The Bad Guys Are Neither Left Nor Right But Whoever Denies Reality the Most

Everyone is trying to place the blame on the other side of the politico-retard spectrum. Left-wingers blame the cruelty and ruthlessness of the right wing for the widespread poverty and inequality of the world, and right-wingers blame the lack of conscientiousness and industriousness among leftists for that same poverty. This essay steps back and declares that whoever denies reality the most are the bad guys.

For hundreds of years, scientific progress was made impossible by religious conservatives of the right. Institutions such as the Catholic Church persecuted and executed freethinkers such as Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno, going as far as burning the latter at the stake for heresy. Their fear was that freethinking, and the practice of freethinking, would dissolve the web of lies that they had thrown over the West in order to dominate and control us.

Not only did they spend centuries fighting the idea that the Earth revolved around the Sun, but these conservatives still resist the teaching of evolution in public schools. The doctrine of evolution suggests that the various species of the world evolved over many millions of years to fit the various ecological niches that exist on this planet, and this goes against the idea that God created everything deliberately according to some grand plan that kicked off around 6,000 years ago.

The reason why all this was resisted is because it went against the religious dogma of Abrahamism, which is an extremely aggressive mechanism of total control. The Abrahamic tradition glorifies submission to religious authorities and demonises those who strike out on their own to find their own answers. For centuries, this attitude led to the widespread suppression of science and philosophy, which gave us the Dark Ages: nearly a millennium of total stagnation.

This association between religious conservatism and suppression of science is the reason why the Enlightenment has always been associated with left-wing values. In order to advance science and knowledge, people had to break the shackles of religion and the monarchy, because these sclerotic institutions sought to oppress them at every turn. This is why speculative freethinking societies swore to destroy them.

Few have realised, but the pendulum has now shifted. In 2018, science is being made impossible, not by the religious fanatics of the right but by the political fanatics of the left. It’s no longer the Church that’s denying science: Pope Francis is happy to tell you all about how climate change is bad and how evolution is true and perfectly compatible with their theocratic dogma.

In 2018 the deniers of science are primarily the leftists who dream to create a global socialist state.

They deny science for the same reason that the religious conservatives did: because it goes against their dogma and because it makes it harder for them to bring their ideology of control into being. The particular science that they deny is different, but similar in that it is also denied because of political reasons, not scientific ones.

For instance, those who want a global socialist state have a strong incentive to deny any science that suggests that there are inherent biological differences between populations, because such inherent differences imply that people might be better off kept apart. What the socialists want is a world where people are merely replaceable parts, where any group of 1,000 workers is the same as any other.

To this end, all identifications with race or gender have to be destroyed so that only identification with the state remains. Only when nothing but identification with the one world global state remains can we be free of the divisions that cause conflict between populations – or so the dogma goes.

Consequently, we can observe that those leftists do not like discussing the science of genetic influence on racial differences in intelligence. Their entire political construct would fall apart if it was widely conceded that certain races are not intellectually capable of contributing meaningfully to an advanced industrial society or to a post-industrial service-based one.

Neither do those leftists like discussing the science of genetic influence on gender differences in behaviour. If it was widely conceded that men and women thought and approached the world in fundamentally different ways, then it would be impossible for men and women to be treated as interchangable parts. One would need to have separate institutions for men and for women, and this would contradict the goal of a supreme one world government, and make the desired control system harder to implement.

This denial of reality has and will continue to cause an immense amount of suffering in the world, because it will induce people to accept political solutions that don’t reflect Nature and which will therefore always be in conflict with it. This doesn’t mean that the right-wing are the good guys though, as their denial of the psychological damage caused by poverty and economic hardship causes just as much suffering as the denial of science by the left.

It must now be accepted that the received wisdom of the right-wing being evil, which has been held true for centuries by freethinkers, scientists and scholars all around the world, no longer holds as a general rule. The bad guys are now all over the politico-retard spectrum, denying science on account of all manner of moronic political doctrines.

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Generation X and the Wisdom of Robert Anton Wilson

The great philosopher Robert Anton Wilson liked to say “It only takes twenty years for a liberal to change into a conservative without changing a single idea.” As it happens, I first heard this statement almost 20 years ago, when I was just about to begin studying at university. How did RAW’s observation stack up for those of us born at the arse end of Generation X? Let’s have a look.

In 1999, when I first went to university, I was more or less a liberal. I had grown up in a welfare family that had been strongly adversely affected by the 1991 Budget of the conservative National Party. A consequence of this budget was that sometimes my brother and I had to go hungry, and the effect of this would often reduce my mother to tears. This gave me a very deep and powerful sense of contempt for conservative politics.

Twenty years later, things have changed immensely, although I haven’t. RAW’s observation holds just as true this century as it did in his time.

