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War: Ideology and Reality

There has been a consensus in the west for some time, at least theoretically, that war is definitely a bad thing. This seems fair enough, a good attitude to have. But what about when this attitude transforms into one of showing that one is never willing to fight to defend oneself in the face of enemies? When one is always willing to compromise, negotiate, and never willing to draw a line in the sand?

This, of course, shows a weakness that will only be exploited by others. I think this is what is happening right now in the western worlds relationships with the rest of the world. It has shown itself to be an easy target for it will always give ground a bit more, rather than resort to conflict or violence. This is what horrifies western liberals about Trump and about Brexit. These were both examples of a drawing of a line in the sand. Of a refusing to give ground beyond a certain point. And, to liberals, this makes us reprehensible, and to blame, for any violence that results, even initiated by foreign enemies!

What kind of a twisted mentality does it take to be willing to bend over backwards like this to accommodate foreigners, enemies to the extent that we blame ourselves for any violence they commit. It’s our fault for having wars with them. As if they were just innocent bystanders. It’s our fault for their crime, because we put them in poverty ridden neighbourhoods and our police are “racist”. Where racist here could easily translate to, they have an inborn preference for their own community over a foreign community with foreign values. I.e. A perfectly natural sentiment throughout human history, that we in the west are now supposed to simply rise above, in the name of our liberal moral ideals. As if obsessing on these ideals enough and ignoring counter trends can somehow magically make these ideals become social reality.

Of course, they are not becoming social reality, certainly not to the extent of living up to the liberals stringent moral demands of us. And so we get the constant shaming: racist, sexist, etc… We get accused of hate speech, we get sidelined from the mainstream narrative, we get, in the UK, with the likes of Tommy Robinson, to the stage of locking people up for endangering this shaky liberal ideal. We move, toe by toe, into a totalitarianism. For if we cannot make our ideal real, the second best thing is to shut down anyone who questions our ideal, until we are safe in an echo chamber, where reality can be forgotten. Where everyone is scared to say what they think and must conform, under threat of prison, social exclusion etc. This is fast becoming the reality in the UK and throughout Western Europe. And they are working hard to make it reality in USA via mainstream media indoctrination, safe space obsessions, constant racism and sexism accusations and many other insidious, passive aggressive means.

This is what I like about Trump, he is countering this liberal consensus in the west on war. Not because he is some kind of warmongering crazy person looking to start a nuclear disaster. But because he recognises that you cannot keep giving ground in negotiations with enemies. This is not a sustainable way of life for any human group. No matter how morally good they may feel about themselves acting in this way. This is not a practical long term way to go for our civilisation. We have to be willing to draw a line in the sand, show strength in negotiations, not merely a weak agreeableness always willing to cede ground, due to an innate refusal to ever countenance violence or war.

I am not saying war like tendencies are nice things. I am saying if you are never willing to defend yourself or have some personal boundaries then you will just get walked over by others more willing to countenance violent measures, and not so wishy washy in their sentiments.

This summation of the constrained vision of war, by Thomas Sowell in his book Conflicting Visions, sums it up well, and you can see in the six points he mentions, how closely Trump is following this approach. For someone constantly accused of being dumb, racist, sexist, a Nazi, literally Hitler, insane, senile, by the left, strange he would follow a strategy so closely of a top and highly respected liberal conservative intellectual in economics:

Those with the constrained vision see war in entirely different terms. According to this vision, wars are a perfectly rational activity from the standpoint of those who anticipate gain to themselves, their class, or their nation, whether or not these anticipations are often mistaken, as all human calculations may be.

From this perspective, the steps for a peace-seeking nation to take to reduce the probability of war would be the direct opposite of those proposed by people with the alternative vision: (1) raising the cost of war to potential aggressors by military preparedness and military alliances, (2) arousal of the public to awareness of dangers, in times of threat, (3) promotion of patriotism and willingness to fight, as the cost of deterring attack, (4) relying on your adversaries’ awareness of your military power more so than on verbal communication, (5) negotiating only within the context of deterrent strength and avoiding concessions to blackmail that would encourage further blackmail, and (6) relying more on the good sense and fortitude of the public at large (reflecting culturally validated experience) than on moralists and intellectuals, more readily swayed by words and fashions.

