Friday, September 29, 2017

Conservatism is How Humans Got Here

Constantly attaching Socialism to Communism is exactly the same as saying that Conservatism is Racism or Fascism. When people on the left or the right do this they are being intellectually dishonest, trying (or being unconscious of being misguided) to color one perfectly legitimate concept with the dark brush of a related, but separate 'ism'. While Communism is a failed experiment that was built on the concept of Socialism, Socialism in no way requires Communism to stand alone as a construct. 
 Socialism has, at its very heart, Tribalism as its foundation, and Tribalism is the antithesis of individual human greed, our innate desire to hoard the most we can for ourselves and our own genes (nuclear family). Tribalism is all about sharing for the common good of the tribe, working together for survival and health. Conservatism is related to Tribalism as it is all about family and tribe protection, helping those in need, but only within reason, standing together against threats from other groups, raising children as a tribal responsibility, etc. It is how humans got through 7 million years. Conservatism is NOT about experimenting with new things if the old ones are NOT broken (i.e. 'conserving' the old ways).

Interestingly, Liberalism only emerged as humans became smart enough to develop more complex language and argue and question and experiment. I was reminded yesterday that the Great Apes, while they can learn simple language and can communicate their needs/desires, never ask a question. They cannot think about thinking. It was only 250,000 years ago that humans began to invent new stuff, including new ways of interacting. Language was the springboard. The newly acquired ability to exchange ideas and think about experiments and embrace change, to think outside the box, to welcome others 'not-of-our-tribe' and trade and travel beyond our tribal boundaries led to accumulating knowledge, cultural exchange, animal husbandry, agriculture and permanent settlements.

So it is of little wonder that Conservatism flourishes in rural areas where, outside of the preacher, there really aren't any big shots that run the daily lives of people, while cities and university campuses are hotbeds of Liberalism. The kind of humans who fare best in densely packed cities (and are drawn to them) and don't do so well in Conservative-dominated rural areas, especially those who are interested in constantly exchanging ideas, tend to also be those who feel they need to reach out and help those who are less well-off, welcome others from distant cultures. Their core values are "Care" (reaching out to help) and "Fairness" (sharing the wealth).

Not surprisingly, Liberals are in the minority in terms of human tendencies at about 20% left-leaning to 40% of the population being right-leaning, with about 40% of people being in the center (according to Jonathan Haidt's extensive research). This might explain the Republican's domination of the Senate and House.

What is MOST significant is the fact that Conservatives can understand the values of Liberals, but the reverse is not the case. From a summary by Dr. by R.B.A. Di Muccio of Haidt's work: "The concept of “the conservative advantage.” Based on painstaking cross-cultural social-psychological experimentation, Haidt establishes that the moral foundations of liberals and conservatives are not just different, they are dramatically unequal. The liberal moral matrix rests essentially entirely on the left-most foundations; the conservative moral foundation—though slanted to the right—rests upon all six."

From 'most-Liberal' values at the top to 'most-Conservative' values at #6:

  1. Care/Harm
  2. Fairness/Cheating
  3. Liberty/Oppression
  4. Loyalty/Betrayal
  5. Authority/Subversion
  6. Sanctity/Degradation

"This is a stunning finding with enormous implications. The first is that conservatives can relate to the moral thinking of liberals, but the converse is not true at all. Haidt, who is liberal himself, elegantly explains how and why conservatives will view liberals as merely misguided while liberals tend to view conservatives as incomprehensible, insane, immoral, etc."

What I find fascinating is the way that, today, things are going off the rails. In the 'hotbeds of Liberalism' on university campuses, the former 'bastions of free speech,' Liberalism run amok has led to blocking Conservatives from speaking on campus and blind protection of students who follow a cult in which the very cornerstone is intolerance and 'imprisoned speech' (repeat only what is written) from hearing the very things that will enlighten them -- the protection and assimilation of the values of the 'free world'.

On 'the Right' we have deeply Conservative folks who are deeply averse to changing anything now to fix problems in the future ("Climate Change is a hoax!" "The rich should keep ALL their money!"), but whose ultimate answer to how we humans will survive is "The inventors among us who embrace change and science will fix all the problems." They have a firm conviction that we all must be charitable to our fellow tribal members (nation) to the best of each of our abilities, but NOT the wealthiest top-earners who can contribute a much smaller percentage of their income than the middle class and who hoard vast sums of wealth (that -- let's not lie to each other -- their families really cannot spend the surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars of invested money they have in any way that is practical).

