Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘transcendentalism’

Transcendence, Transcendental Experience And Transcendental Thought

Friday, July 7th, 2017

As usual, the media and academia get it wrong. Here they are babbling on about “transcendental thought”:

You can lose yourself in love, or feel awe watching a lightning storm from your porch. You can get into a state of flow at work, or take a break from the rush of everyday life by meditating. And these experiences exist on a spectrum, as Yaden points out: There are “major transcendent experiences,” where your sense of self completely dissolves and you feel at one with the universe — which is what Janeen experienced. And then there are more everyday experiences, like when you step outside of your head while listening to a beautiful piece of music, taking a walk through the woods, or attending a religious service. According to Yaden, most people have had some sort of transcendent experience at some point in their lives — and about a third of the population has had “intense experiences of unity.”

For them, transcendental experience an experience of unity and being at one with the world. Where else have we heard this kind of language?

“We Are All One” is essentially pacifism restated. Instead of having conflict, which scares individuals because they might lose out, we declare everyone to be friends and then we can go about with our individualistic pursuits instead of concerning ourselves with the state of the world.

Conflict arises when people try to impose reality, and pacifism gets rid of this by declaring that it is more important that we get along than that we find out the right answer, so everyone focuses on making nice instead of making right. This allows the individual more time for their personal drama, shopping, hobbies, jobs and paychecks, addictions and compulsions.

Transcendental thought takes several forms, but what they have in common was expressed best by the American Transcendentalists:

Transcendentalism in America, of which Emerson was the leading figure, resembled British Romanticism in its precept that a fundamental continuity exists between man, nature, and God, or the divine. What is beyond nature is revealed through nature; nature is itself a symbol, or an indication of a deeper reality, in Emerson’s philosophy. Matter and spirit are not opposed but reflect a critical unity of experience.

This follows from the linguistic concept of transcendence:

to rise above or go beyond; overpass; exceed

In other words, transcendence is recognizing the meanings of things beyond the obvious, usually implying a sense of understanding the order of the universe to the point where it makes greater sense that our immediate worries and fears, which are based in personal and material confrontations. It is the opposite of “we are all one”; it is an understanding that conflict and horror are necessary parts of life, but that through them, a better state is achieved, even if we are personally terrified of what must be done to get there.

This is a central concept in almost all philosophy, including much that is not religious, because it enables us to understand our world and then regain a position of being active in it, instead of withdrawing from fear of confrontation with its darker sides. Currently, our society is entirely withdrawn, sustained by a steady diet of freedom, pluralism, individualism (i.e. no obligation beyond the self), narcissism and… pacifism.

Our media and academia, in the distinctive style of all Leftists, has inverted the definition of transcendentalism from understanding the operations of life to rejecting those for a humanistic conceit, namely the notion that we are all one and therefore, conflict and struggle are not necessary.

Conservatism = Realism + Qualitative Thinking

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Some may wonder why Amerika identifies as conservative. The simple reason is that the other components of belief — nationalism, deep ecology, aristocratism, transcendentalism — both share a common root and do not stand alone as solutions.

We may never be able to compete with the Left, which wins fans by distilling all of human need down to the simple idea of mandatory equal inclusion, or egalitarianism, but we can offer a core formula.

The term “conservative” arose in response to the rising egalitarian attitude in Europe over the past thousand years, and came from the root word conservare:

late 14c., conservatyf, from Middle French conservatif, from Late Latin conservativus, from Latin conservatus, past participle of conservare “to keep, preserve, keep intact, guard,” from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + servare “keep watch, maintain” (from PIE root *ser- (1) “to protect”).

As a modern political tradition, conservatism traces to Edmund Burke’s opposition to the French Revolution (1790), but the word conservative is not found in his writing. It was coined by his French disciples (such as Chateaubriand, who titled his journal defending clerical and political restoration “Le Conservateur”).

Conservative as the name of a British political faction first appeared in an 1830 issue of the “Quarterly Review,” in an unsigned article sometimes attributed to John Wilson Croker. It replaced Tory (q.v.) by 1843, reflecting both a change from the pejorative name (in use for 150 years) and repudiation of some reactionary policies.

At that point, the idea is lost, simply because almost no one has been able to face the scope of what they are protecting, which is not “the past” as is commonly assumed, but the best of the past, meaning that which succeeded to the point of being responsible for whatever greatness remains today.

This should be strikingly obvious, but it does not distill to an easy concept, so it has been abbreviated to mean “holding on to the past,” when it actually means “striving forward to restore that which works in any year,” because conservatives fundamentally accept that history is cyclic, with golden ages formed of truths found and a long, dark fall as those truths are lost, replaced hopefully by its restoration.

That understanding invokes another concept, namely “the best.” Plato’s Republic opens with a question as to what the best life is, which inspires us to look at all of history as a series of options with their consequences plain to see by what happened in response from the world, which Plato views correctly as not having a personality as most assume, but utter consistency, like a logical calculation or the cycles of nature.

From this notion of the best arises the idea of qualitative thinking which commands us to look not just at what works in a sense of minimums, but what would be the most inspiring, enduring, excellent, and cheering. In short, it prompts us much as evolution did, not to stick with a subsistence existence, but to look at what we might have and strive for it, using the textbook and laboratory of history.

Joe Sobran elaborates on the nature of qualitative thinking:

“We must build out of existing materials,” says Burke. Oakeshott laments that “the politics of repair” has been supplanted by “the politics of destruction and creation.” It is typical of malcontent (or “utopian”) politics to destroy what it has failed to appreciate while falsely promising to create. Communism, the ideal type of this style of politics, has destroyed the cultural life of Russia, which flourished even under the czars. The energies of radical regimes are pretty much consumed in stifling the energies of their subjects; they try to impose their fantasies by force and terror, and their real achievement is to be found not in their population centers but at their borders, which are armed to kill anyone who tries to flee. Communism can claim the distinction of driving people by the millions to want to escape the homeland of all their ancestors.

