FORWARD BASE B

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

Tag Archives: materialism

The Human Life Bubble

The modern ideology supposes human lives to be infinitely and equally valuable.  They see their precious civilization and humans as being magically apart from the hard rules of the natural world. These childish delusions can lead to nothing but disaster in the grave and sober task of managing society.

In reality, life is a battlefield, we live another day in spite of, not because of, a hostile universe.  Casualties within reason are normal and to be expected.  In battle it is necessary to make decisions that require sacrifice and decisive value judgments.  A great lie of Utopian ideology is that the hard decisions can be avoided and no one gets offended or hurt.

A group that can’t accept reality can’t discuss what objectives are worth gaining or what positions are worth holding, only to seek to keep people merely alive at all in denial of the greater truth that our own lives mean little without continuity and purpose—a part to play in something greater than ourselves..  
At heart, we all wish to be a drop of water at the tip of a stalactite formed over eons, not a cog that performs its function for a short while before being tossed onto the scrap heap.
Even the winners in an individualist materialist system live out their days drinking fine wines or taking vacations to Iceland to see the aurora, but it doesn’t change the fact that when their time is up, they’re just used up greasy candy wrappers in the wind and so their every waking minute is devoted to distracting from the black and utter finality of their deaths.
This modern cowardice has spawned a multitude of problems that did not trouble peoples who lived with constant reminders of the basic impermanence of life.
When you have a society that would try to deny the turning of the seasons, the old devour the young and the universal laws are perverted.

We see a system of “healthcare” that spends enough resources to sustain 10 families keeping human vegetables on life support or buying the terminally ill another 6 months to live at the price of their children’s inheritance.

We see a prison system that spends more on an inmate than the average worker who follows the law earns in a year.

We see a compulsory school system where the brightest and most capable are disrupted by those who don’t want to learn.

We see a legal system under which no one can enjoy anything nice or share basic social trust because everyone lives in fear of being sued.

We see an electoral system where it’s harder to buy liquor than it is to vote in open invitation to the worst of mob rule.

We see a military that won’t win wars so long as it tries to substitute costly technology for troops, even in situations where human lives are far cheaper than machinery.  As we saw in Vietnam or the Eastern front in WW2, sometimes the enemy with the will to sacrifice division after division wins. 

We see a nation that can’t pursue its own interests or secure its borders because it cannot accept the lifeboat principle, that if you try to help everyone, everyone dies. They like to say “That’s not who we are.” when in truth no one can be anyone to them.

In every aspect we see these disciples of Lysenko trying to plant their seed crop in the dead of winter following the fundamental flaws of their ideology to the deadly end.
It is a law written in the starry fabric of the universe that those who refuse to shrewdly take measured losses end up losing all.

The Cancer of Consumer Capitalism

The United States is the wealthiest nation on Earth, perhaps even in the history of the world.  Yet if we go to the nearest grocery store we can see an endless flow of haggard, overworked people trying to make ends meet.  The culture of the US is one of lonely “individualism” with most people locked in desperate competition with each other, to the extent they interact with their fellow man at all in any meaningful way.  Despite  all the new clothes, cars, and houses, fewer people have children or see a worthwhile future every year.
The US is the ultimate example of how the way a society uses and stores wealth is more important than how much wealth it has.

The cause of America’s contradictions is its holy ideology of consumer capitalism, the ideas of the 18th century enlightenment with its worship of the rational individual, of Bentham, Marx, Smith taken down a slippery slope to their ultimate absurdity.
What we end up with is an entire society based around the principle that more is always better.
There are no questions of mission or purpose.  There are only hundreds of millions of rational interchangeable agents making decisions of pleasure and pain every day.  Whether the outcome is optimal or even desirable at all, is a question that cannot even be framed.
We are told relentlessly that it is the best of all possible systems and that the invisible hand always knows what’s really best for us.

