For example, the defining trait of the modern time is a belief in the political equality of all people. This inevitably gets turned on itself: if we’re politically equal, our viewpoints are equally important, which means they’re equally competent. Therefore we are equal in ability as well; therefore, if someone has more than the rest, it occurred via cheating. The logic of the crowd never varies between the ages of humanity.
In addition to the thought pattern above, the logic of the Crowd includes a basic idea: that we can impose human constructs on the world, including emotional ones. If all our opinions are equally valid, all the results of those opinions are equally valid and a “bad” outcome is just a lifestyle choice. By that logic, whatever path we want to take is not only OK, but as correct as any other path.
Our modern age is rife with the fallacy known as argumentum ad populum; the idea that because something is popular that is proof enough that it is good. Success in the West has typically been associated with a disgusting infatuation with value â€“ value defined not by intrinsic quality, but by how much money something can generate. â€œGoodâ€ music is not necessarily well composed, performed, or emotionally stirring â€“ â€œgoodâ€ music is that which generates a lot of sales. Good writing is not necessarily perceptive, striking, or insightful â€“ good writing generates sales (or hits). Public discourse over the value of things often boils down to this line of reasoning; Transformers 2 is superior to 25th Hour because Transformers 2 outperformed 25th Hour at the box office. – In Mala Fide
Through this logic, we view it as acceptable to take our inward notions — emotions, aesthetic preferences, judgments, and desires — and project them onto the world using society as our method, since society will defend the equal validity of our projected desires.
A problem arises: if all directions are equally valid, there is no direction in common. This means that you do whatever your equally valid desire suggests, and then whether the result is good or bad the reaction is the same. The problem with this arises when you are attempting a public action or work.
After all, you may get popular — votes or profits, or just social cred — and then you’ve got a measure of success. But that’s not universal. It’s just a certain number of people buying your stuff. Then the question arises as to whether you get any greater significance than people liking your stuff. They are bound by the same rules you are, so their liking of your stuff is both arbitrary and consequenceless. Like many other aspects of modern society, your popularity is disposable and without any kind of real meaning.
Our jobs, our lives, our families â€“ all is devoid of meaning in this confusing modern world. The link between survival and action has been severed. On a desert island, youâ€™d know you had to build something in order to live, but you would enjoy the work â€“ its purpose would make it enjoyable. If I showed you a field of rocks on the other side of the island and told you to stack them in a big pile, youâ€™d be instantly bored â€“ thereâ€™s no way I could get you to do it without threats or bribery. If instead I showed you a field of rocks and gave you blueprints for a stone cottage, youâ€™d work all day and all night of your own initiative, and youâ€™d like it. A man feels naturally compelled to do useful things to improve his life. Any boy will practice fighting skills all day, but if it gets too â€œwax on, wax offâ€, he loses interest. If the connection between purpose and action gets fuzzy, the mind loses direction. – In Mala Fide
Having culture — a union of values, heritage, language, customs, humor, philosophical and religious intent — means that you the citizen, as you contemplate an action, know it will be met with one of three definite responses:
Without this framework, you have no notion of how the world will respond to your idea, except for guesses and conjectures at how popular it will be. Even more, you take onto yourself the entire burden for any failure. You cannot say “I was trying to do right, and failed”; instead, you and your vision are judged along with your intent as a measure of who you are. Society gives you no guidance but is happy to blame you when an effort fails.
As a result of this heavy burden, and the lack of reward for attempting anything other than popularity and self-gratification, people become isolated in themselves; whether we call it atomization, externalization, narcissism or solipsism, it’s the same thing. They navigate a world of their own desires and treat external outcomes as if they existed on a similar level, a type of desire manifested in the world.
Since humans are crafty creatures, they take this a step further and create promiscuous altruism, or a state of public goodwill toward others with no boundaries. Everyone is accepted; everyone is equal. This promiscuity of social esteem and love exists to convince others that the altruist is a good person, and from that, to achieve success that both sustains them and serves as a cover story for whatever desires they are acting on.
Our modern narrative contains a spoiler from Nietzsche that warns us of “nihilism,” or a total lack of values. In this, Nietzsche is probably wrong; his “last man” has values enough, but they are centered in the last man himself and do not extend to any other person except if that person can be useful in helping the last man achieve his desires. Collective values? Culture? Society? Those are what is forgotten.
This inward-looking outlook produces the typical modern person, simultaneously a rebel and a dependent. They are dependent on society’s goodwill for rights, food, housing, etc. but because this dependency imposes on their own thoughts and desires, they lash out against it. The result is people who use nihilism as a justification for their own selfishness, and pose about being nihilist, but believe none of it. They are pious – they are in church – the church of the self, of the immediate desire, and of the looking good to their social group.
