FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Money Should Only Belong to Cooperators

Every dollar is a vote—so it is of supreme importance to make sure these votes are given into the right hands.  Someone of low character with millions of dollars can cause great damage to society just by influencing the market with their preferences.  Imagine a political election where ambitious psychopaths get super-ballots worth 10,000 normal votes.  It sounds bizarre if we think in terms of elections for political office, yet this is how the economy works and most of us are okay with it.
We approve of parasitic financiers hoarding away millions or even billions of dollars.  So long as someone “earns” their wealth, we don’t care if they’re being awarded in proportion to the value they contribute or even if they intend to use the group’s very lifeblood to defect.  In a system of economic nihilism, where economies are left to drift without guiding purpose, nothing matters so long as you get money while managing to stay out of a jail cell.

If the economy gives great rewards to people who contribute relatively little value, we can envision the heart sending the best of its blood supply to the appendix, or in the case of someone who harms society, to a tumor or tapeworm.  We see this circulatory system acts against the interests of its own body.  It’s a violation of natural law that strikes us as repulsive and wrong in living things, but most of us are unable to make the abstract leap from what we understand viscerally.
That is how the lower castes have always been subjugated, not primarily through force, but through their inability to extend principles.  Under the influence of economic nihilism even those capable of deeper reflection have forgotten that the distribution of society’s influence points is one of the most important and sacred tasks, vital to the success and continuance of a people.

We are told, for instance, that the job market is about giving jobs to the most competent and hardest working.  In practice, this really only applies to the most skilled and important work.  The vast majority of work can be done somewhat competently by most people with a bit of training.  So in practice, jobs are foremost billets we use to support members of society.  The act of hiring someone isn’t “just business,” it gives someone a sacred mandate to exist in society and benefit from its fruits.  Even with low pay, a worker is given money that will supply at least some of the necessities of food and shelter by permission of the many.  If we buy a sack of potatoes rather than stealing it or growing it for ourselves, we do so by accumulating enough dollar votes, each of which is a material token of the collective will.  What could be more amazing than a piece of such abstraction made into a solid thing?
To pay someone well carries even greater meaning.  It allows a person not just to survive but to have surplus needed for offspring and the leisure and buying power required to exert influence on society.  This is to plant the seeds of a garden, to elect someone who will form the character of society for generations to come.  Yet we ask only if they can do the job the best, not whether they are deserving of the distinction of holding society’s precious wealth or whether they will handle that responsibility well.
More important than doing the job as well as possible is to be a cooperator with the group’s mission.
This is why the owner of a small business hires a friend even if the world is full of people who may be better qualified.  The owner trusts his friend and his wealth goes to an ally rather than a stranger.
This is why in the long run a nation that prides itself on “work ethic” over allegiance loses to tribes that put allegiance first. Thus, the nation-state model that’s gone global since the 1860s is now challenged by the tribe-state.
A small tribe doesn’t have a “job market” with little worker atoms floating around. It has slots with roles that need to be filled and those slots are given to the best and most loyal. The choice of who is appointed to those posts and how many influence points they’re given decides success or disaster. Who we hire selects our tribe.
Conversely, there is a clear duty to deny influence points to those who will hurt the group and to hunt down those who abuse the points system.

Market Demand Must Be Regulated

Society values pro basketball players who provide entertainment far more than trash collectors who perform a vital service. We may need garbage collectors more than professional athletes, but it’s easy to find people who can pick up trash, while elite athletes are scarce by definition.  In this case market supply and demand is a distortion of actual value.  We are ok with athletes being paid millions of dollars to play a game because we suppose demand is sacrosanct, almost a godly force we dare not question.  After all, we get paid what we’re worth, right?
Yet it’s illegal to buy cocaine or hire a hitman when there is undoubtedly demand for drugs and contract killing.   Alcohol and liquor sales are heavily taxed to try to curb demand.  Or what about medical treatments?  When a patient is in danger of death, the value of the next treatment is theoretically infinite.  So shouldn’t that next round of chemotherapy always cost everything the patient has left according to pure demand?  The state already can and does regulate demand—it’s not off limits.
So why then do we let a football player or a movie star walk away with millions of dollars when its obvious there’s no way their contribution however important can be that large?  When someone becomes a millionaire by throwing a ball around or playing make-believe on camera, the character and morale of the entire society is undermined.
What is the garbage man to think when society values a single movie star more than him dozens of times over?  His task is so important, society can’t do without him for even a week.  If movie studios were all shut down, it might be unpleasant news but people would get on with life.
So why not put a strict cap on the income of entertainers and their promoters?  They provide services that people want and seem to generally do more good than harm by helping to create a thriving culture, so it would make sense to allow them to earn a good living, but becoming multi-millionaires would be out of the question. Entertainment is wonderful to have but it is a luxury, not a mainstay.

Obviously, a big budget movie gets made and its star actors paid millions because hundreds of millions of people are willing to pay for movie tickets.  So I could see someone arguing that because demand exists, it should be allowed.  But this is not enough.  Otherwise we should also be willing to argue for the legalization of contract killing and robbery.  The pattern I see is that demand is allowed to express itself so long as it does more good than harm to society.  So now we have to decide if it is good for a society to pour billions of dollars of its wealth into a handful of entertainers.  Surely there’s a limit on the worth of entertainment when there’s other things that need to be done.
As individuals, we value recreational time playing video games, watching movies, or blogging.  Yet we have a time and money budget for our own entertainment.  Similarly, a society ought to have a wealth budget for its luxuries.  It may sound restrictive to limit what a pro athlete or day trader makes, yet we already accept sin taxes that curb and punish demand for cigarettes and booze.  Sin taxes already carry the implicit recognition that we are not rational economic agents.  We routinely make bad decisions.  So we’re given a push in the “right” direction by the state.  We can buy that bottle of vodka or pack of cigarettes, but we have to be willing to pay an extra fee that serves as both a disincentive and an indemnity to society.  By the same principle we could cap the price for event and movie tickets or the acceptable budget cities can spend on stadiums to prevent or at least limit the misappropriation of society’s very finite wealth.
It would also be interesting to examine financial “products” and examine which of them return equivalent or greater value to society and which are a net drain or even cause damage.

Limiting the size of luxury industries brings up a big issue though—what about all the people that would lose their jobs in movie studios, stadiums, and concert halls?  We ask this because we lose perspective of the big picture.  We go to work to provide value to others and then get compensated in proportion to our contributions.  Is it a net good to work at a stadium that cost the city’s tax payers billions of dollars to spend billions more on a luxury activity?  If there’s nothing more productive to do with someone, why shouldn’t society just give them a guaranteed minimum income until there’s something more useful to do?  Society comes out way ahead by just skipping the multi-billion dollar excuse to write a paycheck.  No activity at all is far more valuable than useless activity.  Just staying at home with some basic income, there is a small chance they may have the initiative to use their leisure time wisely and genuinely contribute to the good of the group.

We’ve been taught to think in a way that’s a distortion of Keynesian views.  Keynes suggested hiring people to do useless tasks as one way to stimulate a depressed economy.  Naturally, his prescription for emergency situations became the new normal, where making money is a good thing even if we’re building “useless pyramids” or paying people to dig a hole just to fill it in again.  The trouble is this becomes a philosophy of economic nihilism in which human activity is divorced from purpose and meaning.   People just want money and as long as no one is murdered outright, the means don’t matter much.  Strangely, it sounds almost heretical now to suggest that markets and the accumulation of wealth ought to serve a purpose—to benefit the group in which we participate—that money awarded for unproductive or under-productive activity damages the integrity of society.

The survival of human societies in this world is a serious business; against other societies, against the pitiless forces of nature, and never-ending internal pressures.  The elevation of frivolous things to the heights of accomplishment makes a mockery of the social order.  A society where people worship “celebrities” over inventors, leaders, and entrepreneurs has lost its way.  Such is a disaster of mob rule where the masses are allowed to determine who is great and who is low.  When the undeserving get the best rewards, cynicism spreads and loyalty erodes until one day a nimble challenger full of confidence arises and proves more than a match for a mighty opponent crippled by rot.
The market is a form of economic democracy—every purchase is a vote.  We have an electoral college and representatives in political democracy rather than a pure popular vote.  So popular demand on the market must also be subject to controls, to curb and prevent tragedies of the commons.  There already are rules such as monopoly prevention that implicitly acknowledge the market has a mission to fulfill.  It is not there for its own sake.   These principles just have to be extended until the market is re-animated with purpose as a healthy circulatory system.

Markets Exist To Benefit Society

If money is blood, the market is the circulatory system..
I have pointed out before that it’s impossible to have a market without the state, whether it’s run by an emperor or local gangsters. A store without protection is quickly looted.
So it’s up to the state to regulate markets so that they fulfill their mission— to serve as a substitute for small scale systems of status-based exchange.  It’s necessary and right to regulate the market as the market depends on regulators to exist in the first place.
Those who are most important to the survival of society naturally should have the most influence points, while there is a natural duty for society to protect itself from malicious people by denying them influence points. Those with low potential to return value or who are sure to make bad decisions with their influence have to be kept near enough to subsistence that they can’t do much harm.

We’ve established free markets are highly volatile and far from perfect in coinciding with the interests of society.
Even in an American culture that worships the market economy, there are plenty of laws dealing with everything from monopolies to insider trading. The existence of such laws in even the most permissive states is tacit admission of the necessity of state interference. The only question is how much interference there should be.
The market is a tool to further the good of a people, since it is an extension of customs of redistribution that further the good of small tribes, thus the purpose of regulation is to keep the system to its purpose. We suppose it is a good use of a hammer to drive in a nail and a bad use to shatter someone’s kneecaps. We can suppose a good use of a market is to make a people strong and a bad use to weaken everyone to enrich a few parasites and entertainers.  Used well, the market allows a group to get rich and outcompete less wealthy groups. Used poorly, it allows an entire society to destroy itself.
The trouble with a system of “free market” capitalism is the implicit belief that the market exists for its own sake, not to serve the best interests of the social body in which it is but an organ.   We should do as well to conclude that our own bodies exist for the good of the heart and arteries.  So if the brain, liver, or muscles were to suffer a blood shortage it is the will of the almighty drop of blood and evil for the brain to regulate the heart to more evenly distribute the blood supply throughout its organs.  Or if there were parasites in the blood, to conclude the veins “know” what’s best and to restrain the immune system because the parasites “earned” their place.
Isn’t it odd that when we examine more closely, the very idea of a “free market” sounds like a scam?

