Life is mathematical. Every organism faces a series of challenges which are defined more by numerical factors than anything else. For example, how much food is there? How many offspring must be produced? All of these calculations determine outcome more than doing one specific task so well that it overcomes the numeric limitations imposed upon it.
The mathematics of life determine survival. A parasitic disease, like a flu, that takes too many resources will kill the host and be less successful as quarantine kicks in; a rapidly-reproducing organism, like yeast, is most likely to reproduce too fast, consume all of its nutrition and die in a bloom of excess.
We see these events happen in nature all of the time. The dreaded “red tide” is one type of population bloom that occurs through algae which reproduce too much and then deprive the water of oxygen, killing off all sea life in the area. If not whacked back, crabgrass takes over lawns and chokes out every other species.
These extreme examples conceal the fact that these mathematical limits apply to every species. If there are too many deer, they will destroy enough trees that next season, they will starve. Too many squirrels means starving squirrels. But the same is even true of human attempts to form groups; if the group cannot limit its natural impulses, it implodes.
In August 1944, the Coast Guard released 29 reindeer on the island as a backup food source for the men. Barged over from Nunivak Island, the animals landed in an ungulate paradise: lichen mats four inches thick carpeted areas of the island, and the men of the Coast Guard station were the reindeer’s only potential predators.
…[thirteen years later the] herd was then at a staggering density of 47 reindeer per square mile. Klein noted the animals’ body size decreased since his last visit, as had the ratio of yearling reindeer to adults. All signs pointed to a crash ahead.
…in summer of 1966, he, another biologist and a botanist found the island covered with skeletons; they counted only 42 live reindeer, no fawns, 41 females and one male with abnormal antlers that probably wasn’t able to reproduce. During a few months, the reindeer population of St. Matthew had dropped by 99 percent.
Let us look at the mathematics of the situation:
St. Matthew then had the classic ingredients for a population explosion—a group of healthy large herbivores with a limited food supply and no creature above them in the food chain.
In other words, there is a mathematical threshold here imposed by the ratio of animals to resources given the need for the resources to replenish themselves. With few enough animals, the food source is able to renew itself; with too many, a situation like “eating the seed corn” occurs and there is no crop in the following year.
These thresholds are invisible because they are not formed of anything tangible or evident, only a prediction based on the mathematics of the situation. For this reason, human groups routinely stumble over these and self-destruct through a process known as a death spiral.
In a death spiral, a human group engages in a pathology based on what has worked in the past. They do this because of social factors, which ties into the same type of neurosis that causes “cargo cults” among human groups:
Cargo cult, any of the religious movements chiefly, but not solely, in Melanesia that exhibit belief in the imminence of a new age of blessing, to be initiated by the arrival of a special “cargo” of goods from supernatural sources—based on the observation by local residents of the delivery of supplies to colonial officials.
In these, people confuse what they were doing at the moment an event occurred with the cause of that event. This leads to groups engaging in religious rituals to bring back the cargo, even though the delivery of the cargo was initiated by events entirely unremoved from the group. This provides a good metaphor for human pathology.
A small village has a few dozen farmers. One of them has an abundant crop. “I didn’t do anything different, except sacrifice this fish to the god Ba-El,” he says. The other farmers face a difficult choice: if they fail to sacrifice a fish to Ba-El, and they do not have a good crop, they will appear incompetent to others. Whereas if they do, they are merely out one fish.
The economics of pathology unfold from this moment. The symbolic task does not represent a risk in itself directly, but will cause a “sin of omission” where those busy with the symbolic will miss actual problems. But the social cost of not doing the symbolic task could be much higher, especially if something goes wrong and then no one wants to aid the guy who did not conform.
As a result, economics dictate that people follow the socially acceptable path even though it requires the adoption of what is essentially a lie, which is the idea that the fish sacrifice made the abundant crop. The lie unites the social group. Through this method, the human group starts its equivalent of a yeast bloom or red tide, which is a virtue signaling death spiral.
In a death spiral of this type, appearance is more important than reality and simultaneously, is detached from reality much like the symbolic fish sacrifice mentioned above. This means to social success, and success in terms of realistic results, rapidly become opposites. Symbols and their referents even more widely diverge. And so, the civilization becomes dedicated to lying.
