Why There Are No Honest People in Politics

Westerners have possibly never had less confidence in their politicians than right now. Confidence is so low that an ever-increasing number of people are losing their faith in democracy. Most people are aware that politicians are basically crooks, but it often hard to say precisely why. This essay explains why there are no honest people in politics.

The simple reason why there are no honest people in politics is because they are either filtered out before they get to the top representative level, or they are made to keep their mouths shut while at that level. This is achieved by a variety of mechanisms, some calculated and some incidental.

One of these mechanisms, a very deeply calculated one, was made apparent in New Zealand by the Jami-Lee Ross saga and the ensuing revelations about the National Party culture and its inner workings. It turned out that the National Party had taken six-figure sums worth of dodgy donations in exchange for pulling strings for those donors, and kept it secret. Many members of the National Party were aware of this corrupt conduct, but said nothing until Ross blew the doors open.

Getting to the top only sometimes involves demonstrating competence and winning the respect of your peers. Sometimes it involves finding out secrets about other people and using them to threaten those people into obedience. The value of a piece of information is inversely proportional to the number of people who know it, and therefore there is an incentive to keep secrets. If you can’t demonstrate that you can keep secrets, you can’t be trusted by the other members of your party – after all, the party will have secrets of its own that need keeping.

So not only do you have to keep secrets on the way up, but you have to keep keeping them while up there, otherwise the other people who are up there will throw you down. Jami-Lee Ross threatened to tell the country the secrets of the National Party, and he was swiftly ushered into psychiatric care. A similar fate awaits any other high-ranking politician who comes down with a sudden bout of honesty.

Of course, Jami-Lee Ross had a much easier time of it than Socrates did. Socrates once said “I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live,” which relates to the second of these mechanisms. Just as there is a mechanism from within a politician’s own party to lie, so is there a mechanism from other parties to do so (i.e. from within the political system). This mechanism has accounted for not only Socrates but also Jesus, William McKinley, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, John F Kennedy, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.

The people who are permitted to rise up from the masses into the ruling class are heavily vetted before being allowed to progress. The main objective of this vetting process is to determine their inclination towards obedience. The ideal candidate will be perfectly obedient to all those above them, and will demand perfect obedience from all those below them. To the degree a candidate deviates from this pattern, their advancement through the mainstream political parties will be hindered.

If a candidate shows signs of creative ability, or signs of any original thinking, they will find their progress blocked. This is why the current ruling class is full of lawyers, and almost entirely absent of writers or artists. Lawyer is an inherently dishonest profession (in contrast to novelist or poet), and this is seen by the incumbents in the ruling class to be a qualification for office.

The less honest you are, the more able you are to keep secrets by twisting and distorting truths and shamelessly dodging questions. Related to this is the fact that, if you go into politics, many of your fellow politicians will be absolute scum, and you will have to accept and account for this otherwise they will destroy you. Some of them, like Peter Dunne, are happy to kill people to advance their careers.

In 2002, Dunne forced the Fifth Labour Government to accept a confidence and supply agreement that promised no movement on cannabis law reform. As a consequence, many people died from either being unable to access medicinal cannabis, or from taking the synthetic drugs that Dunne did allow in lieu of natural cannabis. If Dunne is willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of Kiwis for the sake of his political ambitions, he’s certainly willing to have you killed for them.

A third mechanism serving to keep honest people out of politics comes from the nature of the whims of democracy. Politicians have to follow fashions, or they will rapidly be turfed out of office by the voters. The populace cares not for right or wrong, nor for any issue of justice: they merely get angry when they’re told to get angry. If the television tells them to get angry about apartheid, or the prohibition of homosexuality, or cannabis prohibition, they will do so.

Observe what happened to the individuals who spoke out about the issue of widespread clerical sex abuse within the Catholic Church before it became fashionable. Sinead O’Connor did it in 1992, and it was a career-terminating move. If something is unfashionable, a democratic politician will not support it: it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if it’s morally right.