Quantum Medicine Quacks Explained

21st Century Gurus for Fun & Profit !

“Like everything else, science also has power politics because it is done by people, not logical automatons. Like elsewhere, power also accumulates in its institutions and develops inertia of its own. But science itself presents studies that make its community aware of these imbalances. It is one thing to rail at the human failings of science, but entirely another to rail against scientific process itself as a religion.”

“Quantum Theory is a difficult area of physics. Even physicists are humble in their claims of fully understanding it.It is an unintuitive and complex mathematical theory that does not lend itself to rhetorical expression. Several attempts have been made to state it in plain language, all of which seem to have done more harm than good (the absurd von Neumann–Wigner interpretation was perhaps the most damaging and was the basis of most pseudo-science that arose from the area), to the public understanding of science. To think that one understands quantum mechanics by reading these interpretations is closer to thinking that one understands the issues of robotics by watching Transformers movies.”

“But particle physics is not what happens in human bodies for the simple reason that particles get liberated from atoms at only high energy states. Since our body does not have mini particle colliders, understanding biology and its chemistry at the level of stable atoms and molecules has been quite adequate. But should a case to go beyond atoms present itself in the future, before we can have quantum medicine, we must have a robust quantum biology. The lack of this never bothered “quantum healers”.”

UPDATE!!! Face to Face with a Quack

One of my associates bought a pair of those magical quantum machines from China for the “fair price” of 350€ considering that they’re sold at 12000€ in my country, it could be profitable to resell them.
The machine consists in a pair of headphone connected to an electronic device with a fancy archaic connector also Junk Software with pretty animations is included with the product: all it does is generating random diagnoses based on inputs from the user such as Age, Gender etc.

I volunteered for a free diagnosis & these are the results:

INPUTS: Male, 20-30 years old.

Health Report:

Nasal Obstruction (I actually have it).
Severe Vaginitis ( My phantom vagina must be in severe pain ).
High Blood Pressure ( No I don’t ).
High Trygliceride ( Nope but many other people do ).
Blindness ( I am Mr Magoo ).

Best of all I appear to have delayed menstruations.

When asked for any proper scientific findings he started to ramble about how BigPharma is conspiring against this wonderful invention, ironic since he displayed signs of having simple paranoid delusions.

He started to claim that I know nothing because I don’t have a degree (not in medicine, mind you ) and he does so I should shut up and believe it without a SINGLE scientific explanation because if I don’t I am a “close minded” fanatic ( so much projection going on here ).

Since a single diagnosis was correct he started to ramble about it’s clear accuracy !
Like broken clocks are “right” twice a day so are Quacks for all the wrong reasons but that’s all they need: post-hoc rationalizations & magical thinking.

The solution is simple:
Be open minded only with other open minded individuals. Much like the Geneve Convention should be applied only to those who signed it.

What Money Rewards, We Get More Of

In a tribe, status is determined by individual deeds and attributes.  Let’s imagine a tribe where the best hunter gets the best cuts of meat, the best women, the best of everything.  He enjoys the rewards of being the most effective at helping his society survive. The social order is kept strong.
In a nation of anonymous millions we require money as an abstract standin for tribal status and reputation.  It’s how we organize in economic groups far larger than our monkey instincts can handle.  If I walk into walmart and grab a bunch of bananas, there’s no way the cashier can know if letting me walk out of the store is a net benefit to society or if I have social value and credibility greater than the value of the bananas.  So we all default to money.
Money is a good behavior points system.  In 1st grade there were gold stars, as adults, there’s dollars.   Money measures how valuable we are to society.  How many dollars you have is how much every other holder of dollars wants you around.  If you can’t be valued enough in money points to survive, you’re effectively “voted off the island.”  Ideally, it’s equivalent to being exiled from a small tribe because you hurt the group or just didn’t contribute enough.  Because money is an abstract construct in place of the real thing, it is in practice naturally vulnerable to abuse.

If I can steal a dollar from someone and get away with it, society values me a dollar more for my ability to do it.  If I could get away with selling illegal drugs or human organs, I would be making big money enjoying society’s best luxuries while actually hurting the abstract mass tribe.  It would be the equivalent of a small tribe richly rewarding a traitor.
Or imagine someone who gets the best rewards merely by gaming the money system within the letter of the law.  Maybe he just shuffles around securities producing no value for others. Maybe he buys up drug patents and charges hundreds of dollars per pill to desperate dying patients. Or spends 4 decades grinding in a cubicle. It doesn’t matter how he gets money so long as gets it.  In a small tribe he’d be like a guy who just pretends to work all day yet gets the best rewards!  Worse, each dollar gives the traitor or  the scammer more gravitational pull, more votes over what shape society is to take.  Once the defector-parasites are powerful enough to reprogram society’s immune system in their own interests everything good is finally drained and used up.

Worst of all, seeing defectors rewarded destroys group morale.  Why work hard to do things the right way, when parasites get ahead?  When people see the unproductive are most successful they eventually will want to join them.  A society that rewards unproductive or harmful people doesn’t deserve anyone’s dedication or loyalty anyway.  Once athletes, entertainers, and financiers are in the top levels of the hierarchy, that society has lost its mandate of heaven.   In a small tribe where a traitor was rewarded best everyone would eventually become traitors.

 

Money Only Belongs To Its Masters

Holding a currency is like holding the one ring.  It still belongs to, and exerts the power of its master over you.
Hold the master’s money, the master exacts a price.  For the money is a piece of the master.
As children money seemed like a magic resource because our parents paid the bills.  As adults, money is always given us in the understanding most of it will be immediately returned in the form of rent and taxes.  A worker that lives from paycheck to paycheck lives as a slave in the sense their labor is effectively unpaid.  Only surplus is income.  Someone who earns less than they need to live is effectively lesser off than even a slave provided the basics.

The master protects the monopoly of its money jealously.  It’s no mistake that the same body that protects the lives of the leaders also protects the monopoly of its currency.
It is hard to challenge the master for power over its own ring.  It is just as hard to make one’s own ring of power.
To worship the money is to worship the master.

How convenient to shear the flock when everyone grows the same standardized wool.  Imagine the master having to send collectors to seize actual physical assets!  Would most people anymore even have physical tribute worth seizing?  It’s a lot easier when they can just sit back and watch electronic units of wealth rush to their waiting hands.  It was never easier to be king.
We are like a whole world full of Gollums obsessed with the power of the One Ring even as its master dominates and consumes us.

An Aesthetic Declaration of Independence?

Rebel against an established order all you like, but it’s all for naught if you have wallpaper, music, and food characteristic of your people.
Archaeologists characterize ancient peoples by their dwellings, pottery, decorations, and trash piles.  Why doesn’t anyone think to analyze modern peoples in a similar way?  Perhaps the absence of contemperologists is just another blind spot in our established world view.
If we were to make stone spearheads in a particular way, we would be Clovis people, regardless of what we thought about the local chief.
If you like the same top 25 songs everyone else likes, you declare allegiance to your people, no matter if you dislike some politicians.
We’ve established that governments are just outgrowths of the people, therefore it is futile to change a government unless the people change first.  Or rather, if we changed the people, government changes naturally.

There never was a very rebellious soul who had Jif or Skippy peanut butter and Campbell’s soup in their pantry. Brand-name comfort foods connect people to childhood memories of nurture and care, allowing people to feel like warm fuzzy parts of a meaningful tribe even as mass society parasitizes them.
By the same token it is extremely powerful to dismantle these visceral attachments and replace them. To do this is to truly rebel and turn one’s back on a corrupt culture that feeds on its own.
To follow a culture’s aesthetic is an act of powerful ritual significance that ties one to it on a subconscious level. No matter how people might hate their lives within a society, they are trapped so long as peform the rituals of obeisance.
Confucius got it right. He understood the importance of ritual in everything we do—its connection to the movement of societies as gravity shapes the course of celestial bodies.
So by deliberately engineering the rituals on which we base our lives, we shape ourselves.
From the carpets in your dwelling, the architecture of all the buildings around you, the flavorings in your food, the most frequently occurring colors, the shows on tv, the advertisements, the holidays. All these together create an attitude and way of perceiving the world. It’s all around us and influences every thought we think. For example, how does the architecture of a big box strip mall identical to dozens of others make us feel? What more powerful ritual could there be to bolster a philosophy of every place being identical with people plugged into one mass culture and people themselves interchangeable economic units?

So when someone begins to change the cultural environment and how it influences them, they move towards an aesthetic declaration of independence, a sort of hellish, Luciferian defiance magnitudes greater than defying mere governments.

A Documentary: Diving Under the Antarctic Ice Sheet

I sometimes watch documentaries about far off things and by following my curiosity feel struck by a spiritual sense of wonder.  It’s the total opposite of the heavy ashen feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when someone is watching one of those “reality” shows or a sitcom with a laugh track.  One feels divine, the other feels banal and dreary as snack cake wrappers on the sidewalk.

I recently found this documentary about diving under the Antarctic Ice.

There’s a smoldering black volcano, frosted in white, Mount Erebus, looming over their wind-savaged ice sheet.
There’s the cozy McMurdo base that feels like a colony on another planet.

