Karen Straughan, Millennial Woes, racial grievances and what the future might hold

Came across a blog post by Karen Straughan earlier tonight that she had written a month back titled “Open letter to Sargon of Akkad.” In it she’s taking issue with where modern identity politics are taking us in Western nations and how it’s now become socially, morally and legally permissible to denigrate white people (and white straight cisgendered males in particular).

She goes on to bring up a legitimate concern about how those currently claiming minority status and thereby “epistemic privilege” (or “epistemic advantage” as Millennial Woes helpfully reworded it to better clarify) can and very likely will continue using the argument being advanced now that they have been oppressed and remain oppressed, even if their ethnic groups become a population majority and even if they switch from being under anybody else’s thumb and in fact become the oppressors (in this case, of white people). That’s a very interesting observation that I happen to agree with her on. Why? Because victim narratives die hard. And, as she well knows, victim narratives in this day and age have come to provide a sense of entitlement, which then can be experienced as a privilege of sorts in its own right (despite those claiming such a narrative refusing to acknowledge this reality).

Considering how humans tend to operate, I don’t doubt for a minute that people will continue exploiting such a situation. Why? Because people belonging to various ethnic groups in the West have indeed been indoctrinated into seriously resenting “the White Man” and all that he represents. Dates back several decades by now. See no signs of it slowing anytime soon. In fact, the trend appears to be on a sharp upswing once again, having simmered down a bit in the ’80s and early 2000s.

Makes me think of the Zimbardo prison experiment where students were randomly assigned to the position of prisoner or guard and how the guards in short order began abusing their power. Why? Because they could. Felt like a license to do so. What starts out as playful prodding can degenerate quickly when one desires a scapegoat or a target on which to direct their animosity. Add authority to the mix and one can feel empowered. Now, on top of that add years of steeping in racial grievance industry propaganda and being repeatedly told that you’ve been mistreated, you’ve been taken advantage of, you’ve been denied your proper dues, your ancestors were raped by these bastards’ ancestors, you were made into slaves and stolen from your native land and disrobed of the royalty you and your people once possessed — well, you can imagine that tensions will run high and that pain will indeed be inflicted when and where opportunities allow for it. Embolden black Americans and latinos and native Americans to take this view and to join forces against white people, and the result may surely be an eventual attempt at genocide.

I don’t doubt it. Sounds like the trajectory we may be on at present. Certainly is what some are foaming at the mouth in their wishing and praying to bring about. I can think immediately of examples of BLM members and “King Noble” and some man provided air time on CSPAN a few years back to promote his dream for white genocide. Some are indeed wanting this to be the outcome, and they clearly say so. How many are in agreement with them? More than makes me comfortable. Makes a person pause and wonder how many more will embrace such barbaric thinking in going forward. Time will tell…

So I can appreciate why Karen is nervous. She has three light-skinned, fair-haired, blue-eyed children (according to her). This is a future they will inherit, and it will be them who may wind up victims of these cries for vengeance. Surely I can understand why any parent today would be worried about what the future may hold. Doesn’t look too good. Makes me to ponder on what it might take to change this course.

Karen understands that tribal identities are deeply ingrained in people. I’d argue most especially in non-white people these days, for whatever reasons. Somewhere in all of this she stated (to paraphrase) that she’d rather her kids grow up in a white identitarian society than wind up “targets of a legally and socially acceptable hate campaign.” And what parent wouldn’t prefer the former if the latter were the alternative? I get it. Don’t have kids of my own and considerations like this only added to my reasons over time for refusing to have any.

She asked the following (rhetorical) questions: “Would leaving your entire estate to people of color, as that BLM leader he vlogged about suggested whites should do, be enough to remove the stain of original sin and spare your children? Would paying reparations be enough? Is there anything that would be enough to wash a white person clean of their unearned privilege and the blot of having benefited from a system of white supremacy that has uniquely exploited all other groups? How could it, when the system is set up so that you can’t help but benefit, and cannot, because of your privilege, even appreciate how you’ve benefited?” NO. Because it’s not about achieving equality among the races/ethnicities anymore, if it ever really was. It’s become a power grab, plain and simple, and for some it’s driven by a sadistic desire to unleash hell on others. POWER.