Male infant genital mutilation, for example, is an obscenity, one of the most evil practices that the human species has ever devised, but Western politicians remain too cowardly to oppose it on account of that doing so is yet to become fashionable. You could bet money, however, that when opposing this practice does become fashionable, the politicians will claim to have always opposed it.

The opposite can be observed with the case of cannabis law reform. Until recently, a desire for reform was an exceptionally libertarian position for a politician to take, and only the real mavericks were willing to do so. The Cannabis Activist’s Handbook was published by this company in 2012, and copies sent to all of the political parties then in Parliament, but politicians remained resolutely silent on the subject until very recently.

Even though many people knew decades before the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook was written that cannabis prohibition was a complete sham, these politicians all calculated that it was in their best interests to maintain the net of lies. This even though it was killing their own people. If politicians are willing to yield to pressures like this, what hope is there that they will tell the truth about anything but the least controversial of things?

In summary, the reason why there are no honest people in politics is because both our culture and the political system itself weeds them out before they get to the top, or it destroys anyone at the top who reveals themselves to be honest. There are at least three major mechanisms by which this takes place, and the combination of all three means that our democratically-elected political class are some of the most pitiful, wretched and corrupt individuals that anyone could be burdened with.

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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).

The Four Elements of Health

Alchemism holds that the metaphysical world is comprised of four masculine elements of clay, iron, silver and gold. Because we can apply the maxim as above, so below, we can reason that there are patterns within the physical world that reflect this. This essay look at personal health through the prism of the four masculine elements.

The first element of clay relates to eating well. There are two aspects to this.

Fundamental to physical health is simply getting enough food. This fact has long been forgotten in the West on account of our centuries of abundance, but it’s still a biological reality for all creatures. The primary survival challenge for creatures similar to us in a state of Nature is to gather enough food resources to meet their metabolic needs. If this is not possible it will lead to hunger, then weakness, then death.

Another important aspect is that one gets the right food. It’s not simply a matter of filling one’s stomach: one must eat food that is actually healthy. Acting correctly at the level of clay will see a person avoid sugar and fatty cheeseburgers in favour of fruits, vegetables and home-cooked meals. Someone who has mastered life at this level will act as if food is medicine.

Iron relates to physical discipline in the pursuit of health. There are also two aspects to this.

Most obvious is exercise. The body has to be used, otherwise it will fall into decay. Humans were very active during the biological past, and this is reflected in the biological present. Properly applying the element of iron to one’s health means that one will get up and stay fit, whether through walking, running, swimming or biking. thereby one becomes physically hard, like iron.

Iron is the masculine element, and as a consequence it is the element that imposes boundaries. Therefore, part of the realm of iron is preventing unwanted substances from entering one’s body. This is obviously true in the case of poisons, but become trickier when applied to drugs and medicines. Acting correctly in the element of iron will see a person keep harmful things out of their body.

Silver relates to intellectual exercise. This shares elements of both clay and iron, and like clay and iron there are two distinct aspects to silver.

The former relates to what you put into your head. This relates to quality of information. A person acting at the level of silver will take care to not read low-information sources. They will tend to avoid gossip mags and FaceBook. Someone succeeding at this level will read full books from start to finish, and will cross-reference claims made in the media with other sources before believing them.

The latter relates to the discipline necessary to keep using the mind. The brain is like a muscle: you will lose it if you don’t use it. It’s important to keep reading everyday, and thinking about what one has read, as well as challenging what one thinks is known. Part of the realm of silver is intellectual debate, and a healthy individual at the level of silver will be able to do with words what the man of iron does with a sword.

The element of gold relates to spiritual exercise. Again like the previous elements, this is achieved in two ways.

