The Century of Psychology is Being Delayed By Politics

This might be the “Century of Psychology” – if politicians allow it to be

It could be argued that the 19th century was the century of physics, and the 20th century was the century of chemistry. Men such as Maxwell, Watt, Faraday, Tesla, Edison, Rutherford, Hoffmann, Einstein and Shulgin transformed our everyday lives. But now that we can blow up the entire planet at the press of a button, physics and chemistry seem to have hit their limits. This essay argues that psychology will be the science that transforms the 21st century, but there are numerous political obstacles in the path.

As once was true for physics and chemistry, the current popular level of understanding of psychological science is primitive. In the same way that we laugh about previous generations believing that the Moon was made of cheese, so too will future generations laugh at us for believing ridiculous things like smoking cannabis causes schizophrenia. Descriptions of the way we treat desperately mentally ill people today, such as subjecting them to involuntary electroshock treatment, will evoke horror in the future.

Nowadays, thanks to mass education, people can get their heads around aeroplanes, photography and nuclear energy and no longer consider them sorcery. There are a number of obstacles, however, that must still be overcome before the science of psychology can have its full impact upon the world. The main one at the moment is that people tell lies because of politics, and these lies obscure the truth about humanity’s true nature.

For example, the left tells lies intended to create a perception of, and belief in, the natural equality of all people. Because their political dogma is based around the need for horizontalisation, they are loathe to concede that any two people or groups of people are different in any way that might imply that one was better than another.

Although there are no two things in Nature that are precisely equal, the fervour with which it is asserted that all human groups are precisely equal in intellectual capacity equals that of any religion. At its most ridiculous, this obsession with equality will concede that the human form has been shaped by evolution and that the differences in human phenotypes are a function of evolution, but that evolution stops at the neck.

Many people have discovered that genetic differences between groups, especially when it comes to intelligence or temperament, cannot simply be discussed openly without some leftist shrieking all manner of accusations at the participants. This has a retarding effect on the advancement of science because people become reluctant to discuss psychology honestly for fear of having “Racist!” screamed in their face.

The right, for its part, blames the poor and blacks for their state of poverty. If only they would stop doing drugs and read books, the right contends, prosperity would soon follow. They have no time for the arguments that the poor are doing drugs to medicate trauma-based mental illnesses that no other medicine can treat, or that they can’t concentrate to read books on account of being full of adrenaline all the time from the verbal and physical violence in their environment.

Not only does the right tend to blame people for the damage that has been done to them from the outside, but they give credit to people for success that is better attributable to the environment in which that person was raised and the support networks they had. This is bad because it makes it impossible to discuss the nature of society accurately and with honesty, and therefore impossible to design social policy that reduces human suffering.

Authoritarians tell a story about human nature that exaggerates our similarity with chimpanzees. This narrative emphasises the violent struggle of daily chimpanzee life and how qualities such as viciousness, paranoia, brutality and aggression serve to keep one’s enemies at bay. It represents an extreme form of verticalisation in which no-one can turn their back on anyone else for a second.

This ideology can be used to justify a wide range of cruelties, because authoritarianism is naturally terrified of chaos, and so authoritarian societies clamp down on free expression and recreational exploration of sex, drugs and music. All of these things, plus others, are regularly banned in authoritarian societies, which emphasise the usefulness of hierarchy for keeping things in their place.

The problem with this attitude is that human beings have a need for recreational activities, because boredom is literally a mental disease, and one that leads to physical diseases. People have to be allowed to enjoy themselves, because human nature needs to find a balance to the masculine working and fighting aspects of life.

Moreover, authoritarian thinking cannot handle drug use because drug use leads to free thought, and novel ways of thinking are considered security threats by control freaks, who clamp down on them. This mentality is responsible for cannabis being illegal. Pharmaceutical advances in the treatment of psychological conditions seldom happen when authoritarians are in charge.

Libertarians, on the other hand, tell a story about human nature that exaggerates our similarity with bonobos. This narrative emphasises lovemaking and peace, and maintains that all people are capable of being good if only given a chance. Although this is based in a perfectly lovely sentiment, it’s no less dangerous.

For one thing, the belief that all people are inherently good makes it harder to defend ourselves from those who are not good. Libertarian naivety about the dark rivers that run through the human heart mean that they make political decisions that expose them to that darkness. Often the mistake is not realised until it cannot be easily rectified (such as the European experience with Muslim and African immigration).

Another point is that libertarian logic denies the inherent human need for (at least a modicum of) order. It might be true that excessive legal and cultural strictures cause suffering, and that liberation from such is exhilarating, but no-one can simply dwell in a state of chaos without eventually feeling impelled to impose some order upon their surroundings.

Psychology has the potential to radically improve the standard of living of all people, especially this century as advances in brain-scanning technology herald great advances in neurochemical understanding. The biggest challenge that psychology faces, however, is that many people are motivated to deny psychological truths for the sake of political advantage. This will delay the impact of advances in psychological science on human society.

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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).

VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger II

This reading continues on from here.

Part II of Ride the Tiger is called ‘In the World Where God is Dead’, and deals with the ever-present problem of the nihilism that arises when one abandons traditional values. This part consists of nine essays.

The first of these (the third essay in the book), ‘European Nihilism – the Dissolution of Morals’, sets the tone for this section. The subject matter will be familiar to any reader of Nietzsche, and indeed Nietzsche is mentioned in the first paragraph. This essay also mentions Doestoevsky, in the context of “If God is dead, everything is permitted.” It promises to be heavy stuff!

“Rational”, or atheistic morality, has no firm basis, Evola contends. Without an appeal to a higher power, any moral philosophy will eventually be chipped away at by critics until it disintegrates. Moral taboos cannot be justified, and therefore we can’t move past “everything is permitted”.

Perhaps more worryingly, it’s possible that, even if God did exist and inform us all, nothing would really change.

The fourth essay is ‘From the Precursors of Nihilism to the “Lost Youth” and the Protest Movement’. Existence has become absurd, Evola contends, because there are no longer any restraints. Here he traces the advancement of nihilism in the years post-Nietzsche. As Nietzsche predicted, the problem of nihilism only intensified as we entered the 20th century.

Movements such as punks and beatniks are drawn under the wider rubric of nihilists. The counter-culture becomes, for Evola, a “destructive, voiceless rage”. It’s isn’t necessarily that things are bad in and of themselves, but that a quiet, peaceful, mediocre life evokes this rage. Natural man feels little difference between the modern cornucopia of manufactured goods and slavery.

Citing Paul van den Bosch when he wrote that “When we were born, the gold was already transmuted into lead,” Evola makes another appeal to the perennial philosophy and its esoteric nature. This is necessary because the left-wing revolution has “betrayed its origins” with “a new conformism” – a statement that echoes in 2018.

The fifth essay is ‘Disguises of European Nihilism – The Socioeconomic Myth and the Protest Movement’. To Evola’s mind, there are two great socioeconomic myths of our time: the myth of Western prosperity, and the Marxist-communist myth of oppressor versus oppressed. Both myths are predicated on the same falsehood, namely that the signs and markers of the dissolution of society represent “progress”.

One severe problem exists with both of these myths: neither has any room for any conception of a higher world – the realm of gold in alchemism – and so both myths, while they solve the problem of nihilism, introduce unacceptable problems of their own. Both ideologies are predicated on a gross, fundamental error: that solving questions of material suffering will also solve questions of existential suffering.

Perhaps the last words here are “there is no correlation between material and spiritual misery.” This lays out the futility of trying to find absolution through materialist avenues. One is left with the impression, in Evola’s words, that “The time is near of the most despicable οf men, who can nο longer despise himself.”

Are we now in the time of the Man of Clay?

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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).

Understanding New Zealand: Turnout Rate in 2017

The turnout rate in the 2014 General Election was 77.9%, and at the time of the 2017 General Election this had climbed to 79.3%. This is not a huge change, but care must be taken not to be misled. Just because the overall turnout rate was about the same does not mean that the turnout rates of the various demographics within New Zealand society all remained the same. This article examines the deeper trends.

The most striking thing about the turnout rates in the 2017 General Election is that, despite the alarm about the huge numbers of immigrants New Zealand has absorbed in recent years, the election marked a sharp increase in turnout rate among the New Zealand-born.

The correlation between being New Zealand-born and turnout rate became much more positive from 2014 to 2017, from a significantly negative -0.24 to -0.10. This is arguably the story of the election and explains how we ended up with a nationalist party holding the balance of power.

Among the four major parties, the correlation with turnout rate and voting for a particular party remained very similar from 2014 to 2017 for National (0.76 to 0.75), Labour (-0.70 to -0.72) and the Greens (0.28 to 0.27). These slight falls were balanced by a fairly strong increase for New Zealand First (-0.09 to -0.02).

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a swing towards New Zealand First – it just means that the sort of person who is a New Zealand First supporter was more likely to vote this time around. Who they actually voted for requires further analysis.

If we look at the ethnic demographics, we can see that the correlation between being of a certain race and turnout rate between 2014 and 2017 strengthened for Kiwis of European descent (from 0.71 to 0.81) and for Maoris (from -0.75 to -0.68). These are the two ethnic groups most likely to support New Zealand First.

Pacific Islanders and Asians, who were more likely to be born overseas, were less likely to turn out to vote. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and turnout rate was -0.58 in 2017, out from -0.44 in 2014, which makes them now almost as disenfranchised as Maoris. The correlation between being Asian and turnout rate was -0.22 in 2017, out from -0.10.

One reason for this is that even though large numbers of immigrants have turned up in New Zealand recently, many of these newcomers don’t seem to feel much of a connection with the country and so are not motivated to vote.

Where it gets complicated is that the correlation between median age and turnout rate increased from 2014 to 2017, from 0.77 to 0.79. This means that the people who voted this time around were older, and older people tend to vote National – but these voters did not vote National.