The film shows what the crew has to deal with trying to film there, it’s not just nature footage disconnected from their struggle.
There’s logistics we’d normally never think about.  Because the ice changes constantly, a route that was safe for vehicles at the last survey might not be anymore.  Even getting to the locations they want to shoot at comes with substantial dangers.
Their leader seems extremely patient and after decades of experience pretty much unflappable.  Even when being told bad news he just respectfully listens.  They have a task to accomplish, not make-work, so whining doesn’t help.

Once they start diving, it’s amazing how there’s plenty of life below thriving in an eerie glow of light filtered through tons of ice.  I’ve been fascinated by these creatures ever since I read as a kid that they actually have anti-freeze in their blood.   Growing like coral on the ocean floor are these formations of ice crystals, the points where freeze battles thaw.  They find actual tubes of ice formed by sea water passing through currents of melting fresh water. The divers can only spend about 20 minutes even with heavy duty suits.  And again there’s details we’d never think about—even with all their gear, their lips are still directly exposed to the sub-freezing water.
There’s just a short time they can do their work in the spring when they have enough sunlight and the waters are still among the clearest in the world, they can see a quarter mile in the dim light!  They don’t have long before plankton and algae blooms cloud up the water for the summer.

I looked up some things on life in Antarctica and discovered that McMurdo base always has at least one bar open and signs in each building telling people the conditions outside, whether it’s even permissible to go out.  Mount Erebus actually has a volcanology lab on top.

The skyline of McMurdo base at night, lit up it seems like a real town.

The skyline of McMurdo base at night, lit up it seems like a real town.

 

Apparently something like 5000 people live in Antarctica in the summer, closer to 1000 in the winter.  There is still no such thing as an Antarctican, there have been 10 people born there since 1978, as close as we get for now.

It’s obvious watching this film that these people are operating in environments almost completely hostile to human life.  Suddenly all the talk of moonbases and mars colonies seems quite silly.
Even life in Antarctica right here on earth is impractical.  Or look at all the uninhabited deserts and mountains in pretty much every country on Earth.  Not that many people are willing to live in Montana let alone on Mars.
I suppose the next frontier might simply be to develop technologies that open up marginal lands and make people less dependent on centralized grids.
At present all the trends point to urbanization and the more people are forced to live in the center to find jobs and mates, the more control the rulers will have, just as Pharaohs had over peasants stuck on a narrow fertile strip by the Nile surrounded by desert.

Abstract Reasoning is What Makes Us Human

In movies, the good guys are always emotional acting “from their hearts” while the bad guy lives in his mind creating elaborate plans usually losing in the end because of some variation of “he doesn’t understand the power of love.” In the philosophy of movies, emotion and love is what makes us human.
In real life, the capability of abstract reasoning is what sets apart higher from lower humans and humans from other animals. The person who can ponder the root causes of poverty is more effective than someone who from blind compassion for a picture of a starving kid in a magazine donates to charity and helps pay the “non-profit” CEO’s salary.  The price of not having abstract understanding is to be parasitized and preyed upon.

Humans have moved towards abstract concepts for a long time and some breeds are more advanced than others.
Language itself is a system of symbolic abstractions and is part of the human species as swimming is to fish or burrowing to a mole.
But since civilization, levels of abstraction have gone far beyond what most humans are able to handle.
Consider the concept of interest on a loan, for instance.  A considerable percentage of humans max out their credit cards or mortgages and are then taken by surprise when the compound interest spins out of control.  Or let’s look at estimating probability, something people are really bad at.  In a society of rational humans the only gambling would be against other players, never with unfavorable odds against the house.
The difference is who can understand abstractions and who cannot.
In general, peoples who have lived in complex civilizations longer are better at it.  It comes as little surprise that Jews, Syrian Alawis and Christians, Lebanese Maronites, and Armenians do well wherever in the world they go.  They are all mercantile peoples who spent thousands of years living on top of some of the world’s major trade routes.
Meanwhile, peoples new to the abstractions of civilization struggle to deal with laws, commerce, and the concept of the state.  Unable to formulate long term plans and heavily selected for binging in times of plenty, they become impoverished and hopelessly addicted to drugs and junk food.  Whether we’re talking about the Pima, the Pygmies, the Samoans, the Sioux, or the Aborigines, the problems are always the same, the only variation is degree.

Plato grouped humans into three categories.

Bronze – Ordinary workers and merchants engaged in their work with little awareness beyond their own wants. In Enlightenment philosophy, whether by communism, capitalism, or even libertarianism and anarchism, these people are supposed to be the rulers. That’s why these ideas when unalloyed by common sense never work. Mob rule, tragedies of the commons predictably result.

Silver – Those with enough awareness to be granted some measure of power without selfishly abusing it.  They have enough foresight to understand at least part of the big picture and some ability to think of the longer term within the context of their role. They are the middle management of society, the officers of humanity. They don’t take bribes(they can understand how it damages the credibility of the entire system), they keep utilities cheap and reliable, the trains arrive on time.  They make sure things work.

Gold- Those with enough awareness to understand the complexities of the macroscale and reason beyond oneself.  Those who can best do this are those who should be managing societies.

To care about anything that occurs after one’s death, for example, is irrational in the most literal sense. A bronze-soul squeezes the world for all it’s worth as long as they’re alive. What should it matter if the nation were to fall after they’re buried, or the entire human race to meet its demise?
The difference between a higher man and the stampede is to grasp the highly abstract idea of a future beyond oneself in the endurance of one’s work, deeds, ideas, and seed—to perceive beauty in what we will never see, touch, or taste for it’s own sake.
There’s a Greek proverb: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
Taking delight in what has not yet happened is pure abstraction, but for those capable of it, it is as real as any present and tangible pleasure. As real as are imaginary numbers and infinity to a mathematician.

People are only equipped so far by nature to deal with groups of up to 150.  Abstraction is the only way for limited human beings to work around the limit set by the Dunbar number and be able to reason out the workings of a mass society of millions of people.
A lower human given charge of a nation handles millions of people with the package of instincts appropriate to a small tribe.
What is a great famine that kills millions so long as you, your family, friends, and closest followers are safe?
It makes no sense to care about people we don’t know so long as it doesn’t affect us. It very much makes sense to sacrifice a million strangers we don’t care about in a war to get what we want. Why not abuse and neglect as it pleases us? They’re all just a statistic. To perceive beyond this, a human must use abstraction and imagination.

Ironically, the lower human ruler also projects his warm instinctual feelings for a small group onto many and preserves a million who are destroying everyone else out of crass sentimentality.
The higher being sees a rook is not worth a pawn and does what must be done.
Where the lower man is ruthless, the higher is merciful
And where the lower is generous, the higher crushes.

The gold soul has the same animal instincts as the bronze but it has the quality of consciousness that allows it to reflect on its nature while the bronze just follows its program like any other animal.
The high human can reflect on its own instinctual drives, figure out the purpose of each, and reason the best course to realize the “intended” goal.
The drive to socialize and observe social norms is there to further our survival in a group and to aid the survival of the group itself against other groups.
So if in charge of millions, we ought to use intellect to further the group as an appropriate instinct would, if it existed.
The drive to breed is there to spread our genes.
So we ought to understand that instinctual gratification with contraceptives is an illusion.
Where instinct is not enough, the greater human formulates strategies.
Faced with relentless change, human animals flounder in aimless despair like pandas with their bamboo forests burnt down.
High Humans change their survival strategy with the times.

Overrated Rationality is the Enlightenment Mistake

If we look at animals, we notice 3 levels of awareness.

-First there is the realm of the “reptile brain” concerning itself the basic impulses, sensations, and instinct.  Hunger, lust, cold, warm, thirst. Most animals go no further than this.  They have no need to.

-We notice another tier in some higher animals with more complex instinctive behaviors, memory and learning, emotions  and social skills.

-Lastly, we see in some humans a limited form of what we call consciousness or self-awareness.

The philosophers of the enlightenment who created the ideas of modernity predicated their ideas on human society on the assumption that most humans are rational and self-aware.
This is of course not the case.

The vast majority of humans adhere to whatever ideas they are taught early in life without ever a thought.  For the most part, humans thrive by banding into tight collectives and living their lives railroaded by instinctual protocols of social interaction, courtship, and rearing offspring just like pretty much any other high level social mammal.  They can hardly be distinguished from wolves, baboons, dolphins, or chimpanzees.

The individual as enlightenment thinkers conceive of one, is a being who hardly exists amongst humans at all.  And only a significant minority come somewhat close to the ideal of being able to think objectively and then only some of the time about certain things.  We have only to read for 15 minutes about the inbuilt cognitive biases in humans and immediately begin to recall some of the stupid decisions we’ve all made.

From the erroneous underlying assumptions of human rationality and consciousness come the catastrophic ideologies spawned from the Enlightenment.
Capitalism and Marxism in their various forms are portrayed often as opposites, yet both come from the same source, Enlightenment thinkers who believed societies were composed of free rational individuals.

Marxism believes the masses of workers ought to rule and Capitalists believe a market formed by the purchases of the masses ought to rule.
Both try to solve the problems of a society of rational individuals, a fantasy society that doesn’t exist.  This is why both systems, despite their good intentions end up wrecking entire peoples.
The empowered workers end up creating a despotism that impoverishes them and even causes famines.
Market demand enshrined as God destroys everything in its path like an amnesiac beast enslaved to its present whims.  And in the end, what good is all the wealth in the world if the people meant to benefit are destroyed and the sterile units of money still counted dutifully by whirring machines, oblivious to the piles of dusty bones nearby?
Ultimately, humans are group selected, like other social and eusocial animals.  The ideas that stand the test of time and spread are those that help one group of humans outcompete another.
If we would have a successful way of improving life for most people, an idea must first provide for the spread and defense of its adopters.  Enlightenment thinkers provided no defense.  Their ideology is like a nation without a military.  They had no concept of the harsh realities of survival, preferring to live in their dream world.
Every surviving major religion has some directive that its followers go forth and multiply, to defend against outsiders, and in some strains to proselytize.
For nature doesn’t care if the most competitive system makes people happy or not so long as it proliferates.