Why do I say that? Because power has been the focal point among many of these identity groups for decades, and at the exclusion of nearly all else. It’s what their teachers resented most and what so many have been actively taught to desire to wrest from others. Why? Because they believe it is their due. Where does it eventually end? Probably in such a major moral crisis that those claiming victimhood today will be forced to see themselves as having become the victimizers. Which is to say far past the point of initiating violence and dispensing of protection of rights for all across the board and fairness under the eyes of the Law. Why? Because people can’t resist pushing envelopes, most especially when they’re ideologically possessed to the point where they are rendered blind to the reality of the situation and cannot clearly ascertain their own hypocrisy in the least.

Humans are sons of bitches, that much is true. We can be wonderful, giving, considerate beings, but we can also be hellish beasts bent on revenge based on distorted worldviews who refuse to accept the possibility that we might indeed be wrong. Even inhumane in our own right. Heaven forbid we turn out actually worse than those we’re claiming were such god-awful oppressors. But then again, we can rationalize anything if we try hard enough. “They made us into the beasts we are now. It is because of them and centuries of slavery under them. They had it coming.” And all will be deemed justified until enough within their own ranks experience a crisis in conscience and choose to forcefully speak out and resist (assuming enough ever do so — that’s not guaranteed).

So yes, I can completely understand why the future looks so bleak and why white folks are concerned. They/we should be. How do you make it stop? Millennial Woes was right in his video where he stated that those on the extremes are done talking. They don’t want to work it out because they see any compromise in this regard as futile or it doesn’t deliver what they desire. Some indeed do see it that way. I personally don’t, nor can I view this situation entirely in terms of race and join a group accordingly. Am one of those mixed beige misfits he spoke of who probably would wind up rejected along racial lines, so I have no choice but to seek answers elsewhere. My view is that this is more about culture than it is expressly about race. Western cultures have European roots which were white in origin, but that doesn’t mean all who are white currently embrace Western cultures or their extensive history, nor does it automatically exclude all not in possession of European ancestry and blood from heartily appreciating, upholding and fighting to protect Western cultures and values. To make this about race is a losing game, and I don’t just say that based on my own bias. I honestly don’t see a massive race war ending well for hardly anybody.

At this point I’d like to offer up Millennial Woes’ video response to her:

Watched it shortly after reading her blog post. In his video he discusses thread commentary that must’ve taken place in Sargon’s comment section. Now, as far as alt-righters go, I happen to like MW. Don’t agree with him on everything and recognize that he’d probably view someone like me as an irrelevant distraction and not to be trusted (based on half of my ethnic bloodline). Fair enough. But I still watch his videos from time to time and take into consideration his views despite where our opinions starkly differ. He said some interesting things here that I’d like to draw attention to.

Pausing at 33:35: He spoke of society having the option of being either “white dominant or white vulnerable” due to assuming that all this hate being generated toward white people will likely result in legal protections not being granted toward white people if ever they are removed from power in our Western countries. That gets me thinking about an academic journal article I read yesterday titled “The Case For Colonialism” by Bruce Gilley. Kind of hate to mention it in this context since the paper is receiving enough heat as is, but what I appreciated about it was the emphasis on the benefits bestowed by colonialism and how its removal has led to devastating collapses and social unrest in many third world nations. Basically the author reframes the role colonialism once played and discusses how technological, legal and political advancements became possible in those regions while under foreign rule. I see no harm in entertaining the proposal that colonialism provided benefits to nations that otherwise couldn’t have arisen, as was also true for European societies who themselves were once upon a time colonized by more advanced Romans and the like. Cultural appropriation was key in the advancement of societies up through history.

And before people begin screaming in horror, read his article to the end where Gilley discusses how modern colonies might be established whereby the governed provide consent (and how a number of people in these foreign lands indeed do wish to be recolonized after witnessing the disappointing outcome after gaining independence). Gilley’s proposition to bring multinational corporations into the mix was off-putting for me, but the idea could be extended to the formation of intentional communities ran by Western expatriates who choose to reside on location rather than govern from afar. The idea has merit, or at least it could if more details could be hammered out, and I think such projects are overdue in being attempted. Though I don’t doubt the most radicalized among us would probably like a crack at bringing about their idealized utopia in such places, which very likely would lead to more disastrous failure. But then again, the most extreme among us probably wouldn’t leave the West if paid to do so, seeing as how they’re most interested in exploiting this land and this culture for all it might be worth.  Though I’d be down with trying to pay them to go off and try out their ideas. Let rubber hit the pavement and experience why it won’t work firsthand. But if they do fail, naturally they will find a way to blame the West regardless. So maybe the extremists should just stick around here and be dealt with accordingly since they’ll bring misery wherever they go. But those possessing sound minds and an interest in advancement and the formation of a stable, sustainable system could prove to be a major asset in these third world regions where hope is currently dwindling and nation-building isn’t proving to be the natives’ strong suit.

