Understanding New Zealand: Voting Labour

The Labour Party formed in opposition to the sort of capitalist interests that would later form the National Party. Predictably, then, voting for Labour in 2014 has a very strong negative correlation with voting for National in 2014 (-0.85), and a moderately strong negative correlation with median personal income (-0.51).

With no other party apart from the Conservatives (-0.63) do supporters of Labour differ from near as intensely. Voting for Labour in 2014 was not significantly correlated with any of voting Green (-0.03), voting New Zealand First (0.11) or ACT (-0.19). The only parties that had a significant correlation with voting Labour in 2014 were the ALCP (0.38), Internet MANA (0.41) and the Maori Party (0.41).

This latter point is mostly a function of the powerful racial divide between the two major parties. The correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and being of European descent is a whopping -0.76. With being of Pacific Islander descent it is even higher, but in the other direction: 0.78. This latter statistic, coupled with the fact that voting Labour in 2014 has a correlation of 0.42 with being Maori, suggests that Labour is actually a Polynesian party to a considerable degree.

The statistic that Labour Party leaders will rue more than any other is the correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and turnout rate in 2014, which was -0.67. This tells us immediately that any given Labour supporter is significantly less likely to actually cast a vote for their party, which brings to mind the saying “Left-wingers fall in love; right-wingers fall in line.”

A statistic that might surprise many is that the correlation betwen voting Labour in 2014 and having no religion is -0.50. Although this can mostly be explained by the fact that being of Pacific Island descent has a correlation of 0.46 with being a Christian, it also brings up a surprising difference between New Zealand and the United States, where poor religious people have been driven apart from their natural economic classmates by wedge issues such as abortion, a phenomenon which is yet to be replicated in New Zealand, despite the best efforts of Brian Tamaki.

There was a correlation of 0.47 with voting Labour in 2014 and being a Hindu, which probably is a reflection of heavy Fijian Indian immigration over recent decades.

Although voting for Labour in 2014 had a significant correlation with having no qualifications, this was a barely significant 0.34. Some might be surprised that voting for Labour in 2014 had less of a correlation with not having a Master’s degree (-0.18) than voting Conservative did (-0.20). Considering that the average Labour voter is much younger, this suggests that the average Conservative is much more plebian.

The fact that the flag referendum was a National Party vehicle is demonstrated by the massive indifference of the working class to it. Voting for Labour in 2014 had a correlation of -0.84 with turnout rate in both the first and the second flag referendum, and a correlation of -0.80 with wanting to change the flag to the National Party design.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Labour Party vote is the size of the negative correlation with median age, which is -0.70. This is even lower than the Maori Party’s -0.66 and is far lower than the Green Party’s -0.17, which tells us that Labour is much more a party of the youth than the Greens (although this can be explained to a large extent by the fact that Polynesians are young and they seldom vote Green).

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Metasanity

Being insane is one thing, and it is usually very difficult. Not seeing reality clearly comes with pain. Avoiding the difficulty that comes with insanity is primarily a question of avoiding the patterns of thought and behaviour that can lead to things getting out of control. This second-order sanity can be described as metasanity.

For example, you can be insane, but you can also be sane about being insane, which would be metasanity. Being metasane might involve taking advice about not smoking methamphetamine when someone points out that doing so has a deletorious effect on your mental health.

It might also involve, like the Carrie Fisher quote above, maintaining a realistic and objective view of one’s own condition.

A revealing thought experiment is to consider how a person reacts when being told that they have a mental illness. In this manner, two otherwise similar people can vary greatly, depending on their metasanity.

One person might accept that they have a mental illness and that this diagnosis accurately explains the difficulty they have experienced with their thoughts and behaviour.

For such people, high in metasanity, speaking to an intelligent clinician might bring with it a moment of clarity. Probably it will bring with it a sense of relief, as a clear explanation of why things become chaotic makes it more likely such chaos can be avoided.

Another person, lower in metasanity, might deny that they have a mental illness even when told so by a well-meaning doctor, or by family and friends. Such a person will be much less likely to take medications or to avoid situations and behaviours that lead to things getting out of control.