No ideology will have its intended results unless it is grounded in a firm understanding of how people actually are in the real world.
Yet I can’t see how an ideology that shows people the unpleasant truth of how we really are could ever become very popular.
Its adoption would depend on those more capable of consciousness subjugating those less aware and the humans most Human in the Enlightenment sense adopting rule over human animals as man establishes rule over beast.
Perhaps a banker who rules over a million humans by extracting a penny from each every day through sleight of hand is the natural ruler, parasite, and predator of their herd.
Or the politician who outwits them all through sophisticated talk?
Perhaps their easy dominance over the many shows us how a well-intentioned philosopher could come along and use an engineer’s knowledge of societies to realize their vision.

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Cultural Secession: Reaching Towards A New Religion

I recently discovered the blog of a college aged young man who disenchanted with a society that has utterly lost direction seems to be moving towards cultural secession, though by no conscious impulse as far as I can tell.  That is probably how it is best done.

This young man, calling himself Aleph, peruses through the annals of old gods and demons from worldwide religions and myth, then selects those which he deems suit him best adding his favorites to his own personal shrine.  He invents his own rituals to these deities as he decides suits his purpose.
He sees the great gods of the masses as bastions of cold order and Lucifer, not as the devil, but the chaotic patron deity of the individual transcending collective whims.The internet has truly set free those free thinkers the Many would once have ground to dust for the sin of an aberrant thought.  Some of his sentiments echo mine, when I was not so far from his age.

As of now, I have added Aleph’s House of Chaos to my blogroll.

Lucifer, lord of chaos, curiosity, the individual, or defiance against the masses.

Lucifer, lord of chaos, curiosity, the individual, or defiance against the masses.

The Obsolescence of the Nation State and ISIS

I found an insightful essay by an Israeli writer, Uri Avnery.  The trends of centralization until the World Wars and decentralization ever since has been a favorite topic of mine.
Excerpts:

“By the end of the 17th century, existing states could no longer cope with new demands. Small states were doomed. The economy demanded a safe domestic market large enough for the development of modern industries. New mass armies needed a base strong enough to provide soldiers and pay for modern arms.”

As I like to say: The main source of national cohesion is the fear of other nations.

“If I am not mistaken, it was Gustave Le Bon, the French psychologist, who asserted a hundred years ago that every new idea is already obsolete by the time it is adopted by the masses.

The process works like this: somebody conceives the idea. It takes a generation for it to become accepted by the intellectuals. It takes another generation for the intellectuals to teach the masses. By the time it attains power, the circumstances that gave it birth have already changed, and a new idea is required.”

“THE OBSOLESCENCE of the nation-state has given birth to a paradoxical by-product: the breakup of the state into smaller and smaller units.
While the world trend towards larger and larger political and economic units gathers strength, nation-states fall apart. All over the world, small peoples are demanding independence.”

“NATIONALISM WAS a European idea.
It never struck deep roots in the arid fields of the Arab world. Even in the heyday of Arab nationalism, it was never quite clear whether a Damascene, for example, considered himself first a Syrian or a Muslim, whether a Beiruti considered himself first a Maronite-Christian or a Lebanese, or whether a Cairene was first an Egyptian, an Arab or a Muslim.”

“The modern Arab nations were invented by European colonialists…THESE imperialist manipulations ran counter to Muslim history and tradition…THE HUGE attraction of the movement now called “Islamic State” is that it proposes a simple idea: do away with all these crazy borders drawn up by Western imperialists for their own purposes…With one swipe it clears the table of the nation-state and its derivatives. It carries a clear, simple idea, easily understood by Muslims everywhere.”

“THE WESTERN response is almost comically inadequate.  People like Barack Obama and John Kerry, and their equivalents all over Europe, are quite unable to understand what it is all about…They are facing a new phenomenon.”

The Obsolescence of the Nation State, Uri Avnery

Ottoman Empire before its non-Anatolian provinces were split up after WW1 into modern nations.

Ottoman Empire before its non-Anatolian provinces were split up after WW1 into modern nations.

Crowdsourcing, A Modern Patronage System?

Last post, I discussed the difference in creative output between an older system of patronage and a modern system governed by the mass market.  Older societies could turn out brilliant creative work with far fewer resources and people because a limited number of people called the shots. What’s for everyone is for no one.

A creative work that’s commissioned serves the vision of a patron, a work exposed to the forces of the mass market merely tries to please the most and offend the fewest becoming a grotesque Tower of Babel.
The internet has enabled a phenomenon known as crowdsourcing, a process by which an idea gets funding from just the people who want it.
This process has the potential to create a modern sort of patronage.  The idea that gets created exists to serve a limited group rather than the entire aggregate mass of humanity.

I have found an inspiring example in a youtube channel called The Great War.  The founder, Indie Neidell covers each week of WW1 as it was happening 100 years ago with lots of special episodes in between.
The show is filmed in a studio with a production crew and gets its funding from a crowdsourcing site called Patreon.
With a fraction the funding of a third rate History Channel special, they have done more than the History Channel could ever have aspired to.  The Great War now has many hours of runtime, hosts active discussion on its videos and reddit, and caters only to those who pay for it.  So if enough viewers want an episode about Bulgaria in WW1 or French WW1 Uniforms the episode appears.
Even as a kid, I referred to the History Channel as “The Lost Secrets of WWII Channel”  or the “The Lost Secrets of Nazi Superweapons Channel.”  And this was years before they descended into airing little more than reality shows.
Shackled by the tyrannical mass market, the History Channel was slave to the few events and passions that register on the popular consciousness.  They can cover a comic book WW2 endlessly, maybe get away with the American Civil War every once in awhile.  Other than that, conspiracy theories about Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, the Knights Templar, and lost tribes of Israel sell far better.  They no doubt have millions of dollars to spend, but by comparison to The Great War, they’re a joke.  We can see how commissioned creative work can be orders of magnitude more efficient with results that can be exponentially better.  This gives us a glimpse into how relatively impoverished societies of the past did as well as they did.

While big individual patrons like the Medicis or Carnegie remain in the past, the internet is enabling people who want the same things to get together and create sheltered markets protected from the insipid Many.
Without this protection, people who want a show about Lettow-Vorbeck’s brilliant campaign in German East Africa in WW1 have nowhere to turn, for they are a drop in a great ocean, swallowed up unless they find a way to escape.
Furthermore, The Great War shows us how crowdsource patrons can form a community around the work they sponsor.  Those who watch enough episodes see how repeat commenters gain a reputation and begin to notice the recurring in-jokes.  It’s an environment where participants feel a sense of ownership and belonging, at least far more than most of us can feel towards impersonal modern institutions.  I could see these sorts of affiliations among the possible catalysts for cultural secession and the creation of new tribes within obsolete nation-states.

A Creative Culture Requires A Leisured Elite

Trying new things is a luxury.  A wild animal that tries to play with its default script probably ends up dead.  Human societies, though, are actually required to try new things or else a more inventive society outcompetes them.  How a society manages its creative output is a matter of existential importance.

The greatest breakthroughs and masterpieces have always come from those who can labor at their work without distraction and who have significant creative freedom.
The ancient world produced works of genius that still stand out today.
This is completely astonishing when we consider that population size, wealth, and the distribution and storage of information were pathetic compared to now.
Surely the works of Ancient Greece ought to compare to our own as petroglyphs compare to Renaissance painting.  This may hold true if we consider technology, but not in the realm of culture and creativity.  Even when we consider technology, it’s amazing what they could accomplish with limited knowledge and resources.  Amazingly, much of what we have now is merely derivative of what the Greeks had 2500 years ago.

If we look at the creativity of societies in the past, one thing we must notice is that the creators weren’t ordinary people who worked on philosophy or poetry after a day in the fields.
Without exception, the people who produced the best and highest culture came from a small but leisured and insulated class of individuals.
For most of history, 90%+ of people were subsistence farmer peasants, yet so long as even a tiny fraction of 1% had the freedom to be professional creators, it was enough to create enduring culture.

Modern American culture idolizes the myth of someone who can work full time, take night classes, raise a family, and write the next great novel all at once. Thousands of years of human experience, however, tells us that the highest quality creative work requires complete devotion just like any other discipline.

There are of course professional creative people today—far more by numbers and proportion than there ever were in previous societies. There’s a big difference though. Modern creators are still paid workers.

The most creative people in older societies were invariably allowed to live free from the concerns of the market economy. They belonged to a leisured, aristocratic class that would have seen such affiliations as vulgar, even if they lived an ascetic lifestyle. They understood that if you depend on the next paycheck you can’t say what you really think. You have to give your audience what it wants right now or else you’re broke.
When it comes to modern creative talents people throw around the words “authentic” and “sellout.” These distinctions are an illusion when everyone lives in the market economy. Everyone is a sellout when everyone has to sell themselves.
This conflict of interest ensures that great creative work is scarce when everyone is busy earning a living. The market will produce plenty of what sells right now, but precious little anyone cares about 100 or 1000 years from now.
The market knows only the present, so a high quality creative class requires some degree of insulation from its caprices.
In the past, most advancement came from the few people who didn’t have to worry about wealth. Even where they did not have talent themselves, they might become patrons. Patrons were not really the same as employers because they were not directly trying to turn a profit. Moreover, patrons were a single person whom an artist could reason with. Artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo both negotiated with their patrons in the middle of the creative process and had some measure of control.
There is no arguing with market demand. The many wants what it wants right now. So when the market prevails we will never see epic works that take half a lifetime to produce, nor works that don’t ape today’s popular taste. Worst of all, the market forces creative people to answer to the masses.