In 1999, race was a major issue, as it had already been for centuries, but the tone of it was different. The liberal belief in 1999 was that, although there had been a lot of inter-racial violence in the past, people of all races were capable of coming together in shared humanity. Although biological reasons could clearly explain much of the racial differences in intelligence and behaviour, segregation was an example of the utmost evil.

All that has been flipped. In 2018, the white race stands alone as the singular cause of all the suffering in the world. Now, I’m a conservative because I don’t support the outright destruction of the white race and of Western culture. Even believing in borders is seen as conservative in some quarters, merely an impediment to the neoliberal objective of maximally efficient allocation of labour resources.

Although it’s true that no two things in Nature are identical, it’s no longer permissible to assert that racial differences in intelligence have a biological component. Although this was accepted without question 20 years ago, now one must blame everything on economic and social reasons or be considered right-wing, if not actually fascist. All races are perfectly equal in intelligence, not only when measured in general terms but also when it comes to specific behaviour. Evolution stops at the neck.

Neither has gender escaped this miserable phenomenon. In 1999, I considered myself a strong believer in women’s rights. I considered men filth if they abused or harassed women, and was glad that New Zealand had its first elected female Prime Minister later that year.

Now, a man is sexist if he does not support a system that actively undermines and destroys him. It’s not enough to support scholarships for women to study at university – now that women heavily outnumber men among university students, the agenda has moved on to boardroom quotas and the “gender gap”. MPs like Julie Ann Genter attack white men on account of being white and male, even when there is already a suicide epidemic among those some young men.

Anyone who mentions that men commit suicide at 300% the rate of women is considered a bigot, or dismissed as an incel men’s right’s activist. It’s not enough for men and women to be equal – men have to be made to suffer for the historical crimes of their gender. Many people, like New Zealand’s Poto Williams, want to remove the right to presumption of innocence from men accused of rape.

Religion is no different. Some say that religion is supposed to represent the timeless and eternal, but public attitudes to religion have not remained the same over the past 20 years. In 1999, it was widely understood that Islam was an extremely conservative religion that treated women and homosexuals appallingly. For these reasons, it was obvious that Islam was a right-wing ideology and therefore the enemy of liberals such as myself.

Twenty years later, it’s all different. In 2018, Muslims are – bizarrely – seen as victims, despite a 1400-year world tour of slaughter, mayhem and conquest. I’m a racist if I don’t like people who choose to worship a murderous warlord paedophile. If I oppose the mass immigration of Muslims to my country, I am equated with Hitler, despite being able to point to dozens of historical examples of local populations suffering immensely after mass Muslim immigration.

Believing in history is now conservative, because it supposedly normalises a white male way of thinking. The liberal approach to history nowadays is just to make up whatever needs to be made up in order to further one’s political aims. Lebanon was always a Muslim country, and no natives ever benefitted from colonialism.

Last of all, a similar thing has happened with homosexuality. In 1999, I was a fervent supporter of gay rights. Not only did I think it was appalling that our government had taken until the mid-80s to decriminalise homosexual activity, but I fully supported gay marriage. Gay adoption was clearly a step too far, however, as society was made up of men and women, mostly in breeding pairs, and it would be best for a child to be exposed to this and to both genders.

Now, 20 years later, I’m a conservative for believing that a gay couple is different, in any way, from a heterosexual one. A man can just say he’s a woman now, and if I continue to insist that he’s different to a woman – in any way – then I’m a bigot. I’m not even allowed to find homosexual activity odd, or disgusting, no matter how fervently I support someone’s right to engage in it. Fucking a 16-year old boy in the arse is as natural as anything else in the world.

Even worse, those same homosexuals I defended for many years against hissing, hateful Christians are now attacking me because of my criticism of Islam. They call my criticism of Islam ‘racism’, even though it’s motivated by an appreciation for gay rights – precisely the same sentiments that motivated my criticism of Christianity!

If you are also young and reading this, don’t think it won’t happen to you too. When I first heard RAW predict that I would be a conservative in 20 years if I didn’t change any ideas, I refused to believe him. RAW was old, and didn’t understand that we had now made everything right after centuries of misrule, and that we didn’t need to go any further.

But RAW was right, and much wiser and more perceptive than me. If you are a liberal now, and young, just know that in 20 years those who call themselves liberal will be pushing all manner of absolutely insane shit, and if you don’t go along with it then you’ll be considered a conservative.

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VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger IX

This reading continues on from here.

Part Seven of Ride the Tiger is called ‘Dissolution in the Social Realm’. This consists of four essays. The first of these is called ‘States and Societies – Apoliteia’. In this essay, Evola contends that the sociopolitical environment has essentially collapsed, and that the right sort of person must learn to govern themselves in the absence of social guidance. This is because there are no longer any legitimate nation-states.

True leaders, Evola states, do not exist today. Neither does any movement exist that offers itself as a defender of higher ideas. The petty politicians of today are just figureheads “at the service of financial, industrial,
or corporate interests” – essentially prostitutes. Even if a party that reflected a higher truth appeared, the people are simply too base to voted for one. The only realms left for political action are the irrational and the subintellectual.

