Your humble blogger is back after a long week spent away from home.Before we begin, a quick look at yesterday’s Polish Independence Day festivities. 300,000 people marched in the Nationalist’s (individualists, never collectivists) Independence Day march.And just to remind all my loyal and faithful readers, #fakenews doing what #fakenews does best: #fakenewsing…
And that is how that MAGIC is done!
While we are on the subject of MAGIC, in the last post, we featured the POLITICAL sub-set of the Visibilium Omnium and the US mid-term elections. And as my loyal readers know, the election is still on, in the sense that there are still “election ballots” MAGICALLY appearing in the close Congressional District races and as it just so happens, all these missing “ballots” are from voters who favored of the DemocRats. (see here and here and THIS HERE) <- Don’t NOT READ this…
Funny how that happens…
But it’s just a conspiracy theory if you, dear and loyal reader make this OBSERVATION…
Or maybe it’s racist!
Which brings us to today’s subject matter.
Today’s subject matter is making sense of that MAGIC which is described above.
And since we are trying to make sense of that which is described above, the go-to guy for making sense of anything at present, including vast swaths of the THEOLOGICAL sub-set of the Visibilium Omnium, is none other than DR. JORDAN B. PETERSON.
Now, your humble bloggers input is the sifting through the great body of work on YouTube of Dr. Peterson’s and finding the applicable lecture/data/study. For today’s analysis, your humble blogger will use the Petersonian observation of COMPETENCE HIERARCHIES.
The reason why COMPETENCE HIERARCHIES can explain the PHENOMENON that we are observing is due to their structure and manner in which they function.
On the structural side of the hierarchies we have a configuration that is shaped as a triangle. A triangle in turn is shaped in such a manner that it has a broad base and a very narrow top. The reason that hierarchies resemble a triangle shape is that there can only be one leader, a limited number of lieutenants, while there are many, many subjects, to use an out of fashion descriptor. The thing about hierarchies is though is that a functioning hierarchy serves all of its members.
In other words, a hierarchy exists so that the entire population of that hierarchy can not only survive, but prosper. So if we look at say a nation state, we can observe a political hierarchy, an economic hierarchy and a ecclesiastical hierarchy just to name three.
The manner in which HIERARCHIES function is through a continuous review process that allows the “best” individuals in that hierarchy to be identified and allows them to reach higher levels, i.e. the less numerous positions while allowing the remaining individuals to occupy positions that best reflect their God given talents and competences.
Drillin down a bit into the granular matter, the more COMPETENCE that an individual exhibits, the greater the chance that that individual will occupy a higher position in the said hierarchy and vise versa. And with respect to how a person obtains COMPETENCE, the data is in and it is mostly biological. Here is Dr. Peterson’s explanation.
To quickly summarize, the ability to progress up a given hierarchy consists mostly of intelligence and trait conscientiousness (these two account for >50% of “success”). These two characteristics are for the most part GENETIC. And if a hierarchy has one function and that function is to determine which of its members will be advance to the positions of leadership in that hierarchy, INTELLIGENCE and CONSCIENTIOUSNESS(GENETICS) play a key roll.
Furthermore, a hierarchy that doesn’t advance its most competent members will, as the LEX ARMATICUS posits, eventually find itself on the trash-heap of history.
Therefore, the war that we are witnessing in the “vote creating and counting” after the US mid-term election is nothing more than a microcosm of a wider war on the COMPETENCE HIERARCHY, and is an intrinsic element of NATURE itself. Reasoning goes: since we can’t win with the voters (collective, objective measuring system), we will replace it with our subjective, individual, anthropomorphic WILL, i.e. we will cheat.
Looking at the situation in this manner, one can say that if the US government allows for the institutionalization of VOTE FRAUD by the DemocRatic Party, the American electorate will effectively lose its ability to properly select the most COMPETENT individual to lead the HIERARCHY itself. And if the US population loses its ability to advance the most COMPETENT individuals to the highest levels of the HIERARCHY, it will not only lose the economic, political and societal standing that it currently enjoys, but it will eventually disintegrate into a failed state such as the FrancisRepublic of Venezuela, Zimbabwe or FrancisVatican.
This same process is true for the longest and most successful COMPETENCEHIERARCHY known to man. Here your humble blogger is referring to the COMPETENCEHIERARCHY known as the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
In this latter case, what has happened is that a psychopath has ascended to the Throne of St. Peter and is trying to eradicate the COMPETENCE HIERARCHY instituted by Our Lord and governed by NATURAL LAW.
The manner in which the current Magical Thinker of Rome is proceeding, using the Petersonian framework, is by advancing radically incompetent individuals while suppressing the COMPETENT ones. Moreover, the plan is that the Cardinals don’t even know each other to make that assessment! (See here)
Yes, the FRUITS of the last 5 years are there for all to see.
And in case you, dear and loyal reader are not seeing the ROTTENFRUITS yet, please go to Michael Voris’ youtube channel or to Church Militant TV.(see here)
In the mean time, below is a post from our catholic friends at Zero Hedge. In this below post, we see how the current FrancisGovernment of South Africa is trying to destroy the COMPETENCE HIERARCHY that was left behind by the previous and very effective Dutch and English established public institutions.
Will have more to say on this in a later post, so stay tuned…
White South Africans Barred from Government Jobs Website
The website reportedly requires applicants to be in accordance with the Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”) definition of black. They are also required to be between the ages of 18 and 34 and citizens of South Africa. BEE is a program launched by the South African government whose aim is redressing inequalities in the nation by giving South African citizens who are black economic privileges that are not available to white people. The program also includes colored and Indian people.
The YES website states:
“YES is a business-driven initiative which is breaking new ground by pioneering a partnership with government and labor, in collectively tackling a national plan to build economic pathways for black youth. Please note we are currently only registering candidates between the ages of 18 and 34, who are currently unemployed and must be black (as per the B-BBEE codes definition).”
YES was the brainchild of South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. In March, he boasted about the idea, stating “we will be coming up with further initiatives to address youth unemployment.” However, South Africa’s trade union, called “Solidarity”, stated that white South Africans were “unwelcome”, while calling the exclusion “part of a long list of policies obsessed with race.”
Paul Maritz, coordinator of Solidarity Youth, told RT: “It is as if the President is saying to white candidates: ‘You are unwelcome and on your own!”
Maritz noted that unemployment is an issue of importance in South Africa, but that making decisions based on race has become a dangerous norm.
In late summer, we continued highlighting the growing tension between President Ramaphosa and white farmers who, under threat of having their land taken and repurposed, were digging their heels in, stating that they would defend their properties by force, if necessary. We looked at whether or not a coming civil race war in South Africa was an inevitability at this point.
In early September, we followed up, taking a closer look as to whether or not there was a plan in effect for the government to simply take white farms and “eliminate” white farmers by whatever means necessary. For now the market is giving Ramaphosa the benefit of the doubt.
There is still counting going on, but it looks like the DemocRats will take the House while the Republicans will add BIGLY to their Senate majority.
Can’t call them all, but looking at the respective results from the two chambers, it would appear that the House results are an outlier.
One other aspect to the results. A lot of Rinos were replaced by Trump Republicans. It might not be apparent from just looking at the numbers, but the POTUS will have a much easier time with Executive Branch appointments and with the JUDGES and JUSTICES.
Which brings this thread to one observation: The Very Stable Genius must do something about the voter fraud.
As for the sentiment of this humble blogger, I concur with Ari above.
Leading off, Bill Mitchell…
NOTA BENE: As my loyal readers know, money center banks do exit polls. Therefore if we see the stock market rallying (S&P) or USD rallying (EUR/USD trending lower), it means that R’s are doing very well!
S&P will be the tell in the humble opinion of this even more humble blogger!
In the generic ballot, the Republicans are now in the lead.
In other words, the #fakenews polls are “RECONCILING WITH REALITY”.
Even the #fakenews MSNBC is RECONCILING WITH REALITY.
The red bars are REPUBLICANS!
Historical, is all that this humble blogger will say.
And speaking of historical, this:
All Obama and Francis have in reality is the #fakenews media…
And once the #fakenews media and their corporate sugar daddies are gone, OBJECTIVE REALITY will reassert itself with a vengeance…
GO AND VOTE!
Being the dispassionate, objective, independent and impartial analyst, your humble blogger begins with a re-posting from the greatest of Catholic blogs, namely the one and only MUNDABOR: (see original here)
I received this comment from reader Kate R.
I found it so beautiful that I think it deserves a blog post all of itself.
Kate R. is writing about Donald John Trump.
He is a force of nature, and we thank God for him daily. His daily itinerary is on our news feed, and how he does all that he does, well it can only be God Who sustains him. It is a constant schedule of demanding activities. I wouldn’t last one week and I’m significantly younger than he. We knew God gave him to us. He was an answer to prayer and exactly what we needed. We wouldn’t change a thing about him. That he is a conservative is unbelievable. That he is complete man of the people, he CARES, is incredible. That he loves our nation and people is undeniable. He wants to do good. And he can, he has unparalleled tenacity, the ability to just shrug off, at least publicly, hateful people who want to thwart him. We are concerned about civil war in these United States. We’ve never seen the venom and threats we do now, even from insignificant Hollywood worms. How dare they. President Trump was validly elected. Sixty three million Americans voted for him, and he is still filling stadiums with 20,000 needing to be turned away! God bless him and keep him, may He continue to protect and guide him. Amen. And may Americans still be smart enough to realize real danger is now coming in the form of the Democrat party, which should better be called the Communist Party.
It occurs to me that I do not pray enough for the health and success of this great man.
And it seems to me that the world is only now beginning to discover that this man truly is a legend in the making.
Indeed: God bless him and jeep him, may He continue to protect and guide him.
Now for some EVIDENCE that could indicate if the RED TSUNAMI is in fact objectively real, or not…
First up: The Gateway Pundit with what I think is the biggest TELL as to what REALITY will look like on Wednesday morning in these UNITED STATES of AMERICA. (see here)
This is YUGE since early voting is when all the dead, un-dead and illegals vote for the DemocRATS, in order to run up the totals before election day. These “irregular” votes are needed so as to make up for the real people who vote REPUBLICAN on election day.
Therefore, this FACT bodes well for the ONTOLOGICAL REALITY of the RED TSUNAMI.
Next up: The CAUSE of the above EFFECT is mostly due to voter ENTHUSIASM. And our Very Stable Genius President Donald J. Trump is really inspiring the American voter base: (see here)
Yes, they really do need bigger venues…
And on the other side:
Next: On the other side of the ENTHUSIASM factor, is the factor known as FEAR. For my regular readers, you will no doubt have noticed that FEAR, of the irrational kind is the only EMOTION driving the anti-Trump forces. On the pro-Trump side, the American electorate is motivated also by FEAR, but FEAR of the rational, amygdaladriven kind. Aside, the amygdala is the part of the human brain that assesses risk and is vital for the survivability of the human species.
Nota bene: The pro-Trump forces are not only on the right side of history, but also on the right side of science. Reason being, that the fundamental condition needed for “diversity” to exist is none other than… wait for it… BORDERS.
So here is the rational fear motivating force of the American voters: (see here)
And all the above pieces of evidence come from one website.
But there are others – First up, Larry Schweikart and some statistical analysis:
Next: Robert Barnes and same old, same old…
Next (and last for now): If this below becomes REALITY Wednesday morning, it will be HISTORICAL!
To be continued…
Next: This… and something not in the forefront of the current election cycle:
As the old adage goes: It’s the ECONOMY stupid!
… v. this:
And this early voting summaries in other key States:
And more MEME-TIC Gold!
A majority of the voters going into the election both will have this MEME in their sub-conscious…
… whether they know it or not.
And one more…
No need for cordons, curtains and green screens here:
Your humble blogger started the day off with the following exchange.
Nota bene: Notice Catholic writers referencing Dr. Jordan B. Peterson?