A person low in metasanity might accept that they have a mental illness, but behave in maladaptive ways like over-identifying with the illness, or becoming hyperdramatic about bad influences on their health (often, thereby, creating an anxiety that makes the illness worse).

A lot of a person’s ability to successfully recover from a mental illness – that is to say, from insanity – is really a function of their metasanity. It is metasanity that will tell a person if their current medication regime is actually working or not and so whether they should keep taking it or not, and getting to see a doctor in the first place is usually a matter of whether the patient has the metasanity to accept that they have a problem.

Conversely, metainsanity is, of course, an inability to think sanely about one’s mental health, despite being otherwise mentally healthy.

Part of the difficulty with sanity is that it correlates so strongly with metasanity. And so, a person who has trouble keeping things together may also have problems with keeping their awareness of the need to keep things together together.

Metasanity, as could be expected, correlates highly with narcissism. The obvious explanation is that the more narcissistic one is, the more likely one is to deny anything that might be seen as a weakness, such as a mental illness.

Sometimes metasanity can be a negative. Going insane and knowing that one is going insane is a unique torture that cannot be physically replicated.

However, even when this happens, the long-term prognosis is still better, because nothing is more likely to make an illness kill you than denying you are ill.

Autism and Psychosis Are Perfect Natural Complementaries

Some people contend that all autists and all psychotics are mentally diseased and have to be corrected by whatever means necessary. Others, especially the autists and psychotics themselves, contend that their conditions are not diseases but natural expressions of the human genotype.

A revolutionary article from 2008 pointed out that autism and psychosis are, in some physiological ways, opposite poles of a spectrum: “autism involves a general pattern of constrained overgrowth, whereas schizophrenia involves undergrowth.”

This can readily be confirmed by anyone who has spent much time observing autists and psychotics.

If autism is characterised by overgrowth, one might say that this reflected an excessive degree of order and therefore masculinity. Indeed, autism appears to correlate with masculinity in many ways – such as increased mathematical and logical reasoning and a decreased capacity for social intelligence. Also, autism is much more common in males.

If psychosis is characterised by undergrowth, one might say that this reflected an absence of order and therefore femininity. And, in opposition to autism, psychosis does appear to correlate with femininity in many ways – in particular, an increased capacity for social intelligence and a decreased capacity for mathematical and logical reasoning. Also, it is much more common in females.

On the dark side, the vast majority of serial killers have some kind of autism, because psychotics generally can’t keep it together well enough to kill many people and keep it a secret. However, the vast majority of suicides have some kind of psychosis, because psychosis is unusually terrible, and autists are better at keeping it together well enough to not fall into suicidal ideation.

On the bright side, both autists and psychotics have made immense contributions to the human survival project, not despite, but because of their lack of neurotypicality.

Autists can be programmed to last forever. They just keep going, and if they can find a subject interesting enough to them they never get bored. Many of our great engineers and surgeons were probably a bit autistic, as it was this that led them to obsess magnificently over their projects until they knew more about the subjects than anyone else ever had.

Psychotics are the exact opposite. Psychotics are not easy to program and they don’t stay programmed. Every time there is a ‘psychotic break’, more programming is shrugged off. This means that it is through psychotics, who have seen beyond Maya, that our spiritual and philosophical traditions arise.

In much the same way that, in order to get anything done, a person needs a mixture of autism and psychosis, so too does society need autistic and psychotic individuals in order to function healthily at the top level.

A society wouldn’t last without both autists and psychotics; without the former, no work would get done, without the latter, all work would still be picking berries and smashing open mammoth bones for the marrow within.

Oftentimes, it is necessary for a psychotic to show the way to a new field of knowledge but it is also necessary for autists, once shown the way, to do what is necessary to make practical applications out of that knowledge.

This is akin to how the Anglo-Saxons, whose culture has an unprecedented degree of tolerance for psychotics, tend to invent things and how the Germans, Japanese and Koreans, whose cultures have an unprecedented degree of tolerance for autists, tend to refine them into excellence.