Conservatism is not a political ideology but a folkway. It consists of the folk wisdom, passed down since the dawn of time, about how to make decisions. In this way, the definition of conservatism became inverted; we are not those who hold on to the past, because the present will very shortly be past, but those who cultivate the best in humanity.

From this comes a synthesis of realism, or paying attention to the way the non-human world reacts to our potential options and thus choosing the option which works, and qualitative thinking, which demands that we filter out everything but that which produces the best results out of those that work.

Conservatives are those that see that entropy is always present and humans always weak, and thus that with time, all good things are destroyed. They respond not by clinging to the last stable state, but by pushing us forward to evolve and mature into the best possible thing we can be, which includes ideas that shock humans like hierarchy, nationalism, and transcendental thought.

The latter confuses almost everyone. It consists of finding the logicality in the order of nature and the cosmos and seeing how it is superior to our short-term monkey-perspective human outlooks, which are fraught with emotion and doubt, and through understanding our world, coming to love it and see its beauties.

Together these ideas do not form something as pithy as “make everyone equal so that we all ‘just get along,'” but it does give us a template that never fails and gives us the possibility of the future being brighter than the now.

A Monist Interpretation Of Ultimate Reality

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Among philosophers, there are some who extend the Kantian idea of intuition as the root of all knowledge to suggest that instead of pursuing purely analytical thought, which tends to be derived from the visible, we must pursue an ultimate reality in which the world is comprised of ideas, and the most compatible ideas shape our future.

There is no denying that the world appears to objectively exist, and for all intents and purposes, it does objectively exist, yet it is easy to see that it is nothing more than an apparition. It is similar to the way the sun appears to rise and set each day. We might directly experience the rising and setting of the sun with our own eyes, so to speak, yet the whole thing is an illusion produced by the rotating earth. It is an experience which is constructed out of our perspective as beings situated on the earth. In the same way, our experience of the world as an objective entity is a mirage generated out of a particular perspective, one that is centred around a belief in the self and reinforced by habit of thought. The objectivity of the world appears real on the surface, but it disappears the moment you begin to approach it.

This struggles with the same question that Schopenhauer introduces, which is that if life is comprised of cause and effect, the cause of materiality will be more complex than materiality itself, indicating the presence of additional dimensions to our world, or that our world is the result of long chains of causes that begin in an entirely different medium. This is German Idealism, also called “transcendental idealism”:

Kant’s idealism is, perhaps, the most moderate form of idealism associated with German idealism. Kant holds that the objects of human cognition are transcendentally ideal and empirically real. They are transcendentally ideal, because the conditions of the cognition human beings have of objects are to be found in the cognitive faculties of human beings. This does not mean the existence of those objects is mind-dependent, because Kant thinks we can only know objects to the extent that they are objects for us and, thus, as they appear to us. Idealism with respect to appearances does not entail the mind-dependence of objects, because it does not commit itself to any claims about the nature of things in themselves. Kant denies that we have any knowledge of things in themselves, because we do not have the capacity to make judgments about the nature of things in themselves based on our knowledge of things as they appear.

Schopenhauer elaborated on this by making it clear that there was no knowledge of things in themselves, but that in fact the perceiver creates the perceived object from external reality plus a perceptual filter, which shows us that the entirety of reality as we know it is relative to the individual, which is to say relative among individuals, with some perceiving more than others:

Schopenhauer holds that “no truth is more certain, no truth is more independent of all others and no truth is less in need of proof than this one: that everything there is for cognition (i.e., the whole world) is only an object in relation to a subject, an intuition of a beholder ” (WWR, §1, pp. 23–4). This simple and perhaps inescapable thought may be regarded as the most fundamental motivation for any form of epistemological idealism.

These ideas, at first, are shocking because they navigate between two human illusions: (1) the external world is evident and universal and everyone can perceive it and (2) people live in their own worlds, determined by their intent and desires. Neither are true, but both are partially true. People interpret an objective world as best they can, and end up with a version of it filtered through their own perception and, most importantly, ability to accept what they are seeing. People in denial see less of the world than others.

At a basic level, this idea suggests that the universe is relative, which means that any object is known through its relationship to other objects and not to some universal center. We know light through darkness, not through some middle level of partial light, and we know cold through hot, death through life, truth through untruth, and many other variations of this idea.

Bruce Charlton argues for a variety of this theory:

In the beginning Men were merely primordial selves immersed in the ocean of universal consciousness; and the history of everything has included the progressive and incremental separation of these selves from the universal primary reality.

We began as immersed in universal reality – joined with everything, and everything joined with us – with permeable selves… We end with a Self that is aware of its own separation from things, from other people, from memories – and even from its own thoughts…

This separation of the self can [be imagined through] a biological analogy; as development. A baby lives at first in the ocean of amniotic fluid, inside the mother; and only gradually, incrementally, does the baby’s self become separate from the mother’s self – first by birth, then by development and increasing independence… but only in adolescence does the child at some point become existentially separate – an agent.

The concept of ultimate reality — called “universal reality” in the quotation above — is that our material world is the effect, and not cause, of the world as it actually is. This makes sense to some degree, but could benefit from an upgrade to monism.

Monism is the notion that there is no division between physics and metaphysics; the two play by the same rules, which we might refer to as “information science” because reality behaves like ideas, according to logical principles, more than arising from the properties of material itself.

This can have an agnostic version, which is that this function can exist independent of a god or enduring metaphysical reality, but appreciating the wisdom of the design of existence leads to a recognition that the world exists like a calculator, refining itself toward some ongoing state of higher complexity or qualitative improvement.

If the world acts like a calculator or mathematical equation, it possesses some form of consciousness or tendency. Much like natural selection, this tendency engages in purposive calculations much as natural selection does, resulting in a greater degree of efficiency or function.

This implies a basic consciousness, like that in a computer that is aware of itself without having a centralized and self-aware ego. Life merely does what it does, but in doing so, it creates a product that is like thought itself. It forever refines what it has into something more advanced, and in doing so, comes to know itself.

