The Five Acceptances

A previous essay here discussed the Five Rejections of alt-centrism. These are the five core political values held by rival ideologies that are repudiated by alt-centrists. Because alt-centrism is about finding the healthy and correct balance between the fundamental forces of reality, there are also Five Acceptances that mirror these rejections. This essay discusses them.

Alt-centrism accepts from the old right that there needs to be order.

Without order, life is nightmare. Without order we return to the hell of the primeval chaos that existed before civilisation. Nature is indeed red in tooth and claw, and the Great Work of Ages has been to raise us from this chaos through the correct imposition of order. The alt-centre accepts that this work has been done out of good will and that it was necessary.

Order has its own value, because it provides a space in which the mind can think freely. Alt-centrism accepts this. A house can be thought of as a place of order, within the four walls of which people can be free from the elements. The order within our society, likewise, offers free space for people to think and to live.

Alt-centrism accepts from the old left that there needs to be freedom.

Too much order means stagnation. This is not only unacceptable to the human spirit but it also makes us much weaker on account of that the suppressed will resent and fight their suppressors. Order can provide shelter, but it can also be a cage – the alt-centre accepts this.

People have to be free to explore (within good reason) boundaries of sensual and sensual pleasure, of all kinds of music, and of all kinds of consciousness-altering substances. The alt-centre accepts that alternative sexual practices, pornography, drugs and dancing are all legitimate expressions of the human spirit (as long as those participating are doing so consensually). Therefore, the alt-centre accepts that avenues of expression and exploration have to be legal unless there is a very good reason for them not to be.

Alt-centrism accepts from the old centrists that there needs to be a balance between order and chaos.

The alt-centre accepts the need for order, but does not feel obliged to agitate on behalf of more order. The alt-centre accepts the need for chaos, but does not feel obliged to agitate on behalf of more chaos. More precisely, there is a time and place for order and a time and place for chaos, and the alt-centre accepts that flexibility on this question is important for correct decisions to be made.

Major differences arise from the fact that the alt-centre believes that the old centre has struck a cowardly and insipid compromise of values, and that the alt-centre believes that the truly correct balance needs to be struck between other values than the old paradigm suggests. The alt-centrist is more likely to think in terms of materialist vs, non-materialist than in terms of capitalist vs. socialist.

Alt-centrism accepts from the alt-left that inequality is now at unacceptable levels.

The productivity gains of the last 50 years of economic development have not been shared among all social classes. Instead, they have been portioned out according to how much of those gains people have been able to grab by whatever means, whether force or trickery. Labour has never had a lower share of productivity in the West, and capital has never had a greater one. This threatens social cohesion, and needs to be opposed.

The alt-centre agrees that those who derive a financial benefit from the ordering of society need to pay a share of their wealth to ensure that those benefits perpetually arise to the people of the nation. It is accepted that capitalists cannot plunder the world’s natural resources without restraint or censure, because that will lead to there being nothing left for future generations. A balance with nature has to be struck; this is accepted.

Alt-centrism accepts from the alt-right that people have to have things in common in order to have the solidarity necessary to have a society.

This does not imply the need for ethnostates, but it requires a concession that those arguing on behalf of ethnostates have some valid points, based in reality. We know from economic psychology that wealthy people within a country are only willing to pay taxes to the degree that they feel they have something in common with the recipients of those taxes.

Therefore, leftist policies like importing hordes of “refugees” also threaten social cohesion, and should be repudiated so that genuine solidarity can continue to exist among the people. The greater the diversity of a nation, the less solidarity will exist between the groups within that nation, and therefore the less the wealthy are willing to help the poor.

These Five Acceptances represent the feminine expression of alt-centrism. in that they are accepting of and open to what the other ideologies have to offer. This contrasts with the Five Rejections, which are the masculine expression of alt-centrism, and which seek to delineate the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not.

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How to Tell if You’re Really A Libertarian

The most famous political chart puts everyone into one of four quadrants: authoritarian left and authoritarian right at the top, and libertarian left and libertarian right at the bottom. It’s fashionable to claim to be libertarian, but not everyone who does so really is. This essay looks at how to tell if you’re really a libertarian.

The political consensus of the Western World is still profoundly affected by the horrors of the authoritarian governments of the 20th century.

Authoritarian governments in the form of Nazism and Communism caused the deaths of some 150 million people, directly or indirectly, through a variety of wars and famines. These acts live on in infamy with names such as the Holocaust and Holodomor, the very mention of which summon images of starvation, misery and death.

Since then, it’s been extremely unfashionable to be authoritarian. But it’s still tempting – as tempting as it ever was. The thought that some ideas are not merely great, but so great that they have to be forced on the populace at gunpoint by a government that will kill its own citizens before it will compromise, is one that reoccurs throughout human history. All that’s necessary for it to actually become a reality is a sufficient degree of arrogance, or self-righteousness, on the part of the rulers.

Once a government has enough hubris – and whether they are left or right doesn’t matter here – they will start thinking that the lessons of history don’t apply to them, or that their actions are so righteous that human nature will change in recognition, or that they are uniquely talented and therefore can achieve things that no previous rulers could.

