There are many systems of thought that describe various times, epochs or ages that humanity appears to pass through on its collective historical journey through the Great Fractal. Plato’s Republic described it alchemically, the Hindu cosmology describes it in a similar fashion and many other traditions have a time of increasing disorder leading to a climactic revolution.
In Republic, Plato laid out how culture disintegrates over time. Society begins in a Golden Age, according to Socrates in Book VIII, and gradually deteriorates.
It begins with rulers who put virtue above all, and who accordingly cannot own property. Because of the errors that these good people inevitably make as a consequence of being fallible, they are replaced by an inferior and greedier set of rulers.
Eventually the greed of the society leads to money being lent out at high rates of interest, which inevitably concentrates wealth in the hands of a very few. Society degenerates further into the rule of the mob, when doing whatever one wishes to do is the only value.
Here there is little of the higher order that an alchemist would associate with gold, silver or iron. Indeed, the men of gold have vanished by the time it comes to democracy. The man of clay takes charge by convincing the man of iron that the man of silver wishes to enslave him, and by convincing the man of silver that the man of iron wishes to kill him, and so ensures that those two mutually destroy each other.
The Hindu timeline tells a fantastic – and weirdly similar – story. Each Great Year, or Age of Man, or Maha Yuga, itself consists of four smaller Yugas.
The first of these, the Satya Yuga, is also known as the Age of Truth, and it corresponds very closely to what an alchemist would call a Golden Age and what Plato would have called rule by aristocracy. Here it is the gods that are, rightly, in charge of their creation, and everyone knows their correct place.
In the next age, the Treta Yuga, righteousness gradually diminishes. An alchemist would call this an Age of Silver – spirituality begins to give way to materialism, and kings and rulers must use cunning to get their will through, no longer able to rely on the confidence that the ruled have in them.
The final stage is the Kali Yuga, which is known in Hinduism as a Dark Age.
Both of these systems of thought, like the Norse Ragnarok and the Abrahamist Armageddon, suggest that the human experience starts good and gradually gets worse until it has to be restarted in violent revolution. Before we get to this point, however, things have to become genuinely terrible.
An alchemist might point to the immense population surge of the last 150 years and declare that this must be the time of the man of clay, because it appears that no longer does anything other than sex matter. People breed mindlessly, with no thought to the long-term benefit of their actions or whether more offspring are desirable, and so the human population has exploded.
A consequence of this is a resurgence of lowest common denominator culture. American popular culture seems to have sunk to an almost childish level, with the people happy to accept any display of gross incompetence or unfitness for leadership from their ruling class.
In New Zealand it can be seen with the increasing media attention given to soccer, which is the McDonalds of world sports, at the expense of excellent sports such as rugby and cricket, and with the degeneration of the nation’s most popular media portals into click-baiting drivel.
Perhaps all of these systems of thought are all correct and we are currently living in the Age of the Pleb, ruled by the worst among us, and by the worst instincts within ourselves.
The good news is that, in all systems of thought that warn us of such a thing, the Age of the Pleb is always replaced by a new Golden Age.
To some extent, how this develops is inevitable. The man of gold, born into the age of the man of clay, finds himself impelled to take action. The degree of degeneration strikes him as obscene, and out of righteous anger he takes action.
This action usually has the effect of bringing fire into the world to burn away the rot and filth of the Age of the Pleb. Sometimes this means war – and with a massive and still-growing human population creating ever more pressure on ever depleting natural resources, this seems very possible.
The other way we might exit the Age of the Pleb is by a fiery revolution of thought, in which the mental cobwebs of long-decayed religions are burned away by righteous fire and the brutal monkey instincts at the bottom of our brains are tamed and sublimated into something valuable.
Yesterday the Stuff news portal published one of the most one-sided pieces of pro-Government propaganda one could ever hope to see in a supposed democracy with a free press. It’s an apology piece written by media prostitute Jo Moir, and it aims to erase the historical record of Peter Dunne’s actions to resist all change to the cannabis law in New Zealand.
