I do worry a lot about the state of our culture in the European countries. It seems to me there is an awful lot wrong with our approach to life and our outlook on life. Yet I see very few other people complaining. Far from it, anyone who does complain is often shouted down by the loud voices of PROGRESS. Of REASON and SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY, and of how we should bow down to these things and let them lead us to the promised land. This myth that we can let things such as technology do the hard work for us, so we can just be lazy and ride on its coattails, is a very dangerous one. It is also very blindsighted and naive to think that TECHNOLOGY and SCIENCE are all for the good, and to not realise that they can be a double-edged sword.
It will always take effort and hard work to maintain our cultural values and our moral integrity. These things will never get easy. But the way our kids are taught today, its as if this very impossibility can in fact be achieved. Somehow culture will be maintained by inertia alone. Well, are political institutions remaining uncorrupted by inertia alone? Do business men/women and companies looking for profit remain uncorrupted by inertia alone? Of course they do not, it takes effort and hard work to oppose them and bring them into line with our values. Too much fatalism is taught to the kids of the non-elite class (i.e. 95-99% of us). Science has unfortunately been brought to this service in the way kids are taught passive obedience to a fatalistic universe that they cannot influence or change in any way.
So, yes I worry a lot, in spite of, and partly because of, these strangely loud trumpeters of Reason and Science and Technology. Who seem to think just uttering a word makes them better by default than all past generations and societies and cultures combined. Because we have PROGRESSED. But much of this progress has become hugely stultifying of human spirit. We increase standards of living: net result everyone stays in and watches television and plays on computers. We increase protection against various diseases: net result, a generation emerges with no natural immunities and all sorts of new and strange illnesses seem to emerge, such as dyslexia, diabetes, cancer, depression, adhd, and many others that were largely absent in former times. Not to say there is a causal relationship here in any sense, but merely to point out that solving one problem only creates other problems, and so in no way allows us to get complacent about how PROGRESSED we have become.
Yet this side of the story is never portrayed by these loud trumpeters. The progress in medical care and welfare, has left us with a largely state dependent mass of people in Europe with very low birth rates, and very high tax rates. The two go hand in hand you will find. Yet the story we are told by those blowing their trumpets is that are birth rates have gone down because we are so darn progressed! It is almost laughable. Education they say, we are better educated, so we can feel smug and superior despite our unhealthily low birth rates. And we can always bring in more immigrants as the population ages… Ahh, but wait, here is where we see how culture is gradually eroded by this process. It is a gradual act of self-extinction. You cannot just bring in people en masse and expect immediate integration. You can create a veneer of it via political correctness, and via various elite manipulations of the media and advertising, but you cannot create a cultural reality of it.
How it has come to be seen as healthy and progressive to not even want to embrace the joys of life so much as to produce even enough offspring to reproduce your own generation, I do not know. How we can call a youth generation with diminishing social skills, and increasing emotional and mood problems progressive I don’t know. How we can call the extreme inequalities of wealth between rich elite and the poor rest of us, as progressive, I am once again flummoxed. Wellbeing and embracing the natural joys of life and culture need to be our new measures of progress within our communities. We need to brush this silly agenda aside, of the the trumpeters of TECHNOLOGY and PROGRESS and REASON. The fatalists and deniers that human spirit and human effort can achieve anything. We can admire the benefits and qualities of these accomplishments, and be proud of them, without having to faun all over them.
There is so much more on this topic that I would like to discuss. The dangers of our individualism and our political correctness agenda, the dangers of denying free will, were things merely touched upon. They go to the heart of the issue in our cultural crisis. Along with the guilt about empires and wars from the past. Along with an elite who clearly are hell bent upon either pacifying us, or if we don’t comply, destroying us. Subjects for another post and another day, when I have had time to think it over some more.
Toll a bell for depression
paralysis of expression
and hopeless mental compression
contorted negative thinking
falling down, drowning, sinking.
No escape, a struggle in quicksand
helpless groping with sieve-like hands
Past my grip slips life,
like butter through a hot knife.