Once this stage is reached, it’s possible for the government to start doing things to people whether they want it or not, instead of helping them get things done in accordance with their own wills, and at that stage the government meets the definition of authoritarian. We have ideas so good they have to be compulsory! is the rallying-cry of the self-righteous authoritarian.

A person who is really a libertarian will stay committed to liberty no matter how tempting the proposal to abandon it might be. They therefore reject the idea that ideas can be so good that the government has to force them on people. Exceptions to this rule are only made in the gravest circumstances – never to try to make the world better, whether the justification be to “put order to things” or for “the greatest good”.

A person who is really a libertarian will reject proposals from both the left and the right if those proposals are too authoritarian, even if they have minor sympathies towards one of the two poles.

They will not (for example) only reject leftist authoritarian ideas, such as raising taxes or making a minority language compulsory for all school children, while accepting any and all right-wing authoritarian ideas, such as starting wars or drug prohibition.

A person who claims to be a left libertarian will happily criticise the left if it does authoritarian things. Many authoritarian leftists have been agitating to remove speaking rights from various conservatives (or even just people labelled “conservative” by the media), a process they refer to as “deplatforming”. This is blatantly authoritarian, so anyone supporting it on the grounds that it furthers leftist interests cannot also claim to be a libertarian.

Not even if they believe that the left is the side of liberty! Being an authoritarian under the guise that one’s authoritarianism ultimately serves libertarian ends is a fail. All psychopathic dictators claim this.

Likewise, a person who claims to be a right libertarian will genuinely be against crony capitalism and genuinely be against the political influence that large corporate interests exert on the legislation. They will refuse to complain only about taxation, and will also complain about corporate welfare and bailouts of inefficient companies.

Because authoritarianism is so unfashionable, many people will try and sneak authoritarian ideas into the discourse under the guise of them being either left or right. If the person they are speaking with is simple enough to equate either left or right eternally with libertarianism, then getting that person to oppose something is as simple as equating it with whichever of the left or right that person associates with authoritarianism.

The left does this with rhetoric about the need to make up for past injustices and for forced equality of outcome, and the right does this by stirring up fear of government and of minorities. Any person who is really a libertarian will reject all of this reasoning, and will remain steadfast to the belief that ideas should not be forced onto others, because justifying authoritarianism from either the left or the right will justify more of it from the other side as well.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism has gone from being a little-known condition to being a condition that everyone is accused of having, autistic or not. However, just because everyone is aware of autism doesn’t mean that everything they think they know about the condition is accurate. This article looks at how to write believable and realistic characters with autism.

The most characteristic feature of autism is a pronounced difficulty with social interaction, usually coupled with an obsession with certain repeated actions. This difficulty with social interaction is enough to cause immense difficulty in the lives of some autists and the people around them. This goes beyond mere awkwardness, to a point where fundamental communication becomes difficult.

From the perspective of a person with autism, much of the difficulty about living with the conditions comes from an inability to make the intuitive understandings about other people, and their behaviour, that is usually taken for granted. A person without autism (a “neurotypical”) seems to have an almost psychic understanding of how other people think and behave. Social interaction just seems so effortless for such people.

Your protagonist might have difficulty getting along with someone who has autism, on account of that the autistic character doesn’t seem to understand what the protagonist believes to be the rules of social interaction. The protagonist might make jokes that don’t get laughed at, and come to think that the autistic character doesn’t like them, when the problem is a low level of communication.

Then again, your protagonist might get along with an autistic character just fine. Autists can make a lot of sense, in their own way. Often, a person with autism will be capable of observing human interaction without all the pretense and brainwashing, and can arrive at objective, if odd and unconventional, conclusions. These can sometimes be valuable wisdom (and they can sometimes be juvenile truisms).

Viewed from the outside, an autistic character might appear as excessively orderly, to the point of dysfunction. Autists often like to ritualise certain behaviours (much like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), to the point where not being able to perform the ritual sometimes creates unbearable anxiety. Their speech can be likewise regimented and repetitive. It’s common for them to compulsively stack objects or line them up.

Moreover, autists often feel solidarity with other neurodiverse people, and vice-versa. Autism is entirely different to, say, schizophrenia, but much of the lived experience of autism is similar to other mental conditions. The social rejection and the anxiety about more rejection, the anxiety, the shame, the frustration, the despair: these are all emotions that mentally ill people tend to experience more than others. An autist might relate strongly to someone who also feel them, even if that person is not autistic.

If your protagonist has autism themselves, you will have to be very careful about how you render their internal dialogue, should you write about them in the first person. A lot of fiction is poorly written because the characters in it have an unrealistically high level of understanding the behaviour of other people. An autistic protagonist will frequently be baffled by the behaviour they encounter. Much of their behaviour will be a complete mystery.

One of the most dramatic things about autism is the emotional consequences of the social difficulties that arise from having the condition. The awkwardness of autism is often mistaken by other people for malice, psychopathy, pedophilia, terrorist intent and all manner of other things. This makes life extremely difficult and can make for a harrowing story (unless your protagonist turns out to be a pedophile or terrorist).