Yet there were voices that didn’t disagree entirely with yours truly’s observation:
I will have more to say about Mr Snigg’s observation in a follow-up post.
But for the time being, it appears that the OVERTON WINDOW is in the process of shifting folks!
Which brings me to the subject matter for this post. The transition from post-conciliar animism to Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange and Thomism in Anno Domini 2018 needs facilitators.
“FACILITATORS” you ask?
A facilitator is someone who engages in facilitation—any activity that makes a social process easy or easier. A facilitator often helps a group of people to understand their common objectives and assists them to plan how to achieve these objectives; in doing so, the facilitator remains “neutral”, meaning he/she does not take a particular position in the discussion. Some facilitator tools will try to assist the group in achieving a consensus on any disagreements that preexist or emerge in the meeting so that it has a strong basis for future action.
Yea, that kind of facilitator!
So the HYPOTHESIS that this humble blogger is positing here is that Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is acting as a FACILITATOR between, among other things, the IDEOLOGY of FrancisChurch and the philosophical position of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. and what we in the Catholic world refer to as THOMISM.
Specifically, Dr. Peterson’s work is setting the stage by which the POST “post-conciliar church” will be able to rehabilitate Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. and thereby reintroduce Thomism (Scholasticism) as the ONE TRUE philosophical system underpinning Catholic theology.
As to why this rehabilitation needs to take place is that the Catholic Church SUBVERTED classical Scholasticism in its Nouvelle Théologie period through a vicious propaganda campaign against Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. You can read about it here. The effect of this deconstruction of rational philosophy as the substructure of Catholic theology allowed for the rise of the ANTHROPOCENTRISTS at the Second Vatican Council.
And finally, ANTHROPOCENTRISM being a fancy term for nothing more than what is presently known in psychological circles as MAGICAL THINKING, allowed for the universal suppression of NATURAL LAW first in the seminaries and theology departments, then in the faculties of academia and then its spread into SOCIETY AT LARGE.
That is the proper sequence folks!
So back to the FACILITATORS…
First, above is a video from the youtube channel Computing Forever. The proprietor is Irish and living in Ireland. He provides some very good insights into the Irish national psyche and in essence is doing his bit to bring the Irish (or at least those who listen to him) back to a rational state of mind.
And finally, below is our old FACILITATION friend Nick Taleb. As you no doubt know, Nick tells it like it is. And the word for today, according to Nick is:
“The beginning of the end of the Trump presidency…”
“The tipping point…”
“The walls are closing in…”
“Trump’s going down…”
“He will not serve out his term…”
After two years of the mainstream media breathlessly floating ‘Russiagate’ conspiracies on a daily basis to see just what will stick, Trump remains comfortably in the White House, and as journalist Aaron Maté notes for The Nation, with just days to the midterms, Russiagate is MIA.
And how goes the endless echo chamber of predictions foretelling Trump’s imminent demise? Nassim Taleb recounts the barrage of “intellectuals” and pundits who told him Trump “will last 3 months at best”.
An illustration of how little journalists & “intellectuals” understand the world: their predictions of events related to Trump’s presidency. How many people I didn’t know were idiots have emphatically told me “he will last 3 months at best”…
To illustrate, Taleb links to the below epic “news” compilation…
Intellectual Yet Idiot: semi-erudite bureaucrat who thinks he is an erudite; pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand not realizing it is his understanding that may be limited; imparts normative ideas to others: thinks people should act according to their best interests *and* he knows their interests, particularly if they are uneducated “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class.
More socially, the IYI subscribes to The New Yorker. He never curses on twitter. He speaks of “equality of races” and “economic equality” but never went out drinking with a minority cab driver. Those in the U.K. have been taken for a ride by Tony Blair. The modern IYI has attended more than one TEDx talks in person or watched more than two TED talks on Youtube.
Not only will he vote for Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison because she seems electable and some other such circular reasoning, but holds that anyone who doesn’t do so is mentally ill.
The IYI has a copy of the first hardback edition of The Black Swan on his shelves, but mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence. He believes that GMOs are “science”, that the “technology” is not different from conventional breeding as a result of his readiness to confuse science with scientism.
Typically, the IYI get the first order logic right, but not second-order (or higher) effects making him totally incompetent in complex domains. In the comfort of his suburban home with 2-car garage, he advocated the “removal” of Gadhafi because he was “a dictator”, not realizing that removals have consequences (recall that he has no skin in the game and doesn’t pay for results).
The IYI is member of a club to get traveling privileges; if social scientist he uses statistics without knowing how they are derived (like Steven Pinker and psycholophasters in general); when in the UK, he goes to literary festivals; he drinks red wine with steak (never white); he used to believe that fat was harmful and has now completely reversed; he takes statins because his doctor told him so; he fails to understand ergodicity and when explained to him, he forgets about it soon later; he doesn’t use Yiddish words even when talking business; he studies grammar before speaking a language; he has a cousin who worked with someone who knows the Queen; he has never read Frederic Dard, Libanius Antiochus, Michael Oakeshot, John Gray, Amianus Marcellinus, Ibn Battuta, Saadiah Gaon, or Joseph De Maistre; he has never gotten drunk with Russians; he never drank to the point when one starts breaking glasses (or, preferably, chairs); he doesn’t know the difference between Hecate and Hecuba; he doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual” in the absence of skin in the game; has mentioned quantum mechanics at least twice in the past 5 years in conversations that had nothing to do with physics; he knows at any point in time what his words or actions are doing to his reputation.
In his recent Reason magazine article, senior editor Brian Doherty assures readers that “cultural Marxism” is nothing but mere “paranoia” conjured up by the “conspiratorial right” to provide cover for their hate of “multiculturalism and gay rights and radical feminism.”
He openly mocks the idea that the unmistakable uptick in identity politics these last few decades has anything to do with “sinister machinations of commies striving to enslave us.”
One must be “mistaken” and “foolish,” according to Doherty, to believe that such concerted efforts to build coalitions based on racial, national and gender identities to replace the economic “class” identities of classical Marxism is anything more than “dubious conspiratorial theories.”
Doherty’s stance is especially puzzling, however, given the fact that socialist leaders have openly written about this strategy for decades.
The article begins with the authors proclaiming that the “socialist political struggle” was occurring in a new landscape. They argued that “the traditional discourse of Marxism, centered on the class struggle and the analysis of the economic contradictions of capitalism, has had great difficulty coming to terms.”
Laclau and Mouffe wrestled with how to overcome this challenge and effectively “modify the notion of class struggle” to include groups not easily categorized into an economic ‘class’, vis-à-vis their relationship to the means of production.
Their desire was to figure out how to incorporate “the new political subjects — women, national, racial and sexual minorities, anti-nuclear and anti-institutional movements, etc.” into a socialist movement traditionally identifying people by class.
This new revolutionary strategy that evolved over time, the authors observed, demanded “the possibility of conceiving political subjects as being different from, and much broader than classes, and as being constituted through a multitude of democratic contradictions which the socialist forces had to take into account and be able to articulate.”
This sounds an awful lot like Ron Paul’s Facebook post Doherty cites, which read:
“Marxists just shifted their ‘exploitation’ schtick to culture: ― women exploited by men; ― gays exploited by heterosexuals ― The old exploited by the young ― and vice-versa ― This list goes on and on.”
Curiously, Doherty mentions the cartoon accompanying the post while avoiding the actual content of Paul’s words. Several paragraphs later, however, Doherty begrudgingly admits what has been exceedingly obvious to even casual observers for decades:
“It’s true that campus leftists have shifted some of their attention from specifically economic concerns to ones based in cultural identity.”
Directly after this telling admission, though, Doherty reverts to form by admonishing those that “pretend that the broad grievances of gays, blacks or women are based in communism rather than American history” simply “misunderstand the world around you.”
Laclau and Mouffe, however, would beg to differ with Doherty’s casual dismissal of any link between socialist revolutionaries and identity politics. Indeed, they insisted that the only way to achieve their socialist ends was to create a new conception of the “exploited class,” one that would be identified not in traditional Marxist economic terms, but by “forms of domination different to that of economic exploitation.”
Because, as the authors explained, this society “is indeed capitalist, but this is not its only characteristic; it is sexist and patriarchal as well, not to mention racist.”
“These new political subjects: women, students, young people, racial, sexual and regional minorities, as well as the various anti-institutional and ecological struggles,” Laclau and Mouffe continued, “not only cannot be located at the level of relations of production…on top of this, they define their objectives in a radically different way.”
Replacing an easily identifiable political ‘class’ like the proletariat that unites easily behind the “worker’s movement” created challenges for the new vanguard of the revolution, according to Laclau and Mouffe. With such a broad and diverse set of interests seeking demands for their respective groups (based on gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.) there is a risk of each separate group becoming autonomous and merely articulating their specific demands.
A united front consisting of all these groups is needed to advance the socialist movement, for “the anti-capitalist struggle can only be strengthened by the addition of these new fields of struggle.”
This creates an urgency to re-brand what socialism is perceived to be so each of these groups can internalize it, Laclau and Mouffe argued.
This new unified socialist struggle “must consist of a vast system of alliances that are continuously redefined and renegotiated. But it cannot truly be consolidated without developing an ideological frame of reference, an ‘organic ideology’ to serve as cement for the new collective will.”
Consider the effort to co-opt the feminist movement. “It cannot be simply a question of adding women’s demands to the existing list of those demands considered as socialist; the articulation between socialism and feminism must involve a radical transformation in the way socialism is customarily viewed, i.e., simply as the socialisation of the means of production. And this in turn means a change in the order of priorities that are today seen as fundamental,” they argued.
This new “organic ideology” and “change in the order of priorities” referred to by Laclau and Mouffe must “take into account the necessary scope of the struggle to suppress all relations of domination and to create a genuine equality and participation at all levels of society.”
Or, to put it in more familiar terms, the new socialist revolution must shift the “‘exploitation’ schtick to culture: – women exploited by men; – gays exploited by heterosexuals; – The old exploited by the young; – and vice-versa.”
Ron Paul had it right.
Doherty is either ignorant or naïve to spurn those who recognize today’s identity politics as a tool in the modern socialist movement.
Prominent socialist theorists like Laclau and Mouffe have openly divulged this exact strategy for decades.
It’s not foolish conspiracy mongering or mere “clever rhetorical deck-stacking” to accurately identify the identity politics of ‘cultural Marxism’ as the preferred strategy of modern day socialists.
This might sound crazy, but is Francis a Traditionalist in disguise?
Now, this humble blogger isn’t the first to posit such a wild assertion (HYPOTHESIS), but might just be the first one to state it in all seriousness.
Stick with me…
I am still rubbing my eyes after reading the below, and multiple times…
Moreover, this here caught the ever gazeful eye of this humble blogger, not to mention his news feed filters:
Quick question: what does this video remind one of?
It appears as if it’s a WHO’S WHO of the homo-mafia in the upper echelons of the post-conciliar church.
I mean, it’s like Francis has a LIST of names of the worst HOMOHERETICS in the post-conciliar church and is promoting them, with their entire entourages to the highest levels of the government of the Vatican.
And he is doing it blatantly, brazenly and in a “in your face”, “cocaine and rentboys and FrancisCardinals and THE DOSSIER in the Muller CDF apartments” kind of way.
Now Francis is bringing back the Index Librorum Prohibitorum for Catholic publications, both print and digital. But this new Librorum Prohibitorum is in fact an ANTI-Librorum Prohibitorum. In essence, the certification will be nothing short of a big red flashing light for the real Catholic stuff.
Now there could be some really funky stuff on this Anti-LibPro, but none the less, it will act as a magnet for drawing attention to those “black listed” publications, and what’s worse (better), it will demonstrate, in a blatant and brazen manner, the hypocrisy of the DISSENTERS.
I mean, this is not the way you make heresy permanent. It’s like introducing extra strength termites on steroids into the wooden substructure of a building that is barely standing as it is, and telling them “go at it boys”.