The correlation between being aged 20-29 and turnout rate became a lot more negative from 2014 to 2017, from -0.21 to -0.26. The correlation between being aged 30-49 and turnout rate followed a similar pattern, weakening from 0.21 to 0.13. The predictable result of this is older people voting more, and indeed we can see that the correlation between being aged 50-64 and turnout rate increased from 0.70 in 2014 to 0.73 in 2017, while the correlation between being aged 65+ and turnout rate increased from 0.64 in 2014 to 0.67 in 2017.

Unsurprisingly, then, the correlation between being on the pension and turnout rate increased from 2014 to 2017 (from 0.50 to 0.56). In fact, all of the benefit types apart from the student allowance also strengthened. The correlation between being on the invalid’s benefit and turnout rate strengthened from -0.53 in 2014 to -0.43 in 2017, and the correlation between being on the unemployment benefit and turnout rate strengthened from -0.76 in 2014 to -0.72 in 2017.

This is supported by the fact that voters were more likely to be New Zealand-born in 2017, because there is a significant correlation between being New Zealand-born and being on a benefit.

More information comes from noting that several correlations between belonging to privileged demographic categories and turnout rate decreased from 2014 to 2017. This applied to people working in information media and telecommunications (0.06 to -0.01), financial and insurance services (0.08 to 0.01) and professional and scientific services (0.28 to 0.23). Also, the correlation between having never smoked tobacco and turnout rate fell from 0.35 in 2014 to 0.25 in 2017.

On the other hand, the correlations between more working-class occupations and turnout rate increased, most strikingly so in the occupations that involved the most personal contact. The correlation between working in a particular occupation and turnout rate increased from 2014 to 2017 in the case of education and training (-0.10 to -0.03), healthcare and social assistance (-0.04 to 0.05), arts and recreation services (0.04 to 0.09) and hospitality (-0.09 to -0.01).

A poorer cross-section of the population turned out to vote in 2017, which is another clue as to where Labour won. All of the correlations between being in an income band below $70K and turnout rate strengthened from 2014 to 2017, and all of the correlations between being in an income band above $100K and turnout rate weakened from 2014 to 2017. The correlation between being in the $70-100K income bracket and turnout rate remained exactly the same, at 0.38.

Another striking correlation is that between being part-time employed and turnout rate, which rose sharply from 0.45 to 0.58 between 2014 and 2017. This, coupled with what we know about income brackets and turnout rate, suggests that it was the people on the margins between doing well and doing poorly who shifted from National to Labour. It may be that these people saw the promise of the country being lost, or felt that they missed out on all the loot of the last nine years.

Perhaps the clearest sign of where National lost the election comes from the correlations with the flag referendum. The correlation between voting National in 2017 and voting to change the flag in the second flag referendum was an extremely strong 0.93, which tells us that it was pretty much only National voters to wanted to change the flag to the National Party version.

These National Party supporters, being generally well enfranchised, have very high turnout rates. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and voting to change the flag was 0.75, exactly the same as the one between turnout rate in 2017 and voting to change the flag. However, the correlation between turnout rate in the second flag referendum and turnout rate in the general election increased from 2014 (0.86) to 2017 (0.92).

This suggests that many of the new people who voted in the 2017 General Election but did not vote in the 2014 one were Labour supporters who came from generally National-supporting demographics (i.e. wealthy but not too wealthy, old but not quite a pensioner, white, employed and part-time employed, male). Had they been National supporters, the correlation between turnout rate and voting to change the flag would have increased from 2014 to 2017, because the vast bulk of people who wanted to change the flag were National supporters.

We can say that it was here that the centre, and thereby the 2017 General Election, was lost by the National Party.

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The second edition of Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, was published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18. It contains all the analysis of Kiwi voting patterns and demographics you could ever want!

There is Only One Issue of Social Justice, and It’s One of Class

As long as the left acts as if the white working class man is the enemy, it will fail

The mass consciousness is full of social justice issues at the moment, with social justice warriors in the media and in the public both screaming to get attention to their issue of choice. What few realise is that all of these shrieking SJWs distract from the one and only real social justice issue, which is that the rich have all the power and the poor just get fucked. In a word – class.

Privilege does not come from race, or gender, or sexual orientation – it comes from wealth. All of these other categories are merely correlates with wealth. Being white, male and heterosexual are all qualities correlated with wealth – but none of them are wealth per se. The left has made its most grievous error by confusing genuine privilege with the correlates of privilege – and in doing so it has lost the white working class.

The whole concept of racism is a distraction – but it’s a well-chosen one. In fact, the decision to impose a taboo on so much as mentioning any racial differences was a stroke of genius (from the point of view of suppressing the peasantry). It has had a devastating impact on the ability of the working class to organise itself to resist class injustices. Like an axe through an enemy skull, it has cleaved them neatly in two.

For one thing, the simple fact that there are obvious racial differences in behaviour means that, if racism is the ultimate taboo, then honest people will be ostracised by the herd when they inevitably point them out.

