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    Thread: Schopenhauer, The Pessimist

    1. #26
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      Hi Leaningkarst,

      I take your point seriously and may that William Blake quote serve as a cautious reminder to everybody lest they fall into the hubristic trap of believing they have it all sussed out. The best we can do is orient ourselves towards improvement pending further discovery and with the acceptance that to err is human; trial and error is part of development akin to the evolutionary expediency born out of plenty of annihilation in the somewhat analogous process of natural selection. Whether or not one chooses to conceptualise our heuristic behaviours as a clownish Trickster, or to symbolically represent human ontogeny as archetypal phases blossoming in their potential—as a Jungian Jordan Peterson does—is besides the point. As long as these Jungian ideas promote, rather than destroy, our 'winged life', everything is hunky-dory; for this, a balance must be found just as a society should strive for moderation between conservatism and liberalism.

      In the same vein, we must accept that, during the Cold War, a capitalist America was always going to make more money than a communist Russia, causing the productivity of the latter to stagnate and its economy to bleed out. Both social ideologies are simply different—confirmable by opposing manifestos. Does America have anything in common with, say, China? Of course! We've just seen billionaire Jack Ma re-emerging this year, after his mysterious disappearance, with out-of-character Chinese state-friendly messages of domestic reinvestment. It was a far cry from Donald Trump's rich and rebellious friend whose company Alibaba was arm-wrestled by the Chinese Communist Party—turning it into a financially regulated institution and fining it for its monopolistic conduct as it threatened to take away the government's control over what information the public receives. In America, an affluent Trump is practically banned from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter—whose CEOs pledge allegiance to the former president's rivalling Democratic Party.

      In order to achieve a healthy and prosperous balance, we should avoid dogmatism and totalitarianism because the world is constantly changing and evolving; in the same breath, we should be able to affirm, with confidence, that axioms exist and they helps us to remain grounded to the cockpit of our proverbial spaceshuttle—if you want to reach space, the only way is up (or away from Earth if you will). If you don't learn from your experience—retaining some certainty that some affirmations are reasonable and others absurd, in the process—you will remain vulnerably open to extraordinary claims without evidence until your proverbial brain falls out. In life, the way to reap its benefits—regardless of whether it is defined as a truth with a capital 'T' or not—is to aspire to be the best version of yourself. This does not take away from what Blake stated; in fact, it reinforces his powerful message insofar as the wish to be virtuous remains extant. The way to mastery is up, so to speak. How productive you are in a society depends on how much effort you put in and to aim higher is to aspire to something that one understands to be at the top of a hierarchy—something better!

      There are some established truths which have been empirically verified and tend to make up the bulk of scientific theories. These should avoid interpretations that go beyond epistemological confirmation. A hypothesis, on the other hand, is not confined to axioms and is thus vulnerable to multiple interpretations. Take the notion of shared dreaming, for example: I've had an experience with my wife which could easily be interpreted as such if we were to carelessly jump on that bandwagon. It's very strange but also hard to rule out coincidence on the basis that if you spend a lot of time with your partner, you will share many waking experiences and sooner or later are bound to have similar or identical dreams with the express illusion of sharing a metaphysical 'place'.

      As a sceptic, you can never really rule out shared dreaming completely. You may say 'unlikely' until something like the occasional quantum entanglement of minds within a geomagnetic field is discovered—as Michael Persinger once hypothesised—and then the concept dream telepathy ceases to be far-fetched. And even when we simply take into account Plato's 'forms' and Descartes's 'eternal truths', we can't help but feel pressed to wonder about the problem of universals, which our minds can conceive regardless of what manifests physically. Some things, such as mathematical and moral concepts, will be unalterable and true for all time, and ostensibly fundamental to the point of lending credit to Platonic realism; the ancient philosopher would say that, for that reason, they are more real than a physical reality composed of mortals and delimited objects—as Heraclitus pointed out with his observations of perpetual change in nature.

      I find these views quite profound because, if we are living in a proverbial cave where we only see the shadows of a larger reality, then perhaps there is a metaphysical reality that we may access with a 'dream interface' which we may experience lucidly. Qualia is puzzling enough let alone consciousness itself. I cannot reconcile with Daniel Dennett's eliminativism and find the hard problem of consciousness undeniable. The first-person ontology phenomenon cannot be an illusion but, at the same time, I am not denying possible explanations found in physicalism. I don't know enough about the nature of reality to say with conviction that the mysterious matter the cosmos is made of cannot possibly give rise to consciousness. Dennett's strongest and philosophically compelling argument is that 'only a theory that explained conscious events in terms of unconscious events could explain consciousness at all: To explain is to explain away.' To be honest, I really don't know what to make of it. I've had instances of possible mutual dreaming, precognition and even telepathic OOBEs (where I apparently see what's on the minds of people I visit which they seem to confirm to their surprise)—unless, of course, they are making associations or connecting the dots to their hearts' content.

      Having said all of this, and somewhat sympathising with Jordan Peterson's teleological views, I am averse to the idea of becoming religious just because it might be comforting. I care about what's true first and foremost, even if reality seems cold and harsh to a limited being such as myself. I despise sugarcoating and would rather face facts instead of pretending that a god, or gods, exist—an infantile and amoral move redolent of the ignominious, and morally repugnant, Pascal's wager. For starters, there is no theodicy in the world that can vindicate the existence of an omnibenevolent God in the face of evil—and for this reason, on the point of a personal god, I remain strictly Epicurean. Be good because that is your instinct and not because you fear hell or crave heavenly reward; this is my Hitchensian anti-theism talking.

      We should keep in mind the context before considering what is possible and impossible. In a lab, a scientist should know that if he wishes to create interesting, complex structures, he's not going to get very far with just helium—which is nowhere near as covalent as carbon or silicon. Similarly, lucid dreamers should know that flying is a real possibility in Wonderland, but they should not jump out the window upon awakening (without performing a reality check). Since we are touching upon the subject of lucid dreaming, let me recapitulate what I understood from Carl Jung, in particular, what I take to be the psyche's most important archetype: the Self (I've already mentioned the Trickster) ...

      The Self archetype is psychically central in regulating and representing the soul. It unifies the consciousness and unconsciousness of the individual and was often symbolically illustrated by Carl Jung as a circle, square or mandala—the container, as it were, of all its aspects. On the concept of the mandala, Jung said:

      ‘Their [mandalas’] basic motif is the premonition of a center of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which itself is a source of energy. The energy of the central point is manifested in the almost irresistible compulsion and urge to*become what one is, just as every organism is driven to assume the form that is characteristic of its nature, no matter what the circumstances. This center is not felt or thought of as the ego but, if one may so express it, as the self. Although the center is represented by an innermost point, it is surrounded by a periphery containing everything that belongs to the self–the paired opposites that make up the total personality. This totality comprises consciousness first of all, then the personal unconscious, and finally an indefinitely large segment of the collective unconscious whose archetypes are common to all mankind. A certain number of these, however, are permanently or temporarily included within the scope of the personality and, through this contact, acquire an individual stamp as the shadow, anima and animus, to mention only the best-known figures. The self though on the one hand simple, is on the other hand, an extremely composite thing, a “conglomerate soul,” to use the Indian expression.’

      The Self is created through the process of individuation where personality traits are integrated. Psychological problems can manifest if the conscious and unconscious minds are misaligned and the Jungian solution is to become aware of internal conflicts so that the therapeutic process of individuation can begin towards self-actualisation in its unified experience. The ego is a psychic dimension central to consciousness which is to be distinguished from the self as the centrality of the whole personality—which, itself, is composed of the conscious, the unconscious, and the ego. In other words, the Self is both central and total. A bruised ego can bring awareness to itself as only constituting a small part of the Self, bringing forth a realisation that it's not calling the shots, often leading the individual on a consultation journey with archetypes from the personal and collective unconscious in the process of returning to the Self (as the central ordering principle) for direction.

      The Self is sometimes understood to consist of a range of sub-personalities emerging across time during its development or, if you will, the formation of internal working models. The archetype itself, however, was believed by Jung to represent inherited predispositions which had evolved as a response to certain types of earthly experience. Mythologically, it is personified by superior individuals; its oneiric forms can include contemplative characters or sometimes half-human half-animal figures as the symbolic unity of the primordial and the newly cultivated. Generally, it is expressed by opposites coming together, being both and neither, a mental structure analogous to the Yin and Yang dualism.

