individualism and collectivism good and bad

In my previous post I may have sounded like I was coming down on the side of individualism, which is not really consistent with my view of life. I’m actually somewhat suspicious of individualism. Or rather, I’m somewhat suspicious of individualist ideologies.

On the other hand I hate and fear the Borg-like hive-mind that increasingly dominates our society.

I don’t believe we can ever re-create vanished societies but I do think we can learn a lot from the way our society was in the past. More traditional societies do tend towards collectivism. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a statist authoritarian collectivism or the horror of the cultural Left hive-mind. There are some major differences.

In traditional societies there is to be sure pressure to conform but there’s also an emphasis  on social responsibility, and that means not just the individual’s duty to society but also society’s duty to the individual. There’s a web of interlocking responsibilities, rather than a demand for mere obedience to the collective will. It’s society as a gigantic extended family rather than a hive. There’s a balance between individualism and the needs of society. The balance might be titled towards society but it’s not tilted too far.

The second difference is that traditional societies enforce conformity in certain areas because long experience has shown that some rules are necessary, and the rules are those which have been proven to work. Traditional sexual morality was enforced because on the whole it made life better for almost everybody. It allowed children to be reared in safety. It gave women security, dignity, purpose and status. It worked. Our modern ever-changing morality of infinite indulgence is not based on experience or on any kind of understanding of biology or human behaviour. And while traditional sexual morality was certainly enforced it was mostly not enforced by formal authority.

A third difference is that traditional societies have more or less fixed rules. Everyone knows the rules. Our modern society has constantly changing rules and that’s a strong clue to the fact that the main purpose of the rules is to enforce obedience for the sake of obedience and to create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety.

And a fourth difference, and perhaps the most important, is that traditional societies were concerned with policing behaviours rather than thoughts or private conversations. Within a basically collectivist society there was still room for a reasonably high degree of individuality. Even behaviour was only policed within limits.

Our modern society claims to worship diversity and autonomy but crushes the individual spirit. The modern soft totalitarianism is bad but extreme individualism is equally bad. It’s a choice between psychological imprisonment on the one hand and psychological emptiness and nihilism on the other. We need to look at the way traditional societies did things to find ways to have connectedness without joining the Borg.

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victim hierarchies, orthodoxy and group-think

Dissidents often observe, with a mixture of horror and amusement, the ever-changing victim hierarchies of the cultural left. It used to be fairly simple when the number of victim groups was small. Blacks were pretty much at the top. Feminists and homosexuals disputed the number two spot.

Now there are countless victim groups, and even sub-groups. There are for example several warring factions within feminism and they hate each like poison.

But what’s really odd is that it is no longer possible to determine a person’s status as far as  the cultural left is concerned merely by adding up how many victim points they are entitled to. You can be a homosexual and still be Literally Hitler. Ask Milo Yiannopoulos. You can even be black and be Literally Hitler.

This should not be possible because the cultural left subscribes to identity politics as a matter of religious faith and therefore your identity should automatically determine your victimisation level and therefore your status (since it’s also a matter of faith that victimness is next to godliness).

While the modern cultural left seems on the surface to be pretty much the same as the cultural left that emerged during the 1970s there are actually some very major differences. They still whine about the same issues (racism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, blah blah blah). But now they have real power. And that changes everything.

What determines your status in the modern cultural left is orthodoxy. That’s all that really matters. You can have a stack of victim points a mile high and it won’t do you any good if you’re suspected of heresy.

And, interestingly, orthodoxy is not really determined by ideological purity. In fact the cultural left has no coherent ideology. Orthodoxy is determined by conformity. To put it more brutally, orthodoxy is determined by obedience. It is not necessary to understand. It is only necessary to obey.

It’s pretty much like the Borg. What matters is the extent to which you have fully assimilated to the Borg. It’s also similar to the Borg in that it’s a kind of decentralised apparatus of repression. There’s a kind of constantly changing consensus on orthodoxy. There’s no Social Justice Pope whose authority is final and there’s no one Scriptural authority to which you can refer. Which makes for a particularly nasty but particularly effective form of repression. It’s not group-think imposed by higher authority as in Orwell’s 1984. It’s group-think that arises organically out of the very nature of the Borg.

can we survive Christianity?

A horrifying quote from a recent post at A Political Refugee From the Global Village.

The former bishop of Caserta, Raffaele Nogaro, said recently
“Morally and as a man of faith I would be willing to turn all churches into mosques if it were useful to the cause and if it helped to save the lives of poor and unhappy men and women, because Christ did not come to earth to build churches but to help men regardless of race, religion, or nationality.”

We already knew that most of the leaders of most of the established Christian churches have abandoned Christianity in favour of secular liberalism but this quote is interesting since the bishop doesn’t even bother to try to hide the truth.