This is not to argue that some ethnic groups are subhuman and should be exterminated – it’s merely to point out that the reason why different ethnic groups exist is because people have adapted to different environments, and those different environments reward various behaviours differently.

It will be centuries before black people in the West become as wealthy as whites (if it ever happens), for the simple reason that Western society has been set up to reflect the hardworking values that naturally evolve in the cultures of people who live in the cold environments that produce white people. So as long as a gap in economic performance exists, the ruling class can always browbeat the white working class about creating this state of affairs with their “racism”.

The second major reason is that it allows the ruling class to give the white working class – their number one enemies – another kick in the guts. If privilege is reduced to a matter of skin colour, instead of a matter of whether a child’s parents had the surplus time and money to properly invest in its education and raise it to be a functioning being, then the white working class can be blamed for their own poverty.

They can be given an extra kick in the guts with the justification that their white skin gave them great advantages that they only failed to take because of their own moral weakness.

The truth – that privilege is almost entirely a function of the quality of one’s upbringing – is ignored because it reveals that people are usually wealthy only if their own parents were themselves wealthy enough to have the spare time and energy to teach them how to behave in ways that capture wealth. In other words, all privilege is class privilege.

This makes the distraction effective because it immediately causes the left to eat itself. The left only has moral authority insofar as it represents the labouring classes that produce wealth instead of the capital-owning class that captures it. When it ceases to represent the labouring classes and instead becomes a disparate horde of disaffected misfits with grievances, it cedes that authority.

Other distractions such as the gender pay gap, gay adoption, funding gender reassignment surgery etc. (i.e. issues that are either entirely fictitious or which affect a very small number of people) all serve a similar purpose, but no method of distracting a Western population from its class issues has proven as effective as race.

These distractions are brought to us by the same people that have brought us all the other distractions – i.e. the very same people who currently occupy the top positions in the class hierarchy and who wish to remain there. This is the reason why wages have stagnated for 30 years and homelessness is on the increase, despite several decades of supposedly continuous economic growth.

The mainstream media won’t tell you this because its journalists work on the direction of the shareholders, who are themselves members of the plutocracy.

The solution to it all is for the left to accept, as it once did, that working class white people are not members of an oppressive enemy class simply because they have white skin. The class status of poor whites, and the financial and cultural poverty that frequently accompany it, is sufficient to mark them as unprivileged.

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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).

VJMP Reads: Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger I

Having chosen a left-wing work (The Interregnum) for our previous reading, we now go to the right again and have a look at Julius Evola’s Ride the Tiger. Subtitled “A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul”, it’s based on the premise that the fight against modernity has been lost and the only thing a thinking man can do is ride the tiger of modernity until it’s time to rebuild on the other side.

Part I of the eight parts of this book is called “Orientations” and divides into two essays.

The first of these is called ‘The Modern World and Traditional Man’. This opens outright with a declaration that this text isn’t for everyone. Like The Satanic Bible, Evola is explicit in that his book is only for a particular kind of person. Ride the Tiger is written for the outsider.

Evola’s style seems timeless in the sense that his complaints about the nature of society apply just as well to 2018 as they did to his time, and probably apply well to many times in the past. Things are collapsing, certainly in social terms if not yet physical ones, and so Evola advocates a return to traditional values.

These traditional values are not bourgeoisie ones, Evola is at pains to point out, but in fact “the very antithesis of them.” Indeed, he hints at evoking the perennial philosophy, such as when he writes “It is good to sever every link with all that which is destined sooner or later to collapse. The problem will then be to maintain one’s essential direction without leaning οn any given or transmitted form.”

Psychonauts such as the readership of VJM Publishing will commiserate with this feeling, as it’s a handy description of the ego death experience that comes with the peak of a psychedelic trip. One loses all touch with and memory of the fleeting forms of energy that make up the material world, and resides solely in pure consciousness, and thereby reunites with God.

Fittingly, then, Evola states that the Tradition that inspires him has “the character of an esoteric doctrine.”

The second essay, ‘The End of a Cycle – “Ride the Tiger”‘, continues in the same vein. Evola explains that the expression “to ride the tiger” is from the Far East and refers to the idea that it’s safer to ride on the tiger’s back than to try and flee and get pounced on, for the tiger will eventually tire out and then one can make an escape.

Essentially, the idea expressed here is this: great and terrible changes are sweeping the world, and will continue to do so. They will destroy much, if not all, of the existing order, regardless of whether this order is good or bad. There is no hope of resisting this process.

All of this sounds terribly pessimistic and nihilistic on the surface, but it’s clear that, like Nietzsche before him, Evola has anticipated the nihilism that follows the destruction of the incumbent value system, and is speaking of what must come beyond that. He writes of the “Four Ages” system famililar to readers of Plato’s Republic as well as to Hindus.