      I think the books you've read are the right ones, Leaningkarst. There are people who only read one misleading one. Even if you had read disagreeable books, I'd still be saying the same. One can only know the extent to which one disagrees with a particular author by reading his books. It's always a pleasure to have the input of intelligent folk such as yourself.
      Last edited by Summerlander; 06-13-2021 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Typographical
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      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

    2. #27
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      Summerlander, I notice your attempt at harmony. In America, there is this polarity between Conservatism and Liberalism. You posit the solution is balance between those two. Similarly to Jordan Peterson who, in the context of the popular dichotomy between atheism and religion, chooses the compromise (a very dissonant one, in my opinion). It's a nice idea... Centrism "Oh, there's a conflict. The solution is between. The equilibrium between the two opposing extremes".

      I disagree.

      I disagree that these dichotomies are symmetrical. Conservatism and Liberalism are not opposing ideas on opposite sides of a line, Centrism representing the balanced equilibrium. Both conservatism and liberalism are human constructs, very broad sets of values. Someone might hold both "conservative" and "liberal" values very strongly and not even be a centrist. Ex. Individual very strongly against the right to abortion, and strongly for the funding of social services to support mothers and children. Someone might hold values of one side, and reasonably, need no balancing force from the other side. Ex. Individual strongly supports anti-discriminatory laws such as the right to vote for women as well as for men, the right to same-sex marriage, nondiscriminatory laws against homeless shelters denying trans children shelter services, etc. Ex. An individual that strongly supports recognizing expert advice. Someone might hold values outside Conservatism and Liberalism, that do not make such a person a mere extreme of either of those sets of values.

      You keep referring to a necessary balance between liberalism and conservatism. Yet, those two are not objective poles opposite one another. It's a false dichotomy. They are not equal.

      Conservatism promotes redistribution of wealth toward the wealthy (successful corporations), restriction of individual rights, defunding social services, national supremacy, rejection of expert advice, building strong walls to defend the arbitrary line between two human territories etc...

      Supporting Centrism gives the false idea that if you don't like the Liberal Party, then, the other choice is to go Conservative, or at least, compromise in that direction. No thank you. As an LGBT individual, it would be very dumb to say "yeah, it's a healthy idea to promote discriminatory policies against myself and other minority groups. In the name of balance". Any broad set of value we create as a society will never be a perfect symmetrical Yin Yang. If we build two cities. They are not Yin Yang. They are two creations. Unique. Alike. In certain ways. And we can create more. Also unique and alike in certain ways. I do not align with the Liberal Party in my country but that does not mean I have to lean further toward Conservatism. I prefer to lean toward the other parties available, because, yes, there are other parties, other broad sets of ideas. I haven't found one I strongly identify with yet, but it's part of the journey.

      And when we defend centrism, we give strength to the most malignant of the two sets of ideas. By not having opinions, well, we definitely don't move things toward anything more ideal.

      _________________

      So I'm against Centrism because it assumes that two polarizing sets of values are objective extremes and the objective answer is a compromise between those two broad sets of values, which is often nonsensical and dissonant.

      For example, Jordan Peterson presents the Bible as holding the Truth (he says truth is that which when a human believes it, helps this human succeed in an evolutionary context). Yet, he is not a traditional Christian at all. He doesn't believe in the contents of the Bible. He believes that, pragmatically and in an evolutionary sense, it holds the wisdom that bring our species forward, objectively. So don't believe the Bible because it's true. Believe in the Bible because believing in the Bible supposedly is an evolutionary trait that is beneficial to the continuation of our species.

      But this is so random. One of the first reasons Religion fails is that we can now see how many religions are out there. How many worldviews people hold. We don't have to chose between atheism and Christianity. Or an Abrahamic religion. We can choose any worldview. And our modern world, we are building many new worldviews and sets of values. We don't need to stay stuck in Christianity. And I think going this direction is far more likely to make us more evolutionarily adaptable anyway.

      For example, I connect more with Paganism (not a monolith) than Christianity (also not a monolith), but I can benefit from spiritual work that uses elements of paganism, Christianity and other things. Maybe that makes me seem like a centrist. But my problem with centrism is that it sets Christianity as an objective set of values. It assumes we will always and forever sway between Christianity and atheism. I think we need to see Christianity as a human construct. You can love it. You can love aspects of it. But we are forever free to create new things. To appreciate all the things there are out there. Create and find new things we didn't imagine we could ever create or find.

      _______________

      From reading your last responses, Summerlander, I am not sure if you think I might be belittling stories. That's not what I mean. I find stories, and art in general, so captivating, so powerful. They are very high on my "hierarchy of values" (an expression, I might have borrowed from Peterson, I'm not so sure). I agree with Peterson that stories also hold more meaning that the conscious intent that we initially construct a story with. The whole postmodern field of analyzing stories from different lenses is based on this search for overall biases and themes the author might have only been a unconscious vehicle for. Jordan Peterson does the same thing. And I love it. My problem is because instead of looking at stories like mirrors, devices to analyze our social state, like one might use dreams to analyze their psychological state, he looks at not all of them, but only few selected ones as the Holy Scripture of our God Evolution. The Bible and older Disney Films. He looks for vague, popular values within these things and claims we must follow those sacred stories. The only values he sees in other stories is how they tell the same stories as the Bible and the older Disney Films. He dismisses those stories own themes and values. And he really does create an environment of paranoia toward postmodern analysis. The idea, that we can view these stories from many different lenses, see many different meanings. Look at stories to evaluate our social state. Rewrite stories to find new solutions.

      When I dream, I notice patterns in my dreams. For example, I recently wrote about a pattern of me being stingy with money in dreams. Instead of taking this as an objective truth, I took it to evaluate myself. And I did work to respond differently. I created a new story. A subversive story in which I am not stingy. A story in which I felt financially secure, independent and comfortable, as well as willing to exchange my earnings for the life's work of others (food, art). This led to some great dreams.

      Peterson claims to be against this. He demonized the movie Frozen because the artists that created tried to subvert the princess tropes. Tried to create different stories. This is where my criticism arrives. Peterson forgets himself. He has now made himself into a caricature, being on an all-meat diet, and having gone through extreme and dangerous lengths to avoid the difficult process of drug addiction withdrawal. His values are so clearly subjective, flawed and biased despite being a leader of objective truth. And the most urgent political message he is trying to convey to student is "Stop activism, stop being politically involved, follow the status quo and clean up your bedroom." He is that meme: "stay calm and clean your room."

      The point is not that stories are not powerful. It's that they are creations (not only consciously shaped, but yes, also, subconsciously shaped), but, still not perfect objective ideals. There is no end to the story of humanity. When we will die, it won't be because we arrived to our ultimate ideal. We all die having created whatever we created. Perfect only within the context of their imperfections.

      ________________

      Tldr: centrism is based on a false sense that certain constructed dichotomies are objective and symmetrical. And I think stories need to be viewed through fertile and creative lenses, not ones that try to justify old values and neuter our ability to live and breathe new meaning into a world that has none in the first place.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-15-2021 at 06:56 AM.

    3. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      I find stories, and art in general, so captivating, so powerful. They are very high on my "hierarchy of values" (an expression, I might have borrowed from Peterson, I'm not so sure).
      Just dropping by to say that if you did borrow the expression from Peterson, then he must have borrowed it from Nietzsche.
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    4. #29
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      Perhaps with Occipitalred's latest comment it's a good time for me to expose some of my own thoughts, in a hopefully somewhat related way.

      Firstly, I had not yet considered this view on "centrism" myself and find it makes some sense. In truth I am somewhat disconnected from any highly polarised environments as what's being mentioned, maybe because I purposely try to avoid them - regardless, I am aware of them. I have noticed in my native country and elsewhere in the world that such tendencies (poles of opinion/thought) seem common, whether more common or not as time goes by, I cannot say since I can't judge it very well from my own experience and don't know history well enough, or deeply enough. I'm just one person, I cannot judge whether these are ultimately wrong, but I do witness enough splitting of people in a way I find distasteful. Everything becomes about sides and "being right", it seems.

      At first I was thinking about how here on the forum and sometimes elsewhere, I try to mediate between people if I perceive what may be a misunderstanding and then I was thinking that maybe I'm being centrist in the described way, treating opposite sides as symmetrical. Then I realise this is not true actually, because I have personal biases that mean that I will never side with certain people and opinions, no matter how well spoken the person may be, there are simply things I find unagreeable; I will generally give people the benefit of the doubt, especially because if nothing else, I know that we can have stupid opinions from time to time.

