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).

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Law and Justice Words

Law – ture

As if from two suns, two rays of light shine from the heavens onto a book of law.

Court, to judge – kōti

Inside a courtroom, a judge watches two peacocks courting.

Prison – whare herehere

A ferry crosses the Cook Strait. There is a prison built on top of it, full of hairy prisoners. It is the ferry hairy hairy.

Prisoner – herehere

Looking at a prison yard, it can be seen that the prisoners are covered in both facial and body hair. To be a prisoner is to be hairy-hairy.

to arrest – mauhere

A naked, hairy man is mowing the strip outside his house. He is the mow hairy. The Police come and arrest him for public nudity.

Police – pirihimana

From a boat on the Amazon, people can see in the water of the river tiny policecars swimming like pirahnas.

The Māori word for ‘Police’ – pirihimana – shares a ‘pi-r-h-na’ construction with the English word ‘pirahna’

Crime, Criminal, break the law – hara

A man points and says “Hey, that guy’s breaking the law!” His anarchist friend cries out “Hurrah!”

fair – matatika

A man wipes his feet on a mat and it rises up and attacks him. He cries out “Be fair! Be fair!” as he suffers the mat attack.

Justice – manatika

A woman goes into her attic and sees a bunch of men she did not expect. It is now a man attic. She comes down crying “Justice!”

Punishment – whiunga

The judge says “Your punishment is a $100 fee.” The guilty man walks despondently up to the clerk to pay, and his niece is there. She says “Fee, Uncle?”

Right – mōtika

A woman steals a moustache off a man’s face. When he complains, she says “It is my right – I am the mo taker.”

unfair – makihuhunu

A man walks up to a table and takes a key from it. Another man already sitting there says “That’s unfair! That’s ma key!” “Huh? Who knew?” the first man sneers as he walks away, unfairly.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Folksjälvmord

On my first visit to Sweden, from 2001 to 2003, I found occasion to coin a word in the Swedish language. They already had a word for genocide (‘folkmord’) and they already had a word for suicide (‘självmord’), but they didn’t have a word for the sociological phenomenon, widespread at the time, that combined both. This essay discusses ‘folksjälvmord’ and the reasons for it.

If you have 1,000 crowns in one bank account at 6% interest, and 100,000 crowns in another bank account at 2% interest, inevitably the first account will become larger than the second (assuming no withdrawals or changes to the rate). This is a matter of mathematical certainty, and can be proven true in every case where a smaller balance has a higher interest rate than a larger balance. No-one disputes this.

By similar reasoning, we can see that if the population of a minority group is increasing faster than their host population, then the minorities will eventually outnumber their hosts. Assuming no withdrawals (i.e. deportations or genocides), then a population that has a fertility rate of 3.0 plus 50,000 immigrants per year will eventually grow to overwhelm a population that starts out a hundreds times larger, but which only has a fertility rate of 2.0 or less (and no immigrants).

This process is known straightforwardly as “conquest” in any other context, but when the host population has an overwhelming military advantage compared to their invaders it isn’t so simple. If the hosts are willingly paying tax money to import these minorities, and then paying again to have those minorities breed while on welfare, then they’re effectively paying for their own ethnic cleansing.

This process can only be likened to a collective suicide, or suicide at the level of the population – folksjälvmord. After all, politics is little more than the expression of power, and the expression of power is mostly a numbers game, particularly in a democracy. If the host population stops being the majority then they give up power, and giving up power within your own country to a foreign entity that you imported can only be analogised as stabbing oneself in the leg or stomach, perhaps harakiri style.

Swedes didn’t think much of my witty neologism. The thought that it might happen to them seemed to be so unpleasant that it simply couldn’t be countenanced. It didn’t seem to matter to them that the same process of inevitable mathematical conquest was precisely what happened in the New World, where I came from. Better to simply blindly believe that all would be well than to ask how the Africans and Muslims would behave when they comprised 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%+ of the population.

This wilful, oblivious ignorance about the state of their situation might be likened to a delusion-based psychiatric illness, in the same way that someone who is obviously dying but who refuses to admit it.