‘Prostitute’ is perhaps the wrong word, as most New Zealand sex workers will not allow you to piss on them and they therefore have more shame than Jo Moir, who will, it appears, write absolutely anything for money. Jo Moir has no shame, and this is why she has produced a one-sided piece of propaganda worthy of a Soviet-era newspaper.
It was titled ‘Peter Dunne feared for his and his family’s safety and may have broken the law allowing medicinal cannabis to be imported’ and sought to present a crafted image of Dunne as someone who is not responsible in any way for the current illegal status of cannabis medicine.
The article tells some transparent lies, such as “The hate mail, abuse and threats all started when Dunne approved medicinal cannabis for [Nelson teenager Alex Renton].”
In reality, medicinal cannabis users have hated Peter Dunne ever since he made it a condition of his support of the Labour Government after the 2005 General Election that absolutely no change be made to the regime of cannabis prohibition.
The article then quotes Dunne as saying he “almost” has respect for medicinal cannabis users, and also gives him a platform to blame recreational cannabis users for “hijacking” the cannabis law reform debate.
This piece of excrement masquerading as a piece of journalism even quotes Dunne, as if it was a self-evident truth, that the only reason why he has received this abuse was because of the apparently coincidental fact that he was the sign-off for medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.
It makes no mention at all of Dunne’s well-known demand that if his party should support the Labour Government after the election of 2005 there would be no progress on cannabis law reform.
Moir can’t even take Dunne’s cock out of her mouth long enough to ask basic journalistic questions that a Year 11 English student could have thought up, like: “Are not all these death threats perhaps a sign that the cannabis laws you have forced on us since 2005 have caused a large amount of genuine suffering and people are right to be angry about it?”
Or: “Do you regret the fact that, given there are at least 37 opioid overdose deaths every year in New Zealand on average and given that legalising medicinal cannabis is known to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 24.8%, your actions to prevent medicinal cannabis law reform in New Zealand since 2005 have caused the easily preventable deaths of at least 100 Kiwis?”
The sycophantic article makes no mention at all of all the people who have suffered under our barbaric cannabis laws, or of those who continue to suffer. The last two lines of it even goes as far as to recount Dunne’s hope that he can escape the consequences of his political crimes.
Make no mistake – Peter Dunne is a criminal. His actions since 2005 to resist cannabis law reform have killed at the very least a hundred New Zealanders by withholding a needed medicine, and have caused between three and seven billion dollars worth of bureaucratic waste. He should be tried on a hundred counts of manslaughter.
It’s probably understandable that the Dunne family received death threats. How could any concerned mother whose child had been psychologically destroyed by the untested mystery drugs known as “legal highs” not be angry at a politician who saw the destruction of that child as an opportunity to make money?
It must have crossed the minds of a large number of desperate people that doing physical harm to Peter Dunne might be the only way their cries for help would ever be heard.
The actions that Peter Dunne has taken as an MP since 2005 to hinder progress in cannabis law reform has caused the deaths of hundreds of Kiwis. If the media of this country were not lower than street whores, they would have held this remorseless psychopath to account.
Rational feminism is based on two things. The first is the recognition that women have generally been treated badly historically. The second is the recognition that addressing this difference is primarily a question of reducing the suffering of women in general.
Fear of physical or psychological abuse, and stress borne of anticipated economic, social or sexual insecurity, are the obvious ways in which women have been treated badly historically and the major ways that women are still suffering in the world today.
This means things like not being taken seriously by the Police or by the community when you make an allegation of abuse. It also means anxiety about increasing rent and living expenses as a consequence of immigration driving up demand for these things in your neighbourhood.
And, crucially, it means freedom from male supremacist religions and their strictures on women that amount to little more than psychological abuse by intimidation. This means freedom both in the home and in the streets.
What passes for feminism from the bleating heads in the mainstream media is something much different to this rational feminism. It is something grossly disconnected from the reality of the everyday woman. It utterly fails to recognise the anti-feminism inherent in the strictures of Abrahamism in general and Islam in particular.