The first is to keep incorrect thoughts out of one’s head. Gold is different to silver here because the realm of gold deals with frequencies, and not information like silver. So this does not relate to keeping bad information out of the head, but rather bad frequencies. Correct application of gold to health involves avoiding people and situations that cause bad energies, as well as patterns of thought that lead to same.

The most important spiritual exercise, of course, is meditation. Only through meditation does an individual arrive at the peace of mind and self-knowledge necessary to make correct decisions. Meditation is the final transmutation of the previous three elements into the gold of enlightenment. This brings what is usually referred to as “mental health”, involving a calm acceptance of things.

These four elements combine to create a complete picture of health. An individual who succeeds in applying these four elements to their health will be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy.

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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).

The Bogan-Faggot Spectrum

This essay introduces a new concept in psychology: the B-F spectrum. This is short for Bogan-Faggot spectrum, which is a way of measuring maladapative personalities on a scale from 1 to -1, with a score of 0 a good healthy medium that will allow for well-adjusted behaviour in most instances.

At one far end of the B-F spectrum is the Bogan Pole, represented by the extreme value of 1. This is essentially the pole of maladapted masculinity, or an excess of masculinity. This is so named after the hyper-aggressive, low-intelligence bogans that make life really hard for working-class people, by causing society to think of them when they think of the working class.

Here we find a masculinity so stubborn and unyielding that parents regularly hit and verbally abuse their children, reasoning that the children need to grow up “hard” in order to cope with the challenges of life. At the Bogan Pole, all emotional expression is for faggots. Expressing an emotion is a sign of weakness because it is evidence that one has lost one’s self-composure.

At the Bogan Pole, there is to be no similarity between men and women. Men are hard, women are soft, end of story. There are a set of actions and displays that are only permissible for men, and there are others that are only permissible for women. Any man or woman who performs an action or display characteristic of the other gender is subhuman.

At the other end of the B-F spectrum is the Faggot Pole, represented by the extreme value of -1. This is the pole of maladapted femininity, or excessive femininity. It is named after the hyper-passive-aggressive, overly sensitive faggots that make life really hard for homosexual people, by causing society to think of them when they think of homosexuals.

This is a kind of toxic femininity that demands that everyone and everything be forced to be equal. It is a kind of slave morality, in that it demands that everyone be meek and self-effacing, lest they be shamed into it by the collective. At the Faggot Pole, all assertive expression (such as the setting of boundaries) is for bogans. Anyone who has a high self-esteem has to be ripped down the level of the collective.

At the Faggot Pole, there is to be no difference between men and women. An individual can possess any characteristic whatsoever, or fail to possess any characteristic whatsoever, and still assert that they are either man or woman (or anything else). Anyone who claims otherwise is a filthy bogan, because they are setting boundaries and that is masculine.

Also at the Faggot Pole is a relaxed attitude to sexual abuse of children. In much the same way that people at the Bogan Pole, being hyper-masculine, don’t consider violence against children to be a bad thing, neither do people at the Faggot Pole, being hyper-feminine, consider sexuality towards children to be a bad thing. People at this pole are far more likely to believe that they are doing children a favour by molesting them.

The B-F spectrum is an alchemical triangle in the sense that the healthiest behaviour lies in the middle. Both the Bogan Pole and the Faggot Pole represent extremes of behaviour that are not well adapted to the challenges that our society offers. The central position, represented by 0, refers to behaviour that is neither hypermasculine nor hyperfeminine – just balanced, intelligent, appropriate behaviour.

It could be that some situations genuinely demand the taking of a particular position on the B-F spectrum, or at least one close to one of the poles. If an individual goes to war, it makes sense to take a B-F position closer to 1 on account of the violence and deprivation that they will encounter. If an individual makes love, it makes sense to take a B-F position closer to -1 on account of that one is in a situation where boundaries are dissolved.

It’s worth noting that the poorer a person is, the more likely they are to approach the Bogan Pole, and the wealthier a person is, the more likely they are to approach the Faggot Pole. This is a long-observed phenomenon. The most common downfall for any man mighty enough to make himself into a king was having a son who becomes effeminate as a result of the wealth and comfort in which he lives, and who thereby becomes too weak to maintain his position.