For example, the fish sacrifices may have never worked, but those farmers who were conscientious enough to plough, plant and irrigate correctly are also those prone to make fish sacrifices. And so, it appears that the talisman works; everyone does it and those who do not are not trusted, cannot get loans or sell their product, and are marginalized.
The result is that to be a successful farmer, one must make the fish sacrifice, because social factors mediate reality through the actions of other people needed by farmers. At this point, something fascinating happens.
Clearly the fish sacrifices are not working. Normally, we would conclude that the method either never worked, only partially worked or has stopped working, and place less emphasis on it. But because of social factors, we must double down and place more emphasis on it.
Through this runaway acceleration feedback loop, more fish sacrifices will be performed. They may happen daily or require more or bigger fish. Farmers will spend themselves bankrupt buying fish because to do otherwise is to lose social approval, and so to be unable to get help (loans, sales, labor) from others. Insanity replaces sanity.
A virtual signaling death spiral of this sort adds to the natural conditions for a sudden extinction: unlimited growth plus finite resources reaches a threshold, but now, the added wrinkle is that resources are being expended for symbolic and not realistic ends. This does not cause sudden failure, which is why it is deadly.
Instead, it causes a gradual slowdown. For every dollar made from a farm, ten cents go to fish. This cost is passed on to consumers, who now pass it on to others. Lawyers, teachers, and repairmen all charge ten percent more. This in turn raises costs to farmers, so they raise their costs in turn. This feedback loop continues until the economy is near collapse.
Human groups of all types fail through this process. Symbolic and social behaviors replace practical ones. Then, the group both divides itself internally over the issue of symbolic behaviors and how to interpret them, and bleeds itself dry pursuing non-issues instead of the obvious and massive actual threats.
We see these patterns time and again in human society:
Communism. Being Leftist meant social success, so people went far Leftist and then destroyed their society. At the time when they needed to be fixing real problems like a lack of food in grocery stores, they were instead fighting over ideological issues.
Greenland. This Nordic colony thrived on hunting ivory from walruses, but then the market discovered elephant ivory. Instead of admitting the failure of this market, the colony continued hunting walrus with the energy it should have spent relocating or finding new industry.
South Africa. This colony made itself rich on natural resources until other sources were found. At that point, it could no longer support its underclasses, and mass revolt resulted in a typical diversity death spiral where two groups fight each other instead of looking toward a new source of income.
Immigration. The West experienced a huge population boom after World War II and started looking for ways to fund the social benefits it had appointed to those people. Instead of admitting that it could not pay these benefits, it began importing immigrants, only to find the tax revenues from these were not what were hoped for.
Future human leaders will be more concerned with feedback loops that produce death cycles than we are now. Failure of organization to respond to changing resource needs, including to slow growth before a crisis, destroys civilizations. Instead of adapting, the dying organization relies on proxies which increase its free rider and tragedy of the commons crises.
Those looking for rules that can prevent this situation will be disappointed. Humans are biological organisms that vary in ability; those with low ability, even in the presence of enlightened rules, will only misinterpret those rules. Without perceptive leaders with the power to act decisively before a crisis, that group will fall into a virtue signaling death spiral and perish.
There is a predictable pattern to the way that mass media news outlets report on events. First reports tend to be highly sensational, and either due to ignorance, bias that favors an ideological narrative, or bias towards the popular (“clickbait”), also tend to leave out or misreport important facts. This departure from truth is further amplified by social media, which promotes simple explanations that point the blame solely at a guilty few who can be satisfyingly hated due to presumed malicious motivation. We have explicated the steps in this cycle previously.
So it is with the Bahamian swimming pigs. After seven of these beloved creatures were found dead on their tiny home island, the first, biggest, wave of mass exposure this event received cast the blame onto a few reckless tourists who through cruel stupidity fed the pigs alcohol. This was a popular framing, first because it allowed people to indulge in feel-good hate against an unfair oppressor, and second because it allows advertisement of an easily achieved personal moral superiority: look at these pig murderers, I would never murder a pig for laughs, and therefore I am good, even though that’s a very low standard for good.