Everything in life being a trade-off. Maintain one’s stubborn pride in the face of warring factions and a destroyed infrastructure and a black market takeover, then that’s on you. Instituting and enforcing effective law and order hasn’t arisen everywhere where populations no longer can be governed according to tribal customs. That’s a reality we’re confronted with, whether we like it or not. What Gilley referred to as “anti-colonial” movements indeed do appear to have done their fair share of harm since the WWII era, if not more than the colonists they claim to take issue with. So paying empty lip service to conditions in unstable regions and laying all blame at the feet of white imperialists for ever colonizing such places in the first place isn’t doing a damn thing to help at this point in history when populations have already expanded and a desire for more modern standards has long-since arisen. Most people on earth don’t desire to return to living in the proverbial grass huts, nor do many (if not most) of those facing such conditions wish to remain in them. But then again, there is the question of whether it’s even feasible at this point to construct and maintain modern infrastructures elsewhere on the planet when necessary resources are growing more scarce, with competition mounting over their acquisition. So, maybe it’s all a pipe dream on my (and the author’s) part.

Anyway, getting back on topic, such inquiries do help one to consider the benefits that colonialism brought to distant lands, which then helps us to recognize it not as simply an evil thrust upon others by white men but an expansion of Western technologies and culture to places where otherwise they might not have naturally arisen for many ages to come. Basically sharing and spreading modernity. At this point I expect my fellow social science-lovers to protest, saying that lands outside of the West would’ve been better off if never introduced to such technologies and cultural values in the first place. Okay. But nearly everybody stating that lives within our Western nations and was educated by our Western schools, and every single one of us has benefited from this setup, whether we care to acknowledge it or not.

That’s my next point: All of us growing up in America (or Canada or the UK or elsewhere in Europe) in this day and age can’t help but be privileged in the eyes of the rest of the world. We have ALL benefited from what Western values and advancements have furnished society. That can’t be helped. From our social programs to our universities; from indoor plumbing to a pretty darn fair legal system (in global standards); to the countless comforts we take for granted everyday. Yet people balk in the face of all of this, as if life would be better were we still trying to eek out an existence on the savanna. Really wish for a return to hunting and gathering? Most of us would never survive it, especially us spoiled on Western conveniences (despite what we might like to imagine). This is what we’ve got, and it’s the best humans have been capable of coming up with. Yet people protest and spit at modernity and its history. Because it was not the product of African nations, then it is rubbish?

Sometimes we can’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. Our fantasies and concocted ideals like to lead us astray…

I’d like to continue this ramble, but the night has come to an end. Need sleep. Hopefully a topic to be resumed tomorrow.

“CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America” (plus my thoughts)

This film might strike some as a piece of shameless propaganda:

In it’s own special way, it indeed is. Plenty of truths contained therein, so I would recommend it to others, but only if you promise to sit through the whole 90 minutes. Made me twitch with rebuttals and quibbles, but still I’m glad I watched that tonight because it got me thinking.

Said before and will keep saying that the term “cultural Marxis” has become a misnomer. And this matters because accuracy in language is especially needed on concepts of this magnitude. Previously wrote on here how I view Karl Marx being blamed for all modern problems due to this ideology that continues to bare the name “cultural Marxism” despite it having little to nothing to do with what Marx was actually about. Ok, there are a few points to be made here.

First off, economic class concerns in the 1880s during the rise of Industrialization coinciding with the rise of what we know of as capitalism, which in short order began paving the way toward corporatism. Karl Marx was a product of the 19th century when agrarianism was still common and factories were pretty new. Conditions within those factories hadn’t been regulated yet, so employees could be treated as relatively disposable, creating a situation arguably not a huge step up from slavery. He foresaw what that might develop into, so far as one reasonably could way back then, pre-20th century modernization. And he rightfully protested it, like any luddite worth his salt would. Hell, had I been in his shoes I’d likely have tried sounding the alarm too, and so did plenty of others. Not like Marx was the only one to ever express an opinion on this matter, nor that his teachings were the primary ones to prove super influential on the predecessors to those now known as SJWs. Lots of thinkers contributed to the ideology being referred to as “cultural marxism.”