Point (3) is what I have been talking about regarding not being a pushover. Point (4) and (5) are the methods Trump has been using since in power in his dealings with North Korea and Iran. To the chagrin of much of the mainstream media, who would prefer we just take deals on whatever terms offered us on the first offer by our enemies. Clearly we should be thankful such naive people as this are not negotiating are relationships with foreign enemies, for they would leave us open to future blackmail, just as Sowell points out.

Then there is point (6), this is what Trump does when he talks about liking the lower educated. He means lower in formal education. For it is these people who reflect current values in our culture, much more than the intellectual class who are often living in their own ideological bubbles of a world they would like to be in, rather than in reality as it presents itself to us.

So, if you want to debate with me about Trump, just remember this is the grounds you will have to argue with me on. Not on some weak attempt to call him a clown or a buffoon. Not on the latest trendy meme in the mainstream media to try and undermine him on emotional grounds. Not through laughter and ganging up behavior. Not through conformity with a mainstream narrative, where all else is dismissed as conspiracy, alt-right, hate speech, etc… None of this attempt to silence will work on me, for I am simply not interested in your attempt to force my speech, and force my thoughts on the subject. Not based on some spurious Russian collusion investigation. For why would I give you any credit for integrity when it comes to democracy, given the left wants global elites to over ride our democracy anyway.

The left has given up on democracy and free speech, in favour of friendly speech and a globe trotting elite who know better than us what is best for us, who we should simply submit to. And yet you expect me to be worrying about Russian bots interfering in precious Hilary Clintons attempts to get elected, by exposing facts about her to the public eye? For all the mainstream media has done, funded by the global elite, to try and interfere in Trumps chance to get elected. I am now supposed to worry about Russian bots harming Hilary?

No one with any common sense is going to be influenced by such tripe. Neither am I supporting Trump on grounds of some racial or sexist notions. So, please, don’t waste your time with all this nonsense. If you want to debate me freely, debate me on the reasonable points I bring up at the beginning of this piece. And if you have some practical alternatives to address those issues raised I am happy to discuss them. Just do not bother me with emotionally fueled, ideological bigotry. It is very easy to be against war and violence on moral, ideological grounds. It’s the most trendy thing you can do in the liberal western world. It is much more difficult to provide a practical vision of how this will work out in reality, without often denying many basic facts about human nature, and hoping we can somehow overcome our nature.

If Sowell is right, then the two ideologies of the constrained vision, exemplified by Trump in many aspects here in regard to his ideology on war, and the unconstrained vision, exemplified by many left liberals of today in relation to war, are doomed to talk past each other and not be able to talk even about the same things, let alone find common ground. For their whole orientation in the world is fundamentally different. I think to start a conversation we simply have to recognise some of our fluffy liberal ideals for how impractical they are and get down to dealing with practical reality. If we really want proper democracy, proper political power in our lives, then we have to be willing to face these harsh practical realities, rather than deferring them to a power elite, so we can continue on safely in our intellectual safe havens as herded animals.

 

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On the Edge of a Cliff

A precipice to either side

an uncomfortable joyride

between anger and despair

and I am constantly aware.

There is no way out of here

no escape, no chance to disappear.

I live in a narrowed down space

focused almost autistically on my own race.

No distractions, only annoyances in my path

if they don’t move aside they will face my wrath.

No room for love or care, must be kept at a distance

if it gets closer it will only meet great resistance.

My guard I will never let down,

I will not be your clown.

I will be a martyr to others hate,

before I will lovingly receive a mate.

Alone and in fear I may be

but still I believe I am free.

What I am I will take to the grave

I don’t want to be loved, I don’t want to be saved.