A man addicted to heroin doesn’t want to hear that the drug will soon kill him; a nation addicted to virtue-signalling and self-righteousness doesn’t want to hear that the mass importation of foreigners with incompatible values will soon destroy them. In either case, a well-meaning observer might be well aware that the behaviour in question was effectively suicidal.

Sixteen years after this first visit of mine, it’s possible to observe the results of the practice of folksjälvmord. Although the decay of the country is yet to reach the elites – and therefore, yet to be officially acknowledged – the Swedish people are certainly aware of it. They responded by giving 18% of their votes to the far-right extremist Sweden Democrats in a General Election last month.

In Germany, which has also recently imported a large number of low-IQ immigrants, a similar phenomenon can be observed. Opinion polls for the next German Federal Election show that the far-right extremist Alternativ fuer Deutschland is now polling higher than the Establishment social democrats. This phenomenon is likely to spread to other nations that let in large numbers of “refugees” against the better judgment of the more sober of their citizens.

Folksjälvmord, then, doesn’t simply refer to a declining population, because populations (historically speaking) tend to resist conquest with as much violence as they can muster. It can also refer to the coming to power, within a nation, of groups of people who are patently unfit to rule, and who wreck the place. Folksjälvmord could, in that context, be considered a symptom of a dark age, or Kali Yuga. The destruction is as much internal, and spiritual, as external and physical.

The state of the world has notably changed since first coining the term ‘folksjälvmord’. The national suicides of the European nations are continuing apace – but now the Far East Asian ones have joined them. Indeed, the fertility rate in Far East Asia is now lower than Northern Europe (China 1.6, Japan 1.4, South Korea 1.2, c.f. Sweden 1.9, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway 1.7), and is continuing to fall there.

Perhaps the most frightening realisation is that folksjälvmord is far from a uniquely Swedish, European or even Western problem. It seems to be a natural part of the ebb and flow of empires and the golden ages of various peoples: as before, so after.

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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 Case For Cannabis: Cannabis Is An Alternative to Booze

Alcohol is great fun – but it also has its downsides. Severe downsides. Violence, sexually transmitted diseases, mental disorder and verbal abuse: when the booze goes in, it all comes out. This essay will argue that the downsides of alcohol are severe enough that we ought to be permitted a recreational alternative in the form of cannabis.

The downsides to widespread alcohol use are considerable. The New Zealand Police Manager’s Guild Trust states that “alcohol is present in about 30 percent of family violence incidents they attend,” and according to the study The Burden of Death, Disease and Disability due to Alcohol in New Zealand, 3.9% of all deaths in New Zealand can be attributed to alcohol.

Any Police officer, emergency nurse, heart surgeon, barman, oncologist or taxi driver could give you supporting evidence. We are doing tremendous damage to ourselves on a daily basis through widespread consumption of a drug that has a number of highly toxic side-effects. The bashings, the rapes, the bodies wrecked in traffic accidents represent a great deal of human suffering – and we’re not given a recreational alternative.

Alcohol brings a great deal of joy, of course, which is why it should not be banned. The anti-depressant effects of being able to have a good time with friends is incalculable, even if one can measure the physical damage in dollars. Ultimately, we cannot say that any action that causes us to enjoy life without harming anyone else is immoral, and most alcohol use falls into that category.

However, much of it doesn’t. For those of us who do not wish to participate in the weekly debauchery, violence and chlamydia-fest that is the New Zealand alcohol culture, there should be a recreational alternative.

In Amsterdam, where recreational cannabis is effectively legal and sold openly from “coffee shops”, we can get a glimpse of what a cannabis-based recreational alternative to alcohol might look like. On the Rembrantplein on any sunny day, one can see a park full of people peacefully smoking cannabis, with no violence or disorder. This is not just because Dutch people are well-behaved (because Dutch people chimp out on booze much like anyone else) – it is more that non-violence goes hand-in-hand with cannabis use.

