Writing Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is characterised by repeated temper tantrums, pointless arguing, vicious outbursts and rulebreaking for the sake of rulebreaking. It’s what used to be known as “being a little shit.” The name comes from how a person with it sets themselves up defiantly in opposition to authority figures or anyone else trying to impose rules upon them.

If it is the protagonist of your story who is the character with ODD, they are extremely unlikely to think that the problem lies with them – but this is where their story gets interesting. If your protagonist has ODD you will be able to show someone whose thoughts twist through all manner of justifications for their behaviour, but who will not willingly take the blame themselves.

After all, your protagonist might actually have a point. Unlike the pure malice exhibited by a psychopath, someone with ODD might have a legitimate grievance against an asphyxiating rule-obsessed bureaucracy, or a surveillance state. This might make for an interesting story about an antihero who came into conflict with authority for the sake of his people or family (or for great justice).

For other characters in your story, a protagonist with ODD might appeal to them as a lovable rogue, or as a troubled soul with a heart of gold. The protagonist likely has a like-minded group of friends, as people with ODD often share the same grievance. This group of friends might have made a mission out of their shared grievance – and then you have a story ready to go.

In this sense, characters with diagnoses of ODD are especially well suited to fiction that appeals to the outsider, such as cyberpunk. Kris Smashtonati of The Verity Key is probably one such character. After all, any person with this condition is going to have some difficulty adjusting to live as a gainfully employed citizen, and that will put them on the margins, where life is more precarious (and dramatic). A properly integrated character with ODD might be better suited to comedy than to drama.

For the antagonists of your story (who are inevitably authority figures of some kind) ‘vindictive’ is a word they might describe the ODD character with. They would say that this character has difficulty regulating emotions or tolerating frustration. Such antagonists would dismiss the protests of the ODD character that the rules were too onerous – the rules are there for everyone’s good, like it or not.

In many ways, telling the story of ODD is really telling a story of an environment. There are believed to be biological factors involved, such as unusual neurotransmitter function or amygdala damage, but a person with ODD rarely develops it in the total absence of family or environmental factors.

Mood disorders are extremely common among the children of parents who have ODD, which gives a major clue about the etiology of the condition. If the protagonist of your story had ODD, it’s possible that his father was a real unpredictable sonofabitch, and the mother likewise. Inconsistent punishment is usually found among the childhoods of people with ODD.

ODD is capable of manifesting in a variety of different settings. Generally speaking, the broader the range of settings in which it manifests, the worse the ODD is. The most common is for oppositional and defiant behaviours to begin in the family home, so that the damage is done long before their first classroom experience.

This generalisation, or one like it, might be the key to understanding your ODD character. Usually the condition arises in response to the perception of unfair treatment from a parent, which may generalise into a belief that any and all authority figures are likewise unfair (and so to be defied). We can then predict that a character with this condition might have conflict with any other character that metaphorically represented a parent (teacher, policeman, bureaucrat etc.).

There is a sense in which ODD is on a spectrum that continues onto Conduct Disorder and, in the worst case, Antisocial Personality Disorder. In this regard, someone with ODD is likely to be much easier to get along with than someone with either of the latter two disorders. They might even be surrounded by such people so that they seem calm and reasonable by comparison.

Esoterically speaking, a character with ODD could be considered a chaotic element. It is unlikely that such a character will contribute to the good order of your story world, and their entrance might even be the spark that gets your story going. Indeed, it’s well possible that the ODD character has taken exception to a particular manifestation of order, and has resolved to break it up at any cost.

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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.

The Ultimate Power is to Make Peace With Death

Socrates was not wrong when he said “those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.” The best thing a person can ever do is to accustom themselves to the fact that they are mortal and therefore that time on this planet is limited. To the extent that this can be achieved, a person can be liberated from a tremendous range of miseries.

All fear ultimately comes from a fear of death. The reason why pain is frightening is because we have evolved an instinctual appreciation that pain is a harbinger of death. When you are in pain, it means that Death has you in its sights. Pain gives us energy because we can instinctively appreciate the seriousness of the threat.

When kids fight each other in the playground, and they learn to force each other’s wills through violence, the natural fear of death possessed by each child makes this easy. A little bit of pain from a twisted arm, in the mind of someone young and inexperienced, is tantamount to a near-death experience, and so compliance is easily given. A little bit of social disapproval in the form of a stern teacher likewise.

It’s expected that adults will be a bit braver and harder to manipulate. Adults have had longer to come to terms with death, and in that time they might have overcome their fear of it. Failing that, they might have learned to behave in ways that hide their fear of it. Failing that, they might at least have found a way to trick themselves into going forward with some semblance of dignity.

