Mass Hysteria / Collective Delusion

It is not a sound assumption to believe that mass hysteria and collective delusion problems come from or result from only the uneducated. All social life, be it among the educated or uneducated, is a manifestation of a will to power; there is no reason for assuming that mass hysteria or collective delusion as social actions are exceptions to this attribute of social life. If mass hysteria and collective delusion serve some social need for the educated, it will occur and historically has occurred among them just as it has among the uneducated. In Technological Society (“T.S.”), as the educated including those calling themselves scientists are quickly realizing that their lives will be spent in a random and arbitrary world of probability and statistics in which there will be no explanation for anything but just correlations in which truth and power will consist only in the control of probabilities, they will have a need for meaning and power that cannot be satisfied by such a reality; thus, there will be fertile ground for creation of mass delusional explanation and power. The last few months of the Chinese Virus collective delusion and mass hysteria are an example of how this process works for the educated classes of T.S.

Mass hysteria and collective delusion has been a historical concept for historians and for scientists ever since the Middle Ages. The first recorded analysis of such an event is the Dancing Plague of 1518 in which the population of many villages in the Western portion of the Holy Roman Empire all of a sudden started dancing for days, many supposedly danced until they died. Though such mass hysteria and collective delusion may seem to us now as crazy and as unlikely to occur, do not be so sure. In 1954, Seattle had its Windshield Pitting Epidemic in which the population of Seattle started to believe there was some strange unknown power that was going around pitting and chipping their windshields. Was it ghosts, visitors from out of space, a right-wing conspiracy, a left-wing conspiracy, doing all this damage? There were many explanations put out and all demanded the governor and President do something about them. Within a year, all such demand eventually died down allowing for real research and investigation. Turns out, it was just normal wear and tear on windshields that no one noticed until someone did notice it and used it to sell newspapers. Though these events might sound ridiculous now, but how much different from the Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic is the recent Seattle delusion that it could create a small utopia or Summer of love simply by letting a bunch of radicals with guns takeover its CHAZ district and run it as a commune? Neither the Pitting nor the CHAZ epidemics were limited to the uneducated.

 
How the educated including the very well educated get caught in mass hysteria and collective delusion was first brought out to me empirically and not just historically by the Child Day Care Sex Abuse Hysteria of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. I was involved directly or indirectly for the defense team of a couple of them — the McMartin Preschool debacle in California and the Fells Acre Day Care debacles here in Massachusetts. During this time period, highly educated and wealthy but busy parents were going through the cultural transition of no longer taking care of their preschool children nor of any longer have family to take care of them — everyone was simply too busy with their careers. So, they would send their preschool children at a very early age to day-care centers to get the education and attention their children needed but they the parents did not have the time to give. As expected, the children were all very agitated by such experience that they saw as a lack of love by their parents and many became behavioral problems and developed delusions of their own about life and love. Who was to blame for these behavioral problems? Not the parents of course. All of a sudden, there occurred an explosion of accusations and prosecutions for child abuse by workers at some of these day care centers. Many innocent persons were wrongly charged and even convicted of false charges solely because a bunch of educated and wealthy parents could not accept responsibility for their bad parenting.

 
Such mass hysteria and delusion are not limited to small social groups. The argument can be made and has been made by many historians that World War I is a case of hysteria and collective delusion by what remained of the European royalty and their loyalist worshipers still in power in Europe in the early 20th Century. Without doubt, government by royalty was on its way out throughout Europe and Russia in the early part of the 20th Century. The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria — a possible heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian Emperor — by Serbian separatists was an unfortunate event and an insult to the Austro-Hungarian Empire but was it a threat to its sovereignty or of any other country’s sovereignty? Was it any more of a threat than the social movements throughout Europe demanding the elimination of royalty? Was it such a threat that it warranted a World War and the deaths of tens of millions of lives? No. From what I have read, the real Emperor did not even like this Archduke nephew and did not want to see him inherit his throne, so the assassin kinda did him a favor. World War I is a case of mass hysteria and collective delusion by not only the ruling classes of many countries but by the highly educated and very intelligent ruling classes and their intelligentsia and bureaucracy — they were much more educated and intelligent than almost anyone running the present ruling classes of either Europe or the United States. Given that many historians blame World War I as the foundation for World War II, we can see that the results and effects of mass hysteria and delusion among the ruling classes who in T.S. control the massive power of its technology are not something to be taken lightly.