There is, as of yet, no questionnaire that will estimate where an individual is on the Bogan-Faggot spectrum. Future research will have to identify variables that correlate with excessive masculinity or excessive femininity, and from there it will be possible to develop a set of questions. In any case, intuitive estimations might still have some use.

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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).

Why You Can Never Know if Another Person is an NPC, And What This Means

Much recent interest has been devoted to the idea that a significant proportion of other human beings might be “NPCs” (non-player characters). What is meant by this is that “the lights are on but nobody’s home” – that the person is not conscious, despite appearing to be. As this essay will discuss, this philosophical problem has a number of chilling interpretations.

When people decry others as NPCs, what they are really saying is that these people are not conscious. There might be bodies moving around and saying and doing things, but there is no conscious observer that pays attention to the lived experience of such bodies. Individual NPCs might just as well be androids of some kind, machines that replicate the functions and actions of conscious beings without actually being such.

The reason why recent interest has attached to this idea is that some people seem to be utterly incapable of thinking for themselves.

Certain political issues have made it apparent that a large proportion of voters do not think about reality at all. They are happy enough to adopt wholesale a Weltanschauung from the television and from their peers. This is especially true if a person adheres to one or the other side of the mainstream political spectrum, but a political allegiance isn’t necessary. Many people’s heads seem to be more or less empty: they simply repeat whatever has been pumped into them from the outside.

This has led others to wonder if there’s anyone really in those heads at all. These apparently unthinking people might be NPCs: essentially meat-puppets that look and sound like humans but which have no conscious will, and who therefore are incapable of creative direction. They can only follow orders like drones, whether those orders come from other humans (PCs or NPCs), the Government or the television. They are therefore categorically different to those of us who are conscious.

But this line of reasoning opens up some extremely thorny philosophical questions.

Primary among these is that you can’t measure or detect consciousness empirically. Consciousness is a state of being aware, and this is impossible to measure because awareness cannot be detected by any instrument. A materialist will object that it is possible to measure responsiveness, and this can be done with (for e.g.) EEG machines that can tell whether a person is awake – but these measures are always of purported correlates of consciousness, not consciousness itself.

We seem to intuitively believe that being “awake” is somehow linked to being conscious, but the simple fact is that we are also conscious of experiencing dreams, and are therefore also conscious even when asleep. Therefore, our intuitive perceptions about who is conscious are not necessarily accurate. It may be that the common perception that all humans are conscious is erroneous.

One can be aware of one’s consciousness, of course. This is logically trivial: if one is conscious of anything at all, then one is conscious. Therefore, if you’re even aware of yourself asking the question of whether or not you’re conscious, you must be. Although, because one’s own consciousness cannot be measured any more than that of other beings can, its presence cannot be proven to anyone other than oneself.

It really seems that the only way consciousness can be sensed in others is by means of some intuition. It certainly seems as if consciousness can be detected in others; at least, this seems intuitively true to most people. This is the basis of the NPC phenomenon: by whatever means this intuitive decision is made, a person decides that another person is either conscious or not.

The difficulty then arises: is it true that all other humans are conscious, or only some? Because not everyone necessarily agrees. Some argue that only their race is conscious, and that others are some kind of ‘bugmen’. Others argue that only members of their religion are conscious, because only these have been “infused with the light of God” or similar. Yet others argue that only members of their class are conscious, and that the poorer someone is, the more like an animal.

The obvious problem with this way of thinking is that it leads to asking questions like: if other races/religions/classes are not conscious, why not just wipe them out for the sake of securing a better position for our own? It’s clear to anyone who has studied World War II that the dehumanisation of other people, by way of declaring them less conscious, can easily lead to bloodshed and genocide. This is why the vast majority of people have adopted the unspoken assumption that all other humans are conscious.