As has always been the case, neither the left-most or right-most solution will work for the nation as a whole. Regulations and barriers are required to control those among us who have no empathy, but do want to hoard vast sums of wealth and want to exert political control over the rest of us (think the 'Cock' brothers). Government is required to protect individual rights, but also to ensure those whose instinct is to hoard and manipulate cannot do so. Right now in American the system is entirely broken as the Supreme Court was bought off and, in turn, enshrined the one-sided power of wealth to corrupt the majority of politicians who spend most of their time NOT working on law-making, but rather 'dialing for dollars' to ensure they can win in the next election. It is a never-ending race for money, it is not governance.

All that Trump is doing is stuffing his family's pockets, along with all the rest of the money-hoarders while the voters rail at each other from across the 'identity politics' divide. "My family has always voted Republican/Democrat and always will!" Ahh...both parties are screwing you over, so if you had an ounce of sense you would stop clinging to your so-called 'identity' and 'party loyalty' and vote for centrists who might actually work in YOUR best interests: 
  1. Protect a values-based society in which free speech and respectful debate based upon facts and learning from history is upheld.
  2. Make assimilation, not 'ghetto-ization' and cultural isolation, a national value and only embrace those who want to embrace Western values.
  3. Limit the sweeping power of a government overly influenced by money (the latter inevitably leads to fascism -- how can it not?) to monitor and imprison its populace.
  4. NEVER allow tolerance to welcome intolerance and allow it to become an acceptable norm within a free society, especially if it is actually a personality cult and seeks to hide itself inside 'freedom of religion'.
  5. Uphold genuine free speech (letting bad ideas die in the public forum) and reinstate the requirement for all news programming to give equal time to all voices in politics (move corporate-owned news departments out of the profit-driven 'Entertainment Department'), while recognizing hateful speech for its intolerance and potential for inciting violence and limit it.
  6. Enshrine a progressive tax rate that justly recognizes that there actually is a limit on how much money any family needs. The money generated by this change would pay off the national debts and fund life-changing societal enrichment.
  7. Recognize that, left to their own devices, capitalist corporations will naturally (being solely profit-driven and at the mercy of the global gambling pool we call 'the stock market') swallow each other and impoverish the masses in their inexorable and insatiable drive to 'survive against the competition' and bring back real anti-monopoly regulations.  The only ultimate solution is to eliminate the stock market permanently.  
  8. Acknowledge that there are many things that belong under control of the majority (Government) and cannot be privatized due to the fact no profit-driven entity can make a profit on them (everyone ages and dies without exception, so medical care for the sick and elderly is a losing proposition -- those in "The Poverty Trap" and the old in the middle class must die early, while the elite upper class of "Money Hoarders" live on).
  9. Accept that welfare does create a "Poverty Trap" and find ways to lift groups that have become mired in generations of poverty out of the trap and be given a realistic 'leg up'.  A 'Universal Minimum Income' is proving to be this tool in countries that have implemented it as it frees people from 'scrambling' and gives them the 'breathing room' to become educated and find meaningful work, to stop dealing drugs and ending up in prison, to stop single mothers from living in the kind of poverty that ensures their kids will become criminals like their imprisoned daddies, etc.  Despite the fact that the concept makes Conservatives' skin crawl, it really does work.
  10. Be honest. We all know that corporations manipulate emotions and predilections to make money off of us.  The gun companies do it, too.  Lots of guys cannot resist the thrill of power that comes from having an instrument that can instantaneously take the life of another person, and at a distance that prevents any harm from befalling the shooter.  The intention of the 2nd amendment was an obligation to help protect the new nation with really shitty muskets, NOT to establish and inalienable 'right'.  That instantly lethal shit needs some strict controls and way fewer new merchandise cranked out year after year.
Those on the Right or Left might dispute this list, but the Centrists (if their IQ is high enough ;-) will agree.  Note that I'd don't necessarily equate 'Centrists' with 'Libertarians'.  My main problem with their philosophy is that I just don't think most human beings have sufficient brain power or self-control to truly be left to do as they please without the interference of Government (I'm over-simplifying their stance, of course -- see below).



Friday, September 15, 2017

Diversity & Tolerance Feel Good, Until Intolerance is Embraced


What a lovely hypothesis! A totally misguided fairy tale, but nicely produced.

It begins by ignoring one glaring fact: prior to the Europeans beginning their global conquest (note they went everywhere EXCEPT the eastern Mediterranean which was ruled by The Byzantine Empire from the fall of Rome until 1300 when the Ottoman Empire took over until WWI), Muslim nations were capturing and enslaving over a million Europeans in North Africa and the Middle East and had been doing the same with Christians and others for millennia. When I lived in the Middle East many households had dark-skinned 'immigrants' that were used for sex, cleaning, nannying and cooking without any real pay, confined to the premises for years, often vanishing without returning to their home countries when their contributions/value diminished with age. No joke.  Since the moment humans began living in permanent settlements and came across different human tribes, we recognized the benefit of 'free labour' and embraced it with gusto any chance we could.

