‘It’s just a meme’ – Post-modern Reactionaries – The Alt-Right

21. July 2017

If there is no such thing as progress then there is no such thing as reaction either and so the ONLY difference between progress and reaction is that they are opposed to each other.

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If all that matters is the relative power between groups then naturally universal principles such as freedom of speech or common decency do not matter. In their post-modernist world-view there is simply no reason, for example, not to advocate for the extermination of a group of people just for entertainment. Empathy? Oh, that’s just a primitive human instinct, why pay heed to it? They would say. But if they are a reactionary group, what exactly is it they are reacting to? Shame(a prominent form of virtue-signaling). This is the reason why they supported such a shameless candidate like Donald Trump to become president of the United States.

I do not actually believe that they are meming just for shits and giggles, there is an overlaying agenda that is quite obvious, if that were not the case then there would not be a definite political partisanship to their memes. The infamous 14 words evoke it quite simply: ‘To secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.’

What is the solution?

That is quite simple, stop trying to censor or to shame them and expose their arguments for how fallacious they are, engage them in open moderated debate and question their points. I intend to respond to some of their most prominent arguments in this blog.

On the subject of Moral Faggotery (or Virtue-Signalling

6. July 2017

Most political discourse to-day is escapism, it serves no other purpose than to provide satisfaction in the form of opportunity for people to revel in their own self-righteousness. And so Journalism is misery-porn and frothing at the mouth in righteous indignation.

At some point, the attrition becomes its own purpose and ideologically opposed groups begin to define each other’s orthodoxies. If group A believes in X then group B will believe in Y and if group A starts to believe in Y then group B will believe in X.

I am not claiming that there are no actual differences in opinion but that all proportionality has been lost and spirits are heightened for the most unimportant, inconsequential subjects and non-issues under the auspices of the insinuation that the ‘personal is political.’

I have got nothing against people devoting themselves to entertain themselves, people should not be forced to engage in politics if they would rather do something else with their time, after all, it is their time, however when people who dress up their personal grievances as political issues are paraded around most political outlets for entertainment purposes so that they can cajole themselves into thinking that they are doing some kind of service to society, that they are virtuous, that they are making some kind of contribution. This sort of news-entertainment devalues both political discourse and entertainment, it devalues the latter by imposing moral codes on art.

The motive for moral-fagging, virtue-signalling and other associated behaviours is not necessarily cynical, it is the result of something else, of a desire to change things and when a similarly ineffective group of people pose an opposition to this hopeless quest it is easy for them to see themselves as self-sacrificing heroes, failed revolutionaries or perhaps misunderstood prophets when in fact they are just larping(Live-action-role-playing).

It is not that there are no causes worth supporting but those causes have got nothing to do with a person’s identity; Identity in political discourse is a Stalingrad.


The most common types of virtue-signalling on the internet:

  • Shaming is probably the most common form of virtue-signalling, it is volatile and flexible, and it can be applied to almost anyone within or without an ideological group.
  • Ideological Purity Tests ‘I am more virtuous than you are because you see I pass my own arbitrarily set morality test more than you do, so let’s waste some time arguing how morally superior I am to you.’
  • Hypocrisy Fishing ‘On occasion A, you said X, but on a very similar occasion, B, you said Y, therefore X must be wrong.’ Extra virtue-points awarded if used in conjunction with Ideological Purity Tests, i.e. used against your own side.

The Value of Intelligence

6. July 2017

Intelligence is overrated this is why nonsensical terms such as ‘Emotional Intelligence/IQ’ have been injected into the English language when perfectly fine terms such ‘empathy’ and ‘social skills’ are available. Everybody needs to be intelligent because intelligence is clearly identified as a certificate for status but if everybody is intelligent in their own way then term ‘intelligence’ ceases to bear any meaning whatsoever or it would if people actually believed in ‘everybody is intelligent’ piffle which even those who pay lip service to don’t.

The criteria for intelligence is self-evident and those with the cognitive capabilities to prove it are rewarded for it socially and economically if they can harness it in a commercially viable way, i.e. people in the STEM field, some artists and social commentators, basically people with high IQs.