I don’t fit in life’s safe, regular patterned way

I enjoy the danger, the precariousness on which I sway.

It also scares me, terrifies me,

one slip and I will fall like scree.

Down the endless slope to the abyss,

the deep hole that devours anything amiss.

 

 

 

My Thoughts on “The Retreat of Western Liberalism”, by Edward Luce

Here is some of my stream of thought analysis I had while reading this book. You get an idea how impassioned I get while reading something like this, and why it can be dangerous sometimes for me to read certain things, and yet still at the end of it I can come out with some reasonable conclusions I think.


After reading the introduction…

“I will give this a try, but I am already concerned based on the introduction that this is going to be a naive liberal account, I think I can take a lot from it to learn, but I will just have to avoid getting angry and frustrated at this naive, or disingenuous liberal bias. I say disingenuous, because many of our elites trumpet things they don’t believe themselves just to manipulate us, as treacherous sell outs…”

After 10 pages of the main text…

“My point regarding his naive or disingenuous liberal view is not that he is a “leftist”. He does seem at least not directly guilty of that, though he does show a clear preference for that as a lesser evil than the right wing I think. But regardless the naivety comes in regarding thinking we are going to all get along under the law with shared values…”

“Our multicultural, multi-sexual, multi-ethnic society has been undermining common shared values now for some time. It is inherent in the logic of the direction of “progress” that liberal values took. We had a honeymoon period of thinking, or of being made to think it could work, that honeymoon is now over and reality has set back in…”

After 15 pages…

“So if you naively or disingenuously think more liberal is the answer, you are either a sell out elite who has nothing to lose by trumpeting things that aren’t going to effect you personally, or you are a naive liberal ideologue, who clings to a delusion that multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-sexual societies are going to accept the rational dictates of shared values and reasonable discourse…”

“when most of the “multi” we are talking about have no interest in those values, and in fact demonise them and want to bring them down at every opportunity…”


So you see how resistant I am and ready to pigeonhole his ideas. Not without reason, for he does turn out to be of this liberal frame of mind in some “naive” and “disingenuous” ways, but not in all, as I later find out. An accurate psychological assessment of someones hidden motivations is still no reason to rule out all they have to say, for there can still be some valuable content in there, if you have the patience to filter out the motivational bias of them.


After 45 pages…

 “A lot of accurate assessments of the current problems we are facing in our rising dissatisfaction in the west with our economic stagnation, but then from it he seems to be drawing the wrong conclusions. That more of the same that has got us into this situation will help sort things out.”

After 55 pages…

“”He advised a new ‘responsible nationalism’, which would ‘begin from the idea that the basic responsibility of government is to maximize the welfare of its citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good’. The global elites, in other words, need to catch up with how most people view the world – not the other way round. I believe what Summers is saying now is closer to the truth.” Nice assessment.”


How things have changed! I am now finding some common ground with his ideas regarding a critique of blindly pursuing abstract concepts of the global good based on what a self appointed moral elite likes to dictate to us. But I will soon find myself levelling vituperative rhetoric at his ideas again…


After 160 pages…

“His status as a partisan hack really came out in this chapter. Very sad really, because he does this great little bit of analysis when he isn’t talking about Trump, but then as soon as he starts talking about Trump he sounds like a dumb 5 year old throwing his toys out of the pram. The level of blame he seems to think is on Trumps shoulders is astounding to the point where he very dangerously talks of Trump as…”

“…an “enemy within”, does he really think provoking a civil war in America, with this kind of talk, would be any good for America? Does he really think all those people who support Trump are just figments of his imagination? Does he honestly not see that this movement is a groundswell against a technocratic elite who were manipulating the narrative..”