 
In fact, much of the history of the Twentieth Century can be argued to be a series of ruling class mass delusions and hysteria. World War I (as a foundation for World War II — someday they will simply be called the 20th Century World War); fascism; communism? Just these three collective delusions are responsible for 300 – 500 million deaths. No collective delusion or hysteria by the uneducated ever reached these levels of killing.

 
This problem of ruling class social delusion and hysteria and its results and effects are only going to get worse. As I wrote previously in other essays, one of the differences between the power of the old ruling classes and the ruling class power in T.S. is that in order to maintain their power the Powers-that-be (“PTB”) of the Ancients and even up to the Age of Enlightenment were expected to maintain their power by leading at the front not just by delegation and technique. If the Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Royalty of World War I had to actually be in the trenches to fight that War in the same way Caesar, Alexander the Great, and even George Washington and Napoleon had to be, it could be argued they would not have been in such a hurry to start it nor to fight it and history would have been very different. If politicians and government employees were laid off work without pay in the same way small business owners and working class employees were thrown out during the last few months, guaranteed the lock-outs or lockdowns would have lasted for maybe a couple of weeks at worse and not for months.

 
The handling of the Chinese Virus over the last few months is a perfect example of how the problem of mass hysteria and collective delusion among the ruling classes and PTB can and most lightly will get worse. As I have analyzed in other writings, during the last few decades, science has stopped being science in the classical sense of being a source of explanation for anything. Hard science now solely provides descriptions giving pragmatic value or truth: it gives predictions that can be empirically tested and falsified. The best example of this is physics. It has two major descriptive theories worshiped by scientism: quantum mechanics and relativity. These are great theories with enormous pragmatic truth in their wordgame arenas. They are inconsistent with each other and are riddled with internal inconsistencies. So, what is the only truth physicists know about them: through proof by contradiction, they and we know they are both false and are not truthful explanations of anything outside their pragmatic value. This gets worse for the soft sciences and for a pseudo-science like virology and even for most of biology. Most of biology and almost all of virology are now stuck in the statistical and data science world of genetics whose only descriptions consist of statistical models or probability models; biology has in essence become glorified bookmaking different in degree but not in substance to the bookies at the local track or the bookmakers in Las Vegas creating odds for horse racing or for anything. Like bookies, virologists and most biologists in genetics are never proven wrong nor proven right nor can they be — if something goes wrong or right, simply change the assumptions in the statistical model so it will hopefully look aesthetically better next time. If a 50-1 horse wins, the bookie is not falsified because there is always a chance of any horse winning; but the odds of winning must be changed next time. If a 1-2 horse losses, again, the bookie is not falsified; sometimes even winners lose. Simply change the odds next time.

 
Bookies can live in such an arbitrary and random world because their goal in the end is not to be truthgivers giving explanations of why some horses win and some lose but to make money — they live in a pragmatic world firmly grounded in reality. This is not true for scientism and especially not true for those scientists who see themselves as truthgivers of explanations. They do not and cannot admit to being bookies. They are gods explaining the universe. Thus when they create a statistical model, it must be taken seriously as truth and outright dogma that negates, supercedes, or cancels out all other wordgames of reality including any opposition to their models and especially purely normative concepts such as freedom that cannot be quantified. This is a will to power need. Like the assassination of what should have been an insignificant member of a disappearing royal family, this will to power need should be at most one of countless factors used in a holistic political decision-making process and not a dispositive one. However, when this need serves and satisfies an equally fervent need for power and explanation held by a political PTB or ruling class, there is a perfect foundation for ruling class hysteria and collective delusion. Such mass hysteria and collective delusion is as qualitatively detrimental to the human soul and its freedoms as World War I was quantitatively to human population.