The less fear of death any given adult has, the more powerful they will be. This is fundamentally a spiritual power, but it works its magic by way of its gradual effect on the people around its possessor (much like gold does). Someone unafraid of death will have charisma, they will inspire confidence, people will follow them, and people will respect them for having found existential solace. It’s a power more subtle than silver, but at the same time one with a much greater reach.

On the other hand, no-one is expected to make peace with death, or at least not entirely, for there is no public consensus of any kind as to what befalls consciousness upon the expiration of the physical body. Conviction in the matter of what does befall consciousness is reserved for a very few, most of whom are readily and fairly dismissed as some kind of religious fanatic who is merely parroting what they have been brainwashed with.

The gnosis of those who have seen beyond and know what lies beyond death is almost never accepted by the masses, and for good reason: the vast bulk of the people claiming to know are patently scammers, and so distrust is necessary and natural. Selling tickets to an afterlife in exchange for worldly goods has always been the default con job of the black priesthood, and one that may even have been practised in prehistory.

The Tao teaches us that, even in the time of the total triumph of yin, there is invariably a tiny speck of yang that will grow to impose a new order upon things. In a similar manner, all of these religious scammers have, in common, certain insights about the nature of life as a material being that remain true despite the horseshit layered on top of them. We all die, and we’re all afraid of it, and we’re all willing to take action to ameliorate that fear.

This column is willing to give you gold for free: once you make peace with death you are invincible, for all psychological weakness flows directly from the fear of it. Without a fear of death one cannot be threatened with torture, because death would simply mean a sweet release from such, and no other physical threat is as bad as torture. Without a fear of death, one cannot be intimidated in any way, for there is no reason to bow the knee to an oppressor if they are not able to materially hurt you.

A person who has made peace with their mortality will stand, on the metaphysical plane, like a great boulder of granite, which cannot be moved or damaged. The winds and waves of fear and dread will not impact such a person; they will barely change the expression on the face of one. A person who has made peace with death knows that there’s nothing more but to sit back and watch as the wave breaks upon the shore. The dissolution of the wave is something to be experienced, not feared.

However, there’s a risk.

The more you look into the face of death, the deeper you look into the void. What happens then is not necessarily up to you, not even with all the will in the world. As Nietzsche warned us, the void will also look into you. When it does, you might come to decide that life itself is evil on account of the inevitable suffering it promises and that death is to be welcomed and encouraged as a release from same and as a reunion with God.

And at that point it’s extremely easy to make a terrible mistake.

Do you have the courage to look into the very back of the void, with nothing more than a hope that one will be rewarded? This column can give no assurance that any person who does look will be the better off for it. Madness is an ever-present threat for those who do, for one might find that one’s will disintegrates under the weight of this hidden knowledge. All we can say is that one ought to prepare oneself thoroughly, for one is staking a claim to godhood and ought to expect that it will be commensurately challenging.

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Lies Are Far More Toxic Than Drugs Ever Could Be

Illegal drugs are illegal, so we are told, because they harm the brain. Drugs such as cannabis are apparently toxic enough to cause brain damage in those who use them, rendering them mentally defective and often permanently so. One notable thing harms the brain more than cannabis though – lies.

The brain is an extremely plastic organ, and it has a number of defences against injury and poisoning, notably the blood-brain barrier which prevents poisons reaching the brain from the main blood supply (contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis doesn’t cause psychoactive molecules to enter the brain directly through the lungs). It’s a terrible idea to mistreat your brain, but the fact is that the brain can deal with a lot.

The human mind is also extremely plastic, but, also like the brain, there are circumstances in which it is not. Under these circumstances, suffering can cause part of the mind to solidify so that it fixates on a certain belief or impression. This is very common in the case of trauma, because there is a clear biological imperative to learn quickly to avoid it.

A great example of this is how a religious upbringing often leads to people who hate religion with a passion. It is traumatic to be subjected to the heavily guilt and shame-based psychological manipulation that is a cornerstone of many religions (particularly the Abrahamic ones). Many women and homosexuals grow up hating themselves because of religious abuse, and if/when they realise as adults that this abuse was unnecessary, they come to hate the culture that abused them.

When people are told that, for example, male infant gential mutilation is a good thing, or that Johnny from down the street is going to hell forever because his family are the wrong denomination, they learn to hate and fear. When these people grow up and become adults, and realise that they now need Viagra because of lost penile sensitivity from the mutilation in infancy, the natural response is to hate the religious and anyone who claims to speak for the spiritual.

Perhaps the most disgusting, harmful and shameless set of lies are those stemming from the War on Drugs that the Government is conducting against us. These lies have been destructive in two major ways. Not only have they obscured the truth about the medicinal value of the cannabis plant, but they have also eroded public trust in institutions that society relies on to function.