Even if all humans are declared conscious, one must then ask if all other beings are conscious, or only some?

Another thorny philosophical question is moral: if another individual is an NPC, and therefore not conscious, is it immoral or not to exploit that individual? One the one level, it seems like nothing should be different, but on another, it could be argued that if nothing is aware of any injury caused to the physical body then it isn’t really suffering. Therefore, harm done to beings that are not conscious is not immoral (unless those beings are the property of someone else).

Because you can never really know if another person is an NPC, the default response seems to be to assume that no-one is, i.e. that all other people are conscious and that their suffering is meaningful. This is certainly the approach that a courtroom will take if you beat up someone because you think they are an NPC. But you can’t ever really be sure.

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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).

New Zealand is Corrupt as Shit

If a politician is bribed, but the people are too stupid to realise that a bribe has been made, is it really bribery?

In the midst of the worst homelessness and mental health crises this country has ever known, the Labour-NZ First coalition Government has decided to double the refugee quota, placing incredible strain on already thinly-stretched resources. On the face of it, this seems insane, but there’s a very precise method to this madness. This article explains the truth.

The truth, in short, is that New Zealand is corrupt as shit.

You don’t know it’s corrupt as shit, because they don’t admit that on the television news, and anything not stated as fact on the television news is not considered a fact here. As a consequence, New Zealand does well on measures of perceived corruption. There are two significant effects of this: New Zealanders seldom try to bribe officials, and New Zealanders are almost completely unaware of blatant cases of actual corruption.

We are so naive that the ruling class can pull off ham-fisted scams that 99% of the world would immediately recognise as crooked, and Kiwis will believe them without question.

The MethCon meth house scam, for example, even had ‘Con’ in the name and Kiwis still fell for it. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of chemistry knows that it’s impossible for a house to become contaminated to the point of being unsafe to live in merely from people smoking methamphetamine inside. Nevertheless, a hysteria was created in the media that led to people stampeding to test their houses for methamphetamine contamination.

There was huge money to be made through the meth testing business. Gullible landlords were suckered into paying thousands to cowboy chemists who were purportedly checking to see if their house was fit for human habitation. Equally gullible journalists were induced into stoking the fires of the meth house hysteria, and they did so with glee, encouraged by bribes from the meth conners.

The granting of consents to foreign companies to export bottled water is another such scam. The only real explanation for the granting of these valuable water consents to foreign companies is backhanders to Council officials, but most Kiwis do not perceive anything untoward.

None of this is to even mention the numerous immigration scams, or foreign land sale scams, or the total bullshit story that is cannabis prohibition.

Regarding the illegal foreign land sales, the Radio NZ article states “Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage could not answer many of RNZ’s questions, referring back to Land Information, who subsequently refused an interview.” Every other people in the world, apart from the sheep-like Kiwis, would recognise this as a blatant case of corruption. Obviously someone is getting personal benefit out of selling off New Zealand here.

The increase in the refugee quota, then, can be explained as simply another example of this widespread theme of public officials deriving personal benefit out of making decisions that harm the country as a whole. It’s simple corruption at work.

Jacinda Ardern knows that if she sells New Zealand out to globalist Marxist interests, in particular the United Nations, she will be amply rewarded by the UN after her tenure as New Zealand Prime Minister. If she opens the door to the Third World now while she’s in charge here, she will be at the front of the queue to receive UN patronage in her later career. This is the context in which the raising of the refugee quota has to be viewed.

From Ardern’s perspective, it’s not important that increasing the refugee quota will lead to more homelessness among Kiwis and worse mental health outcomes for them. The important thing is to earn brownie points with the globalists, so that the rewards can be reaped post-office. This is very similar to how Helen Clark focused on homosexual law reform, which was then fashionable among the global left, when the nation was demanding cannabis law reform.