 
In the last few months, I have watched the people of the United States and most of Western Civilization become a bunch of sheep. They have willingly tossed away their freedom of speech, assembly, religion, petitioning of the government, and much more including losing their jobs and seemingly their economic future solely to give a bunch of bookies and the politicians who pay them a source of meaning in their selfish will-to-power lives. How sad. Hopefully at least, these same PTB will soon invent Soma so as to keep these sheep happy in their pens. “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.” — Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World”.

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Virus Supplemental Part IV

The creation of Man whom God in His foreknowledge knew doomed to sin was the awful index of God’s omnipotence. For it would have been a thing of trifling and contemptible ease for Perfection to create mere perfection. To do so would, to speak truth, be not creation but extension. Separateness is identity and the only way for God to create, truly create, man was to make him separate from God Himself, and to be separate from God is to be sinful. The creation of evil is therefore the index of God’s glory and His power. That had to be so that the creation of good might be the index of Man’s glory and power. But by God’s help. By His help and in His wisdom. Robert Penn Warren. “All The King’s Men” at pp. 658-59 (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt: N.Y., N.Y. 1996).

As stated in Part I of this series of essays, the last few weeks of mass hysteria have given me an opportunity to re-read Robert Penn Warren’s magnum opus partly quoted above and to apply its conclusion and the mass hysteria to the original question of a previous longer series of essays in this blog: Why Does God Hate the Poor? Prologue / Part I? My original answer written several essays ago was:

He hates the poor because He can. He is the ultimate power and can do whatever He wants. In fact, since She acts by necessity, She must do whatever She wants. If you could choose your acts and had the power to do whatever you want, you would choose to exercise the power to do whatever you want. God acts by necessity, not from incompleteness requiring choice. He is what He is and can be. Why does God hate the Poor: The Answer

I then went on to ask and to decide if the answer matters or changes anything. My conclusion was that in the big scheme of things, it really does not. Why does God hate the Poor: Does the Answer matter?  As a result of the last few weeks, have my conclusions changed any?

 
Warren’s words are a true thing of beauty. In a few sentences, he has summarized libraries of theological verbiage. But, there are problems. The most relevant to the topic of this blog is that God may have created a God-less universe, but God most definitely did not create a god-less universe. Whatever help and wisdom She is granting creation, it appears to be limited or preferentially handed out only to the gods that make up a tiny portion of creation — by any measure they should be insignificant or at least of no greater power than anyone else but this is most certainly not the case. There is a hierarchy of help and wisdom resulting in a hierarchy of power that can be seen and described in words but not explained.

 
For the lifeless portion of the universe, be it made up of dark matter, dark energy, atomic particles that may or may not exist except when we observe them, numbers that are more real than the waves of nothing they describe, or whatever, in its benign inertness there is no “help” or “wisdom”. The non-living universe spends its entire existence exploding so that it can then come back together to explode again — unless it just explodes back into the nothingness from which it came. It created life so that immediately after this creation it can begin trying to kill it and life can begin trying to survive. Is a virus alive or a form of life or is it just one of the countless things in the universe seeking to kill life? More likely, a “virus” is an example of how words are a form of life by giving order and meaning through social construction of language to the meaningless inertness that is the universe.

 
What about whatever we can agree upon as being life or alive? Does it have help and wisdom in some form?

 

 

Things are not much better for non-human life than it is for the universe. Considering a virus either to be or not to be life would not do much to change its existence just as it does not do much for other non-human life. For non-human life, it spends its entire existence not much better than the universe: explodes into life, hunts and kills each other for life, and then dies. Fortunately, non-human life does not appear to be self-conscious that this is their existence so they are free of the pain of this existential knowing.