It ought to be easy to engender sympathy from your reader here, because most people are sympathetic to the sense of injustice that comes from undeserved social rejection. Despite that, the other characters might feel like they have good reasons to reject the autistic character. After all, it is hard to tell the difference between social clumsiness and malice sometimes.

Because autism is a spectrum, there are many subclinical versions of it. A character with a subclinical level of autism will be relatable for many – after all, there is no person who has perfectly smooth social interactions all day every day. For them, their autism might be something that just makes life more colourful or interesting.

Autism can increase in severity all the way up to the point where a character with it will just about live in their own world, divorced from the concerns of most of the others. Realistically, a character with severe autism will have a hard time being a major character in your story because their degree of communication impairment will be so severe that no-one else will understand them. More moderate forms could involve a degree of social impairment that can be more or less overcome.

There is reason to believe that small amounts of autism can be helpful in certain occupational fields, especially those that pertain to the imposition of order upon chaos. Therefore, an autist need not be presented as conspicuously mentally ill. They might have found a niche that suits them perfectly, in some job that requires order to be imposed upon chaos. Mechanics and computer engineers are favourites.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Writing Dissociative Identity Disorder

Once known as Multiple Personality Disorder, and known casually by some as “split personality”, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a condition characterised by more than one distinct personality in the same physical body. The disorder is one of the most misunderstood and mischararacterised of all psychiatric conditions. This article looks at how to write believable and non-cliched characters who have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

People who have DID don’t change personalities whimsically. It usually only happens in response to intense stress or emotional pressure. When it does, however, it can be frightening and confusing for the people who see it. A person who has “switched” personalities might indeed seem to be an entirely different person, with different facial expressions, a different gait, different body language and an entirely different way of talking. Their vibe might feel entirely different, and not just in the sense of a change of mood.

Like many of the conditions in this book, DID is believed to have origins in early childhood abuse. The currently prevailing theory is that particularly intense early childhood trauma can cause the mind to dissociate. If this is severe enough, this dissociation can lead to one part of the mind becoming almost quarantined from the others, as if to protect the whole.

For example, a child might receive such intense physical abuse that their personality splits into a regular child’s personality (or primary identity) and a second, much harder and meaner one, who comes about as an adaptation to the abuse. What this can lead to is a situation where the second personality comes out in stressful situations as if trying to “defend” the primary personality from further trauma and abuse. That second personality might be willing to make decisions and take measures that the first cannot countenance.

Characteristic of this condition is the inability for one persona to remember things that have been said to another persona. Because the various personas are complete personalities with their own set of memories, things that are understood by one persona are not necessarily understood by others. People with DID can also lose track of time very easily, on account of that time that passes for one personality doesn’t necessarily also pass for another.

If the protagonist of your story encounters a character with DID, their first clue might be observing signs of depression in that other character. People with DID commonly also have depression, partially on account of the difficulty of living with the condition, and partially as a result of early childhood trauma and abuse. Other conditions are commonly comorbid with DID, especially the other conditions that are believed to have origins in heavy childhood trauma, such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, anorexia and bulimia.

Your protagonist might find it baffling how that the character with DID sometimes doesn’t remember what’s said to them. Even more baffling is that the character with DID will often react with anger if it is put to them that a certain subject had already been talked about. Your protagonist might conclude that the character with DID is on drugs of some kind, and they might feel like they have good reason to draw such a conclusion.

In other ways, your protagonist might have to tread carefully. The heavy childhood abuse that usually precedes the development of DID can make a character with the condition hard to deal with for reasons not directly related to it. For example, they might be paranoid, suspicious, vicious etc. before the effects of DID are accounted for. This might mean that your protagonist mistakes the separate personalities of a person with DID as them being dishonest. Your protagonist might feel that the character with DID is only pretending not to remember things.

If the protagonist of your story has DID themselves, then telling a story about them automatically becomes a challenge because it isn’t clear who is speaking in the first person and who is speaking in the third. Assuming that there’s a primary personality and a secondary one, the primary one might be the one that is written about in the first person. It’s possible to do both, but care has to be taken not to sound like you are retelling the story of Jekyll and Hyde.

Your protagonist’s encounters with other characters could become extremely difficult if the protagonist has this condition. They might find themselves confronted with repeated accusations of being two different people – an accusation which is, understandably, not simple to deal with. Neither are accusations of being on drugs, or being a bastard, or lying, or just being fucked-up – all things that a protagonist with DID might have to deal with from other characters.

DID is not schizophrenia, but it shares many things in common with schizophrenia. DID is believed to be the single most strongly correlated psychiatric condition with severe early childhood abuse and neglect, with schizophrenia closely behind. So a person with DID might have deep understanding of how schizophrenics think and operate, and may have gone through some parts of the schizophrenia spectrum themselves.

It’s worth noting here that attempting to get off a criminal charge by claiming that one has DID and that one’s alternate personality did the crime has virtually zero chance of success, and that even if it did succeed the consequences would probably entail involuntary psychiatric care every bit as unpleasant as going to prison. Juries and judges are wise to such simple tricks and it won’t succeed outside of an extraordinary setting.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Understanding New Zealand: City vs. Country

The division between city people and country people is one of the most telling in all of ethnography, and has been since the start of history. This is as true for New Zealand as it is for anywhere else. In this study, Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, looks at the statistical differences between people who live in the big cities (Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, referred to here as “Living Urban”) and people who live in the provinces.