In other words, society would go backwards without the autists and it would never go forwards without the psychotics. Autists, psychotics and people who are neither are therefore all necessary for an optimally healthy and functioning society.

We Used to Rape Them for Their Natural Capital, Now We Rape Them for Their Human Capital

Back in the day (19th century) the Western world completed the Scramble for Africa and held virtually the entire continent in bondage. Every part of Africa under European control was raped for its natural resources, a process that made Europe very wealthy and Africa very poor.

In recent decades, the West has more or less come to widely accept that this process was immoral. The primary reason for this is that it’s apparent in hindsight that, in order to get the populations to be compliant with colonialism and the processes of resource extraction, massive abuse and neglect had to be inflicted upon the native populations of Africa.

This abuse and neglect led directly to a widespread emotional, intellectual and cognitive impairment that has been passed down through the generations, crippling the capacity of Africans to care for themselves to this very day.

But, we also know that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In today’s world, wealth has less to do with natural resources and more to do with human resources. After all, diamonds or oil buried deep under the earth are not valuable without the human capital that knows how to extract and process them.

In an age when the total dollar value of services are five times the value of manufacturing, why go through the expense of building an empire just to dig up shiny rocks and extract rubber?

We know that doctors, engineers, psychologists, nurses etc. are generally more than happy to abandon their own people the moment you wave a fat Western paycheck in front of them, so it’s much better to loosen the immigration policy and let the human capital come to you.

The great irony here – which has been entirely unappreciated by the left – is that, from the perspective of people in the developing world, anyone who becomes capable of making a positive difference to the people around them usually ends up disappearing before they do, abandoning those they grew up with.

After all, why should a Kenyan doctor get paid $5,000 for saving 1,000 kids from malaria when he can move to New Zealand and get paid $50,000 to wipe old white people’s arses?

The next time a wealthy person tells you that allowing mass immigration is a moral imperative because of prior colonial action in the developing world, just know that the purpose of this mass immigration is not as moral as it sounds. The purpose is to plunder the affected areas of their human capital, making the West once again wealthy at the expense of Africa and the Middle East.

The only difference with the 19th century is that, today, the capital is getting itself on planes and delivering itself to us.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Greens

Long stereotyped as a fringe movement for harmless eccentrics, the New Zealand Green Party appears to be following the general upward trend for environmentalist parties in the West as the social democrats continue to fragment into special interest groups. The Greens in New Zealand are large and established enough to be a political force in their own right and ought not to be considered an adjunct to the Labour Party.

Despite a nominal adherence to the left wing of Parliament, the Greens have a number of striking differences with the Labour Party to whom they appear shackled.

The most notable is that the Greens are a party for comfortably wealthy people, but not the ones creaming it. This might surprise many who still consider the Greens to be a party for students and semi-employed Golden Bay hippies. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and Personal Income is 0.31, which is not as strong as National’s 0.53 but is much closer to that than to Labour’s -0.51.

Voting for the Greens in 2014 may have had a negative correlation with Median Age, but it was not significant at -0.17. This belies the image of the Greens as a student’s party, especially if one compares to the correlations between Median Age and voting Cannabis Party in 2014 (-0.55) and voting Labour (-0.70). This suggests that the average Green voter is significantly older than the average Labour voter.

The average Green voter was the best educated of those of all the parties, with a correlation between voting Green in 2014 and having a Master’s degree of 0.64. The only party to come close to this is ACT with 0.57 – National is the closest major party, with a not significant 0.20.

Also, the average Green voter was about as likely as the average National voter to have no qualifications. The correlation between having no qualifications and voting Greens in 2014 was -0.49, for National -0.43, for Labour 0.34 and for New Zealand First 0.79.

One factor that correlates highly with support for the Greens is not being religious. Not being religious and voting Green in 2014 had a correlation of 0.56, which was much higher than for any other major party (National 0.10, New Zealand First 0.12, Labour -0.50). Only the Cannabis Party was close: voting for them in 2014 had a correlation of 0.34 with being religious.