Tradesmen such as builders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and so on are looked down upon for their apparent lack of intelligence and therefore there is an incentive among young people to pursue university education in subjects that will not get them a job, in the name of ‘dreams’ when in fact it is done out of a misplaced sense of vanity and a disdain for blue-collar work(ers). A similar illness afflicts bookish people.

A sort of ‘I am too good/intelligent for that’ attitude prevails. The problem is that to be a part of let alone advance in these oversubscribed non-STEM field subjects that are considered to be intellectual such law, art, journalism etc… a lot of nepotism is involved because it isn’t as clear as in STEM field subjects what credentials and skills you need to do the actual work.

I believe that the state should play an active role to provide more places and funding to enter those fields for which there is a demand for in the employment market and also perhaps introduce some mandatory counselling for all high school students asking them what their future prospects are leaving school realistically, and telling students to avoid certain subjects depending on their economic situation, for example if the economic situation in the family of a student is not secure then it would hardly make sense to get a degree in philosophy, gender studies etc… Or else when their misplaced sense of vanity in their intelligence is not rewarded they will become bitter and feel that they have not been treated fairly for being placed so low in the pecking order, and in a way they are right because had they been treated right they would not be so ignorant as to assume that their perceived intellectual proficiency would (and should) entitle them to a higher place spot in the food chain. Intelligence is only valuable when it is useful, and unless it is used for some economically productive activity then that intellect will not be rewarded because it does not provide any service to anyone(well at any rate any service that anyone is interested in) to warrant their recognition (and their money).

Someone who is not very cerebral can be very productive and useful too but pretending that they are differently intelligent or some other nonsense is not going to lead to that. Intelligence can be one of the most useful characteristics to have with a dose of self-awareness but without that it is nothing more than a hindrance blunting judgement and fostering a useless sense of superiority over others which often leads to bitterness – when they see less intelligent people doing better than them at life doing some activity that does not involve as much intellectual capabilities they will feel betrayed.

What is the purpose of fiction?

5. July 2017

“All art is propaganda… however not all propaganda is art”- George Orwell

The first purpose of fiction is to entertain. I am very suspicious of fiction made to advance some cause or ideology because it is clear and transparent propaganda that is palatable only if the views being spewed are those of the viewer, and it is often quite boring too.

But does fiction have any value beyond mere entertainment and escapism? Should fiction meet certain criteria of morality beyond what is commercially preferable? Is there any objective standard other than popularity to judge fiction? Should fiction play some sort of civic service? The answer to these questions lies in the extent that fiction affects those who consume it. But such a thing is very hard to measure.

Are the audiences desires reflected in the fiction? Or are the values of fiction imprinted onto the audience? Or in other words, does fiction brainwash people to have certain values or are the fantasies and desires of the audience reflected in the works of fiction they consume? Both of these are true but I think that the latter is truer than the former as the authors try to cater to the fantasies of the audience which are already there in some form or another rather than creating fantasies out of nothing. When it comes to things like anime, manga and video games very often the creators are also consumers. The point I am trying to get at is that most genres of fiction only exist because a demand for them exists and that this demand cannot be entirely manufactured, it is nested in the social conditions as well as in human nature, this natural demand is what allows fragments of truth to exist in what should be fictional, of course it may be a truth that some ideological groups do not want to hear and do not want others to hear but trying to artificially insert what one believes to be true only erases those naturally occurring fragments of truth. This is the reason why politically charged fiction often comes off as pamphlets in novel/film/comic form to those who don’t already agree with what the pamphlet is peddling and that the aesthetic judgement of fiction is irreparably damaged as those who agree with the pamphlet will hail it as an artistic masterpiece.

Fiction must be entertaining and if someone wants to write an opinion piece or commentary then essay form is good enough, using fiction to promote a political view almost seems like a screen to avoid criticism, after all it is not real, even satire can come off as preachy and at worst a satire of itself if overdone when the hatred for the other side simply spills out of every word and with so little justification story-wise. Turning the whole thing into a monologue much more suited to the essay form.