Apoliteia means detachment from the political. Evola notes that the great conflict between Western democratic capitalism and Eastern socialism requires no appeal to any higher ideal. The West is equally as destructive and nihilistic as the Marxists. However, the West does at least offer the freedom from where an assault can be mounted. The really difficult thing is to defend one’s dignity when one feels that one belongs to a different humanity.

Essay 26 is called ‘Society – the Crisis of Patriotic Feeling’. Evola immediately lays out the problem – “eνery organic unity has been dissolνed or is dissolν­ing: caste, stock, nation, homeland, and eνen the family”. The associations of today are not built on blood or ideals or anything meaningful – people only come together temporarily for economic advantage. Spiritual superiority counts for nothing. The problem can be summed up by Nietzsche: a great struggle just to win nothing. Modern states are so bloated and overreaching that they have destroyed all remaining organic bonds.

Curiously, even for writing in the 1960s, Evola can already criticise an “economy of excess” that no longer serves to meet necessities. Evola is able to deduce that overproduction has become normalised – people’s wants simply increased to meet the increase in production. Moreover, the desperate need to employ everyone has people working to produce things that no-one needs.

The modern world is absurd. Our massively increasing population is an insanity, and serves as proof that man, for all of the impulses he has overcome in his conquest of the Earth, cannot control his sexual urges. This population growth has led to the need to condition people more and more in order to force them into the workplace. The overall effect is much like a cancer. No really aristocratic soul could possibly identify with a modern world so base.

Men of our age respond even less to the old appeals for action. Appeals to religion died with World War I; appeals to the nation died with World War II. The traditional state won its power through appeals to order. It was a matter of unification from above, not below. The void can be filled if the ancient principles returned. What is needed is an invisible unity of individuals associated by their nature.

The 27th essay is called ‘Marriage and the Family’. Here Evola contends that we have to face up to the fact that the family no longer has the same meaning and importance as it once did. The essential thing is the transmission of spiritual truth from generation to generation, not merely passing on the bloodline. This loss of meaning in the idea of family combines with the trend of materialism to create misery.

Marriage is now “little more than a puritanical veneer for a regime of high prostitution”. The marriage rites that supposedly made the profane into something sacred have merely served to do the opposite. Part of the problem is that sex is seen as something sinful, which means that marriage itself is something that one only chooses to participate in because one does not want to be an ascetic.

As it is, there is no longer anything worth defending or preserving. Therefore the differentiated man cannot ready form social bonds such as marriage. He must have his own self. Part of the reason for this is, again, that if a true leader arose in today’s time, he would be the last of men to be followed. More important than ensuring a succession of blood is ensuring a succession of spiritual knowledge.

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Jordan B Peterson is the Timothy Leary of Our Generation

Helping the next generation to see beyond – or corrupting the youth?

Jordan B Peterson has struck a dull and ossified mediascape like a meteor. Where there used to be only talking heads reading from teleprompters and a variety of family-rated corporate whores, the Canadian professor has burst onto the scene spraying the truth like machinegun rounds. Being so used to lies as we are, this has astonished us, and as of right now Peterson is the man of the moment. The reaction he has generated is an echo of another psychologist who clashed with the Establishment of his time – Timothy Leary.

Once described by U.S. President Richard Nixon as “the most dangerous man in America,” Leary was a pioneer of psychedelic therapy. Also like Peterson, Leary was once a psychology lecturer at Harvard University. Leary devoted his life to understanding the human mind and behaviour and communicating this knowledge to other people, and in doing so helped set them free.

And in setting people free, he became the enemy of the Establishment.

Peterson and Leary are hated by the Establishment because they deprogrammed the young people of their time from the brainwashing that the elites had forced onto them. In Leary’s time, during the early 60s, the young had been brainwashed to be right-wing: they had been programmed to be judgmental, harsh, even hateful. Leary’s task was to teach them to love, and he found that psychedelics were useful for accelerating this deconditioning process.

The only difference with Peterson in this regard is that the young people being deprogrammed by Peterson have been brainwashed with left-wing logic. Instead of being programmed to be discriminating and hard, they have been programmed to be unquestioning, passive, yielding and soft. In other words, where Leary was confronted with a youth that was too masculine as a response to World War II, Peterson has been confronted with a youth that is too feminine as a response to the great decades of peace.

Timothy Leary showed in the Concord Prison Experiment that violent felons could be induced to repudiate their criminal ways if given a guided psychedelic therapy session under the supervision of a qualified therapist. Recidivist criminals learned some empathy for the victims of their aggression and swore off it. In other words, he showed that an excess of masculinity can be countered by the restorative effects of psychedelics.