It’s obvious what it is now is an ideology fashioned over the last century to suit the interests of globalists and power-seekers. Certainly not benefiting the people Marx ever had in mind. Complete reversal instead. That’s what’s so insidious and destructive and outright dishonest about continuing to refer to that ideology as “cultural marxism.” How can opposites both be forms of Marxism? Because it’s evolved, you say? Then why keep calling it by defunct language? Only confuses people, like the maker of that otherwise pretty interesting documentary. Or maybe for some people the term “cultural marxism” really just serves as politically-less-incorrect code for Jews. That’s what I’m starting to think this business of holding onto that term and warning people off of having anything to do with the Frankfurt School authors as though their books were possessed by the devil.

I’ve read number books by Erich Fromm, and guess what, folks! He’s on our side. Read him and see. He wrote against us becoming automatons and corporate and/or government slaves. Not on the side of the globalists. Which people might realize if they actually took time to read the authors they’re criticizing (or in Fromm’s case there, a title page merely flashed across the screen — deemed automatically guilty by association for being a member of the Frankfurt School — no one who studied Marx’s writings could possibly be nuanced and critical in his treatment of it, right? NOT IF THEY WERE IN THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL. Oy.  rolleyes_smilie  Yet another example of how we remain willfully blind.) Excerpts from a few of Fromm’s books I’ve transcribed onto this blog for anyone curious enough to take a glimpse into the sort of things he actually said.

So anyway, Marx wasn’t aiming to be some sort of malicious devil or usher for the rise of totalitarian states. Goes to show how much control we have over what’s done with our ideas once we’ve shared them. Can take on a life of their own. Or be co-opted. Maybe also inverted so that the public gets the message that being class conscious is no different than being race or sex/gender conscious. All are the same and all belong on the political Left. And that’s where there’s a serious problem, considering how much class consciousness really ought to matter to so many of us relative to the few who’ve become an enormously influential economic elite. That’s on a special level way above snowflake identity politics or even race relations seeing as how we’re all in the same societal basket headed in the same direction. That is key, and I don’t think it’s a mistake that the situation has been framed the way it was in that film in relation to so-called “cultural marxism.” Plenty of other sources do the same thing, I’ve seen.

All those dots connected around the 1-hour mark onward — valuable. Too bad they’re packaged in with”cultural marxism”-declaring propaganda. Reduces the whole film’s credibility, that along with the hokey voice-overs and lack of informative explanation on what was proposed by Marx and Frankfurt School authors. Basically just pointed to them and sneered, booing us away from paying too much mind to them other than aiming to avoid them at all cost. Not useful. Propagandist dick move there. Inaccurate for the sake of protecting some semblance of what capitalism was envisioned to be. We’re now post that, whether we like it or not.

This is where I deviate sharply from this film and others like it. Is there a conspiracy of Jews influenced by Marx and whomever else trying to run the world? Who cares? Would it really matter what ethnicity they happen to be? Followers of a globalist agenda obviously aren’t all Jewish (like the Clintons and Bushes and Obamas). Everybody like to form an elaborate theory about who’s angling for power and why and what all they may be tied into. Here’s all we need to know: totalitarianism is the ultimate threat. It’s anti-capitalist, anti-true socialism even, anti-individual, anti-social, anti-human. Whatever form it may take isn’t of particular importance, not in the big picture. At least not outside of comprehending the steps of that rise and consolidation of power.

Are certain relationships about power? Yes, they are. Probably not all, but when it comes to politics there’s most definitely always the threat of a power grab.

Now, in my own personal opinion, I don’t rightly care to nitpick anymore over what elements involved may have come about via intentional collusion and what might simply be the luck of the draw or mounting consequences of short-term opportunism or whatever else. Lots of moving parts at play in the 20th century. The convergence of a plethora of technologies inside growing nation-states and the rise of consumerism and a public education system and wars and exploring the sciences (including psychology) and corporatism and the explosion of our economy….on and on it goes. So much unprecedented shit happening all at once, coming in from every which way. Distractions galore. Looks to me to simply be a conspiracy of Life. So much culminated into the conditions we’re experiencing now, so much that couldn’t have been foreseen or predicted. And some people take advantage of the situation, as to be expected.

Tyranny lurks and seeks out opportunity. Why? Because power does matter to us humans, and to some a whole lot more than others. The will to play god will probably never go out of style. Something psychological within inclines us that way. And some succeed from time to time. Tragic when that happens.