“He does the standard democrat move of calling the Russians and Trump exclusively fake news, inverting the truth that we all know which is that it is the mainstream media that has come under attack, rightfully, as fake news, due its forcing of a monolithic agenda and narrative as a voice not of the people, but of the technocratic elites, and their globe trotting agenda that is quite happy to see regular Joes…”

“…community and culture collapse and fall apart, while it quite happily imports millions of economic migrants, that it calls “refugees” telling us to put up and shut up, in the process taking our free speech under the guise of calling anything disagreeing with its technocratic mono narrative, “hate speech”, a now punishable crime.”

“In sum, someone who cannot see the true side of this story regarding the mainstream medias mono narrative, as a spokesperson of elite technocrats, and not of the people, or who is not atleast willing to withhold judgment on this point for now, given there is clearly a genuine clash of narratives currently, thanks to independent outlets like youtube allowing people to voice concerns separate from the mainstream..”

“…medias attempts to force a mononarrative upon us all. If he cannot see any of this then he is clearly just blinded by partisan hackery. This third chapter also somewhat out of date with the China scaremongering, given that since then we have seen recently progress made with North Korea that was unheard of. Flies in the face of Luces analysis of Trump as needing pills to make him as enlightened as wonderful liberals..”

“…like himself. Of couse, he really means the technocratic elite to which he, Luce, belongs, we should all bow down to these elite experts, and let our countries fall apart under mass immigration, um, no thanks Luce. Your narrative is under attack by a counter narrative, you would do well to fight back not try to pretend it doesn’t exist, its just “fake”, it makes you look like an out of touch paranoid person.”

“Luces suggestion of more appeasement of countries like China, and the usual demonisation of Russia is not a good solution. This was tried and failed by Obama, and Luce was an adviser to Obama, and I just don’t think he realises just how badly they failed. Being nice, means being took advantage of. and when taken too far, just looks like plain treachery to other countries interests over your own, this has to change.”


But finally I come round to a more sober final assessment…


After 171 pages…

“This fourth section has gotten a bit more reasonable again. He has cut down the partisan politics and started to as some real questions about what we need to do given our current situation. I think he is in error in thinking we can have an enlightenment style solution that ultimately benefits every group. Western society needs to learn to defend itself, something it didn’t have to do for a long time, from extinction”

And in Conclusion…

So his assessment of Western Liberalism and its collapse, and coming collapse, I feel is largely correct. But who he seems to blame and want to criticise seems more irrelevant. He accuses others of wanting to go back to some golden age. But is he not wanting himself to go back to a golden age of western liberalism implicitly if he is bemoaning and worrying about its retreat? I think more people realise than he thinks how difficult the future is set to be for the western world. We have tried to take on too much. Claiming too grand a moral title for ourselves as saviors of the world, as the height of progress in the world, etc. We are going to need to reassess what we want the Western world to identify as, and I think this is the process that is currently happening. Western liberalism as he sees it, was the golden era of the past. Though he neglects to point just how much that golden era relied on an imperialism that kept the rest of the world down. I feel the Western world deserves to have a place in the world and does have a valid place in the world. But it is going to take some figuring out from its current identity crisis. And the answer is certainly not trying to bring back the golden age of liberalism, for that relied on other aspects such as imperialism that are not a good option for our future.


So there you have it, reading a book can be an emotional roller coaster. For me, it is because there is a feeling of powerlessness sometimes while reading a book.Here is this person, this author, in a privileged person, able to get his ideas out to thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, and my voice in opposition to this has few people to reach out to. So even when and if he is uttering lies or deceptions or just exhibiting ignorance, there is little I can do to put things to right. I guess this is my outlet. But I think the main thing is to try and have some patience and humility. Then you can develop your own reasoned responses over time, and there will always be an audience for reasonable and clear thinking. The clear thought I get from all this is that western society is indeed in some sort of identity crisis primarily and that is where our concern should be directed if we care for its future and continuance.

Friendly Speech

When the hate speech narrative concludes its course

the only group left allowed to chat and discourse

will be the group immune to hate speech

the friendly, liberals with so much to teach.

From murdering babies to degenerate sexuality

to taking our basic human right to talk of reality

and our conscience and source of individuality.