Those restorative effects can also counter an excess of feminity. They can help a Western world that has lost itself in materialist sensations. We are so obsessed with our own bodies and with sensory pleasures that we have lost touch with the spiritual and with the transcendental. Peterson correctly understands that psychedelics can help here but he is also canny enough not to fall into the Leary trap of propounding something that the populace isn’t mentally ready to handle.

Both men also had a message of “turn on, tune in, drop out”, only they are different. Leary’s message was to drop out of society entirely. His belief was that people who turn on to their true nature will realise that it isn’t served by the way society is structured, and that if they completely rejected it they could form a new society that suffered from none of those problems. A new society could be built by a switched-on movement of hippies, and it would prevail.

Peterson has a similar message, only without the anarchism. For both Peterson and Leary, turning on and tuning in involved learning to know one’s own mind, one’s one thoughts and consciousness. Where Peterson is different is that his emphasis is on restoring order within oneself before attempting to impose order upon the external world. His catchphrase is “Clean your room before you worry about fixing the world,” echoing Gandhi’s “Be the change you want to see.”

Where both men are exactly the same is in that they teach people to look within for answers, instead of without. Teaching young people to rely on their own judgment and their own experiences instead of taking direction from aggressively self-imposed moral authorities absolutely terrifies the Establishment – because the Establishment consists of nothing more but self-imposed moral authorities.

The Government, the Church and the media all gain their power from the attention that they are given by those who look to them for guidance. Power flows where attention goes. When Peterson exhorts young people to impose order upon their own inner lives so that they can more easily impose order upon the outer world, these Establishment elites correctly see this as a massive risk to their own influence and control – and that’s why the Establishment and its lackeys are attacking him more and more.

The true counterculture is neither left-wing nor right-wing, but simply a reaction to the excesses of the previous culture. In the same way that Leary was the voice of the left-wing counterculture of the 60s that opposed right-wing thought control, Peterson is the voice of the right-wing counterculture of this decade that opposes left-wing thought control. In this way, he is another iteration of the philosopher-king archetype who gets attacked by the liars in the Establishment – a pattern going back at least to Socrates.

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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 Phobias

Most people are familiar with the idea of phobias – the term refers to intense and persistent fears of things, to the point that a person with a phobia will take extraordinary measures to avoid triggering it. Although most people have mild, subclinical phobias of some things and manage okay, for others a phobia can cause immense disruption to everyday life. This article looks at how to believably write characters who suffer from phobias.

The degree of fear caused by a phobia is enough to cause chaos in a person’s life. Instead of merely feeling alarm, a person presented with the object of their fear (or even the threat of it), will often break out in sweats, heart palpitations, dizziness and shaking. They will go to great lengths to avoid being exposed to the triggering stimulus, even if doing so has a heavy impact on their day-to-day social functioning.

Generally speaking, there are three major kinds of phobia.

The first kind of phobia is called a specific phobia – it’s a phobia of something specific, such as spiders, heights or dogs. This sort of phobia is usually a reaction to situations that occurred frequently in the biological past. For this reason, there’s nothing really unnatural about them – it’s just that the fear has been exaggerated to a point where it causes more harm through disrupting a person’s life than it helps avoid harm from danger.

Many phobias begin with an incident in which the object of the phobia caused intense fear in a person. For instance, a person walking through a field and being stopped in their path by an angry dog might develop a phobia of dogs. A phobia of spiders might develop from a childhood in an unclean house that was full of spiderwebs.

Readers who have never experienced living with a phobia could well be interested in reading about the sort of thoughts that go through the head of a character with one, or how they behave (or feel themselves forced to behave) on account of having the phobia. Few who have never had a phobia can imagine how intrusive the fear can be, and how greatly it can impact the ability of a person to live a normal life.

Social phobia is different to a specific phobia in the sense that the phobia reflects a general fear that follows the person with it. Social phobia relates to an intense fear of being judged. In particular, it tends to revolve around a fear of being humiliated in public by means of some judgment being levelled. People with it tend to feel very uncomfortable around authority figures, and would never raise their hand in class to answer a question from the professor.

Most people have a degree of self-consciousness that modifies their actions, but for a person with social phobia this will be exaggerated well beyond mere shyness. For instance, someone with social phobia may be unable to get a driver’s licence on account of being unwilling to sit with the traffic control officer and risk being judged as unfit to drive a motor vehicle.

A character with social phobia might be more interesting if their phobia was ultimately grounded in narcissism. It might be that they were only afraid of being judged on account of having an enormous ego that could not handle even the faintest criticism. This might lead them to becoming vicious in defence of that ego, or to adopting an exaggerated ‘cool’ affectation intended to mask their extreme fragility in the face of judgment.

The third major kind of phobia is agoraphobia. This relates particularly to a fear of finding oneself in an environment that offers no easy means for escape. These environments are common ones such as trains, elevators or open spaces, which naturally leads to a significant impact on ordinary life function. Being caught in such a space with no easy avenue of escape can easily cause a panic attack in an agoraphobic.