 
How about human lives? Is there any help or wisdom there? The last few weeks like all historic events prove there is some help and wisdom available to human life if you are one of the few with the power to define “help” and “wisdom” so as to maximize the power of the few doing the defining. As with any words, “help” and “wisdom” are socially constructed relevant to the needs of a social group. The social construction of the meanings of these words is ultimately controlled by a small proportion — more accurately described as a handful — of individuals who have the power recursively to define “help” and “wisdom” or at best randomly and arbitrarily to define them axiomatically. Both definitions are done through their will to power and not based on any objective truth that exists independently of their will to power. God’s help or wisdom is granted to a few and not to “Man” or to any significant portion of Man. Just as with everything from the first tribes on earth to the World Wars of the 20th Century and the pandemic of the last few weeks, a few decided what the rest of us ought to do and then we do it. If we do not like it, we used to be able to leave but even leaving is not allowed anymore. The gods speak about choice but that is all nonsense. For most of humanity, the choice is work or go to jail; in the last few weeks, for some the choice was stay home or go to jail. The will to power of these few gods not only defines what constitutes God’s help and wisdom but goes on to create the aesthetics allowing them to pretend they are not acting as gods in a hierarchy of power but with the consent of those over whom they exercise their random and arbitrary godly power. The aesthetics consist of words such as: rule of law, social contract, will of the people, universal rights, social justice, and all the other social constructions aesthetically created to keep our Heart of Darkness in check so that the gods may rule.

 
Is that what all of this is about? A God-less creation means we are all “sinful” with this Heart of Darkness but it would be easy to forget this if we were all in fact gods with a power to create a world in our image. Maybe there are only a few gods so that only a few have the temptation to forget they are God-less. Is this the help and wisdom provided for most of us: to deny us a temptation we would most certainly not be able to resist and thus deny us failure?

 

 

I do not know the answer. In the end, I am stuck with agnosia but I do not like it and most definitely do not love it. I hate it. I must accept it to survive but hate it with my whole heart, mind, and soul.  Given this agnosia and the act of will required to deal with it, the answer to my question does not really matter as at best it will be aesthetics as is Warren’s answer. At that point, even the question does not matter. Asking the question pretty much answers it as it is a dead end.

 

It is this new school agnosia that is the biggest problem with the beauty of Warren’s above epigram: the beauty created by Warren through the use and usefulness of words hides the ugliness of not knowing. As with all aesthetics, it is tempting to believe the words have something to do with a reality beyond the will to power of Warren or of any writer or other master of aesthetics but nihilists must resist this temptation. There is no “Man”, “creation”, “life”, “beauty”, “good”, “evil”, or any other words that can be used to ask my question or to answer it in reality other than in the reality of words. We created words, not God. There are six billion or so individual conscious lives on earth but there is no thing that is “life” on earth. For each, actual reality comes into existence when each individual soul becomes conscious of their existence and ceases when their consciousness ceases. Objective reality and truth may in fact exist before or after their consciousness and before and after my consciousness but it does not matter to the individual who is not around to be conscious of it; they also do not matter in a world of new school Technological Society agnosia lacking any non-pragmatic meaning for truth and most definitely lacking any for objective truth. Of objective reality and truth, all I know is nothing — not “nothingness” but actually nothing. There are six billion answers to my question — more accurately, there are six billion questions with six billion different answers. The answer to my question and even the question does not matter because both are an act of will by each of those six billion and not an act of reason. Whether one makes a leap to faith in the “glory and power of God” or a leap to the rejection of that faith, it is all a will to power leap to meaning in life as random and arbitrary as is life. Reason is a tool for making that leap work but it can give no reason for justifying any such leaps nor even for questioning them or answering any questioning of them.

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Virus Supplemental Part III

The individual is in a dilemma: either he decides to safeguard his freedom of choice, chooses to use traditional, personal, moral, or empirical means, thereby entering into competition with a power against which there is no efficacious defense and before which he must suffer defeat; or he decides to accept technical necessity, in which case he will himself be the victor, but only by submitting irreparably to technical slavery. In effect he has no freedom of choice. — Ellul, Jacques. The Technological Society. Vintage Books: N.Y., N.Y. (1963) p. 84.