The other major appealing aspect of 4chan is the siteâ€™s lack of memory. The site contains no history and no files are saved, making 4chan the location where â€œcancerâ€, filth, and porn are uploaded with no backlash or bans (mostly). Threads only last for minutes before 404ing. This ensures that the only threads that are bumped and survive are the most popular threads, resulting in a hive-mind type of anarchism. It is mob rule. As nothing is saved and nobody can stand out, there is no reason individuals would ever come to the site looking for attention, advice, or motivation. Whiners are instead told to â€œkill yourselfâ€ when asking for advice. Now think back to how Facebook attention whores are quick to boost egos of some fat chick. The anonymous nature of 4chan does not ask who you are or your life status. Being Anonymous is a type of security, as everyone is equal. There is no hierarchy. Nobody is better looking, nobody has more money, nobody is smarter, nobody has more sex, nobody is a loser. There is even no need to be a female or post a picture of yourself. Posters embrace their lack of identity, finding power in being nobody.
I asked myself why Anonymous and 4chan users would concern themselves with DDOSing sites like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal and why they would care at all about Julian Assange, a creepy asshole. Sure, the official Anonymous response was to ensure free speech on the Internet but I really didnâ€™t buy it. Anonymous may enjoy posting shit all over the internet but I highly doubt that the majority of them are the 1st Amendment advocates they say they are. Itâ€™s much more likely that Anonymous DDOSed the sites for the same reason they troll the rest of the internet: why not? Anonymous seems to have nothing to really do, no real goals or hobbies except video games and porn. They enjoy pranking and bullying people because they think it is funny to disrupt, troll, and wreak havoc on the polite and politically correct Internet. The reason they like Assange is because he is similar to them and they want to piss people off in the same way Assange does.
Popular threads show up where an Anonymous cries over the fact that no girl loves him, he will never have sex, be liked, or be popular. Those of us who are familiar with game and menâ€™s rights will recognize that Anonymous is pathetic, an amalgamation of a reclusive beta/omega male who has withdrawn from the real world. Rather than trying to improve his condition in life, Anonymous instead spends his free time socializing on a site with others scheming for new ways to destroy society and get some laughs.- In Mala Fide
Behind every “nihilist” of this type you find the Crowdist: the person who having nothing more than themselves, wants to use the herd to make all behaviors acceptable, so that the Crowdist escapes possible censure or just looking bad to their social group.
Not all Crowdists are liberals, but all liberals are Crowdists. They believe in the dogma of “collective individualism”: together, we can ensure that we are all acceptable before we are forced to challenge ourselves. Comparisons to anarchy and socialism are justified. In each of those belief systems, total equality is achieved independent of what a person can do, in reversal of natural selection.
The Crowdist appeals to the underconfident person who wants to be accepted, yet is too burnt out to apply themselves in a meaningful way, thus they rage against the system while being increasingly dependent on it. It is not surprising they use promiscuous altruism to defend themselves, because the very universality of promiscuity makes it difficult to criticize; no one can have a problem with that which is handed out freely.
It is the perfect antidote to low self-esteem. They negate themselves in trade for acceptance, which in turn allows them to assert themselves without concern that others will criticize, because they have already publicly established themselves as “good.”
My theory is that the combination of any of the following can contribute to promiscuous behavior:
- Being raised in a household where sex was taken lightly or not included in education
- Too much exposure, or too little exposure to sex during one’s early years
- Traumatic experiences early on with the opposite sex
- Intense loneliness in life and desire to be accepted
- Being too trusting-or falling for guys too easily
- Trying to make up for other problems in life-financial, loss of job, etc.
My promiscuous moments have all occurred at times when I was feeling like I could throw consequences out the window. But I’ve never had sex when feeling depressed-usually because I knew that meaningless sex would depress me more (or, once again, maybe because I can’t get any).
I can tell you that guys rarely stick with a girl who has sex on the first night-which is kind of hypocritical considering guys seem to always be after sex. But, no guy I ever knew ended up in a serious relationship with a girl who he had sex with too fast. This leads me to believe that promiscuity may be a short term solution for someone who is feeling empty, but it just seems to create more problems-much like a drug. – Marie Claire
Faux nihilism is a form of this promiscuous altruism. By saying you believe in nothing, and that nothing is true, you are repeating the basic dogma of modernity, which is that everyone is equal and all opinions are equally valid. Saying that none of them are valid is the same as saying they all have the same level of validity, and that since that’s zero for everyone, all opinions are accepted as equally true.
People love the faux nihilism, which we can see most clearly in movies like Fight Club (a warmed over take on Tom Wolfe’s essay “The Pump House Gang”) and books by Cormac McCarthy. It’s a great justification for being selfish. “Nothing means anything, do whatever you want, and if someone criticizes you, tell them you don’t care — and the rest of us in the Crowd will back you up!”