The liberal knows what is best

better than all of the rest

filling our cities with immigrants so quick

that most of them prefer their own culture to stick.

Increasing the crime while banning the guns

being dependent on the police is so much fun

for we can trust our experts and our leaders

there is no history of them being corruption breeders.

For history doesn’t exist, we are all the same

on a production line to our ten minutes of fame.

We have no kids, too busy killing them as a mistake

too busy multiplying genders for goodness sake.

Leave us to our job, we know what is good

to take all your jobs, while with immigrants we flood.

They will do the dirty work do not worry.

To eternal death we walk slowly, no hurry.

All is very friendly, no hate left here in our insulated town

just a bunch of unconnected bombs going off, we stand strong, never frown

we are so strong and courageous in our belief

that we let others walk over us, and its a relief.

No thinking anymore, nothing but a rounded up herd

here come the executioners, vision is blurred

red, glorious red all around me

nothing else ever will I see .

Evidence – The Ultimate Buzz Word

Many an argument in person or over the internet, if it doesn’t resort to the more standard ad hominem fallacies of personal attacks, will rely for its authority on an appeal to “evidence”. But people rarely understand what they mean by this term, and they rarely question their sources of evidence. Yet still they feel that pointing to a piece of “evidence” somehow immediately adds a lot of credence to their point of view.

The fact is, it really does not of itself add any credence. It is not a guarantee. It could be no more than a piece of paper you created yourself and slapped the title on it “evidence”. Thus, it may be worth no more than the piece of paper it is written on, or even worth much less. Because it is seldom the case that by this evidence people are referring to independent, objective facts about reality. It’s no easy feat to refer to objective facts about reality. We manage to some degree in some of the more exact sciences through years of training and discipline in method appropriate for the subject matter to do this. But for the most part, 99% of the time during each of our days, we are engaged in seeing what we want to see. We are looking for things to fit in with our narrative. And this means, quite clearly the evidence we bring forward is going to be biased. Not the authoritative evidence of a precise experiment that proves the correctness of general relativity over Newtonian mechanics of absolute space.

Evidence has authority when it is independent of ourselves. The more independent, the more authority, if correct, it can have with us. Because then clearly we have no bias or influence over, or personal interest in this evidence. Conversely, the less independent the evidence is, the less authority it has as an argument. To give a clear example, obviously if a bunch of people who share the same cognitive bias or narrative expectation see the same piece of evidence it doesn’t count for very much in a reasonable discussion. Lets say a group of feminists see a pay gap and argue this is “evidence” of oppression of women. Naturally it has much less authority, because their narrative is to look for oppression of women, and so they all find it together. Not independently, but dependently based on sharing the same outlook on the world. This evidence is also weak for another reason. It’s one thing to present a piece of evidence, such as a statistic, its a whole other thing to infer a load of consequences from this bit of evidence. As Jordan Peterson exposed in that debate on channel 4, women may be choosing jobs that pay less, women may be naturally less competitive on the whole, etc.. There are many other ways to look at it. The only way in which it seems it must be oppression of women is under very dubious ideological assumptions that there are no differences between men and women, there is no nature, only nurture, and that therefore equality of outcome is the only fair and desirable result in society.

We get then into a much more complicated debate about theoretical presumptions, metaphysical assumptions and narrative commitments and many other things such as this. Where this notion of evidence as simple, objective and neutral has been lost. Yet they carry on as if they can use evidence in the same sense it has when it has success 1% of the time in our reasonings about pure physical science when we are able to discipline ourselves against our own cognitive biases. Such clearly is just a fanciful delusion, and misuse of terminology, and is why evidence has become largely a buzz word these days. A popular way to claim argumentative authority with little content or force to it, other than the force with which it is asserted.