The fact is that cannabis is a relaxant and a pacifier, and it tends to make people more quiet rather than boisterous. So one of the best things about repealing cannabis prohibition is that it would give people a recreational alternative to alcohol. This means that anyone wanting to relax and unwind on the weekend wouldn’t be forced to partake in the culture of a drug that was associated with violence.

Indeed, it can be observed that rates of sex and violence crimes decrease in the wake of cannabis legalisation. This has been observed in the American states that legalised recreational cannabis since Colorado was the first in 2014. The obvious explanation for this is the vastly different effects that cannabis has on human behaviour compared to alcohol.

This is of utmost importance to those who are not compatible with alcohol, for whatever reasons. Many people know that they are not well-suited to drinking alcohol, because they tend to end up in trouble with the Police. When fully sober, many people can tell you that if they start drinking they will start fighting. But there’s no recreational alternative.

Legal cannabis would allow people to have options when it came to unwinding and having a good time. If they didn’t want to get messy they would be able to simply go to a cannabis cafe, and get blazed and talk some shit without the risk of violence.

Of course, the fact that cannabis is an alternative to booze is one reason why it’s suppressed. It has been demonstrated previously that political parties are soaked in donations from the alcohol industry, and that the purpose of those donations is to incentivise the politicians to vote against cannabis law reform. In other words, alternatives to booze mean lower profits for the booze industry.

This shouldn’t prevent the correct actions from being taken. Ultimately, the best option is to legalise cannabis so that there is a recreational alternative to alcohol. Those who are compatible with alcohol can drink alcohol, and those who are not have the option of using cannabis to unwind. This is much fairer and safer method of dealing with people’s recreational needs than by forcing them all to drink booze.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Parts of Language Words

Word – kupu

An old woman walks up to a box and says “Eh, you words shouldn’t be cooped up in that box.” She opens the box and hundreds of words come out.

Sentence, Saying – rerenga kōrero

A woman reads from a piece of paper: “Rare anger, core ear? This sentence doesn’t make any sense!” The man next to her, who has apple cores for ears, gets angry. It’s a rare anger, core-ear.

Paragraph – kōwae

A boy is writing on a piece of paper, and a second boy reads the paper, and says “Paragraph, paragraph, paragraph.” The first boy says “Go away”.

Consonant – orokati

Two canoes are racing. One is covered in consonants and the other is covered in vowels. One of the rowers in the consonant canoe is a cat, and his partner says “Oh, row, catty!”

Vowel – oropuare

Two canoes are racing. One is covered in consonants and the other is covered in vowels. One of the rowers in the vowel canoe is a very wealthy-looking man, and he says to his partner “Oh, row, Poorer!”

Language – reo

A man says to a cat “Hey, do you speak human language?” The cat replies “Rrreoo!”

The Maori word for ‘lower-case’ – pūriki – shares a p-r-k construction with the English word ‘pork’

to spell – tātaki kupu

On a tarry road covered in tacks, there is a chicken coop. It is the tar-tacky coop. In it, the chickens are busy spelling out words.

to define, Definition – tautuhi

A schoolteacher asks a boy “Can you define the word for the class?” The boy says “Totally!”

Letter (lower case) – pūriki

A lower-case letter is being filmed doing a cooking show. It adds some meat into a frypan and say “This is the case of pork.”

Letter (upper case) – pūmatua

A bunch of upper-case letters are spectating a boxing photo shoot. The bout is between an Argentinan rugby player (a Puma) and David Tua. In upper-case letters above the shoot spell out: “P U M A – T U A

Alphabet – arapū

A man says “Hey I composed a rap. It’s about the alphabet.” The man raps off A-B-C.

Phrase – rerenga kupu

Two men watch a chicken coop in which the chickens are angry and fighting. One says “That’s a rare anger coop.” The other says “You know the phrase: it’s a cold winter when you have a rare anger coop.”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Will the Sixth Labour Government be a One-Term Affair?

The Sixth Labour Government has already made one colossal error in its short time in power, and it looks like it’s set up to make another. Considering that their grip on power was already slim, and that they are relying on the infamously treacherous Winston Peters to maintain it, there’s every chance that the Sixth Labour Government ends up being a one-term affair. This essay discusses the possibility.