Though initial reports suggested that tourists had given the pigs fatal doses of alcohol, Humane Society inspector Ventoi Bethune told National Geographic that the dead swine had likely ingested sand.
Veterinarians who visited the site found large quantities of sand in the deceased animals’ stomachs, which Bethune says may have been caused by a recent influx of visitors throwing small amounts of food on the beach.
“The pigs have been on the island so long, they are used to foraging for natural food,” Bethune says. The pigs would only go the beach for an occasional treat.
But with the increase in tourism, the pigs are relying on humans more than ever.
Though the modern mindset is shaped from an early age to expect harm from intentionally evil agents–like comic book super villains–in reality those threats are not so great, because they’re rare, easy to spot, and easy to deal with. If the pig murderers had been a few malicious individuals, we could imprison, exile, or execute the culprits and the problem would be completely solved; at least until another set of this rare type of person appeared.
What is in fact far more dangerous is carelessness and well-meaning naiveté. This is commonplace; its negative effects are far more difficult to spot, and there is no obvious solution.
None of the individuals responsible for the pigs’ deaths intended to kill the pigs. None of them expected it to happen, and most likely the vast majority don’t even realize that it happened. If we wanted to assign blame, we would have to hand out a large number of fractional pig murder sentences, which is absurdly impractical and ineffective. And to hate those responsible, to declare ourselves morally superior, we would need to pass a higher standard than the cartoonish modern conceptions of morality such as “don’t be a dick”. Those who fed the pigs probably thought they were being nice, friendly, and good.
But we are able to sketch out some direction that a solution would take if we leave behind the need to blame as the most important component of a solution. Assigning blame is important when it means holding people responsible for their failures, but becomes a distraction from solutions when punishment and retribution take the place of identifying causes.
In this case we see that the pigs died because they ate too many bits of food left in the sand, which was the result of a combination of too careless humans, and too many humans. From there we can propose either making the human visitors less careless (good luck), or reducing the number of human visitors to the island.
Though this is less satisfying than beating a few assholes, it would mean the remaining cute swimming piggies would be less likely to die — and that is what really matters.
Feminists refuse to confront the reality that there are evil forces in the world which wish us harm.
…Feminists can denounce the president as a “fascist,” and suffer no harm, but what would become of these fools if America was not protected by brave troops obedient to our Commander in Chief?
The Left makes zero sense until you understand them as individualists. They want to be free from any risk in decision-making, of the Darwinian kind including a loss of social status, while they are still able to enjoy the benefits of society, and are empowered to game the system by being able to make public, symbolic gestures of goodness that obscure the moral level of their other acts.
They hide this philosophy in egalitarianism because the plural of “I can do anything I want” is “we can do anything we want” and this type of collectivized individualism compels all of the members of the gang to defend each other, and so is the most effective method of building a cult-like revolutionary movement within a thriving society.
It makes sense to note this: Leftists do not create civilizations; they attach to them, or rise up within them, and then act as all parasites do. They siphon off nutrition and as they get more numerous, clog the internal motion necessary for homeostasis and gradually weaken and then kill the civilization. Leftists want you to see them as independent; a better comparison is the mosquito or cholera.
The thing about parasites is that if the host dies, all they need is another host nearby. For this reason, it is important for Leftists to encourage the host civilization to embark on any wars it cannot win. Once it is conquered, the Leftists will be there to collaborate with the enemy in exchange for a position in the enemy where they can continue their parasitism.
One reason that theories about The Rich™, The Masons™ or The Jews™ taking over our civilization are silly is that these theories are designed to conceal the actual parasite, which is the Leftist. Maybe the others are also parasites… evidence suggests they are varied, like any other human group. But what they do pales in comparison to the damage Leftism does.
A parasite needs to be like a good snake oil salesman or celebrity. It must constantly draw attention to itself in a way that displays its moral goodness through symbolic acts, because these are a cover for its immoral acts like parasitism itself. Think of it like a businessman: it is more efficient to give 10% a year than spend 20% of every deal ensuring it is ethical and constructive.