What has been forgotten in this account of “evidence”, is that evidence has been imagined to have a life of its own. People refer to an online article as if its a piece of neutral evidence, when probably, the chances are it’s written by someone with the same preferences and cognitive biases as themselves. All evidence is assured independent existence, they fallaciously infer, just because some scientists managed to use it successfully on a few occasions to prove some important scientific facts. Evidence also has often become like an appeal to experts, another form of fallacious reasoning.

What needs to be remembered is that when we are arguing our case we give reasons for our point of view, and evidence is just one kind of reason. To be a good reason you will have to show how the evidence is independent of your own cognitive biases and narrative expectations among many other things you will need to show. Thus evidence is a very small part of giving a reason for your position. When “evidence” is all people can bring to the table in an argument you have a very poor reasoner on your hands. Because even if the evidence is totally legitimate, its still a long way from telling us what we can infer from this evidence.

The art of reasoning requires difficult judgments and a stringent honesty that deferring to evidence simply does not capture. If you want to reason well, don’t resort to this buzz word very often, use it very rarely in cases where evidence is independently verified from many different angles, so that there is minimal chance of confirmation bias of a group of peoples prejudices and cognitive and narrative biases. Such confirmation biases are only evidence of your poor reasoning skills, nothing else.

This simple minded trust of “evidence” has been one of the problems in recent times with the mainstream media and with mainstream internet outlets such as google and facebook. People will take the opinions of the mainstream as evidence of fact, when they are only evidence of a dominant narrative. Not as catchy as saying fake news, but this is what it is all about. It is a clash of narratives, not primarily a clash of facts. So if you think simply tweeting your preferred news outlets articles as evidence is going to convince many people, think again. They will much more likely only see it as evidence of your preferred narrative. To get to the facts at the bottom of it all, requires much more searching and much more depth of reasoning. We have a lot of work to do to resurrect the lost art of reasoning. We can make a start by realising that evidence in the context of argumentation, much more often means my cognitive bias that I want to impress upon you, than it means my piece of neutral factual stuff about the world that I humbly request you to see for yourself.

Examples of Post-Morality Dilemmas

1) Thompson’s Violinist:

“You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you”

Question: Are you obligated to keep the musician alive, or do you cut him loose and let him die because you want to?

Thompson, who has several excellent thought experiments to her name, says no. Not because the violinist isn’t a person with rights, but rather because he has no right to your body and the life-preserving functions that it provides. Thompson then expands her reasoning to argue that a fetus also lacks the rights to another person’s body and can be evicted at any time.

What is missing in this moral dilemma? Obviously it looks like a nice post-morality justification for abortion, which was the pragmatic goal of Thompson. But it misses something that anyone who is not part of this post-morality sect would see as crucial to moral goodness. Namely that you have been arbitrarily hooked up to this violinist, while a woman is only in very rare circumstances arbitrarily “hooked up” to a baby. Most of the time she is responsible for the emergence of that baby in her womb. In that she had knowledge of the consequences of her actions in having sex. But this argument falls on death ears to the post morality cult, because for them the notion of responsibility for your actions has been discarded. To suggest she be responsible for her actions is crazy, for she is obviously just an innocent victim of a causal chain of actions committed by her brain against her will…

2) The life you can save – Peter Singer

This experiment was written by famed utilitarian thinker Peter Singer in 2009.

Imagine that you are walking down the street and notice a child drowning in a lake. You can swim and are close enough to save her if you act immediately. However, doing so ruins your expensive shoes. Do you still have an obligation to save the child?

Singer says yes, you have a responsibility to save the life of a dying child and price is no object. If you agree with him, it leads to his question.

Question: If you are obligated to save the life of a child in need, is there a fundamental difference between saving a child in front of you and one on the other side of the world?

In The Life You Can Save, Singer argues that there is no moral difference between a child drowning in front of you and one starving in some far off land. The cost of the ruined shoes in the experiment is analogous to the cost of a donation, and if the value of the shoes is irrelevant than the price of charity is too. If you would save the nearby child, he reasons, you have to save the distant one too. He put his money where his mouth is, and started a program to help people donate to charities that do the most good.