This appears exactly the correct analogy to the introduction of the extra strength FrancisCardinal Tobin on steroids into the rotten Washington D.C. Archdiocese that is barely standing, not to mention half the clerics are in revolt as it is, and telling these clerics and the Trump Justice Department: “nighty-night baby”.
I’m sorry, but he can’t be that “tone deaf”, not to mention stupid!
And speaking of the Trump Justice Department, all this is in the middle of a US Justice Department investigation that is just getting underway.
And, and after you and your homosexualit rent-boy pedophile clericalists just goaded the President of the United States by effectively calling him HITLER.
I mean, once again, you can’t be that dumb!
Which brings to mind a recurring thought that I have been having over the last few weeks. The recurring thought playing non-stop in my mind is the following account of a tactic used by one of the most famous United States Marines EVAH, one Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller. Here is the passage that came to mind:
Puller made the rounds of his “weary and dejected band” to reassure them that all would be well. A squad leader who had experienced the “terrible feeling being under enemy fire the first time” thought that the colonel’s display of courage and calm during the fight “really raised our morale.” Even those who had not seen their commander firsthand benefited from the tales that circulated around the perimeter. In one story, he had lit his pipe in the dark, then quickly hit the ground and rolled away in an effort to draw fire from a Japanese machine gun and locate its position.
See what I mean?
But that’s not to say that Francis is brave like Chesty Puller. Far from it.
Francis in fact is not only a self-admitted coward, but also a Peronist.
As a Peronist, he is an opportunists.
He plays both sides of the field.
He hedges his bets just in case one of his sides loses.
Like say, hedging his bet when he dropped the dime on Communist subversives in the Argentinian priesthood to the Military Government.
Yet in his Vatican years, we see no hedging.
Why is that?
Well, maybe it’s just that we aren’t looking for it.
Now could it be that Francis, after reading the Dossier realized, as Pope Benedict did before him, that the homosexualists had infiltrated the upper echelons of the Vatican so thoroughly, that the only thing that could save the post-conciliar church is to bring the whole thing down?
Case in point, he is appointing a homosexualist on steroids to Washington DC in a situation where a RICO investigation is almost a certainty, and where the majority of the US Catholic Church’s budget of $180 billion is made up of government funding ($95 billion in 2016, so it could be higher now).
I’m sorry, but you just don’t act that recklessly and become the bishop of Rome.
Finally, a couple of posts back, your humble blogger asked the question of whether Francis is playing the Faithful.
Now the question needs to be asked: is Francis playing the post-conciliar homo-lobby?
While writing this blog, going now on its sixth year (Who would have thunk?) and trying to analyze the Catholic Church’s current crisis from an objective, rational and dispassionate perspective… bah an Enlightenment perspective, the one major realization that this humble blogger has stumble upon is just how much damage the Enlightenment has wrought on Western Civilization and also on our daily lives.
Now this was a hard realization to come to terms with since most of what I do is grounded in the work of the rationalists and empiricists, people such as Bacon, Hobbes, Smith, Gibbon, not to mention the US Founding Fathers.
Aside, 1776 was a good year!
That not withstanding, the overwhelming evidence began pointing to the correctness of just this “Enlightenment Bad” realization!
Now this is a startling realization to admit to since it would appear (as we keep on being told) that all the scientific, social and material advances that our Civilization enjoys, Anno Domini 2018 are the products of this great intellectual movement.
The logical fallacy embedded in the above rationalization, the claim that our advanced society is the direct result of the Enlightenment, is that it completely neglects that which came before it, and that which allowed the Enlightenment to come into existence.
Case in point, no Catholic university system means no intellectual development of Enlightenment personalities. No Cistercian Order, no development of modern agriculture management techniques, allowing for the generation of a wealth effect which allowed for the development of the original “middle class”, which in turn allowed for a mechanism by which large numbers of intelligent individuals were allowed to… develop their intellect instead of toiling in the fields. And finally, no Benedictines and the monastic movement (which Francis is trying presently to destroy), no repository for knowledge which allowed that which already was know from antiquity, to survive and be used as the foundational element of the Catholic university system and a classical education, which was then used to educate the large numbers of intelligent individuals which brought about the Enlightenment in the first place.
So why am I going into this above historical abridgment?
Well, because we have reached the end of one aspect of the Enlightenment process, an aspect that is presently being consigned to the trash-heap of history. Just as the LEX ARMATICUS predicted. This aspect, and the one that is responsible for the current crisis not only in society at large, also lies at the heart of the current crisis of the post-conciliar church. Its name is ANTHROPOCENTRISM.
For those new to this blog, ANTHROPOCENTRISM can be summed up as the artificial elevation of the human intellect over the intellect of GOD.
As we all know, the human intellect possess a fallen nature, just like man himself. Therefore, the human intellect can be mistaken. Yet because of another aspect of fallen human nature, namely its susceptibility to the Cardinal Sin of PRIDE, ANTHROPOCENTRISM has been allowed to perpetuate long after its past due date and is responsible for the mayhem that we are observing occurring all around us.
So that which we can observe occurring on our proverbial TV screens (proverbial since nobody watches TV any longer) in the political sub-set of the Visibilium Omnium, just like that which we are observing transpiring behind the Sacred Vatican Walls, is nothing more than the collision between REASON and PRIDE.
And just as with God’s creation in omnibus and due to original sin, the collision between REASON and PRIDE has its winners and losers.
So for your weekend reading and viewing pleasure, your humble blogger has embedded three individual examples of the losers in the REASON v PRIDE collision.
Below, Dr Steven Turley explains in essence how PRIDE is fighting a losing battle with REASON in the current political environment. Next, below are two videos of an interview with Tucker Carlson who explains how PRIDE is trying to fight back against REASON in the #fakenews media sub-set of the Visibilium Omnium.
And finally, at the end of this post is a re-post of a PHENOMENON that is beginning to play itself out on social media. The essence of this PHENOMENON is that the FORCES of PRIDE have lost the battle to the point where they are forced to BAN MEMES.
You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Finally, what is important to understand in all of this material, is that what we are in fact observing is nothing less than the NATURAL end of ANTHROPOCENTRISM.
And the poster-child for this above NATURAL turn of events can be none other than Francis, the Non-Playable Character of Rome.
Have a nice weekend…
NPC Meme Deserves “Person Of The Year 2018” For Exposing Liberal Automatons
Nothing hurts more than the truth, and that adage goes far at explaining why the Liberals self-imploded upon being confronted by their hideous reflection in the NPC avatar.
First conjured to life on 4Chan and Reddit message boards, the NPC meme, represented by a crudely sketched stick figure that comes in a variety of persona, was designed as a method for portraying those well-known character traits the right has come to associate with their leftist alter-ego.
The term ‘social justice warrior,’ while loaded with mockery, derision and cynical overtones, failed to nail the dark heart of the matter. What was needed was a meme that exposed the left’s superiority complex that is so out of control it lets them believe that by just getting out of bed and showing up for a protest legitimizes their cause and anything that follows.
Thus, the right, which still enjoys the weapon of comic genius combined with computer prowess, supplanted the SJW tag with an innocuous-looking meme that eventually burrowed its way under the fleshy underbelly of the left until it was writhing on the pavement in painful spasmodic convulsions. The arrow was deadly because it carried the ultimate poison known as truth.
For the uninitiated, NPC stands for ‘nonplayable character’ or ‘nonplayer character,’ a term borrowed from the gaming community that describes those characters in video games whose only pre-programmed function is to wander about the screen eliciting generic, robotic remarks. Sound familiar? This meme successfully captured the essence of the left to such a degree that it forced Twitter to go on another search and destroy mission, suspending hundreds of accounts thought to be associated with the army of dangerous stick figures.
Although every organization, political or otherwise, can be accused of operating to some degree inside of an echo chamber, the groupthink that has taken over the Liberal brain is disturbingly reminiscent of that which dominated past totalitarian movements: a high level of emotion and even violence substituting for critical thinking; refusal to debate political ideology with its ‘enemy’; religious-like belief in the sanctity of its endeavor. This groupthink – minus the ‘think’ – is even willing to carry out the most heinous commands of its leaders with dogged devotion.
Democrat darling Senator Maxine Waters, for example, harangued a crowd of her supporters to “get out and create a crowd, and you push back on” Trump officials whenever they are seen in public places, like restaurants, shopping centers and even gasoline stations. Needless to say, this is the very definition of madness, and it speaks volumes about the people who applaud such lunacy since, I am guessing, it will eventually be the Liberals who are hounded in public by Republicans when they try to enjoy a dinner with their family. Two can play such a fool’s game, as I argued on Patrick Henningsen’s Sunday Wire Show.
The NPC meme provides a mirror image of the Liberal in that they, or at least the ‘they’ who has been allowed to hijack the party, cannot articulate their position beyond the scripted ‘reality’ they have duly received via the corporate-owned, government-saddled mainstream media, late-night standup buffoons (the Colbert, Kimmel and Oliver stooge show), and the duplicitous Democratic leaders who have convinced both themselves and their constituents that Russia is the reason yet another corrupt Clinton is not desecrating the Oval Office.
There are intelligent Liberals of course. But they’ve been pushed out of the spotlight, silenced by the screaming horde running on autopilot that poorly substitutes for cognitive life forms. In the meantime, American society must deal with a brat pack of withering snowflakes whose sense of political duty is so steeped in self-righteousness, hypocrisy and outright thuggery that college campuses are no longer the domain for advanced learning, but rather incubators for breeding brainwashed automatons who would rather let Antifa lead them astray then let Anne Coulter give a talk on campus. Similar to the religious inquisitors of the Middle Ages, these individuals consider it below them to hear the arguments of their opponents lest their soft brains be exposed to some blasphemous idea.Will these mentally stunted students be given a life-time supply of diapers with their diplomas?
These miscreants, who rank themselves as human-loving activists, are really nothing more than part of a Soros-paid rent-a-mob who brandish freshly printed cookie-cutter placards and get paid to stir up trouble at every opportunity. There is no sense of a grassroots undercurrent that is guiding this rabble along its tortuous path.
That much was plainly seen at the Senate hearings for Brett Kavanuagh when Ana Maria Archila confronted Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator, ranting and raving that Flake was helping to put someone “who actually violated a woman” (the lack of evidence does not stop the modern Liberal from hurling slanderous mud balls) on the Supreme Court. Turns out that Archila is not your average lunatic; indeed, she is co-executive director at the Soros-funded Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). And perhaps it was just coincidence too that a CNN news crew just happened to be on the spot to catch all the action.
Does any of this Liberal craziness pass for ‘democracy in action?’ Hardly. In fact, it is symptomatic of a nation that some might argue is healthy and energetic only because it is writhing and screaming on the floor with convulsions. Much of this is due to the fear and loathing that the Liberals have injected into the nation’s political buttocks ever since they lost in 2016. Similar to the aftermath of 9/11 when any idea could be superimposed onto the national psyche, which had been greatly traumatized and primed for mischief, the same could be said for the Liberals, who are willing to accept any rubbish just so it helps them defeat the Republicans. Victory for victory’s sake is not a political program, but a transparent power grab that enough intelligent Democrats should be able to see through. The fact that they cannot is exactly why Liberals were awarded the NPC avatar, which will not be going away anytime soon.
If the meme fits, wear it. In any case, I’ll be voting for the NPC meme as ‘Person of the Year 2018,’ that much is for sure.
“My friends, this election is about more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe, and what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in this country, a cultural war as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America.” — Pat Buchanan, 17 August 1992
Coming To Terms
Until the last few years, it made sense to talk in terms of a red tribe and a blue tribe when describing political affiliation. The red tribe was right-wing, populist, nationalist, religious, concerned by terrorism, and valued sexual purity. The blue tribe was left-wing, globalist, internationalist, secular, concerned by global warming, and valued sexual freedom. They had fundamental disagreements about what America (or the West) was, what it needed to become, and how to get there. They even had a culture war. However, this dichotomy no longer provides a sufficient map of the political territory we find ourselves in.