The new school epistemic agnosia of nihilism: the only certain or foundational knowledge you have is that you exist, you think, and want more than just existence. All else is unknowing, you know nothing else. These existential meanings are present in all words but precede the meanings of all words and thus are something of which in reality we cannot speak and of which we should be silent and thus are pragmatically meaningless. These existential meanings do serve as the implicit axioms or recursive meanings of all words and all language and of everything else pretending to be foundational knowledge. All such non-existential knowledge is uncertain at best and usually just made-up of socially constructed verbiage intended to hide there is no other foundational knowledge but only pragmatic knowledge and beliefs sometimes called truth for aesthetic effect and sometimes called normative or morality for the same aesthetic effect. At this point, you can accept what you are as you are and the world as it is: a slave can accept being a slave and make do, a king can just as easily and most likely even more easily accept being a king and make do, and so forth. This would be an optimistic nihilist. An existential nihilist would take the next step consisting of an act of will wanting more to life than just mere existence — a will to power. With this act of will, a slave would demand to be a king and a king would demand to be a god and all can demand love from a god or even from God, and so forth. It is this act of will that creates and leads to the struggle between the nihilist and existential reality which results in a life of absurdity and an existential choice that life either is worth living or is not worth living and what to do about that worth or lack thereof. As Orwell wrote in 1984, “[t]he choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better”. In summary, all you really know is that you do not know; ultimately, freedom may be just an illusion anyway, so the choice of being a technical slave is as viable, sound, and valid as choosing not to be one.

 
The first freedom of choice allowed a technical slave if they want it: choose to be one knowingly, intentionally, and holistically in the context of the indifference to the universe to your choice. Do not do it because it is the moral choice to make; because it is the ethical choice to make; because Divine Law requires it; because Natural Law requires it; because the law requires it; or for any other reason pretending your choice has ultimate normative value to anyone other than yourself. In the end, no one not even God cares, only you care — if you care. If the Room 101 prepared for you by Technological Society (TS) makes you happy and you want it, then live it and love it. Like Winston, look up and love Big Brother with a tear in your eye and be happy until the bullet enters your brain — it awaits all of us as would be made clear on this Easter Sunday by true believers if they were not too scared of Big Brother to go to church. If those who “truly” believe in a Resurrection can cowardly hide in the corner, the rest of us certainly can.

 
The second category of freedom allowed a technical slave if they want it: it is not to reject technical slavery because this is not allowed anyone in TS, but to hate it even to hate it with your whole heart, mind, and soul. You are a slave but that does not mean you have to like it and especially you do not have to love it. “To the end I grapple with thee; from Hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.” You owe a duty to yourself to do what you have to do to survive as a slave if you want to survive and even to prosper as a slave if you want to prosper. You even have a legal duty to act as a slave so as to avoid going to jail. You even have an ethical duty to act as a slave because ethics is ruling class ideology and all present TS ruling class ideology requires you be a slave. However, you have no duty to be honest, skilled, happy, or anything “good” in your slavery; you have no moral duty, Divine Law duty; Natural Law duty; or any type of ultimate normative value duty to be a slave. You are one because you want to survive, prosper, and not go to jail. If something better comes along or you can get away with dishonesty, negligence, cheating, breaking the law, or anything in your duties as a slave, all without getting caught and punished by the Powers and gods of TS, then do it. In the end, it does not matter to anyone other than yourself. Even if there is a Resurrection, remember Christ died for all sinners as a criminal and outcaste Himself who only gave to Caesar the minimum the law required and no more, so you are still all set — except unlike Him hopefully you will be smart enough not to get caught. You have the ultimate freedom: to reject God or to accept God as He, She, or It is and not how They ought to be.

 
These two categories of freedom of choice and are the power that slaves have to continue class struggle and thus to continue history. They are not available to the Powers and gods of TS because their meaning in life is a purely self-served need for power: they must have a morality to force upon others; they must have an ethics to force upon others; they must have Divine Law, Natural Law, and all the other laws to force upon others. If in fact all authority comes from God, then in addition to their socially constructed gods, rules, and laws, they must also have God despite their aesthetically pleasing protests of the opposite. They cannot think holistically because the world and the universe revolves around them and their self-served need for the power of gods or of God. This is their only weakness. Not much of one but slaves must take what they can get and run with it.

 
Some will object that such nihilist morality is really just anarchy that will result in another world of Nazi and Communist extermination camps and global political and economic collapse. This nonsense admits to both a lack of understanding as to the nature of TS and a delusion as to the Heart of Darkness that is the substance of our nature. If history repeats itself and the conditions are ripe for Governor Cuomo and the law or some other political pyschopath rule of law Inner and Outer Party Powers and gods to wake up one day and decide that extermination camps are needed to stop a virus pandemic in the same way their predecessor godly creators of moralities and ethics decided to stop what they considered to be a people pandemic, the reality is that what present moralities and ethics will do is the same as what Ellul, Sartre, Beauvoir, Foucault, and 95% of people did last time: nothing. Slaves do not control the Powers and gods of TS, they control us; there will always be morality and ethics in TS or in any society to control its slaves be they chattel, wage, or the slaves of technology. The extermination camps of the past will not occur because those techniques failed and were grossly inefficient. TS has morally and ethically grown beyond them.

