A healthy organism will adapt to its surroundings. In the wisdom ofnature, an adaptive animal will survive even when its customarysurroundings are drastically altered. This is both a blessing and acurse, for self-reflective animals such as humans: we can endureanything, but our curse is that because we can endure, we often do notthink to wake up and change the negative elements of what we areenduring.
Such is the case in modern society, where a population of otherwisesmart people lives in ecocidal and self-genocidal circumstances becauseof the bizarre psychology of adaptation. Their primary goal is toadapt, thus they tolerate the insane circumstances around them and arequickly lulled into a kind of sleep where nightmares are the norm andthus, like a drunk walking down an icy street, one becomes numb to painand illogicality while focusing on putting one foot in front of theother.
These sleepwalkers form the majority of the people around you, andthere is nothing "wrong" with them, but they have not yet realized thatwhat they accept as "reality" is a dream, and a bad one at that. Theysimply endure. To their minds, any thought of long-term planning isimpossible, because if they look too closely at the direction societyis inevitably heading, they see only disaster. Thus they limit theirfocus to the immediate patch of sidewalk in front of them, and make thebest of it that they can. It is nothing new, as this is the process bywhich people have survived a succession of disastrous governments,wars, plagues, famines and internal crises since the dawn of time.
What is most alarming about their condition is that, by itstendency to limit their focus to the immediate, it prevents them fromany thought of structural change to the society in which they live,including its governments and social agencies, but most importantly,its values.They survive by free enterprise, and thus the idea of being accessibleto all people equally -- since they equally might be customers -- issound logic. Their income is derived from an economy that functionsonly when it is constantly expanding, so loss of natural ecosystems andtraditional cultures is something they accept as necessary.
Sleep enforces an iron inertia on us. Even though the dreams areterrifying, if we see them as predictors of the future, awakening meanshaving to face the possibility of doing something about it, which putsone in direct opposition to the society of sleepers. No one likes to beawakened rudely, and the vast majority of sleepers would prefer toquash the messenger than address the message. Thus the awakenedindividual must either ignore the truth and attempt to get back tosleep, or know the truth and try to survive in an empire of death. Thelatter being a disagreeable proposition, especially for the majority ofus who breed by instinct and later justify the act in the light of whatwe know of our children's future in a death-age, it is most commonlydenied.
Much as denial on a personal level causes instability in theindividual, the division of our modern time into public fantasy andprivate reality has made the psychology of society as a whole unstable,lending this schizophrenic outlook to the individuals enwrapped in itsgrasp as well. Most people are subliminally depressed, probably aresult of their realization at a level simpler than words thatsomething horrible awaits; we are like Temple Drake in Faulkner'svisionary "Sanctuary," screaming out to the deaf ears of those whodon't care, "Something is happening to me!" Instability, coupled withdepression and the relinquishing of control to an impersonalbureaucratic society, results in people with low self-esteem, meaningthat even if many were to awake tomorrow, they would "instinctively"trust the prevailing social wisdom over their own.
The collusion of low self-esteem with a society based on denial meansthat reality needs to be explained away, or denied via any number ofglib evasions; in any degenerate age, the most popular philosophies areeither those that justify inaction, or those that encourage such agranular action ("if we just ban abortion, everything will be allright") to amount to inactivity on the larger balance sheet of societalhomeostasis. The most common denial is a sidestep of the principle ofinevitability: increasing demand confronted with a fixed amount ofresources will eventually end in total resource depletion; this appliesas much to fossil fuels as it does to remaining natural land, or to theethnic populations required to maintain each unique culture: ourillusion requires we believe they are infinite resources, as otherwise,we must face the paradoxical nature of the longterm "plan" on which ourcivilization is currently embarked.
Clearly this collision is something beneficial for any thinking peopleto induce in themselves and others, as it casts aside the thrall ofsleep and replaces it with an alertness that is vigilant if nothingelse. However, by the nature of rejecting every assumption one has beentaught is required for social membership, one can become paranoid; thisis not a productive event. The sleepwalkers, if awakened, need to beoffered a complete philosophy to replace the illusion, or they willlapse into self-destruction. Such a philosophy would not tacklegranular issues within the context of the status quo, but would suggesta replacement civil design that exists outside the (erroneous)assumptions of the current convention. It would have to be a cohesivephilosophy with a single central principle, and would have to includeall granular issues under that hierarchy of values.
Conservative politics, as currently defined, cannot do this, becausethe nature of conservatism is to preserve elements of traditionalvalues still found within the status quo. It does not aim to remakesociety in a new form, and because of that aspect of its outlook, itcannot stop the long term collision with inevitable resource depletionand cultural loss that is incipient. Since right-wing politics is notawakened, it slumbers on and attempts to preserve something that willinevitably decline unless the system is fundamentally altered. For thisreason, conservative politics is not an answer for a dreamerinterrupted.
A political philosophy restricted to a single issue, such asenvironmentalism alone, or race alone, will doom the political movementof that tendency to a defensive battle, and this leads quickly toreactionary politics where, unable to achieve the main objective, onedefends turf as if that will accomplish something. By definition, itcannot, as when one is limited to defensive action only, the principleof inevitability states that one will eventually be worn down, and willthen defend increasingly smaller spaces until internal collapse occurs.
There is nothing within the current political framework that willsupport what needs to be done. This is an ideological statement, andnot one of method, as it is fortunate that every system has some meansof changing itself, even if it wholly lacks the ability to come toawareness of what that change might be. What holds us back is not anenemy, or anything inherent to the mechanics of a democratic system,but the lack of a unified philosophy which will address all of theissues in error in a modern time. To a sleepwalker, fixing one problemalone means nothing; the only impetus to awakening comes when there issomething better that can replace what is. We cannot substitute a dreamfor a dream, as they will always choose the dream that is already inpower.
To awaken a sleeper, one touches them gently on the shoulder, andinforms them of a good reason to start their day. In our case, theattitude should be that we have infinitely better futures to gain, andour method of waking them should be a call for a general Indo-Europeancultural revival. Our culture has been replaced by money; our strength,by machines; our soul, by morality. We cannot attack these directly. Ifwe emphasize however that our cultural values apply in any era ofhistory, and that they include a better way of leadership, a way offixing and reversing our damage to nature, and an enduring system ofbelief that sidesteps the pitfalls of a modern time, we address what iswrong in the current system by suggesting its replacement. Our taskstarts in resurrecting our culture and deriving consensus on thesevalues, because in doing so, we give the sleepers something better thanthe stupor of a dream: we give them hope.
February 3, 2005