Enter memetic tribes. We define memetic tribes as a group of agents with a memeplex that directly or indirectly seeks to impose its distinct map of reality, along with its moral imperatives, upon other minds. These tribes are the active players in the new culture war. They possess a multiplicity of competing claims, interests, goals, and organizations. While the red and blue tribes were certainly far from monolithic, in the current decade any claim to unity is laughable. An establishment leftist who squabbles with the right must contend with mockery from the Dirtbag Left. Meanwhile, the Dirtbag Left endures critiques from Social Justice Activists (SJA), who in turn are criticized by the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW). The trench warfare of the old culture war has become an all-out brawl.
Some have used the notion of “digital tribes”, which we might call pacifist memetic tribes, to understand the penchant of individuals to sort themselves into online groups that share interest and beliefs. But historians will see the era of digital tribes for what it was: A brief blip before somebody said, “Wait, guys, aren’t we forgetting something? We could be fighting other tribes right now!” Digital tribes could not sate a fundamental need for bloodshed. The Internet, ostensibly an opportunity for greater understanding, communication, and collaboration, has instead become the central theater of the new culture war. In the last decade a boundless field for the diffusion of kitten pictures, image macros, and insular forums transformed into a battleground for propaganda, doxxing, partisan podcasts, and public shaming campaigns. While digital tribes still exist, such as the speedrunners or the harmless furries, we have entered the age of memetic tribes.
Though many conflicts can still be usefully analyzed in terms of disagreement between the right and the left, the conflicts within the red and blue tribe are as inflammatory, and will prove to be just as consequential for the future of America and the West. The Establishment Right vs Trumpists. Gender-critical feminists vs SJAs. The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) vs the Establishment Left. Some commentators have observed that the left is devouring its own. But this is only a selection from a broader phenomenon. All across the political spectrum, people are cloistering into tribes and defining themselves against the tribes that are most similar to them. Are you a grey wolf? Then establishment liberals probably bother you the most. Are you Alt-Right? Then the Alt-Lite’s attempts to split the movement surely gall you.
The new memetic tribes share, to varying degrees, a few characteristics. Most are “unscrupulously optimistic”: They see social problems as soluble through large-scale adjustment. They see themselves as spokespeople for larger groups, whether that be “regular people” or “the marginalized”. At the same time, they see their existence, or their prime value, as under threat. They do battle both online and off. And crucially, their memetic warfare is just as much about firing up members and creating converts out of non-combatants as it is about winning particular battles.
From the perspective of the tribal memeplex, the ideal host exists in a state of permanent agitation and interprets all phenomena through the memeplex’s filter. In short: A paranoid ideologue. Memeplexes that have not agitated their hosts into reproducing them will lose out to those that do. There is only so much room inside your head, and ideology expands to fill available space.
The memetic tribes all share a goal: To win the culture war — or at least, to not lose it. To paraphrase Buchanan’s definitive statement on the culture war, the new war is the brawl between memetic tribes for the soul of America and the West. We define a culture war as a memetic war to determine what the social facts are at the core of a given society, or alternatively, to determine society’s boundaries of the sacred and the profane. Political arguments have become indistinguishable from moral arguments, and one cannot challenge political positions without implicitly possessing suspect morals. This makes politics an exhausting and unproductive game to play, and it makes the culture war intractable. A further barrier to ending the culture war is its tendency to spread to previously apolitical interests, from football, to coffee, to rideshares.
At the end of this white paper, we explore ways in which individuals can navigate the culture war tensions. Along the way, we will explore the conditions that give rise to memetic tribalism and the history of the culture war. We also include a taxonomy of today’s memetic tribes. While it is useful to look at the battlegrounds upon which the memetic tribes fight, it is also useful (and entertaining) to peruse the myriad ways in which people have organized themselves.
The Six Crises
Memetic tribes are multitudinous, fractious, unscrupulously optimistic, and divide the world into allies and enemies. They are locked in a Darwinian zero-sum war for the narrative of the noosphere, the sphere of human thought. What conditions gave rise to the contentious environment of memetic tribes?
We argue that six phenomena are involved in their genesis: secularization, fragmentation, atomization, globalization, stimulation, and weaponization. These ingredients respectively engender six crises: the meaning crisis, the reality crisis, the belonging crisis, the proximity crisis, the sobriety crisis, and the warfare crisis. We will examine each ingredient and crisis in turn.
Secularization and The Meaning Crisis. “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?” In 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche published his famous epitaph, gesturing at the triumph of scientific rationalism over divine revelation. As Nietzsche recognized, this triumph is a Pyrrhic victory — the meaning system of Christianity cannot easily be replaced by evidence-based reasoning alone, a rationality devoid of narrative and role.
Religion provides meaning. Not only does it provide an understanding of how the world is for the believer, it also informs how the believer ought to exist in the world. Without God, the axiomatic foundation of the West’s historically dominant memeplex, religious oughts are in need of a new justification. According to Nietzsche, without a replacement, a slow slippage to nihilism is unavoidable. And the secularization of our institutions accelerates the collective transition into nihilism.
Secularization theories predict an untethering of religious authority from society would bring about a widespread embrace of a rational and scientific worldview. In the book A Secular Age, Charles Taylor rejects this “subtraction theory” and claims that our modern age is instead becoming one of pluralism, where multiple viewpoints compete with Christianity for control over the social narrative. This society-wide secularization has given rise to the meaning crisis, which we define as a meaning famine where numerous contenders are competing to satiate our meaning hunger.
Nietzsche foresaw the freedom and danger that came with this situation. “We have gone further and destroyed the land behind us. Now little ship, look out! Beside you is an ocean…”, We argue that the noosphere has become this ocean, a vast reservoir of chaos and potential as people attempt to make sense of the world after the death of God. Memetic tribes are one solution, a raft to navigate the open seas. Their totalizing worldviews and the roles they provide are an attempt to satiate the meaning hunger in the meaning-famished.
Fragmentation and The Reality Crisis. Scott Adams often uses the analogy of two movie screens to explain how the Culture War is processed. Conservative media such as Fox News have a rosy Trumpist perspective, while liberal media such as CNN and MSNBC adopt a virulent anti-Trumpist perspective. Viewers of these networks experience the same reality but watch incompossible interpretations of that reality. Adams’s analogy can be expanded beyond the dichotomous right/left narratives embodied by legacy media. We not only have two movies available to us, we have a Netflix-level variety of viewable material.
Philosopher Jean-François Lyotard described this as “the postmodern condition” in 1979. The postmodern condition is not necessarily one of relativism but one of fragmentation. Lyotard defined postmodernism as “incredulity toward metanarratives”, which are narratives that totalize all knowledge and experience, such as religion, the Enlightenment, and communism. These grand narratives, once broken down, give way to what he calls little narratives.
These little narratives do not necessarily espouse relativism directly, but are localized by their contexts, are ostensibly independent from one another, and have different means of sensemaking. This fragmented array of narratives has caused a reality crisis, for without some semblance of a consensus reality, constructive cooperation becomes extremely difficult. This results in what Lyotard calls a differend, a situation where conflicting parties cannot even agree on the rules for dispute resolution. Moreover, there is lack of agreement on what the conflict even is. Collective understanding problems of what reality is amplify collective action problems of what reality should be.
Thanks to the Internet, we are now fully in the postmodern condition, or as we call it, the reality crisis. Whereas previously traditional media provided a consensus reality, the decentralization of information-sharing technology allows individuals to document events, create narratives, and challenge perceptions in real-time, without heed for journalistic ethics. This revolution has not led to greater consensus, one based on a reality we can all see more of and agree upon. Instead, information-dissemination has been put in service of people’s tribalism. Anybody can join a memetic tribe and will be supplied with reams of anecdotes to support that tribe’s positions. Grassroots and underground media production keep the tribes up to date on opinions, with wildly different perceptions of the same event. Memetic armadas are being crafted in neighboring ports. Fake news has only just begun.
Atomization and The Belonging Crisis. Atomization is the reduction of a thing to its elementary particles. It is the state of separateness. Social atomization, or social alienation, is the process by which individuals come to experience themselves primarily as separated individuals who are not part of a greater whole. The freedom that comes from this is accompanied by feelings of isolation, alienation, and depression. In an atomizing society the roles and responsibilities that were the province of kith and kin are increasingly commoditized into transactions with strangers.
In White Collar: The American Middle Classes, C. Wright Mills argued that advanced capitalism has engendered a society dominated by a “marketing mentality.” This is a mentality that encourages Frankfurtian bullshit, uses friendliness as a tool, and is ready to sell and service the other. This incentivizes individuals to treat one another as instruments. In Buberian terms, they engage in I-It relating. By doing so the individual transforms himself into an instrument, ready to be used by the other.
When the marketing mentality reigns supreme it indicates that a Gemeinschaft, a society of subjective binding, has been replaced by a Gesellschaft, a society of contractual binding. This leaves us in a new normal of alienation from self and other. As Hannah Arendt says, we are in a collective state of “homelessness on an unprecedented scale, rootlessness to an unprecedented depth.” This social domicide and de-rooting makes us long for a place to call home and a group of people to call our own.
This is the belonging crisis. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, belongingness is the third innate need required for our psychological health and development. Without it we are bowling alone, longing for a team to play on. To mitigate loneliness, anxiety, and other adverse conditions that lack of belonging brings, people are primed to fly into the arms of others. All they need is an offer of togetherness, and a few convincing memes.
Globalization and The Proximity Crisis. In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg opened his letter to investors stating that “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.” In 2017 he introduced Facebook’s new mission statement: “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” It is clear that Zuckerberg has not read Marshall McLuhan. If he had, it might have softened the utopianism of this mission statement.
In 1962 McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man was released. In it McLuhan introduced the term “the global village” to describe the globalization of the mind, a process set in motion by electronic media’s power to interconnect minds worldwide, ending in the compression of the globe into a village. McLuhan, a man ahead of his time, was no Pollyanna. He foresaw that the new media would have a retribalizing effect on man. “The global village”, he wrote, “absolutely ensures maximal disagreement on all points.”
Why is this? Philosopher Byung-Chul Han has an elegant answer: Distance, or lack thereof. In his book In The Swarm: Digital Prospects, Han states that “distance is what makes respectare [respect] different from spectare [spectacle]. A society without respect, without the pathos of distance, paves the way for the society of scandal.” The internet pornifies our private lives, including our political views, leaving nothing to the imagination. When everything is laid bare, respect vanishes, for our proximity exposes all of our ugliness. This manifests in what psychologists call dissimilarity cascades (the more we know about someone, the less we like them) and environmental spoiling (proximity with those we don’t like spoils the environment as a whole).
Mutually exclusive memeplexes, or “mutex” memeplexes, have no distance from one another thanks to the global village. This is the proximity crisis. Good fences make good neighbors, and the power of media has flattened all social fences. McLuhan eventually favoured a global theatre analogy, instead of the global village, to indicate that we are all becoming actors in a repertory of theatrical performances. Thanks to their mutual exclusivity, these performances are becoming increasingly warlike and less theatrical by the day. Twitter, a platform that lends itself to sharing propositional memes, has become a central battleground of the new culture war. It is where mutex memeplexes cannot escape from each other. It is where distance evaporates.
Stimulation and The Sobriety Crisis. Is the image of a beetle hopelessly attempting to have sex with an empty beer bottle the perfect metaphor for the state of humanity? In 2011 Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz won the Ig Nobel Prize for their research on the male jewel beetle’s proclivity to attempt copulation with littered Australian beer stubbies. They found that these discarded bottles greatly attracted the male jewel beetle because their size, coloring, and dimpled design were similar to the male jewel beetle’s female counterpart. In fact, according to Darryl Gwynne, the male beetle found the beer bottle so attractive that they ignored the females and their “attempts to copulate with stubby beer bottles continue until they are killed by the hot desert sun or by foraging ants.”