      And at the same time, for me people can reach a point where I've felt and witnessed their patterns all too often if they're directly part of my life and I simply consider them irredeemable, too far into their own biases to ever accept a challenge, be that a challenge of personal opinion or position; of logic or moral nature. Under the scope of my upbringing this is conflicting with the idea that "everyone can be forgiven", and yet I have had the displeasure of meeting people that I really have not found myself thinking to be deserving forgiveness, not without effort, not without proof that they are acting in a better way than they did before.

      Maybe for me forgiveness and acceptance can only come after redemption, whereas my upbringing made it seem as though forgiveness was a given to all, even the worst sinner - I do mean this without regard to religion, instead with regard to morality and ethics appreciated under the scope of "common good". And my life experience tells me that maybe not everyone can redeem themselves for things they've done wrong. I certainly try to make up for my mistakes and recognise that sometimes I can't, fortunately I've simply never strayed far enough from reason and civil behaviour to have created personal issues for myself there.

      Occipitalred's comment reminds me that perhaps it is not wrong for me to cherry-pick my beliefs at times, something I think I have mentioned in this thread previously. Of course, freely rampant thought can make poor decisions and judgments, freedom of thought doesn't mean we arrive at good and moral choices automatically. Maybe I have felt bad about cherry-picking because of my family's background, my baggage if you will.

      Now, I remind myself that actually, cherry-picking is possibly a big part of human culture. As an artist I take some issue when certain artists say things like "don't use my work as reference! of any kind!", since we all take reference from something or someone at some point. I love copying classic works and I never claim that I'm their author and I always recognise that it's just my interpretation; I have heard that copying is the greatest form of flattery and I kind of understand why. That's how culture evolves, through appropriation and personal interpretation, and this is something that particularly bothers me about certain segments of modern society, that seem to be strongly against appropriation of any kind, even if it can be done so in a civil way. Of course I do not appreciate blatant art "theft", i.e. copies by someone else claiming to be the original author of a work they did not create, with no regard for an original author's own needs of recognition and attribution.

      To give a concrete but light example, when I have openly shared traditional and obscure(!) recipes from my native country, in English, I felt this fear, that it might be appropriated... Then a while later I realised, no, this is how something perpetuates, how something good can become common and for everyone, by sharing and letting others take it and do with it in their own way. To fear this is to fear the evolution of culture, in a way. I cannot claim to be completely over this fear myself but I try to remind myself that I'm being foolish when I let it take over me; it's a fear and like any fear it just makes me think... in a certain less rational way, maybe a bit of a primal thing.



      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      And I think stories need to be viewed through fertile and creative lenses, not ones that try to justify old values and neuter our ability to live and breathe new meaning into a world that has none in the first place.
      Finally, just to touch on this point briefly, I want to add that this is one of the reasons I do not openly carry around a nation flag and so on here on the forum. Such a thing inevitably carries old values and tells its own story in a way that I feel confines thought and in my view it has the ability to create a perceptual bias in others. I should say I have nothing against people who do display their nation publicly and even appreciate having a direct, but incomplete, insight into someone's background from it. I love flags, banners, crests, blazons, standards, etc. They are generally beautiful and do try to symbolise important values, at times. I simply prefer to display myself as nation-neutral if at all possible, because my home nation or wherever I happen to reside now does not and cannot represent me in a simple way, as I don't expect it does for anyone, it really is just the case I feel too strongly that it can create unnecessary biases that can interfere with interacting with people as actual real people.



      I did want to touch on some other points from both Summerlander and Occipitalred but this is getting quite long and I lose track of myself easily.

      Suffice to say I thought both have very interesting things to say, though I get lost in the language a bit more easily with you Summerlander - I would say your style of writing is more complex/advanced than what I'm used to these days.
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      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

    5. #30
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      Hi Occipitalred,

      I think you are ignoring the nuances of a subject that is far more complex. There isn't any attempt on my part to strive for harmony at all. The forces of conservatism and liberalism are tools with which certain values are preserved whilst maintaining leeway for gradual change and progress. In a society, you simply cannot have just one or the other or you spell out chaos—which is what our species has been striving to get away from since time immemorial. It is not good to dismiss everything that came before, in a crazy attempt to rewrite all meaning, when we've been building upon achievement after achievement like a beaver dam. You only need to take a look around to realise how far we've come: we are no longer living in the dark ages! Human beings create order out of chaos. Conservatism and liberalism can never be mutually exclusive as Thomas Ferguson methodically delineates in his political science theses.

      Note that I am not narrowing or conflating conservatism with Trumpism—which is a fallacy in and of itself as conservatism obviously precedes the policies of Donald Trump. It is also worth pointing out that a liberal today doesn't resemble a liberal in the slightest when I was growing up and the Soviet Union hadn't even collapsed with the ascension of Gorbachev. If you ask me, a couple of decades ago, I would identify as being on the Left; and even though my views have not radically changed, through today's lens they appear to be far divorced from what the American Democratic Party endorse. Today, there isn't much of the old Left left (not much I recognise that is truly liberal).

      Identity politics is undeniably devisive and not doing your country much good. It is, in fact, what discriminates between groups of people and denies any progress made by previous generations.

      Martin Luther king said he hoped one day people would be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. What we are seeing today, however, is completely inconsistent with his vision when, in the postmodernist world, group identity is prioritised over individual identity. The antithesis of King's vision is, thus, a dangerous one for 'group guilt' can also be unfairly attributed to the individual, causing things to go downhill very rapidly.

      Identity politics insidiously summons unfair stereotypes and tends to disregard personal experience and individuality in general. In the postmodernist world, everybody is to be pigeonholed, first and foremost, apropos of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation in order to fit a narrative that makes assumptions on whether one is privileged or oppressed irrespective of idiosyncrasies and individual merit. Institutions, as a result, go 'Woke' and select for representative demographics and group identities proportional to one another for the upkeep of positive reputations of fairness in order avoid accusations of prejudice and discrimination—but, in erroneously doing so, they end up discriminating between these identities as it is their primary focus over pragmatic standards. As I said before, equality is then erroneously conflated with fairness and an important distinction is lost: equality of opportunity is fair and should be promulgated; equality of outcome, on the other hand, is a totalitarian impossibility.

      Collective responsibility should not override individual responsibility. Get your own house in order before you go about trying to fix the world. Generally, people have more things in their personal purview that are more difficult to deal with which they sometimes avoid by adopting pseudo-moralistic stances on large-scale social issues so that they look good to their friends and neighbours. When you can't make the rent and you can't keep the power on, you'll make a pretty poor revolutionary.

      The idea that centrism is where people converge because it might provide a balanced solution is simply false. First of all, a solution to what? Secondly, people usually describe themselves as 'centrists' upon the de facto discovery that they agree with some ideas espoused by the Left and some by the Right; but the notion that centrists will fully agree with one another on every social issue is untenable. Centrism is not even a group per se: nobody in the adventurous pursuit of change decides to become a centrist as, unlike the liberal agenda, is not quixotically appealing.

      I really want to home in on one particular truism, here: life is about struggle! This isn't some Marxist solution with some philosophical elements that even today's capitalism has adopted; I would also argue that atheists can act religiously (or dogmatically) and the Pope could be an atheist. But atheism barely means anything other than a disbelief in God ...

      The atheist Karl Marx, with his social philosophy, still prescribed something for the masses similar to religion in one sense: analogous to the Christian principle of delayed gratification, you suffer by working hard first and reward comes sinei die to a future generation living in a golden utopia. The proletariat is the Christ-like saviour that sacrifices himself for the cause. The notion of self, in this view, is dangerous for its notions of property and you must fight for the collective. The self becomes the community and the socialist revolution leads to Communism. Marxism reflects the teleological view of Hegel, the late-Enlightenment philosopher despised by Schopenhauer. The proletariat thus becomes aware of its heroic role in history. Marxism appeared to emerge as the answer to Rousseau's perceived problem of social inequality. The idea of working began to be equated with self-worth and happiness.

      Schopenhauer ascribed more importance to leisure as a means to derive a true sense of worth, and in order to increase one's free time, capital must first be accumulated. The more wealth the better! Parents can certainly derive more meaning and self-worth spending time raising their children than having a full-time job which becomes their identity to the rest of society instead.

