by Brett Stevens on February 24, 2018
We live in the era after individualism won. It achieved its victories in tiers, creating a plateau of dysfunction on which to build its next level, but eventually peaked with the election of Barack Obama and the rise of Angela Merkel, both of which showed that our societies were completely inverted or turned against their founding principles.
The individualist idea says that there is no order greater than the individual, and that the individual finds happiness by fulfilling a personal vision that is not dependent on any larger order. In other words, every person is a world, and the world is merely the canvas on which they paint their grand vision of themselves.
Traditionalists — those who see the human goal as adaptation to an order both material and metaphysical — take a different perspective, which is that the individual finds meaning through the process of responding to challenge and defining himself. We know ourselves through struggle to find out what is meaningful.
We might call the traditionalist vision individuality in contrast to the individualism which is compatible with herd behavior because groups of people unite on the interest that each has in suspending anything more than his own personal obligations. Individuality is not enhanced by individualism, but replaced by it.
New research suggests that the traditionalists are correct. It turns out that our concept of ourselves is dependent on culture, which means that culture enhances rather than reduces individuality:
Although autobiographical memory, like many other cognitive faculties, has been traditionally viewed as an individual matter and a product of the mind or brain, research in the past two decades has revealed the central role of culture in human cognition and remembering.
We have obtained critical evidence that two intrapersonal variables – self-construal and emotion knowledge – and one interpersonal variable – parent-child reminiscing – play important roles in driving the cultural differences in the content, structure, emergency, and general accessibility of autobiographical memory. In addition, we have conducted studies to investigate how these intrapersonal and interpersonal variables themselves are influenced by culture through early socialization practices and parental beliefs and goals. Together, these studies illustrate that autobiographical memory emerges and develops as both an individual expression and a cultural product.
As might be expected, some of identity emerges from “individual expression” but since this is understood through culture, our memories are ultimately shaped by the process of culture. This rejects the idea that there is some universal truth for all people because what we value and how we see ourselves is expressed in terms of cultural values.
This fits with the traditional idea that people act for recognition in the context of their culture. Culture is a standard expressed in values and principles, and every act we take is measured against that standard. Those who further advance the standard rise in social status, and those who do not, lose status.
If the 1960s brought us the idea through the Worf-Sapir hypothesis that language shapes thinking, our knowledge now turns to how culture shapes perception, and therefore how none of us exist in a vacuum. There is no universal culture or values system, nor can the self be the root of our knowledge of individuality.
Tom Wolfe writes about this cultural revolution in his essay “The Human Beast”:
Today, Charles Darwin still reigns, but his most fervent followers, American neuroscientists, are deeply concerned about this irritating matter of culture, the product of speech. Led by the British neuroscientist Richard Dawkins, they currently propose that culture is the product of “memes” or “culturegens”, which operate like genes and produce culture. There is a problem, however. Genes exist, but memes don’t. The concept of memes is like the concept of Jack Frost ten centuries ago. Jack Frost was believed to be an actual, living, albeit invisible, creature who went about in the winter freezing fingertips and making the ground too hard to plow. ((((((Noam Chomsky)))))) has presented another problem. He maintains that there is no sign that speech evolved from any form of life lower than man. It’s not that there is a missing link, he says. It’s that there is absolutely nothing in any other animal to link up with. It becomes difficult for Neo-Darwinists to continue to say that structures consisting only of words are not real and durable. What accounts for the fact, to choose but one example, that Islam has directed the lives and behavior of literally billions of people since the eighth century?
Princeton anthropologist ((((((Clifford Geertz)))))) has written, “There is no such thing as a human nature independent of culture. Men without culture would not even be the clever savages of Lord of the Flies.”
Another way to understand this can be found in the concept of social capital, or the knowledge about how to live and socialize passed down from parents to children and shared in a community. Culture is extended social capital, and consists of behavioral codes and values objectives to guide people in life.
It ultimately triumphs because it brings comfort. In a world of infinite options, people want to know what to do so that they live well and will be respected by others. Culture represents a heuristic of this, showing them a path for which they will not be criticized, and enshrining the best knowledge of past generations.
by Brett Stevens on February 24, 2018
When we have another school shooting, people recognize quickly that the name of the game is to fling blame at anything but the actual problem. Real problems consist of causes which do not resemble their effects, and require re-organization more than redirecting material resources.