This study defines “City” electorates as any belonging to the following list: Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Christchurch East, Dunedin North, Dunedin South, East Coast Bays, Epsom, Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Helensville, Hutt South, Ilam, Kelston, Mana, Mangere, Manukau East, Manurewa, Maungakiekie, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill, New Lynn, North Shore, Northcote, Ohariu, Pakuranga, Port Hills, Rongotai, Tamaki, Tauranga, Upper Harbour, Wellington Central, Wigram and Tamaki Makaurau.

These electorates tell a story that seems paradoxical on the surface. City dwellers are wealthier than provincial New Zealanders (the correlation being Living Urban and Median Personal Income was 0.37), but they are disinclined to vote for the wealthy party, National (the correlation between Living Urban and voting National in 2017 was, at -0.01, almost perfectly uncorrelated).

Urban people like to vote for the ACT and Green parties more than any others. The correlation between Living Urban and voting ACT in 2017 was 0.37; for Living Urban and voting Green in 2017 it was 0.36. The main reason for this is that young and trendy people support these parties, and young and trendy people live in urban areas.

The strongest negative correlations with Living Urban and voting for a particular party in 2017 were for New Zealand First (-0.60), voting Ban 1080 (-0.52) and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (-0.40). These three could be said to be the truly rural parties.

The two major parties both spanned the rural-urban divide. As mentioned above, urban dwellers do not vote National any more than rural dwellers do, but the grip of the Labour Party on the urban electorates is overstated. The correlation between Living Urban and voting Labour in 2017 was not significant, at only 0.11.

On a racial basis, it’s immediately clear that most rural people are Kiwis of European descent and Maoris, whereas most Pacific Islanders and the vast majority of Asians live in an urban setting. The correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and Living Urban was -0.28, and between being Maori and Living Urban it was -0.35. This tells us that rural New Zealand is still very much a bicultural affair.

The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and Living Urban was significantly positive, at 0.33, and for Asians the correlation was strong, at 0.60. The reason for this is primarily because these two groups comprise the most recent waves of immigrants, and immigrants tend to establish themselves in major centres first before moving to the provinces. Indeed, the correlation between Living Urban and being foreign-born was 0.61.

Further clues appear when we examine the correlations between living in a big city and age. The correlation between Living Urban and median age was -0.23, on the border of significance, which tells us that the average city dweller is somewhat younger than the average country dweller. However, there were negative correlations between Living Urban and being in either of the youngest two age brackets, between ages 0 and 14 in total.

There were moderately strong correlations between Living Urban and being in either the 20-29 age bracket (0.50) or the 30-49 age bracket (0.51). These are also the age brackets that correlate the most highly with working fulltime and with median personal income. The correlations between Living Urban and being in either of the 50-64 or 65+ age brackets are both significantly negative.

What this tells us is the age-old story of young adults moving to the city for the sake of jobs and wealth, and then moving back out into the provinces again when it’s time to retire or perhaps to raise a family. This pattern of human migration, from country to city and back again, goes all the way back to at least Babylon, so it’s not surprising to find statistical evidence of it in contemporary New Zealand.

Keeping with the theme of employment, we can see that having any of the university degrees is significantly correlated with Living Urban (Bachelor’s at 0.63, Honours at 0.56, Master’s at 0.62, doctorate at 0.48). As described elsewhere, the reason for this is because of the strong correlation between having a university degree and working full-time.

In short, all the capital is in the cities, therefore that’s where the full-time jobs are, therefore anyone wishing to save money (as young, educated people tend to do) must live in an urban area. Indeed, there is a positive correlation (although not a significant one) of 0.18 between Living Urban and working in a full-time job.

This explanation is reinforced if one looks at the correlations between working in capital-intensive professions and living in an urban environment. The correlation between Living Urban and working in a particular profession was 0.58 for professional, scientific and technical services, 0.59 for information media and telecommunications and 0.61 for financial and insurance services. Notably, it was -0.72 for agriculture, forestry and fishing, for obvious reasons.

There was a significant positive correlation between Living Urban and renting one’s house (0.30) and a significant negative one between Living Urban and living in a freehold house (-0.31). This ties in with the observation that people in big cities have a different attitude to wealth generation: they are likely to become educated and earn a large wage with heavy expenses, whereas rural people tend to consolidate and grow wealth by minimising expenses.

Indeed, while there was virtually no correlation (0.01) between Living Urban and being unemployed, there was a significant correlation (0.27) between Living Urban and working for a wage or salary. This also ties in with the aforementioned fact that the jobs on offer tend to be where the major accumulations of capital are.

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people.

Writing Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is a condition characterised by an extreme emotional dependence on other people. It’s usually a long=term condition that makes it much harder to live an ordinary life, and is slightly more common among women and young adults. This article looks at how to accurately write about characters with Dependent Personality Disorder.