      There is a call to adventure in human nature which isn't only pronounced in youth. Back in the 1860s, Fyodor Dostoevsky criticised the vision of a socialist utopia as he understood that adventure involves starting from an unfavourable position and, during the struggle and journey, taking on challenges and pushing against adversity. The impetus towards progress starts with difficulty. In his Notes From Underground, Dostoyevsky points out that if human beings are given a utopian way of living and just busy themselves with procreation, the first thing we'll do as a species is tear it all down just to see something unexpected and troublesome occur—because we are built for adventure and not for peace and happiness. Overcoming adversity is part of being human!

      Postmodernism and moral relativism are simply prescriptions of a fairly recent, misguided dream which would force the world into pretence, authoritarianism and, ultimately, a chaotic dystopia. It tries to deny reality itself—which is primarily objective regardless of minds that experience likes and dislikes. It tries to create ideals towards a utopia that will never be reached simply because it is not realistic. Postmodernists, in their extremes, look around and affirm that we are not interpreting reality correctly and that everything is practically wrong because people are still suffering—as though Earth's inhabitants are analogous to Dr. Pangloss in Voltaire's Candide in need of a wake-up call. Despite all the religiosity in the world, such isn't the case. The more I look into postmodernism, the more I find it to be incoherent.

      I would rather not spend much time discussing contemporary politics as it might sends us all off on an unpleasant tangent, but I will end this particular subject with an admonition regarding divisive, cunning stunts in politics. I'm talking about the old 'divide and conquer': recently, Xi Van Fleet, a Chinese mother living in Virginia—and a survivor Of Maoist China—stated that critical race theory is in itself racist (and should have no place in schools), and that China used ‘Wokeness’ to install Communism. The parallels between what happened in China and what's happening in America shouldn't be hard to draw.

      I don't know if you are experiencing cognitive dissonance, which we can all fall prey to, but it is never too late for paradigm shifts. I would only say this: beware of propaganda through the media, which, in your country is very much in cahoots with the current administration. In the United Kingdom, Labour is very much analogous to Biden's party, and guess what: they lost against the Tories (Conservative Party) because people didn't find anything in Labour they could identify with! They tried to say this little island was systemically racism but it was proved false with an independent demographic study. It did not work because racists simply have no monopoly here.

      On a slightly different note, as I said before, there are some things I agree and disagree with Jordan Peterson. Atheism does not necessarily lead to chaos—in fact, religion tends to do so. But I fully agree with his anti-Woke stance. I also think people should 'clean their rooms'—why the hell not? I cannot comment on his beef diet much other than to say that it seems to have helped his daughter Mikhaila Peterson with her long-term ailments, and once she suggested it to her dad and he also took up on it, his pain vanished. I've always known diets to be far from a 'glove that fits all' solution. I think the reality is closer to foods being specifically beneficial to genomes—so I wouldn't criticise the man on this. We have seen how once major proponents of veganism, for example, ended up ill and renouncing what they prescribed for the rest of mankind. One cannot ignore the devil in the details ...

      Hi DarkestDarkness,

      I think it is good to stay away from extremes, or, better still, refrain from dogmatically adhering to any absolutes. This refers back to William Blake's quote that Leaningkarst posted!

      Relevant to your own personal encounters, I think only those who are genuinely remorseful and request forgiveness truly deserve it. This does not apply to sociopaths as they are naturally not sorry for anything, in which case ... Stay away from these individuals.

      By the way, I have honestly tried to tone it down with my writing and hopefully this post is easier to swallow than my previous ones.
      Last edited by Summerlander; 06-16-2021 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Typographical
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    6. #31
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      So I think we at least agree that Liberalism and Conservatism are not symmetrical opposites. That they are broad constructs, and that we can and have built many other such broad constructs.

      About Identity politics, that's how democracy works. Individual politics is meaningless. I cannot request that a politician listen to me as an individual and pass policies that benefit me. I will never be heard. In the real world, if people want a voice, they must come together as a group. They have to find people who have similar political needs as them to voice their needs and hope to have an impact on political policies made by politicians. For example, the right to vote was not a sudden gift from men politicians to women. Women had to form groups that voiced their political needs. Same for black people in America, LGBTQ people, indigenous people, and all other groups that want to be heard by the government. Intersectionality allows for groups to come together because the concept explains that the individuals' needs often overlap between many such group. Therefore, LGBTQ groups will also bring Black voices at the forefront of their movement. In the interest of politicians hearing the voice of the people. Same goes with class. The improvements to quality of life and the protections that the working class now has has come about thanks to unions. That's how democracy works. Politician come into power by convincing groups of people that they will listen to their needs, so that these people vote for them and that supposedly, they will work to satisfy these needs in policy. That is identity politics and it is not what people are demonizing now. It is very well known on the left that any such group is not monolithic and among a group like "women," there are dissenting opinions, different needs, etc.

      Right now, the intellectual aesthetic of centrism is very attractive. There is certain satisfaction that comes from feeling you understand two sides of a debate, the strengths and weakness. Demonizing identity politics is one of these intellectual pursuits that makes politics hypothetical: "Discrimination is wrong. We should not make judgements based on arbitrary factors such as a person's race, gender, class, identity. Therefore, these things shouldn't matter in the political sphere. It is only reverse discrimination or ironic discrimination for people to ask to listen to their needs as a group rather than as individuals" Sounds smart. But it's completely divorced from reality. While black people don't want to be second class citizens (don't want to be discriminated against), it is evident that they live in a social structure that is biased against them. And that is evidently particularly evident to them. If they don't voice their needs as a group, they will be ignored. Martin Luther King, because he is dead, is often misquoted by conservatives and centrists to make him out to say that we should be blind to race. He was a social rights activist. As if he would not be part of Black Lives Matter in today's age...


      People never got better rights and policies by cleaning their own bedroom. Asking people to stop getting politically involved and deal with yourself as an individual is the antithesis to democracy, because we will forever have things to deal with as individuals in our own life. I will always be dreaming and looking within. This philosophy asks people to stop paying attention to the world. To de-unionize. To leave power where it lies. It sounds smart because we all have more power to improve ourselves than the world, and it is very attractive, to go the easy way. But those are things we need to do in parallel. And people who lack rights or are discriminated against do not have the luxury of just dealing with their bedrooms and not being political. Politics can not be ignored. Democracy is about people getting involved politically.

      Equality of opportunity, the way you say it, I think you mean: put a gladiator with great armor and a good weapon, good training in an arena along with a weak, old, naked homeless man, and that's equality of opportunity because now that they're in the arena as themselves, as they were before entering, and that they can do whatever they want freely, that this is fairness. Equality of opportunity is very complex. I don't know the solution but at least, it's not that. Equality of outcome is meaningless because it cannot exist. Everyone has different needs and different wants. No one wants to get the same dinner as everyone else. Do the same job. Have the same hobbies. Be the same person. Opportunity of outcome interests literally no one on this Earth. Everyone is interested in equality of opportunity. And the reality is that there is not equality of opportunity without some added effort by society. Exactly what is a fair or reasonable way to create a better equality of opportunity, that's a worthy discussion. But it's definitely not reasonable to pretend doing nothing is equality of opportunity.

      The game is not equal. Nature might be struggle but that's why we live in big communities, to lift us up. To fight the struggle together. Not like Ayn Rand's utopia of selfishness and "no one owes anything to anyone" bs.

      I'm sorry I don't quite get that comment about my cognitive dissonance. I guess talking about politics is always walking on eggshells. Honestly, my ignorance on political topics is vast and I express my idea in a clumsy way but I think if I care at all about not being a political pessimist, I have to have the courage to voice my current understanding. Hopefully, I get the courage to actually get involved eventually. Haha. But yes, we can leave it at that. I wrote my post as I read your post so I'm not going to delete it but, I agree we might have erred away from the topic. Good catch with brining Schopenhauer back!
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-17-2021 at 08:15 AM.

    7. #32
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      Don't worry about it, Occipitalred. I wouldn't expect everyone to agree with me on every point, anyway. And, yes, Rand has her flaws because egoism alone is bound to yield more conflict. I never saw her philosophy as providing any kind of solution other than to pander to a deep, rebellious desire to be who we truly are. And as positive as my last comment on her prescription may sound to a libertarian, I feel there is an unhealthy emphasis on ego which may hinder social cooperation, altruism (which helped to bring communities together) and may beget more recalcitrance than we can handle. If anyone here likes Rand and feels that her philosophy has more value than what me and Occipitalred give her credit for, you are welcome to point it out. I read about her years ago so I could be missing something out.