Voters on the other hand love treating effects as causes. They figure that if they can regulate or bribe the effect, they can make the cause disappear. For them, school shootings are caused by school shootings, so if they can force those events to be less convenient, the problem will be solved.
That frame of mind naturally lends itself toward control, or attempting to regulate methods in order to change how people think, instead of simply changing their thinking directly by redirecting them from illusions to values. If people are speeding, make their cars slower; if people drink too much, raise alcohol taxes.
Our current lazy thinking for the mentally obese conveys the idea that if people are shooting up schools, we should remove their guns, and maybe that way they will get less crazy, desperate, miserable, despairing, suicidal, and destructive. That seems like a nice, simple solution that relies on force implemented in a single step, which is easier than the indirect, multi-step response needed to change causes.
Research shows us that these oblivious minds have it exactly backwards: firearms do not cause murder, but murder causes people to turn to firearms:
We found no direct relationship between social trust and firearm prevalence. Social trust is related to firearm prevalence indirectly through its influence on homicide rates. Areas with low levels of social trust have high homicide rates, which, in turn, increase firearm prevalence.
Americans arm themselves in response to high levels of firearm violence. Because greater social trust is related to lower homicide rates, public health researchers should be concerned with the community conditions that promote social trust.
In other words, people react to violence by preparing for violence. The researchers measured homicide as a whole, meaning that they included killings which did not involve guns, and found a relationship between this violence and people wanting to own guns.
Extending this to school shootings, we can see that where violence is commonplace, people think in terms of violence, and for that reason miserable and suicidal people turn toward using guns on others. Much as the Columbine shooters preemptively retaliated against those who bullied them, school shooters as a genre are fighting back after the fact.
This illustrates an indirect relationship to social trust: when people believe that society will punish the bad and cut down on a culture of violence, they are less prone to school shootings; when they believe that the real instigators will not be punished, they turn toward self-destructive revenge.
This leads us to an entirely different angle of inquiry on school shootings. Instead of looking toward guns, we must look toward a culture of violence where retaliation is not possible, so people internalize their rage until they snap and attack society itself by attacking its most vulnerable.
This article was written by a lady as an editorial.
Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration.
Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.
Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests. Let’s say I break into your house. Let’s say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.
But I say, ‘No! I like it here. It’s better than my house. I’ve made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I’ve done all the things you don’t like to do. I’m hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).
According to the protesters:
- You are Required to let me stay in your house
- You are Required to feed me
- You are Required to add me to your family’s insurance plan
- You are Required to Educate my kids
- You are Required to Provide other benefits to me & to my family
My husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working and honest (except for that breaking in part).
If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.
It’s only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I’m just trying to better myself. I’m a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house
And what a deal it is for me!!!
I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior. Oh yeah, and I DEMAND that you learn MY LANGUAGE so that you can communicate with me.
Why can’t people see how ridiculous this is?!
by Max Roscoe
Google has been under increasing criticism for its censorship, feminism, and authoritarian practices. Here is a sample of what they’ve done recently:
- Fired James Damore for speaking out against its pro-diversity culture (despite hiring 35% Asians in a country with a 3% Asian population).
- Worked with governments to censor speech.
- Met with Obama White House weekly, more often than some Cabinet members.
- Continued development of terminator robots, likely in coordination with government Military / Industrial Complex funds under the cover of AI research.
- Supported a variety of feminist, degenerate, anti-family policies, and politically correct propaganda, including the #MeToo hysteria.
While in fairness, the company quietly removed its duplicitous “Don’t Be Evil” company motto in 2015, men should recognize that doing business with the company is helping further lead Western nations down the wrong path.
But perhaps the greatest danger Google presents is its subtle rewriting of history. In an age where few know how to research facts in encyclopedias or libraries, most information comes from the internet. Finding misinformation online is extremely easy, but the real danger is when large institutions begin misrepresenting facts and creating their own narratives.
In 2017, Google came under fire for returning image searches that were politically correct fantasies of what the user was searching. When I first heard about this, I laughed and figured it was a bug or hack that someone exposed, that would be corrected later that day or certainly that week. But here we are, in the Current Year, and the search results below speak for themselves.