The warning of this chapter is that the forces of destruction and degeneracy are too powerful to be overcome; resisting them is as futile as resisting the tide. But in this there is still a message of hope: those destructive forces are too mindless, stupid and disorderly to hold sway for very long and so, like the storm, they will pass, and leave an opportunity to rebuild order in their wake.

And so, Evola mocks the “progressive” and “advanced” thinking of the West as little more than symptoms of a disease of the soul. This is apparently the context in which the book ought to be read.

The object of the book is summed up in the final paragraph of this essay: “defining the attitude to be taken toward certain experiences and processes of today”. In other words, how do we deal with the fact that everything’s falling to bits?

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

The Political Paradox at the Heart of Cyberpunk

Science fiction has generally been considered a left-wing preoccupation. Not only is the readership of science fiction stories younger than average, but the nature of science fiction lends itself towards progressivism. Female characters such as Lieutenant Ripley of Alien had great appeal among the generation that had cast off the moral strictures of the 1950s, but a right-wing yang has always existed within the dark yin of the milieu.

The political atmosphere of science fiction reflects an old-school leftism that’s almost entirely different to the identity politics of the social justice warriors who dominate the media of today. The leftism of science fiction was always more libertarian than today’s culture would prefer, and was written without the need to shoehorn a moral lecture into the story.

Philip K Dick wrote his science fiction works, to a large extent, out of inspiration drawn from his hatred of authoritarianism and authoritarian systems. This is why his protagonists, like Bob Childan in Man in The High Castle, were usually everymen who lacked any aristocratic pretenses. Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War depicted a future world in which hedonistic homosexuality was standard practice and a kind of communism had taken over the resource distribution of the planet.

Realistically, it’s hard to imagine a high-tech society that hadn’t also managed to solve the vast majority of its social problems, for the simple reason that if a society has the resources to be high-tech it also has the resources to feed, clothe and house everyone. The essence of cyberpunk, however, is “high tech, low life”; Brave New World is not cyberpunk, and neither is 1984, for the reasons that these works deal with heroic and upstanding characters.

This essence lends itself to a conservative orientation for two reasons.

The first is that it suggests that “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” which is a deeply conservative sentiment. It’s a break with the easy utopias envisioned in atomic era works like Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man or Aldous Huxley’s The Island. These works portray future societies which, although they have their problems, have generally solved all the major survival challenges (although The Demolished Man has a cyberpunk vibe in that the protagonist is also the antagonist).

In cyberpunk, by contrast, it’s common that society has either collapsed or become dystopic. The America of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash has disintegrated into a patchwork of city states, fiefdoms, armed enclaves and chaos zones, which goes against the common narrative of an easy ascent into becoming a space-faring civilisation common to most earlier science fiction.

Likewise in William Gibson’s Bridge trilogy, where society has rotted out from the inside, meaning that people have been forced to take on a hard edge to their personality and behaviour in order to survive. In Gibson’s stories, crime exists for the same reasons it exists in our own world; greed, fear, stupidity and cruelty cast their shadows on every chapter.

This is a conservative sentiment because it directly opposes the common leftist belief that it’s possible to build a utopia. Cyberpunk works warn us of the terrible possibilities that are likely to result from attempts to build a perfect world – Akira could be considered the modern Frankenstein.

The second reason is that “high tech, low life” reflects a cynical interpretation of human nature. The protagonist of the Altered Carbon series, Lieutenant Kovacs, never gets fooled or manipulated on account of automatically assuming the worst of everyone he encounters. He is particularly cynical, verging on paranoid, and this quality serves him well as it keeps him one step ahead of the criminals trying to kill him. Cyberpunk heroes are often like this – more antihero than good old boy.

Much like the first reason, this low-life element of cyberpunk reminds us that ideas of utopias are just dreams. Life finds a way, and so does crime. This is essentially conservative because it asserts that human nature cannot fundamentally be changed.

Humans have not been intrinsically good at any point in the past, and so there’s no reason to think they should be in the future. Therefore, we can assume that humans (especially young men) will aggressively push the boundaries just as much in times to come. As is the case today, these people will often go too far in asserting their wills, and this can lead to reprisals, and thereby the whole dark side of the human drama that cyberpunk is known for.

It is not the contention of this essay that this paradox detracts from the power of cyberpunk media. To the contrary, cyberpunk draws its power from the tension inherent in the juxtaposition between the desire for order and the desire for freedom.

Many of the protagonists in cyberpunk stories just want to be left alone to enjoy their lives, but violence and trouble finds them anyway, and they have to learn to become hard in order to cope. The protagonist of Metrophage is an everyman who could have been a protagonist in a Philip K Dick story, but instead of the mind-bending confusion of a PKD story he gets dragged into the noir of a cyberpunk one.

This sentiment of escaping an oppressive, totalitarian force is also a common sentiment for many intelligent, free-thinking people nowadays, who just want to be left alone to experiment with consciousness in the form of psychoactive substances without being attacked by law enforcement officers.