I am also against trying to interpret every story as an allegory for something else, a story has to be fun and nothing else, this sort of psychological analysis (and frankly speculation) can be insightful when applied to a person or event but when applied to a story and the characters in it, it just sucks the life out of the story giving place for a platform for the analyst to catapult the reader’s attention to whatever is on the analyst’s mind, to whatever the analyst wants to peddle, it is a parasitic practice, piggybacking on the already established recognition of well-liked(or disliked) fiction, eventually the actual story flies out of the window but it is implied that if you disagree with whatever the analyst is peddling then you must also disagree with the artistic value of whatever story the analyst is using for his own ends. Actually the only way to make sense of some stories, for example, fairy tales, is to treat them as allegories but that is because children’s fiction(1) is nothing but propaganda, full of platitudes and ideals, one-note characters who are caricatures acting like idealistic boy scouts or as personifications of evil, this is fine to reinforce some basic morals in children’s minds (although the idealism can backfire and can turn children especially boys into little know it all cynics who like to say(or just think) sarcastic things about things like teamwork by the time they are twelve and have realized they have been fed a bunch of platitudes that are only true some of the time although the little cynics may assume that they are just lies though some of them are of course just lies).

But the problem arises when there is a push to treat adults as if they were children, for example when it is said that they shouldn’t be shown certain pictures because those pictures will brainwash them into ardent misogynists, racists, homophobes and pedophiles and if they want to see such stories then it’s because they already are all of those things and their minds  need to be cleansed of sins by watching  counter-propaganda-propaganda, as Peter Hitchens puts it, it’s a bit like a god-less version of the Protestant belief in Justification and salvation through faith alone.

I am sure that most would agree that it is rather distasteful when their political opponents co-opt art to push their agenda but would they also uphold the same standard and principle where their own side does this? I doubt that but it is not impossible.

I am not denying the place that fiction plays in the discussion of morality, but it must do so directly without any need for further extrapolation, to the point where anything can be used to support any moral view. And the discussion of morality in fiction must not be had at the expense of pleasure,  of entertainment, of the aesthetic value derived from fiction. What is aesthetically pleasing is often morally reprehensible but that is the reason why it must be allowed to exist in the realm of fiction rather than in reality. This is the reason that I am against both the prudish consensus of the left-wing and of the right-wing, well let’s be honest, currently, it’s mostly the left.

Unfortunately many do not seem to appreciate the aesthetic value of fiction and furthermore seem unable or unwilling to tell apart reality from fiction leading to idiotic conversations such as How the girl fighters  with superpowers in Boku no Hero beating male fighters twice their size is realistic or why watching female-only screenings of Wonder Woman makes us empowered and not seem like hypocrites, which only make it seem like those involved in such things need their political beliefs to be validated through empowerment fantasies and characters with magical powers, it is quite pathetic. 

Notes:

(1) I know most fairy tales were not originally made for children but now they are mainly consumed by children. Actually, I would make an exception to my claim that children’s fiction is propaganda in regards to some cartoons like Tom and Jerry that cannot be interpreted as having a moral or social message that is without some heavy pretentious overthinking.

An Apologia for Human Life. (Should you bring a child into this world full of suffering?)

1. July 2017

I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure. – Agent Smith, The Matrix

“I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can’t stand it any longer. It’s the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I’ve somehow been infected by it. “- Agent Smith, The Matrix

Why, Mr. Anderson? Why, why? Why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting… for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although… only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can’t win. It’s pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist? – Agent Smith, The Matrix

Can you feel it Mr. Anderson? Closing in on you? Oh I can, I really should thank you after all. It was, after all, it was your life that taught me the purpose of all life. The purpose of life is to end. – Agent Smith, The Matrix

The Antinatalist movement is a movement that wants the human race to go extinct by convincing people not to have children. They argue on both humanitarian and ecological grounds that it would be better if there were no humans.