This “virtue signaling” is the hallmark of the Leftist and shows us that their ideology is not a philosophy but a pathology. They have zero interest in whether their words are true; what matters is — like the salesman, again — how their words are perceived by others in terms of making the Leftist look good.
If you wonder why Leftist politicians can approve obviously insane and non-working policies and laws, here is your answer. They do not care whether the policy works; in fact, it serves them better if it does not, and creates more social chaos which in turn engenders more unhappy, neurotic and rootless people that can be recruited into the Leftist gang.
Pacifism appeals to the Left because it is part of their stable of “reality is not reality” thinking. Leftists realize they do not have to be radical innovators in order to look like profound inventors, which they do by acting out the script of an inventor.
The inventor is remember by the group for having essentially said “reality is not reality” in a specific area; the way everyone was thinking about a problem was wrong, and some guy beat it, so it turns out that what most people think of reality is not reality… in that specific area. Leftists want this power more generally, and so they act out the script of claiming most people are wrong in order to appear to be radical innovators.
Conventional knowledge, common sense, logical fact and history hold that the best way to achieve peace is to have a deterrent to aggression. If you can cost the enemy more than he can likely gain, and create uncertainty that he can win, then you are as safe from him as you can be. If you declare pacifism, he will roll in and conquer you, at which point the parasites transfer to him.
Conquerors like the Romans and Genghis Khan experienced this in their own adventures. Whenever they conquered a state or city, there were people there waiting to be of service to the new regime. These people had been highly powerful before and so, it stood to reason, they were competent. Instead they were often parasites, which increased the viral load for Rome while healing some of its territories.
The “reality is not reality” approach of the Leftist recognizes the truth of the need for a military. In fact, if Leftists consistently oppose something, it is a good idea to reconsider it as it usually will be something good. Leftists want to virtue signal their independence from need and their moral supremacy, and humans — especially women — respond to pacifism as if it were good.
In reality, this “good” is just rationalization of a problem to the point of explaining it away. No hippie ever had a good answer for what would happen if the Soviets charged through the American heartland. But, a good salesman makes people feel better by explaining away actual problems so that instead the victims of his con focus on what he wants them to see, which is his virtue.
Feminism — entirely a subset of Leftism — opposes the military because it wants to weaken the nation around it and conquer that nation for its own purposes. Like any other viral thought, feminism “seems” intelligent, good, moral, etc. but turns out to be a deception. Its pacifism is a ruse to the end of that deception, and can safely be considered insane like the rest of feminism.
As usual, sea change causes a re-organization among humans. The cutting edge people have already moved on to something new for unrelated reasons; the intelligent have always opposed whatever stupid trend most people are following, which is how they define eras, by emulating what others have succeeded by doing; the middle-level labrador retriever type people then surge in to slavishly imitate the dying trend.
IKEA sent out the following pledge which seems more symbolic than a response to an actual need:
As I am sure most of you have heard, President Trump recently signed an executive order that suspends the entry of citizens from seven countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—into the United States for at least the next 90 days. A review is underway to determine which countries should be added to the list.
This action applies to new immigrants to the US, as well as individuals traveling to the US from these countries who are legal residents, who live and work in the US, but are not naturalized citizens. Some of these people may be IKEA co-workers or their families.
We are working to identify any co-workers who are directly impacted by this action, and I ask any co-worker who believes that this order impacts them or their family to contact the Benefits hotline immediately by calling xxxxxxxx. *
We are also committed to supporting impacted co-workers and their immediate families by providing FREE legal advice from experienced licensed attorneys through our IKEA iCare benefits. Certified and trained iCare counselors are also available 24/7 to help co-workers with the emotional and mental toll this situation may take on them and their families. Co-workers can reach iCare by calling xxxxxxxx or going online to xxxxx.
Over the past 35 years, I have lived in many countries where I have been an immigrant. As the Country Manager of IKEA in Italy, Japan, and now the US, I have witnessed firsthand the power of people working together: people from different backgrounds, nationalities, and religions uniting to achieve our vision of creating a better everyday life. This is why any proposal that would discriminate against a certain group of our customers or co-workers, or limit our ability to attract and retain diverse talent is so troubling.