 
Armed force is too efficient and dirty. Creating moralities and ethics that march people into self-imprisonment, self-isolation, and even self genocide (i.e., abortion for Blacks;  wars in the Mideast for Christians; feminism for women) is much more efficient and the easier means to victory for the Powers and their gods. Again, do not forget the beauty of the last few weeks: not just one nation’s culture but the entirety of world culture has changed drastically and substantively without any bloating bodies laying in the streets or blood running in the gutters — no armies and navies fighting, no extermination camps, no mass rallies of armed crowds roaming the streets, no cities covered in volcanic ash, no cities swallowed by earthquakes, and none of the other natural or historical events that usually are the foundation for such cultural revolution. This cultural revolution was accomplished even without martyrs or human sacrifice. (Well, without explicit martyrs and human sacrifice that make the headlines, so they do not matter.)

 
This finally leads me to the big question at issue in these multi-part essays: Why does God hate the poor? Why did God defined as the reason there is something instead of nothing create a reality with a necessary hierarchy? Why will there always be a small powerful ruling class (Powers, Outer Party, Inner Party, and so forth) who can positively control reality so as to create a world and gods in their image and then there will be the rest of us who are stuck only with the negative power to oppose whatever they are doing? Why must there always be a class struggle in order for history to continue and so we can go on to discover, explore, and conquer the universe?

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Virus Supplemental Part II

The individual is in a dilemma: either he decides to safeguard his freedom of choice, chooses to use traditional, personal, moral, or empirical means, thereby entering into competition with a power against which there is no efficacious defense and before which he must suffer defeat; or he decides to accept technical necessity, in which case he will himself be the victor, but only by submitting irreparably to technical slavery. In effect he has no freedom of choice. — Ellul, Jacques. “The Technological Society”. Vintage Books: N.Y., N.Y. (1963) p. 84.

From a will to power perspective, the last few weeks of mass hysteria have been Technological Society (“TS”) at its best and one of its finest works of art. Not just one nation’s culture but the entirety of world culture has changed drastically and substantively without any bloating bodies strewn about the streets or blood running in the gutters — no armies and navies fighting, no extermination camps, no mass rallies of armed crowds roaming the streets, no cities covered in volcanic ash, no cities swallowed by earthquakes, and none of the other natural or historical events that usually are the foundation for cultural revolution. Complain about it all you want and call the Powers of TS names such as corporatism, capitalism, communism, neo-liberalism, socialism, or whatever, but the factual reality is that the Powers of TS ordered everyone to imprison and isolate themselves and everyone followed orders — cleanly, easily, antiseptically, and without any fuss or protest. In fact, any protest would seem monumentally evil because the orders get their validity based on the innocent deaths of some elderly and other sick who most likely would have died of something else instead of the virus anyway; since they would have died anyway, TS does not even need martyrs or human sacrifice to achieve cultural revolution. The Powers of the past must be rolling in their graves admiring the beauty of this exhibition of power for the sake of power.

Of course, the bodies and blood are still there. Just the higher suicide fatalities resulting from the forced isolation will most likely cancel out any lives saved by this pandemic cure. Even before the collapse of the world economy, on average 15,000 5-year-old and younger children died each day from malnutrition, under nutrition, or starvation; no doubt, these deaths will now go up by thousands more daily with global economic collapse. The educational system was barely educating the working classes as it was; now that they have lost a whole semester isolated at home while the upper classes afford on-line education and tutors for their children, I doubt they will ever catch up and will be permanently under-educated. The massive destruction and loss of life caused by the pandemic cures will far exceed the number of lives of the elderly and others it supposedly saved but this destruction and death will be hidden and not in the mass propaganda describing and explaining its history and thus they do not matter.