This phenomenon is known as an evolutionary trap: adaptive instincts turn maladaptive due to exposure to supernormal stimuli, magnified and more attractive versions of evolved stimulus. Nikolaas Tinbergen, the ethologist who coined the term supernormal stimuli, demonstrated that he could trick birds, fish, and insects into evolutionary traps using exaggerated dummy objects designed to trigger their instincts. In Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their EvolutionaryPurpose, psychologist Deirdre Barrett points out that humans are just as fallible to these superstimuli. Whether it be junk food, laugh tracks, pornography, or likes on social media, these artificial triggers addict us and hijack our agency.
Tristan Harris, a former Design Ethicist at Google and founder of the nonprofit Time Well Spent, makes the argument that there is an asymmetrical battle going on for our attention. On one side, we have evolved instincts suited to a bygone ecology. On the other side is an army of high-IQ engineers informed by Ivy League persuasion labs tasked to create algorithms aimed solely at capturing and holding our attention. To make matters worse, the targets of these campaigns aren’t even aware this battle is going on.
In the interest of appeasing shareholders, large social media companies battle over the attention economy, and along the way they reduce our agency and turn us into memetic addicts. The pervasiveness of social media has created the sobriety crisis. Addiction, simply defined, is the compulsive engagement in pleasurable substances or behaviors despite their negative consequences. This is our new norm and it leaves us highly vulnerable to the predation of self-interested actors. Like the jewel beetle being devoured by foraging ants, our reduced agency leaves us blind and defenseless to actors with misaligned agendas.
Weaponization and The Warfare Crisis. Aleksandr Dugin, touted as the most dangerous philosopher in the world, published The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia in 1997, with one reviewer stating that it “reads like a to-do list for Putin’s behaviour on the world stage.” Used as a textbook in the Russian Academy of the General Staff, the book advises Russian operatives to “introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements — extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilising internal political processes in the U.S.” After the cold war Russia, no longer competitive with America in hard power, pivoted to aggressive soft power to regain their geopolitical influence.
If the 2016 American elections are any indication, Dugin’s strategy has been implemented. The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that the Russians interfered with the elections with the intent to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.” The Internet Research Agency, the source of Russia’s apparent sockpuppet troll army, sought to sow maximum discord throughout America. They disseminated fake news to support the campaigns of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein, and targeted groups across the political spectrum, from Black Lives Matter (BLM) to far-right gun advocates. They even arranged pro- and anti-Trump rallies to occur at the same time, all in the service of destabilization.
Controversial cybersecurity commentator James Scott calls these campaigns “chaos operations”. They follow a basic formula: Understand the target audience through psychographic profiling, create messages that are attuned to the trigger points of the audience, seek out real or fake “incidents” to weaponize, and stoke outrage. A study by marketing professor Jonah Berger showed that anger increases the likelihood to share memes. This naturally selects for “outrage porn”, memes which provoke indignation and outrage and encourage receivers to spread them throughout the global village. Outrage porn is the supernormal stimuli of the culture war.
It is not only Russia who engages in information warfare. Other state actors, terrorist organizations, lone wolf hackers, and big data mercenary firms like Cambridge Analytica all engage in memetic operations. Minds are being weaponized around the world, to advance agendas they may not support or even know about. We find ourselves in a warfare crisis. Without a Geneva Convention for information warfare to govern how unfriendly actors must conduct themselves, we are in memetic anarchy.
To summarize the six crises:
The meaning crisis weakened our collective understanding of what ought to be.
The reality crisis fractured our collective understanding of what is.
The belonging crisis took away a genuine feeling of community.
The proximity crisis removed distance from conflicting views.
The sobriety crisis reduced our agency and turned us into addicts.
The warfare crisis transformed our minds into weapons for hidden wars in plain sight.
None of these crises alone created the new memetic tribes, but the combination of all six made it unavoidable. The meaning and reality crisis created a longing for a collective is and ought. The belonging and proximity crisis put the existentially isolated in close memetic quarters with those they can love and hate. The sobriety and warfare crisis turned us into memetic addicts, weaponized for the strategic aims of others. These crises set the stage for a new culture war we were severely ill-prepared for. The crises are dynamite distributed throughout the noosphere. All that was needed were some matches.
History of the New Culture War
It is worth noting that kulturkampf emerged as a term in the 19th century to describe struggles to redefine the relationship between church and state in Germany and other European nations. While Europe was no stranger to religious and civil war, the kulturkampfs were largely bloodless, and were held between not just different religions but different ideologies.
By the time Pat Buchanan introduced the term “culture war” to America in 1992, the “struggle for the soul of America” had been ongoing for decades. This culture war, which we refer to as Culture War 1.0, was a bipolar affair, fought between a coalition of Christians and secular liberals over “the soul of America”. Battlegrounds included abortion, evolution, and the status of women and homosexuals. The culture war got presidents elected, polarized the country, and left the America of the past decade in a dramatically different position from the America of fifty years ago.
In international relation theory, polarity refers to the way that power is allocated amongst nation states. There are three types of polarity commonly used to describe a given historical period: 1) Unipolarity — One superpower exists that creates order, e.g. Pax Britannica or Pax Americana. 2) Bipolarity — Two superpowers keep each other in check, e.g. the Cold War. 3) Multipolarity — multiple nation states have competing influence, which is potentially the most unstable of the three, e.g. the Concert of Europe, World War 1 and 2.
This notion of polarity maps over to the culture wars. The bipolarity of Culture War 1.0 is analogous to the USA and USSR’s distribution of power in the cold war: Two opposing superpowers, maneuvering for influence, fighting brief skirmishes, and capturing dissent by forcing ideology into a binary (capitalism vs. communism, Christian morality vs. secular rights). But Culture War 1.0 is over. Thanks to the ongoing revolutions in digital communications and the crises that created memetic tribes, the conditions were set for a radical change in what culture war looks like. A bipolar war, with clear coalitions, clear enemies, front lines and supply routes, the tension of two sumos, has become a multipolar brawl.
Multipolar distributions of power do not obey the logic of bipolarity. Agents do not see allies behind the line and enemies in front of it. Instead the lines surround them and are constantly shifting. Attacks can come from right or left, from state power or mob rule, from twitter pile-ons to SWATting. Thus the conditions of 2018: Strange alliances, rearguard action, unstable positions, and everywhere flux and insecurity.
Four main events initiated the leap to what we call Culture War 2.0, whether by wrapping up old theatres of operations or initiating new ones. While other events contributed to it, such as the 2008 recession and the birth of BLM, we think these four were central to the emergence of the fragmentary, postmodern culture war we now live in. It is worth considering these seismic events, to understand the insufficiency of the bipolar frame to describe the current situation.
Event One: November 15, 2011
THE END OF OCCUPY
Simmering resentment towards the financial system after its 2008 collapse exploded into a new kind of public protest. People gathered in public squares to express collective frustration and to explore a new form of justice. For two months, it seemed that questions of economic justice, the power of banks, and the class system would transform America.
Its time had not yet come. The police crackdown on Occupy was swift and decisive, dashing the utopic hopes surrounding it. We propose that the new anti-authoritarian activists baptized by it, disheartened by capitalism’s invincibility, gravitated to identity politics and away from class politics. We cannot ignore the explosion in social justice activism post-Occupy, and the relative lack of anti-capitalist activism until 2015. Until Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn rose to prominence, economic justice took a backseat to issues like racial justice, equal representation, and university culture.
Occupy did not just mark a transformation in content for the culture war, but more importantly, an end of a certain form. Occupy was an instantiation of a universalist politics — the people coming together to practice a communal form of life, forming a polis, speaking with one voice. This type of activism has a rich history in communist and anarchist organizing, but it also contained the seeds of the left’s memetic tribalism. Occupy lived via memes, virality, and digital organizing. The activists that came afterward, like SJA and BLM, ran with these innovations, and have shifted from universalism to intersectional identity. Commentators have even argued that Hillary Clinton’s campaign failed for pandering too much to identity politics, leaving space for Trump to capture the conversation on class.
We suspect that this was a recuperative process for capitalism; identity politics can be negotiated within the mainstream, relieving institutions of some radical pressure. Put another way: Corporations can be woke, they cannot be anti-capitalist. This corporate embrace helped accelerate the spread of identity politics throughout society, leading to a backlash from an ensemble of people taken aback by or ideologically opposed to the speed of change. It also served to neuter the anti-capitalist left by embedding issues of social justice into corporate policy through HR and PR departments. If corporations can be allies of social justice, then the radical leftist assertion that all oppression is intersecting has the ground torn out from under it. This helped fracture the left on questions of its goals, its methods, and its true enemies.
Event Two: June 26, 2015
OBERGEFELL v HODGES
After Event One, social justice was in the air. The final chapter of Culture War 1.0 is the landmark decision by the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage. Secular liberals emerged as victorious protagonists and the Religious Right suffered its final defeat. As Rod Dreher says, “Today the culture war as we know it is over. The so-called values voters — social and religious conservatives — have been defeated and are being swept to the political margins.” The Religious Right was unable to reverse Roe v Wade, unable to bring prayer back to schools, and was arguably complicit in nosediving church attendance. Its bluster and funding did not lead to any cultural power for the Right, beyond organizing votes for Republicans.
Obergefell v Hodges was an event of consensus — a new social reality quickly took hold, with an ever-dwindling minority of dissenters. But the consensus around sexual politics was short-lived — riding the momentum of Event Two, Event Three burst onto the scene.
Event Three: July 1, 2015
While Event Two was closing a chapter in Culture War 1.0, the stage was being set for the first battle of Culture War 2.0: transgender rights. Though this front had been simmering for years, it was not a battlefield for Culture War 1.0. It exploded into mainstream consciousness with Vanity Fair’s July 2015 issue, with Caitlyn Jenner adorning the cover. The transgender question brought with it a host of other issues. Bathroom bills. Non-binary genders and pronouns. The right of transgender people to serve in the military. Puberty-blocking pills for children. Trans women in women-only spaces. All of these points of contention have become culture war skirmishes.
They also contributed to the formation of the new centrist tribes. Unlike the binary Culture War 1.0 paradigm of marriage equality, transgender rights follow Culture War 2.0 logic, whereby tribalism is multidimensional and attack can come from unforeseen angles. Faced with what they see as the excesses of the Left, but simultaneously wary of the viciousness of the right, new centrist tribes have emerged. Their members tend to agree with the left on some of these issues and not on others, leaving them at odds with the more totalizing visions of the right and left. The most important figure in this front is, of course, Jordan Peterson, who jumped into the culture war specifically in response to non-binary pronouns. Without the current cultural push for transgender rights, Jordan Peterson would not have become a culture warrior, and without his massive popularity, it is unlikely that the IDW would have formed in anything like its current shape.
Event Four: November 8, 2016.
THE CHAOS PRESIDENT
“I like chaos. It really is good.” — Donald Trump
Commentators will be analyzing Donald Trump’s election campaign and victory for years to come. What suffices for us is to understand how it shifted the landscape and the rules of the culture war. Trump sent the establishment right and left spinning, self-questioning and delegitimized. The culture war has only increased in fervor since his election, partially due to his instigations and partially due to people abandoning the establishment right and left in favor of memetic tribes.
As Ross Douthat once tweeted, “If you dislike the religious right, wait till you meet the post-religious right.” Trump effectively captured the remnants of the Christian Right, transforming them into a nationalist right in the process. The radical right has re-emerged, armed for war with “meme magic”, unconcerned with civility, aimed only at victory.