Acknowledging all of that, the part in the film where they talk about our U.S. Constitution and the visions of our forefathers I am deeply in agreement with, BUT we nowadays face the conundrum of living in such complex societies that are indeed already globally connected through markets and military threats. The notion of doing away with our standing army at this point would strike nearly all as ludicrous and surely national suicide. Having a standing army (or in our case, a whole military-industrial complex) is deemed a necessity to at least remain sovereign. But then, of course, that’s never what a military remains limited to, especially not one as powerful as ours. Then there’s also the concern about how the U.S. military is essentially an employment sector by now, and a huge one at that. Employs over a million citizens, I believe. How would anyone wish to go about dismantling that mammoth? Would prove political suicide for a candidate to even suggest such a thing.

See, this is where we’re wrapped up in paradoxes of our own human creation. Not sure how we wriggle out of this mess. It’s become self-perpetuating. And, unfortunately, increasingly less transparent as well as less accessible by the average citizen. I completely agree with the documentary-makers’ sentiments expressed about state and local rights, but how do we check federal powers at this point? Sure, absolutely most of Congress deserves to be impeached. I’ve been saying that for over a decade. But how? We’ve become so divided and are firmly bogged down arguing over so many less important matters. Which propaganda aided in bringing about.

Sure, people should cancel their cable subscriptions and quit believing what’s put on by the mainstream media. Stop paying for pop culture garbage over intellectually-beneficial content. Easy to say, but no way to enforce it. Barely can entice those who aren’t already curious and seeking. Demonstrating how Americans got in this mess in the first place: we suck at remaining vigilant and principled.

Is pessimism also a feature of “cultural marxism”?  lol  He claimed so, but that’s ridiculous. One can recognize the present situation for what it is and still work toward protecting what we’re able. I won’t pretend to be optimist about what may lay in store. But we work with what we can. We start clarifying our values and living in accordance. Whether we ultimately triumph as a people in the end or not, it’s the journey that’s of most concern since that’s day by day. One foot in front of the other. Less overwhelming when we each try to take it on as that.

That’s enough to say on this for one evening.

“Jordan Peterson: Why Globalism Fails and Nationalism is Relatable”

THIS!:

Precisely! This is exactly along the lines of what I’ve been pondering in my own unsophisticated way.

“The Vanishing American Adult”

From the Hoover Institution, Nebraska Senator Benjamin Sasse joins Peter Robinson to discuss his book The Vanishing American Adult and the growing crisis in America of “prolonged adolescence,” the necessity of productivity despite now transitioning into a consumption-focused economy, the lagging of virtues in what has become a preeminent first-world society, and the passivity commonly shown by millennials in the face of this unfolding reality and what can be done to instill better habit formation so as to build a work ethic as well as to learn to appreciate the values our nation was founded on.

I can dig much of what Senator Sasse is putting forth here, old-school and traditional as it can’t help but be. Not that all or even most traditions are wholly useless or obsolete to where they deserve to be discarded in the dustbin of history. In fact, we’d better learn more about those traditions and what all they encompass and why they came into being before jumping to the conclusion that they no longer serve a useful purpose or matter. This is me saying this, of all people. Some things can’t be brought back once they’re gone, and we humans have a bad habit, nowadays especially, of assuming we know more than we do. Thinking we have the right answers when we don’t. Getting caught up in modern life and not taking the time to explore in depth what we’ve historically and evolutionarily come up through.

Life is a massive puzzle that we’ll never be able to completely figure out. But now we do tend to act (at all age levels) as though if we can dream it, we can then somehow bring it into fruition and that will necessarily be good. We’re naive in that assessment, IMO. It’s a grand assumption, very often wishful thinking rooted in nothing but hopes and ideals. If we can’t or won’t seriously grapple with who and what we are—as individuals, groups/tribes, cultures, nations, and overall as a species—then how valuable and realistically applicable can we expect our dreams to be?

An untold number of generations have come before us struggling through entire lifetimes while striving to comprehend life and living, to survive and gain wisdom and insights to pass forward so as to give each subsequent generation a little bit more to work with. Yet we like to act nowadays as if all that’s come before is dwindling in relevancy, archaic, impractical in this day and age. I used to feel the same way when I was a younger. Admittedly still do to an extent, especially when faced with religious fundamentalism and the dogmatic extremes exhibited therein. And yet also I more and more feel drawn toward lessons already out there and articulated, wanting to learn from them instead of stubbornly refusing and attempting to reinvent the wheel. I need to focus more of my own time investigating and familiarizing myself with what has come before. Hard not to feel tremendously ignorant and humbled when confronted with so much information and ideas and observations generated and recorded in the past, just waiting for us in the 21st century to conscientiously engage with it and see what springs forth.

