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Solutions vs Distractions
When one does not have life experience, it seems as if concepts define reality; over time, concepts are relegated to a backseat, much like words are even to those who use them well, as a means of describing reality. If humans turned color when this realization occurred, it would be very easy to separate out those who should have nothing to do with politics, but it is not to be so. However, almost everyone recognizes that there are some who should not be active in politics.
(Think about this critically: almost everyone you know bemoans the existence of "idiots" or "evil people" who screw things up. Whether those evil people are morons, or George W. Bush and his cohorts, or the two groups are one, is academic. We all agree that there are some who should not wield power. Even the most benevolent among us acknowledge this as fact, indirectly. Yet none will say it directly, as it violates the basic taboo of modern society, which is the idea that we're not all identical little machines to be used as industry, religion and government see fit, acting in our own "best interests" of course.)
Why should some, and not all, be active in deciding our future? Answer: because abilities vary. In the same way that we do not ask skinny lab scientists to play football, we should not ask those without the mental inclination required to try their hand at leadership. It is a specialized skill dependent on certain inborn factors, including intelligence potential and personality type. If developed, these characteristics qualify one for a leadership position.
However, we do not make such distinctions, in our "enlightened" and "progressive" (not to mention self-congratulatory) age of modern technology and individual empowerment, and thus we are constantly subjected to a flood of opinions and dogma, much of which comes from people who do not understand the structure of political systems. Since they do not understand structure, or how things work together, they focus on changing elements of these systems and hoping for a symbolic victory.
This is the difference between solutions and distractions. Solutions take structure into account, and propose fixes at the level of function, while distractions may make people feel good, but because they don't address the actual problem, they are in fact destructive: addressing the distraction takes the place of a solution, and while everyone's busy feeling good, the problem remains.
The distractions discussed in this article may not seem to have much in common as actions. When seen in the context of what the ideology behind them needs be achieved for fulfilment, however, they can be seen to be symbolic gestures replacing an impetus toward effective change.
Perhaps the biggest group of nitwits who like to hear themselves talk, and love to stroke themselves with self-congratulatory encomium while doing nothing effective, are the soft environmentalists. These are the people who believe, in radical contrast to available data, that if we "just" live using fewer resources, we will somehow magically solve the environmental problem on planet earth.
Soft environmentalists spend a good deal of time discussing topics such as turning off water faucets while brushing teeth, unplugging appliances from the wall at night to save electricity, buying expensive eco-friendly products, shutting off security lights, using hybrid cars and recycling menstrual pads. While all of these ideas are sound in and of themselves, they do not address the problem.
Suppose, for example, that we all reduced our consumption by 50% - we each halved the amount of energy needed and waste produced. This sounds good, and feels good, but what it doesn't take into account is that if the population of people living first world lifestyles doubles, everything we do is cancelled out. That population doubling has already occurred, and will occur again ad infinitem, as there are no checks on our population's expansion, especially in the third world, where first world technology is encouraging first world lifestyles.
In short, no matter how many taps or appliances we shut off, or how much we recycle, that contribution will be miniscule. Soft environmentalists don't like to think about this. They will ramble on about how if we "educate" the vast majority - that is, force our will upon them under the guise of enlightenment - maybe, just maybe, they'll all change. This would be a great solution if most people responded to education, and if we had the time to wait for them to change. For soft environmentalism, they'd all have to change tomorrow, and our population would have to be declining, not advancing.
Soft environmentalism will be eternally popular, however, because it's extremely easy. Add a few lifestyle changes and you're part of the solution not the problem, and therefore can set aside all your guilt and continue making reckless amounts of money from the up-and-coming third world nations living first world lifestyles. Nevermind that the first world nations have stopped population growth, but that third world nations keep growing. Just turn off that tap and everything will be fine, remember?
The concept of soft environmentalism is one of seeing details, and making symbolic changes, but lacking understanding of the structure of the problem. The environmental problem is a result of overpopulation, not leaving taps running. No matter how efficient we become, the population expands every day and has no means of stopping itself. Eventually, even if we all refuse to bathe or use electric lights, we will consume every scrap of our environment. Soft environmentalists don't like to think about this.