Much like social phobia, a character that has agoraphobia might live a particularly lonely and unhappy life. Having agoraphobia makes it much harder for a person to get out of their house, because their house becomes a kind of safe zone from the horrors of society. Stressful and traumatic events can trigger agoraphobia, and central to it is the fear of loss of control. Going outside comes to feel like stepping into the maelstrom.

Generally speaking, it’s easy to include a character with a phobia in your story because almost all of your readers will understand fear, and so they will be able to relate to that character. Having a character with a phobia might be an easy way to create a strong sense of fear and dread in your reader, especially if the phobia is a common one.

Phobias are not generally believed to arise as a result of a moral failing or of any personal weakness. It will therefore be easy to write a character with a phobia who comes across sympathetically to the reader. Portraying a character who struggles valiantly to live a normal life despite a crippling phobia might read as heroic, but if emphasis is put in the wrong places the character might come across as a milksop.

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

VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger VIII

This reading continues on from here.

The 22nd essay in Ride The Tiger is called ‘Dissolution of Modern Art’. Much like everything else, Evola contends that art has also degenerated. In the case of art, it has degenerated into a feminine subjectivity that is too afraid to say anything. Now we can no longer even speak of traditional art because no-one has any idea what that even is.

In this essay Evola echoes Plato’s description of the degeneration of political forms, only applied to the world of art. Modern art would be best served by achieving maximum craptitude, because that would provide the clean spiritual slate upon which something authentic could be written. Literature is also criticised as “fetishising” human relationships and merely documenting them with full banality.

As in many previous essays, Evola concludes that art has been given too great an importance, to the detrimental of the spiritual. What gives meaning to life can exist “even in the virtual absence of art”. Art has, in reality, undermined idealism, especially in the modern world. Positive realism lies in the assertion of values such as truth and spiritual courage. That which truly has value needs no consensus to agree.

The 23rd essay is ‘Modern Music and Jazz’. Evola has a keen interest in music and understands its development over the course of recent centuries. Perhaps weirdly, Evola writes here about the “preponderance of dance music over vocal and emotional music” – a sentiment shared by many today. He considers that the drift towards nihilism in philosophy and art has been echoed by one in music.

Music has, according to Evola, developed in ways that mirror the development of all other social movements. Therefore, the advent of jazz is no surprise – it is merely the democratisation of music, something “primitively ecstatic”. This doesn’t mean that jazz is crude, though, or that jazz players are unskilled musicians. It simply heralds the return to the world of fundamental, elemental forces.

This “Negro music” is associated with “dark forms of ecstasy” in Evola’s reckoning. He compares the feelings that arise from dancing to rhythmic music to the frenzies of the dervishes: “possessions of savage ritual”. Despite frequently being paired with drugs, these occasions cannot be compared to the ancient rites of Dionysus etc. because there is nothing sacred about them – they are mere escapism.

On the subject of drugs, the 24th essay is ‘Excursus on Drugs’. Evola considers drugs to “most visibly have the goal of an ecstatic escape”. Some of the people who choose such an escape are those who have perceived the meaninglessness of human existence. Others are “neurotics and psychopaths”. Part of the danger of drugs is, like rhythmic music, they can be used to open up awareness to a suprasensible world, such as in initiatory ritual.

Despite this caution, Evola gives due credit to the use of various drugs in sacred ritual. The Taoists considered even the use of alcohol to have a kind of magical effect, and he mentions the Central American shamanic traditions that made much use of mescaline, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms. However, he also points out that no-one really understands how to use these sacraments anymore, because no-one is capable of the necessary spiritual preparation. This leads to the risk of “possession by dark powers”.

If used correctly, nonprofanely, drugs offer the possibility of coming into contract with a superior dimension of reality. Stimulants and depressants can more or less be ignored for these purposes. Hallucinogens are excellent but have many drawbacks; their ancient use involved guiding the trip with symbols and a preliminary catharsis of emotion, two things that are seldom done today. Narcotics can be useful for the sake of dissociating from the mundane but the experience is hard to control.

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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).

How to Detect An Anti-White Bigot

Everyone’s obsessed with making a show of fighting bigotry nowadays. Paradise could have befallen the Earth by now, we are told, if only haters didn’t oppress the disadvantaged. The problem with this attitude is that many anti-white bigots have slipped under the radar in the guise of social justice warriors. As this essay will examine, the easiest way to detect an anti-white bigot is by observing hypocritical double standards.

There’s little reason to be prejudiced against anyone unless you hate them. Hating someone may or may not be justified at any given moment, but an inevitable consequence of hating someone is that you will judge them by high standards, while allowing people you don’t hate to get away with low standards. This reveals itself primarily as hypocrisy.

So one way that anti-white bigots give themselves away is in the explanations they give for individual success. For instance, high achieving Asians or Jews are credited with working hard and being from a culture that values scholastic dedication, but high achieving whites are considered merely the beneficiaries of a white supremacist system.