For instance, many people who distrust and despise Police officers do so because they had a Police officer come to their school and lie to them about the alleged negative effects of cannabis use. It’s distressing to have an authority figure and representative of the state come and lie to you in order to justify their War on Drugs, and doubly so when you have family members who benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis, as many people do.

Many people have similar feelings towards, psychiatrists, who have also been willing tools in the Government’s war against drug-using members of its own population (i.e. us). It’s an awful feeling to be told, by a supposed mental health authority, that cannabis only causes psychosis and brain damage, while also being aware of the reality that medicinal cannabis is helpful for a range of psychiatric conditions – a reality that is becoming ever more apparent as research progresses.

It’s hard to overstate the amount of psychological damage that such actions cause. Many of the students who see a Police officer lying to them about cannabis – like the patients who hear a doctor lying about cannabis – come to lose trust in all authority figures. This makes it harder for the Police to find witnesses to crimes, because any witness who also happens to be a cannabis user will not want to volunteer their contact details, and it makes it harder for psychiatrists to convince patients to take medicines that do benefit them, because the patients suspect that the doctor is lying.

Much of the antagonism that Police officers face on a daily basis is a consequence of the lies that their authority upholds by virtue of upholding the drug laws. In the Netherlands, where these lies are not told (at least, not about cannabis), relations between the Police and their communities are much warmer. Dutch people don’t have to worry about the insult of getting arrested from using or cultivating a medicinal plant, and so they have little reason to see Police officers as enemies.

Another extremely damaging set of lies relates to the “Wir schaffen es!” mentality of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats with regard to the hundreds of thousands of allegedly Syrian refugees that have poured into Germany in recent years. We were told they would integrate, work, learn the language, pay taxes, abide local laws, but these promises turned out to be lies also.

They should have told us the truth about all of these things. Lies generalise, so that when a person suffers trauma from believing one they learn to distrust not only the person who told the lie, but also any other people who belong to groups that the liar also belonged to. And so, one doctor lying about cannabis one day leads to a parent refusing that doctor’s advice to vaccinate their children on another day.

The real danger for the West is that authority figures have told so many lies now, and for so long, that no Westerner has cause to trust any authority at all any more. If the masses decide that religious, political, academic, scientific and business authorities are all just liars, they will be primed for the coming of a demagogue and the catastrophes that demagogues bring with them.

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VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger VI

This reading continues on from here.

Part Four of Ride The Tiger is called ‘Dissolution of the Individual’ and is comprised of three essays. The first of these, the sixteenth in the book, is called ‘The Dual Aspect of Anonymity’. Railing against the “collectivism, mechanization, standardization, and soullessness οf modern existence,” here Evola attempts to find an answer to the question of what is worth saving.

It’s at this point that Evola finally gets to the esotericism. Individualism is part of the problem facing us, he contends, because it has led to the atomisation of society. Worse, it has no spiritual basis. What is taken by Westerners to be the individual is not what a person really, fundamentally is.

In esoteric terms, Evola is here talking about the difference between silver and gold. Here the men of silver are decried for their pomposity and hypocrisy, for this has obscured the light of spiritual truth and made it more difficult for the men of gold to play their part. The false self must be transcended and the true self reconnected with, otherwise we will continue to flounder.

The seventeenth essay is called ‘Destructions and Liberations in the New Realism’. Here, Evola gives us for the first time a specific sense of what it might mean to “ride the tiger”. For him it is a life lived at the limit, in a way that actualises the “absolute person”. Most people who discover this do so through warfare, for it is here that an extreme lucidity stripping away all extraneous concerns can be achieved.

Evola makes vague hints at a gross feminising process that, he warns, will make any individualisation impossible. Crucially, however, this feminisation is necessary, to destroy the corruption of the old order. He continues to emphasise that any true revaluation of values must come from that “minority” who retain a sense of the transcendental. Anyone else will merely make the same mistakes that the other non-spiritual people have made.

What is necessary to move forwards from here is “a clear, detached, objective vision οf existence” and “a positive, existential incapacity to submit to ‘myths’ οf any kind whatsoever”. The new mythologies (such as Marxism) are not only doomed to fail, they are in fact signs of systemic failure.

The eighteenth essay is called ‘The “Animal Ideal” – the Sentiment of Nature’. Here Evola talks about the two fundamental spiritual orientations – the first being the hermit who lives without company and the second the wanderer who lives without fixed abode. Incredibly for an essay published in 1961, here Evola talks about the isolation and detachment that can be caused by modern communication technology and city life, foreshadowing contemporary sentiments about the Internet and smartphones.

Anticipating – and pre-emptively decrying – the hippie movement as a bourgeoisie failure, Evola rejects a return to primitivism as being merely a naked form of materialism. Conceding that athletics and sports may be useful (although he decries professional sport), Evola once again asserts that spiritual needs must come first. The true aristocrat of the soul must feel as comfortable among dams and skyscrapers as among trees and streams, for the former is an expression of human nature and thereby of Nature itself.