Donald Trump’s focus on neglected workers has galvanized the radical left to refocus on economic concerns, as exemplified by the popularity of Chapo Trap House and the sevenfold growth of the Democratic Socialists of America. Movements like Antifa and other activists have seen a surge in membership in response to a perception of authoritarianism. The skirmishes between Leftist tribes revolve and will continue to revolve around two central questions: Class or identity? Centrism or leftism?
Viewed in isolation, the explosion of Occupy and the loss of the Religious Right could be seen as closure for decades-old arguments. As observers from the other side of history, we know them to be kindling for the wars of new ideologies, and the attendant proliferation of memetic tribes. We turn our attention next to the taxonomy of the current memetic tribes.
There is a shared anatomy between memetic tribes. We posit that each tribe has a telos, an objective to obtain or a state to attain. They have sacred values, values which are non-negotiable and inviolable within the memetic framework. If these values are transgressed it will trigger the tribal member. These will also influence the prime virtues that the tribal member will signal. They have master statuses, the dominant identifying characteristic of the tribe as a whole. Each is persecuted or haunted by an existential threat, which necessitates tribal affiliation for survival. Other tribes are combatants in the noosphere. They have campfires, online or in meatspace, where they communicate and cooperate. Each tribe has chieftains who either direct the tribe, provide the theoretical foundation for the tribe, or are apologists for the tribes. They each have mental models by which they conceptualize and navigate reality. And each tribe has forebears, whether they be progenitors of the tribe or personal inspirations of the chieftains.
While presenting the following chart we are adopting a “view from nowhere” position, in order to demonstrate similar memetic anatomy. However, we do not believe that there is equivalence between the tribal claims to truth, morality, practicality, or even interestingness. This is for you, reader, to evaluate.
It is also important to note that this chart is not intended to be and cannot be exhaustive, complete, or final. Our aim is to create a launching point for further discussion on what and who constitutes memetic tribes. We are also aware of what Canadian philosopher Ian Hacking calls the “looping effect”, how the act of categorization can change those who are categorized. If you see yourself in one of these rows, perhaps this will inspire some reflection on how and why you came to your current beliefs and attitudes.
As well, depending on the context and flexibility of the tribal memeplex, one individual can find themselves in multiple tribes, e.g. Sam Harris is a chieftain for both the New Atheists and the IDW. Furthermore, memetic tribes do not consist solely of memetically possessed humans. They consist of anything that produces and reproduces memetic content, from cultural institutions to bots. Memes do not care about the species or non-species of their hosts.
We have excluded tribes that meet our definition but are not currently participating in the culture war to a significant degree, such as Transhumanists, Modern Stoics, the Hotep Nation, and Anti-Natalists. We have, however, included some small tribes. Some of them, such as QAnoners, have influence discordant to their size, thanks to the attention paid to them in the media. Others, such as the Optimists, are included in spite of size because they are currently growing.
On a final note, in the spirit of charity we have attempted to describe the tribes using terms that they would use to describe themselves. For example, the term “Social Justice Warrior” is a popular pejorative used by non-leftist tribes, but those who actively identify as activists for social justice only use the term ironically. In cases where tribes do not self-identify, we have christened them.
Below are some further comments and our speculations on how the tribes will evolve in Culture War 2.0.
SJA: While this tribe engages in full-out war with other tribes, they continue to make gains in legacy media, corporate HR and PR departments, and government institutions. With increased embeddedness of SJA values in institutions and corporations, expect a right-wing countervailing response. Also watch for a fight to define leftism against class-first analysis.
Black Lives Matter: This tribe has made a large impact on the cultural landscape, but has not yet made an impact on government policy. Watch for potential conflicts with masculinist black nationalists and the “leaving the plantation” narrative of Candace Owens. Also, keep a look-out for BLM to distance themselves from white allies capitalizing on wokeness.
#MeToo: Perhaps the fastest growing tribe in recent times, it has moved quickly to redefine the social consensus. Watch for further revelations concerning men in power, followed by more conservative and reactionary backlash.
Gender-Critical Feminists: The feminists left behind by trans-inclusive feminists are fighting an uphill battle inside the left. Watch for future mixing with non-left tribes, and more offline culture war.
Modern Neo-Marxists. Neo-Marxists, while still alive and well in a critical capacity on University campuses, have lost significance since the fall of the Soviet Union. Communism is seen across the political spectrum as discredited. However, given the rising popularity of Democratic Socialists, the memes that Marx birthed could see a revival. If Neo-Marxists can offer a compelling narrative and escape the capitulation and nihilism of Accelerationist thought, then they might be able to piggy-back on the DSA’s popularity. Watch for Douglas Lain’s Zero Books imprint to capitalize on this opportunity.
Antifa: Even without identifiable chieftains, Antifa has played an important part in the culture war, and continues to benefit from people’s fear of Trump and dissatisfaction with mainstream responses. Watch for the normalization of a violent offline culture war.
Occupy: The tribe that coalesced around radical leftism, hope, and physical presence has been shattered. Dormant, it lives on in the 99% meme and in the pages of Adbusters.
DSA and Dirtbag Left: The drama of the Bernie campaign and dissatisfaction with the lack of leftism in the Democratic Party has led to a surge in a radical wing of the American left. The ironic fringe still rests at the top of the podcasts, and the push for mainstreaming socialism has been growing ever since Trump’s election. Watch for further infighting with Social Justice Activists.
Optimists: In reaction to the polarization and catastrophizing they see on both the left and right, this nascent tribe has coalesced around the idea that the world is in fact improving, and whatever challenges society faces can be solved through the institutions and values we currently hold. Watch for an increased presence as neoliberalism converts libertarians and shifts to be embraced as a contrarian ideology.
Establishment Left and Right. The zeitgeist of our times gives the palpable sense that the establishment left and right are dramatically on the decline, especially amongst millennials and Generation Z. Those in power within the establishment are experiencing increased pressure from rapidly rising elements within their parties. Democratic and liberal parties worldwide are contending with socialist and far-left elements. Conservative parties have seen populists and illiberal democrats take over. And everyone, everywhere, has been blindsided by the rise of white identitarian and nationalist elements. Watch for these tribes to make a last grasp at power during the 2020 elections in America.
New Atheists and Street Epistemologists. The atheist tribes are indirect participants in the culture war. Their shared objective is to attack the religious truth-claims and plant doubt in the epistemic methodology of believers. The New Atheists lost the relevance they had during the Bush Era when the “Four Horsemen” had great popularity, but their impact has been felt in the noosphere. They contributed to the religious right’s defeat in Culture War 1.0 by weakening it on philosophical grounds. The Street Epistemologists are the New Atheists potential successor in Culture War 2.0.
Rationalist Diaspora: Incubated on Overcoming Bias and LessWrong, this is an observer tribe in the culture war. Though similar to the New Atheists in that they prize rationality, they do not define themselves in opposition to religion. Thanks to the strength of Eliezer Yudkowsky and Scott Alexander’s writing, and the beliefs and epistemic virtues of the diaspora, they command increasing respect in the culture war. Watch for a popularity boost to Effective Altruism, a struggle with the downsides of increased attention, and possible pressure by the SJAs for the Rationalists to commit to progressive values.
Post-Rationalists. This is another observer tribe, and possibly the most interesting one. If the rationalist motto is “the map is not the territory, but it is important to create the most accurate map possible”, then the post-rationalist motto is “the canvas is not the territory, but it is important to create the most interesting canvas possible.” This observer tribe has the potential to generate innovative solutions to the seemingly intractable problem of the differend.
Integral Theorists. Ken Wilber, who lost some momentum in his “Wyatt Earp” incident, is steadily gaining a strong following amongst cultural influencers. Like the Rationalists and Post-Rationalists, Integralists are an observer tribe. Unlike them, they have a teleological narrative that instills existential hope. This will be a tribe to watch for if it moves away from its observer capacity and becomes more active in the war.
Sorters and Intellectual Dark Web. Jordan Peterson is the common denominator with these two tribes. One of the most important figures in Culture War 2.0, his central message in the war is an emphasis of free speech and the importance of truth-speaking. His followers, which we dub the Sorters, mostly comprised of young men, are attracted to Peterson’s style and his message of personal responsibility. The “Intellectual Dark Web”, coined by Eric Weinstein, consists of a group of thinkers who have experienced what they view as thought policing by political correct elements of the left. With the ever-increasing popularity of Peterson’s brand and platforms such as Quillette, the Rubin Report, and the Joe Rogan Experience, watch for both of these tribes to gain further members and make a strong push for a return to a classically liberal centre in the culture.
Benedictines: With a religious right increasingly subservient to Trump, it is becoming incumbent for Christians who put faith first to organize collectively. This memetic tribe is aware of its own mortality and is putting survival before the culture war. Watch for a siphoning of disillusioned Christians and rightists.
Christian Right: The religious right is quickly transitioning into a nationalist right. The culture war goals of the Moral Majority have largely been set aside in favour of punishing the left via Trump. Unless there is a public evangelist revival, watch for this to dissolve into Trumpists and Benedictines over the next few years.
Tea Party: Since its decline began after the 2013 government shutdown, this tribe has largely been subsumed by the Trumpists. Watch for a continued decline in libertarian activism as believers drift towards Trump or neoliberalism.
Trumpists: This new tribe makes up for a lack of experience and policy through power and “high-energy”. They are engaged in a fight for control over the mainstream perception of conservatism with a blindsided establishment right. Watch for a push for votes from racial minorities and a scramble to stay in line with Trump’s thought.
InfoWarriors and QAnoners. These are the conspiracy theory tribes of the Culture War. Alex Jones and InfoWars represent “established” conspiracies such as the New World Order and Illuminati. With his manic energy, Jones has successfully turned conspiracy into a profitable business. QAnon is a grassroots emergence of conspiracy theories originating on /pol/. Given the intense passion their reality tunnel engenders, we speculate that QAnon will grow amongst Trumpists and will be censored on social media platforms, which will only further fuel its growth.
Alt-Lite, Alt-Right, and Modern Neo-Nazis. These three tribes are concerned with issues surrounding white people and are often lumped together by the mainstream media, but they are actively fighting amongst themselves (“punching right”), in order to create distance and avoid conflation. The Alt-Lite would be quick to point out that they are less defined by white identity and more by western chauvinism, an unapologetic view that western culture is the best. Watch for massive fluctuations and changes in the composition of all three of these tribes and a continued fight amongst themselves to gain adherents.
Neoreactionaries: This semi-dormant tribe has partly been subsumed into the Alt-Right. Lack of public direction from its key figures has led to a decline in influence. Watch for Nick Land’s return to the blogosphere and keep an eye on Social Matter and the Hestia Society for a potential revival.
MRA, Manosphere, MGTOW. Like the dissident right tribes, these masculine tribes are usually lumped together. Like the far-right tribes, these masculinist tribes also signal to create distance amongst themselves. The Manosphere, the largest of the three tribes, reached its peak around Gamergate and has lost momentum due to their lack of a non-hedonistic strategy, and due to men’s attention being drawn to the message of Jordan Peterson. See a continued declined with these three groups unless new voices emerge.
Incels. These self-described involuntary celibates could be placed in the masculinist cluster, if not for their view of themselves as “black-pilled” instead of “red-pilled”. They agree with most of the descriptive views of the masculinist tribes but see their situation as radically hopeless and unfair. The belief space of more extreme adherents has more in common with the violent rage of terrorist groups like ISIS than any of the memetic tribes listed above. Copycat attacks mimicking Elliot Rodger and Alek Minassian might grow in number unless a memeplex emerges that can inspire and provide meaning to sexually unsuccessful males in society.
We conclude this white paper by offering speculative proposals that are not meant to treat the culture war as a solvable problem but as an opportunity for personal and collective growth.