In the past, the few professional creative people were protected by forming tight knit peer groups.
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle represented three generations of master and apprentice, each of them supported in leisure by their society within a school of their making.  We might also consider that Pythagoras or Epicurus thrived as well within their own tribe of students.
In the past, ascetics and mystics formed another sort of leisured aristocracy.  Consider Diogenes who lived on public charity, or that the very name ‘dervish’ originally means a beggar,  or the experiences of John the Baptist, Jesus, any number of saints in the wilderness.   Across the planet, societies that nurtured their mystics have developed lasting spiritual traditions.
Even consider how modern science and education was largely pioneered by monks who had the rare leisure to study and question within the protected environment provided by the clergy.
A universal market economy, though, by its nature has no place for such “low productivity” slow growing endeavors.

Consider how the Romanticist poets all knew each other, most all of them from leisured aristocratic backgrounds.
Tolkien and C.S. Lewis knew each other, both academics with tenure at a university that still had a strong aristocratic tradition.
Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft profited richly from corresponding though both suffered terribly from being trapped in the market economy.  It speaks volumes that like their spiritual predecessor, Edgar Allen Poe, they had to sacrifice themselves to create enduring work.   Imagine what they could have accomplished had they been leisured aristocrats.
One small group of creative peers who needn’t fear for money are a more powerful force than an entire modern hive cluster of hundreds of millions where everyone is slave to money.
Constant busyness at pointless jobs is one of the biggest drains of productivity, the slayer of creativity in a population. The overworked do not tolerate idle creativity in others. Like-minded people are the substrate on which the individual grows. Just as guerilla insurgents cannot survive without a sympathetic population to harbor them.

Not long ago, societies could only afford to have a tiny number of people trying new things. But like efficient bodies honed by evolution, they made the small amounts of energy they spent on their R and D departments count so they were not subsumed by their competitors.
Now with greater modern wealth, we may do well to observe the successful practices of leaner times and apply them on a larger scale.

See also: Smart Socialism,
How the Middle Class Used to Be Affordable

Mass Popularity Dilutes Quality

Let’s go back and read a novel from the 19th to early 20th century, or even a newspaper.  Then compare the writing style back then compared to now.
We quickly notice
-The use of vocabulary is far more varied and more sophisticated than we see today.
-Language use is more creative, less literal.  Figurative expression bordering on the poetic is common.
-Writers assume a much greater attention span in their readers, pacing much more slowly than we see today.
-Writers assume their typical reader has a classical education and is not afraid to quote in Latin and Greek or to make abundant references to Greek mythology and Roman literature.

What’s astonishing is the baseline of quality was higher when the world was far poorer, less educated, with a fraction of today’s population.
What happened?
My guess is the higher standard of quality existed because the audience was a more narrow, educated slice of the population.  The quality was high because unsophisticated people were not yet able to participate.  So the market actually catered to the best of the race rather than the most puerile.
At length, a universally educated public gradually exerted its overwhelming force on the market, enshrining the insipid and mediocre as Gods of the collective.
In a universal market, that which entertains the most and offends the fewest reigns supreme—that which inspires no deep passion but is merely neither too hot or cold.  But that which belongs to everyone, does not truly belong to anyone.  This is the fundamental problem of mass culture.

We can look at issues of Time magazine from just a couple decades ago and see a dramatic difference in the tone of articles and amazingly, even in the advertisements.  It was not unusual for advertisements have a whole paragraph in relatively small print.  It’s strange anymore to see much copywriting beyond the tagline.  Got Milk? or Absolut x.  That usually does the trick.  If they write several sentences, now, no one will ever read them.

80s advertisement with more copy writing

I randomly found this going through some pages of a 1984 issue of Time magazine. No one would actually read small print copy like this anymore.

For another example, we might observe computer gaming.  With limited graphics, what we now call the Adventure genre was a staple from text games like Zork and culminating in franchises like SpaceQuest or Quest for Glory.  Since owning personal computers was still restricted mostly to affluent geeky households, the content of these games was a lot more witty and cerebral, with more in-universe detail, demanding considerable patience and brains to solve puzzles.
Of course, having much less graphics to work with may have forced to developers to focus more on gameplay and content, but it can’t by itself explain why games increasingly came to rely first on flashy graphics, content later.
A good example might be to compare, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind to ES IV: Oblivion.  Morrowind had a few orders of magnitude more content than Oblivion had to offer.  Anyone who’s enjoyed Morrowind will remember the incredible attention to detail with a whole world full of exotic native plants and animals that feature in the diets, clothing, and even the architecture of the local peoples.  Throughout the game world there’s seemingly endless books—popular literature, histories, and religious texts of a fictional people.  The game can be played by following quests only, but some of the game’s most rewarding experiences are stumbling on places you’d never find if you didn’t leave the beaten path.  Many quests involve finding a person or place based only on a crude description.
By the time Oblivion was developed, Elder Scrolls was no longer a niche franchise.  The sequel was naturally tailored to be more popularly received.
The setting was made as familiar as possible, pretty much a rip off of the Lord of the Rings movies that were at a zenith of popularity at the time, easily lumped in with similar clones like Dragon Age that even began the game with a Grima Wormtongue clone traitor and a battle at Helm’s Deep against Orcs ahem…uh “Hurlocks.”
Any setting of course can shine with good direction.  Starcraft borrows heavily from Warhammer 40k, which they originally wanted a license for anyway, but the derivative game universe succeeded in taking on a vivid life of its own.
Oblivion, though, had a scant fraction of the content that was in Morrowind, even mostly borrowing books from the previous game.  Quests were made as simple as possible by always having a marker on your map telling you exactly where to go with no navigation or puzzle solving required.  They made it impossible to kill people necessary to the main quest as one might make a toy impossible for wanton toddlers to break.
The emergence of Oblivion on the popular scene was a excellent case of what happens when one tries to adapt a niche element to everyone.  The result is watered down.

Observe political rhetoric.  Simply compare the original televised debate between Kennedy and Nixon, or the oratory of 18th-19th century politicians, to modern rhetoric.  Hell, compare a George W. Bush speech to those of Ancient Roman senators.  The comparison is truly pathetic.  Again, unregulated mass participation waters down an institution until it becomes a farce.

Finally, let’s look at the movies.  Hollywood is a great example how that which belongs to everyone belongs to no one.
For instance, they chose to have a Nazi fighter, Captain America, not fight Nazis because of their desire to please every country and every demographic.  What if Indiana Jones had fought random Nazi proxies?  Would that have been the same?
Hollywood avoids risks with most big movies now remakes or reboots of old franchises.
The result is tepid and predictable, but totally devoid of the potential to inspire great culture.

Not long ago, the scarcity of wealth and education acted as a crude form of quality control.  Since this basic quality control always came naturally in a world that was mostly impoverished with most people illiterate, it’s not a problem societies have yet learned to deal with.
If we actually stop to think about it though, it seems obvious that for high culture and innovation to exist, there has to be a way to insulate the high forms from the low.
Culture now exists as an open system, all currents mixing together into lukewarm nonsense.  Clearly, we need to separate culture into its proper organs so each may perform its rightful function.

See Also: Pop Music Is Folk Music Elevated Beyond Its Proper Place

Every Purchase Is A Vote

Whenever we walk into a store we can measure how much we’re like everyone else.  Imagine a planet where everyone was you.  What then would the inside of the store look like?  All the things you like would be available in abundance, their prices driven down by economy of scale.  How close then is the existing store to the theoretical ideal that serves you best?  We can’t expect everyone to be the same in real life; without the purchases of many different people, there could be no store.  So we must be willing to sacrifice some of our individual preferences to have a market.
The influence of our own vote though is tiny so we must have some significant overlap with other people for the offerings of the store to yield us benefits.  If most customers don’t want some of the same things we want, the store is useless to us.  A man, for instance, will likely never have any need for women’s clothing stores because he lacks overlap with the targeted electorate.
Imagine for a moment the store we’ve walked into is a grocery store.  The initial overlap in needs is very high.  Everyone gets hungry, so we have a great test case.  When we look at the store shelves, we see a purer sort of democracy than has ever existed in politics.  What’s for sale is what everybody wants.
What if most people want junk food though?  The grocery store will have lots of cheap junk food and the substantial food will be scarcer and higher in price.  Perhaps it just points to the reason why there never has been a true political democracy.  The masses might well make terrible decisions.  A people cannot survive leadership without some semblance of order and quality control.  But they can survive the consequences of eating too much cookie dough ice cream, at least in the short term.

We can draw a similar analogy with book stores.  We want to read, but the store is of no value to us if the only books available are sensational slush.  In this case, the mass of other people out there has proven to be a liability to our interests because of their lack of overlap concerning the details of an item we want.  And our paltry votes don’t even make a dent.

Let us look at the bestseller lists for books too, and the top 25 in music.  Or how about the most popular television shows and movies?  In a decently ok world, most items on these lists should be among the best, right?  But what if to our horror, we consistently see works of low quality, or insipid mediocrity exalted by the collective?
If you don’t like what most people like, you are in a way living in a zombie apocalypse, surrounded by shambling throngs of people whose tastes and interests run contrary to your own in every way imaginable.  Your voice is drowned out while everyone rushes to the theaters to see the next remake of a remake.

If you or I were to conclude our nature and preferences have remarkably little overlap with most other people out there, it does not make sense to make the sacrifices required to participate in their collective pools.  Banding with the masses proves more a liability than a benefit.  It makes far more sense to find those with a higher degree of overlap even if they’re just a few and pooling one’s demand with them instead, while isolating oneself from the slavering zombie hordes.

It is on this basis of collective compatibility that would underlie a modern caste system.  In the case of economics, each cluster of preferences would occupy separate markets from food, to clothing, and entertainment.  Perhaps such distinctions already exist informally, but it takes considerable knowledge, deep affiliations, and especially sheer wealth to sort out what belongs to one’s proper sphere.
In a more formalized order, each strata has no need to waste energy on self discovery, they naturally gravitate towards their proper places and live their whole lives therein, their votes compatible with the other voters of their breed.  With a more stable hierarchy, less struggle takes place and far more gets done.