People who have DPD have extreme difficulty making decisions on their own on account of their dependence on other people. They tend to lack the self-confidence to back their own instincts and their own decision making. They are rarely certain that they have made a good decision, unless someone else gives it their approval. This approval they constantly seek, and they constantly act to avoid disapproval.

DPD is a Cluster C Personality Disorder, which means that fear and anxiety are ever-present features of it. In this case, the fear and anxiety primarily relates to making wrong decisions. For whatever reason, people with DPD don’t learn that no-one on this planet really knows what they’re doing and that their decisions are usually as good as anyone else’s. Dependent personalities have a strong desire to have someone else give the “stamp of approval” to their behaviours and actions.

If the protagonist of your story encounters a character with DPD, they might perceive that second character as childish, even infantile. Many of their mannerisms will be the same as young children who are yet to learn the boundaries of social behaviour. A common example is when they make a joke but become afraid that it was a social error until someone else laughs, at which point they do too.

This can be frustrating if the protagonist has to get the character with DPD to take adult responsibilities and to be independent. The condition is especially challenging since the harder someone pressures a person with DPD to take responsibility, the more anxious they will become, and consequently the more dependent. The protagonist will have to know patience to succeed, and if they don’t know if they have to learn.

Your protagonist might be resented by a DPD character if that character feels the protagonist is not approving enough. It’s common for people to think disparagingly of someone with DPD because they see dependency as weak and craven. This timidity can breed resentment, so that a character with DPD might easily feel themselves slighted and wish to take revenge. Passive-aggressive behaviour is a common feature.

A protagonist who has DPD themselves probably lives a life of extreme anxiety. Because so many decisions are made in everyday life, a protagonist with DPD will almost certainly have a lot of difficulty living one. They will have great difficulty getting projects or activities started, because they are too dependent on what other people think to take the initiative themselves.

This is especially the case when a person with DPD has to be examined by an authority figure. If a protagonist with DPD has to, for example, sit a driver’s licence test, it’s common for them to work themselves into a state of panic beforehand, thinking about the possibility of making a mistake and earning the instructor’s disapproval. Passing through international customs is also a great trial. Both of these situations induce far more anxiety in someone with DPD than in a person without the condition.

If your protagonist has this condition, they might find it extremely difficult to ask for their rights if they are being taken advantage of. A character with DPD might be so afraid of disapproval from their boss that they don’t seek to enforce their rights, and standing up to one’s parents is out of the question (unless one is really pushed too far). They might also take measures to ensure that they are never alone, because this requires that one think for oneself.

People with this condition tend to be highly motivated to seek out and maintain relationships with people they consider protectors or caregivers. A protagonist who is acting along these lines might find that pledging their allegiance to a leader of some kind alleviates much of their anxiety about not making correct decisions, for good or for ill.

DPD patients usually have a perception of themselves as powerless or incapable of anything, which might betray a life story of having been treated in that manner by authority figures. Mirroring this is a perception of other people as all-powerful and infinitely capable. This is not simply the same as low self-esteem, because DPD doesn’t tend to come with the bitterness and resentment that characterises a poor self-image.

As with many of the conditions in this book, there is believed to be a considerable link between early childhood abuse or neglect and later development of DPD. In particular, it is thought that parenting styles with too much overprotectiveness or authoritarianism correlate with having the condition. Overprotective parents might prevent a child from exposing themselves to danger and therefore from learning that they are capable of overcoming it, whereas authoritarians might create a sense of learned helplessness.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Four Ways to Become Enslaved

Chains can be physical, mental, or spiritual

There are many different ways that a person can become enslaved to the will of another or to a group of others. Although people usually associate the term ‘slavery’ with the chattel slavery of the American South, there are as many different kinds of slavery in the human world as there are ways of exploitation in the natural world. This essay describes four distinct ways of being enslaved that accord with the four masculine elements.

The four ways to enslave are, effectively, the four different ways of introducing artificial scarcity. Only when a state of artificial scarcity has been induced will another person surrender themselves to the will of another. There are effectively four ways of doing so: two physical, two non-physical.

The most basic way of asserting dominance over another of your own kind can be observed in other mammals, especially other primates, when they fight over their food supply. To enslave another person in this sense is to deny them the peace and solitude to gather food from nature. The alpha primate will not allow any others to eat until he himself is satisfied. Disobedience is punished with violence.

To be enslaved in this manner is to wear chains of clay. This is because a lack of food is the most natural and immediate survival problem that faces life forms such as mammals, primates or humans. To not be able to eat when one needs to nourish oneself is slavery, because hunger will cause one to grow weak.

Chains of iron are what most people think when they hear the term ‘slavery’. This refers to iron manicles and shackles that prevent or hinder movement when fastened around a person’s wrists or ankles. It’s extremely rare to see a person enslaved by chains of iron nowadays, but it’s still common to see people who are more or less enslaved in the same way as a person wearing irons – i.e. by an artificial scarcity of security in that person.

What chains of iron refers to on a metaphysical level is control of another person’s physical safety, and their ability to remain free from wounding and physical harm. This is effectively how criminal gangs establish a presence in a neighbourhood – business owners are guaranteed physical security for them and for their business, but only if those business owners agree to pay for the “service”.