Unsurprisingly, Green voters are very unlikely to be Christians. Voting Green in 2014 and being Christian had a correlation of -0.57. This was at variance with all other parties except Internet MANA (-0.40) and Cannabis Party (-0.41). None of the other major parties are so antichristian. Being Christian and voting National had a correlation of 0.29, with voting Labour it was 0.10 and with voting New Zealand First it was -0.11.

Perhaps the oddest correlation is the one between voting Green in 2014 and having spiritualism as a religion. This is a fairly significant 0.52. This was shared with the Cannabis Party, who had a correlation with being a spiritualist of 0.36, and is a notable point of difference with the ACT Party, with who the correlation with being a spiritualist was -0.43.

Perhaps these points can be explained by the fact that cannabis use tends to turn people strongly away from the exoteric side of religion and strongly towards the esoteric side, an interest they will share with the spiritualists.

Although the Greens are mostly a white person’s party, there is just barely a signification correlation between being of European descent and voting Green in 2014 – this is 0.24. There was also a barely significant correlation in the other direction (-0.27) between being of Pacific Islander descent and voting Green in 2014. For being of Maori descent it was a not significant -0.09, and for being of Asian descent it was perfectly uncorrelated.

So the Greens are an odd mix – like Labour when it comes to taxes, like National when it comes to personal income, like the ACT party when it comes to education and like the Cannabis Party when it comes to religion. The only party they are really opposed to seems to be New Zealand First. Probably the bulk of their voters come from people who are educated in the hard sciences in particular and the humanities to a lesser extent.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

If Violence is Unwanted, Why Force People to Consume a Drug That Makes Them Violent?

Violence is the scourge of our society. The long-term cumulative psychological damage from all the various acts of violence committed by New Zealanders is atrocious. For the most part, we all agree that violence is something that ought to be dealt to strictly, but we can’t agree on how.

This is the standard pattern of social interaction in New Zealand: Monday to Friday afternoon – work. Friday afternoon to Saturday night/Sunday morning – consume alcohol. Sunday – recover from the effects of the alcohol.

This pattern has served us for over a century.

Back in the day, life was cheap, and we didn’t care. Of course the working men who loaded up in the six o’clock swill went home and beat the shit out of their wives, but Abrahamic morality held way and women were considered the property of their menfolk.

New Zealand loves violence, but not in the way it’s usually portrayed. The All Blacks aren’t really violent because they play against consenting adult men. Rugby is sport, not violence. Kieran Read has never done anything on a sports field even one percent as violent as arresting and caging a medicinal cannabis user.

However, our culture is violent. We take people who create drugs that make people less violent and put them in cages, and we take people who create drugs that make people more violent and give them knighthoods.

Why do we do this?

Probably the main reason is a cultural artifact relating to the strategic considerations that led to New Zealand existing in the first place.

New Zealand was, after all, founded as a military colony, once British colonial planners came to appreciate that whoever controlled the Aotearoan archipelago could easily project power upon the poorly defended, but by now reasonably populated, Australian East Coast. Whoever controlled that controlled the continent.

Being founded as a military colony, it was natural for the ruling class to encourage a warrior culture among the New Zealanders, in case it was ever necessary to send them overseas to die for the Empire. This meant that New Zealanders had to be molded into a hard, cruel people, and that meant violence, and that meant alcohol.

So the booze flowed, and New Zealand bestowed all manner of honourable titles upon the men who kept the booze flowing and the fists flying. After all, if New Zealanders were given free access to a peaceful drug like cannabis, they’d be much less willing to go overseas to kill the enemies of the ruling classes of the Empire.

Some people will counter that no-one is forced to drink alcohol. Usually people making this argument are some kind of puritan or wowser who never does any drug because they hate themselves and are terrified of what they might find in their souls if they were compelled to take a look.

But the counterargument is that people are compelled to drink alcohol in New Zealand if they want to meet their natural social needs, because all attempts to build a recreational drug culture around anything other than alcohol are crushed by the Police.

Let’s not pretend that these social needs are not needs. Humans cannot survive alone – not for want of intelligence, adaptability or ingenuity but for mental health reasons. A total lack of social interaction will result in a oxytocin deficit which will lead to terminal depression.