Aristotle sounds like a good place to start.

“Biblical Series II: Genesis 1: Chaos & Order”

Today listening to part 2 of Jordan Peterson’s series on the Bible:

I appreciate his attempt to bring biblical stories back into relevance by examining them through a modern psychological lens. Very interesting stuff.

“Joe Rogan Talks About the Biggest Unsolved Mystery Of All Time”

And then youtube went and removed the video clip in question, so in its place I’ll have to post the entire 3-hour podcast. Dammit.

The portion in question (which I’ll have to find on there later) was an excellent conversation between those three.

“Psychology of Redemption in Christianity”

A lot of truth spoken there…

“Marxism 101: How Capitalism is Killing Itself with Dr. Richard Wolff”

A very interesting explanation of Karl Marx’s analysis of Capitalism:

Yes, I very much understand these critiques about modern life. Marx was a Luddite of sorts, which I can relate to (to an extent). Let me pause to state this. THIS is why I get defensive when people categorically dismiss “Marxist teachings” and lay all blame for the Leftist political ideologies we’re experiencing/witnessing now squarely on his shoulders. As if he’d likely be in full support of what’s become of the so-called Left. And as if other thinkers haven’t contributed plenty of their own to the modern “Leftism” mix.

People like to say they’ve read his “teachings.” Yeah? How much really? Most of us haven’t directly read a whole lot from the man, especially considering how incredibly much he wrote. Letter after letter between Engels and him, on top of his books on these topics. Not easy reads, hence why many aren’t directly acquainted with what Karl Marx actually said. Including plenty who claim to be fans of him. The information and ideas bandied about since his death and in his name can drift straight off the plantation of whatever he actually seemed to have in mind.

The man wasn’t terribly pro-technology, but either way he still couldn’t be expected (in the late 1800s) to foresee the industrial explosion of unprecedented proportions that the next century would usher in. People didn’t even have an imagination for what all was in store on this level or in detail. How could they? UNPRECEDENTED times we now live in in terms of technological innovations and the evolution, so far, of global economics.

This is truly an interesting time to be alive.

The man merely added to the mix his own views and analysis. So be it. I have no problem with him doing so. Though I do take issue with what’s being done in his name, as if his teachings alone are ultimately responsible, big of a contributive factor as they apparently are. Leftism =/= “Marxism.” The political Left is puppetry, “neo-liberalism,” just as the political Right is as well with its “neo-conservatism.” Somewhat different teams competing for global jockeying positions. We see this. We know political systems are rigged all around the globe. Money does obviously factor into how it’s carried out as well.

Many of us don’t want to be slaves to a new kind of slave-owner. And this is precisely why I say that slavery never truly ended, it just changed shapes. More inclusive now. Welcome to Corporatism.

The threat of Communism proved similar in certain aspects. Different strategy employed, yes, but in the end you still wind up in both cases with a ruling class with a bunch of “serfs” under their thumbs, only to a more extreme degree in the case of Corporatism since developing nations are in the running jockeying for positions since they’ll take what they can get, out of necessity.Which can and does lead to fucked up results in several notable cases. This is no longer a secret. People have good reason to express consternation over such an economic setup. Irritates me that Capitalism all unto itself winds up blamed, though I also recognize the importance of anti-trust laws, which largely haven’t been enforced in many decades, quite obviously. Which has allowed oligopoly rule across numerous sectors, though technological innovations unto themselves have also altered and created plenty of these sectors especially within the last 60 years alone.

Personally, I find Communism as it’s ever been practiced detestable. BUT, I don’t conflate Communism with socialism. Based off the same original notions, yes, but then taken to crazy extremes, particularly when the concept wound up applied to a huge society (Soviet Union) and was carried out in a top-down manner. Socialism doesn’t quite work that way, in essence. It’s a bottom-up approach, by and large, though wider federations may prove possible. Though it doesn’t translate (apparently) when applied to a massive nation-state setup. Turns into totalitarianism when attempted, as history has demonstrated thus far.