What passes for feminism in the mainstream media is a kind of feminism that represents the collective class interests of the women in the political, business, professional, academic and media sectors.
As a consequence one can hear many women in the mainstream media complaining about the proportion of female CEOs, but very few women complaining about the naked fact that they are treated akin to animals in much of the Middle East, and that this affects many thousands of times more women than those who miss out on C-suite jobs.
Hillary Clinton represents this shallow strain of virtue-signalling feminism. It’s not so much a political movement of women as it is a political movement of highly ambitious, urban, unusually masculine women who want to claim a lion’s share of the wealth.
As for women who are not doing so well, they generally find very little that appealed to them in Hillary’s “I’m With Her” rhetoric.
Hillary Clinton promised to let in 500,000 Syrian refugees. Not a problem for upper-middle class feminists who probably own rental property and could expect that any immigration would boost their incomes in accordance with the increased demand for housing.
These feminists do not live in the areas that the Syrians would have moved to, and so they would not have had the experience that many working class European women are now familiar with: that of seeing your neighbourhood taken over by a fundamentalist religious culture that considers you of similar value to a dog.
The unusually intellectual Marine Le Pen, then, represents an entirely different kind of feminism. As alluded to in the opening paragraph of this essay, a rational feminism would be aimed towards reducing the suffering of women as a whole, not exclusively helping upper-middle class women achieve their ego-fuelled career objectives.
The French sociologist Sylvain Crépon conducted an analysis of the 2012 FN (National Front, Le Pen’s party) vote. His conclusion was that “The FN vote is made up of the victims of globalisation. It is the small shopkeepers who are going under because of the economic crisis and competition from the out-of-town hypermarkets; it is low-paid workers from the private sector; the unemployed.”
In other words, the same sort of person that Hillary Clinton dismissed as “deplorable”. It is this segment of society – both men and women – who are looking for an alternative to the shitshow dished up by the Baby Boomers.
Indeed, it has been noted elsewhere that many more women are becoming attracted to Le Pen’s message. This is entirely unsurprising when one considers that the biggest losers from the increasing Islamic influence on France are women.
Moreover, a French woman becoming President of her country is a much bigger victory for feminism that an American one becoming President of hers, as French women did not even have the right to vote until after World War II.
Le Pen is of a different generation to both her paratrooper father (who she was forced to expel from the National Front in 2015) and Hillary Clinton. Le Pen is, like Justin Trudeau of Canada, a member of Generation X, who are just now assuming power.
In wanting to keep the streets safe for women today instead of mindlessly promoting tired old globalist rhetoric at the expense of the working class, Marine Le Pen is more of a feminist than Hillary Clinton ever so much as pretended to be.
Probably what she can expect is that the globalist and nationalist Baby Boomers will come together to oppose her in the second round of this year’s French Presidential Election.
But that generation is now dying out, and Le Pen’s Generation X is more concerned with Islam than with CEO positions. That will make them a much less disparate entity than they previously had been.
The last of the Silent Generation are leaving us. The oldest Baby Boomers, born in 1945 and so 71-72 years old, are now the bulk of the elderly. Pretty soon, those of us of Generation X will be the voice of reason wedged between the insanely selfish Baby Boomers and the insanely pathetic Millennials.
There are many repeating patterns in Nature that skip one or two generations. The mindlessly narcissistic hubris of the generation that led the world into the hemoclysm of World Wars I and II is re-expressing itself in the consumer-rapist greed of the Boomers.
The grim cynicism of the generations that stopped Hitler is another pattern that has skipped some generations. The Boomers don’t get it: their world is very serious. The God-given mission to squeeze every last cent of material productivity out of the Earth is one that brooks no levity.
Neither do the Millennials get it: their world is also very serious. In the hyper-connected cyberworld of the Millennial, to take your finger off the pulse for one moment is to risk becoming fatally unfashionable.
Their great taboo is to never ask who is pulling the strings of all these fashions and fads and to what ends. The Millennial merely follows, a perfectly feminine creation for an excessively feminine age.