There are many forces that threaten to tear apart every party in every Parliament, but within the New Zealand Labour Party some gigantic fissures are starting to become particularly prominent. The decision to raise the refugee quota was a slap in the face to the poorer voters within Labour, and can be counted as a colossal error. The other error will be forced by the referendum to legalise cannabis.

Make no mistake – raising the refugee quota was an error of profound magnitude. The reality of the situation is this: European governments have, for a couple of decades now, placed the needs of foreign “asylum seekers” above those of their own working classes, and the consequences of doing so are clear. Doing so will lead to a return of authoritarian populists, as has been shown with the rise of the Sweden Democrats in Sweden, the AfD in Germany and Matteo Salvini in Italy.

If you are a poor New Zealander, then you are probably a natural Labour voter, but it’s extremely galling to see Labour spending the money that could have helped you on refugees instead. Adding insult to injury, these refugees are usually dumped in working class areas because that’s where the cheapest housing is. The cherry on the top is that any working-class person who protests their demotion in favour of foreign chancers will be denounced by Labour supporters as a racist.

The decision to double the refugee quota will drive a thick wedge deeply between the working-class faction of Labour, who are dependent on a limited pool of government largesse for their personal well-being and who resent more people claiming a piece of it, and the champagne socialist faction, whose primary concern is virtue signalling for the sake of social status and advancement.

This is the current rupture. It’s unlikely that a populist worker’s movement will arise merely on the basis of this, but it will cause some Labour voters to switch to New Zealand First in 2020 and some to abstain.

The inevitable future rupture comes with the cannabis referendum that will likely be held near the end of 2019. Labour will not admit this, but the referendum has the potential to tear the Labour Party right down the centre, for demographic reasons. This is not a concern for either the Green, New Zealand First or National Parties, because the demographic equation does not apply in their cases.

Maori voters are massively in favour of cannabis law reform – this is one of the strongest relationships in all of New Zealand politics. The correlation between being Maori and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 was 0.91. This is much stronger than all of the other well-accepted relationships in New Zealand society, and is immediately apparent if one observes the fact that the ALCP gets twice as many votes in Maori electorates as it does in General ones.

Pacific Islanders, by contrast, are much more lukewarm on the issue. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting ALCP in 2017 was -0.00 (i.e. perfectly uncorrelated), much weaker than the correlation between being Maori and voting ALCP. The reason for this is clear if one looks at the general demographic profile of Pacific Islanders: they tend to be religious, and the religious tend to be prejudiced against cannabis.

Therefore, the Labour Party cannot avoid being divided when the cannabis referendum comes around, and they cannot avoid losing a large swathe of voters because someone will inevitably feel betrayed. Either Maori voters will punish them for being too strict on cannabis, or Pacific Islander voters will punish them for being too loose. So Labour is damned if they do campaign for change and damned if they don’t.

These two errors need to be viewed in their correct context. Many political commentators assume (incorrectly) that, because all political parties generally fall on a left-right spectrum, if a given voter doesn’t like the government of the day then they will move leftward or rightward to cast their vote next election.

The truth, as Dan McGlashan demonstrated in Understanding New Zealand, is that for many Kiwis, the alternative to voting Labour is not voting at all. If you are a working-class New Zealander, and therefore a natural Labour voter, the preferred option when Labour is too right-wing is not voting Greens but abstaining from voting.

As the article linked immediately above describes, the correlation between voting for Labour in 2017 and turnout rate in 2017 was a very strong -0.72. That tells us that as many as half of all natural Labour supporters actually don’t vote. The real challenge for the Labour Party is not convincing the masses that National is bad or even that Labour would be better, but convincing them that Labour would be better enough to make it worthwhile to vote for them, and to not rather abstain by way of protest.