Options exhausted, an early end
against death, even no point to defend
Oh well, oh well, oh well,
just keep tolling the bell
I have been catching up on the news lately, having switched off to it all for the past 5-6 months atleast. The combination of the Paris Attacks, the ongoing war against an ever changing named terrorist group: Al Quaeda, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and the European refugee/economic migrants crisis. This combination of interrelated factors has brought to my attention the sheer degree to which things are currently getting out of control in the globalist society. So I have looked into it, and I find a big problem is our unwillingness to debate critical issues due to an obsession with being politically correct, and an attendant fear of being seen as politically incorrect.
Things are very far gone when statistics are not discussed because of political correctness on one side of the debate, yet on the other side of the debate, statistics are shoved in our faces. For example, the succesful integration of a muslim into western society will be heavily emphasized, but the media will not talk of no-go zones for non-muslims in our countries, of facts such as the massive increase in rape in Sweden since the introduction of Islamic migrants en masse, in the name of multiculturalism. The Hungarian woman tripping a poor innocent refugee will be emphasized, while a mass of economic migrants rushing in and throwing stones at Hungarian engineers in a train at a train station will not be talked about. The white cop shooting a black teenager will be emphasized in Chicago, and people will protest massively, but all the black on black crime in Chicago will not be similarly emphasized. The white supremacists in Minnesota will be talked of as shooting black people at a protest there in the name of a hate crime, yet we will not be told the added information, that they had earlier been attacked by black people at the protest, and were running away before they opened fire on them, you could then argue in self-defence. But of course that argument won’t be made, because it would be politically incorrect.
These are examples of the madness we currently face in the media presentation, but it goes much further than this, for it is fed and fueled also by the left-wing political-correct, pluralist, post-modernist mentality many people have been inculcated into. I remember when I studied at university in the early 2000’s, and the post-modernist outlook was just beginning to take its grip, and I remember being very suspicious back then of its fuzzy non-commital arguments, of moral relativism, cultural relativism, post-feminism, post-enlightenment, and the strange talk of “dead white males”. As a keen studier and respecter of these “dead white males”, and what they have done for our civilisation, it struck me as people denying their cultural background, without offering an alternative, in a faddish kind of rebellious act. This is what the “post” really amounts to in these things, it is not POST, but END.
This I believe is then largely to blame for the current era of political correctness, because people have lost the ability to have a rational and reasonable dialogue about critical issues. We cannot express out viewpoint for we don’t acknowledge our viewpoint, we are post having a viewpoint officially, so instead we just get all offended and morally outraged about one statement or another, that true or false, all we are really mad at is our inability to express a rational argument about it, and so we just grunt disapproval or shout a person down with claims such as sexism and racism. And these claims immediately end any dialogue or discussion about real issues, and whisk us off to some fantasy post-land of purely relativist ideological battles, which can have no basis and no common ground, thus we must simply take sides on an instinctive preference, but of course instinctive preferences can be very easily manipulated by those with the leisure time, and influence to do it, i.e. the powerful, via such things as advertisement and mainstream news.
Then we are left as we are now, no discussion, no debate, no rational appeal to facts, just a shouting match of taking offence at other peoples facts and being the first to shout racism. This is political correctness, and it is much more insidious and deeply ingrained in our psyche now, than any genuine concerns about those we are being politically correct about, it is just a hair-trigger reaction to anything we are scared to talk about, and any facts we are scared to face.
Same old, same old, the wheels go round
the groove digs deeper and deeper into the ground
predictable channels, an overly beaten trail
makes life and living seem ever more stale.
What point to this slavery where we all have our masters
be it people, needs, or genetic forecasters.
Nothing new under this jaded sun
the die has been cast, the web has been spun.
Predecided life become a tormentuous sham
Very hard to care, or to much give a damn
Time slows down, an expanded moment ensnares me
I can’t run away from what I can’t see.
I only feel it engulfing all my pores,
drowning me deeply in sorrows and sores.
An empty and vacant feeling remains,
inside my barren, hollowed out chest
for life I hold great disdain
that can never be rightfully expressed.
I want to consider here the general status of intelligent discussion in society. The general status of rationality in our discourse with others. And in many ways I would like to suggest that we have took backward steps in recent times. On what basis would I make this suggestion? It is a combination of the increasing specialization of academia, and the increasing dumbing down, or levelling out of general education. As a result there is little communication between the high level view and the average, everyday view of reason. The high level view thus resorts to ever more technical speculations, further and further removed from the intuitions of our daily concerns. The common view becomes ever more entrenched in a fixed set of basic premises/beliefs, with which it is bombarded during education and in a cultural self-affirmation and re-affirmation of these premises that fixates them in peoples minds to the extent of making them incapable of independent and critical thought regarding them, which would be the starting point for proper rational and philosophical enquiry.