Rulers everywhere we look. And perhaps that would be okay if they were benevolent and were actually committed to protecting our wider interests. But that won’t ever happen if the people can’t hold them accountable, which we obviously can’t (or aren’t) currently. We’re rendered at the mercy of what’s unfolding, and we may see it and feel the earth shifting beneath us. Life has gone into hyper-drive over this last century, and now we’re embarking on a new one. One where likely middle classes will begin blooming in China and India and elsewhere outside of the West where we have been abandoned by a good amount of our manufacturing base, shortly followed by experiencing record national and individual debts, all while printing paper money nonstop backed by virtually nothing. We can see this. What will become of the U.S.? We don’t know, but it doesn’t look very good at present. And the politicians running have succumbed to being caught up in a game that’s beyond most of us in terms of making much of a lasting impact and improving and preserving our society in a sustainable fashion.

While I can understand the shift in people’s hearts, I wish we’d use our minds all the more. Exercise them. Explore ideas, particularly those we may have a knee-jerk reaction away from.

I don’t see socialism and libertarianism as necessarily incompatible. Perhaps they are the new political “right” and “left” down here on the ground. Reckoning with the philosophical conundrums arising between individual vs. collective or so-called “societal” interests. So many buzzwords make it to where discussing these matters feels cheap, like people’s eyes glaze over when they happen to peruse them. I get it. Really do. But we have to somehow come to terms with the fact that we are both social beings and individuals in our own right. There’s a balancing act quite obviously called for here, yet different people will likely opt to attempt it in varying ways. Hence why I like to talk about my dream of 10,000 communities going their own ways. Let the social experiments begin…

Pipe dreams, I know. Because now we appear locked into this trajectory, whether we like it or not. Jumping into a political “camp” or movement won’t likely improve a thing. Especially not when so many have become so divided. Few of us can agree on hardly any one thing anymore it seems. If ever people did. But some of us must find a way to interact with and/or group up with those we’re capable of living and working with to the best of our ability, if only to find solace and cooperation in whatever lies in times to come.

I don’t have any answers. But I do understand the various concerns. Can also understand our Western concerns and how it may look to those most well-adapted and proven successful in our current setup. But times are a-changin’ whether we like it or not. And whether we try to prepare for it or not.

Crime will likely increase. We’re a very materialistic culture. Entertaining ourselves to death also. I’ve heard Yugoslavians basically fell prey to the same lure.

After listening to the audiobook for Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, and appreciating it to an extent (final chapter aside), I’d argue that he spoke (and wrote) prematurely. Comforting as it would be to agree with his analysis.

Lately this eerie feeling has been coming over me. Listening to all the propaganda and watching how race relations are being ramped up in our society, I get to wondering if it’s possible if an economic breakdown occurs in the U.S. if we may go the way of South Africa. At least in essence, though in our case it’s not simply two or three races/ethnic backgrounds against one another. We’re the biggest melting pot on the planet — the great human experiment in civilized living.

It’s become fashionable to talk shit about “white people” today, yet the reverse is deemed intolerable. Hmm. If we’re honest with ourselves and set aside our excuses and rationales and just pay attention — observe — we see this going on. It started with jokes and has grown noticeably more vicious with time.

Increasingly not a secret.

We should be able to examine these matters without being pigeon-holed as belonging to the political Left or Right as a result. Screw all of that nonsense. And to hell with devoting ourselves to ideologies of any sort. Better to keep an open mind since not a one of us has it all figured out. Explore. These ideological cages are just that — utopian traps sold to us by people who don’t give a damn about us, who simply rely on us and the money we spend, pandering to our psychologies so that we don’t revolt and remove them from power. Even then, another of a similar caliber would surely take their places since we don’t understand the process of power and how it can accumulate. Forming hierarchies is in our nature, but what we’ve constructed are so BIG that they’re guaranteed to fail us. We can’t reach those people anymore. Just have to accept their dictates sent down the ladder in the form of laws. Can fight them through the courts and sometimes win (still, just wait 20 years and see if the court decisions wind up reversed…), but eventually they plow on through while claiming to have enough popular support. Pandering and pretending — that’s American politics at present.

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of all of this. But we each only have one life to live, so far as we know, so we might as well make it interesting and do something with ourselves that isn’t a complete waste. Was watching another talk with Dr. Jordan Peterson earlier today (see last post) where he goes into all that and I highly recommend others hear the man out. Aligning with ideologies is a way to shirk individual responsibility and hide within a crowd. Best to opt to do something more courageous than that at least. That is too easy.