      I believe we briefly touched upon Friedrich Nietzsche here, who defied any solution coming from Marxism and opposed Rousseau's vision of plebeians corrupted by the most powerful in society. Nietzsche found the idea of a 'slave revolt' abhorrent and equated the urge of the mutinous underprivileged as an outright denial of the world that they feel has oppressed them. He could see this in Christianity—as a monotheism opposed to reason itself which promotes an unquestionable 'will to nothingness'—and if we look closely at the authoritarianism of the Woke, and its propensity to monopolise what's expressively permissible and what's not regardless of intent, we can easily draw parallels.

      Perhaps he feared absolutism would ultimately preclude the rise of Übermensch, Supermen he felt society needed. I think today he would be appalled by accusations that the most powerful nation in the world is patriarchal and a country run mostly by men is necessarily a negative one. This is not to say that Nietzsche was misogynistic for regarding such views as anathema, but rather, the idea of a society discouraging a promising young man from attaining success because it deems such endeavour as synonymous with male tyranny should set alarm bells ringing and should be particularly dismaying to parents raising little boys.

      Nietzsche urges us to fulfill our potential and be who we are, which is at odds with the restrictive, authoritarian Left that we see today. There is, however, an ambivalence about him where he encourages people to abandon all theories and take responsibility for authoring their nature—which, rather than leading to development (as he proposed) might lead to postmodernist conflict and confusion.

      I think it's fair to say that, in spite of our disagreements, we are all still trying to figure out a viable path for humankind as a whole.
      Last edited by Summerlander; 06-17-2021 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Improvement
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      Hi Summerlander. I'm happy we're just talking. While we both are - still trying to figure out a viable path for humankind as a whole -, that exercise is kind of just intellectual leisure on my part because, well, I'm really not doing anything else than talking about it, haha.

      If I apply my attitude toward dreams to stories, for me, the superhero archetype does not tell us how to be the best versions of ourselves, but it tells us what we think it means to be the best version of ourselves. To be a ubermensh. And, in the case of stories, it's a social pattern. But if it were my pattern alone, in my dreams, I would think it's interesting that I fight crimes with force. Crime is a social problem, linked to many factors, such as poverty and socioeconomically inequalities. Superheroes fighting criminals never heal their city. And in superhero stories, the author must create contrived scenarios and must create a city that is more dangerous than normal cities. If I were a superhero in my city, I'd really be on vacation. I've never witnessed a crime that warrants a superhero out in the city. So it's interesting that superheroes waste their time prowling empty side streets to perhaps respond to a crime. Why are superheroes not trying to respond to the source of the problem by finding social solutions? Well, because it's easier to imagine we could just punch the problem away. And that's why in Superhero stories, and even cop stories which make cop out be sorts of superheroes, there is always this tendency to break the law to catch criminals. It's satisfying to that instinctual part of ourselves that finds it so much more natural to just solve the problem by force. I think Alan Moore's Watchmen is a great story that picks at all the weaknesses and flaws of our grand collective superhero dream. In truth, superheroes mostly just perpetuate the cycle violence. And the reason is that individuals don't have the power to fix society alone. Change must come from the community, by the participants of that community. Not just one person. Not just one politician. Not just one person with a clean bedroom. Not just one superhero punching poor criminals or cartoonish villain CEOs. If there's something we can fix, it's the structure of society. I really have no idea how, but if I were to have a superhero dream, my focus wouldn't be to take the violent monster part of me and to channel it for "good". If I wanted to really be a heroic human being, I'd have to get involved and participate in a community group of some sort to improve some aspect of society that is important to me.

      I agree with Nietzche as far as letting people do as much as they're feeling motivated to do. Don't dampen that motivation. However, no one's trying to dampen men's motivation. It's just that the patriarchal structures have directly pushed women down and when for example, a political cabinet gives itself the goal to hire 50/50 men and women, they're not trying to dampen men's motivation and abilities so that it equals women's poorer motivation and abilities. It's recognizing that a major factor for the gender proportions of these particular fields are not because of personal choice and worth, but because of a structure. Is that not what a superhero would do? Or would that be too authoritarian for a superhero ubermensh to do...? Even more so than punching people with no trial?

      Hmm, and well, I don't know anything about the authoritarian left suppressing individuals. On the contrary, it's allowing there to be more than one individual in society. Fascists are those who promote only one way of living: one way to be a woman (at home), one way to be a man (at work) both necessarily in a couple together to make as many children as possible. The left just wants to give liberties to these people so that women can be at home, at work, both, neither, anything, men can be at home, at work, both, neither, anything, they can be in a couple together or with anyone or no one, or in different types of relationships, and have many children or some or none whatever. But for people to have any freedom at all or have the potential to be their best selves, there needs to be rights and protections for the working class (otherwise they will forever only be exploited by the powerful and never get to do anything else). Women and minorities can't be second class citizens. I'm sorry but I don't see the authoritarianism? In an authoritarian society, people don't have freedoms. I mean, it's authoritarian that I can't punch anyone I want in society, but that's reasonable. It's also reasonable that if I run a homeless shelter, I can't arbitrarily discriminate against people from groups that I see as subhuman. And that if I run a big business, that I comply with regulations that prevent me from exploiting people. You can't harass trans people by purposefully and repeatedly misgendering and dead naming them etc....

      Anyway, to tie it to pessimism, I think it's pessimist to imagine that social justice can only lead to authoritarianism, because it imagines that bringing everyone in society up, can only push everyone else down. As if people did not make each other stronger together. And only some individual supermen can ever go up, while everyone else watch from behind, inspired, but too unmotivated or unworthy to ever be anything else than the exploited workers and home partners of these ubermensh.

      On a side note, the Task of the Year is all about being superheroes. My own superhero persona was just a broader, orange version of myself. I haven't made much progress but I'll try to keep this conversation in mind as I continue trying to advance with these tasks. Because, well otherwise, I haven't had many superhero dreams.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-18-2021 at 09:30 AM.

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      oops

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      Quote Originally Posted by Summerlander View Post
      I believe we briefly touched upon Friedrich Nietzsche here, who defied any solution coming from Marxism and opposed Rousseau's vision of plebeians corrupted by the most powerful in society. Nietzsche found the idea of a 'slave revolt' abhorrent and equated the urge of the mutinous underprivileged as an outright denial of the world that they feel has oppressed them. He could see this in Christianity—as a monotheism opposed to reason itself which promotes an unquestionable 'will to nothingness'—and if we look closely at the authoritarianism of the Woke, and its propensity to monopolise what's expressively permissible and what's not regardless of intent, we can easily draw parallels.

      Perhaps he feared absolutism would ultimately preclude the rise of Übermensch, Supermen he felt society needed. I think today he would be appalled by accusations that the most powerful nation in the world is patriarchal and a country run mostly by men is necessarily a negative one. This is not to say that Nietzsche was misogynistic for regarding such views as anathema, but rather, the idea of a society discouraging a promising young man from attaining success because it deems such endeavour as synonymous with male tyranny should set alarm bells ringing and should be particularly dismaying to parents raising little boys.

      Nietzsche urges us to fulfill our potential and be who we are, which is at odds with the restrictive, authoritarian Left that we see today. There is, however, an ambivalence about him where he encourages people to abandon all theories and take responsibility for authoring their nature—which, rather than leading to development (as he proposed) might lead to postmodernist conflict and confusion.
      Thread’s moving too fast for me to keep up.

      Summerlander, you do know that Nietzsche was politically conservative at a time when being conservative meant being anti-democracy, right? He was against mass movements, and pretty much mass anything, full stop. I’m quite certain that if he had lived long enough to see his books get popular, his reaction would have been to stop and consider what he had been doing wrong to appeal to so many people. Even the far right today has more in common ideologically with Rousseau than with Nietzsche. (Leaving dictators and would-be ones out of the equation entirely since any philosophy they claim to endorse is forced to take a backseat to “me first” in any case.)

      You can also see that in the fact that he absolutely did not fetishize conventional success: it's more or less the same idea as Plato’s cave. That’s part of what “hierarchy of values” implies: deciding which goals you think are worth pursuing with no reference to what your culture is going to reward you for. The general public was, in his view, categorically irredeemable, and any concerted effort to have it tilt towards certain values in lieu of others was categorically suspect.