For humans, this provides the basis of understanding the world beyond the material but without venturing into dualistic theories where an external controlling force is assumed. Instead, the world itself is its own force, without a need to articulate itself. This shows us where we fit into this order.

In such an order, whatever advances complexity and organization rises above the rest, even if through the most primitive methods possible. This occurs because this order is a self-refining system, which means that it aims toward qualitative improvement constantly, instead of simply expanding outward into every possibility, which would be quantitative expansion.

Naturally, such an order points upward toward some centralizing force or at least, the highest apex of qualitative order. This implies that something God-like exists within the world. If the world is idea, then there is some ultimate direction or purpose to the calculating state of those ideas. If there is a purpose, there is a source of direction or fulfillment of goal in an apex.

This view shows us the universe as a giant calculator or computer. It churns through endless calculations, finding better answers all the time, and then integrates those in order to discover what principles it may. Those are regulated by some sense of logic or

If something acts like a calculator, meaning that it transacts computations, it has some kind of consciousness. Our universe clearly engages in purposive calculations like natural selection, gradualism and organicism. This reveals its basic level of consciousness.

Our universe clearly engages in purposive calculations like natural selection, and this means that it has some basic form of consciousness. It aims to improve itself not in quantity, but in quality, which is metaphorically equivalent to getting a more exact answer.

With that in mind, we see that it does not have fixed “purpose,” but rather a mechanism by which it gradually advances the more-complex over the less-complex. This is nihilistic: it does not judge by whether the outcome is good, only goes through the calculations without emotion.

At this point, we see the universe as nihilistic or without judgment of our human desires. It is merely functional, entirely logical, and separate from any particular form or direction.

This inhuman nature provides stability. It means that the universe reaches its conclusions without considering the emotional affect of them, and so can act independently from any central control least of all that by a thinking, judging perspective.

From this, we can see the emptiness of the universe. It does not assess good or bad; it merely functions. We are alone, actors within a complex schema, trying to find what produces the best results — “good” — among infinite options for lesser success, a.k.a. “bad.”

Dualism posits that there is a perfect order in another world, and that we emulate it in this world as a means of being “good.” Monism recognizes only cold, hard logic, and sees no human role in it except as deluded monkeys with car keys attempting to rationalize their fate.

However, the positive factor of monism is that it suggests that the universe is consistent. There is no judgment at all, or personality involved, only the mechanistic actions of cause and effect. This liberates us from the superstition of trying to guess what a personality in control of us intends, and shows us life as a logical construct, independent of our emotions.

That mentality leads to transcendentalism. We see the world as a perfect order, working blindly and independently, and so instead of trying to influence it with our emotions, we discipline ourselves according to its wisdom. In doing so, we adapt to it, and improve our own thinking to be more realistic.

At the end of the day, this is all we have ever had: a consistent universe and our ability to understand it. If metaphysics is out there, it is consistent like the rest. Everything else is human projection and must be avoided, unless we — like so many others — want to delude ourselves and fall into oblivion.

Theosis Is A Form Of Realism

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

As part of the Platonist vision of conservatism, articles on this site frequently speak of the vision unleashed by the intersection of Platonic forms and Germanic Idealism, namely that recognition that the underlying substance of the universe is thought or thought-like. This is why idea, structure, pattern and logic that corresponds to the outside world are more important than immediate material obstacles.

This ancient philosophy lives on through hermeticism, but also in Christianity through transcendentalist thinkers like Johannes Eckhart. Hermeticism finds its roots in Hindu idealism which, as expressed in the Bhagavad-Gita, roughly mirrored the Greek and German versions. All expressed the idea of an order of nature based not in material position, but logical order.

Plato even took this far enough to speak of healthy civilizations, which recognized this order, as contrasted to unhealthy ones, which were in the grip of hubris or the brew of individualism, narcissism, solipsism and socially-empowered boldness — in which the approval of the social group matters more than reality, and makes us feel safe in denying traditions — which modern people exhibit, especially with their smug and prim attention whoring at political events. Plato wrote:

In the succeeding generation rulers will be appointed who have lost the guardian power of testing the metal of your different races, which, like Hesiod’s, are of gold and silver and brass and iron. And so iron will be mingled with silver, and brass with gold, and hence there will arise dissimilarity and inequality and irregularity, which always and in all places are causes of hatred and war. This the Muses affirm to be the stock from which discord has sprung, wherever arising; and this is their answer to us.

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

…Undoubtedly, he said, the form of government which you describe is a mixture of good and evil.

Why, there is a mixture, I said; but one thing, and one thing only, is predominantly seen, –the spirit of contention and ambition; and these are due to the prevalence of the passionate or spirited element.

The most important line can be found here, in plain sight because very few people can understand it: “the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things.”

To be virtuous is to live in a perpetual state of contentment, and to be free from “contention and ambition…the passionate or spirited element.” The ego is the root of the passions; the nature of being “spirited” is to be rebellious against what the evident order. Plato is pointing out that greed and rebellion are one and the same force.

Even more, he is showing how there is an esoteric path to wisdom, namely that only those with gold and silver natures are going to understand the value of “virtue and the ancient order of things.”

From this comes the root of traditionalist thinking: worldwide, there are many religions, and they all describe the same world, so they converge — unequally, idiosyncratically — on the same “truths” or accurate observations about the world, both physical and metaphysical. When we recognize this, we see that history is indeed cyclic, or the story of humanity in an optimal state, its fall, and its attempt to return.

In order to effect our return to this saner state of human being, and to force our evolution into silver and gold again, we must begin with an evolution of consciousness toward extreme accuracy:

When Owen Barfield described the evolution of consciousness, he used ‘evolution’ in a pre-Darwinian sense of a developmental change analogous to the fertilised egg ‘unfolding’ to become a mature, adult organism.