There are plenty of thought-provoking thinkers on any and all possible “sides” who are worthy of hearing out even if we wind up disagreeing. Suspend judgment for a while and just let it in and ponder. Helps in better fleshing out our own beliefs and ideas, to challenge them and thereby alter, deepen, and expand them. No shame in exploring far and wide.

Admittedly kinda surprised me initially to stumble across Abby Martin conducting that interview. Proved to be worth taking in as more food for thought. The professor explained his position very articulately, though I still don’t see a top-down approach winding up ultimately resolving this dilemma, at least not how the globally-minded may envision it. We shall see.

“Harvard Talk: Postmodernism & the Mask of Compassion”

Another great talk from Dr. Jordan Peterson:

“Alan Watts ~ Stop Competing With Yourself” (his BEST lecture!)

That was excellent. Tied together so many of his past lectures succinctly while also feeding into other reading material I’ve been pondering over time. This particular lecture cemented my respect for Alan Watts. Haven’t always understood what he was talking about, but I stuck with him and appreciate the light he’s helped provide overall. He’s right — the skill to living isn’t simply self-discipline (important as that unarguably is) but learning how to find the right balance. Differs for each of us, and the possibilities are nearly endless.

We can be snobs to one another. That’s easy enough to do. We can divvy up into separate “camps” and talk shit and focus our attention there primarily. Plenty already do. Will lead us straight to hell as a society and a species if we keep this up, but we’re free to do so obviously. Or prove incapable of not doing so if we individually remain complacent in our present forms. Life requires growth and we’re psychological beings. No escaping that truth.

But how we figure out navigating in a manner that seems worth it is the existential question of our time.

It’s a fact that much of this can’t help but come down to our own selves, impactful as external influences can’t help but be. Hence why it’s important to opt for better influences, those which can promote positive expansion. The alternative is what? Let ourselves slide into the abyss? What is our love affair with the abyss? I think Dr. Jordan Peterson is right when he’s basically said staying down there comes with the benefit of evading personal responsibility. Strikes a chord inside, rings correct. Mea culpa too.

Nobody else can change these facts for us. Only we individually can make the decision and actively plod in that direction. Even a slave-driver can’t effectively force us if we collectively and actively resist like mules. That seems obvious enough. Might murder a bunch of us, but still can’t force us to put our hearts into something against our will. Might reduce many of us to a cowardly state, but that’s largely through our own compliance, if not entirely. We as individuals actually do possess a lot more power than we commonly publicly acknowledge and demonstrate appreciation for.

We’re spoiled on modern life and the ease at which we can hide out from one another and interact behind keyboards anonymously if desired. Modern technologies allow for an atomized form of existence never before known by our species. Easy to get drunk on it and all its comforts. I know. Welcome to modern life. It’s ALL a big mystery to each and every one of us. Learn as we go. Hopefully. Maybe.

Depends on how we choose to live. Nobody else can determine that for us. Short of killing us, and all that does is extinguish us — still doesn’t force our will to ACT. Definitely can impact us seriously though. And that’s no small matter. But this is where ancient Stoics did have the right idea. We can’t control all of the variables in life, quite obviously. Never could and never will. We can’t help but be vulnerable beings, as all lifeforms are. And we can’t completely control other people, try as we might. Can to whatever extents, but that’s it. There is a sovereignty to the individual that is untouchable by others, try as we undoubtedly will. Sadists probably know this all too well in the end. There’s a private sphere within each of us that will forever remain unexplorable by all others. Fact of life. We are individuals yet we are communal. Both are true, and neither is avoidable nor alterable (at least not without massive negative consequences). Not if any balance is to be achieved. And some sense of balance is necessary for satisfaction in life.

Can’t seem to escape these truths lately. Recurring. Thanks to my reading and viewing material, which I’ve learned a lot from over time. We are blessed to have this amazing internet. Anyone who doesn’t own a desktop computer or at minimum a laptop is being left in the dark ages (and no, “smartphones” aren’t solely sufficient for exploring this medium — way too limited/limiting). But I suppose people will have to work with what they’ve got if that’s necessarily the case. Still, the information available so freely to us nowadays is unprecedented, truly amazing. We are lucky in this regard and shouldn’t take it too much for granted. So many opportunities surround us currently.

I say this all to myself more than to others, though it’s to all of you too. We need to step up our game as individual persons in however many which ways. For one’s own personal sake, if for no one else’s.