In this balance, cyberpunk appeals to a more intelligent kind of reader. The resolution of the cyberpunk paradox might be found in that punk is an expression of rebellion against those same human forces that create political dystopias and faceless corporate juggernauts. In this rebellion it is an affirmation of the human spirit, more libertarian than either left of right, and this is perhaps where cyberpunk gets most of its appeal.

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Vince McLeod is the author of ANZAC cyberpunk work The Verity Key. If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of his and other VJMP essays in the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Yin-Yang of History

Traditionally speaking, when men like this start appearing among your youth, it’s the beginning of the end

The postwar period was a good one for the West. The major Anglo powers had seen all the challengers and potential challengers to their world hegemony bombed flat – partially by them, mostly by each other. With Nazism and Communism both falling to their knees, the liberal democratic order ushered in some good times for the people of the world. Peace and prosperity reigned… but the yin-yang of history tells us that nothing lasts.

The 1990s might be seen, from the vantagepoint of history, as the apogee of these good times. The Soviet Union had fallen, and China and India were yet to rise. Those of us who knew the course of history, however, knew this: good times create weak men. Weak mean create hard times. Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times.

This is the yin-yang of history.

Good times are the equivalent of summer. Here, people don’t have to think very hard about how to survive and thrive. In the same way that it’s warm and sunny in summertime and so people don’t have to think very hard about what clothing to put on before they go outside, political conditions are favourable in the sense that the ruling class doesn’t have to think very hard about security without and solidarity within.

In the summertime of history, wealth abounds from the increased energy in the atmosphere. To most, these good times seem like they’re going to last forever. The more perceptive of people, however, even if they don’t know about the yin-yang of history, can often see the signs of collapse coming in advance.

The problem with good times, as Plato observed in The Republic, is that they create weak men. When times are good, the tendency is to let minor infractions slide, and although this can lead to an atmosphere of joy it also leads to indiscipline. This indiscipline is why the weak men are weak, and it’s this indiscipline that leads to the hard times.

It might be argued that this is the stage that the West finds itself in 2018 A.D. Our Baby Boomer leaders, who were raised with all the laxness of a generation that had got its fill of violence in World War II and had decided to bring up the Boomers with as little harshness as possible, clearly do not possess the mental discipline to educate themselves properly about the matters of the world.

In our age, it’s entirely possible to find a Western minister or higher who doesn’t know the basics about history or science. There is ample opportunity to learn about such things, of course, but our leaders would rather drink alcohol and watch television. Some, like the Belgian Minister of Health, have lost control of their weight entirely.

These weak men cast a shadow on their nations: the same as the shadows of autumn, who they represent. Their enemies observe this absence of intellectual power, and they move to take advantage.

Because the leaders have no discipline to educate themselves properly, they don’t understand what’s really happening in the world. This results in decisions getting made on the basis of how things used to be a long time ago (but no longer are), or how things might be in some idealised future world (instead of how they now are).

These poor decisions lead naturally to hard times. This stage in the cycle of history corresponds to the wintertime. Leaders lead the people in the wrong direction, causing them to dissipate their energies on follies or to spill them on battlefields for no reward. Here there is poverty – in fact, there is never enough of anything, and people learn to live with want.

Hard times can lead to bitterness, but in the same way that the bitterest cold of winter leads to a hardening in the form of ice, so too do the bitterest lows of life lead to a hardening of the heart. These hard men do not, at first, bode well for the people who they live among. To the contrary – the pitiless, ruthless nature of hard men make them natural criminals and killers.

But the hardness of hard men leads to discipline in those who come after them. This discipline – true iron discipline – is a matter of Will and therefore it is ultimately generated from within. These disciplined men are the opposite of the men we have in 2018 A.D. These disciplined men impose order upon their minds by devoting themselves to the correct course of study and behaviour.

Disciplined people who study hard represent the springtime of a people. It is for these people that VJM Publishing exists. These are the people who will rise up and make good decisions. They will come to occupy positions of leadership not because their backers paid for the best advertising, but because they are asked by their peers to occupy these positions on the basis of demonstrated wisdom.

Because of this wisdom, these leaders are not afraid to shy away from the knowledge necessary to make the correct decisions. This leads to increasing wealth and prosperity. So when the men of gold are recognised as such and are placed into positions of leadership on account of this, then the people will enter another golden age, or another age of summer.

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The Left Are the New Christians – For Better or Worse

The essence of Jesus Christ, as he appears to the modern Left, can be summed up in the word ‘nice’

In the West, most of us associate Christianity with the political right. It’s the right – especially in America – that makes the most overt appeals to the Bible and to Jesus. But if one looks past these appeals to the Christian religion, it seems that the political left is more interested in virtue signalling in general. Have they become the new Christians?

People profess Christian beliefs in order to virtue signal. The idea is that Jesus Christ was the perfect man and without blame, and therefore the more Christ-like a person appears to be the more perfect they are.

The problem with this mentality is that a people’s perception of what Jesus was like – and therefore, their conception of what entails moral perfection – is an artifact of the time and place they live in. Even worse, the popular perception of what Jesus was like is usually fabricated wholesale to suit the needs of the ruling classes.