Chains of silver are frequently used metaphorically, usually to denote a person who has been enslaved by wealth. A person who has allowed themselves to become controlled by the physical objects and possessions they have hoarded could indeed be said to be enslaved by chains of silver, but there’s more to it than just that. Metaphysically, chains of silver refers to all tricks of the mind, which is all lesser magic.

In other words, chains of silver refer to an artificial scarcity of knowledge, in particular knowledge relating to the physical world. A person who has thousands of dollars in credit card debt that they can never clear, so that the bank regularly takes a hundred dollars in interest charges every month, just because they bought some crap they saw on television, could be said to wear chains of silver. In this case the term refers to the financial literacy needed to avoid debt traps like credit cards.

Likewise, a person trapped in a political ideology could be said to wear chains of silver. If a person’s social circle all think in a certain way, and their media organs all speak in the same way, and their courts and Police enforce it, a person might forget that there’s any other way of thinking. Many English speakers are subjected to so much capitalist propaganda that they are astonished, travelling overseas, to see other avenues of solidarity.

Very few people are enslaved by chains of clay and iron nowadays, and although most of us wear chains of silver to some extent, they are seldom a heavy burden.

However, the vast majority of people are enslaved by chains of gold, and many of those are so enfeebled by these gossamer bonds that the other forms of enslavement become virtually inevitable. A person enslaved by chains of gold is someone who is not aware of the fact that consciousness is the prima materia, and who consequently believes that the death of their brain means the extermination of their consciousness.

Chains of gold, therefore, refer to an absence of spiritual knowledge. It is the birthright of all humans to be made aware of the true nature of the relationship between consciousness and the physical world, and therefore anyone who does not possess that knowledge has been enslaved by chains of gold. This is something that has purposefully been done to enslave us by way of destroying our natural spiritual traditions, for example by prohibiting entheogen use.

Gold is the softest of all metals, and fittingly, chains of gold are also the weakest. This does not mean that they are the easiest to break. In fact, the opposite is true. These chains of gold are the trickiest of all, and not just because they are invisible. Those who wear them cannot conceive of them, by any sense. A person enslaved by chains of gold cannot be induced to believe in God.

A person enslaved by chains of gold will not believe in God, and consequently they will not believe in chains of gold. No-one enslaved by chains of gold is aware of it; as soon as a person becomes aware of chains of gold they are broken.

It could be argued that a person can only be enslaved with baser elements if they are first tricked into wearing chains of gold. For instance, a spiritual person might be better able to resist the temptation of loaning some money to satisfy a short-term urge. They might also be unafraid of death, and therefore willing to choose death before submitting to chains of iron.

Alchemically speaking, these are the four ways that a person can be enslaved. Although chains made of the baser forms of clay and iron are rare in the modern world, it’s important to remember their historical role, because a return to them is possible if we get weighed down enough by chains of silver and gold.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Frequently confused with schizophrenia, Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD) is a schizophrenia spectrum disorder that manifests as an extremely odd or eccentric personality type, with strong social anxiety and unpopular beliefs. The characteristic feature of it is an unwillingness or inability to engage in close social bonds such as friendships. This article looks at how to write engaging and believable characters with STPD.

The concept of a “schizophrenia spectrum” is relatively new and the precise boundaries between the various stages on this spectrum are not yet perfectly clear. One way of thinking of STPD is as a less debilitating and destructive form of schizophrenia. STPD is a Cluster A personality disorder, which means that people with the condition broadly come across as odd or eccentric, but not particularly dangerous or anxious.

Despite affecting around 3% of the population (and a higher percentage in males), so that almost everyone will have met someone with it, STPD is not a well-known condition. A character with STPD might be conspicuous on account of odd habits when it comes to speech or dress. They might mumble and speak vaguely and imprecisely, and they might wear highly unfashionable clothing or styles of clothing without thinking it amiss.

Some theories consider that there are two different forms of schizotypal personality disorder, one which is passive and one which is active. These are called insipid and timorous schizotypy.

If the protagonist of your story encounters an insipid schizotypal person, they might have difficulty with that person’s strange and absent way of being. Sometimes this sort of schizotypy can come across as vacant, as if the person inside was without emotion. If your protagonist is not a worldly type they might mistake a character with STPD for being on heavy drugs.

The protagonist of your story might want to make friends with a character who has a condition like this, only to be constantly frustrated. The other character might have decided as a general rule that other people don’t like them and so it’s not really worth trying to be friends with them, and so they are not interested in a friendship with your protagonist. Your protagonist might try several ways to overcome this social reticence, and may or may not succeed.

People who are timorous schizotypal are likely to create a different set of problems. This version of schizotypy is more active, which means that it is more likely to present as hostility and paranoia. Although a character with this condition is not likely to become aggressive, they are still likely to exhibit much of the suspicion, wariness and hostility that other people often mistake for aggression.

If the protagonist of your story has schizotypal personality disorder, they might find that other people can’t tell the difference between them and a schizophrenic. It is possible that a person with schizotypal personality disorder is not much different from the characters around them, but that this difference is still enough to cause their ostracisation.