Fundamentally, a person needs to accept that “nothing extraordinary exists in the beyond”. Only the real exists and only the real can be said to exist. To this end, there is a lot of wisdom in ancient traditions, especially Zen. These allow us to cultivate an appreciation of how reality consists of both the immanent making itself transcendent and the transcendent making itself immanent.

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Truthophobia

A new mental illness has been observed in the modern world. It’s found among people who have irrational, fear-based responses to hearing true statements. Instead of responding to these statements like rational adults, and acknowledging their truth value, they tend to have abusive outbursts: they have truthophobia.

We can define truthophobia along the lines of other phobias, which are defined as: “exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fears of a particular object, class of objects, or situation”. In short, truthophobia is an exaggerated, inexplicable and illogical fear of statements of truth.

It may have a second meaning, along the lines of homophobia and Islamophobia, which is to say a political meaning alongside its linguistic meaning. In this sense, truthophobia refers to the act of denying the truth specifically because that truth is politically inconvenient.

Characteristic of a truthophobe are theatrical displays of moral outrage intended to distract from good points made by truth-tellers. For example, they like to scream “Racist!” when statistics about the sexual assault rates of Muslim and African immigrants to Europe are brought up. They also like to scream “Racist!” whenever criticisms of Islam are made, even when those criticisms have nothing to do with any racial distinctions.

What’s telling here is that truthophobes don’t ask questions about these true statements in an effort to understand them, like an honest person would do. The truthophobe simply reacts, on the basis that the truth might harm a belief that they hold, and that this belief needs to be defended by any means necessary. They are dishonest as well as cowardly.

Any learned Buddhist could quickly determine what was wrong with the average truthophobe. Clinging to material phenomena causes suffering, and clinging to a particular interpretation of reality so tightly that expressions of any alternative interpretation are taken as threats is a fitting example of such. The more truthophobic a person, the harder they dig in; the harder they dig in, the more suffering they cause themselves and others.

Why do people become truthophobics? We can group them into three major groups.

The first are the simply dumb. Being dumb is not enough by itself to be a truthophobe, but it can be a major contributing factor, especially if the dumb person has already been brainwashed into believing something untrue. Dumb people mostly are truthophobic because of the cognitive dissonance arising from really thinking about things properly. Consequently they prefer comfortable lies to truths.

This first group are arguably the least malicious of the three, because they are the most likely to admit the truth once it is evident. Being dumb doesn’t necessarily preclude one from being honest, and dumb people are often capable of seeing the truth if they are given the time and space in which to do so. The other two groups lack the shame to admit the truth no matter how evident it is, but this first group will often change their mind if the truth is presented to them correctly.

The second group of truthophobes are the fanatics. This group believes fervently in a particular doctrine, usually political, and so much so that any statement contradicting it is aggressively attacked regardless of any truth value that statement may possess. This group is worse than the first, because not only do they refuse to accept the truth when it’s presented to them, but they actively talk a lot of shit and thereby obscure the truth from those honestly seeking it.

Fanatics are also dumb, because their fanaticism invariably creates more suffering than their ideology would prevent, even under the best possible circumstances. Fanatics degrade the quality of public discourse by being unreasonable and dishonest, which makes the truth harder to see. In this group can be found a large number of Marxists as well as the religious fanatics that they resemble.

The third group are evil. The unfortunate truth is that a particularly malicious strain of truthophobes exist – one who tell lies and deny the truth specifically because to do so brings suffering into the world. Many in this category spread confusion and fear because they directly profit from it. Invariably they don’t simply reject the truth but actively seek to destroy the reputations of anyone speaking it, so as to discourage them from trying to speak the truth again.

People in this third group are mostly afraid of the truth about themselves, because it’s this fundamental fear that motivates their evil. Their ultimate fear is that they are truthfully not worth very much themselves, and the key to defeating these people is to never let them suspect otherwise.

Anyone trying to speak the truth in today’s environment will certainly encounter all three of these types in short order.

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Have You Realised Yet That We’re The Bad Guys Now?

In order for a person to be found guilty of a crime, the Police first have to be presented with enough evidence to justify an arrest, and then that person has to be tried in front of an impartial jury summoned to examine the evidence. In realpolitik however, as this essay will examine, such trivialities can be cast aside at the first sound of the war drums – provided you accept you’re the bad guys.

The leaders of the Anglo-French alliance just started a war without the approval of the representatives of their people. The US Congress, by law, has to give its approval before wars can be started. The precedent set by George W. Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, is that the American armed forces will do whatever the fuck they’re told to do. Donald Trump, in ordering airstrikes in co-operation with British and French forces, is simply following this precedent.