 
As always in TS, it is tough to make conceptual sense of what is going on because there is so much going on, no one knows what is going on, and no one knows what they are doing. Yet, not only does everyone go about pretending they know and talking about how much they know, but then from their tower of ignorance they pass judgment on the lives of others and decide what others ought to be doing as a matter of ultimate normative value — define the morality and ethics of the state of affairs. Most of the time it does not matter and is just yalking with no value other than perhaps as aesthetics in some form, but when those doing the yalking have the power actually to enforce their value judgments upon others, it does matter and it matters big time. At that big time moment, in just a few weeks, even without any natural catastrophe or war but peacefully through the monopoly on violence that is the rule of law, world culture arbitrarily and randomly changes drastically, substantively, and forever. This is the will to power freedom TS grants its gods.

What about the rest of us? Unless one is suicidal, as Ellul eloquently wrote, acceptance of TS is required because it is “a power against which there is no efficacious defense and before which [we] must suffer defeat”. But, does the acceptance of technical slavery allow for any substantive freedom of choice for the will to power of the technical slave? How does the technical slave continue their will to power struggle and thus continue class struggle so history may continue?

 
In terms of being naturalized to reality, TS on the surface appears to deny the rest of us freedom of choice as we become bound to technical slavery. However, as I have argued elsewhere in more detail (Such as at Existential Meta-Ethics ), the acceptance of material technical slavery in order to be a victor in life through the material prosperity it gives does not necessarily negate substantive freedom of choice for the human mind and the will to power of the individual soul. Technical slavery is not unnatural or an anomaly, it is the natural flow of history. This recent Wuhan Virus events and the associated mass hysteria further elucidate my arguments that nihilism allows for nihilist Acceptance: we can knowingly and intentionally accept our fate in life but without loving it and without making it our life’s meaning in order to give meaning to our life and our lives. This new school freedom of choice is founded upon what was once old school theological agnosia; it is the freedom nihilism grants us even while physically imprisoned and most definitely while technically imprisoned by the will to power given to the Powers of TS by its godless Fates or even by God. This nihilist freedom of Acceptance is a freedom not even granted the Powers. Ultimately they need godly power over us and, if God is in fact the source of all authority, they need the God who grants this will to power so as to give meaning to their lives. We however do not need godly power over them nor any godly power over anyone including over ourselves to give meaning to our lives. Ultimately, the Powers need us but we do not need them. This is their one weakness that must be exploited so as to struggle and to overcome them and ourselves to defeat out technical slavery. This Acceptance gives nihilists the power not only to reject the Powers but also to reject God or to accept God: the ultimate freedom of choice and the ultimate godly power.

 
Pragmatically, we must first see that Acceptance of technical slavery in TS is not something that we should see as a weakness or as an existential bad faith surrender to lack of authenticity or whatever other phrases about which the some hypocritically pontificate to ignore their own status as technical slaves. As a matter of practical reality, in addition to being conceptually necessary, to be a victor in TS for anyone who is not one of its gods regardless if one is a simple proletariat or an intellectual proletariat requires one accept technical slavery. There were never any “good old days” nor any “noble savage” who had a greater freedom than anyone living in TS including any wage slave workers in TS. In the past, workers may have had a different kind of freedom but it was not any better. If one’s hunter-gatherer tribe or ancient classical tribe became too tyrannical, for millennia workers including slaves — if smart and lucky enough — had the freedom to run away one day and to start another tribe in the next valley, hill, or wherever they could survive. This type of freedom however requires the knowledge of how to survive in reality as-it-is and does not allow for the freedom of creating reality as it ought to be. This old school freedom is missing in TS and gone forever. It is a different type of freedom but not any better or worse than we have now consisting of the freedom to decide how reality ought to be — to declare “God is dead” and pretend we mean it.