As might be guessed from the above descriptions, people who have STPD often have related conditions, such as Paranoid Personality Disorder, Depression or Avoidant Personality Disorder. People with STPD are often genuinely afraid of other people and what those other people might think of them, and this can lead to them becoming paranoid about what other people are saying about them.

A person with STPD might then choose to just stay away from other people so as to not give them a reason to dislike them. A character developing this condition might find themselves discovering more and more reasons for avoiding social contact until they end up becoming a shut in.

Also very common are what are called delusions of reference. This is when a person encounters an event that they interpret as having special meaning just for them. For instance, a character with STPD might hear some advertisement on television and think it’s referring to them specifically, or they might meet a person twice on the same day by total coincidence, and mistake this for being stalked or similar.

Like many of the conditions in this book, schizotypal personality disorder is heavily correlated with early childhood abuse and neglect. There are some theories that suggest that the schizophrenia spectrum, rather than being simply a form of damage, is an adaptation, in which the person afflicted falls into chaos in the hope of reforming in a healthy way, instead of staying hard and risking becoming vicious.

For this reason, the schizotypal personality, like the schizophrenic, often feels hard done by and misunderstood. They might be aware that the usual course of action for a person who has been damaged as badly as them is to become cruel, perhaps vicious, and that their condition has in some sense prevented this. A profound sense of injustice can arise from the reality that their condition will afford a low social status.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Who Are the Sweden Democrats?

“Keep Sweden Swedish” – a campaign poster for the Sweden Democrats

Shockwaves will go through the West in the aftermath of the Swedish General Election on the 9th September. Opinion polls are suggesting that the post-war Swedish consensus is about to be shattered, with it looking increasingly likely that the Sweden Democrats are going to win the most seats. This essay seeks to explain who the Sweden Democrats are and how they rose to prominence.

It’s the Swedish Summer of 2008. The country has been rocked by the news that the Sweden Democrats, considered by most to be neo-Nazis, have just come over the 4% threshold in latest opinion polls. If they can maintain this level, they will enter the Riksdag (Parliament) at the next election. I’m sitting at the waterfront, not far from the centre of Stockholm, discussing the situation with a politically engaged friend of mine, a member of the Social Democrats.

I had just spent the summer in the North of Sweden, a vast and rural area, long known as the heartland of the Social Democrats. The Far North has always been poorer than the Swedish South, for a variety of reasons, and therefore somewhat dependent on government assistance. Many people up there are unemployed and on benefits, and they were not happy about immigration.

Talking to these people and listening to their grievances, I got a sense that the bounds of solidarity had been extended too far in Sweden. These people had been raised to think of Sweden as a giant family, where the high levels of homogeneity meant that everyone had something in common, and so everyone looked out for each other. The mass importation of Muslim and African immigrants could only mean less solidarity for the rural Swedish poor, which was reflected in their poverty.

For whatever reason, this unhappiness with the state of the nation was not taken seriously by the ruling classes. Sweden Democrat voters are poorer and less educated than average (like nationalist voters elsewhere) and the attitude of the Swedish ruling classes seemed to be that these people could be dismissed as simple racists and hicks.

It was apparent from talking to my friend in Stockholm that this grievance movement was not being taken very seriously. Of course the Swedish poor are poor, the argument went, but the refugees are even poorer, so it’s fair that the Swedish poor are made to go to the back of the queue in favour of the refugees. If they didn’t like that, then they didn’t appreciate how good they had it in Sweden, which was of course the world’s best at everything.

In any case, the rural poor were usually just smygracister – a word that describes a person who makes decisions out of racism, but is too ashamed to admit it. I pointed out that calling these angry people who felt betrayed ‘racists’ was not going to help the situation. In fact, it would make them feel that their anger was justified and that the government and the ruling classes had truly betrayed the Swedish people.

But the denial persisted. The Muslims and Africans would “försvenskar sig” (make themselves Swedish) and they would then be exactly like us, and all of the grievances would disappear. Being a psychologist, and having a deep interest in history I knew that the immigrants didn’t give two shits about becoming Swedish, or about Sweden in general. Sweden was, to them, just a bitch to be exploited and used. The fact that she gave herself so willingly was ample justification.

Few agreed with my dire prognosis at the time, but having met and spoken to Sweden Democrats voters, I knew that their movement would only grow in strength. Because the grievances of their voters would not be met, their march to power was inexorable, and that would not be a good thing for a foreigner like myself. For that reason, I decided to leave Sweden in 2008.

Sweden Democrats voters are the disaffected poor, who have come to feel that they are not represented by the neoliberal tag-team of the Social Democrats and the Moderates. They are the people who have lost out from neoliberalism, and from the freedom of capital to drive down wages through strategies such as mass importation of incompatible Third Worlders. They are not just dumb hillbillies who have been aggravated by far-right wing rhetoric.

The way they felt about mass immigration was how I would feel if my parents gave my inheritance away to some random strangers because they felt kinder helping strangers than helping their own family.

Sweden Democrats supporters feel deeply, deeply betrayed by the decision of the Swedish ruling classes to open the borders to the Third World. If you are Swedish, and poor, and you need help from the state for the sake of a physical or mental illness but can’t get it because of a lack of funding, it’s extremely difficult, and galling, to watch the government spend money on refugees.