Supposedly the reason for the missile strikes was to respond to a chemical strike allegedly ordered by the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the civilian population of Douma. The difficulty comes from the fact that the leaders of the Anglo-French alliance did not wait for widely accepted proof of the chemical attack to be made public. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has yet to complete its fact-finding mission, meaning that there is no expert opinion yet on who was responsible.

Proof doesn’t matter for those leading the Anglo-French countries. Proof only matters to those who care about their reputation, and bad guys have no need to care about their reputation, long since lost. Worst of all, these countries have no credibility when it comes to claiming that the actions of a second party were heinous enough to justify military action – they’ve gone to war on utterly fictitious casus belli several times before.

New Zealand says it “accepts” what has happened, on the grounds that any attempt to go through the United Nations Security Council for approval would have been vetoed by Russia. This threat of veto is considered justification for ignoring the UN entirely. No questions are asked by the mainstream media. Neither do they mention where the New Zealand special forces are right now, or what they are doing there, or how long they have been there.

Nobody in any of the countries whose armed forces just committed an act of war without Congressional or Parliamentary approval (i.e. legal approval) will take any action to hold the politicians who gave the orders to account. We don’t care that our countries are run by war criminals. We didn’t lift a finger to make either Bush or Tony Blair pay for Iraq, and we won’t lift one here either.

It’s time to chew on a bitter realisation: we are now the bad guys. The Anglo-French alliance is not fighting for freedom or liberty or human rights or anything like it. We’re not fighting to reduce the amount of human suffering in the world. Such considerations are inconsequential. What matters is silver and iron – i.e. money and strategic positioning.

We’re fighting for power, or what of it we can hold onto as the West slides into irrelevance from our own greed, hubris and crapulence. We’re not fighting for any higher moral value. Proof for this contention comes from simply reviewing the evidence.

The American soldiers who just fired cruise missiles into Syria don’t get paid in one decade what one of those missiles costs. Some American cities – Detroit the most notable – already look worse than Damascus, without having to get bombed. This decay of physical infrastructure simply reflects the decay in psychological infrastructure that is the root cause of our civilisational failure.

We know this because we can observe how poorly we treat our psychologically vulnerable. We don’t invest anything into healing them, and the collective psychological damage incurred by this negligence has grown to monstrous proportions. America regularly denies housing or benefit coverage to the veterans of its military adventures, and the thought of them getting proper mental health care for their PTSD is a bitter joke. There’s only money for defence contractors.

New Zealand is no better, spending $400,000,000 of its own citizens’ money every year (over $100 per adult) to persecute them for using medicinal cannabis, while thousands of its children go to school too hungry to concentrate on studies. In a double cruelty, many of those children going to school hungry are the same children of the parents imprisoned for medicinal cannabis growing. How could we possibly be the good guys?

This pattern of gross indifference to the suffering within their own borders is characteristic of the fading powers of the West and the cowardice of its population. The political class uses our tax money to build missiles to fire into Syria, and they use our votes to give themselves permission, and we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re too scared, too lazy, too weak – we’re the bad guys now.

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The Real White Privilege Is Not Being White – It’s Being Around White People

If you live around white people, you’re generally in good hands

Some say that it’s a privilege to be intelligent, but genetic studies have shown that it’s actually of more benefit to be around intelligent people than to be intelligent oneself. In a social species such as homo sapiens, the real privilege is to reside in an environment that has intelligent people in it, thereby reaping most of the benefits of intelligence for none of the costs. This essay will argue that a similar scenario exists in the case of being white.

Being intelligent has clear benefits. It’s easier to see patterns that lead to dangers, it’s easier to remember dangerous things that happened in the past, it’s easier to come up with new and creative ideas. These abilities have a massive benefit to the survival prospects of those few who possessed them, creating immense selective pressure in favour of more intelligence.

However, being intelligent also has less obvious drawbacks. It’s much easier to get depression or anxiety if you’re hyperaware of all the dangers out there. It’s also much harder to get over trauma if you have a good memory, which the vast majority of intelligent people have. Many intelligent people are also more sensitive, which makes them more prone to psychological trauma.

So the real benefit to individual intelligence is gleaned by the friends and family of that individual more than by that individual themselves. This is the real privilege of intelligence, and it’s the same with being white. White privilege doesn’t come from being white. It comes from being around white people.

The wealthiest countries are wealthy not because they have high IQs or the right skin colour, but because they are not corrupt. Corruption – not intelligence or skin colour – correlates the most highly with national wealth because in a corrupt environment, intelligence and hard work are not rewarded.

The correlation between wealth and white people can be explained by that white people are less likely to be corrupt. This can be proven by noting that where white people are corrupt (i.e. Russia) they tend to be poor, and where non-white people are not corrupt (i.e. Japan and South Korea) they tend to be wealthy.