Our IKEA values clearly tell us that leadership is taking action and standing up for what we believe in. That is why we are committed to continuing to stand for the dignity and rights of everyone.
I wanted to make sure you have all the necessary information you might need if you are directly affected by this action and our standpoint on it.
If you have concerns, please also feel free to contact either me or xxxxxxx, our US HR Manager.
Country Manager, IKEA USA
*Note the original letter did not have XXs, it supplied the correct phone numbers and email addresses. However, in the interest of privacy of our third party vendors – and our co-workers, this information is eliminated in this document. However, the original copy in Lars Petersson’s letter is not altered.
Note: We will be using the echoes — ((( $name ))) — in this post to indicate people of Swedish descent because, despite making some of the best death metal on earth, they are hopelessly delusional at this point in time and must be considered with the care one affords to escaped mental patients and serial killers.
((( Petersson ))) makes the usual begging-the-question fallacy by assuming that all immigrants are the same. He says he was an immigrant; not really, because he in fact was someone simply living abroad. He equates his experience with that of others, and then makes the usual diversity-is-our-strength-we-are-the-robots pleasant noises.
What is missing is any assessment of how many IKEA workers are actually influenced by this order. He says he is working to come up with a list, but if the answer is forty people out of a global workforce of a hundred thousand, why exactly would he make this announcement? And then why send it to all customers who have signed up for an IKEA email update?
The answer is simple: he is virtue signaling. He is saying to the sheep that IKEA is safe and on their side, so they should consider forming a temporary alliance. This is the usual bargaining that kidnapping victims, conquered armies and incompetent employees go through: they form an attachment to their enemies, hoping the enemies will do the same.
In actuality, IKEA employees are not fooled by this. They do not have allegiance to IKEA, but a paycheck. Neither are non-white customers of IKEA. They realize that IKEA is a for-profit that is making these pleasant noises to fool single white women, not minorities. That means that this virtue signaling is exactly what it appears to be: advertising.
For centuries in the West, the intelligent have been made slaves of the unintelligent. This happens whenever a society succeeds, and so simultaneously liberates a growing middle class and builds up a huge lower class. The former manages the latter, and while this makes for good money, it also makes life into a living hell of tedium, ugliness and babysitting those who grow increasingly bold about their irresponsibility.
As a result, the smart people burn out while the stupid become more jubilant and cruel — we see this in the insanity of the Berkeley protests — resulting in a society in constant BDSM-style opposition between its parts. The middle classes and upward grow wealthy at the price of their souls, which they trade for boring, futile and enraging jobs that waste the best hours of the best years of their lives.
In turn, the proles get very little, and come to realize that it is not a huge secret that they are disposable. They begin their gambit for control, called “Leftism,” at the same time many intellectuals and dissidents form among the middle classes because to be forced into a life of tedium will drive them to suicide. They hate how their parents lived and become class traitors, simply to avoid the insanity.
This is why virtue signaling is out of control. The middle classes have formed a Stockholm Syndrome style bond with their captors, the far more numerous lower classes. The lower classes depend on the middle classes for guidance, but resent them and want revenge. As a result, these codependent groups wage passive-aggressive warfare against each other until they destroy their shared civilization.
In the third world, every activity is a social event. Similarly, in post-Leftist Amerika, most behavior has become attention whoring. Whatever attracts eyeballs is presumed to advance careers, bring in advertising revenue and “raise awareness,” mostly of whoever pulled the stunt as a means of distinguishing themselves in fields made static by the ideological constraints placed on content.
And so, every day brings a new attention whoring stunt. Today the stunt is to reset the doomsday clock in order to — let us call it what it is — squeak out a protest against the rise of Donald Trump:
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has taken the unprecedented step of moving the Doomsday Clock ahead 30 seconds, taking the world to two-and-a-half-minute to midnight. The scientists said Thursday that several factors weighed heavily in their decision, particularly climate change denial by people in power — they cited U.S. President Donald Trump — and talk about more nuclear weapons.
When societies are healthy, institutions are pillars of survival; when a civilization goes back, all of those institutions are infested with people speaking ideologically popular messages that deny reality. The problem is that people still treat those institutions as if they are authorities, not recognizing that instead they are getting fed propaganda by self-interested parties.