By itself, that means nothing, but anti-white bigots will also make the claim that low achieving whites have failed morally by not valuing education enough, or because they lacked the discipline to study hard or are naturally just dumb, whereas low achieving blacks and browns have been failed by that same white supremacist system.

An objective person would credit both high-achieving Asians and high-achieving whites with having earned at least some of their personal accomplishments, because even with the easiest of upbringings it takes a lot of will to dedicate oneself to learning. If high Asian or Jewish achievement need not be explained by structural racism or exploitation of dark-skinned people, then there’s no reason to attribute white achievement to such things either.

Either that, or they would excuse the failure of low-achieving whites with the same appeal to social and environmental factors that they appeal to when they excuse the failure of black and brown people. After all, it genuinely is a lot harder to succeed when you face prejudice from society – but low-achieving white people have inevitably encountered as much difficulty on account of class prejudice as equally low-achieving brown and black people have encountered on account of race prejudice.

Another way to detect an anti-white bigot is that they will make accusations of racism when unwarranted – but only if a white person is speaking. If a Malaysian says that Muslims are terrorists because of the troubles in the South, or a Chinese says that Muslims are terrorists because of the troubles in the West, the anti-white bigot will say nothing. But if a white person points out that the Koran condones and encourages terrorism, the anti-white bigot will start the attacks.

By contrast, the anti-white bigots will excuse all manner of racism or bigotry from non-white people. This is especially notable in the case of attitudes to homosexuality or gender equality. Anti-homosexual bigotry is rife among brown and black communities, which is believed to contribute heavily to the high rates of youth suicide in those communities. Anti-white bigots will excuse this, however, by saying that these communities have somehow absorbed the prejudice from white people.

A third way to pick an anti-white bigot is that they will blame all white people for actions that are or were committed by a minority of white people, such as owning slaves, or bombing the Middle East. Related to this that the anti-white bigot will often blame a much larger amount of the world’s suffering on white people than what is fair or reasonable. For instance, it will often be claimed that Africa would be a peaceful and highly technologically advanced society if only white people hadn’t ruined it all.

When one gets down to the bottom of it, if a person claims to hate white people, what they often really mean is either that they hate the white working class (because they look down on them) or they hate the white ruling class (because they have caused so much historical damage). A class prejudice is expressed as a racial prejudice and thereby misunderstood.

A real anti-white bigot will make no distinction. They will still blame middle-class white people for the crude violence, abuse and neglect of the white working-class, and they will still blame working-class white people for the greed and duplicitousness of the white middle-class. Even more tellingly, both will be asked to carry the blame for the historical misdeeds of the white upper classes.

In summary, detecting an anti-white bigot is little different to detecting any other kind of bigot. They will hold the object of their hate (white people) to an unrealistically high moral standard, while allowing those who they don’t hate to be judged by a very low moral standard. The greater the double standard, the greater the prejudice.

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The Greater Electoral Cycle

If you’re in your mid-30s, and start feeling like you’ve seen it all before, it’s because you have

Many commentators like to talk about what they call the electoral cycle. This refers to the fact that, in the vast majority of modern liberal democracies, a party coming to power inevitably soon hits a high point and then steadily loses support over time until they are ousted. This essay looks at a broader phenomenon that we will call the Greater Electoral Cycle.

The Lesser Electoral Cycle is the one that most people, by now, are well familiar with. A party or President comes to power, immediately makes the changes that the previous regime had neglected to make, then rides a wave of popular support, until inevitably their own lust to cling onto power at all costs causes them to make poor moral decisions and the voters throw them out in disgust.

In the old days, this expulsion of the previous rulers could lead to any kind of new philosophy or ideology taking its place. If the previous rulers weren’t good enough, try fascism, try democracy, try republicanism, try anarchy. So there was no real greater cycle beyond this. It was just come to power and cling to power for as long as possible.

In recent decades, now that the ruling classes have refined and perfected their strategies for dividing and brainwashing us, all we get is neoliberalism with a red mask or neoliberalism with a blue one. The Greater Electoral Cycle, then, is from the start of one government to the start of another government of that kind (i.e centre-right or centre-left).

New greater cycles begin all the time. One has just now begun after 16 years in America, and one has begun after 18 years in New Zealand. Because of this, anyone with a memory that goes back 20 years or so has by now heard all the arguments and excuses already, and is starting to hear them again. Political arguments, like fashions and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, are simply repackaged every generation for a new audience not exposed to them yet.

For example, Internet commentators often make reference to Trump Derangement Syndrome. This is a joke referring to the reactions of people on the left to the election of Donald Trump as American President. The idea is that many leftists have reacted so badly to the news of Trump’s ascendancy that they have essentially become clinically deranged.