An understanding of reciprocal altruism reveals the brutal truth behind all these figures. The reason why white people have it good is because people trust them to reciprocate mutually beneficial acts of social benefit, and one of the results of a high level of mutual trust is wealth. The easiest way to understand all this is to think in terms of investments.

When a person has to decide quickly whether or not to trust a person they don’t know, they will make their judgment based on any recognisable cue. Skin colour (alongside skin health, clothing quality, posture, general grooming, tone of voice, display of status symbols) is one of those cues that tells you what’s likely to happen to your investment.

The point of weighing up these cues is to answer these questions: If you treat a person kindly, will they treat you kindly in exchange? Or will they use your kindness as an excuse to get into a position to exploit you? Because if having white skin correlates with a propensity towards reciprocal altruism, then living around white people is likely to make a person both wealthier and more trusting regardless of their own skin colour.

We could talk about Asian privilege in the same way – after all, it’s fundamentally a matter of investment. Some would argue that investing social capital in an Asian is unwise because it’s less likely to be reciprocated, but most would disagree. The fact is, history shows that when a large number of Asians move into an area the local standard of living either increases or stays the same.

Indeed, we can see that wealthy Asian countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan also rank among the least corrupt, while corrupt Asian countries like China are poor despite their high IQs. All of this is because acts of reciprocated kindness increase trust, which increases wealth. It’s a privilege to be trusted, true, but it’s also a privilege to live around trustworthy people – and it’s the trustworthiness that leads to being trusted, which leads to wealth, not the other way around.

Ultimately, the reason why white people are frequently favoured for certain roles and positions is because the people putting them there have good reason to expect that their largesse will be reciprocated. White privilege, then, can be boiled down to the fact that people have learned to trust individual white people more than individuals of other races on account of historically getting rewarded more for doing so.

This is certainly unfair to two groups of people: low-value whites who get a free ride on the erroneous assumption that they are high-value, and high-value non-whites who get offered worse deals on the erroneous assumption that they are low-value. The best way to combat this unfairness is not by shrieking about how racist and evil white people are, but firstly by rewarding other people’s trust and secondly by learning to make more sophisticated and accurate appraisals of other people’s trustworthiness.

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Why is it So Fashionable to Defend Islam?

It’s extremely fashionable right now, in some circles, to make a show of defending the virtues of Islam and of Muslims. Strangely, in those very same circles, it’s extremely unfashionable to defend the very same moral values supported and asserted by Islam and Muslims. This essay attempts to make sense of this curious contradiction.

Let’s be clear: Islam is an ideology of hate. Its holy scripture makes it very clear that Allah commands the subjugation of non-Muslims, women and homosexuals. There are numerous admonitions to violence in the Koran, and it is widely accepted – even by Muslims – that Mohammed, the Perfect Man, chopped the heads off 600 Jews on one particular day.

An extremely odd, but common, phenomenon nowadays is of people claiming to be enlightened humanists while defending Islamic ideology. In truth, defending Islam in the name of Enlightenment values is insanity. It doesn’t make any more sense than defending the same fundamentalist Abrahamism that the great thinkers of the Enlightenment valiantly struggled against for 300 years in its guise of Christianity.

This point can’t be overemphasised: the people defending Islam right now are attacking the same people who criticised fundamentalist Christianity for being supremacist, xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic! In other words, the defenders of Islam are attacking the same people who won us our freedoms from fundamentalist Abrahamism. Freedoms that took hundreds – in some cases, thousands – of years to establish.

So what if the Muslims take over and install a new patriarchy ten times worse than the old one, the gutmenschen cry, like they did in Lebanon and a hundred other places? At least no-one called us racists!

The question has to be asked: why is it suddenly so fashionable to make a big show out of defending such a disgusting ideology, one which would see women stripped of the right to vote and homosexuals thrown from rooftops? This phenomenon can be explained in four major ways: some sensible, some not.

Much of the sentiment behind shrieking “Nazi!” at people who criticise Islam appears to come from a desire to avoid another genocide. The logic appears to be that the white working classes, twisted with the malice and hate natural to people of that station, are only one excuse away from stuffing millions of Muslims into gas chambers. All that’s needed to light a spark to this powderkeg is hate speech from some Islamophobic demogogue.

If anyone is allowed to criticise Islam openly, the reasoning goes, the working class will inevitably chimp out and everyone will get carried away until we’re beating out the brains of Muslim children in the street Lord of the Flies-style. Obviously it’s mostly just middle-class wankers who think like this, but there are a fair number who defend Islam on this reasoning.

Part of it is also pure submission. As this column has pointed out previously, terrorism works, and many cowards have calculated that it’s better not to criticise Islam in case doing so paints a target on the back. The hope of many Westerners is, as the old phrase has it, that “the crocodile will eat them last”. No need to go out like Theo van Gogh, after all.