Of course, cannabis users are just meeting up anyway, only in private and in smaller groups. This is perhaps a win for those who profit from the continuation of alcohol culture, such as shareholders in breweries and wineries. But it’s a massive loss for New Zealand.

Why Nietzsche is Hard

The experience of reading and contemplating Nietzsche is fundamentally different to that of the majority of thinkers. A natural consequence of this is the unprecedented degree to which Nietzsche is misunderstood.

Appreciating Nietzsche isn’t a simple matter of considering a number of competing claims to the truth and deciding if his case is the strongest. He is not such a man that will brook standing in the dock while his ideas are tried by plebs.

Nietzsche is hard for the same reason that integrating a psychedelic trip is hard. This is because to understand him, first you have to concede to his basic contention: that everything you know might be wrong. This makes Nietzsche appear to be a nihilist for anyone who stops reading him at this point, which most people do.

But to appreciate Nietzsche, at least initially, you have to accept that the very way you think may be fundamentally flawed.

His contention is that people have been lied to so often by the church, by the state, by centuries of half-wit philosophers, by power-crazed kings and by the bleating of the herd, that they’re too confused to even begin thinking their way out of it. The way people think is so fundamentally flawed that to make progress the first point of order is to forget all the lies that they currently consider to be true – and there are many.

In fact, you can’t merely forget them – you have to deliberately and purposefully smash them. To get to the truth you have to escape the labyrinth of lies, and so you have to “philosophise with a hammer”.

Understanding the truth of Nietzsche is thus not a pleasant and straightforward experience like sitting in a kindergarten listening to the sweet voice of a kind teacher guiding you gently away from ignorance. It’s more like Hell Week of the Navy Seals, in which a person’s entire personality has to be torn to the ground so that a new, stronger one can be rebuilt in its place.

Regular readers of this column will recognise this phenomenon as the task of the mystic, the shaman or the schizophrenic. Nietzsche himself clearly recognised this when he subtitled Thus Spake Zarathustra as “A Book fof Everyone and No-one.”

This is very evidently not a task for the man of clay; Nietzsche had no intention of founding his own religion for the masses (probably this explains the appeal of Nietzsche among those of the left-hand path).

All of this helps to explain why the name of Nietzsche has been associated with the Nazis.

Any political power who seeks to tear down the established order (which in Hitler’s time was the Anglo-American Empire) and impose their own based on transvaluated values (the Nazi Empire) has one immense – but superficial – connection with Nietzsche’s philosophy in so far that both are revolutionary.

Both seek to tear down old ways that they see as corrupt or decadent. Indeed, crusades against ‘decadent’ art was one of the ways the early Nazis built outrage in their favour, and rhetoric about the corrupting effect of Jews on German society was regular.

Moreover, Nazism was one of the most striking historical examples of a supremacist movement, and supremacists of all stripes find a superficial interest in Nietzsche’s talk of the ‘Superman’.

The great irony here is that Nietzsche would likely have considered the Nazis – like all egoic supremacists – a pack of plebs.

If We Are in A Period of Excess Yin, How Would We Know?

If Francis Fukuyama is correct, and the Great Pendulum of the World swings back and forth every 60 or 70 years or so, then this would suggest right now that we are at a period of peak yin. We can surmise this because the last time there was clearly a period of excess yang it ended in the violent paroxysm of World War II, 71 years ago.

It is certainly not a time of excess yang right now in 2016. We know what that would look like – violence. This is literally the least violent time in human history (however, there is absolutely no evidence that things are guaranteed to remain this way indefinitely).

What are the characteristics of an age of excess yin? As below, so above – we can guess that the characteristics of the world would be a macrocosm of the characteristics of all of us.

Yang is also characterised, especially in Western alchemy in its aspect as the masculine principle, as order. Thus we can expect that excess yin might manifest itself as destructive, senseless chaos.

This would not manifest as the proportionate yin of a predatory beast who destroys with a view to impose a higher form of order, but more like the mindless rage of a school shooter or an Islamic suicide bomber, or even like the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which made little sense to anyone at the time and makes none now.