Inevitably, faux nihilism plays directly into liberalism, as has happened with Anonymous, the “hacker” group of 4chan devotees who engage in digital vandalism. At first, they did it for fun; now, they want to be good guys, so they add what to their nihilist pose — giving a care about culture? Working hard for enlightenment of humanity? Nope, they’re defending you, the little guy, using liberal rhetoric.
In a press release Anonymous put the Koch brothers on notice, â€œIt has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Kochâ€“the billionaire owners of Koch Industriesâ€“have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.â€
They continued, â€œKoch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walkerâ€™s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Kochâ€™s have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the stateâ€™s power supplies.â€ – Politics USA
As we can see, “nihilists” easily transition from wanting to destroy to wanting to be good guys, and relying on leftist/liberal dogma to sell that to their peers. As in all cases, the liberal dogma is the selling point, not the actual goal. These people are just trying to find a way to socialize, adapt and maybe even have a little bit of a good time in a life they barely understand.
What makes this interesting is that in doing so, they’re repeating the same ideological mistakes their parents and grandparents — the generation of 1968 — made. They have become mainstream liberals, like hippies, socialists, anarchists and others who have left us a trail of failed political reform movements throughout the 20th century.
All of these liberal movements — progressive, Utopian, socialist, anarchist, leftist — have one singular idea as their core: the individual must be more important than society, and to that end, we make the individual our most important unit. This requires that we sacrifice everything but the individual. Even more, as explained above, this is marketing you cannot take at face value. The real goal is for each individual to desire a lack of oversight and thus, to demand that all individuals be given the same lack of oversight.
They call my generation the Millennials. Itâ€™s a somewhat appropriate term, though not for the reasons most think. A far better name, too close to reality for mainstream mediocrities to handle, would be Generation Zero. Zero not only in the eyes of American secular Calvinism, but zero in terms of philosophy and beliefs. We are the first generation fully baptized in the holy waters of nihilism, the first to experience the full force of an entire civilizationâ€™s supporting pillars being torn down.
Generation Zero was born into a world in which white people were totally deracinated, the heroes and icons of old libeled and shoved aside for new phony saints deified by multiculturalist dogma. We came of age when the feminist project reached its apogee, drugging bright boys with Ritalin and crushing men with laws that denied their very humanity. We were thrust into a nation that had made â€œgreed is goodâ€ into its national motto, empowering corporate sociopaths and destroying labor protections according to the lies of the Chicago School and its prophet Milton Friedman. We were made the heirs of a society that had replaced authentic culture with ersatz pop drivel, community with atomization, refinement and education with boorishness and indoctrination.
And the very people who were responsible for all of this have the sheer unadulterated BALLS to blame US for the decline of civilization! They call us â€œentitledâ€ for demanding that our government and employers treat us with a modicum of dignity. They call us â€œlazyâ€ for not wanting to slave away like starving peasants even though we live in a world of plenty. They call us â€œimmatureâ€ for delaying adulthood due to the financial pressures they forced on US as a requirement to get a decent job. – In Mala Fide
Yet if we drill down through the angst of millennials and generation X, we see that they are not being oppressed by any one thing. Rather, it’s a lack of something that oppresses them. It’s a lack of culture. They have no path to follow beyond state education, and then it’s just a matter of choices with no guidance. If your choice is popular, you win. If not, you’re a failure.
Liberalism is based on this removal of any framework larger than the individual. You can have culture, or you can have liberalism, but not both. And liberalism sounds good. Every choice is yours to make! There are no rules! And even more, there are no consequences from other people. We won’t be judgmental; we’ll be peaceful and accept your choices as equally valid. We’ll still laugh when you fail.
Without culture, you get a chaotic population making random choices and doing its best to keep the one lowest common denominator it still shares — monetary self-interest and the pursuit of desire — on top. This is how liberalism creates consumerism and the worst abuses of capitalism: each individual pursues only the venal and pays for it, which in turn makes them addicted to the servitude of jobs for the cash they provide.
In a variety of books and articles, Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University and W. Keith Campbell of the University of Georgia have collected data suggesting that American self-confidence has risen of late. College students today are much more likely to agree with statements such as â€œI am easy to likeâ€ than college students 30 years ago. In the 1950s, 12 percent of high school seniors said they were a â€œvery important person.â€ By the â€™90s, 80 percent said they believed that they were.
In short, thereâ€™s abundant evidence to suggest that we have shifted a bit from a culture that emphasized self-effacement â€” Iâ€™m no better than anybody else, but nobody is better than me â€” to a culture that emphasizes self-expansion.