      And I don’t even think Nietzsche would have seen himself as conservative, per se – more as being beyond politics. Just for kicks, I did a quick perusal of all the quotations I could find regarding conservatism in Nietzsche’s mature works (at least, the ones with indexes), and this is what I came up with:

      “When people in France began to attack the Aristotelian unities and others therefore began to defend them, one could see once again what is to be seen so often but what people hate to see: one lied, mendaciously inventing reasons for these laws, simply to avoid admitting that one had become used to these laws and no longer wanted things to be different. The same process occurs, and always has occurred, in every prevalent morality and religion: the reasons and purposes for habits are always lies that are added only after some people begin to attack these habits and to ask for reasons and purposes. At this point the conservatives of all ages are thoroughly dishonest: they add lies. (The Gay Science, Kaufmann translation).


      Yes, it turns out there is only the one. It’s a lot less than what he had to say about socialism or about democracy, but it’s at least as damning.

      And, yes, Nietzsche was a misogynist too, actually. The best that can be said about his aphorisms on women is that they come off as awkward and somewhat perfunctory – as opposed to, say, Schopenhauer’s writings, where you do get the impression there’s genuine feeling there. My general impression is that Nietzsche just did it because all the cool kids were, so to speak – that in spite of being iconoclastic in so many ways, this was, notably, one area where he wasn’t comfortable enough to break with convention.

      But anyway, to sum it up: anybody who thinks that Nietzsche would support their political agenda is just fooling themself.

    11. #36
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      Hi, Occipitalred

      The TV series City on a Hill depicts societal struggles where, ironically, justice can be expedited and served cold by an antihero by the name of Jackie Rohr (played by Kevin Bacon). Rohr does what you would, if you could, when the courts let victims down. If you haven't watched the series, I highly recommend it! I actually find antiheroes more admirable than superheroes simply for the fact that they cannot, and would not, hide behind a holier-than-thou façade. You've got to be prepared to handle chaos if you are to confront agents of chaos.

      Speaking of social justice, I also think there is more inequality between genders in the Middle East than the West. In the Arab world, women are typically regarded as second-class citizens and Islamic states tend to strip them of their right to vote, drive and, in many instances, even leave the house unaccompanied by a male. Sons, in those nations, rule over their mothers. But western postmodernists won't point that out—how could they when their own moral relativistic ideology prevents them from doing so? Instead, feminists, afraid of being labelled 'Islamophobic', needlessly focus on the tolerant democracies they inhabit, where much progress on the suffragist front has already been made.

      Let's make this clear to anyone still in doubt: men and women are generally different and not just in terms of sex and hormones. While we should take note that people should be assessed on an individual basis and stereotypes must be avoided upon first meeting someone, men and women tend to have different interests. It is true that some men are feminine and some women are masculine, but they are statistically drawn to different fields under optimal conditions of freedom.

      Under equality of opportunity, as we've seen with prosperous Scandinavian nations, a natural disparity between male and female posts is observed. This isn't necessarily a problem! It just means that men and women select for different things. Psychological evaluations have already established that men are more interested in objects and women are more interested in people. We've also gathered that serotonin is associated with hierarchies and women are more agreeable and tend to suffer with more depression than men. This explains why more men are incarcerated than women!

      It is not misogynistic to point out that, for instance, there are more male mathematicians or that males are more likely to take risks. Differences of outcome is not proof of prejudice. Men are more likely to pursue careers in stem fields, which pay more for being, in general, infinitely scalable. If you work in a daycare, you will be focusing on, at the most, three infants—you're not going to care for fifty as it is unrealistic and the job itself is not scalable. On the other hand, if you're a software designer, you can potentially reach many people and it's practically infinite—therefore it pays more! More men are attracted to these roles with much larger income pools and much larger pools of wealth as there is a wider range of possibilities.

      Men are also more likely to work longer hours: 10% longer hours for 40% more money with nonlinear returns. Men are more likely to work outside and more likely to work in dangerous businesses; and they are more likely to run full-time businesses rather than part-time and more likely to move in pursuit of their career goals than women. These are reality-based observations and the corollary follows from a high risk, high return logic, and not, as it is erroneously claimed, systemic prejudice towards women.

      To somewhat spotlight the main topic once again, unlike Arthur Schopenhauer (who believed suffering is best mitigated), Nietzsche believed it to be necessary in amassing strength ...

      'If we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how. The meaninglessness of suffering, not suffering itself, was the curse that lay over mankind so far.'

      ~Friedrich Nietzsche

      But the man also felt great pity for a flogged horse and ended up losing his marbles.

      Hi Leaningkarst,

      Well said, but I still maintain that, under the context I described, Nietzsche would not have been misogynistic for pointing out that equating male success with tyranny is a fallacy. It's like catching Trump being racist away from the cameras and not being able to do anything about it other than to swear to a friend that he used the 'N-word' when referring to a black person; you may even point out that his father Fred was racist for not allowing black people to stay at his hotels and that the son must have adopted his racist views—but what you cannot do is claim on national TV that Trump is racist on the basis that he described the novel coronavirus as 'China virus' (this cannot be used as evidence of prejudice in any court of law because SARS-CoV-2 came from Wuhan).

      Well done on the on-topic Schopenhauer reference. I think we have all done well in remaining relevant.
      Last edited by Summerlander; 06-18-2021 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Additional
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      I feel I should tie up this thread by mentioning something that escaped my mind earlier, and perhaps expatiate a little more on what I feel strongly about. After this, of course, feel free to comment ...

      Carl Jung spoke of the maturing process of individuation, the goal of which postmodernism, with its tribalistic tendencies, seems to deny; in particular, the neo-Marxists ostensibly stand in opposition to the concept of self when they deny individual experience with affirmations that one must, by necessity, identify with a particular group to be judged privileged or oppressed. Therefore, according to identity politics, your individual experience doesn't matter if you don't fit the narrative in the group you're supposed to belong to. The reality, however, is that each and every one of us stand as individuals with unique experiences and hence why equality of outcome is fallacious and pernicious.

      If you, as a CEO, don't have the same number of ethnic backgrounds within your institution, you run the risk of being cancelled and having your reputation utterly destroyed. Everything is horribly done by appearances and reality must be denied as it is lest it offends someone. Their ideology is pretentiously all over the place and edging towards totalitarianism akin to Leninist Russia where complaining about the state is unacceptable and punishable by death; you are supposed to pretend everything is hunky-dory, that your country is a manifest utopia, because the opposite is to offend the system and make the accusation that it is the product of a failed state. Here's a terrifying type of outcome manipulation: In Venezuela, it is illegal for doctors to rule a death as the result of starvation! Think about that for a second ...

      Such states, founded in lies and deceptive manoeuvres, tend to subvert science and reason! There is already a polemic against a study that practically found trans-women competing in women's sports to be totally unfair due to massive differences in strength between genders and many snowflakes found the science offensive for exposing the fact that trans-women are originally males and muscle atrophy during transitions will never meet the lower female threshold. The natural disparity between Laurel Hubbard and 'her' female competitors—brought about by the fact that Hubbard went through the stages of male puberty which increases bone and muscle density—is being ignored for the sake of nondiscriminatory inclusivity, and to simply and innocently discriminate between trans-women and women on the basis that the former started out as a male is to be, in their eyes, transphobic.

      Sublimation was the maturing process Sigmund Freud prescribed for the ego—which arbitrates between the id and the social world—to diminish anxiety brought about by inadmissible urges by way of channeling them into socially acceptable and positive behaviours. Freud seems to have echoed Schopenhauer's statement: 'Events and our chief aims can in most cases be compared to forces that pull in different directions, their resultant diagonal being the course of life.' Schopenhauer also referenced the unconscious mind way before Freud popularly defined it, sketching—in his The World as Will and Representation—its relationship to the intellect in this way:

      'The intellect remains so much excluded from the real resolutions and secret decisions of its own will that sometimes it can only get to know them, like those of a stranger, by spying out and taking it unawares: and it must surprise the will in the act of expressing itself, in order merely to discover its real intentions.

      Nietzsche was also no stranger to the unconscious. In fact, both Schopenhauer's pessimism and Nietzsche's optimism incorporate awareness of the instinctive quicksands that lie beyond consciousness, and Freud's id ostensibly corresponds to Schopenhauer's will. But Freud has since been denounced or labelled as outdated, and many even mock psychoanalysis altogether. As a neurotic actor once comedically put it:

      'I was in analysis. I was suicidal. As a matter of fact, I would have killed myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian and if you kill yourself they make you pay for the sessions you miss.'