So here is a post-morality justification for guilt tripping people into giving their money away to “benevolent” strangers. Now I am not personally against charity when it is something people choose to do. I am against it when people are made to feel compelled to do it. And I don’t think the compulsion works if you are not a member of the post-morality tribe. For as I showed in my previous post, this relies on the point regarding the notion of identifying with some external object due to having no internal identity. If you have a morality centred around your own identity then obviously you are more likely to feel more connection to people closer in time and space to you than people further away. Furthermore you are likely to see your own actions as being important as the source of the goodness for you and your community, not just some faceless other person who you are supposed to trust in line with a supposed universal and objective ideological faith that all people are the same.

Then we could get into the corruption in many supposed charities and the fact that motivation is also crucial to morality, if your motivation, is just that you feel obliged by guilt, in the long term that is not a good or sustainable morality for people to live by. For if your motivation is guilt you are externally motivated to do the act, not internally motivated. This means that you must get some compensation elsewhere in life to keep you motivated to do it. Thus your reward will be some materialistic thing nothing to do with the act. Thus it indirectly supports and promotes an unhealthy consumerist society reliant on perpetual economic growth that actually perpetuates the inequalities and divides between rich and poor people in the world. All of these messy complicated details of reality can be ignored for those of the post-morality faith. They don’t exist because they rely on the notion of internally valued goods, and moral identity and personhood. Concepts that the post-morality society has thrown on the scrapheap.

3) The Veil of Ignorance, John Rawls

Justice is blind, should we be? 

This experiment was devised by John Rawls in 1971 to explore notions of justice in his book A Theory of Justice.

Suppose that you and a group of people had to decide on the principles that would establish a new society. However, none of you know anything about who you will be in that society. Elements such as your race, income level, sex, gender, religion, and personal preferences are all unknown to you. After you decide on those principles, you will then be turned out into the society you established.

Question: How would that society turn out? What does that mean for our society now?

Rawls argues that in this situation we can’t know what our self-interest is so we cannot pursue it. Without that guidepost, he suggests that we would all try to create a fair society with equal rights and economic security for the poor both out of moral considerations and as a means to secure the best possible worst-case scenario for us when we step outside that veil. Others disagree, arguing that we would seek only to maximize our freedom or assure perfect equality.

Notice here that the post-morality feature being drawn upon is the one that says we are blank slates with no identity or tradition extending into the past of any relevance to our moral decisions. This whole context that created our identity can be discarded. We should act as if all people are the same etc.. It kind of assumes the morality it wants to prove and so there isn’t really much more to say about it. Only, once again, notice how this post-morality approach gives people a much simpler yardstick for judging moral problems, and allows them to ignore all the messy details of reality. It has simplicity going for it, which is probably what attracts so many to this ideology originally. And once you are in it, its difficult to leave, because of the sea of shame and guilt tripping you will face.

The alternative approach for justice is to establish some core principles and then to work around them. This is the way we have gone traditionally to avoid the relativistic slippery slope of the “post-morality” consensus. Tradition and the past is not something we can just totally dissociate ourselves from, without a huge and fatal cost. We need a moral core to ourselves and our identity, formed based on our past experience and based on internalising our cultural traditions etc.. Without this we do become something like the empty vessels that certain elites want us to become, easily manipulated, hopeless, directionless, consumption driven. This only shows how it is one narrative choice among many, and we can choose to reject it. And for the sake of any free future for humanity I think we must reject it. And the rejection takes us back to where we started, for we start from accepting free will, then from there everything else can flower.