The ecological argument is that humans cause harm to the environment and my retort to that is ‘So what?’ The harm done to the ecology only matters to us so long as it affects us therefore if there are no humans it hardly matters that the environment remains untouched for a while until it is destroyed again by some other event like an ice age or something, nothing lasts forever, therefore the ecological dividend after human extinction will most likely not last forever anyway. There is also the possibility that given enough time another sentient species which can experience suffering and fear of death just like humans may evolve once humans go extinct. The only way to get rid of suffering permanently would be to extinguish all life and not just human life or in other words the destruction of all ecosystems on this planet. And that would only work assuming that there is only sentient life on this planet.

This brings me to the humanitarian argument for human extinction, that life is  full of suffering or at any rate pointless suffering and that so we should bring it to an end as painlessly as possible by not breeding, antinatalists are in a way endorsing the ideal of a world with not pain by rejecting one full of pain and pointless suffering. I think the problem here is that reducing the birth rates to zero is not going to lead to some kind of utopia, on the contrary as the ratio of the working population to the elderly dependent population is going to be skewed that there will be fewer and fewer working age tax paying citizens leading to a collapse in the economy and living standards, the last years of humanity in a world where antinatalism wins would be very ugly, it’s true that there will be more resources to go around as the population decreases, but workers are an important resource too and without them the economy would grind to a halt. But what about when everyone is gone forever, wouldn’t that mean that there will be no more suffering nor struggle? Yes, there will be no more pleasure either. I don’t think there is a way to quantifiably measure the collective pleasure and collective pain of the human race and even if there were a way I think that in the end, it is up to the individual to decide for himself whether he thinks his life is worth living, we can’t decide that for others, not even for our children; Owing to the fact that suicide is not the norm I would say that life is at least worth living (for most) if not worth propagating, even people who are certain that they will be in heaven will not stand idly as you try to kill them, after all  dying is not quite the same thing as not being born, I will grant you that this is an appeal to the majority but in the end it is up to the individual to decide whether their life is worth living, and the only way to be able to make that choice is by being born and alive in the first place, therefore if you think that you have got the adequate resources to bring up a child with love and care (and discipline or at least a modicum of civility) then it would be highly disingenuous to deny them the chance to experience pleasure to save them from the inevitable grief, of course their life could end up being an absolute hell, but the odds are that they will live an average normal life full of little pleasures and sadness, but an antinatalist might say – but why should it be up to the individual to decide if their life is worth living, couldn’t the individual be wrong? And isn’t someone who decides to have children de-facto deciding that their child’s life will be worth living (after all killing yourself isn’t as easy as not being born)?To the second point I don’t want to argue in circles but as I said there is good reason when you have a child that they will have an okay life provided that the material conditions and the environment for an okay life are there, although nothing can be guaranteed a 100% and it is a wager that one is taking there even if it is in your favour. And to the first point, I don’t think there is any moral authority we can turn to decide if someone’s life is worth living, especially when it comes to the life of some hypothetical individual who isn’t even born in the first place, hasn’t done anything, or experienced anything, the only certainty is that they will die, of course, we can guess what the quality of their life will be like depending on the environment and material conditions they will be born into but I would hardly suggest that we should judge the worth someone’s life based on guesswork, therefore in the absence of such an authority all that is left is the individual to make that choice for himself after he is born.  I will end this post with a youtube comment from the comment section of the last video I embedded from this post.

“Only humans could invent something as insipid as love.” This is what is wrong with Agent Smith. He is forever alone. Pure logic without a dash of insanity called empathy, and love, has no meaning. It really does a good job at pointing out what the ‘point’ of life is. To enjoy yourself, and to help others also enjoy themselves. That is all. As far as red vs blue pills goes… it only matters once given the choice. Ignorance of that choice would make the question a meaningless one. This is why his answer was ‘because I choose to’. He chose to live simply because he had a choice, and chose to defy death. Any choice based in non-reason is something the machines cannot understand, and the reason they continue to fail to make a ‘perfect’ matrix.

A Personal View of Femininity

30. June 2017

“If the truth is a cruel mistress then a lie must be a nice girl. And so kindness itself is a lie.”