      ~Woody Allen
      Last edited by Summerlander; 06-21-2021 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Typographical
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      Hi, Summerlander,

      I've separated my response in different spoilers to make it more digestible, but it is not edited perfectly, sorry. I wrote the different sections at different moments in somewhat of a hurry, so there are perhaps some repetitive sections and perhaps there's a few sentences that I wish I could go back and edit out because I started writing with less of composure, haha, maybe. Maybe I already erased those occurrences, hopefully, haha. Generally, I think I stand by what I say here. Maybe some sentences or paragraphs I'd like to word differently, but this is it:


      Spoiler for Superheroes:



      Spoiler for Feminism:


      Spoiler for Middle East:


      Spoiler for Venezuela and Trans Athletes:


      Spoiler for Wokism:


      Summary: Leftist ideology in young people and the people I hear talk about it is about being mindful: about thinking about underlying factors for social ills and a curious interest in social science and how we can shape society to improve society in a way that is inclusive and empowering for all. This is not authoritarianism. If you don’t like left policies or opinions, you must solve them with more curiosity. This is not working but how can we be inclusive and fair? Not, this is a dystopia! Stop it! Revert back to old hierarchies of power! Men rule! Women take care of three infants! Trans people are ruining sports! The problem with the Middle East is their culture and their religion! Destroy it! We are the best! When people are offended by “unfair advantages” for disadvantaged groups more than the unfair advantages for the groups in power,” that speaks for itself. When People are offended by positions reserved for people of Native Americans in a school or professional program more than the systemic oppressions of Native Americans, it speaks for itself. And yes, we all hate bureaucracy but it's not leftist. It's part of capitalism and it comes with conservatism too. So, have fun fighting against social justice and creating a world that is just as bureaucratic.

      I know it is rude on my part, but I am hopefully not going to come back to this thread. It’s ironically being too pessimist, seeing science and attempts at social progress as purely negative. I’m sure next, we’ll be talking about race realism. No thank you.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 06-22-2021 at 06:20 PM.

    14. #39
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      I think the reason I haven't said anything else is because a lot of this may be a bit over my head, as I've said before maybe not helped by some wording and my unfamiliarity with some of the people or topics being brought up, so that's on me really. Reading the discussion has been very interesting anyway, I think primarily because each time, arguments have been brought up which make me think about things in ways I haven't thought about before and right when I thought someone made an interesting point, an interesting counter-point is made back.

      Unfortunately I can't really form a reply aimed at any specific point brought up by either of you but I'll try to form something based on the stuff I've thought about, based on your posts. Hopefully it contributes something, though I'll probably feel afterwards like I should delete my post or something; I'll try this, anyway.

      Granted it's been many years since I last read about it, but I started thinking and remembering about Anarchy, a concept that in my view is so often erroneously brought up to mean "chaos" and is so often misused to label immoral (or ammoral?) deviants as troublemakers, a.k.a. so-called "anti-social" behaviour but possibly used to label other types of deviants too. To narrow the definition and specify, by deviant I am mostly thinking of someone who has no interest in a common good. When I engage in co-operative activities, not only in games but also projects, teaching experiences and other general group activity, I often approach these with Anarchy as a base concept typically guiding my actions and possibly the actions of the group if it's possible, because I see it as meaning a more level existence with others to begin with, the assumption that we don't need to be superior and that where we are superior, we use that as a group strength.

      From my observation, I think humans already often do engage in group behaviour following this model, regardless of being aware of it by this name or not; a group behaviour which tends to be more leaderless and more communal, not to mention small-scale. I think it can also bring to front the whole concept of a "student becoming master" and the master becoming student, a situation that can be made negative because people sometimes have that annoying selfish "pride" that conflicts with civil behaviour, when in reality this conflict needn't exist as long as there is a perpetual relationship where one tries to nourish the others' undeveloped sides.

      Sadly, I want to fit this into the discussion here under the scope of "pessimism" and discuss negative aspects. From my experience, the model rarely works if others in the group are more interested in getting ahead by themselves, perhaps for their own personal pride indeed or another reason. Or if they are unfamiliar with co-operation on a "good faith" basis, because this is so reliant on open and implicit trust. This approach to group activity for me only works well when all members have some level of initial familiarity with each other and when they are interested in doing good so that others will reciprocate that same good. This is often broken by exterior people engaging with the group in a way that disrupts the created balance, either by attempting to integrate with the group or by attempting to integrate the group with their own vision or whatever.

      The sad part about this is that for me, time and time again I have it proven to me that implicit trust very rarely works. I think this is the aspect of being an animal of any kind that creates negative tribal behaviours. Games are a good example of this where actions are undertaken anyway even when they might lead to consequences, social or otherwise (think killing another player or stealing their things). So say for example our group is collectively amassing a specific material for everyone in the group to use; the material is gathered frequently enough at random times by each group individual and not used often enough that it deplenishes. Say with the addition of a new prospective member, he/she/it decides to use it all up with no consideration for others, or perhaps with too much consideration for others under the assumption that the created product will be useful for everyone, when in fact it may not be. Or for example when a novel situation arises that reveals an unknown side to an existing long-time member, revealing a flaw of character with regards to "being good".

      To take this into a broader context relating more to these other recent replies from both of you, the trouble is not only trust but also motivation. Provided the (wrong) opportunity, some will abuse long-term trust to better themselves alone. When this happens, it breaks everyone's spirit of trust; "why should we labour collectively only to have someone ruin it all in a moment?" In my view this is the primary reason anything based on trust and goodness fails, because of the future pessimism that is created in others when their trust is abused.

      I suppose concerning pessimism then, how many would try again such a group endeavour, even if there is a real chance of the same failures happening again, versus how many will not try at all to begin with? I suspect in a linear timeline, more and more pessimism will only keep breeding itself, to the point where we have all degenerated towards a nothingness only held together by law and consequence based on the premise of mistrust, rather than by good nature and reasoned intent based on a premise of open trust.

      If this doesn't seem related to the discussion so far, then consider my thoughts as I think the following; that equality as a whole for people in general feels naturally difficult, maybe impossible in some cases, because people are different not only in terms of physical make-up by way of genes but also in terms of personality and base behaviour; as I think, that my hope for the world or society would be that people would use their strengths to help others who have weaknesses that can be helped by those strengths, as often as possible.

      I could indeed never compete with some of those athletes, be they male, female or even trans probably. I could not compete with someone of keen mind in a mental sport. Even in fields where I am "OK", which are typically the subjects I have interest in, I know there are many more people who do better than I am able to, the arts are one such field for me. I would probably try to compete all the same for fun in something; if only hubris was dead and those greater competitors had a true spirit of said fun about them, if life was less about inconsequential and abstract achievements.

      Pessimistic thought certainly is good at making myself feel sad about things... In any case, I remain to curious to see what else happens here.
      Summerlander and Occipitalred like this.
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

    15. #40
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      Hi, Occipitalred,

      Differing viewpoints are quite clear here and I can tell that we will never converge politically. At least not yet. There is no point arguing about semantics here but I can see you passionately argue for what you believe in and most likely fueled by grievances that you have witnessed or gone through yourself. With any new ideology, there will be warnings and naysayers.

      Yes, I understand the need to adapt, but we must also be careful not to deny what is factual; and despite our differences, I do believe both of us repudiate Far Right schemes and their barefaced racism—so, rest assured, we will not be discussing 'racial realism' here when race is pretty much inconsequential when it comes to how virtuous a person can be. Simple proof: Adolph Hitler (villainous white guy); Jonas Savimbi (villainous black guy); Abraham Lincoln (virtuous white guy); Nelson Mandela (virtuous black guy)—to mention a few examples where anyone can see that skin doesn't matter!

      Things are okay to do in life as long as you are happy with them and provided that you don't visit any suffering upon others. But if you are put off by the idea of achieving something due to a belief that you are not good enough whilst harbouring a deep desire to have it, then you would do well to surmount your mental manacles. If someone, for instance, accuses you of being boring, remember: Boring is subjective! Some people will share your interests, some won't.

      And if you have heard many describing you as boring and, for this reason, you refrain from looking for a life partner—preventing you from realising you dream of getting married—ask yourself what you think makes you boring to so many! Is it, perhaps, a lack of interest in anything? If so, it is definitely something that can be remedied. I didn't know, for instance, cryptocurrency could be interesting (to me) until I looked into it. As I kid, I didn't know I would be able to spin a ball on my finger until I dropped the ball so many times trying that it became second nature eventually and I became (to my amazement) the kid who was impressing other kids!