It has now become fashionable to associate Jesus with socialism. Pope Francis, when not covering up for the numerous child abusers within his institution, makes a concerted effort to link his church with progressive attitudes to refugees, homosexuals and climate change. These are all trendy, left-wing issues that promote globalist solutions – which is what Francis really wants.

The idea is to recast Jesus as the “Lord of Nice,” and since it would be really nice to open your borders to anyone who wanted to wander in and claim welfare for the next 50 years, it’s presumed to be the sort of thing Jesus would have done. Jesus wouldn’t let refugees into his actual home, of course, or even his neighbourhood, because of the imperative to keep house prices up, and he definitely wouldn’t have opened the doors of his church to them, but he surely would have at least dumped them in poor neighbourhoods and offered to pay some tax to go towards their upkeep.

When Jesus was cast as the Lord of morally upstanding and wholesome, then it was the right wing that virtue signalled about how much they were like this. Now, the Baby Boomers that comprise the right don’t care about anything other than money, and Generation X don’t even care about that, so it’s left to the Millennials to virtue signal about how much they are like Christ.

In much the same way that the Biblical Christ taught people to give up concerns for pleasure in this material life, so does 21st-Century Jesus teach that we give up concern for maintaining basic law and order in our societies and protecting our women from rape and our vulnerable youth from physical abuse.

These are mere physical, material concerns, and will naturally dissipate. So it doesn’t matter if Muslims and Africans flood into the country in their millions and rape and destroy everything in sight – the fools simply don’t understand that the real pleasures are in the afterlife!

Of course, this is the reason why the Romans threw Christians to the lions in the Colosseum – the presence of any Abrahamic cult will inevitably cause the society that hosts it to rot from within unless action is taken. The left do not realise that they are controlled by whoever controls their perception of what Jesus Christ was like – and these people tend to be the major moneyed interests who control the mass media.

In other words, their sworn enemies.

The purity spiral of the neo-Christian Left has led to them breathlessly supporting the importation of rapists and religious fanatics into the West, in the hope that this masochistic niceness will be seen and appreciated as Christ-like and rewarded. In this sense, they are much like the original Christians who were too concerned with moral posturing to do anything about the hordes of Germanic invaders that ended up destroying the Roman Empire.

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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).

A Person’s Politics Follow From Their Conception of Human Nature

People who believe that humans are more like bonobos than chimpanzees tend to be left-wing, and vice-versa

Most people with strong political opinions like to think that their opinions are perfectly logical, and derive directly from natural principles. Although most people are correct and reasonable in that their political opinions follow logically from their perception of human nature, the problem is that people have an extremely varied range of beliefs when it comes to their perceptions of human nature. In some cases, there’s no way of knowing who’s right.

Take, for example, the question of nature versus nurture. This is another way of asking: how much of a person’s behaviour can be attributed to natural causes that they were born with, such as genes, and how much can be attributed to environmental causes, such as how they were raised?

All positions on this extremely important question fall somewhere between 100% nature and 100% nurture, the former being known as “genetic determinism” and the latter being known as the “tabula rasa” (“blank slate”) theory. This sounds objective and scientific, but it really isn’t, because one’s attitude here will reflect one’s political opinions.

Take the question of Third World immigration and refugees, for example. A person who believes in genetic determinism might be extremely reluctant to open the borders to African or Muslim refugees, because they will tend to believe that these people will never and can never learn to behave in a civilised manner.

A person who believes in the tabula rasa theory, by contrast, will tend to believe that the wealth of Western nations is because of cultural reasons, and therefore African and Muslim refugees will acclimatise to the Western way of doing things, and therefore over time their crime rates and income levels will equalise with the native population.

Another area in which this occurs is with regard to bonobos and chimpanzees. Here we can also see that a person’s belief about the scientific, biological reality of the human species has a profound effect on their political beliefs.

Bonobos and chimpanzees are the two generally accepted chimpanzee species, and some (such as Jared Diamond) have argued that humans are so similar to them that we belong in the same group as them as a third chimpanzee. But from which of the two can we draw more accurate inferences about the true nature of behaviour in the human animal?

The bonobo is a creature of peace, the chimpanzee is a creature of war. This is evident from observing the two species in their natural habitat. The chimpanzee is violent, cruel, loves fighting and tends to cure anxiety by bashing a weaker chimp. The bonobo is hypersexual, loves bonding and grooming and tends to cure anxiety by having sex.

If a person believes that humans are more like the bonobo they will tend towards pacifism and polyamory, and will be left-wing. If a person believes that humans are more like the chimp they will tend towards violence and monogamy, and will be right-wing. This is true even if the person in question knows nothing at all about the ethology of the two species.

A third is whether or not people are naturally lazy. This one is especially difficult because attitudes to industriousness are biological to a major extent.