If we read about 15 minutes of history common sense makes it clear that societies are organisms that compete and cooperate in complex ecosystems. Individual humans are rather like cells in these social bodies.  What one person does affects everyone else.  A society made of purely self-interested people is a body riddled with cancer cells.  Rapacious enlightened individuals, like cancer cells hungrily guzzle all the glucose they desire for a time, until the host expires, or in its weakened state is killed by an opportunistic rival.  Then the rational cancer that thought itself God unceremoniously dies along with the body.
Enduring societies have to consider the good of the body first.  For if it dies, all the concerns of the cells are rendered moot.
The insistence of consumerism on everlasting growth is to prescribe cancer as the remedy.

Nothing grows forever and ultimately lives within its finite bounds.  Working within these limits is the mandate of living things.
Resilient natural systems make the most of scarce resources while our system is devoted to getting as little benefit as possible from even the most unimaginable abundance.
A wasteful system like this one assumes the good times never end.  It has no goals and simply burns up what it gets.
A resilient system has set goals that it tries to achieve as effectively as possible with as little energy as possible.  Then it shores itself up against times of scarcity and disaster.  What energy isn’t spent supports rest and leisure, the reward for a job well done.

Living in a consumerist society is to live on a treadmill.  Since there is no purpose there are no tasks to be done, only endless work that can never be complete.  Worse, the work must be endless or else the entire system collapses overnight.  Millions of people live lives of desperate dependance on jobs they hate stuck most of the time with people they despise so they do not starve, become involuntary celibates, and become disowned by their fair-weather friends and family.  It’s a special kind of hell that favors the insane and this is what we think is normal.  It is a comfort that this sort of depraved system cannot last.

See Also: 
Lack of A Long Term is the Problem With Capitalism

Competition Between Societies: Desert Plants vs. Garden Plants

Civilization is Natural

When Tang, A Drink For Astronauts, Was A Status Symbol In China

“The year I turned 16, a new product caught my eye. Fruit Treasure, as Tang was named for the Chinese market, instantly won everyone’s heart. Imagine real oranges condensed into a fine powder! Equally seductive was the TV commercial, which gave us a glimpse of a life that most families, including mine, could hardly afford. The kitchen was spacious and brightly lighted, whereas ours was a small cube …

The drink itself, steaming hot in an expensive-looking mug that was held between the child’s mittened hands, was a vivid orange…

Until this point, all commercials were short and boring, with catchy phrases like “Our Product Is Loved by People Around the World” flashing on screen. The Tang ad was a revolution in itself: the lifestyle it represented – a more healthful and richer one, a Western luxury – was just starting to become legitimate in China as it was beginning to embrace the West and its capitalism…

To add to my agony, our neighbor’s son brought over his first girlfriend, for whom he had just bought a bottle of Tang. He was five years older and a college sophomore; we had nothing in common and had not spoken more than 10 sentences. But this didn’t stop me from having a painful crush on him. The beautiful girlfriend opened the Tang in our flat and insisted that we all try it. When it was my turn to scoop some into a glass of water, the fine orange powder almost choked me to tears. It was the first time I had drunk Tang, and the taste was not like real oranges but stronger, as if it were made of the essence of all the oranges I had ever eaten.”

LINK

If shiny little bits of trash or a sugary, artificially flavored drink mix were made scarce and claimed to be desirable by the herd, especially its fertile female contingent, we must predict that everyone would scramble to get it.

This is why I’ve long considered measures of intrinsic value(of a good to an individual) to protect ourselves from the caprices of an insane and self-destructive mass society.

I recognize that the individual cannot be held truly distinct from society, not even close, but I keep my model simple.  It’s a basic method to clear away unwarranted hype and come out ahead of the crowd.

I’m supposing the boy in the story got a generous short term hypergamous payoff for following the fad and buying a can of orange flavored junk.
But guess what probably happened to his fawning groupies as soon as the Tang bubble popped?
We would see him left with a worthless powder for which he paid dearly and no long term or tactical gain to show for it.

Indeed, with that much less resources in his wallet, the less capital he has to impress the next round of herd females.  Worse, he was probably spending scarce funds his family needed to feed itself and pay for rent and education.

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