We Kiwis have to accept the truth: our country is corrupt as shit, and our leaders do not represent us. Our leadership class are more like a herd of pigs with their snouts in the trough of our common wealth.

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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).

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Maori Speakers

With the uptick in interest in Maori language recently, there has also been an interest in understanding who speaks the language. A large correlation matrix based on electoral and Census data can tell us a great deal. In this article, Dan McGlashan (author of Understanding New Zealand) tells the statistical story of Maori speakers.

There are two different ways of telling the story of the Maori-speaking demographic. The first is by comparing them to the population as a whole, and the second is to compare to them to the general Maori demographic. This article will do both because it is worthwhile to look at the two separately.

The correlation between being a Maori speaker and being a Maori is 0.99. Essentially this means that virtually everyone who speaks Maori in New Zealand is ethnically Maori. It also means that all of the correlations with being a Maori speaker will be close to the respective correlations with being a Maori, so that any differences between the two groups will be subtle ones (but hopefully instructive).

Curiously, the correlation between median personal income and being Maori (-0.48) was exactly the same as the one between median personal income and speaking Maori, but if we go down a level we can see a wider pattern in this data. For the most part, the voting patterns of Maori speakers mirrored that of Maoris, but there are patterns in the differences.

The average Maori speaker is slightly less likely than the average Maori to have voted Labour in 2017 (0.56 to 0.58). This is a small difference and it remains a fact that the average Maori speaker is strongly inclined to vote for the Labour Party. This is mirrored for National: the average Maori speaker is slightly more likely than the average Maori to have voted National in 2017 (-0.72 to -0.74).

The average Maori speaker was also slightly more likely to vote Green than the average Maori. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and being a Maori speaker was -0.12, compared to -0.14 for the correlation between voting Green in 2017 and being Maori.

But if being a Maori speaker made one slightly more inclined to vote for the Greens, it made one slightly less likely to vote for New Zealand First. The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being a Maori speaker was 0.35, compared to 0.38 for being Maori.

Because the Greens and National are the parties that tend to attract the most well-educated people, we can guess from this that the average Maori speaker is slightly better educated than the average Maori. Indeed, this proves to be the case.

The correlation between being a Maori speaker and having a university degree was -0.42 for all of Bachelor’s, Honours and Master’s degrees and -0.38 for a doctorate, whereas the correlation between being Maori and having a university degree was -0.45 for both Bachelor’s and a Master’s degrees, -0.46 for an Honours degree and -0.41 for a doctorate.

This tells us that the average Maori speaker is slightly better educated than the average Maori, despite being more poorly educated than the New Zealand average.

The correlations with age brackets tell us that the average Maori speaker is a bit older than the average Maori. The correlation between being in the 0-4 age bracket and being Maori was 0.82, whereas the correlation between being in that bracket and being a Maori speaker was 0.78. Conversely, the correlation between being in the 65+ age bracket and being Maori was -0.48, compared to a correlation of -0.47 between being aged 65+ and being a Maori speaker.

The correlations with the various industry types tells us in which industries we are more likely to find Maoris who speak Maori.

The correlation between working in the education and training industry and being Maori was 0.43, but the correlation between working in that industry and being a Maori speaker was 0.48. This tells us that a very high proportion of the Maoris working in that industry speak te reo (possibly because they work in whare whananga or similar).

On the other side of the equation, Maoris in some professions were less likely than average to be a Maori speaker. These were usually working-class professions. The correlation between working in the transport, postal and warehousing industry and being Maori was 0.47, whereas the correlation between working in this industry and being a Maori speaker was only 0.41. From this we can conclude that very few of the Maoris working in transport, postal and warehousing are Maori speakers.

In summary, this suggests that the average Maori speaker is a Maori who is a bit older and better educated than the Maori average.

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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.

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.

Are You Naziphobic?