Few appreciate this, but in a cold environment people evolve to be active because physical activity keeps you warm, and this confers a survival advantage by staving off colds and hypothermia-related conditions. In a warm environment people evolve to be inactive because physical activity gives you heatstroke.

This is why pale-skinned people tend to work hard and dark-skinned people don’t – it’s not because of any moral failure on the part of the latter.

Consider this information in the context of whether or not we should bring in a universal basic income. The fear on the conservative side is that a universal basic income would cause certain demographic groups to become lazy and shiftless, and they would all stop working immediately and live the parasitic lifestyle natural to their kind.

If a person’s conception of human nature is not that people are lazy but rather that people are industrious, they will be much more likely to support a universal basic income out of the hope that it will free people from drudgery and therefore enable them to put their energies into creative endeavours of more benefit to human happiness.

In summary, it’s usually possible to surmise a person’s political opinions from their belief in human nature. Political opinions are not formed in a vacuum – they are informed by many factors, one of which is a person’s belief in how other people naturally behave given a certain schedule of reinforcements and punishments.

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New Zealand First Risks Destruction If It Opposes Medicinal Cannabis Reform

From Jim Anderton to Peter Dunne and now to Winston Peters, New Zealand has always managed to find one piss-soaked old bastard to hold up cannabis law reform

The New Zealand First Party won 8.7% of the votes in the 2014 General Election, which entitled them to 11 Parliamentary seats. Strategic blunders saw them fall to 7.2% of the vote in 2017, still above the 5% threshold but precariously so. New Zealand First is at risk of committing another strategic blunder by opposing Chloe Swarbrick’s Medicinal Cannabis Bill, and this article will explain why.

Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand provides us with an explanation for what happened here. We can see that the correlation between being Maori and voting New Zealand First was initially very strong, at 0.66 in 2014, when they did very well in the Maori seats. By 2017 the strength of this correlation had fallen to 0.38, as a large proportion of that Maori support abandoned the party.

Between 2014 and the 2017 General Election, New Zealand First came out in opposition to those same Maori seats in which they had done so well. This was a massive error because Maori people are extremely reluctant to cede any kind of political power to the Crown, for the understandable reason that when they have done so in the past, they ended up losing heavily from it.

New Zealand First were punished at the ballot box in 2017, losing 1.5% of their vote, mostly from Maoris who switched back to to Labour.

Between 2017 and the 2020 General Election, we may see another fall in New Zealand First support, and for similar reasons, only this time it may be catastrophic. The difficulty is that Winston Peters risks betraying the wishes of many of the people who support their party by opposing Swarbrick’s Bill.

On the Bill, Peters is quoted as saying “It goes far too far. There’s no restrictions at all, it’s random, it’s haphazard, it’s free for all.” Whether this means New Zealand First will support the Bill through its first reading or not is unclear, but if they vote to dismiss the Bill they run the risk of self-destruction, because they will alienate many of their core supporters.

Invalid’s beneficiaries are heavy supporters of New Zealand First – the correlation between being on an invalid’s benefit and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.47, which is moderately strong. Many of these invalids have found medicinal relief in cannabis, which is reflected in the strong correlation of 0.79 between being on an invalid’s benefit and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017.

These stats suggest that there are a large number of cannabis-using invalids who voted New Zealand First at the last election, and further New Zealand First opposition to cannabis law reform risks alienating these people further.

Although New Zealand First does get more support from older people than younger ones, this is nowhere near as pronounced as most people think it is. The correlation between median age and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was only 0.26, in comparison to the correlation of 0.78 between median age and voting National in 2017.

Therefore, concern about the opinions of elderly Boomers with regard to cannabis ought not factor too heavily in New Zealand First’s calculus. The vast majority of young people support proper cannabis law reform, and New Zealand First risks tarnishing their image among these voters through their conservatism on this issue.

Perhaps the biggest risk that New Zealand First runs by opposing this medicinal cannabis bill is through losing the support of the New Zealand-born, who are not only the biggest New Zealand First supporters by far but also the biggest cannabis law reform supporters by far. The correlation between being New Zealand-born and voting for New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.54, which is moderately strong, but the correlation between being New Zealand-born and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 was 0.73.

Cannabis use is an intrinsic part of Kiwi culture, and it’s not going anywhere. If the New Zealand First Party really wants to make good on its pretensions to represent Kiwis and our culture, they need to accept the fact that we really enjoy using cannabis and are going to keep doing it.

New Zealand First might be tempted by conservative instincts to oppose this bill, but you can’t piss directly in the face of your own supporters in that way and expect that they will turn out to support you when you ask for it at election time. Maoris, young people and invalids are all heavily impacted by our ludicrous cannabis laws, and young Maoris doubly so. They have been crying out for relief, and a recreational alternative to alcohol, for decades.

New Zealand is already 22 years behind California on the medicinal cannabis issue, and New Zealand First is causing this country to fall further and further behind, mostly at the expense of their own long-term voters. If they don’t keep up with the state of play and research in other jurisdictions they risk destruction at the hands of the voters.

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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).