…If the evolution of consciousness has a unified purpose and aim (isn’t just a different purpose and aim for each entity), then this implies that there is a deity – as the source of purpose. Therefore, the evolution of consciousness is a consequence of some divine plan.

What could this divine plan be? For many Christians it will be ‘theosis’ – or the process of Men becoming more and more like God; aiming at becoming Sons and Daughters of God.

Realism demands that we understand our world as it is and adapt to it, which first requires that we make our minds more like the world, a process that in turn leads to transcendental wisdom, or appreciation for the logicality and sanity of our world in presenting us with the best possible existence. Normally humans do not understand their world and so view it as crude, threatening and disorganized.

Theosis is a subset of realism. If God exists, He is part of this world, in idea or at least as a cause of the effect that is this world. If we study the patterns of this world and come to understand its (realist + transcendental) wisdom, we can then grow closer to God by achieving greater mastery of adaptation to the physical world around us.

What this means, interestingly, is that the “religion-first” approach to traditionalism is not going to work. What works is to enforce self-discipline on ourselves so that we accurately understand and adapt to reality, and religion will emerge from within that process instead of the other way around.

How The Left Misunderstands Conservatism

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

leftists_are_unhappy_people

The Left has never understood conservatism because the Left has never wanted to. To them, their ideology of egalitarianism leads directly to Utopia, at which point there will no longer be conflict between humans and everyone will be accepted. Any deviation from this is a moral sin punishable by death, in their view.

That explains why the Left does not want to understand conservatism: they have zero room for it in their pantheon of ideologically-tinted symbolic representations of reality. This is because while conservatism is voiced as an ideology, fundamentally it is anti-ideological because it bases its perceptions on reality.

Conservatism comes from the term “to conserve,” which means that we preserve successful means of achieving excellence. In human terms, nothing can be preserved in a static sense, but must be regenerated anew in each generation, so “conservation” means not physical things but principles, methods and ideas.

As written here before, that means that conservatism has two attributes:

  1. Consequentialism. We judge success by end results and side-effects, not by human intent, feelings, judgments, universal symbols and emotions. Reality is external to us; internal focus is solipsistic.

  2. Transcendence. There must be some goal higher than material reaction, like excellence, beauty, goodness and truth, and we discover it through intuition, which is within but not personal.

This contrasts with Leftism, which has only one attribute: egalitarianism, or the equality of people, which is presumed to lead to pacifism and universal acceptance, and from there to Utopia. Leftism works through negative actions, or things it wishes to remove; conservatism requires restructuring society around positive goals, or things we want to achieve.

For this reason, in our Leftist time, our Leftist media has trouble understanding why conservatism does not translate into Leftist terms. First they want to make it an ideology; then, they try to import egalitarianism — the core and principle of Leftism — into it, despite for conservatism, egalitarianism being at most a means to an end and not an end in itself.

As a recent article demonstrate, our society is now struggling to understand conservatism which is as distant as a foreign land to a society brainwashed in two centuries of Leftism:

Nash presented an influential portrait of conservatism as a river fed by three tributaries of thought: Christian traditionalism, anti-Communism, and libertarianism (or classical liberalism). Although each could be rendered as a popular impulse or unthinking reflex of the mass mind, Nash insisted that all three were fundamentally intellectual traditions, nourished by a cast of characters who deserved both respect and extended study, among them James Burnham, the former socialist turned anti-Communist; Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian classical economist; and Russell Kirk, America’s answer to Edmund Burke. In Nash’s telling, these were the men (and they were almost all men) who created conservatism in the postwar years.

This article is patent nonsense. Conservatism is not a material ideology, but a timeless principle. It can be found in “Christian traditionalism, anti-Communism, and libertarianism (or classical liberalism)” but they are not its constituent components. Rather, as a principle, it is found many places, and those are the ones we recognize — “observer bias” — because of their recent relevance.

A conservative is someone who likes what works. Because the question then arises “How well does it have to work?” he has to pick either bare minimums (utilitarianism) or best case scenarios, and that latter leads him to the goal of excellence. That in turn picks out the principle of nature: all works to produce a hierarchy that advances the best over the rest, and this extends to metaphysical principle.

For all that modern people know of conservatism, the above passage might as well be in ancient Greek. However, as we enter into a conservative area with Brexit rippling across the USA and Europe, we might want to understand the path out of the Leftist mental ghetto and how we can use it to save ourselves from the moribund inertia of liberalism.

Understanding The Traditional, Or Eternal, Civilization

Friday, September 16th, 2016

misty_morning_wholesome_solitary_living

Bruce Charlton proves worth reading for anyone who is not onboard with the mainstream-sanctified descent into social breakdown. Even if his words do not resonate as true, his centering of the issue will, in a time when almost all news sources, including underground blogs, distract from the actual issue.

He takes on the Alt Right by proclaiming all material politics to be Leftist, and suggesting an Orthosphere-style root of society as religion:

A nation is either run with a religion as the bottom line, and politics, economics, law, the military and police, education, science, health the media etc – all other human activities are ideally and ultimately subordinated to that goal. Religion is the organising principle…

Or else there a nation is run on Leftist lines with ‘mortal utility’ as the bottom line – that is the utilitarianism of mortal life under the assumption that nothing else exists, or matters.

A nation can be run on Religious lines (as all nations were in the past, and many still are); or else it can be Leftist – which means it pursues mortal utility

Another way to view this problem is through the transcendental lens that has been applied in this blog: there are not separate dualistic worlds, but one world spanning the natural and the supernatural, and therefore, both metaphysical and physical concerns are parallel in importance.

That concept of parallelism, about which I have written a hopefully-forthcoming book, applies to many areas. Parallel castes, working toward the same goal. Parallel nations, each with its own standards. Parallel measurement of truth, so it is consistent across all factors and not a cherry-picked few as in rationalism.

In the transcendental view, societies exist in through parallel implementation of the same truths. That is, a union of race, culture, religion, values, philosophy, economics and leadership; this occurs instead of the modern method of linearity, or choosing one to lead the rest: a democratic society, a capitalist society, or a theocracy as we see in the Middle East.