In regards to each of metaphysics, epistemology, logic and morality, the common view has become deeply entrenched in materialistic premises regarding the former two, and cultural relativistic premises regarding the two latter ones. So how then can we have an open, rational discussion with people who are already committed to these premises? They have decided already how they want to end the discussion, and what they think the true answers are before we have even begun the debate!
Take metaphysics: right lets sit and have a discussion about reality. Their response: Okay well lets see what the scientific evidence is telling us. In other words, lets take whatever current science says on authority and not think for ourselves. Instead, just use buzz words like evidence to cover our own ignorance and end the debate before it can start. It never seems to cross their mind that it is people who are scientists and who interpret evidence in line with many theoretical assumptions and inclinations. Of course it doesn’t, they never tried to learn epistemology for themselves, because they take it on faith that science has or will have the answers thanks to their indoctrination, I mean, education.
We could go through them all in this way. In each case a philosophical discussion never gets a chance to get started, and so our common philosophical inteligence as a community drops. This has been happening for some time. Logical atomism and positivism inaugurated this disdainful approach to open and critical discussion of subjects such as metaphysics. They were tired out and fed up that there were not simple, clear-cut answers, so they decided to claim there must not be any answers, so we should stop asking the questions. Of course, historically, the grounds for their view were shown to be weak and so they did not last long in academic philosophy. But academic philosophy is no longer in touch with common, everyman philosophy, so there is no stopping the latter from holding to such views regardless.
It is a difficult situation we currently face, the examples of scientists propounding naive philosophies disregarded a century ago as if they are new is a particularly damaging development. As I think is the cult of atheism. That thinks atheism is somehow true by default. The default of course being its materialistic premises it was indoctrinated with in school education.
These developments are dangerous because they are not open to critical reason. They thus play into the hands of the holding of convenient views, which further entrenches corrupted power in the system. For what is convenient is whatever the current powerful people say is true. Truth and critical reason as properly practiced, remain something that is very inconvenient, and far from easy to accept. But they are what we need to keep sight of because ultimately they are all that keeps man from descending into an unconscious, unreflective, herd-based existence.
It is all too easy to get stuck in a rut philosophically. It is never easy to be genuinely open to new ideas. Yes, kids are sponges, open to anything. But as such they are vulnerable and as easily influenced by misguided ideas as by valid ideas. It is only with maturity, and through developing our powers of thought that we can become a harsh, but fair critic of the ideas presented to us.
This is what philosophy is all about. It is not simply being open, anymore than it is simply being closed to argument and debate, committed to a system or school of thought dogmatically. It is about having the ability to reassess and reevaluate basic premises when good reasons and arguments are presented to you. It is about not rushing to get angry when your cherished premises are questioned, and reacting blindly, as if a debate is merely an argument to be won. Little more than a mental battlefield of assertion and counter assertion.
This view of affairs is the natural presumption of the lazy mind. But we must fight this laziness, and strive to be willing to accept reevaluations of our beliefs. Loudness and persistence of assertion is not a sign of a well reasoned argument, but quite the opposite. To philosophise is quite often to work against some of our basic human instincts, this is what makes it hard work.
And this is why I have in the past emphasised the importance of the spiritual aspect to philosophy. This can help us to avoid attachment to some premises and so be open for a reasonable debate. But also there does remain certain key points of logic and methodology that we need to keep sight of. Witholding judgment on a topic is a difficult and complicated art form in itself. Lets hope that we don’t let this art be lost for the sake of simple, quick judgments on complicated things in the name purely of winning shallow arguments.
You tried to destroy me, to pull me down
to make me cry, to make me frown.
You tried to make me not care
give me hassle I could not bear.
All for nothing, simply that I was aware
of your ways, of your weakness
you thought I would take advantage
you did not realise I had no interest
my motives were not as low as yours
I would never stoop to that game
I would rather die in burning flames
to me it is all the same.
Please refrain from assumming I am like you
as I now bid you farewell forever, as I bid you adieu