The masculine discriminates, the feminine does not discriminate. Therefore, in a time of excess yin, the fundamental error is to fail to discriminate when one should have discriminated. Perhaps this is what has happened with the immigration policies of the Western world in recent decades.

It’s especially evident in Europe, for example, where the man in the street has seen his quality of life drop sharply as a consequence of his nation’s naive lack of discrimination and foresight (and it’s been worse for the womenfolk).

The attitude from Western politicians towards people claiming to be refugees over the past 20 years was to open the bosom to allcomers, and to use social pressure to cow into submission anyone questioning this policy.

If yang is the heavens and yin the earth, the immense materialism of our age is perhaps also evidence that this is a period of excess yin. Our mainstream religious traditions are so thoroughly and irrevocably corrupted that expressing a will to become a priest is tantamount to a confession of sexual deviancy – whether justified or not.

There isn’t a skerrick of spirituality to be found in any of the long-dead rituals or in the emotional and manipulative rhetoric, yet our priests ride around in massive Mercedes and fly private jets, and lecture us on our duties to the poor from thrones of solid gold.

So materialistic are we that even most people who educate themselves to postgraduate level – much less the others – cannot conceive of an origin of consciousness different to the current “magic brain” model, in which one has unshakable, 100% confidence and faith in the belief that science will one day prove that the brain generates consciousness through electrobiochemical means.

Finally, we can see it with the rampant overpopulation of the Earth. The yin is associated with love and reproduction, but it is obvious that our recent interest in this is excessive. There are so many of us that we are in the middle of one of the six biggest extinction events in the history of the planet.

Despite the carnage that we are wreaking virus-like on the planet as we consume everything that lives on or under its surface, few seem to have any compunction about bringing another litter of kids into the world to compete for ever-diminishing resources.

Taken together, the reasons to think that we are in a time of excess yin seem overwhelming. This means that the world is about to start heating up – alchemically, if not physically.

Is It Time For Gay and Lesbian New Zealanders to Lose Their Victim Status?

Apart from Rugby World Cup trophies, the one thing that New Zealanders fight for with the most intensity is victim status. Being a victim in our society is to wield the power of laying guilt trips on people, which often brings with it a free media platform to convince people to stop their behaviour and adopt others more to the guilt-tripper’s liking.

Once you have achieved the status of victim no-one can disagree with you without feeling ashamed because if they disagree with you they automatically become part of the oppressor class, who all New Zealanders have been conditioned since kindergarten to reflexively despise.

This social pressuring has an extremely powerful influence on the thoughts and feelings of the individual, but the problem with this cozy arrangement is this.

The reason why gay and lesbian New Zealanders have, as of right now, an impregnable position at the very summit of Mount Victim is that being gay and lesbian is not highly correlated with significant measures of social deprivation in the country today.

The average homosexual is actually fairly wealthy on account of being both better educated than average and being less likely to have children, a phenomenon known as the pink dollar.

There’s no denying being gay and lesbian once was highly associated with measures of social deprivation and disenfranchisement. This is inevitable when you can literally get locked in a cage for being who you are. The contention of this column, however, is that this battle has long been won.

Homosexuality became illegal in 1840 in New Zealand and legal again in 1986 – now thirty years ago – so the people that enforced the legal prohibition on it are all long ago dead and buried.

In the 2011 General Election, seven gay or lesbian MPs were elected to Parliament, which is almost six percent of the total – over twice the actual proportion of gay and lesbian New Zealanders (and this is ignoring the known homosexual MPs who are just not public about it).

If your marginalised group is represented in Parliament at 250%+ of its proportion among general society, so much so that when a law is passed in your favour the entire Parliament will band together and sing a song of regret that they didn’t do it sooner, are you really that marginalised?

The irony of the eternal battle for victimhood is this: once your victim status is recognised by your society at large, you are automatically no longer a victim, because you are instantly doing much better than all the oppressed people whose victim status is not recognised.

The reverse of this is also an irony: in order to get into a position where you can do anything about being a victim, you have to get into a position where you are no longer a victim.