We have to ask ourselves, can our civilisation survive Christianity as it is now?

prelude to war

In an interesting discussion on Anatoly Karlin’s blog at unz.com this comment was made in relation to the latest American sanctions against Russia:

“These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war.”

Unfortunately I think that’s an accurate assessment. The situation is also very similar to the   policy followed by Franklin Roosevelt in doing everything possibly to provoke war wth Japan.

The current American demands are such that no sovereign nation ever would or ever could accept them. The intention is clearly to provoke war or to create a situation in which the U.S. can initiate war.

It’s worth keeping in mind that “sanctions” are a concept with no actual existence. Economic sanctions are an act of war. The U.S. is already at war with Russia, a war in which the U.S. is clearly the aggressor. It’s not yet a shooting war. But obviously the Americans are moving in that direction. The Americans do not want Russia to back down. They hope that the Russians will refuse to do so, so that the U.S. will have an excuse for war. If the Russians do back down the Americans will simply increase their demands until they get what they want, which is war.

The problem is that U.S. foreign policy is in the hands of people who truly believe that the U.S. could win against Russia with minimal casualties. They truly believe it would be pretty much like America’s wars against Third World nations, little more than a triumphal progress. It would of course be a nuclear war war but they believe that would be no problem. And even if it doesn’t turn out to be quite so easy, even if it ends up costing tens of millions of lives, these clowns really don’t care. They see it as a small price to pay to establish America’s hegemony as permanent and absolute.

It’s highly likely that American public opinion will go along with this suicidal course. It will be relatively easy to paint this war as the final war between good and evil, the war that finally eliminates evilness from the world. The war that destroys America’s enemies for good. American’s enemies are of course anybody who questions American power but the American public laps up that sort of thing.

And surely it’s worth a few tens of millions of dead in order to make the homosexual lobby happy, and to make sure that all Russians have the right to use whichever bathroom they choose and whichever pronouns they choose, just like they do in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

proof that western civilisation is the best civilisation

It’s all too easy to give in to despair and to think that western civilisation is not worth saving. And then along comes an inspiring story like this one.

In the Netherlands they’ve made a major breakthrough in the treatment of chronic depression. They’ve discovered a permanent cure. They kill the depressed person.

Stuart Schneiderman’s Enough Therapy blog has the story.

The Dutch, being a beacon of enlightened liberalism, not only kill the depressed patient, they make a media circus of it. I mean if you’re going to start killing off patients why not turn it into entertainment?

Of course whenever the legalisation of euthanasia becomes a political issue its proponents always reassure us that it will only apply to terminally ill people with absolutely no chance of recovery. There’s no way that a physically healthy 29-year-old woman would be put to death just because she was depressed. They won’t happen. There will be safeguards!

And there’s always some boring conservative who will try to suggest that maybe it’s a slippery slope and that maybe legalised euthanasia will end up as a means of liquidating inconvenient and annoying members of society. The conservative will of course be ridiculed in the media and ignored. And the warning about the slippery slope always turns out to be true.

It’s worth pointing out that this is not an isolated case. The Dutch have a regular production line going. Euthanasia is a growth industry.

But you can’t stand in the way of progress. Older treatments were not always guaranteed to be effective. With euthanasia there’s no chance whatsoever of a relapse. You could think of it as a final solution to the problem of depression.

Western civilisation is just so cool!

corruption legal and illegal

There was mention of corruption in the Rainbow Nation in a recent post on Nourishing Obscurity.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not going to defend the ludicrous and barbarous (and racist) South African regime. South Africa is heading rapidly down the slope towards failed state status.

But corruption isn’t as straightforward as it seems. We in the West have always liked to preen ourselves on the fact that there’s much mess corruption in our countries than in Third World countries. For alt-right types it’s reassuring proof of our ethnic superiority. For the modern globalist Left and for the cuckservative Right it’s proof of the essential superiority of liberal democracy and it demonstrates that we’re right to bomb the living daylights out of Third World countries until they accept the gift of Freedom and Democracy.

But are we less corrupt? It depends on what you mean by corruption. There are two types of corruption, illegal and legal. Illegal corruption is the most familiar type. On a large scale it means paper bags filled with banknotes being handed over to crooked officials in exchange fir services rendered. On a small scale it means handing over small amounts of cash to bureaucrats to persuader them to process your paperwork in 24 hours rather than six weeks. Illegal corruption tends to be rife in many Third World countries. It has also been common in some western countries at certain times, particularly among the police – Chicago during Prohibition, New South Wales in the 60s and 70s, etc. But illegal corruption has become much less common in the West. It’s illegal since it involves actions that are quite clearly and unequivocally against the law.