The reason soft environmentalism exists is that people want to be "doing something" about the environmental issue, yet not actually changing their lives much at all. Turning off water taps, turning up air conditioners, and unplugging appliances are all temporary, tiny little fixes - distractions - that miss the bigger issues entirely. Our population keeps expanding, and will eventually use up everything on earth and pollute earth to toxic levels, but they don't want to think about that. They would rather we all buy "environmental" products and do simple rituals involving small changes, because that way not only do we not have to change our lifestyles, but we don't have to break the taboo barrier of individualism, either.
Individualism is the basis of our society. No, not for an ideological reason - because it's convenient. Individualism gives us independence from any kind of judgment over what it is we do, at the expense of having any collective goal. It lets us indulge our selfishness, and excess, and perversion while protecting us from other people pointing out how insane we are. Individualism is the kind of philosophy that emerges from a decaying civilization, and it makes queeny little brats of us all, but because we don't trust one another and have no values system in common with them, the best among us uphold it to protect themselves from others and the worst among us uphold it to protect their own decay from the eyes of others.
The only problem with individualism is that it is incompatible with true environmentalism. If you can do anything you want, it's your choice whether to accomodate the environment or not, but if you are the one who unselfishly gives up the extra profit to be had from developing forest land or dumping toxic waste into rivers, there's nothing to stop some other guy from getting ahead by doing the same. As long as our society is individualistic, it will have this kind of competition, and there will be no way to enforce a solution to our environmental problem. Soft environmentalists prefer to ignore this and, by offering a non-solution as a solution, clog our heads with garbage where we otherwise might see clearly the obvious truth of individualism and environmentalism being irreconcilable.
Another equally ludicrous example of distraction is the hijacking of movements to return us toward a tradition culture by the forces of oversimplification, e.g. racism. Imagine it in dialogue form if you want to see how nutty it truly is:
Person A: Our people hate their own culture, and are chasing frivolous amusement, as a result rarely breeding and more than likely with members of other races.
Person B: It must be the fault of the intruders. Exterminate all the brutes!
That's not a solution - it's an emotional response. However, before I go further, let me make something very clear: for any nationality to survive, it must defend itself both culturally and ethnically. In practical terms, this means excluding outsiders and outsider ideas for the most part, because to bring those in is to hybridize one's culture radically and thus to obliterate its original strain. That doesn't mean you cannot make a curry in Germany, or sing a Chinese folksong in Russia, but that one keeps the ethnic-cultural group alive such that foreign elements are an extreme rarity. Any group that does not do this gets merged into the "no plan is our plan" vein of humanity.
Hybrids are a curious thing. In farming, when one produces a hybrid crop, one destroys all but the strongest and breeds those apart from the others. The reason is simple: you want to keep the original strains alive, even if only for the purpose of future hybridization. In human groups, there is little to be gained from hybrids, as we're complex enough that it takes years of specialized population evolution to produce any distinctive traits that last from one generation to the next. With human populations, the rule is simple: if you become mixed, you cease to exist.
This naturally brings up the question of mixed societies, and what happens to them? Look at it from a natural perspective. Nature respects generalized specialization, such as the species of bird that adapts to mountain climates but does not limit itself to a single food source or method of finding mates. This is flexibility within the context of a specific area. Take that bird to a far different region, like transplanting a pelican to the desert, and it will not fare so well, but any less than cataclysmic change it can take. Breed that bird with another type of bird, and...?
For starters, when you mix different strains of an animal, you lose all of what has been accumulated by generalized specialization and thus, adaptation to certain areas. If some animal breeds for thousands of generations toward a form that rewards certain behaviors, those tendencies are ingrained in its bloodline, as if it were designed around an ideal. When that is hybridized, the result is a loss of that specialization in both parts of the hybrid. It's as if one starts over again with a much simpler animal, thus we call this kind of breeding "devolutionary adaptation," or the opposite of forward evolution - regression. It's fair to mention that the situation is even worse than simply returning to a more primitive type; the hybrid produced has a mathematically random combination of physical and behavioral factors encoded in it.