The doomsday clock may have served a useful function in the past but now it is simply another tool for political virtue signaling. As such, its value has fallen and in the future, it will be ignored. Part of the vast cultural wave sweeping the West is an intolerance for these parasitic institutions that insist we take them seriously when they are in fact contentless echo chambers.
I’m better than you. Sorry to be blunt, guys. But I just *care* more. Really.
You see, back in the day this boss I worked for decided we would have a health program at work and competitively lose weight. It all culminated with a 5K Fun Run. The one he chose to have us run in was the Liz Hurley 5K Run. It was a race for the cure, which meant it purportedly raised money to help fund Breast Cancer research. I jogged for the jiggles. I was there to save Second Base! I totally care more. Case closed. Virtue signaled.
And there we hit another wall of evil. Not one single lady afflicted with the curse of breast cancer will be any better off if I wear my several years old Liz Hurley race shirt as I waddle around the cul-de-sacs during Early Morning Nautical Twilight. It makes zero difference in any patient’s real life prognosis. But the feelz, man. I got to feel like a sensitive, caring person. And that’s just what happens when the fake and disingenuous virtue signaled makes no difference.
Frequently, when manipulated by politicians or charlatans, the virtue signalling masks a malignant sarcoma. Your fake virtue becomes another man’s demise. It was after a desperate, starving man who stole to feed his family, was set on fire and burned alive next to a Caracas, Venezuela bread line that Joel D. Hirst wrote the following about Pro-Communist virtue signalers.
And all the while you fought us; those of us trying to bring light to the darkness. You know who you are. You who marched against us. You who trolled our accounts, filling them with sewage. You who wrote articles making the case for the evil; who went on television to defend the idiocy; who attended events to hurl insults at the presenters; who offered excuses for the abuse and sought out scapegoats for the failure. You – the apologists of evil; the devils advocates. I have known many of you – because I have fought you too; though not through hate – which is your favorite tool. But through truth – though in your double speak you branded it as lies.
Yes, you could *feel* good if you favored communism in Venezuela. They were a point and click mob 1,000 miles and 2,000 calories a day away from what the actual proletariat in Caracas was having to live through because of the glorious revolution. They never meant for some guy to get used as a human tinder stick. They just wanted to care. They wanted to feel special. I hope they look at the pictures of what happened to Senor Bernal and feel proud of all the social justice that warms their cute, privileged little hearts like a bonfire.
Not every SJW virtue signalling debacle is as horribly obvious as what has occurred in Caracas. But, people are getting increasingly smart to the gag. ESPN, that obnoxious so-called sports channel that takes over major sporting events and turns them into opportunities to preach Leftist politics for three hours, has been slammed by the #CutTheCord Movement. The Outkick the Coverage Blog describes the wages of virtue signalling below.
Last month ESPN lost 621,000 subscribers according to Nielsen media estimates, which was the worst month in the company’s history. This month things weren’t much better — ESPN lost another 555,000 subscribers according to Nielsen media estimates, meaning that the worst month in the history of ESPN has now been followed up by the second worst month in ESPN history. ESPN has now lost a jawdropping 1.176 million subscribers in the past two months.
Col Kilgore would call that the smell of victory. ESPN just lost $100 Million in annual revenue because of Stephen A. Smith’s gaping, obnoxious pie-hole. You can fight the power all you want Stephen A, but the off button on my television will TRUMP you. This, folks is how you fight virtue signalers. What good is a signal if people are too intelligent to tune to its frequency?
In Thus Spoke Zarathustra Nietzsche tells the parable of a saint who lived alone in the forest singing songs to God alone because no man would ever hear them. Let Stephen S. Smith and Doug Gottlieb preach to nobody. Stop reading or watching the material of people who see the softer side of the Kim Dynasty in North Korea. Don’t watch San Francisco 49er games if you watch any NFL football at all. The entire point of virtue signalling is to be heard. Deny them this reward and you kill these people.
Leftists successfully completed their takeover of Western nations many years ago, but the revolution marches on. There are many reasons why; here is one of them.