A third reason is more narcissistic. Some people believe that by accusing someone else of unvirtuous conduct they draw positive attention to themselves, as if by making the accusation they must automatically be innocent of the same. It’s a narcissistic sentiment because it holds that by casting other people down into shame, the accuser brings glory upon themselves.

Leaving aside the obvious application of Haggard’s Law, this virtue signalling is the sign of a true dickhead. It can be observed every time that someone defends Islam by accusing its critic of making their criticism from a place of dumb hate or prejudice, as if Islam could not possibly be criticised on any other basis. It’s no less petty than ripping another person down for not being au fait with any other meaningless fashion.

The major explanation as for why people defend Islam, however, is simply our old favourite, human retardation. Many of these defenders have neither read the Koran nor studied Islamic history in any detail, and they simply aren’t aware of the amount of blood shed by people encouraged by these supposedly holy words. If they are aware, they blithely write it off as “no worse than Christianity”.

Some other retards have observed that most people who hate all other races also hate Muslims, and so, in the manner of retards, have reasoned themselves to the conclusion that anyone who dislikes Muslims must be a racist. Failing to realise that one can distinguish a racist from someone who doesn’t like Islam simply by asking a person their opinion of brown-skinned apostates, these retards tend to reflexively bleat about racism every time they hear a person express any misgiving whatsoever about the religion.

Unfortunately for lovers of peace and reason, it appears that defending Islam is currently fashionable for many reasons, which means it will continue to be defended for a long time yet, which means there will be many more terror attacks on Western soil before we wake up. Sit tight.

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

Why Right-Libertarianism Is Full Of Autists

Many have had the experience of being surrounded by right-libertarians and realising that they have absolutely no clue about how other people think, and that this lack of insight inevitably dooms their political philosophy. It’s now apparent to many that the right-libertarian movement is chock full of autists. This essay will argue that right-libertarianism and autism overlap so heavily because they are both highly masculine mindstates with a shared evolutionary genesis.

Right-libertarians often like to paint a picture of how excellently everything would work if there was no welfare. In their minds, the welfare system only incentivises failure. If it was removed, they claim, people would work harder and pull themselves out of poverty rather than “relying on the Government”. Human suffering would decrease as a consequence.

What’s perfectly clear, to the 99% of the population who aren’t right-libertarians, is that this approach completely fails to account for the reality of human behaviour. Pulling the rug out from under tens of millions of struggling people at once would lead to chaos and violence in short order, and the thought that private security could manage enemy odds of hundreds to one is laughable.

Human suffering would increase sharply – and quickly – if we got rid of the welfare system, and a person doesn’t have to be a Dickens scholar to know this. We can simply observe the widespread misery in all times and places that don’t have one. Therefore, no-one will ever get rid of the welfare system, any more than they’ll ever get rid of the law against theft, and for similar reasons. Why don’t right-libertarians understand this?

One approach has it that the major difference between male and female psychology is that the masculine mind is systemising, while the feminine mind is empathising. The logic here is that men and women evolved to fit different niches in the biological environment: the male to the hunting niche, and the female to the gathering and nurturing niche.

Another theory has it that the major difference is that the male brain is autistic while the female brain is psychotic. This is apparent in several ways – chiefly the fact that boys are diagnosed with autism at many times the rate of girls, but also by genetic studies that show that autists tend to inherit from their fathers a disproportionately high number of genetic markers relating to brain development.

Yet another theory points out that men tend to vote for right-wing parties more than women do (a theory supported by the research of our very own Dan McGlashan), and from this draws the conclusion that men are naturally more conservative or orderly than women are.

What all these theories have in common is a realisation that men are not particularly empathetic. After all, the male brain has not evolved to be empathetic. For a hunter, empathy is not useful – in fact, it could even be detrimental if it caused the hunter to hesitate before landing a killing blow. All that really matters is the systemising ability to figure out how to get into position to land the killing blow. That is what is rewarded.

The male adaptation to a hunter’s niche is probably the underlying cause behind both high male rates of autism and of supporting right-libertarian parties. Essentially it’s a matter of a large swathe of people, predominantly men, lacking the brain capacity to imagine what it’s like to be another creature, and thereby coming to support a political movement that simply discounts such experience as a non-factor.

Females, for their part, tend to be neither hunters, autists nor right-libertarians. Their niche required more empathy, because it fell to them to do the bulk of the child-rearing and attending to the sick or old. It’s therefore not easy for women to ignore the suffering endured by other conscious beings. Women (like psychotics) tend to find it stressful when another conscious being is suffering; men (like autists) do not.