      You are never any one thing for all time! A seemingly stupid kid has a lot of potential and can turn into an interesting and accomplished adult by virtue of trying and not fearing error. Trial and error is a heuristic necessity for learning and development. Don't think or say 'I can't’ because none of us know what we are truly and fully capable of doing until we give it a go with persistence. This is redolent of Jung's Trickster—whether you believe this archetype to be real or not, and granted that it is unfalsifiable—the concept of a clown fearless of making mistakes.

      It seems to me that this has always been the case: the bourgeoisie exploit the proletariat in order to topple the aristocracy. History repeats itself, as Orwell so eloquently pointed out, and it is the upper class who are the most anarchistic—as they don't wish to be controlled by any government. It is also the rich, and not the poor, who tend to be the greediest—Trump, who so desperately wished to join the billionaire's club prior to winning the presidential race, is a prime example. And to dispel what seems to be a perpetual myth, here's an appropriate quote:

      'You’ve got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists: they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists.'

      ~GK Chesterton

      Hi, DarkestDarkness,

      I am glad this topic hasn't been in vain as all participants here have clearly taken something away from it—be that a resolution to be more stringent in their beliefs or a paradigm shift. If anything, this discussion will ideally push everyone to think for themselves and to strive for truth. I like the way you reframed anarchy. I hadn't thought about it that way. I heard that a refined anarchist by the name of Michael Malice is gaining popularity on YouTube and he's been a guest in several podcasts. I'm guilty of avoiding him because of the label, but now you have inspired me to check out his ideas. He's been a guest in Lex Friedman's podcast and he's also been interviewed by Jordan Peterson fairly recently (whom I imagine he'd clash with). Now I'm curious! If any of you have heard of him, do enlighten me in the meantime. I'm planning to check him out, anyway. Michael Malice!
      Last edited by Summerlander; 06-22-2021 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Additional
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    16. #41
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      If you check out the Jordan B Peterson Podcast episode entitled 'Malice or the Establishment' (S4:E30), you will find that at around 50 minutes into the conversation both men clash in their political philosophies. Malice supports the anarcho-syndicalist Albert Camus, whose absurdism ('the world is benignly indifferent') defied the rise of nihilism. Camus was an enemy of cynicism—in essence, just because there is a population of bad actors in the world doesn't mean humans are inherently evil. But malice thinks institutions and the status quo of the polity are inherently evil, even preferring not to use the word 'corrupt' to describe them because it then implies they can be saved. Peterson, however, points out that institutions are no more inherently evil than the individuals that run them and he knows plenty of successful people who run them swimmingly well towards an ideal.

      The social psychologist Jonathan haidt describes himself as a political centrist, perhaps by default, when he points out that the political inclinations of human beings in part take origin in evolved 'gut feelings' of right and wrong; in this theory, morality was not born out of reasoning. His de facto centrism deems a balance between social equality and hierarchy to be essential, and a society that leans too much to one side of the political spectrum inevitably finds itself in a precarious situation. Centrism is close to highlighting an eternal problem in politics which requires constant dialogue between both parties:

      The Right Wing claim is that one can't do without hierarchies and they are valuable. It's hierarchy über alles; the downside to this if it engulfs a society is where it could potentially lead. We know that the Right has gone too far when its adherents start making ethno-nationalistic claims of racial superiority, a lesson learned after WWII. Reasonable conservatives dissociate themselves from the Ku Klux Klan types.

      The Left Wing claim is that there is inequality and we must attend to the people at the bottom or the whole system is threatened because dispossessed people are prone to corruption. The negative here is what we haven't yet defined with clarity or we have failed to say with confidence, as a majority, where the Left could potentially go too far; but postmodernism and the folly of neo-Marxism are strong indicators. Far Leftists are saying that they will flatten everything so there is no inequality, but the deadliest presumption on the Left is the indefensible 'equality of outcome'. Liberals must learn to dissociate themselves from the radicals.

      The death of journalism in the media and its overt malfeasance is discrediting to the point where something like the BBC news in the UK and CNN in the USA can no longer be thought of as mainstream outlets; the mainstream media thus becomes the mendacious and propagandist corporate media. When people check the facts against what is purported to be true by state-sponsored reporters, they can no longer identify with the goals of the prevalent political ideology and, as a result, society gradually loses trust and faith in the new establishment. I am in fact referring to the Democratic polity in America which is bound to fail just like Labour committed suicide with their Wokeness here in the United Kingdom.

      I don't know about anyone else but the idea of psychopaths with a 'code' killing off serious offenders (i.e. unfettered monsters) is better than the reality of serial killers indiscriminately murdering innocent people and occasionally getting away with it as they outwit restricted laws and police officers who can only do so much by the book. Criminals will trample all over you if you are not prepared to meet them with the same violent force or the threat of it with enough conviction to follow it through. If you are prepared to condemn the police or state for executing the fugitive who murdered your family, you are a moral weakling and clearly invite a destructive brand of anarchy. And I do think that the majority of anti-war protesters and pacifists are pretentious and ultimately want status through their pharisaism. Here's a quote that should be immortalised:

      'Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, "he that is not with me is against me".'

      ~George Orwell

      In 2016, America saw two presidential finalists who told porkies. But only one was making more sense to people as a ruler! That was the tall male, not the short female. Men are generally taller than women and most presidents have been tall males. Whether the new Woke generation likes it or not, human beings are still primordially biased to choose a sizable male as the leader of the pack, so to speak, especially in the absence of a monarchy that traditionally allows male and female blue bloods to reign. Men are undeniably admired for their height, strength and imposing presence. Donald Trump was imposing, stern and confident even if overbearingly. This type of representative leader is clearly preferable in arguably the most powerful country in the world than a little aging woman from a mendacious crime family. Hillary Clinton simply falls short in conveying as much power. I guess, in a way, women are akin to the short guy: doomed to make up for their apparent weakness; the slightest blemish will set them back like no other!

      In the case of Hillary Clinton, already known as a corrupt fibber and a shameless demagogue engaging in triangulations, it is no wonder that she suffered a humiliating fall against the big buffoon. And fumbling, decrepit President Joe Biden is not doing much better! He's creating inflation, killing jobs, kick-started the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and gave rise to an immigration crisis at the boarder with Mexico. Which is why former Republican President Donald Trump, in spite of all his flaws, is making a comeback in 2024—and that is my prediction! Unless, of course, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who is in league with the Democratic elite, will pour more millions of dollars to local governments as a sizeable contribution to criminally help control how the elections are actually run where election officials are trained after the government has changed the laws unilaterally by putting drop-in ballot boxes in Democratic stronghold districts as he did before—which was pointed out by political strategist Sebastian Gorka on TRIGGERnometry.
      Last edited by Summerlander; 06-30-2021 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Improvement
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    17. #42
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      Quote Originally Posted by Summerlander View Post
      In 2016....
      Dude, no offense, but this is a little out there. I had assumed this thread was inactive now, and I wasn’t going to come back – especially not to weigh in on politics, which wasn’t ostensibly its topic. I do try to stay on topic. And in that spirit, I’ll start out by saying that, in practice, being optimistic about human nature and also being a reasonably observant human being can be a faster track to negativity than being a bona fide pessimist. It’s the fact that things are crap and they don’t have to be that really gets under people’s skin. It’s a weird balance to maintain, but something I’ve often noticed, as someone who tries to maintain it, is that if often puts me in the same boat as avowed pessimists, who seem to feel strongly about the state of affairs they intellectually consider to be necessary somehow.

      Also, that American politicians seem to receive far inferior public speaking educations than UK ones across the board, and the whole thing comes off as a bit flat and over-produced if you have experience with anywhere else. The superficiality is systemic, not personal. Not to mention that there’s any number of countries that have elected women to the highest offices. It isn’t a human impossibility.

      America has problems. Lots of them. I just think that most people don’t have the tools they’d need to identify what most of the problems are, which is one reason why I think that actually breaking free of whichever your preferred news cycle is for a while and doing some inner exploration is a great idea. Chances are, you aren’t going to find what you really need to know out there. But please, nobody ask me what to do afterwards.
      Last edited by LeaningKarst; 07-01-2021 at 12:44 AM. Reason: fix typo

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