Watching the Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock in 2016 he made the point (complete with recorded interviews) that the vast majority of African Americans watched virtually NONE of the movies that were nominated. Not even the ones with famous black actors. They HAD watched a slew of recent movies produced specifically for their group's consumption, however, none of which were nominated for Academy Awards. The same could be said for many other racial/ethnic groups, I'm sure, from 'Bindis,' to Hispanics, to Iranians, etc. living among mostly their own cultural groups inside of developed countries.

What is going on? This non-diverse reality is nothing more that the instinctive 'tribalism' all humans have hard wired into their brains through millions of years of evolution. The only way to ameliorate this tendency is through the curiousity and desire for understanding that comes with having a high IQ, along with mandated desegregation (enforced familiarization with the 'others') and mandated assimilation (injecting the new country's language, laws and values into newcomers) for those who are fundamentally incurious.

Every human population, whether distinguished by race or merely culture, believes 'in their hearts' that their tribe, their group, their club members, are better than all the rest. It's just evolved hard wiring that helped us survive against the feared 'others' over millions of years.

The sole difference with 'white supremacy' is the 'supremacy' part. What these white folks don't understand (and it is indeed the truth that we can only avert conflict by understanding our shared human nature REALLY WELL), is that Asians, particularly Chinese, are significantly smarter, on average, than Caucasians, and that Jews, especially the Ashkenazi Jews (who make up about 75% of the world's Jewish population genetically and trace back to Middle Eastern origins), are on about the same IQ level as the Chinese. While it is in our nature to 'fear/hate' and denigrate those who don't look or act like we do, the jealousy (greed) that comes in seeing groups who appear similar to us consistently do better than the majority creates even stronger antipathy. Smarter groups of people do well more often and with greater success than not-so-smart groups of people. Grrr!!!

The human tendency to see people who have more than us and then shout "If you won't share your success with us we'll kill you!" only increases as the disparity between the have and have-nots grows. This is no longer happening between the rich and poor countries, but INSIDE Western countries between the wealthy top percentage and those who have become trapped in the Welfare State bubble of poverty, which is ever growing as the Middle Class erodes and The American Dream evaporates due to predatory capitalism.

What I find most ironic is that it is obvious that many of the most strident white supremacists share an IQ level that is below the average of 100. They are insufficiently clever enough to be curious and educate themselves, but want to claim that they are intellectually and culturally superior (? because they're prone to food, alcohol and opiod addiction?) to the many much more clever non-whites on the planet. Too funny. There are some more clever ones among them, but I've seen a lot of interviews and have seen a lot of memes created by them...and presumably only the most clever ones are creating memes.

Yes, there was a debate during the period of European conquest of the rest of the human population over how the Caucasians were able to run roughshod over everyone else and it did have something to do with IQ and the relentless pressure that hard winters exerted on Caucasians to never stop striving and inventing to survive their environment, but really smart white people today understand that their 'race' isn't actually the most clever. The Chinese already had a fully developed written language, a complex political culture and gunpowder at the time the Greeks just began to write extensively, and the Ashkenazi Jews played a central role in all of the developments of European culture, intellectually and especially financially, throughout history.

Liberally-minded folks in the developed world cling to the notion of 'diversity' because their core 'sacred value,' hard wired into their brains, is 'helping others', but in reality there is one universal human truth they are willfully ignoring: tolerant, nuanced, sophisticated cultures that have evolved over time never survive the injection of intolerant, 'barbarian' cultures (attempting to maintain social rules from 2,000 years ago) into their midst. Intolerance ALWAYS beats out tolerance, primarily because the intolerant cling to it much more stridently -- and tend to procreate and immigrate faster -- than the liberally-minded folks do. Diversity only works when everyone in the so-called diverse culture shares identical values. France, Sweden and England are going to have a lot MORE internal civil conflict very soon due to this mismatch within their societies.

"Our culture is so tolerantly diverse that we will tolerate your intolerance and even pass new laws to ensure you can become even more intolerant and break our national laws with impunity." This 'diverse' notion is fundamentally flawed as any nation's laws and values are what define it as a nation. What is being articulated is "you are allowed to declare yours the SUPREME culture within our country, immune to our laws, while at the same time we will ensure no one else can make the same claim." This notion FEELS like it is the same as letting the Mennonites keep to themselves, but the Mennonites don't have a rule book that reminds them 5 times a day that it is their obligation to take over the country they're in and subjugate everyone who isn't in their cult. Sure, most don't find the time to follow their religious obligations, but add in the fact that there is no central think-tank, no 'head office' or Pope, and that any narcissistic psychopath needs no accreditation or license to start preaching and declare himself a dictator of social order and you have a very different situation than is the case with any other group.

