block size him up.
So for the black man mau-mauing was a beautiful trip. It not only stood to bring you certain practical gains like money and power. It also energized your batteries. It recharged your masculinity. You no longer had to play it cool and go in for pseudo-ignorant malingering and put your head into that Ofay Pig Latin catacomb code style of protest. Mau-mauing brought you respect in its cash forms: namely, fear and envy.

What makes mau-mauing interesting is that it is not only pragmatic. In fact, most of its appeal comes from the ability to triumph over an adversary, even if in trivial ways. Much as diversity guarantees that one group will be on top and be resented by the rest, mau-mauing relies on one group being on top and the thrill one gets from setting that group into a lower place:

…The Flak Catcher is still staring at them, and his shit-eating grin is getting worse. It’s like he knows the worst is yet to come … Goddamn … that one in front there … that Pineapple Brute …
“Hey, Brudda,” the main man says. He has a really heavy accent. “Hey, Brudda, how much you make?”
“Me?” says the Flak Catcher. “How much do I make?”
“Yeah, Brudda, you. How much money you make?”
Now the man is trying to think in eight directions at once. He tries out a new smile. He tries it out on the bloods, the Chicanos, and the Flilipinos, as if to say, “As one intelligent creature to another, what do you do with dumb people like this?” But all he gets is the glares, and his mouth shimmies back into the terrible sickening grin, and then you can see that there are a whole lot of little muscles all around the human mouth, and his are beginning to squirm and tremble … He’s fighting for control of himself … It’s a lost cause …
“How much, Brudda?”
Ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram–they keep beating on the floor.
“Well,” says the Flak Catcher, “I make $1,100 a month.”
“How come you make so much?”
“Wellllll”–the grin, the last bid for clemency … and now the poor man’s eyes are freezing into little round iceballs, and his mouth is getting dry–
Ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram
“How come you make so much? My fadda and mudda both work and they only make six hundred and fifty.”
Oh shit, the cat kind of blew it there. That’s way over the poverty line, about double, in fact. It’s even above the guideline for a family of twelve. You can see that fact register with the Flak Catcher, and he’s trying to work up the nerve to make the devastating comeback. But he’s not about to talk back to these giants.
“Listen, Brudda. Why don’t you give up your paycheck for summer jobs? You ain’t doing shit.”

It is ego-warfare at its most primal. And yet, this is how most people behave. We see this in the LA riots, Ferguson, Baltimore, even American foreign aid. If you have more than others, they will use guilt to induce you to give it to them. But their actual motivation is to humble you because they resent you for having risen above the rest of humanity which, quite honestly, normally dwells in poverty, filth, dysfunction and misery because of its own inability to act forcibly toward a positive end result.

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