We in Generation X – often raised by our grandparents in the Silent and Greatest Generations while our parents were building careers – do get it. Make no mistake: for us, in between two opposing and mutually annihilating generations that are both deeply detached from reality, survival for our generation will involve getting out of the way while the nutbars fight each other.
As the 21st century takes a more definite form, four distinct groups of enemies have arisen to challenge those who wish for a peaceful world. These are Boomer globalists, Boomer nationalists, Millennial globalists and Millennial nationalists.
The Boomer globalists and nationalists are already familiar to us as the representatives of the various political interests. The globalists are the alliance of the capitalists and communists who want to bring the whole world under the yoke of one system.
The nationalists are those resisting this process, who usually bring with them masses of conservative baggage in the form of disrespecting anyone not like them, in particular women, other races and other sexual orientations.
The Millennial globalists and nationalists are their useful idiots on the streets and in cyberspace. Millennial globalists like Antifa and other social justice warriors will attack nationalist interests under the delusion that they are doing “good”, because there’s nothing a brainless dog enjoys more than biting someone and then getting a pat on the head from the master.
Their opposition, the Millennial nationalists, are naturally the foot soldiers of the wealthy, often religious and ethnonationalist interests who oppose the globalist interests. In practice, many of these people (usually men) are involved in the burgeoning alt-right movement.
This is the arrangement of major sociodemographic forces in the West as we drift towards the second quarter of this century.
However, the timeline before us is chaos, about which little can be known. We can say this for certain: the Baby Boomers will cling to power like shit clings to a blanket, and the Millennials will demand power as if they were all royalty and born to it.
Keeping the world on a even keel will involve making sure that the balance of these forces does not come out of alignment and cause the whole shithouse to go up in flames.
Probably the best historical example of the current plight of Generation X is the way in which Britain was, 80 years ago, caught between insane right-wing Nazis and insane left-wing Communists. At that time, the best strategy was to work on consolidating the strength of one’s position, and to wait for a future opportunity to expand while enemy forces exhaust themselves.
The feminine has done its dash as ruling force in the human world, for now at least. The feminine epoch that has just ended may have saved us from warring ourselves back into the Stone Age during the Cold War, but its logic and its attitudes are now glaringly ineffective for dealing with the challenges we face in 2017.
Let’s be fair. The feminine can probably be credited with saving us from nuclear hellfire in the aftermath of World War II. Curtis LeMay wanted to pre-emptively nuke Russia and China, and he once had the ear of the US President. Cooler heads prevailed there, as they did in the Cuban Missile Crisis, so we’re all still here.
The potential geopolitical catastrophes of our generation will be different in nature to the ones of our parents. Our danger is not an outside enemy killing us in fire but that we rot from within.
If one looks back at the earliest history of humankind, the most fundamental masculine action a man could possibly make was to build shelter in the form of a house or a wall.
Building a wall is incredibly masculine for many reasons. On the physical level, a person has to be able to lift large stones and chisel them into flat shapes. On an emotional level, a person has to look out into the world and see dangers that they want to protect their people from. On an intellectual level, a person has to do maths to calculate how the wall ought to be constructed, and on a spiritual level a person has to discriminate between that which belongs close to their people and that which does not – and to have the will to declare that which does not belong is to be kept on the other side of the wall.
This latter point reveals the genesis of the current European migrant crisis. It isn’t a matter of not having the knowledge, strength or skill to build a wall; the crisis of the West is a matter of will. In particular, we seem unable to make intelligent decisions about who to let through the wall and who not to.
Why did the European Union adopt an immigration policy that made it hard for people from similar cultures – such as the Americas or the ANZAC countries, to enter – and hard for people from high-energy, low-crime cultures – like the Far East Asians – to enter, but easy for people with very little to offer?
It could be many reasons – historical guilt, cultural decadence, internal corruption, out-of-touch political elites or that history is a masculine subject and therefore taboo in a feminine age like the one we have just come out of.