Any animal is composed of a series of traits. While these are not explicitly linked by the genetic code, as that would make it inflexible, they tend to work together; if a bird has a thick broad beak, it should probably also be able to easily digest the kind of nuts it would crack using such a beak. Mix types of birds, and you get something with a stomach for fish and the beak for nuts - a very confused and possibly starving bird, in other words. It's the same with humans. Some traits from both parents predominate, but since everything in our minds, including our moral character, has its origins in a genetic trait (origins that must be developed by their environment, or their potential atrophies), to randomize traits is to produce, for example, a creature with the mind of a king but the stomach of a barbarian.
Many of humanity's greatest screwups are partially explained by genetic mixing. This genetic mixing does not occur in a vacuum, but usually happens after the society has lost direction, and thus reverts to its simplest behaviors, namely individualistic greed and ego-drama. When a culture devolves, it loses its shared ideals and then through hybridization and generally bad breeding, devolves into a third-world culture of no distinct traits and thus chaos, anarchy, violence, predation, usury, etc.
For the same reasons, inter-tribal breeding is a terrible idea. As Nietzsche pointed out, the English and the Americans lack a single cultural thread that unites them, having to "make do" with recent (and usually commercial or patriotic) inventions like apple pie, the Union Jack, tea-time, baseball and sodomy. When we look at the leading sources of decline in Western society, whether racial mixing or drug use or cheesy music or working slavelike office jobs, they've come to pass in England and America first. Why? Lack of genetic and cultural resistance makes these cultures the easiest to infect, even by weakened parasites that appeal only to self-interest.
The forces of government, religion and industry would love a mixed-race world. Culture impedes commerce, because the kind of products that culture offers - loyalty, devotion to land, simple pleasures, enduring values - cannot be packaged and sold, and usually contradict the best climate for commerce, which is a "Me generation" in which any whim of the individual can be satisfied by a product, as can the consequent neuroses. Government wants mixed race people because without culture, an abstract plan of action such as egalitarian capitalism or communism can be implemented; religion wants total control over values; industry, of course, needs both consumers with no long-term memory for product failure and dronelike workers to keep its machines running.
The only people who resist racial-, tribal- and cultural-mixing are those who actually enjoy diversity. These are the people who notice the subtle factors in life; in fact, they're some of the same people who say we should preserve open natural spaces from human expansion, not for some number on a spreadsheet but "just because." They value the beauty of the world and its diversity and realize that such a thing can only come about if each group stays distinct, or multiculturalism will blend every population on earth into the same mix.
Racism is a distraction, or a symbolic solution to a complex problem. "Kill the other" will not address a disease running far deeper. The problem in the west is that our culture is decaying, and has been dominated by commerce, and as a result of that we experience a number of problems, including loss of racial consistency. This is not to say that we should not preserve our own people, and our culture, in part by isolating others; in other words, by racial separation. But it is a warning that racial antagonism alone will not solve the problem, even if it alleviates one symptom of it.
In order for racial decline to occur, there must first be a state where people are unaware of or indifferent to the need to preserve the ethnic-cultural entity that is the race. This situation arises when people stop finding meaning in their own tribe, or in its uniqueness, usually because its values system has been replaced by commerce. When this happens, higher values cannot exist; all that matters are the lowest common denominator values that can be agreed on by individuals with diverse motivations, such as "we should have the right and freedom to earn money."
Distractions are plentiful, but solutions are few. Where the two issues above find commonality is that they have the same solution: our society has been motivated by money and individual desires for too long, and it is not working. Under the guise of "freedom" and "rights" we have been lured into a situation where we cannot say no to any proposed idea or desire, and therefore we are all held hostage while the system itself runs out of control. And nobody is to blame, since nobody is actually in charge; the system is there to facilitate our desires, not pass judgment.
This is the hard truth of modern times - that to look deep into the causes of our problems is to find that our society is founded upon a series of good-sounding lies (distractions) but that, as a working entity, it doesn't function well in the same way that a forest does. It functions like a business, inefficient and eventually collapsing, but unlike a business, it literally controls our world - our ability to remain living and conscious and perceive life as an ongoing experience. To look deep into this truth is to see what actually needs to be done, and to look past distraction.
July 2, 2005