Those who have been around a bit longer remember that this as Obama Derangement Syndrome, which is essentially the same thing but triggered by the sight of Barack Obama as President. Those of us as old as Generation X might even remember everyone talking about Bush Derangement Syndrome, and there might have been a Clinton Derangement Syndrome before that.

A lot of Millennials have now observed that Trump is little different from George W Bush in a lot of ways, and the Democrats’ reactions to him are very similar to their reactions to Dubya. Trump, like Dubya, uses certain patterns of speech to appeal to people who aren’t particularly well educated. His concern is that he might cause resentment and alienation by speaking to them in long sentences with multiple clauses and ten-dollar words. So he’s painted as dumb – when he really isn’t dumb.

Likewise, in New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern tells many of the same lies as her Labour predecessor Helen Clark, from whose playbook Ardern appears to be reading. Claiming that the previous Government left the books in a terrible state, and so there’s much less money available than anyone supposedly thought, Ardern’s Labour has gone back on almost all of its spending promises. Typically, they will suggest in 2020 that we will have to vote them in again if we actually want all those goodies, because we sure won’t get them from National.

If we want to know what’s happening next in the Greater Electoral Cycle, we just need to look at what happened at this point last time. The Democrats in America will probably run a weak candidate because incumbent Presidents are rarely prevented from winning a second term (not even George W Bush failed to do so). Trump will probably easily defeat them, as he will be in the high point of the centre-right part of the cycle.

The National Party of New Zealand has already handed the poisoned chalice to Simon Bridges, who is unimpressive even by the low standards of New Zealand politicians. He will probably lead National to a crushing defeat akin to that suffered by Bill English in 2002.

The West will keep going around and around in these greater cycles until the charade of democracy finally ends. At that point, either a tyrant arises to take us all to hell or a new movement of philosopher-kings arises and initiates a new Golden Age.

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Writing Anorexia Nervosa

A person with anorexia nervosa can see themselves as hideously fat even while dangerously underweight

Anorexia nervosa (usually just called anorexia) is an eating disorder characterised by an overpowering fear of being fat or of gaining weight. This fear is so all-consuming that it can lead to illness from self-starvation. This article looks at how to write engaging and believable characters with the condition.

The basis of the psychopathology of anorexia is believed to be valuing of thinness. People with anorexia feel that being thin is extremely important, to the extent of it being an obsession. For this reason, anorexia is much more common among women compared to men, and more common among women exposed to fashion media or who have an interest in sport and fitness compared to other women.

More specifically, thinness is considered important because it’s where a person’s sense of self-worth derives from. Thinness is seen as a virtue by anorexics, which is why the condition is so hard to understand for people who don’t have it.

Some might be surprised to hear that anorexia is one of the most deadly of all psychiatric conditions, up there with schizophrenia and major depressive disorder. An unusually low body weight is linked to a wide range of physical ailments, as many elementary bodily functions cannot operate past a certain level of starvation. Even without intending to, it’s common for anorexics to become sick and die as a consequence of lengthy periods of starvation.

If you are writing about a protagonist that suffers from anorexia, their internal dialogue might have a lot of anxiety based around a need to be in control of their body weight. Sometimes such a person will have a ruthless, almost sadistic approach towards their own body. This explains why there is a high degree of comorbidity with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. A person with anorexia often becomes extremely particular and fussy about their food and their calorie intake.

Then again, the approach might be more feminine. Instead of a desire to control, having a meal might conjure feelings of fear, almost panic. The sight or smell of food might trigger a reaction similar to that of a person with a phobia encountering their object of fear. It might be enough to also trigger powerful feelings of self-loathing.

Much like psychosis, anorexia tends to come and go in ’bouts’. An episode of anorexia is often triggered by a traumatic life event. It may be that sudden high levels of stress and anxiety result in a desire to compensate for a perceived loss of control.

Anorexia is not a psychotic disorder. A person with it will generally know that they have something amiss about them – but therein lies the difficulty. This reasonable part of the mind struggles incessantly against the part of the mind that commands that one must be thinner no matter what. It might be that the part of the mind that desires thinness above everything is somehow stronger, or more able to assert itself.

The effect that this might have on a protagonist of your story is therefore similar, in many ways, to that of one with depression. Constant feelings of having undermined oneself lead to guilt, personal recrimination, and a loss of confidence in one’s own intelligence, one’s competence or even one’s will to live. As is true of most of the conditions in this book, anorexics tend to have damaged self-esteem.

Like many of the other conditions in this book, it’s believed that anorexia nervosa frequently has an origin in childhood abuse. It might be that this is the reason for why it goes in bouts: dysregulated stress responsivity arising from the trauma leads to extremes of anxiety, and when one of those extremes is reached, a sudden desire for extreme control appears.

The experience of other characters who have a friend or family member suffering from anorexia is usually a difficult one. In many ways, watching someone waste away through anorexia is similar to watching them waste away through a heroin addiction.