Rome fell to the barbarians when they incorporated far too much diversity into their culture and they became a welfare state that could not tax enough to keep up with deficit spending. We are already past this point in the West and, not so ironically, the largest holders of wealth on a global scale (those who have financed the debt we all owe) are the global bankers, the majority of those at the very top tend to be of a single ethnicity, and the Chinese oligarch families. No matter what, these very clever people will likely survive the global human conflict between the less clever groups for resources that is inevitably coming down the pipeline over the coming decades. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Should "I Feel Offended" Be Banned Forever?

What is it, really?  "I feel offended!"  No, really, what does that actually mean?  You feel angered?  Hurt?  Undervalued?  Challenged?  Denied respect?  Fearful of being berated or physically attacked?


Google's interpretation is:
  • annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.
  • "he went out, making it clear he'd taken offense"
  • synonyms:
annoyance, anger, resentment, indignation, irritation, exasperation, wrath, displeasure, hard/bad/ill feelings, disgruntlement, pique, vexation, animosity, antipathy

Look at that list of synonyms.  All emotions, no point of rationale or logic. 

At no point did everyone's willfully ignorant opinions become equal to the scientific process and facts.  

I can read an ancient old book that tells me that the world is flat, but I can look at an image from a satellite today and see that accepting the reality will make human life better as we can use the reality to fly us from point A to point B more effectively.  Similarly 1.6 billion humans can read a book that tells them that women should be raped and beaten with impunity, but in our modern existence we can see that this is a crock of shit and that we should be working very hard to turn this ridiculous adherence to the proclamations of a narcissistic psychopath who just wanted to have everything go his way.

At some point in the recent past, "Respect other's right to believe whatever they've been indoctrinated with" mutated into "Not only can other's beliefs not be questioned out of 'respect,' if your beliefs contradict theirs you cannot utter your views in public, not even in a country in which 'free speech' is the rule of law, because your views might spark 'offense' (see synonyms above, ALL of which are FEELINGS, not rational points of logic)."  Now in that last bit lies the gravest problem to the entire 'Free World'. 

If countries in which free speech is enshrined welcome immigrants who hold beliefs in which free speech is fundamentally banned, such as followers of an ancient cult leader who demanded that only his imaginings and self-manufactured 'holy mandates' be adhered to (i.e. "imprisoned speech"), then, by their own nation's laws, they have ended free speech (the ultimate end will come when the newcomers procreate more successfully and eventually out-number the original citizens). You see, if we give the folks for whom free speech means they are licensed to preach "imprisoned speech" and nothing else, AND we assure them that is 100% okay, then we have created a Catch-22, a tautological conundrum.  They are 'free' to ghettoize their community and protect their children and all members from hearing anything that is free speech, especially if it 'hurts their feelings' in some vague way. 

The moment that you have set this situation up (and it began with the Mennonites and other cults many years ago), you have created a trap in which free speech gets subverted --
UNLESS you go one step further in defense of free speech and ban any consideration being given to hurt feelings. 
ONLY by making it the rule of law that no consideration of irrational emotional reactions will ever be entertained as an element in banning free speech, especially in forums of intellectual debate and the development of new and better thinking (e.g. schools of higher learning and news programming), can a society continue to be truly free.  If we allow claims of "emotional trauma" to stand in the way of open debate, free society is doomed (without being any more dramatic about it than is reasonable). 


Indeed. As Ricky Gervais has pointed out repeatedly, "Hurt feelings" are impossible to objectively quantify and cannot be a consideration, EVER, in banning free speech online, in the news, or especially on school campuses. 

What is happening across the 'Developed World' (the "Welfare World") is that a tradition of freedom is being highjacked by followers of a cult that preaches primitive, obsolete "imprisoned speech".  The tool that is being leveraged, first in grade schools and now in universities and places of work is 'hurt feelings' (read: offense) and an entire generation of young people who grew up facing unimaginably emotionally traumatizing attacks on social media (now that they have a voice and can exert power), are eagerly rushing to the defense of the 'innocent followers of a cult who live among us' to defend them from what they imagine is the same kind of emotional trauma that they have witnessed on social media.  It is not. 

Yes, being ostracized and belittled online by schoolmates is hurtful and permanently damaging to one's self-esteem.  To equate that reality to being the same as having one's indoctrination in an ancient cult challenged with modern scientific facts and the societal norms of free societies in the 21st century is deeply and dangerously wrong.  As citizens who enjoy all the freedoms of the free and modern world, it is our duty, our obligation, to chip away at the barbaric musings of a murderous, megalomaniac warlord from the Iron Age. 

It is time to ban "I feel offended" and stand up for free thought, open inquiry, rational debate based not upon 'opinions,' but upon well-thought-through points of argument.   It is time to hold up really bad ideas to the full light of intellectual analysis and point out their failings in the public forum, 'hurt feelings' be damned.

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