Legal corruption is a different animal. It involves practices that are not technically illegal. Let’s say you have a politician who gains important public office. After a decade or two he retires. And then he has an extraordinary stroke of luck. He gets offered a consultancy job by the Absolutely Gigantic Corporation Inc. For a few hours work a week (or possibly no work at all) he’ll collect an enormous pay cheque. Now no-one can actually prove that he was given that job in exchange for services rendered. Maybe the Absolutely Gigantic Corporation Inc just likes paying people lots of money for nothing. On the other hand I think most reasonable people will conclude that it’s a form of delayed legal pay-off.

Superannuated politicians also have an amazing knack for landing well-paid job involving virtually no work with international bureaucracies like the U.N. and the E.U. In Australia quite some time back a prime minister who had been unceremoniously thrown out of office by the voters found himself with a very cushy job indeed (involving lots and lots of luxury travel) as Ambassador to a certain U.N. agency. Most Australians had no idea that this absurd job even existed. I’m told that former U.S. presidents can get paid immense amounts of money for standing up in front of a bunch of bankers for half an hour and telling them that bankers really are a swell bunch of guys.

In cases like these it’s not necessarily always corruption in the formal sense of a pay-off for a specific corrupt act. But it is all part of a political, business and bureaucratic culture of doing favours and looking after political allies. It creates a fundamentally corrupt culture. It makes democracy, an inherently corrupt system, even more corrupt.

But this respectable corruption is hard to quantify and almost certainly isn’t going to show up in any official statistics anywhere so we can go on preening ourselves on our moral superiority. In actual fact it’s not that we’re less corrupt, we just practice corruption in a nicer and more efficient way.

Orwell vs Huxley

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

In a comment to my earlier post jvc expressed surprise that I thought Huxley’s Brave New World predicted out current situation more accurately than Orwell’s 1984. I can see where jvc is coming from. I probably should explain my view in more depth.

Obviously both Huxley and Orwell were remarkably prescient. Between the two of them they predicted the present state of society almost completely. Both authors missed things but what’s interesting is that the points that Huxley missed Orwell picked up n and the points that Orwell were covered by Huxley.

Huxley’s future was a world of unlimited material prosperity while Orwell foresaw grinding poverty and chronic shortages (Orwell was obviously very impressed by the low-level soul-destroying misery of rationing in post-war Britain). So far Huxley has been proved right, up to a point at least. Even as it has drifted slowly towards totalitarianism the West has maintained material living standards quite impressively. There are some caveats I should add. Huxley thought that technology would provide vast material prosperity and almost unlimited leisure. We haven’t really seen that unlimited leisure yet. And the prosperity we do have is maintained by credit and no-one really knows if that can be sustained in the long term.

And wealth is today very unevenly distributed, which Huxley didn’t predict. Orwell expected a tiny wealthy elite, the Inner Party, with everyone else living a fairly poverty-stricken existence. In the modern West there is certainly relative poverty and some actual poverty (which is increasing). But contrary to Orwell’s prediction there are a very large number people living in luxury. Rather than a tiny rich elite we have maybe half the country doing very nicely and half the country struggling. Whether that will end up being a stable situation remains to be seen.

Eric Blair AKA George Orwell (1903-1950)

Where I feel Orwell really got it wrong was his assumption that power in a totalitarianism would be exercised openly, that coercion would be overt and brutal and that the violence that sustained the system would be on open display. His famous vision of a boot stamping on a human face, forever.

Huxley’s totalitarianism is essentially voluntary totalitarianism. In Brave New World the citizens welcome their oppression. They don’t want freedom. The very idea frightens them. They want to be told what to do. They have lots of material goodies and they can have sex in unlimited quantity and unlimited variety. Huxley realised that people would gladly give up all their political and legal freedoms in exchange for sexual freedom and consumer goods.

And that is exactly what has happened. The sad truth is that most people in the modern West do not care about all those freedoms that classical liberals used to get so excited about. Most modern westerners understand that democracy is a charade. They don’t care. They really don’t care. Which could of course suggest that the classical liberals had no understanding whatsoever of what makes people tick and that democracy never was particularly important anyway.

In Huxley’s future power is exercised in subtle ways. There might be an iron fist in the velvet glove but it is never seen and it is not needed. There is coercion certainly but mostly people are happy to conform.

And that is pretty much what we have today. It’s depressing but most people are happy to conform. As in Brave New World they drug themselves with sex and happy pills and they don’t even realise how empty their lives are. They don’t miss all the things we’ve lost over the pasty half century because they don’t know about those things. Millennials have never lived in a society in which you can say that you think. They can’t imagine it and if they try to imagine it it makes them cry. They have lots of nice shiny toys to play with and non-threatening movies and lots of porn and they have apps so they can have anonymous sex with total strangers. They can’t imagine anything better than that. And if you suggest to them that maybe there is something more to life that makes them cry as well.

We don’t have the complete despair of Orwell’s future. That despair only affects the tiny red-pilled minority. What we have society-wide is the blankness of Huxley’s vision. A bland empty face staring at us, forever.