This often brings with it a range of feelings that might profoundly affect that character, in particular frustration at not being able to get through to the anorexic about how dangerous their condition is, and guilt about not being able to “do more” for them. Although it’s true that it’s hard to reason with people who have mental illnesses – by definition – it’s still very common for friends and family of people with them to feel guilt about not being able to do more to get them to live a healthy, normal life.

A more distant character who encountered someone with anorexia might get the feeling that the anorexic is uptight and rigid. Anorexia is often associated with a sensitivity to insults and disrespect, as as perfectionism, and a character that demonstrated any of these traits could plausibly develop anorexia or have a past history of it.

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

Writing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Frequent handwashing can be a sign of a person who is struggling with OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterised by the compulsive and repetitive performing of ritualistic behaviours intended to reduce anxiety. It’s a relatively common condition, and may not be as distressing as some of the others in this book, but a character with it will still be a striking one. This article looks at how to write believable and engaging characters with this condition.

An obsession is a pattern of thoughts that persists despite a conscious effort to get rid of it. These obsessions frequently cause anxiety, especially when they relate to lurid sexual or violent content, as they often do. Some other obsessions can border on the schizophrenic. God and the Devil are frequent subjects for obsessions, especially as pertains to future punishment for some misdeed.

These sort of thoughts can become highly intrusive and maddening in their persistence and the degree they distract from a normal life. If your protagonist has OCD, they might have a distressing interior monologue where anxiety and thoughts of decay and contamination are commonplace. Intrusive thoughts can be just as unpleasant as physical intrusions, especially when they come into the head when you’re trying to sleep or relax.

Compulsions are similar, only they relate to behaviours instead of thoughts. The classic example is compulsive hand washing. Others are compulsively checking that a door is locked, or that a stove is turned off. The person with OCD tends to worry about whether or not something is in correct order and this anxiety increases until that thing can be checked.

A person with OCD will usually be aware that they have a problem. This makes them different to psychotics, narcissists and psychopaths. A character with OCD might not necessarily be an outcast (or at least, not a true outcast), in contrast to the vast majority of characters inspired by this book.

Psychologists talk about a four-factor theory for understanding people with OCD. Essentially this is based on four groups of behaviours. There is a “symmetry” factor, a “forbidden thoughts” factor, a “cleaning” factor and a “hoarding” factor. If the protagonist of your story is or encounters a character with OCD, they will quickly notice one of these groups of behaviours.

The symmetry factor relates to an anxiety-driven compulsion to make everything balance in terms of symmetry. For instance, they might make sure that they take exactly the same number of steps to cross each segment of a repeating pattern of cobblestones. They might also be very fussy about books on a shelf or paintings on the wall lining up perfectly. Every left needs a right and vice-versa.

The forbidden thoughts factor relates to compulsively thinking about things only because one knows one isn’t supposed to. A character with OCD might start having frequently, intrusive, obsessive thoughts about a particular sexual fetish or situation, despite not finding it arousing (more the contrary). Thoughts of incest, pedophilia and homosexuality are all very common here.

Cleaning is probably the best-known of the common symptoms of OCD. The cleaning factor refers to how people with OCD are prone to quickly decide that something is contaminated and needs to be cleaned. For instance, just touching the ground might cause immense anxiety until the OCD sufferer washes their hands. Because there are thousands of potential contamination vectors, people with OCD often end up washing their hands dozens of times a day.

Hoarding is common but not often understood to be a symptom of OCD. Underlying this is often an anxiety about information being lost, and so the hoarder might hoard, for instance, a daily newspaper. The really clinical OCD comes into play when that person doesn’t want to get rid of what they’ve hoarded, even when it becomes a hygiene or fire risk.

It will be easy, if desired, to write sympathetically about a character with OCD. Usually people with the condition are regarded as eccentric rather than malicious. People with OCD don’t tend to take their suffering out on other people, although they can do if those other people prevent them from acting out their compulsions. Hoarding can, of course, lead to malicious behaviour, especially if the space in which the hoarding occurs is contested.

OCD can certainly feel malicious to a person with it, however, especially if the impulsive thoughts don’t give the person any peace. It’s common for impulsive thoughts to come at times that feel especially intrusive, like when trying to sleep or when making love. When this happens for long enough it’s possible to consider that a malevolent demon or entity might be causing them, although this is uncommon.

In contrast to most of the conditions in this book, OCD is not believed to be caused by trauma. The most generally accepted belief is that people with OCD have likely inherited an unusually high genetic propensity towards certain behaviours that were associated with survival in the past, such as checking for dangers and being meticulous about hygiene. A person with OCD is, by this reckoning, usually just hyper-vigilant.

For this reason, a character with OCD is likely to be doing considerably better than the a character with most other conditions described in the book. They might even be in a form of gainful employment where an extremely unusual level of meticulousness and cleanliness were advantages, such as surgeon. Certainly it is more likely that they will have a circle of compassionate friends than people with most other psychiatric conditions.

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