In order for a person to become a right-libertarian, they have to be usually masculine, in the sense that they have to have an unusually low amount of empathy for the countless millions who would suffer under their political system. Moreover, they have to keep supporting this system despite the overwhelming opposition from sensible people. These qualities are very similar to the tenacity and stubbornness that autists are infamous for, and probably because of a shared origin in masculine brain structures.

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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 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterised by problems paying attention, hence “attention deficit”. For whatever reasons, people with ADHD tend to flit like butterflies from one focus of obsession to the next, usually fidgeting the whole time. It might not be one of the most severe mental illnesses, but it’s still capable of severely degrading a person’s quality of life.

People with ADHD often do things without remembering. The cliche is of a person with ADHD hearing their phone ring from the fridge, where they mistakenly put it because they thought it was a carton of milk or similar. This is common because attention has to be paid to something before it can be remembered, and a person with ADHD might have been paying attention to the thoughts in their head instead of the phone in their hands.

Also common for people with ADHD is struggling to complete tasks owing to having difficulty sustaining attention. They might start to complete a task, only to get distracted by something they noticed, and then to get sidetracked from that by a particularly unusual thought (the potential comedy value of such a thing should not be overlooked!).

The experience of having ADHD is, much like many other conditions, one of having too much chaos in one’s life. A character who has it will tend to be very disorganised, for the reason that paying attention to a task long enough to get it done is difficult (and rare).

Writing about this from a first-person perspective will be exhausting. Not only will it be hard to sustain for long, but it will seldom be necessary, for the reader should get the idea very quickly. For this reason, it’s hard to write from a stream of consciousness perspective here. Subtlety will have to be employed to describe an environment that reflects the impact of a person with ADHD.

As with many mental disorders, it’s easy to confuse ADHD with other conditions on account of apparently shared symptoms. A character with ADHD might appear psychotic to another because of a rambling conversational style that leaps from subject to subject. They might also seem dull-witted to someone who’s trying to teach them something that isn’t very interesting.

It’s also distressing to have ADHD (in most cases), and so many symptoms of it are those that are common to other mental disorders and which are ultimately stress-based: insomnia, anxiety, irritability, nausea, low self-esteem etc.

A lot of ADHD-induced behaviour can be mistaken for being on drugs. A lack of apparent ability to pay attention might be explained by another character as drug influence that is forcing the character with ADHD to pay attention to their inner world. The stereotypical caffeine high of jittery behaviour and staccato speech can also be hard to distinguish from a bout of attention deficit. It doesn’t help that use of drugs is common among people with ADHD.

For a variety of reasons, the personal experience of ADHD is frequently one of frustration. The condition itself is frustrating, because it’s hard to get things done and so chores and errands tend to build up and become stressful, but also the world, and its responses to ADHD, are frustrating – and often cruel.

Part of the story of a character with ADHD, then, might be about their experience as an outsider, for two major reasons.

The first is rejection by their peers. People with ADHD, especially as children, tend to behave in ways that lead to low social status. They are often not fun to be around because the fast talking and constant fidgeting puts others on edge. Worse, their attentional deficits can lead to a failure to process speech and body language cues as efficiently as someone without ADHD, degrading the social value of communicating with them.

Someone with ADHD might have trouble finding a friend who has the patience to listen to their machine-gun conversational style. On the other hand, if they do, it is more likely to be a genuine friend. There’s a good chance that the friends of people with ADHD have bonded with them by way of a shared experience of being an outsider.

The second is rejection by society. Society expects its charges to conform to a certain pattern: a pattern of passive, obedient consumerism. A character with ADHD might have trouble fitting into this pattern, because they find it boring as all hell (for good reason). Modern life is experienced by many as a cage, and few people feel this more keenly than those with ADHD.

This can lead to a kind of outsiderhood that brings with it bitterness, but it can also lead to characters who live highly unconventional lives owing to being unable to fit in with the demands placed on them by the standard work place. A character with ADHD could easily be a hero (or anti-hero) who rejected the excessive sobriety and mindless strictures of society in favour of a psychonautic life of consciousness exploration.

It’s easy for a person with an ADHD diagnosis to believe that the problem isn’t with them but rather with the world. After all, the demands of modern schooling are extremely unnatural if one considers that the human child has evolved to suit an environment that contains infinitely more novelty than a school classroom.

Indeed, there is some debate over whether ADHD is a mental disorder at all, or if it’s just a label given to those who have a high desire for stimulation and novelty. The biological past was a far more dangerous, violent, unpredictable – and therefore, exciting – place than the modern classroom or workplace, and it’s not realistic to expect all people to be easily able to make the transition.

It might be that your character is capable of distinguishing themselves from the majority of people with their condition by overcoming it and mastering an area of particular interest. People with ADHD sometimes are better at paying attention than the average person, as long as the subject matter appeals enough.

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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.