Writers like Twenge point out that young people are bathed in messages telling them how special they are. Often these messages are untethered to evidence of actual merit. Over the past few decades, for example, the number of hours college students spend studying has steadily declined. Meanwhile, the average G.P.A. has steadily risen.
Some argue that todayâ€™s child-rearing and educational techniques have produced praise addicts. – NYT
Without culture, we have only the ability to praise each other on a personal level, which is a back door into judging each other, even if we do not notice that judgment when it is positive. Since we lack an objective consensus of values to which to compare our actions, we have only politeness, which consists in approving of everyone (to their faces) while pursuing a separate agenda (when they are absent).
If you wonder why our society seems to favor catty backstabbing and political jockeying, this is it; in public, you cannot do anything but approve of every person all the time in every place. Our universal is based in the individual; we want to think that we can go anywhere, do anything, at any time, and still be in the right. So we suspend judgment, place the individual first, and in doing so, gut anything larger than the individual, which strands the individual in a desert of values.
To a more cynical mind, our society has started to act in loco parentis, or providing the nurturing toward growing up that we lack in our broken homes. It supports our self-esteem when we do what it wants,
and viciously undermines that self-esteem when we step out of line. What it wants is always the same: assert the Crowdist dogma of equality.
Political correctness is, of course, a discourse – not a set of behavioural rules.
PC is communicative, not practical (or practical only insofar as practice concerns communications.)
Insofar as there are PC rules of behaviour, these relate to what you say or write or in some fashion depict; and somewhat to manners and lifestyle choices – but not to what you do in a practical ethical sense.
For PC it is much more (infinitely more) important how you justify your behaviour than how you actually behave.
This is because political correctness is relativistic, nihilistic, denies the reality of the real – so the world of communications is the bottom-line.
For PC there is no essence to humanity, all is socially-constructed and contingent.
If not actually real, then for PC discourse is the real-est thing; because discourse is understood to construct our perception of reality. – Bruce Charlton’s Miscellany
America began as a moderate state that was only partially liberal, but because political ideologies expand and simplify over time, it became more and more liberal. WWII, in which conservative forces were defeated at the same time formerly lower social classes were empowered by the huge amount of wealth generated by the victors, touched off a liberal revolution that peaked in the 1968 generation, or Baby Boomers.
Now the Millennials, like every generation before them except the drop-out Generation Xers, has embraced the exact same dogma, albeit while thinking they are doing something “different” by being “nihilists.”
The hook of this ugly virus of Crowdism is individualism. Social factors separate the individual from the consequences of his or her actions, and convince that individual that the only concern regarding his or her actions is how they appear to others. Politeness, advertising and dogma converge.
People who are victims of a lack of culture are having tantrums that help them destroy any remaining culture. Then, they suppose, they will be “free” — but what if that freedom, or complete lack of anchoring, was what caused their rage in the first place?
People who feel loved and cared for report a better sense of well-being, but it doesn’t help them live longer. The clearest health benefit of social relationships comes from being involved with and helping others. The groups you associate with often determine the type of person you become â€“ healthy or unhealthy. – PhysOrg
We are social animals, not in the silly Hollywood sense of “likes to socialize,” but meaning that if we do not see our actions reflected positively in the eyes of those we esteem, we feel bad about ourselves. We rely on the impressions of others to see the social effects of our actions, just like we often rely on indirect means (measurement, photographs, assessments) to see the physical effects of our actions.
If you want to know why people are turning to conservatism, it is a knowledge that after the disastrous liberal gold rush of the 20th century, we are deciding we need culture again. We need a culture that says YES to actions with good consequences, and says NO to actions with known bad consequences.
Even more importantly, we want a culture that rewards us for doing right. Any idiot can make something “popular,” because popularity usually involves escaping reality. But our best people try to do things that have good results, which involves facing difficult truths and challenges. Not much of that going on lately.
Finally, we want culture because our only other option is the modern liberal democratic state, which is totalitarian in that it excludes socially incorrect opinions, which means it is oblivious to the long-term consequences of its actions. If we have culture, we have a cooperative society; without culture, we have anarchy with a Nanny State posi-fascist government, viciously predatory economic self-interest and social censure riding shotgun over the rioting herd.
The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus.
(It is thought that the virus is a degeneration from more complex life form. It may at one time have been capable of independent life. Now it has fallen to the borderline between living and dead matter. It can exhibit living qualities only in a host, by using the life of another — the renunciation of life itself, a _falling_ towards inorganic, inflexible machine, towards dead matter.)
Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapses. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existences as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host. – Naked Lunch, p. 67.
Baby Boomers inherited a booming first world country in 1968, and they left it to their children and grandchildren as a tired, played out, self-hating, neurotic and corrupt third world wasteland. We’re right now in the gradual process of that transition, and people are waking up and deciding to oppose it instead of embracing a faux “nihilism” and helping the decay along.