If this rhetoric about will and cultural decline sounds like something Hitler might have dreamed up, heed this warning: a new masculine age will inevitably be either one of reason or brutality, and it will be up to us to decide which.
Most women will be pleased at this new state of affairs, for the reason that if men become men again then women will no longer be forced to become men to compensate. As many women can tell you, it’s not dominating a man that is the difficult thing, it’s knowing what to do with him once you’ve brought him to heel, as a feminine woman has no natural use for such an arrangement.
Some men will be pleased with this new state of affairs, most obviously the masculine ones who find it natural to move forwards. Some will find it more difficult, in particular those not fully weaned who prefer to just drift along, but the zeitgeist of this new age may transform such half-men into correct ones.
If the masculine does its job correctly, the heroes of this new age will be men like Professor Jordan B. Peterson, whose commitment to reason is so complete that he is baffled by the irrationality of the criticisms levelled against him.
If the masculine does not do its job correctly, then we only have to look back to the last time people were in this situation to guess that the heroes of this new age will be much like Hitler.
The biggest danger is that the mainstream media has cried wolf so hard over Trump that if Trump does not turn out to be the next Hitler, the next Hitler could simply stand up and go full Nazi knowing that no-one was going to believe the warnings about him.
Whether humanity survives the challenges of the next half-century will be a matter of whether it can correctly identify reasonable men to follow and correctly identify brutal men to keep out of power.
It is becoming ever more obvious to ever more people that we can no longer rely on the mainstream media or the Government to be the gatekeepers of such knowledge. But with the Internet before us and alternative media growing every year, there is no excuse to rely on the authorities of a bygone age.
Remember when you were a kid, and “reading” books used to be less about those weird symbols that the grown-ups were hypnotised by, and more about looking at pictures that had those symbols underneath? That wasn’t just you being uneducated – it was also your intuitive understanding of the power of those pictures to talk to your spirit.
Magicians are aware of one thing that ordinary people are not: that the deeper parts of the mind, which psychologists call the subconscious – or even the unconscious – are not in any way less powerful than the surface parts that do all the thinking and talking.
Indeed, some even draw a distinction based on the primary target of the magic in question. Lesser magic can be considered the art of conscious magic and is mostly intellect-based, routine and predictable; greater magic is the art of unconscious magic and is mostly will-based, darker and more dangerous.
Memes speak to the subconscious. So they, like magic, are not targeted at the logical, rational, autistic left brain, because the left brain is the gatekeeper of the conscious. Memes appeal to the joyful, passionate, spontaneous and psychotic right brain, because the right brain is the gatekeeper of the subconscious.
In this, their power is humour, not logical rigour. This is a point that the left have missed for a long time, as they have become ever more obsessed with political correctness and policing people’s speech, although they managed to avoid any serious consequences until the Trump election.
We are now in the Post-Truth Age; this is a point that is well understood. The implications of this are less well understood. One of them is that it is no longer considered possible to determine using logical rigour which of a set of political candidates is most likely to be lying.
Politicians have been trying for so long to get an edge on their opponents by crafting more powerful lies that the race to the bottom has led to no-one believing them at all.
And so it simply didn’t matter what Hillary Clinton’s arguments were. All Trump had to do was to create the right sort of vibe, and this would ensure that his voters turned out while Hillary’s did not. In this regard, the more Hillary struggled to get an edge, the more she sunk into the quicksand.
The rhetoric against Trump quickly became so extreme that it was laughable. Clinton genuinely appeared to believe she was fighting Hitler, and the stronger her belief the crazier she appeared to all but her own echo chamber.
Soon it was pretty clear that Hillary Clinton was herself a dangerous megalomaniac, and that she had the entire political establishment, the military establishment, the industrial establishment, the banking establishment and the media establishment behind her.
It was against this backdrop of extreme seriousness and humourlessness that memes started to work their magic.