– Wataru Watari, Oregairu

“And yet who can fail to feel a sort of pleasure in seeing that fraud, feminine delicacy, exploded for once?” – George Orwell, Politics vs. Literature – An examination of Gulliver’s travels

The character traits most closely associated with femininity are kindness and empathy although the latter does not necessarily imply the former. After all, empathy is necessary to practice targeted cruelty to inflict the maximum amount of pain.

I often hear online about how feminists attack masculinity on the basis of it being toxic but despite this in effect women have adopted the same ideals and value systems of men while those of men have by and large remained the same. Is there such a thing as feminity in such an environment anymore? I think there is. In an earlier post where  I laid down my thoughts on masculinity, I said that I don’t think that masculinity is much of a way to differentiate men from women as much as it is a way to tell apart the men from the boys. The reason that I said this is that many traits which are considered to be masculine are also found in women and obviously traits like kindness and empathy are also found in men (and also not found in some women). What purpose does femininity serve then? To differentiate the girls from the women? Partly.

Are femininity and masculinity supposed to complement each other? Yes, but I see it more as something that happens within the mind of an individual and not necessarily between a man and a woman. One may be more one or the other but then what warrants the use of a gendered term like femininity then? Couldn’t kindness and empathy just be called kindness and empathy and not be associated with a specific gender? I think the answer to that is found in the way that courting works but it may lie elsewhere I don’t really care, the point I have been working up to is that femininity is fraudulent because its primary component, kindness is fraudulent.

“Our consciences take NO notice of pain inflicted upon others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to US. In ALL cases without exception we are absolutely indifferent to another person’s pain until his sufferings make us uncomfortable.” – Mark Twain, What is Man?

 

 


On an unrelated note I found this interesting discussion about anime backgrounds on youtube. Some of you may find it interesting, some of you may not. It discusses some of the history and changes in the way anime backgrounds are made and some of the types of anime backgrounds and goes a bit into how they are made too. I find discussions like these interesting but I often feel that they are not enough.

What is an Otaku? The New Passionate Romantic

28. June 2017

What comes to mind when one thinks of an otaku? A dirty young man obsessed with something, anything really- boats, planes but most probably anime, manga, video games, light novels etc… the image of someone living vicariously through fiction, pure escapism. But why? Because reality is hard and it is hard and boring to build up one’s reputation? Perhaps so but there’s always a glimpse of something more beyond the empowerment fantasies or perhaps around them and that thing is beauty.

A few months ago I found this wonderful essay and I wanted to share it with you:

The Romantic, Passionate Japanese in Anime: A Look at the Hidden Japanese Soul

By Eri Izawa

A Personal View of Masculinity

28. June 2017

I would say that a fairly conventional list of the minimum requirements to be a man presented to boys would consist of the following:

  • Financial Independence
  • Strength and Courage
  • Wit and Humour
  • Intelligence (Wit and humour serve to show some degree of intelligence)
  • A Competitive Edge. An ‘I will be the best at this thing’ attitude.

Masculinity is flexible, as long as the basic criteria are fulfilled a man can be good or he may be evil but he still is a man.  These attributes may be found in many women too and the reason for this is that masculinity isn’t much of a way to differentiate men from women as much as to tell apart the men from the boys. In effect, this differentiation is not so different to the distinction between a child and an adult but the differences which warrant a gendered term are in the details.

At its most fundamental level, the differences stem from the generalised experience of male to female courting. Just as the male gaze brings out certain behaviours in women so do the generalised preferences of women, for lack of a better term, the female gaze, define and select for what the characteristics of masculinity are. Of course, men may then impose such characteristics on each other but the contribution of each gender to its formation is unquantifiable so I suppose it is safer to say that society as a whole is responsible for it.

The two most common criticisms levied against masculinity is that it promotes violence and aggressiveness towards others and that it causes repression of feelings in men. To the first two which are essentially one I have to say that in some instances violence and aggressiveness are in fact desirable and the capability for violence especially in men must not be demonized, in fact being incapable of violence is not a virtue in itself, having the capability to overpower others and yet also the restraint not to exercise it irresponsibly is a virtue, therefore the lower rate of violence in women is not necessarily a virtue either. The bottom line is that men are not broken women.