Hatred of foreign ideologies – such as Nazism and Islam – is often rooted in xenophobic prejudice

Naziphobia is a big problem in the West right now. Irrational fear of Nazis, usually rooted in classism against workers and racism against Germans, is causing large amounts of unnecessary misery in the Western World. This essay will help the reader examine themselves for any signs of prejudice against members of the German National Socialist Worker’s Movement.

The common argument is that Nazism is inherently a hate ideology, and that it inherently calls for the destruction of non-followers. It is true that Mein Kampf does actually contain a plan to invade Eastern Europe and to starve the inhabitants to death to make way for German settlers, and therefore that anyone who supports Nazism is supporting ethnic cleansing and supremacist genocide, but there’s no reason to focus merely on that side of the story.

Some might argue an invasion followed by genocide by starvation is grossly antisocial, and that ideas so grossly antisocial should not be tolerated lest they become more popular. However, against this we can see that the standard for tolerance has been set by the degree shown for Abrahamic religious traditions, whose holy scriptures call for the extermination of non-followers and polytheists (Koran 9:5, Exodus 22:20).

After all, if the standards of tolerance are not exceeded by a holy book that commands its followers to kill polytheists, idolaters or homosexuals, or by an ideology that considers a man who chopped the heads off 600 Jews in one day to be the perfect man, then Nazism is clearly within acceptable bounds. Hitler’s plan merely called for the subjugation of Eastern Europe; Muhammad’s plan calls for the subjugation of the entire planet.

In any case, we cannot blame all Nazis for the actions of a few of their kind. To assume that all Nazis are violent just because many of them are is a form of prejudice and bigotry. Not all Nazis should be tarred with the brush of a violent few, and consideration should be given to the economic circumstances of Nazis before judgment is applied.

People argue that a repeat of a tragedy the size of World War II should be avoided at all costs, but it’s telling that people have to go back over 70 years to find an example of mass-scale Nazi violence. If anything, the fact that there has been no meaningful terrorist action in support of Nazism since 1945 is proof that Nazism has evolved from the barbarism that it’s often portrayed as in mass media.

Not all Nazis are violent. If they were, we’d all be dead by now.

It also has to be considered that some children are born into Nazi families and can’t simply give up the ideology because the rest of us tell them to. Many of these young people already feel like the world is against them, and overt expressions of Naziphobia will only make them less amenable to gentle persuasion.

Some middle-class people who don’t like Nazis ought to challenge themselves for any inner signs of class prejudice. Maybe they don’t really hate Nazis but really just hate working class people, and because working-class people are the most disaffected by the current political arrangement and therefore the most likely to see the appeal in Nazism, are the most likely to become Nazis. Therefore, Nazism is associated with the working class, which explains why so many people are prejudiced against Nazis.

As part of the efforts that need to be made to overcome institutional prejudice against Nazis and children of Nazi families, there is a need for more compassionate portrayals of Nazis in popular culture. The Government ought to fund media that stars Nazi characters and which portrays them as educated, competent and moral people. Perhaps it is even necessary to mandate that a certain percentage of television time be granted to Nazi characters.

Despite this show of compassion, we ought to help people to leave the ideology where possible. There was been success in funding community support groups for anyone willing to leave fundamentalist Abrahamic cults, and the same might be true of Nazism. Nazism is not as rough as Islam, since many Muslim countries still uphold the death penalty for apostasy, but there could still be value in wavering Nazis finding cameraderie in people who have turned their backs on what is really a hate ideology.

Ultimately, the olive branch must be held out to Nazis of all kinds. After all, the more aggressively we display contempt for Nazis, the more that individuals from Nazi families are likely to see us as the enemy and to dig their heels in. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Therefore, treat Nazis as you would wish to be treated yourselves. Part of this involves maintaining solidarity with Nazis and taking action against those who are prejudiced against Nazis. Anyone who insults Nazism or Nazis should be made aware, in no uncertain terms, that they are a bigot and that their prejudice has no place in a world of ideological diversity.

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