We view the noosphere as an emergent phenomenon, a consequence of globalization and digitalization. When Pierre Teilhard de Chardin introduced the term, he adopted a teleological perspective and saw the collective consciousness of humanity developing towards an “Omega Point”. While we are agnostic about whether or not there is an endpoint, we do think that looking at the noosphere as being in the process of evolution can help with regards to making speculative proposals. In this section we shift our focus from seeing memetic tribes as individual entities to viewing them as fragments of the larger noosphere.
Bruce Tuckman, a psychology researcher in group dynamics, established his famous “stages of group development” model in 1965. He believed that there were four necessary stages that newly formed groups need to progress through in order to tackle their shared challenges. The first stage is forming, when a team first comes together and individuals, mainly focused on themselves, operate with a degree of politeness. The second stage is storming, when comfort within the group allows for conflicting opinions to be voiced. Team members may wrestle for control of the group’s values and goals. The third stage is norming, when “resolved disagreements and personality clashes result in greater intimacy, and a spirit of cooperation emerges.” The fourth stage is performing, when “group norms and roles established, group members focus on achieving common goals, often reaching an unexpectedly high level of success.”
Not all groups are successful. Some abort during the storming phase. If a group is to succeed, it must build a bridge from storming to norming. If we apply this model to the noosphere, we see all the different memetic tribes currently in midst of the storming stage. The emergent collective consciousness of the internet began as the relatively innocent forming stage of Web 1.0. Now that we are in the storming phase, we are plagued by mobs, trolls, and doxxing.
If we are to survive as a species, we must address our collective challenges and existential risks — from rogue AI to environmental disaster. To do so we are going to have to build the bridge from storming to norming. This norming phase may not involve feel-good utopianism, but it must involve deep negotiations and compromises between tribes, or alternatively, a peaceful geopolitical instantiation of the growing memetic divides.
These seven speculative proposals are meant as a launching pad for discussion. They are not proposals for government and corporate policy. Rather, they are ideas for readers to explore, small but meaningful steps to push against the overwhelming whirlwind of the culture war. It is our hope that interested minds and entrepreneurial spirits will take these proposals and advance them further.
Hippocratic Oath of the Cultural War. The Hippocratic Oath was an oath that physicians were required to take before they began practicing medicine. Its modern iteration is a rite of passage for graduates of some medical schools. While today the oath is not a binding contract, there is a degree of ritualistic magic in formally committing to ideals. Could there be a Culture War equivalent to the Hippocratic Oath? One that chieftains of the memetic tribes could affirm? It would prove beneficial if journalists, authors, bloggers, and professors alike took this oath, but any social media user could take the oath, by pledging their name and accepting some sort of e-badge. Promises can be broken, but breaking public promises can give swift social feedback.
What would this Oath consist of? At the bare minimum: a commitment to good faith dialogue, the principle of charity, and intellectual humility. The last virtue is critical. A caveat of “I could be wrong” underlying strongly held beliefs helps even the most difficult conversations, a shared commitment to that caveat helps even more. If enough culture warriors take such an Oath, it could pave the way for a Geneva Convention of the Culture War.
Dirty Bias to Clean Bias. It is increasingly hard for media outlets to approximate “performative neutrality”, thanks to the perverse incentives of outrage porn, and needing to appease dwindling subscribers. Is there a way to satisfy the collective hunger for “unbiased news”? While we try to figure that out, cynicism spreads, as rightists increasingly find traditional media’s claims to neutrality laughable. Is there an alternative?
We could all start by putting our skin in the game, by being honest about our biases and tribal affiliations. We could abandon the pretense to neutrality and more honestly engage with each other, knowing where we stand. Arguments could go to our philosophical foundations more quickly, instead of expending themselves on object-level disagreement.
We call this “clean bias”, an admission of an epistemic framework and value structure. It is in contrast to “dirty bias”, unspoken and denied framework and values while purporting to universality. Thanks to the reality crisis, we are shedding our faith in universally imposed and agreed-upon truths. Clean bias is a necessary part of a new peace in our fractured reality. A first step could be for memetic creators, from journalists to bloggers, to commit to including their foundational presumptions in their bios.
Reinventing Debate. Debate is broken. Nobody actually likes “gotcha interviews” and debates that are plagued by strawmanning, question-begging, bad faith, and side-stepping. Debate needs to be rebuilt. We suggest that debate currently tries to inhabit two contradictory roles. On the one hand, it is a source of entertainment through combat, on the other, it is an avenue for improved understanding and wisdom. We propose that these two roles should be formally separated into distinct types of debates, Sport Debates and Sensemaking Debates.
In Sport Debates, participants debate for combat and entertainment. This would gamify the desire to engage in verbal combat for its own sake, with truth as a potential byproduct. They could be viewed as the UFC of the mind. While it may seem cynical to sponsor an avenue for the fiery and often toxic form debates can take, we think that diverting those urges away from sensemaking desires is a good harm-reduction strategy.
In Sensemaking Debates, participants debate for understanding and exploration. This would allow the purported values of debate to actually flourish. This can also include philosophical sandboxing, the adoption of ideologies as a method actor. Spaces could be made where participants take on ideological roles so as to better understand them, and to develop the skill to take them off.
David Brin’s idea of “Disputation Arenas” and William MacAskill’s “Anti-Debates” can map over to the two types of debates, with Bryan Caplan’s “Ideological Turing Test” as another potential modality that falls somewhere in-between both types. Peter, the co-author of this white paper, has been experimenting with both of these debate modalities in Toronto inside his Intellectual Explorers Club. He welcomes suggestions and participants.
Disrupting and Emancipating Philosophy. Due to technological innovation, industries are being disrupted the world-over, from the sharing economy to AI developments. We suggest that it is time for philosophy to endure similar disruptions. In Disabling Professions, Ivan IIIich argues that professionalization can have a damaging effect on society, as expert culture induces knowledge-distance, blindness, and reliance on experts by non-experts. While Illich’s focus was the medical establishment, this also applies to philosophy, which has been inaccessible to most non-professionals for decades. This has in turn led to a sense of philosophy’s irrelevance amongst non-academics.
But as practical philosopher Andrew Taggart points out, philosophy is much more than an academic discipline, it is as a way of life: “Philosophy is not theoretical discourse but a way of being. Philosophical discourse, accordingly, appears only when necessary and is always put in the service of leading a certain kind of life.” Indeed, we are seeing the beginnings of a reclaiming of philosophy as a way of life in the new popularity of the longform podcast and philosophies of virtue such as Stoicism.
Our hope is that with these and other disruptions to the philosophical status quo, people will gain the tools to think critically and avoid being drawn into convenient and prepackaged worldviews. Philosophy could be a guard against the pressure to join an existing memetic tribe. R.J. Hollingdale’s aphorism may come to fruition: “If we thought more for ourselves we would have very many more bad books and very many more good ones.”
Memetic Mediators. A new role might be required in the Culture War, that of the Memetic Mediator. This mediator would be a pan-tribalist participant who has the ability to communicate across tribes in a way that seems fair and reasonable to each tribe. They would have the mental agility, empathy, and wisdom needed to shift between a multitude of perspectives.
Memetic mediators could be called in for memetic battles where both participants prefer peace to continued civil decay, but cannot come to an accord without facilitation. These mediators would require a multitude of tools at their disposal. They would need to be fluent in multiple tribal paradigms, and would need to give the impression of fairness. And because each tribe has their own method and claims to truth, Memetic Mediators would have to be skilled at finding any common ground and building from it.
As we do not have an existing example to point to, we can only speculate that the role will emerge out of necessity in the coming war. They could even emerge as consultants for social media companies.
Grey Pills as Acid Tests. Venkatesh Rao has introduced the term “grey pilling”, which he views as the third pill in the blue-red pill dichotomy. Blue pills are unquestioned consensus realities we are socialized into. A red pill, as Venkatesh puts it, “is a dose of information that awakens you to the existence of a world beyond the one you are unconsciously immersed in, like a fish being taken out of water. Red-pill moments sensitize you to the previously invisible boundaries and structural lies of the world you knew, and make you alive to astounding possibilities beyond it.”
A grey pill, according to Venkatesh, is the process of “relearning the value of questioning and doubt after you’ve been seduced by answers and certainties; it’s leaving comforting “secret” societies for continued intellectual growth.” Grey pills can engender an existential crisis, but at the right dose they can provide a confident unknowing and a sexy uncertainty, what Stephen Fry calls “passionate and positive doubt.” In a world of tyrannical certainty, grey pilling may be an ethical act.
In 1964, Ken Kesey, smitten with the experience that LSD provided him, drove around the country with his Merry Band of Pranksters and offered “acid tests” to anyone they could find with the intent to open minds and transform the consciousness of society. Some may argue that they were successful in doing so, as his adventures chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test are credited with giving birth to the hippie movement. What if we grey-pilled the way Kesey acid-tested?
This would be the return of Socrates, the original gadfly, who grey-pilled anyone who dared to converse with him. The method of the Street Epistemologists are instructive and may be repurposed for this proposal. Their conversational method of innocently starting dialogue is well-structured, but instead of atheists inquiring into the epistemic methodology of their “irrational” interlocutors, performative agnostics could inquire with the intention to get mutually, philosophically lost. This may be our most dangerous, and most fun speculation.
Human Skills to Protean Tribalism. Management theorist Robert Katz made a distinction between three critical skills for professional success: technical skills, conceptual skills and human skills. Technical skills are practical skill-sets that can be mastered. Conceptual skills are effective ways of thinking about complex problems. And human skills can be understood as the ability to connect with what is “human” about another person. While the “marketing mentality” invokes the need for Dale Carnegie-esque social skills, which are instrumental towards salesmanship or leadership persuasion, “human skills” invokes the framework of authentic relationships with other humans. It has the potential to lend itself to a non-instrumental view of relationships. In Buberian terms, this is a movement from an I-It way of relating to one of I-Thou.
The Authentic Relating and Circling Movement aims to cultivate WE Spaces, which are intersubjective I-Thou spaces where collective consciousness can emerge. For individuals concerned by their own culpability in the culture war, these spaces give an opportunity to develop Human Skills. We speculate that if one becomes skilled at relating to one another for its own sake, across tribal affiliation, it may allow people to bypass tribalistic affinities and allow for a Protean Tribalism to emerge. One’s tribe would be fluid and context-based, in contrast to the increasingly rigid identities we find comfort in.
Workshops for Depolarization. The Culture War is a vicious cycle — those who suffer from it feel they have to perpetuate it. Initiating conversations about alternatives can be the start of a positive feedback loop. Individuals looking to improve the atmosphere in their communities could initiate workshops to that end.
A promising example to this end is the OpenMind platform. As per its website, “OpenMind is a psychology-based educational platform designed to depolarize campuses, companies, organizations, and communities. OpenMind helps people foster intellectual humility and mutual understanding, while equipping them with the essential cognitive skills to engage constructively across differences.”. A combination of an online program and a workshop, OpenMind is one avenue to develop viewpoint diversity and diffuse political tensions in relationships. Any organized, good faith approach to repairing fraying communities is likely to have a positive effect.
These and other creative measures will be necessary to generate functional alternatives to the maladaptive solutions offered by memetic tribes for the six crises. If they are not taken, we expect Culture War 2.0 to slink closer and closer to kinetic warfare, whether 60s style showdowns or more dramatic escalations. The worst angels of our nature are leering from our shoulders. It’s on all of us to refuse the easy solution of blind tribalism in favour of considered thought and embracing the unknown. If we do not, then Yeats’s words will be our epitaph:
As we head into the mid-term elections, an interesting piece of information came across this humble blogger’s radar. The reason why this subject matter is of interest to yours truly, and should be of interest to you my dear and faithful reader, is that it provides an insight into a much, much larger issue. The larger issue is no less than: WAR and PEACE.
To be more specific, the issue pertains to the manner in which war is waged in what can be termed a post-Enlightenment world.
It would appear that alongside the conventional means in which war is conventionally waged, in Anno Domini 2018, war is waged through a WEAPONIZED#fakenews MEDIA.