This is not to say that Charlton is wrong, because his statement as translated into parallelism states that civilizations must have a goal above the material; in the philosophical lexicon, we call this idealism, which refers to the idea as being more important than the matter in which it is found as a pattern, and therefore, that civilizations thrive by organizing themselves using better ideas (quality) not more material (quantity).

However, that transcendental goal is not limited to religion, but must be found in all areas. The natural and supernatural are parallel; so must our approach be. The idea of a mass religious revival alone is impracticable, but “bootstrapping,” or using political power to strengthen culture and religion alike so they can then grow in parallel, is realistic and desirable.

Only through this bootstrapping process can we rise to end the decline and fall of Western Civilization. We must address politics and the supernatural together, but as Charlton suggests, do so in the name of a transcendental goal, or looking toward a long-term improvement by arranging ourselves according to patterns that are eternal, or have worked since the dawn of time and will work in any age of humankind or other intelligent species.

Around here, we call the plan for bootstrapping the four pillars and show how it will nurture the type of society in which religious thought can shine. First we must awaken our will to survive and thrive by achieving excellence; next, we must remove obstacles; and finally, we can march into an ideal state where all institutions march in parallel to the same eternal truths.

This parallels the fundamental idea of Traditionalism, which is that history is not linear but circular, because some methods are eternal and any society that uses them will rise to greatness. In the Traditional view, all religions and philosophies describe the same Reality with varying degrees of accuracy, and so improving the quality of our perception leads us to these eternal truths.

Charlton brings up an important point: that we cannot solve problems of idea with material. The rejoinder to that is that in our existence, ideas are expressed in material, and we need that expression to parallel our metaphysical understanding so that all works in unison, harmony and balance as classical civilizations did.

The Problem With Conservative Humans Is Not Conservatism, It’s Humans

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

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The post Eternal September internet revealed its true purpose as memetic churn: it funnels the antagonism of our world’s basement NEETs, daytime TV watchers, retirees, apartment-bound disability recipients, bored cubicle slaves and welfare nodules into an emotional amplifier. People post concerns in simple catchy forms and the crowd rages with a new fire.

Everything has a weakness and a strength, and the two are usually the converse of one another. The internet echo chamber does a good job of putting its finger on the fears of modern people, and a terrible job at coming up with solutions, since what matters above and beyond all else is that its “solutions” be memetic. That means: simple, engaging, and emotionally satisfying.

Real life is different from how most people experience emotions: emotional satisfaction comes at the end of accomplishment. The farmer lighting his pipe, looking over the freshly-plowed fields, and thinking how proud and pleased he is; the artist looking over his creations, having finally spoken his muse. But on the internet, emotional satisfaction is what makes the crowd buzz, and it comes from the untested thoughts that seem to beat back those fears.

On Amerika the blog, I and other writers have taken a radical perspective: that conservatism is the root of all sane thinking about how to make society, and that our retreat from it has created “Amerika” the society: a Soviet-style system where a single path to success exists, and that is through using the ideology of the Crowd to please others and thus be selected as the most capable. All of our incompetent elites got ahead this way.

Conservatism takes another perspective. For method it chooses consequentialism, or results mattering more than methods, which includes the idea that performance comes after reward, which is the inversion of socialism. For goals it chooses a transcendental outlook, or the notion that we should aim for the best in all things, using consequentialism to figure out what works but then choosing what achieves excellence over the merely adequate.

Already this blog post is too complex for at least ninety-nine out of one hundred people on the internet. It will never achieve memetic status because it is both too complex and not emotionally satisfying. Over the wires, or in a crowd, it will be shouted down and replaced with an ikon of a cute bunny screaming SIEG HEIL.

But what people need to know is this: conservatism is the most extreme “ideology” of them all, mainly because it is not an ideology — a way around reality, based in what we wish were true instead of what is — but a look at Reality as our guiding force. Conservatism is extremist common sense. We are a species like any other; we must adapt to our environment; if giving choices between a good, better and best option, choose the best!

What has happened (as usual) is that humans cannot distinguish between essence and instance. The essence of conservatism is an idea; the instance is any person, group or product (books, movies, blogs) that claims to be conservative. The instance does not change the essence. It is the other way around: the essence determines what the instance should be.

And yet… our “conservatives” seem very far from any meaningful definition of conservative. “Conservatism has failed!” wails the internet hype machine. Or is it that our conservatives are simply not conservative, which means by definition that they are liberal, and that their failure is part of the vast decay of society through liberalism?

By Occam’s Razor and any other meaningful analysis, that explanation makes a lot more sense.

Most people do not realize that conservatism exists only because liberalism exists. Before liberalism, all was shades of conservatism, which has plenty of internal texture and variation. After the French Revolution, conservatives were those who arose to preserve the best of what had come before, in anticipation that — as de Tocqueville and others analyzed — the Great Liberal Experiment would collapse.

As lore has it, the conservatives sat on the Right and the revolutionaries on the Left in the French National Assembly. Thus Leftists and Rightists were born, with Rightists including both socially-acceptable conservatives and what I call “primal conservatives” who hung on to their aristocratic, manorial and tribal traditions. “Liberals” were the conservatives who believed in a slow retreat through libertarianism.

In the current day, a steady leftward shift has left us with a social outlook that demonizes most true conservative positions. Remember, to find a conservative position, you look at (1) results and (2) what produces the best results.