The two major errors discussed in this article might collectively have the effect of significantly reducing support for the Labour Party. They have already greatly disappointed their voters who are dependent on social assistance, and the cannabis referendum will force them to either greatly disappoint Maoris (who will then abstain from voting in 2020) or greatly disappoint Pacific Islanders (who will then abstain or switch to National in 2020). This disappointment might be enough to tip the balance back towards National in 2020.

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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 Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Harms Minorities

Cannabis prohibition causes harm across most levels of society, but some bear the brunt more than others. In the Western World, it can be seen that cannabis prohibition has a disproportionately heavy effect on minorities, and there are multiple reasons for this. This article will discuss the need for cannabis law reform from an ethnic rights perspective.

The South African High Court found found in a recent judgment that “the
criminalisation of cannabis […] is certainly characterised by the racist footprints of a disgraceful past.” In other words, the South African authorities are willing to admit that cannabis prohibition was forced on the people of South Africa out of malice.

They found that “it is general knowledge that some sections of the [Black] population have been accustomed for hundreds of years to the use of dagga, both as an intoxicant and in the belief that it has medicinal properties, and do not regard it with the same moral repugnance as do other sections of the population.”

It followed from this that the prohibition of cannabis and the normalisation of alcohol was to put European values first and foremost, and this was mentioned in part of their judgement when they made recreational cannabis legal earlier this year.

Ever since Jamestown – and possibly long before then – European colonialists knew that native peoples had a great susceptibility to alcohol. The American Indians called it ‘firewater’ for the explosively violent behaviour it caused among their kind. Rolling a barrel of rum into an Indian village had a similar effect to rolling a barrel of gunpowder into one.

The science is like this: in Europe, most of the people who could not handle alcohol had been wiped out of the gene pool over thousands of years of exposure. Anyone who chimped out when drunk got killed or put in prison, and thereby failed to reproduce. Consequently, Europeans (much like Middle Easterners) do not lose self-control when drunk at the same rate as peoples who have not had that historical exposure.

The people who conquered the New World did not understand the genetics behind this, but they were well aware of the destabilising effect that alcohol had on native communities. So they passed laws, such as cannabis prohibition, that forbade any alternative to alcohol. This forced the natives away from cannabis and forced them towards drugs that would destroy them.

Laws prohibiting alternatives to alcohol are extremely prejudiced in favour of European people and people of European descent. In terms of the damage it can do to people who don’t have a genetic resistance to it, alcohol is almost a bioweapon, and passing laws that prohibit recreational alternatives to it could rightly be seen as acts of genetic warfare against non-European populations.

In New Zealand, Maori leaders like to talk about economic reparations and the damage done by colonisation. But never do they talk about the damage done to Maoris by cannabis prohibition.

Maoris have no cultural tradition of alcohol drinking. Unlike Europeans, Polynesians have only been exposed to alcohol for a few centuries. This means that they have not had time to evolve a resistance to the substance, and neither have they had time to make alcohol part of their culture. Alcohol is a foreign substance to the New World, and it’s foreign to the natives here.

As anyone with a clue knows, Maoris love cannabis. Not only do you frequently see Maoris smoking weed at parties, but it’s common to see Maoris in the street wearing Bob Marley t-shirts or with the red-yellow-green of reggae culture somewhere in their clothing. Their love of cannabis is unrepentant – in other words, it’s part of the culture.

The reason for this is simple: not only is cannabis great fun, but Maoris are also aware of the destabilising effect that alcohol has on native communities, and have found that their social recreational drug needs can be met just as well by cannabis as by alcohol (in most cases). Given an even playing field, it’s better to smoke cannabis because it leads to much fewer problems, in particular much less violence.

However, although this behaviour is fair, rational and reasonable, it’s prohibited. There are hundreds of Maoris in prison right now for cannabis offences, even though the prohibition of cannabis has nothing to do with their culture and is something that was forced on them by (some) white people.

It follows, then, that anyone who is truly interested in racial justice in the West must also be in favour of cannabis law reform. This will not only give minorities an alternative to alcohol, instead of having alcohol culture forced on them, but it will remove one possible source of discrimination against those minorities by taking the issue away from Police discretion.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

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).