If we consider grocery stores again.  There already are grocers that cater to different tastes, but they do so mostly through being more expensive.  They decisively segregate their clientele using high prices but in so doing produce a form of value signalling rather than pure optimization.
In a correctly stratified caste system, a store ought not to rely first on higher prices as an isolating mechanism but instead be able to focus on being able to provide the best possible value given the votes of the consumers of the higher castes.
We may consider pure status signalling such as paying extra for ‘organic’ produce a penalty that certain voters agree to pay in order to form a barrier.  But if such a barrier is already formalized by the agreement of voters, then there is no need to pay such penalties and all effort can be put into providing the best value possible for the voting coalition.
We can imagine similar principles applied to real estate.  Those who pay high prices to keep undesirables out of their supermarkets apply the same tactics to property ownership and school districts.  Again, the cadre of voters in an unstable hierarchy is forced to pay penalties to segregate themselves into a mutually beneficial electorate.  In a stable caste hierarchy, their neighborhoods and schools are delineated by force of their votes, leaving them free to build value rather than spend most of their wealth insulating themselves against incompatible demographics.
As it is, many people try to isolate themselves from the gales of popular mediocrity by working long hours for decades.  So hard is their task that they barely manage to reproduce, managing only to replace themselves in the best of times.  The most productive creatures effectively barely scrape by at subsistence.
Because their natural habitat is saturated by hostile tribes unless they build cost-prohibitive barriers, they are forced to spend most of their effort just trying to chisel out their desired place, which in a Correct order should be theirs by natural right.

As a final thought experiment, consider how idiotic most advertisements are on television, youtube, and in print.  This is what most people find persuasive or these ads would not exist.  Every advertisement is a glimpse into the heart of the average person.  Don’t like what you see?  Then you are participating in the wrong commercial electorate.
How would advertising change then if we dominated the commercial electorate?  Would it even exist in the same form?

See Also:  Shelters From Planned Obsolescence,
Friction of Association and Social Selectivity

Cultural Secession

There are many who rebel against governments and institutions.
But the edifices they seek to bring down are but natural outgrowths of the people and culture they were born into, like stalactites trickling down over eons from subterranean ceilings.

You know a person not by their rhetoric, but by what they choose at the grocery store.  Yet, seldom does the person who rebels against a government think of seceding from the birth culture that brought about the system they hate.  Governments and tyrants may come and go, yet the foundational customs of a people endure.

We fear the monopolistic aims of businesses and governments, yet not of culture and custom. We are simply born into a place and adopt its arbitrary trappings for the sake of unthinking expediency. If we think, though, who do we find more strange, the man who dislikes a mere government or the man who proclaims pizza an unclean food to your face and refuses to celebrate christmas? Which man’s beliefs register just in your mind and which triggers a primal instinct deep in your gut?
Which is just another activist and which has thrown a bloody gauntlet of challenge at your feet?
Imagine asking for a neon pink plastic tombstone at a local graveyard or forget to mow the lawn for a few months. What begets harsher prohibition and reprisals? Mundane infractions of custom or the criticism of remote political assemblies?
If one is displeased with their birth culture, what is the point of deriding an abstraction of government when they still adhere religiously to the ways of those who cheated and oppressed them?

In this post-nuclear age with a world-wide economy, conventional wars have become cost prohibitive, but great wars rage on under a placid surface.
Where it has become impractical to wage war over lines on a map, the new conquerors will struggle to hoard wealth rather than land, to occupy wombs rather than cities, and to carve out empires of belief from the ailing bulk of mass consensus.

I, for one, was never really socialized into my society, living on the fringes through my youth.  I endured the last years before internet became widespread, feeling alone against the crushing weight of the world, a formative experience that has shaped me ever after.  I often wonder that without the dawn of such electronic expression, I would have spent the rest of my life feeling I’d been buried alive thumping in the pitch black against a coffin lid weighed down by a ton of earth.
As soon as I was on my own in the adult world, I found myself rapidly drifting from the customs of my youth rather than transmitting them into my daily life.  What for others were symbols of comfort were for me reminders of torment.
I found myself letting holidays pass unnoticed, sought out new foods and new recipes so I might eat differently.  I often observed fasts early in the day to distance myself from the indulgent and mechanical “3 squares” of the peoples among whom I lived.

I played with nonsense syllables, a practice if done enough begins to yield coherent meanings, and which inflected my speech at times with the hint of an unplaceable accent.  Having learned more of the English language from books than from people, I had already always spoken in a foreign dialect.  I had been strangely impervious to the understandings that passed easily between people without a spoken word.
As years went by I became apathetic towards politics and civic institutions; that was a game that did not concern me.
As a child I had seen myself as an outcast, as an adult as an outsider.
I floated through cities as a foreigner viewing people’s behavior from a distance.  I had long since ceased to think of them as “my” people.  I was merely a savage benefiting from their society as best I could so long as I must.  Over time I’ve learned their ways well enough to function normally and begin to understand how they think, but at heart I remain alien.  In due time another order will replace the present one and I will adapt to that one too like a ship that rides successive swells.

It seemed obvious watching from afar that besides ethnicity, peoples are defined by the aesthetics of their language, food, costume, architecture, traditions, and ceremonies.  These aesthetics of culture surround members of a people all their lives gaining emotional purchase on their hearts from infancy.   Aesthetic unity in a society is an everyday symbol of cooperation, a ritual dance with practical function.  To cause discords in the aesthetics of culture is much more powerful than to harry a few patricians running governments.
People understand this on a deep instinctual level.  Until I learned how to properly defuse people, I was regarded with something close to hostility wherever I went, no matter if I tried to be polite as I could or to remain beneath notice.  I could not hide for long that I was discordant with their master aesthetic.  It drilled into my head again and again the importance of culture.  It dawned on me that nearly every traditional culture has some version of the crime of witchcraft, a convenient mechanism which allows discords to be eliminated from the collective music.  If someone becomes unpopular enough, they are  fair game to be hunted down.  Such is the intense pressure for group selection under which humans have always lived which makes us as we are today.  We have a visceral fear of social deviance as we have of snakes and spiders.  Thus the powers that flout custom are the powers of Hell.

For one who is displeased with their society, becoming an activist or turning to violence rarely accomplishes much.  Simply seceding from the culture and beginning to build a new one is the most dangerous and damaging thing one can do.  Merely by doing so one sets a disastrous precedent for others to do the same.
If we consider culture as a market, we see people all over the world tend to live under monopolies.  Monopolies deliver poor service because they have no fear of competitors.  Merely creating a competitor, however tiny, is a force that opposes the enemy directly and proposes to solve the problem one perceives rather than merely reacting with incoherent discontent.  Unlike a self-destructive rebel, the cultural dissenter becomes an entrepreneur.

Alienation is the Gateway to Anti-Nihilism

Rational People Are Inimical To Social Cohesion

Functional societies so far require people to have weak powers of reason and to adopt starkly irrational beliefs.  Groups that can trick their members into acting against their individual best interests are those that thrive.

A typical man’s biological interests are best served by impregnating as many women as possible and providing as few resources as he can to each so long as the offspring survive, so he can continue to search for more.
The tradition of marriage harnesses his sexual energies into productive tasks that harm his own immediate interests but help the society.
Going to war is completely inimical to his interests.  As far as he’s concerned he loses all if he dies.  His death may preserve his society, but that serves him little solace if he is no longer alive.
Or take voting in elections, walking into stores without stealing, or any other activity inspired by moral imperatives.  If he thinks completely rationally, he understands that his life does infinitesimally little to win a war or his vote to win an election.  It is irrational for him to participate in these affairs.
His fear comes from moral imperatives—that if he doesn’t fight the invaders millions of other men will also stay home and everyone loses.  However, if he sees millions of other men willingly go to war it pays handsomely to defect and dodge the draft, ready to snatch up all the widows when the war is over.  The motto of all social relations is “Don’t be that guy.”
In the American Civil War, there were professional draft dodgers who made a living by snatching up money incentives to join then disappearing and doing the same thing again under another assumed identity.
In a strictly rational sense these guys were the winners.  The guys who cooperated and went to die or become cripples were losers.
Of course, war is a gentleman’s gamble, the survivors return bedecked with honors to a land less competitive than before.
But no one who takes those odds seems at first to think they’ll be the ones to lose the bet.
At the end of every war there’s cities erected for honorable men built grandly with marble whiter than bone and the door of every abode adorned with plaques emblazoned with soothing platitudes in all caps.  All to disguise the ugly fact that within lies a teenager who was torn to shreds by a landmine, sent to take the risks pulling chestnuts out of the fire for the dominant older men.  It speaks loudly that across the ages, we have to try so hard to make ourselves believe.  But if social norms are strong enough and everyone imbued with dogma from birth, most people gladly subsume their inner dissonance to fit in.

The trouble is that this trickery becomes much harder in a world where most people are literate and access to the internet is widespread.  People are pretty well bred for obedience to social norms, but given enough sources, a vocal minority begins to question and deviate, undermining the unity of the rest.
I have encountered inquisitive minds on the internet that perceive many of the same problems I do in modern societies.  But the proposed solution I most often hear is to bring back old religions or at least adapt them somehow to modern conditions.  I do not see how this can be so except by fundamentalist peoples demographically displacing technocrats over time.  And then the problem is not solved.  Either their society stays in the safety of stagnation or at length the new theocratic rulers are likewise corrupted as they advance and the cycle repeats as their creed too is unable to cope with the needs of an inquisitive and informed populace.  I see many merits in the arguments to bring back old creeds as a deliberate social strategy, but the need for people to be ignorant of their best interests for these systems to work suggests to me we must formulate an altogether new sort of system that makes use of game theory and takes informed, discerning people into account.