This gives us the four pillars of any sensible conservatism:

  1. Nationalism. Internationalism produces cosmopolitan port cities that seem endearing at first until one realizes that they are filthy, venal, corrupt places with no culture and no purpose in life except mercantile exchange with consumers. Nationalism works and makes happy nations because they rule themselves with culture and not government, police and propaganda (media). Conservatives are more extreme than Hitler on this, but refuse to endorse his violent solutions for other reasons, namely that injustice and cruelty beget more of the same and thus produce bad results without need.
  2. Aristocracy. Most people are stupid monkeys who have no idea of what they need versus what they want. The only solution is to put our smartest people — who are one in a hundred — in charge, because otherwise, we have oppression by the stupidest. If we are going to have oppression, let it at least be competent! Aristocracy includes monarchism, a network of lesser aristocrats who are more like a Greek college than a social club, manorialism and a caste system, and a total abolishment of the State and its nit-picking rules.
  3. Capitalism. Sometimes you get a good, better and best choice, and sometimes you merely get a choice between bad and worse. Is capitalism bad? It depends how it is implemented; when balanced by the forces above capitalism works out well, but in the hand of low-caste merchants it turns into a third world style bazaar (the USA is merely a highly organized, corporate version of this). But every alternative to capitalism is a straight plunge into pure dysfunction, and socialism, government-protected unions and welfare states are proven parasite magnets.
  4. A transcendental goal. In addition to the general ideal of transcendentalism in conservatism, every civilization needs a transcendental goal, or some aspiration to the purest things — the good, the beautiful and the true; excellence; divinity — in life, which means they are never tangible but can be attributes of things. You cannot hold an excellent in your hand, and no accomplishment is ever a definition of excellence, but the best choices can be said to be excellent, and those are the ones worth fighting for.

Our civilization is in decline. A thousand years ago, the above were recognized as common sense on the level of “do not defecate in your soup before eating.” Then again, the people who had to understand them were the top 1% of society by inner excellence, meaning intelligence and moral character. The herd has never understood anything and never will because it is biologically incapable of doing so.

Are the above fascist or Soviet? No: they are more extreme than fascism, and are honest methods unlike the Soviet approach which is to demand unrealistic ideals so that everyone must fall in line to obey the parasite State, which derives its power from having bought off the proles and thus harnessed The Revolution as a means to permanent tyranny. Fascism and National Socialism are degraded conservatism — hybridized with liberalism — just like libertarianism, neoconservatism and tankinis.

The common tropes of the nu-internet are that conservatism is dead and nationalism has taken over, or that conservatism is inferior to traditionalism. These are just posing. Nationalism and traditionalsm are subsets of the conservative idea. The point we must focus on is that if we remove the Leftist ideology, we are left with common sense, and from that flow all of the possibilities for good. Without it, we are left (heh heh) on the path to decline and fall.

The alternative right must clarify itself

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

parthenon_in_winter

The alternative Right, referred to by mainstream politicians with derision for not working the system like a good little rent-seeker, has seeped into mainstream consciousness. But what greets those who investigate is a complex maze of theories and references, and this leads to confusion about what the alternative Right is.

Let us clarify this quickly: the alternative Right is that which speaks right-wing truths the mainstream conservatives are afraid to articulate. Its goal is to change the internal orientation of Western Europeans so that they feel comfortable standing up for their self-interest as a group, and even more, so they feel pride in that identity once again — and can turn that into a pursuit of creative self-interest.

Creative self-interest distinguishes itself from garden variety self-interest by aiming toward the future instead of known options. Where self-interest says to choose the best option on the shelf like a good shopper, creative self-interest says that we should create our own shelf based not on reaction to what is but by pointing ourselves toward what is not yet extant and can never fully be extant.

When someone says for example that they want to make their society dedicated to excellence, heroism and glory in the vein of ancient Greece, they have both a goal they can visualize, and an intangible and forever ongoing quest to improve themselves successively toward an ideal, not fully attainable state. This is like the athlete who forever wants to beat her best time, improve her form and intensify her mental discipline.

The alternative Right is an internal revolution aimed at the core of Western civilization. We have forgotten our appetite for excellence because we replaced it with anti-excellence, or egalitarianism, which says “good enough is the same as good.” Its goal is to remake our thinking so that we see nothing wrong with acting in self-interest but even more so that we discard the egalitarian sentiments which divide us, and instead focus on working together toward something greater than the individual.

As part of this, the alternative Right advances two important ideas: the death of modernity and the whole society.

By acknowledging the death of modernity, the alternative Right tells us that modernity has completed its arc. There were new ideas; we tried them; now, centuries later, we are seeing how those ideas end and we realize it is failure, misery and suicide. Like any sane person, when we recognize an error we correct it, and in the case of our present situation, that means reversing away from equality, democracy, atheism, promiscuity and the welfare state.

All of those ideas are related, by the way, in that they are all individualistic. Equality means that each individual is included no matter how crazy or wrong; democracy gives those individuals power to protect themselves from those who might know better. Atheism is a comforting affirmation of the individual as the highest power, while hedonism and promiscuity celebrate the appetites of the individual as more important than achievement. The welfare state subsidizes democracy and allows individuals to demand sustenance for non-contribution, which makes them equal in survival as well as in theory.

The whole society, on the other hand, is the idea that we cannot use one method of unifying ourselves and moving toward health. Many argue that we should use religion, race or an economic system alone to motivate ourselves; thi will not work. People need a whole society, or a balance of institutions and purposes, which addresses all of the needs of the individual and civilization.

I summarize the alternative Right whole civilization as having four parts:

  1. Aristocracy: We are either led by our best, or by the rest, and the rest have failed. End democracy and pick people of quality, not a maze of laws, to lead us.
  2. Nationalism: Homogeneous societies are healthiest and happiest. We need our countries to be for us alone by both race and ethnicity, which is American Nativist in the USA.
  3. Capitalism: Socialism does not work both because it drains the wealth of a society and because it drives good people mad. Let people bring products to market and thrive.
  4. Transcendentalism: As individuals and as a civilization, we need transcendent goals — ideals that guide us in all situations toward a healthy purpose — and not concrete goals, because those are methods alone.

We exist right now in a cage. That cage is formed of the individual and the collective mentality that enforces individualism as our goal in the form of egalitarianism, altruism, pluralism, liberalism and democracy. This cage narrows our focus through its definitions and moral restrictions, reducing all of our actions to variations of itself, so that perpetual compromise toward its logical extreme is the only path open to us. That way leads to death.