The repression caused by masculine ideals is a product of how men generally prefer to deal with problems in a practical manner, that is to say that men generally see no practical utility in sharing their feelings with others profusely, of course they are human and may speak to other men or to some of their friends usually while engaging in some sort of activity predominantly practiced by men, like I don’t know playing some violent video-games or whatnot but in any case an approach focusing more on the practical problems of men (like say unemployment) rather than their feelings is more likely to yield results. At any rate, it would work better to try nothing than trying to emasculate men for sharing or for not sharing what’s wrong with them, if they feel like it then they will share what they feel if not then let it be and seek another avenue to try to help them if that is what one really wants to do.

The one criticism I will accept about masculinity tentatively is that it stifles individuality to an extent by pushing an ideal onto him, by discouraging some behaviours and promoting others, but who finds every human behaviour to be acceptable? Well, anyone who doesn’t is in effect pushing an ideal onto others and stifling individuality.

Does it matter if we don’t have free will?

27. June 2017

“Yes I have free will; I have no choice but to have it.” Christopher Hitchens

So long as the consequences, the outcomes are what they are? Does it matter whether you have agency or not? There are two reasons to want free will, the first is that it’s nice to have a choice, the second is that it is hard not to believe that there is no personal responsibility at least when it comes to the things that other people do, but in effect does it really matter why an action is done, so long as it is done, so long as the consequences remain the same? Does it matter why people do what they do as long as they do it? What if humans are just very complex machines like Mark Twain suggests in What is man?

Beauty is (not) in the eye of the beholder

26. June 2017

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what if the beholders have come to a consensus?

‘The cruelty of selection is what makes beauty, beauty.’/ ‘Beauty is beauty due to the cruelty of selection.’

– Masami Tsuda, Kare Kano

In practice it hardly matters whether the standard of beauty is objective or subjective so long as there is a consensus. And there is  always a subjective consensus, the problem is that you can’t get rid of consensus you can only alter it. It is subjective but only in a collective sense, and precisely because the standard of beauty is subjective the only point of reference that matters is consensus. This is true for beauty in art and also for beauty in physical appearance.

In the former case one only needs to look at what works are considered to be great works of art and in the end whatever measure is used to judge art, to select, amounts to subjective consensus, there is nothing objective about evaluating art but this does not mean that the artistic consensus does not matter, in effect it is the thing that matters the most, after all there  is hardly anything more important in human life than it after the basic needs have been fulfilled.

In the latter case this is even more true because while it is quite easy to ignore all aesthetic judgement directed towards art for most people it is much harder to ignore the aesthetic judgements directed towards them, and their physical appearance.

The question which arises then is, ‘Should we strive towards no aesthetic judgement? Is the ethical thing to do to abolish beauty?’ Which is a meaningless question because the consensus on beauty cannot be abolished and is by definition primed to be selective, if everything is beautiful then nothing is, even those who seek to adopt(i.e. promote) a standard of beauty diametrically opposed to the present one are not abolishing the consensus only trying to gerrymander it because they would benefit socially from an altered consensus. For example when fat models assert that they are beautiful (which is the equivalent of claiming that Peter Pan is as good if not better than King Lear) they are in effect expecting that the consensus will be changed in their favour, that other people will think that they are beautiful. After all if beauty is subjective all that matters is the consensus of beauty and if beauty were objective all that would matter would be the consensus anyway. Similarly those artists creating abstract art are just trying to change the subjective consensus to adopt their standards to something that benefits them. A deconstruction is after-all nothing more than a non-superimposable mirror image, a parody which attempts to displace what it parodies.

Note: I have done my best not to discuss whether there is an objective standard for beauty that can be derived from evolutionary psychology or from some other means because frankly such a topic is beyond the scope my knowledge and I would only end up making a fool of myself if I already haven’t. Let me know in the comment section.