Meme magic began, therefore, in the symbology of resistance. In much the same way that early Christian martyrs adopted the symbol of the fish as a sign of a mutual interest in resisting Babylon and Rome, so did young and creative people adopt Pepe and Kek as signs of resistance to a monstrously corrupt political establishment.
FaceBook avatars bearing green frogs also bore a message that went over the head of the majority of the plebs, but these were understood as a secret language by an elect few. It was a sign not to give up hope, not even when the mainstream media was pushing polls that gave Hillary Clinton a 98% chance of winning.
The three propaganda images in this essay are an excellent example of this phenomenon, and are merely a selection from the best. Where some people just see ridiculous drawings or photoshops of Trump, many others were powerfully affected at a subconscious level.
This column has previously argued that Hitler represented an excess of masculine energy, and that the world may have recently swung too far to the left in a 70-year cycle of history.
Hillary was always much more like Hitler than Trump was or ever could have been. Her promise to let 500,000 Syrian refugees into America was a clarion call for those who had been watching the collapse of Europe and the distance between Establishment politicians and the will of the people in the West.
Perhaps her defeat was then – rather than the certain path to nuclear hellfire the talking heads told us it would be – a sign that things are about to move back to normality. Trump has already admitted that the American Government has done a poor job recently of living up to its stated ideals.
The danger for Trump is that, having gone all-in on the “drain the swamp” rhetoric, he has to make genuine change or lose support in the next election. He also has to stay onside with the army of meme magicians that shitposted him into the White House.
It is too early to say if he will succeed. In any case, it can be confidently predicted that meme magic will play a large role in the next election and in each one henceforth.
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a famous psychological theory based on the observation that people as a rule take care of their most pressing needs first, and only when those are satisfied do they develop an ambition to move to the next level.
The most common way to represent this is as a coloured pyramid – one can see an example as the title image of this essay. The ‘lower’ desires represent the more fundamental ones. The need represented by each level must be satisfied before a person is motivated to move on to the next one.
The lowest level is physiological needs. This basically means air, water and food. When the need for these are met a person moves on to safety needs, such as physical and economic security. Meeting those needs will mean a person advances to the level of love and belonging, where they try and satisfy a need for friendship, intimacy and belonging.
Above these three levels are two that are arguably not so much ‘needs’ as ‘decencies’. The first is the need for self-esteem. This relates to the human desire to be accepted and appreciated by others and by oneself. Generally the lower one’s self-regard the greater one’s need for fame or respect.
The last level is self-actualisation. This involves fulfilling one’s greatest potential; becoming the best version of oneself that it is possible to be.
It’s common for individuals to look at where they are themselves on Maslow’s hierarchy. It certainly is an interesting theory for anyone curious about how they fit into the grand scheme of things.
Some people are further than others. What we generally consider wealthy, fortunate, or “doing good” correlates pretty strongly with where a person is on the hierarchy of needs. If we take a look at humanity, though, we can see that as a whole we have not come very far.
According to the World Food Programme, 842 million people go to bed hungry on any given night. This represents about one in every eight people, all of whom have fallen at the first hurdle when it comes to the hierarchy of needs.
If one thinks about what that means in practice, it is one in every eight people who have no realistic chance of ever making progress in any of the other needs. After all, someone who goes to bed hungry will hardly be concerned with their bank account, because if they had any money they would have bought food with it.
It’s worth thinking that one in every eight people are that desperate – possibly that means one in every eight people are desperate enough to have a strong incentive to do serious harm to another human being, should an opportunity for a robbery arise.
After all, the major incentive a person has for not robbing someone is their desire for physical security, in the form of not going to jail, and their desire for social esteem, in the form of not being thought to be a robber.
As both of those needs are less fundamental than the need for food, a hungry person is unlikely to care about them very much. The desire for food is even more fundamental than the desire for peace, and so one in every eight of us is too hungry to care at all about all the war in the world.
A global universal basic income would raise us up the hierarchy, as it would take care of most basic physiological needs. It is the inability to fulfill the need for these that causes the vast majority of human suffering in the world.