The Fundamental Problem with The American Cult of Individual Success

Someone who makes it without your help doesn’t owe you anything.

From infancy Americans are told they have to be “self-made” and “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” but why should a man who is self made care about anyone else?  They all told him success was entirely up to him, so when he succeeds he has no reason to feel any allegiance to others.
Society does not help young men find a trade, a woman, to found a family, or find a purpose.  In fact it hinders and obstructs at every turn feeding him misinformation.  Then when he succeeds in spite of these obstacles, the social order expects allegiance.  It asks him to care about a nation, to pass down a culture, to support a people that has been more enemy than friend.  Why should he care?  Actually, why shouldn’t he actively oppose those who tried to stop him and cheat him whenever they could—to join friendlier factions or begin a faction of his own?

Societies are all about shared burdens, even the strongest man is easily overwhelmed by 2 or 3 men working together let alone a thousand or a million.  Interdependence is the foundation of successful societies.  Even dickheads and narcissists will help to defend a system that benefits them.  Even the apathetic and lazy will rise up when their lives of easy repose are endangered.
The success of peoples requires cohesion, especially when things are at their worst.
At the battle of Cannae the Romans lost an entire army of 40,000 men nearly to the last man but they went on fighting anyway until they won the war and eventually razed the enemy’s capital city into the ground and salted their fields.  Proportionally speaking, I’m sure the United States would have to lose millions in a single battle to equal the disaster of Cannae.  Can we imagine America holding together after a similar defeat and not succumbing to panic and bitter internal rivalries?
It’s easy to have a minimum level of cohesion in the good times, diversity is easy in times of plenty.  But when the bad times come, a system is tested.  And how a people handles the terrible shocks and earthquakes decides if they will still be there in a hundred years’ time.

Civilization is Human Domestication

Human civilization is a fancy word for a survival strategy in which people get to together in hives and crush peoples living in smaller hives.
In the course of adopting such a strategy, we are no longer heavily selected for our abilities to survive as individuals but for those traits that allow us to thrive in groups.  We become more dependent on the communal barn for feed, ever less able to think or act on our own.
When I look at definitions of what fundamentally sets humans apart from animals, the ability to talk is always near the top of the list.  Talking, at its most basic level, though is just an ability that allows groups to coordinate better.  It is a highly sophisticated behavior.  But sophisticated behaviors are commonplace in nature.  How about eels, salmon, and numerous birds that can migrate with extreme precision, or parasitoid jewel wasps that can disable one precise part of a cockroach’s brain with its stinger, or any number of creatures that can make precise, powerful strikes in fractions of a second?  To name a very few…

A perfectly civilized state does not mean a race of enlightened of beings, it means a colony of eusocial insects, highly efficient but without consciousness or agency.
On another extreme we have impotent individuals never associating, easy prey to even the most dissolute enemy groups.

The accomplishments and qualities we associate with the best qualities of humanity, though, are not completely civilized but represent the Aristotelian golden mean between the virtues of individualism and the collective.
Individualists are easy meat for more organized foes.
Eusocial Zerg and Borg are vulnerable to reasonably cohesive groups that retain qualities of creativity and conscious will.

Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan understood something basic about humanity.  Our modern day barbarian trope is of a grunting musclehead, but a Howard-style barbarian while sparing with words is smart and quick.  Conan is a simple man compared to a merchant but he readily perceives that civilization promotes corruption and complacency of the spirit rather than greatness.
In real life, is it any surprise that the things we call the greatest accomplishments of civilization can be only a limited number of generations away from barbarism?

Barbarians in their natural state accomplish nothing.  Perfectly civilized people live in sophisticated stagnation.  But when history chances on a certain Aristotelian golden mean between the two states, we see great accomplishments and conquests.
But on its path to civilized domestication, a people always passes up the golden mean and sinks into a stable state where much remains the same for centuries and the few new ideas are crushed.

The early Mesopotamian peoples, the first to be civilized, lived in a system of highly dynamic city states making innovations for the first 1000 years or so.  They became relatively stagnant in their progress by 1000 BC
The Egyptians followed a similar, perhaps slightly later trajectory.
Then we see Chinese, Indians, and Greeks rise simultaneously to their heights between 400-200 BC, then stagnating ever since.  Today it amazes us that the Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Socrates, Plato were contemporaries, their world-changing ideas packed into just a couple human generations, coming from human populations that were puny compared to now, with far less wealth and technology.

If we likened innovation to a flame, we must notice it consumes its hosts and moves on to another, always to some barbarian neighbor on the fringes of the old civilization. The price of openness to change is instability.
When the Mediterranean world was thoroughly spent and domesticated, the forces of creativity moved into Northern Europe, and eventually into America, a colony of Northern Europe.  In the past there always seemed someplace new for these forces to move on to but is it so anymore?  Now there are no more new frontiers, the entire world has been explored.  Modern weapons prevent the easy rise of opportunistic conventional barbarian armies.  The same system of finance has spread across the entire planet.  Most of the world speaks a few standardized languages.  Never has humanity been more civilized and centralized.
One might wonder if the world is bound to sink into thousands of years of stagnant slumber.  Perhaps the future could be more like Dune or Star Wars where technology and political systems remain unchanging for thousands of years.
Maybe in 5-600 years the world is colonized and revitalized in the great African enlightenment?
But the same question remains until we progress to some sort of singularity event — who then raises civilization to its next stage when all the races of the world have been spent?

This leads us to wonder: why do civilizations after a certain point cease to innovate?
My guess is that it has to do with the intense competition that comes with any saturated ecosystem.  A relatively new civilization has its frontier period for some generations where everyone is filling a proliferation of new niches.  But once those niches are filled the system ossifies.
Innovation is the product of leisure, not of drudgery.  No one has time to think of something new when they are lost in competition, never more than a half step ahead of a gibbering pack of rivals trying to pull them down and outcompete them. Under these pressures people are forced to increasingly specialize until they no longer have the luxury of seeing more than their immediate field — until the man who is a wrench expert knows nothing of screwdrivers.  When everyone is micro-specialized, the puzzle pieces one must assemble to arrive at an epiphany remain lying scattered about untouched.

I notice rice valley civilizations of India and China, or the wheat floodplains along the Nile were especially densely populated very early in their histories.  Thousands of years of crowded living barely subsisting off their one staple crushes liberty and creativity.  Worse, one despot can easily dominate a river valley and keep millions in thrall with his edicts.  People from these kinds of civilizations are the most domesticated of all, the world’s best specialists, more able to devote themselves tirelessly to one task than any other, but their relentless minds are also the most rigid and unimaginative.
It surprises me little that the one great flash of genius China had since its ancient period of warring states was during the Ming dynasty, after Mongol rule and then the black plague had reduced the population by about 50 million people(about 1/3rd), freeing up the space required to try new things.
Then, for once, China showed significant interest in world exploration and trade launching entire treasure fleets before turning inward again for good.  Maybe slightly more favorable conditions would have resulted in a 15th century Chinese industrial revolution and colonization?  Or perhaps Chinese by that point already civilized for a couple thousand years had already lost too much of that barbarian fire of inspiration.
We see a similar emptying out of Europe in the black plague and turmoil of the 14th century after which European nations began their rise to prominence.
But Northern Europe at that time in contrast to the Chinese was just a few centuries removed from barbarian tribes. Given a push by similar forces, they also turned outwards and began to innovate, but they didn’t stop.
It is also notable that Europe has never been dominated by just a few river flood plains with all human affairs governed by the distribution or withholding of the one staple food source.  It’s a region that has never been politically united, there have always been kingdoms forced to compete against one another, ready to adopt change that might give them an advantage.
Europeans are fairly unique in that they have lived off a variety of grains and supplemented them with dairy products and significant amounts of meat. Across much of the world, dairy is more typical of a staple for nomad pastoralists than for settled people.
It occurs to me that yogurt, butter, and cheese is used from India to the Middle East, but I would think it plays a relatively minor role in the diet outside of traditionally nomadic regions compared to Europeans. An Indian might use ghee or butter for a curry, milk or paneer cheese to make their pistachio and rose water sweets, or load up their chai with heavy cream, but rice remains their overwhelming staple. They have, to my knowledge, no equivalent to Europeans downing entire glasses of milk and eating entire cheeses straight in their civilized core regions.

Northern European nations and colonies now seem they may be going the way of civilized people before them.  Enough generations that reward rule-following, shop-keeping, credential-accumulating, and school-attending more than risk and invention.  Soon enough, the fiery free spirits have been culled whether from the battlefields or the laboratory.  After all, civilization is a system that selects for those sheep who benefit the king, who sit still in one place to be sheared year after year.
The stability that comes with complete domestication is inimical to the qualities we value most, which we suppose are uniquely civilized — when in fact, they result from an ideal balance of qualities.

Historical trends of Chinese population

A Genetic Counter-Offensive?

There are those on the internet who are concerned about the low fertility rates and loss of territory of peoples of European descent, often called “white” people.
What mystifies me though is how they see their precious whites as some Elven race of Middle Earth, doomed to die out. They see themselves as delicate and weak and their rivals as strong and resilient.
We are taught to love nature by valuing endangered species but nature cares little for such creatures. Nature loves best mosquitoes, cockroaches, and mice that thrive in spite of the best efforts to eradicate them.  Cold reality has no sympathy for a people that still gets outcompeted despite having the most resources, with the best weapons, with every possible advantage. In the course of nature is it not right and just that temperamental hothouse plants be weeded out and cast aside onto the trash pile? Why are a people who see themselves as flightless dodo birds deserving of preservation?

