Furthest Right

Forever Stuck in the Fall of Rome

In my view, there is only one game in town: getting humans sane and creating functional organizations, including societies.

Nature wants to kill you when you are on a hike or alone in the basement with that giant spider. It also wants to numb your consciousness as an individual, and in groups reduce you to a third world level barely above hominin so that you become a stable species.

Starving, stupid, and self-destructive humans limit themselves. They eat bush meat, fruit, roots, mushrooms, and whatever they can grow. They tend to die young and leave behind lots of children, most of whom also die young. Their populations tend to be stable.

If some well-intentioned idiot drops in a bunch of technology and wealth, these societies grow out of control. They have no agency; that has been beaten out of them. They are as much purely reactive as the dog who steals your bacon from the table the instant you turn around to answer the phone.

Until that point, however, they exist in a timeless state. Lives pass and all history is forgotten. The people live in an eternal present, fixated on food, fighting, reproduction, and looking cool to their friends because this is the only way to get to reproduction.

First world societies are an anomaly and, like early rockets in testing, we sort of expect them to blow up a lot. They are fine-tuned, delicate, and yet immensely powerful because they accumulate knowledge and create efficiency through shared institutions.

The people of the West, it seems to me, are caught in the hopelessness of the last period of Rome, when the collapse was inevitable but still far off. No one seemed to be able to do anything to arrest the decay. That fact, more than anything else, made people think that all was lost.

If your society is healthy enough that when it hits a bump in the road it can simply change behavior, you experience relatively little distress. A problem occurred; people found a way around it.

On the other hand, if your society is so encrusted in systems, precedents, special interests, and the fears of individuals that someone will change their lives and force them to change their thinking, you know that you are in free-fall. No one can stop the decline.

Each year, things get worse. We fight the same battles, then everyone forgets when some new drama or trend comes around. No one can keep their eyes on the path ahead and the basic question of making civilization work and making ourselves sane.

The solutions are as simple as they are unrecognizable to modern people. We need to stop relying on external forces to create our inner mental states, and we need to restore social hierarchy and culture instead of letting internationalist forces like government, ideology, and organized religion guide us.

These things are not complex, but they require us to change our thinking, and everyone is so distressed by two thousand years of misery that they are afraid to let go of what they have. They fight hardest against any change which would solve the problem.

Again with the metaphor: the West is in a leaky boat, constantly bailing and patching, while a brand new boat waits across fifty meters of open ocean. But we fear that ocean because of what is in our heads that tells us what might be in it, so we keep bailing as the boat fills even faster.

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