1. White Man White Woman
On the other hand, Asian couple returns:
Whites are statistically 35% of the US prison population, and that includes Hispanics.
4. Happy American White Couple
5. Lazy Man
6. American Scientists
7. American Father
8. European Inventors
9. Unhappy Couple
I’m sure this is all just a shoddy (((algorithm))) and despite search being Google’s primary product, and the images only affecting straight white men, surely at least one of its 88,000 employees is aware and the company is going to fix this bug any day now (2 years and counting).
Of course, when the problem involves a minority, like when gorillas began appearing in searches for black men, Google’s response is immediate. When it involves a conservative white man, don’t hold your breath.
But until then, if you, like the majority of young Americans today, are not a white male, and have limited interactions with white men, seeing these images would make you think white men are lazy, untalented, violent criminals, and rapists that make poor fathers. The next generation is being programmed to believe a narrative of history that is in sharp contrast to the truth.
Even I greatly overestimated the number of blacks in America—they are less than 13% of the population! But their media exposure is far greater.
The changes in my lifetime may be minor, but imagine a child being born today in majority non-white America. When her teacher asks her to research and write a story on scientific discoveries, she may be presented with an entirely different set of facts than what you and I know today.
Of course, America is less a nation and more an economic zone, but that is a topic for another day.
While it can be tempting to use Google’s products, particularly since they are free, take the time to look for some alternatives. Startpage and Duckduckgo are good search alternatives.
by Brett Stevens on February 23, 2018
We tend to pride ourselves in being technologically advanced and scientifically literate people, in the modern world, and yet as always struggle can be found in the interpretation. It is all too easy to adopt a concept on the surface, or in a specific context, while denying its influence in all areas.
Such is the case with Charles Darwin. Humans enthusiastically endorsed his work when it broke down religion; individualists love having fewer rules, and the tendency of humans below the exceptional is to be individualists. They gladly used it to justify immigration and ethnic displacement.
However, Darwin becomes a feared taboo when we consider the differences between human groups — races, castes, ethnic groups, classes, sexes, sexual preference groups — because suddenly, Darwin applies to us. It is well and good to laugh at a Darwin award winner or claim that another group deserves to perish, but when the mirror turns on ourselves, it becomes no laughing matter.
Unfortunately for those who fear him, Darwin has returned. We would like to think that a sudden interest in truth prompted this, but it was the other way around: people noticed the ongoing failure of the Leftist world order of globalism, diversity, and equality and ended up foraging for reasons why this might be so.
That crops up any time someone offers narrative-denying reality that offends the herd:
Bruckner was referencing comments Whittle has made, including in an interview with alt-right figure ((((((Stefan Molyneux)))))), that advanced the theory that intellectual capacity is predetermined by race.
In the interview, Whittle said that while Molyneux, who is white, could with time and training learn to become as proficient in wilderness survival as the Australian aboriginal people, the aboriginal people could never learn to do what Molyneux, a podcaster and YouTube host, does for a living.
“That’s the thing about intelligence. You can adapt down, but you can’t adapt beyond your ability,” Whittle said.
Looking at this situation realistically, however, it makes zero sense that there would not be differences among groups. People adapt to do different things; different groups not only live in different environments, but choose different environments.
Consider a wandering group of humans. They hike to the peak of a mountain, and look into the valley beyond. They see desert, sea, and forest. Some fear the deep woods, so head toward the sea; others fear the ocean storms, so go toward the desert. Over the years, individuals migrate between these groups, selecting for those who find it comfortable to live in each environment.
In the same way, in our society the selection process continues. Some like to live in cities; some prefer suburbs; others head to the country. In ten thousand years, you would have three entirely different groups based on the environment they preferred and could excel in.
Even within groups the selection process continues. Some work with brains, some with hands, and some with backs. Since we are not clones, each person is more inclined to one type than the others, and so pursues that to the exclusion of the rest. This creates differentiation as well.
We have been asleep for centuries under the sway of egalitarianism, which holds that all people are roughly the same in ability and tendency to choose. As time goes on, these assumptions are finally tested when they come into power, as Western Leftism did after the fall of its competitor the Soviet Union, and then fade away when proven nonsensical.