Our societies are clearly in deep trouble. Across the developing world, every country is deep in debt and its citizens are not reproducing at replacement levels. This suggests they are miserable and see no future in what society offers us. This is suicide caused by following illusory goals starting with egalitarianism, which flatters the individual but also destroys it.

The alternative Right is a political movement that encloses a cultural revolution. Our goal is to restore a sense of purpose to our people by removing their guilt over their need to stop saving the rest of the world from itself. We are unique and must follow our own path; the rest of the world will continue on its path, and they are not our responsibility.

With that realization we will breathe the air of the only freedom that really exists, which is the ability to rise to the greatest heights possible without being constrained by the failure of others. Most of humanity will always exist in filth, disease, superstition, corruption and stupidity. We can rise above to fulfill our destiny alone, instead of trying to bring them with us.

What if the alternative Right took over?

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

castle_restoration

You see the alternative right in the news lately because with the rise of Donald Trump, we have seen that the “mainstream right” has become dominated by those who are good at compromise, not winning.

Such things should be expected in any political system because when you set down rigid rules, the strategy required to win according to the rules replaces actual winning. This creates a selection matrix for those who are good at playing the System, not those who are going to push hard for goals outside of the system itself. From this condition arose the modern cuckservative who essentially embraces left-wing goals in order to get along with the other politicians who are, in effect, his coworkers.

In response to this, the alternative right began as a cultural movement toward certain ideas and developed into an organ of truth-telling in a time of universal deceit. On the surface, it is a dissident movement against the conclusions of a corrupted system; underneath, it is an attack on the methods and values that allow such systems to perpetuate themselves when all sense and logic suggests their conclusions are wrong. The alternative right is a correction to our current political process as much as to its contemporary policies.

As might be expected, “alternative right” is an umbrella term. It includes those who would otherwise identify as white nationalists, paleoconservatives, New Right, orthosphere, monarchist and anarcho-capitalist (including National Anarchist). There is no resolution as to the outcome of its ideas in the alternative right because it is a think tank for cultural change which wants to build momentum and clarity of vision before it selects specific proposals. You can see this in action over at Alternative Right or its spinoff, Radix Journal.

The one thing the alternative right is sure about: classical liberalism of the equality plus free markets idea is not welcome. In fact, across the alternative right, the sense seems to be that “invisible hand” systems of this nature always produce what we currently have, which is mob rule with cynical low-quality corporations at the top. This outlook synthesizes right wing and left wing ideas, but more importantly, accurately describes the situation of our civilization as a human problem and not a political one. The bigger the mass, the lower the quality.

That leads to conflicts such as the following analysis from Outside In:

This blog, I’m guessing predictably, takes a count me out position. Neoreaction, as I understand it, predicted the emergence of the Alt-Right as an inevitable outcome of Cathedral over-reach, and didn’t remotely like what it saw. Kick a dog enough and you end up with a bad-tempered dog. Acknowledging the fact doesn’t mean you support kicking dogs — or bad-tempered dogs. Maybe you’d be happy to see the dog-kicker get bitten (me too). That, however, is as far as it goes.

A short definition, that seems to me uncontroversial: The Alt-Right is the populist dissident right. Set theoretically, NRx is therefore grouped with it, but as a quite different thing. Another obvious conclusion from the definition: the Alt-Right is almost inevitably going to be far larger than NRx is, or should ever aim to be. If you think people power is basically great, but the Left have just been doing it wrong, the Alt-Right is most probably what you’re looking for (and NRx definitely isn’t).

For the Alt-Right, generally speaking, fascism is (1) basically a great idea, and (2) a meaningless slur concocted by (((Cultural Marxists))) to be laughed at. For NRx (XS version) fascism is a late-stage leftist aberration made peculiarly toxic by its comparative practicality. There’s no real room for a meeting of minds on this point.

As a consequence of its essential populism, the Alt-Right is inclined to anti-capitalism, ethno-socialism, grievance politics, and progressive statism. Its interest in geopolitical fragmentation (or Patchwork production) is somewhere between hopelessly distracted and positively hostile. Beside its — admittedly highly entertaining — potential for collapse catalysis, there’s no reason at all for the techno-commercial wing of NRx to have the slightest sympathy for it. Space for tactical cooperation, within the strategic framework of pan-secessionism, certainly exists, but that could equally be said of full-on Maoists with a willingness to break things up.

He brings up two specific points of interest centered on the same point:

  1. “If you think people power is basically great, but the Left have just been doing it wrong, the Alt-Right is most probably what you’re looking for (and NRx definitely isn’t).”
  2. “For NRx (XS version) fascism is a late-stage leftist aberration made peculiarly toxic by its comparative practicality.”

For right-wingers here it is important to translate from libertarianism, which inherited a mostly leftist vocabulary. Statism means having a modern government as opposed to strong power, which can take several forms; “fascism” is a generic container for all authoritarian rule. With that out of the way, you can see his point: the alternative right has not yet escaped the framework of government designed by liberalism. That means that it both supports authoritarian rule, and the type of socialist or other managed state desired by mass political movements.

I think he is correct in these critiques. However, to understand the issue in depth, one must look into the history of the alternative right. The alternative right is a cultural revolution which wanted to escape the taboo on a series of related ideas like monarchy, nationalism, eugenics, human biological diversity (hbd), and anti-democratic thought. It does not come from a libertarian view, but more of an atavistic one. The alternative right is Oswald Spengler meeting Colonel Kurtz at a Nietzsche book club.

As a result of this “cultural” approach, the alternative right is not a political agenda but an attempt to change values. During the late 1990s, I wrote about what were then considered “extremist right-wing” notions on an underground philosophy/culture website, which then expanded into CORRUPT.org during the early 2000s, and now continues on here. Influential also during this time were writers like Michel Houellebecq, bloggers like Bill White and Bruce Charlton, artistic movements like black metal, and the rising libertarian wing that people like Eric S. Raymond chronicled as a means of criticizing the present order. All of these influences flowed together for a number of writers who saw this civilization as a dying, falling empire.