Given the above, the OPTICS of what the cameras of the #fakenews media can produce, are no less critical to this HYBRID form of war, as are the bullets and artillery shells produced to wage a conventional war.
A good case in point is the current Sin-Nod of the Intrinsically Disordered that is taking place behind the Sacred Vatican Walls. Notice the OPTICS coming out of this aberration.
In order to get this effect, an unrepresentative sample of Catholic “yoots” have been corralled into a dog and pony show that they can in no way control. The game is rigged, the documents have been written before the thing even started and the “yoots” are just stand-ins, as if they were brought in from central casting.
But the OPTICS supporting the MESSAGING coming out of this Nod-to-Sin is that it’s all about the “YOOTS”!
But what happens when you don’t have an in-house RENT A MOB operation, like the FrancisChurch (see here), and there are no YOOTS to be had?
And the best way to create OPTICS is to pay for it.
Heck, business is so good, you can even buy an entire caravan moving through Mexico straight for the US border!
Yep, isn’t capitalism great!
Below, is a post from our favorite secular catholic website Zero Hedge (see here). In the post, we get a story about one of these OPTICS creation exercises that went horribly wrong. And when something of this nature goes wrong, it usually ends up in the courts.
Which is the case here…
Aside, this would appear to be just another instance where a “conspiracy” theory has transformed itself into a CONSPIRACY FACT.
Paid Protest Firm “Crowds On Demand” Sued In $23 Million Extortion Plot
“Paid protesters are real,” writes the Los Angeles Times, after a lawsuit filed by a Czech investor against a business rival spotlighted the seedy, and very real business of people hired to express fake outrage, support, and everything in between.
According to a lawsuit filed by investor Zdenek Bakala, Prague-based investment manager Pavol Krupa hired Beverly hills company Crowds on Demand (COD) to stage a protest near Bakala’s home in Hilton Head, SC.
In the Bakala case, Crowds on Demand is accused of spreading misinformation through a website, putting on protests and organizing a phone and email campaign targeting several U.S. institutions with ties to Bakala, who got an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and had an estimated net worth topping $1 billion earlier this decade, according to Forbes. –LA Times
Crowds on Demand provides pop-up “protests, rallies, flash mobs, paparazzi events and other inventive PR stunts,” according to its website.
The dispute between Bakala and Krupa goes back for several years, and has been the subject of inquiries by the European Commission and the Czech government, involving a formerly state-owned coal mining business, OKD, which Bakala assumed control of in 2004. Bakala has been accused of bribing officials to buy the government’s equity in the mining company at a below-market price, which broke a promise to sell company-owned apartments to employees before the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2016.
According to Bakala, the COD smear campaign didn’t stop there, claiming that the company also called and sent emails to the Aspen Institute and Dartmouth College, where Bakala sits on advisory boards, urging them to cut ties with him. Bakala claims that Krupa threatened to ramp up the COD campaign unless the Czech investor coughs up $23 million.
Bakala, who holds U.S. and Czech citizenship, says in his lawsuit that all of those allegations are false and are part of Krupa’s extortion campaign. He alleges that Krupa offered to cease his campaign if Bakala paid $23 million for OKD shares owned by Krupa’s investment fund.
Crowds on Demand founder Adam Swart and Krupa neither confirmed nor denied that they are working together. They declined to answer specific questions about Bakala’s allegations, though Swart, in an emailed statement, called the claims meritless.
“Not only will I vigorously defend myself against the allegations in the complaint but I am also evaluating whether to bring my own claims against Mr. Bakala,” Swart said. –LA Times
“Defendants are pursuing a campaign of harassment, defamation, and interference in the business affairs of Zdenek Bakala, which they have expressly vowed to expand unless he pays them millions of dollars,” reads Bakala’s lawsuit (see below).
That said, it’s not clear that Krupa’s alleged campaign had the desired effect.
Elliot Gerson, an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, said in an emailed statement that the institute has received calls and emails from “individuals associated with Crowds on Demand” and that the nonprofit’s general counsel has spoken with Swart “about this campaign of harassment.”
“From the beginning, we assumed that these manufactured communications were linked to political issues in the Czech Republic and Mr. Bakala’s high profile in that country,” Gerson said. “Nothing we received has altered our views about Mr. Bakala.” –LA Times
So paid protesters are a thing…
Bakala’s lawsuit brings to light an ongoing debate in the national dialogue over paid protesters. President Trump, for example, has repeatedly claimed that protesters have been paid by left-wing billionaire activist George Soros and others in order to disrupt and undermine conservative events.
“There are hundreds of lobbying firms and public affairs firms that do this work, though not all in the same way,” said USLA sociology professor Edward Walker – who wrote a book on the business of paid protesting, also known as Astroturfing. “Some only do a little bit of this grass-roots-for-hire, but things adjacent to this are not uncommon today.”
In 2014, ABC’s “Nightline” reported that a group backed by the beverage industry was hiring people to protest a soda tax measure – posting ads on Craigslist for paid protesters at $13 an hour.
During the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, many noted what appeared to be a man, Vinay Krishnan – who works for progressive activist organization Center for Popular Democracy, paying a woman named Vickie Lampron who was later seen in the Kavanaugh hearing.
Krishnan said that the money was given to people to pay fines in case they were arrested.
As the Times notes, paid protesters aren’t a recent phenomenon.
Longtime California political consultant Garry South, who was a campaign strategist for California Gov. Gray Davis, said it’s long been common for campaigns and political parties to pay people a few bucks or perhaps provide a meal in exchange for attending a rally. He recalled a 2002 rally in San Francisco where he said that tactic was used.
“It turns out, the San Francisco Democratic Party, to bolster the crowd, had basically gone down to skid row and paid people $5 or something to tromp up to Union Square,” South said.
But he sees a big difference between that kind of activity and the paid protests allegedly organized by Crowds on Demand.
“What’s different is the commercialization of the process,” he said. “It just contributes to the air of unreality that exists in this day and age with essentially not being able to believe your own eyes or ears. I don’t think it’s particularly healthy. But it probably inevitably was going to come to this.” –LA Times
Crowds on Demand, meanwhile, shamelessly boasts on their website that they were hired by a business rival to “cripple the operations” of a manufacturing business owned by a convicted child molester, which resulted in the hiring company buying the molester-owned business for “5 percent of its previous value.”
In another “case study,” COD brags about staging a rally to support an unidentified foreign leader who was visiting the United Nations.
“The concern was ensuring that the leader was well received by a U.S. audience and confident for his work at the U.N. We created demonstrations of support with diverse crowds.,” says COD.
“A lot of times, companies don’t want to be known for using this kind of strategy,” Walker said. “Crowds on Demand, they’re more out about it. … It is strikingly brazen.“
So after many years (going on three four five to be exact) of writing about Francis, the post-Modernist of Rome and his FrancisChurch, and focusing on the psychological aspects of this FrancisPHENOMENONTRAGEDY, it is with great pleasure to observe that others are finally catching on.
The proper term for this turn of events is “WOKE”.
Here is the definition from the Urban Dictionary with an appended (and amended) example:
Although an incorrecttense of awake, a reference to how people should be aware in current affairs.
“While you are obessing with the Kardashians, the poor (who Our Lord taught “will always be with us” and whose numbers are dramatically shrinking over the last half century due to the adaptation of CAPITALIST economic models, which you Francis, Marxist of Rome, rail against on a never ending basis), there are millions of homelessdesperate SOULS seeking salvation, turning to clinical psychologists (like Dr. Jordan Peterson) for help, in the world. STAY WOKE“
MUST WATCH HERE: (3 MINUTES and 34 MUST WATCH SECONDS)
In the case of Francis and his FrancisChurch, what appears to be the case is that a wider array of “adjectived” Catholics, catholics and “c”atholics (e.g. “neo-con”, “conservative”, “moderate” – couldn’t resist) are GETTINGWOKE.
To be more exact, what these WOKE Catholics are beginning to realize is that the problem with Francis and his minions is not “theological” in nature (there is no theology there) but rather it is in essence PSYCHOLOGICAL.
Hence we are beginning to read about “gaslighting” in Catholic publications such as the excellent OnePeterFive blog (see here) or able to watch discussions on “gaslighting” on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s youtube channel. (Video below)
Faithful (and not so faithful) Catholics, catholics and “c”atholics are also becoming aware and deploying in their discussions on all things Francis, such concepts as the OVERTON WINDOW, i.e. “also known as the window of discourse, describing the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse.”
Given these positive developments that your humble blogger has chronicled above, one more element needs to be introduced to put all things Francis into its proper and OBJECTIVELY REAL perspective. And that element is:
A general discussion of what constitutes SANITY.
One can say that what needs to be defined is an OVERTON WINDOW of SANITY!
Just to make sure we are all on the same page, here is a diagram of how an OVERTON WINDOW is constructed:
If we change the poles to read “More Sane” and “Less Sane”, what we are in fact witnessing with Francis and his FrancisChurch is that they are trying to move the Overton Window of post-conciliar “theology” in the “Less Sane” direction.
Before we go further, the definition of sanity is:
Now if we look at the category of what constitutes SANE BEHAVIOR, we can fractionate (divide into fractions or components) this category further.
One qualifier for SANE BEHAVIOR is given as “SOUND MENTAL HEALTH”.
In this sub-category therefore, “sound SEXUAL BEHAVIOR” would need to be considered as an integral component. Furthermore, notice the descriptors used in the definition of “sanity”. Those terms are: “normal”, “rational”, again …”of sound mental health”, “reasonable”.
And here is where all the elements meet: The Francis, the Team Bergoglio conclave machinations,FrancisStrategy and the perpetual “synods”, FrancisChurch and the entire SoapBubblePapacy™ propped up solely at present by the #fakenewsVIRTUAL REALITYCatholic and MainStreamMedia.
It is through the Media’s attempt to NORMALIZEINTRINSICALLY DISORDERED behavior (shifting it from the Less Sane to the More Sane pole), which has allowed Francis and FrancisChurch the vehicle needed to change the Catholic Church’s Magisterial teaching with respect to said abnormality.
Concluding, the #fakenews MainStreamMedia, including Catholic media and FrancisChurch are partners in crime, in their attempt to NORMALIZE INTRINSICALLY DISORDERED BEHAVIOR!.
What else is becoming apparently visible and something that this humble blogger has been writing about for quite a while now, is the following:
Regardless of whether Bergoglio is INTRINSICALLY DISORDERED himself or just a homosexualist, he has no element inside the post-conciliar church, other than the INTRINSICALLY DISORDERED elements which he can trust, in order to carry out his FrancisIntrinsicallyDisorderdStrategy which the #fakenews media demands.
It’s the Faustian pact Francis made for keeping his entire SoapBubblePapacy™ propped up.
Therefore, whether he likes it or not, he must keep “Msgr.” Ricca at the Vatican Bank, he is stuck with FrancisCardinal Coco and his rent-boys in high Curial positions, not to mention in their CDF apartments and he can’t afford to allow himself to sever ties with either FrancisCardinal Wuerl or even FrancisArchbishop (or whatever his FrancisTitle is at present) McCarrick.
He is stuck with the INTRINSICALLY DISORDERED!
What’S more, the #fakenews media cannot afford to bring down FrancisChurch.
So they’re in a Mexican standoff, waiting for the first one to sneeze.
Nota bene: What will bring down FrancisChurch is those documents in the US State Department regarding the 2013 Conclave and the influence that TeamSoros had on the hijacking of said Conclave in order to elect Jorge Bergoglio as the mental unstable bishop of Rome.
So what we Catholics are witnessing is the #fakenews media, who are rapidly losing all credibility, propping up a criminally corrupt FrancisChurch who is also rapidly losing its credibility and adding to the #fakenews media problems.
In other words, what the newly WOKE Catholics are witnessing and will continue to witness, is nothing short of a joint #fakenews media- FrancisChurch race to the bottom!