Very telling is if a brown person mixes with a white they see it as a tragedy. The white blood in their mind is drowned out by the brown and genetic territory is lost.
But in reality a mixed person is 50/50 and if raised in a “brown” community, they end up spreading their European genes into another gene pool. Surely that could be seen as a success of sorts, the infiltration of spies, if we will.
For example, look at New World mulattoes and mestizos who no doubt carry the equivalent of millions of white people in their veins.
Latin Americans have never seen full blooded Indians and mestizos as the same thing, or thought a mulatto to be the same as an African.  Inexplicably, New World Anglo-founded nations embrace a bizarre notion of all one thing or the other sometimes known colloquially as “the one drop rule.”
I suppose it’s possible that Anglo views on Mestizos are distorted by the fact that the immigrant “Hispanics” they encounter are disproportionately not Hispanic, but Indian.

Because of defensive, defeatist thinking pro-whites do not consider ways to expand rather than shrink.
If Mexico is sending over lots of illegal immigrants that take over territory. Why not simply retaliate by genetically bombarding Mexico by buying up surrogate wombs by the hundreds of thousands? Or bombard the immigrant communities in America by simply buying off their women to accept anonymous white sperm.
Black Americans are already on average 20% white, nearly griffes and one can’t help but notice that the biggest trouble makers, the poorest are usually the darkest ones with the most African features.  I live in a town with a huge black population and have seen with my own eyes how blacks unapologetically discriminate by skin color amongst themselves.  It is rare to see a truly black black person in any position of power or prestige and their standard of beauty idolizes a decidedly mixed look.  Beyonce, Rihanna, Halle Berry, all their models are obviously half black at best. If pro-white groups feel that limiting African influence in North America is an important objective, why not simply begin genetic bombardment until American blacks are barely half African anymore?
It could be one part of a complete strategy that includes discouraging a rival group from breeding while subsidizing one’s own.

Most groups of people have low capabilities of abstraction. The same man who would fight you over a tangible 20 dollar bill will let you take thousands of dollars in fees and interest laid out in the fine print, especially if insidiously drawn out over a long period of time.
Mass reproduction following a grand strategy is a few levels of abstraction beyond what most people are capable of understanding. A genetic counter-offensive might well go mostly unopposed.

How much though does the white ideal really mean to these pro-whites, does it even exist? For the most part their complaining lets off some steam and then they go back to their day jobs. Considering I can’t think of once in my life anyone helped me just because I had white genes while I watch pretty much every other ethnic group help each other out, such an initiative seems too abstract-minded for them as well.
It is unlikely to see on a large scale what does not already exist on a smaller scale.
Yet I wonder as we become better able to understand nature, nurture, and epigenetics if we might one day see one group launch a coordinated sanguinary invasion on another.
Nukes and a worldwide economy make it so we can’t easily have profitable major wars—perhaps the conquerors of the future rely on demographics as their main weapon.  Perhaps the success of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo is a powerful example of how modern conflict is to be decisively won.
To date the spread of genes seems mostly an unintentional result.
As far as Irish genes are concerned, the potato famine was the best thing to ever happen.  The Armenian genocide and diaspora has probably been a net benefit to Armenian genes.
What if group spread of genes became applied as a deliberate strategy rather than mistakes of brutal happenstance?

Why Trump Kept His Lead

Many high-brow conservatives watching Trump’s debate believed that he imploded on-air, and even went as far to dismiss all of the polls that show him with a clear lead over every other candidate. They believe that choosing a leader is a technocratic matter – find the man with the right set of policies, with the right stance on issues, let him govern and the output will be inherently positive. The man himself does not matter, merely the formula. I believe the reality of the situation is quite the opposite, geopolitics does not leave much room for maneuvering towards ideological positions. It depends instead on how the few options one has are executed, which in turn depends on the character, not the ideology, of the POTUS.

They were incensed that Trump did not elaborate on his positions, instead preferring to fire back at and deflect criticism thrown at him by the moderators. They miss the entire point of debates – they exist to test a candidates ability to handle themselves on live TV. It is a test of character, one that Trump won by a wide margin. Everytime a moderator hit him with a tough question and he didn’t back down, he won yet another battle. He ended up with more airtime in the debate than any other candidate and had double the time that Rand Paul had. If it seems bizarre to say that Trump won in a test of character, it’s only because the politicians that the system buys and sells are so lame and lukewarm. If tomorrow Jeb Bush’s advisors had a poll showing high heels and miniskirts to be indicative of winning Iowa and New Hampshire, then the next day Bush would be strutting around showing his legs off to voters.

Instead of apologizing or doubling back on giving money to Hillary, Trump doubles down and admits that he’s given money to nearly every other candidate there. His lenders lost money? Double down on his character as a real world businessman and contrast it to the moderators unrealistic view of the financial world. Unlike most candidates, Trump is able to project a realistic and believable character to people, which contrasts to the GOP’s current crop of boyscouts trying to one-up each other as Mr. Rogers. If these people are scared to debate a man like Trump, then how in the world are they going to go head-to-head against Assad, Putin or Suleimani? People calling on Trump to apologize miss the point entirely: If he backs down or starts apologizing for being himself he will destroy the thing that makes him so different from other candidates. Trump follows a President that made a famous remark about drawing a redline in the sand regarding Assad’s use of chemical weapons and followed up by doing nothing. He is a President who has become infamous for apologizing for America and it’s Christian majority, even when it was inappropriate to do so. Trump’s entire campaign leverages the humiliation the current POTUS has inflicted on America and wraps it into the simple slogan, “Make America Great Again”. Rather than crafting a strategy to reconnect to their base in the way an outsider like Trump did, they hold their own base in contempt using the same words and values that their bitter enemies normally use to lambast them.

The other, even lamer criticism is that Trump is being rude and insensitive and is therefore is not suitable Presidential material. In truth, this veneer of politeness has not been the norm for elections in most of US history. There is no tradition of civility in American politics. Andrew Jackson was a fountain of profanity and insults and his opposition replied likewise, famously calling his wife a prostitute. The feud between John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson is legendary.

“That bastard brat of a Scottish peddler! His ambition, his restlessness and all his grandiose schemes come, I’m convinced, from a superabundance of secretions, which he couldn’t find enough whores to absorb!” — John Adams on Alexander Hamilton

Indeed, Trump’s politically incorrect dialogue has created an entertaining drama where viewers are left to wonder, how far will he go? No one denies that the strategy works, they just lament that their dorkier candidates won’t leverage it to their advantage. No one can out-Trump Trump, but it does show that excessive groveling is unfitting for a POTUS candidate.

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You know your optics are terrible when riding a motorcycle somehow makes you look dorkier than you normally do. The only other candidate who didn’t look like a floundering dork was Kasich, though he couldn’t beat the Donald in rhetoric. I’m not saying you should get excited about a malignant narcissist running for office, I’m just saying he’s better at it than most others who have tried.

All Trump has to do to lose his lead is start backing down from fights and start groveling when challenged. The debates aren’t about the issues, it’s a trial by fire to see if a candidate will crack under pressure. The issues are just a tool to bludgeon them with. How the candidate responds to personal attacks further reveal the character of a candidate, which is why enforcing an air of artificial civility becomes counter-productive if taken to an extreme.

Political Democracy is Just One Type of Democracy

We’ve concluded that the state cannot be changed just by shuffling around governments, since the quality of rulership is decided by the nature of the population.
Russians, for instance have always had autocratic, brutal, corrupt governments no matter if it’s a monarchy, communist dictatorship, or a democracy.  The English on the other hand had strong councils of representatives whether there was a monarch, a theocratic dictator, constitutional monarch, or a democracy.  The French defaulted to an order of centralized semi-autocracy, never quite leaving behind the authoritarian ways of their old monarchy, whether under Robespierre, Napoleon, Napoleon III, or DeGaulle.  How important then is the label?

Since government merely reflects the nature of its people, it becomes clear if we want to change a state, first we have to produce a change in its people.
But it’s impossible to produce any rapid change in the nature of a population.  We should sooner try to cool down the ocean by throwing in ice cubes.  This is the hard truth that every victorious revolutionary, political reformer, or activist soon discovers.

The most obvious way we might control the expression of a population is not to change it, but to distort its expression.  To accomplish this, we decide who to enfranchise the most to bring about the best results a people is capable of supplying.  In the process of politics then, we make sure those most inimical to an effective state have no vote at all, those of middling character get one vote, and the best of the race, a single vote that outweighs many lesser votes.
This after all, is the proposition made by a classical republic.  In the Roman Republic, the groups of people voted in “tribes” not at all equal in representation.  Plebeians despite their greater number were outweighed by the clout of the patrician classes in a vote.
In the early American republic, only those who owned sufficient property, giving them a real stake in the system of governance, were allowed to cast votes concerning the government.
Only by the 1820s was America well along the path to its transformation into a popular democracy.
However, no truly pure democracy has ever existed.
In Ancient Athens only an elite class granted the title of ‘citizen’ had the vote.
In America, several methods of strategic distortion of the popular will persist to this day.  The bicameral system that distorts the clout of representatives numbered according to population by the addition of senators who are equal in number and power, even if they are sent to the capital from sparsely populated mountains, desert, or tundra.  And of course, the electoral college that simplifies the popular vote into a winner-takes-all system.  Not to mention a great many who are only appointed by elected officials, elected by proxy, such as the entire judicial branch.
Even the American popular democracy is imbued with an inherent distrust of the unalloyed popular will built into it by its founders and reinforced by three centuries of their successors.
So the question is not whether to distort the popular will, but how it should best be done.

But…I began this entry commenting that governments alone cannot achieve the greater purpose.

Our first step is to observe that government is just one sort of democracy decided by the people in aggregate.  We can think of several great democracies, of which government is by far the least significant.

Political democracy – Every vote elects a representative.

Economic democracy – Every purchase is a vote that elects a product.

Social democracy – Every value someone holds is a vote that elects a society.

Biological democracy – Every child conceived is a vote that elects a people.

I will hope to discuss each in turn.

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