Looking into the future, we can see where alternative right, Neoreaction and the oldest threads of conservatism overlap — and that this is an agenda we can agree on, and which the mainstream right is increasingly supportive of:

  • Strong power. We must have arbitrary leaders chosen for their ability to lead, not popular appeal. These both give us direction and keep the insanity of the herd at bay.
  • Free markets. Capitalism works; it requires guidance from strong leaders and culture however. Socialism does not work and destroys societies.
  • Nationalism. Diversity does not work and destroys societies; homogeneity works very well and should be enforced, exiling all Other.
  • Transcendentalism. There must be a higher goal than reacting to the situation as is; we need a way to plan for a future that makes us rise to the excellent, good, beautiful and true.

Right now, no movement expresses these ideas in their raw form. But much as the alternative right used the method of cultural change to accelerate right-wing thinking, and Neoreaction builds from the libertarian wing, future right-wing movements will return to the crucial moment called “the Enlightenment™” when the West broke away from organizing our society according to an order larger than the individual. Those movements will insist we break away from Enlightenment-style thinking entirely.

That much is certain. The question upon us now is how to include the changes since that time in a society which, while greater in every intangible way, did not possess the convenience of the present which we enjoy. My suggestion, a type of thought called Futurist Traditionalism, is that we focus on the fourth point, a transcendental order to existence, and use it to guide our adoption of technology. In other words, we must look to our goals and not our methods and, if our goals are good, use any methods appropriate for achieving them.

With that in mind, what would our right-wing post-Enlightenment future look like? My guess is a lot like now, except that instead of layers of government, you will have a local lord and his staff to solve all problems, and kings at the national level to lead you. There will not be any regulation to speak of, but the local lord will have arbitrary power, so if you pollute a stream he will show up, investigate and make you fix it. Taxes will be low and most of the land will be owned by the aristocracy, who will keep it in near-natural condition. There will be a caste system to keep competition low and stabilize society, but among those who are of the higher castes, free market thinking will be natural and happen with low intrusion from the lords or kings. Life will not be “managed” as by a state, but anarchic, with the dark side of anarchy present: no one will be obligated to accept you, let you live among them, or to sustain you, so your behavior has to fit with that of your neighbors. Culture will be more important than government, and with that, media and entertainment will recede in importance. As with all successful societies, nations will be homogeneous, with a few smart people on top keeping the rest in check because most people and all large groups are unrealistic and destructive in their urges.

After the disaster that was the French Revolution, however, I think the new aristocrats will add one major change to the past and the status quo they will integrate: exile of the lower echelons. The French Revolution happened because under the good leadership of the aristocracy, the lower echelons — who practice r-strategy reproduction and fornicate frequently to produce as many offspring as possible — expanded in population to beyond the carrying capacity of their environment, and then blamed their leaders for not having been so fascist as to curtail the reckless fornication. In the future, leaders will selectively exile the least useful members of the lower echelons, gradually improving the quality of the population and avoiding the bottom-heavy form of overpopulation that brought us liberalism.

The point of the alternative right is to cast doubt on the idea of the diverse, liberal state with lots of regulations as our best possible future. Instead, we need to finally tackle some grim realities: that most people are literally insane, but at a low level, and their decision-making is bad. That in groups humans always pick the wrong answer. That equality is nonsense, and democracy is suicide, and diversity is merely population replacement for the convenience of our Leftist leaders. And in crossing a taboo line, we must acknowledge that our survival depends on us reversing the pathology of equality, which everyone seems to follow because parroting the dominant idea leads to success.

With liberalism, we have now seen the truth: it behaves like an infectious pathology, spreading between minds, forming a giant mass of zombie ideologues who refuse to acknowledge the failing of their ideas. These take over society, displace the nativist population with imported third-world labor, and destroy that civilization as thoroughly as Athens and Rome exterminated themselves biologically and culturally. To avoid that, we must give up on the fond ideas of liberalism, and return to realism, which is what all non-Leftist movements including neoreaction and the alternative right share.

On claiming that certain things are not political or ideological

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

happy_birthday_mister_hitler

On the right, it is popular to disclaim “ideology” and “politics.” There is truth to this, since the right is consequentialist and thus not based in should-be thinking like the left, and neoreaction is not populist, so it does not fall under politics which is itself a creation of democracy.

However, there is also a fallacy here. Ideology can mean any doctrine or philosophy with an end result of changing the world. Politics means any thought or thought process which addresses political change. Trying to step out of these things that way, and claim to be a theory above it all as some in Tradition and Neoreaction do, despite being well-intentioned, leads to confusion because it is not wholly true.

Any belief, even if a reality-based one as all consequentialist ones are, becomes both ideology and politics because it competes with ideology and intends a change in politics. To play a categorical game of denying this seems clever at first, until one realizes that by doing so, the belief system has stated itself as personal preference alone, and thus, has no application beyond how you order your lawn and 401(k).

While the corporatist line of Neoreaction is tempting, in which people sign on to managed communities where a corporation returns value and is accountable for its services, in reality these places show the downside of capitalism unchecked by culture: crass commerce, mixed-race social chaos, and a need — as time goes on — for increasing internal security as in the style of leftist states.

New Right introduced new “thought methods” just as Neoreaction and Tradition did. All of these beliefs fall under rightism not because right-wingers claim them, but because their ideals fit into the basic rubric of the right: consequentialist, or results-based, with a transcendental aim for “the good, the beautiful and the true” or “the perennial things” (Huxley) or “Tradition” (Evola).

While these new intellectual methods give us better ways to discuss the need for a society based on the above, they do not escape us from their intent: to change politics and counter ideology. It is best that all be honest about this, as otherwise we fall into the traps that allow leftist entryism, namely making our philosophy solely a “personal preference” or series of choices made while shopping for goods and services, and allowing entryism by making the method more important than the aim.

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