It does, however, raise the spectre of overpopulation, at least in the minds of those who believe that some of the tropical peoples are incapable of keeping their breeding in check. If a person believes this, then it is natural to also believe that a global basic income will lead to ecological collapse.
Maybe humankind is doomed to remain at a reasonably low level because of the belief that if we co-operate too closely, factions within humanity will take advantage of this peace to wage war against other factions, perhaps even without those factions knowing about it.
Why is the world so fucking crazy? Here’s the short answer: people prefer the certitude of moral fanaticism to the yawning, howling chasm of despair that is nihilism. This essay argues that this false dilemma will always arise in the hearts and minds of people who have failed to dial their frequency into the range of gold, for whatever reason.
As any existentialist can tell you, nihilism is an inevitable part of being human. If one is not dull in the head, one soon observes that the vast majority of politicians, rulers, religious men and media figures are liars and thieves, essentially just master pirates, and one turns from there quickly to despair.
This despair tends to neither last nor transmute directly to nihilism. It doesn’t last because the naivete into which one was brainwashed soon reasserts itself. Because it reasserts itself, the despair does not transmute into nihilism.
A dull person will cling to this naivete once it is reasserted, and will not let it go again for fear of the despair that filled that gap last time. An intelligent person will break it down again, choosing by an act of will or intuition to understand that their suspicions about the true order of things were correct, and that one can never trust a person claiming to be one’s superior.
If the child-like naivete cannot reassert itself, usually because a person has developed a deep cynicism towards it, then despair will eventually turn to nihilism. This only occurs once a state of learned helplessness has been achieved. From here, things will go one of two ways depending on the philosophical sophistication of the person involved.
One way is to reach a kind of philosophical maturity. This way is really, really hard and is outside the scope of this essay. Essentially it is the same task as creating the Philosopher’s Stone, or reaching nirvana, or spiritual absolution, or becoming the Overman.
The second way is to become a fanatic about something. In practice, it doesn’t actually matter what one becomes a fanatic about, although each individual fanatic will doubtlessly have a number of illogical, contradictory or spurious reasons to support their supposedly heartfelt belief. All that matters is that it feels better than nihilism.
It can be observed in many people that they have become fanatics about something in order to distract their minds from the ennui that arises from considering existence authentically. Honest philosophical thought seems to lead directly to panic as nothing appears to matter and we appear to die.
One absolves oneself of the moral imperative to be authentic once one becomes a fanatic. The life of a fanatic is defined. It is defined primarily by those one stands in opposition to.
If a National Socialist, one opposes Commies; if a Communist, one opposes Nazis. If a supporter of one’s military, one opposes all other militaries. If a supporter of one’s soccer team, one opposes all other soccer teams. If a feminist, one opposes the patriarchy, if a men’s rights activist one opposes feminists, if a Muslim one opposes the infidel, if a Catholic one opposes the heathen, and so it goes.
This process is as true of groups as it is of individuals. Thus we can see that, ironically, the mass rejection of the mainstream moral narrative that followed World War I laid the furrow for the mass fanaticism that led to World War II.
Becoming a fanatic in this manner leads to a very soothing and very temporary kind of peace. One soon becomes surrounded by like-minded fanatics and, from there, it is trivial to convince oneself that the mission all of you are on is the true and righteous one and that by rebuilding the world in your image you will genuinely create a utopia for all.
Doing so, however, comes at a bitter cost. In refusing to act authentically by becoming a fanatic, one inevitably finds oneself forced to either tell lies or to commit violence, for all falsehood finds expression in the human world in one of those two ways.
Observing the reality around you before taking action usually gives you necessary clues about who you are and what your role in this place is. This is the basis of Pyrrhonic wisdom, which is to ask what the nature of things actually is before you react to it.
This column contends that the way to peace is to look beyond; to look beyond the reasons people say they do things and the moral superiority they claim motivates their actions and see the true frequency of their spirits. And then apply that same caustic cynicism to oneself, usually in meditation.
Only by doing this can a person correctly observe the terrain before them and move accordingly.