This is why the physically and mentally infirm will always be at the bottom of society – simply because they are in the weakest position to advocate for themselves. It is exceptionally rare to meet a sick person wearing a suit and who is articulate as Grant Robertson.

So perhaps it’s time for another marginalised group of New Zealanders to get some attention?

If you are one of New Zealand’s 400,000 medicinal cannabis users, getting completely ignored by all parties is galling when you can turn the television on and hear Jacinda Ardern passionately arguing for legalising gay adoption – an issue which affects perhaps 50 people a year.

Every day you are ignored is another slap in the face, another insult. But no-one will bring up your plight in Parliament, ever, and merely to point out that it’s time for you to displace some of the wealthy and powerful people raking it in at the victim table is seen as effrontery (no doubt many people will read the headline of this article and become outraged without reading the body).

That’s a real victim of societal prejudice.

Why There Always Has Been War And Always Will Be War

It’s as simple as looking at a yin-yang, and knowing that the yin represents chaos and the yang represents order. Keeping in mind the Fifth Hermetic Principle – the Principle of Rhythm – we can surmise that it is true of order and chaos that “the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left.”

In a Taoist sense this is to say that an excess of order, by its very nature, leads to a minuscule element of chaos arising within it, which grows, and soon takes on a momentum of its own, only to itself crystallise from a tiny seed into order, and ever more rigid order, until the cycle begins anew.

Too much masculinity in the alchemical world is represented as fire and iron, and these stand as metaphor for how too much masculinity in the physical world leads to violence.

An excess of masculinity is like fire when it has too much energy because it causes violence which burns flesh and sears souls, and is what the ancient physicians meant when they diagnosed a person with a choleric personality.

It is also like iron when it imposes too much order because it is harsh and cuts mercilessly, and when it breaks down it shatters, as with an excess of masculinity one loses one’s ability to yield and to withdraw and breaks like a tree that cannot yield to a storm.

This is evident in the natural world even when one looks at biological life in the simplest way. A seed that sprouts and begins to grow towards the light must eventually break the surface if it is to survive (for a literary description of this phenomenon see Chapter 21 of Anna Nilsen’s Writing With The I Ching: Biting Through).

As below, so above: the world of men is no different. If a person observes the current order of the day and finds it unworthy of continued existence, then – if they are intelligent – they will soon come to appreciate the degree to which, and the vigour with which, the established order maintains itself (indeed, that’s all that order is).

But like the rising yin, the desire to break the established order – once it takes hold – grows ever more powerful by virtue of its position within nature. As the dusk darkness consumes ever more of the light, so does the chaos dissolve ever more of the existing order, until it breaks through and imposes an order of its own.

If you look at the current state of world history, there is an established Anglo-American order, which has dominated world affairs for about 200 years. This order is generally known as ‘The West’, because it represents the powers on the Western side of the world when viewed as a chessboard.

This world order arguably began at Waterloo, when the then wielder of the Spear of Destiny – Napoleon Bonaparte – was defeated in battle and the First French Empire sundered.

The nature of yang is to decline into yin – we know this, and already it’s possible to observe an America in cultural decay. Already the American Empire has degenerated in certain ways further than any empire in history, with the most recent 50 years giving us everything from Charles Manson and Ted Bundy to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The nature of yin is to rise into yang – and this can be observed with the awakening of the sleeping giants of China and India. These countries were poor and were always going to remain poor as long as they were too corrupt to organise any meaningful invest in the human capital of the young. This was how it was when the Spear of Destiny was held in Europe, but now, as it crosses the Pacific, the East is awakening.

There is every chance that a rising Eastern power that wants its place in the Sun will naturally come into conflict with the established Western one that wants to hold onto power. Indeed, many believed that the Japanese action in the Western Pacific theatre of World War II was this event playing out (this column is far, far from the first to suggest it).

The collapse of the established order is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. The established order never collapses peacefully (observe adult male elephants for an analogy in the natural world).

Therefore, war is a fundamental aspect of life, and always will be, as long as there are masculine and feminine.