And our justification for accepting free will? Well, it works like this. If denying free will is just based on one choice of narrative, namely, the determinist thesis. Then accepting free will is merely choosing another narrative. We have this choice, and as a form of pascals wager, it makes sense to choose it, given the choice. Because the determinist thesis is geared at helping the minority elite to control us all. While the free will thesis is geared at the majorities freedom. We can in fact use a form of John Rawls argument, and say, blind to the situation, we are more likely to belong to the majority so we should choose the narrative that is to their benefit…

Note: 

This post refers to thought experiments I found on the following website:

http://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/seven-thought-experiments-thatll-make-you-question-everything

 

 

The Post-Morality Society

So I think this best describes the presumptive ideological stance of many westerners today: That we live in a “post-morality” society. And this includes features such as the following:

  1. We have no free will
  2. All our actions are motivated by power, as in the psychological analyses of Nietzsche or Freud as the characteristic examples.
  3. We are all blank slates: We have no identity or natural differences prior to cultural conditioning. Our identity is socially constructed.
  4. The only “moral” values remaining are longevity of life, wealth and lack of poverty. I.e. Staving off death and consuming products for the maximum amount of time. I.e. Not really moral values just the maximum amount of economic exploitation of us possible.
  5. Any existent differences between groups of people in wealth etc.. are due to power relations of one group oppressing the other to “keep them down”. (This logically follows from point 3. For if there are no natural differences, all differences must be created by corrupted human groups.)
  6. The only religious faith remaining is in progress and technology. Tell a member of this sect that any little thing was better in a past society, and you will immediately be labelled as an out of touch anachronism, longing for a delusional nostalgic vision of the past. They will point out only where we have progressed and put their blinkers on to the rest of reality. They see the benefits of technology and never the detriments. Or they see the detriments as so minor that they can be dismissed with no thought, so they can get back to trumpeting their faith.
  7. Some corollaries of the lack of free will: Any crime is due to mental illness by definition. Crime is maladaptive behavior. But such behavior cannot be their fault, for blame and culpability has no meaning without free will, hence their must be something wrong (maladapted) in their brain that led them to act in such a way. Any health problem requires a drug to fix it, including any mental health problem. For there is no such thing as will power or putting in effort to solve your problems. That would be oppressing an innocent victim of a mental illness. Although placebo continues to exist, it is ignored or filtered out by the ideological mindset of the post-morality society.
  8. Our society right now is at the peak of human progress, in perpetuity. The purpose of this feature is to allow people to feel proud of their society and the direction its going, and to have good trust and faith in our current experts and technocratic leaders.
  9. Lacking an internal identity, people of this ideology must find some external thing to be the source of their identity. This could be the idol of technology as previously mentioned. It could be some celebrity, famous person or actor. Or it could be their ideological beliefs themselves. Or their group identity, such as their gender, their race, their sexuality etc..
  10. Lacking any positive moral values there is one key way to morally motivate people: namely to shame them and guilt trip them. Thus, if you do not go along with this group, you are a phobe of some kind or a racist or sexist of some kind, or preferably all of the above. This ensures people toe the line even if there is nothing positive to offer in the place of this shame.
  11. Because they have no attachment to tradition and narratives of the past, and because they think narratives are actually just subjective constructions, they have to have just one ubiquitous dominant narrative controlling all of us, so they can kid themselves it is objective and not actually a narrative at all.
  12. Any deviations from this narrative are not acceptable. You are liable to be labelled as racist, alt-right, sexist, and have your views censored as offensive or hate speech if you diverge from the accepted narrative.

So there we go, that is the course we have followed to a post-morality society. Is that a society you want to be a part of? Well you may have no choice, but I think there is still some freedom from it that we would do well to preserve and defend in the face of this cult-like totalitarian ideology. My basic strategy to show my freedom from it is threefold. One, I don’t go along with the mono narrative. Two, I don’t blindly trust technocrats and “experts”. Three, I refuse to let powerful people and the media manipulate me with guilt-trips and the shame game.

But a more positive approach is needed also. And I think for this we need to return to some core moral values to place at the heart of our identity, and we need to restore free will, responsibility and rationality, as human faculties, not as mechanical reactions of a brain. For the latter belief means we tend to only be interested in manipulating peoples brains rather than in helping people to develop their faculties.