Leftism is powered by a sense of inferiority and spreads through moral signaling. Feeling that everyone is equal and believing that everyone should be made to “get along” soothes low self-esteem and self-doubt in a very pleasing way, and so those who promote this are seen as kind and good, and become popular. Because the former sets the conditions for the rise of the later, I have differentiated them as first and second orders, respectively.
In order to signal moral superiority, one needs to be superior to some other group. Basic leftists are satisfied with being superior to socially marginalized minorities, such as rednecks, neonazis, juggalos, or Christians, but those who really want to stand out need to signal their superiority to the majority.
This ratchets leftism up into higher levels of abstraction, into lower levels of minutia, and into more naked insanity. Whereas once it was enough for egalitarianism to mean “equal opportunity,” when that became popular and widespread it was no longer enough for proving oneself morally superior. It became simply morally conformist, no longer something to espouse for gaining social standing. In order to increase one’s social ranking, which is necessarily a zero sum, furthermore with only so much room at the top, a stronger dose was needed, and egalitarianism became “equal outcome.”
The same thing happened to “racism,” which went from meaning hatred of another race, to not supporting the removal of barriers between races, to not supporting equalizing government policies, then to even suggesting the possibility of racial differences, to where we are now. In order to successfully signal moral superiority on race, one must now carefully watch the latest happenings so that one can be first to discern the next new and exciting form of racism, condemn everyone else for not having done so, and reap the reward of elevated social standing.
Liberalism was once ostensibly meant to increase individual freedoms, but over time has degenerated and bloomed into the overt authoritarian cries of social justice warriors.
This process of does not have a natural end, the limit diverges. It will either collapse after the decay has weakened enough of the supports, or it will be pushed out or crushed by those who think and act outside the leftist ecosystem.
The hardest task of maturation is learning to resist the manipulation of others. With friends, this is persuasion about how cool something is or is not; we called it peer pressure once upon a time. It is no different with media. Whether the spreading of “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” (FUD) or relentless hype, the media distorts reality to all but the wary, cynical, realistic and reactionary person.
Its background hum for some time has been that our Silicon Valley STEM wizards are the geniuses who will save us and our economy. This has only one flaw: the products they are making are not remarkably complex, nor do they work well, and the audience they bring in — much like that of our immigration policy — is not high-end but low-end. The internet has been daytime television for about a decade now, belonging mostly to aimless children, retirees, people on disability and addicts of various substances.
Look at our vaunted inventions. Drones are remote-control helicopters upgraded with better batteries. Twitter is IRC. Google is Lexis/Nexis for the proles. iPads are flat computers. Computers now are simply faster versions of what we had in the 1980s. Operating systems are slightly fancier versions of the same. Everything works “better,” but it takes the same amount of time to do anything. All of our software types were invented in the 70s. As were the visions for things like tablets. If they could predict it in the past, it was because it was merely a shinier version of what they were shipping then.
The biggest inventions seem to be re-learning how to make old ones. We had electric cars in the 1890s and 1970s, too, but they never took off. Now, using our improved but not radically improved batteries, Tesla has sold the public on a new type of car. Or is it? Is Google’s self-driving car really anything more than 1970s military technology applied using our new, faster chips?
In fact, the main purpose of our new technology appears to be social control. Social media is an echo chamber for attention whores, which always produces virtue signaling and thus, is Leftist-dominated and incubates new Leftists. Drones let hobbyists feel edgy for buying a product and using it to do, well, no one is really sure what drones (or the web) are good for yet.
Like non-governmental organizations (NGOs), these dot-com wunderkind are political actors on the both the world stage and domestically. Amazon is a gatekeeper of “culture”; Google is a revolution-fostering political agency. This is in addition to the fact that by their size, these companies are gatekeepers of what is acceptable on the internet. Google’s changes to its search ranking have driven out of public consciousness the layer of sites that ten years ago were the go-to resources for most people, and replaced it with its own projects and allies.
At this point, the endgame emerges: the technology industry will be used as a way to instill norms in us all and to filter out deviant thought. It will provide the basis of our Potemkin economy so that the bennies and freebies get mailed out at the right time. And when it goes down, we all go down with it, and we have something to blame other than the failure of our system of government. We can blame the economy.
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.
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.