The heaviest concentration of Sweden Democrats voters is in the Far South, which is also the area with the heaviest concentration of Muslim and African immigrants. In some areas in Skåne, the Sweden Democrats are predicted to get over 40% of the vote – which will be most ethnic Swedes. These are the people who have seen first hand the effects of mass immigration, and they understand more than anyone else how much has been lost, and how bad things could get.

These people are not bad people, and they’re not stupid losers. They’re simply people who have been lied to and betrayed by their rulers, and are angry and trying to take action to prevent further losses and humiliations. They’re not necessarily nice people, and they’re not necessarily open-minded, but neither of those things will stop them from getting their will through.

It’s already apparent that the other parties will work together before they allow the Sweden Democrats into power. After all, the Social Democrats and the Moderates are both neoliberals, and mass immigration is one of the main policy planks of neoliberalism. This can only mean that the Sweden Democrats will continue to grow in strength until the day where they take power outright.

When that day comes, anything can happen. The Sweden Democrats, and their supporters, utterly despite both the Social Democrats and the Moderates, and will be more than happy to throw everything out the window in order to stop Sweden from disintegrating into a Third World country. Anyone who suffers from this, Swede or otherwise, will be considered merely collateral damage.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Is Social Media About to Split Into A Right-Wing Sphere And A Left-Wing Sphere?

Left-wingers rejoiced when a group of major tech companies colluded to ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their sites last week. Right-wingers were horrified, seeing the spectre of Communist-style mass censorship. This essay discusses the possibility that these targeted right-wingers will switch to alt-media, finally following Styxhexenhammer’s repeated admonitions to do so, dividing social media into a right-wing and a left-wing sphere.

The Left is now the Establishment.

If that wasn’t obvious from Brexit, where the Left stood side-by-side with the bankers, big business and the Conservative Party to oppose the working class, or from the American Presidental Election, where the Left threw its weight behind neoliberal warmongering psychopath Hillary Clinton instead of the Bernie Sanders that America needed, it’s obvious by now, after the Free Speech Purges of 2018.

The Left is now the Establishment, and the Right is now the counter-culture.

Neoliberalism is the dominant global political ideology, and has been ever since Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher dumped it on an unsuspecting Anglosphere in the early 1980s. The core belief of neoliberalism is that deregulation brings wealth, therefore we ought to repeal all laws that restrict the movement of both labour and money. Laws restricting the movement of labour are bad for business because they drive up wages, and laws restricting the movement of money restrict the investment freedoms of the wealthy.

Being the Establishment, the Left promotes neoliberalism. This has mostly been achieved through leftist support for mass immigration, which had the benefits of destroying solidarity among the locals who received the immigrants, which in turn helped to destroy unions and to drive down wages. The more immigrants, the lower the wages, and therefore the greater the profits. For over three decades, the Left has been involved in laying guilt trips on anyone who didn’t support this.

Unfortunately for the Establishment – and for us – this mass immigration didn’t go as smoothly as most people had expected. Instead of a multicultural paradise, things turned out a lot more like what mass movements of people historically turned out like – an invasion. Despite 24/7 propaganda intended to convince people that this forced integration of different cultures was a good thing, and has had good results, people have become aware of what they have lost.

Like control freaks everywhere, the Establishment cannot admit that it made a mistake. Once an individual becomes part of the Establishment, they consider themselves second only to God, and so far above the plebs that they simply do not ever have to say sorry. Consequently, the Establishment cannot and will not admit that neoliberalism has been a mistake, that it has actually lowered people’s standards of living, instead of raising them.

As before, so after. We can predict from what happened elsewhere what will happen next. The Establishment will crack down on dissent harder and harder as the failures of neoliberalism become ever more obvious. As the realisation grows that neoliberalism has failed and was only beneficial to a small financial elite, people will get angry. The Establishment will respond with ever more aggressive anti-free speech laws.

These can already be seen on major tech platforms like Reddit, where free speech is limited to a small number of subreddits such as The_Donald, on Twitter where calls for the genocide of white people go unpunished but remarks about Jews or blacks result in instant bannings, and on FaceBook where right-wing jokes result in 30-day bans while left-wing calls to violate the human rights of right-wingers get no sanction.

For alt-centrists such as us here at VJM Publishing, this division of social media is not welcomed, because it is another sign that the political centre is dying and the extremes are growing, which is a sign of impending war. War means waste of blood and treasure, which means that fewer people are willing and able to buy our books.

However, we have to admit that our prediction is for the crackdowns against freethinkers to continue, until those on the Right decide they have had enough. At that point, social media to split into a left-wing sphere where discourse is dominated by Establishment tech firms, and a right-wing sphere where discourse is free. Evidence of this comes in the form of massive recent growth in alt-tech platforms such as Minds and BitChute.

Anyone who thinks that this sounds like a revolution – it is. The revolution against neoliberalism is underway. The political world is about to split into a globalist, authoritarian Left and a nationalist, libertarian Right. This authoritarian Left will be the major apologists for neoliberalism, while the Right will look to the future.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).