 
The last century or so of human history despite all its problems has been the most materially prosperous and peaceful time in human history in which while growing from one billion in 1900 to more than six billion population in 2000, workers have for the first time in human history enjoyed freedom from: chattel slavery; world famine; true plagues of truly pandemic proportions such small pox, polio, measles, the Black Death, the Antonine Plague, and many more deaths that lacked any cure or any concept of a cure; unsanitary water; unsanitary living conditions; world pestilence; locusts causing mass suffering; mass sufferings due to the vagaries of weather and nature; and much more. The freedom to change one’s tribe at will simply by physically leaving one’s social constructs allows one to look and admire the heavens from any place on earth but it cannot give one the power to actually discover, explore, and conquer the heavens. TS gives us freedom from material imprisonment so that we are free to confront the reality of imprisonment of the soul and its mind in this meaningless life if we have the courage to do so.

 
This confrontation is a necessary aspect of TS that cannot be eliminated because it flows naturally from the nature of its technique though it can be ignored if one lacks the courage to confront it. One can see this necessary aspect of its nature working in the simplest of techniques in which pragmatics provide a foundation for a will to power leap to creation of morality and ethics. For example, if one pragmatically needs a bridge for the purpose of carrying 5000 tons of vehicles, one does not engineer a bridge capable of carrying 5000 tons of vehicles. I am not sure what the engineering standards are these days, but most likely the technique for the technology of building a 5000-ton load bridge is to engineer at least a 10,000 ton load bridge and mostly likely a 40,000 or more ton load bridge depending on one’s arbitrary and random choice of the morality and ethics of such risk decisions. Likewise, if with certain conjectures or assumptions, medical technicians build a modeling of the Wuhan Virus in which millions of persons die, this leaves open the option for calling it a pandemic and for the Powers of TS to use their power to define morality and ethics so as to force self-imprisonment and social isolation and so forth for all. Why would they do it for this model instead of for the 15,000 five-year-olds actually dying per day model or for any other modeling for problems that have equivalent or worse scenarios? Again, respective to the godly exercise of power as an end in itself, asking for such an explanation is a meaningless question and misses the point of godly power just as it does respectively for the power of God. God is power; the gods of TS are power. The gods of TS just as with God can do whatever they want when they want to do it — power is an end in itself. The fact they can arbitrarily and randomly exercise their power of creating morality and ethics purely as a will to power is a necessary aspect or attribute of their power; by definition, morality and ethics is in their power to define.

 
The spiritual questions of freedom of the soul and mind for meaning in life are the same in TS as they always have been. In fact, TS allows for the existence of the intellectual proletariat and their freedom — which is based not on knowledge but on ignorance and verbiage to hide ignorance — to work on these questions. The intellectual proletariat technical slaves appear to be above slavery because it is their technical task to sit in the stands and criticize the techniques of those slaves struggling in the blood and sand of the arena, but in the end they are just as expendable to TS as those struggling below. These questions of freedom in TS, instead of being expressed by shamans in religious or mystical expressions or even by the Platonic contemplations of philosophers as expressed in the past, are now expressed in popular media and aesthetics by post-modern shamans through aesthetically pleasing phrases that are in denial as to their equally religious, mystical, and Platonic nature: such phrases as authenticity, inauthenticity, angst, bad faith, despair, slave morality, master morality, the self, the other, self-identity, whiteness, blackness, and all the other post-modernist favorites complaining about the weaknesses of the “herd” as they like to call wage slaves among themselves as they look down on us from the stands while pretending to empathize with us. Again, the concepts are different but not any better nor worse. What there is now is the freedom to be purely aesthetic about these concepts and to ignore their pragmatics.

In prior cultures before TS, when exercising the freedom to leave and to create a new culture, one had actually to know how to physically survive; if one did not pragmatically know how to survive in reality, one did not survive reality. This was true as much of the tribal shaman as it was for the tribal hunters and gatherers; even the tribal shaman needed to know how to hunt, farm, gather food, and so forth and needed a record of success or the tribe would find another and the shaman would starve. Such is no longer true. The power of aesthetics in TS allows for survival independently of having any pragmatic knowledge of survival or of reality other than the ability aesthetically to create delusion more real than reality or to create what reality ought to be through fictions and verbiage. It no longer matters if our TS tribal shamans have any record of success or any record other than being able to convince through propaganda that they ought to have a record of success. Even failure can become a successful basis for power in TS if one controls the successful propaganda techniques available in TS.

 
If you look at how most of the proponents of the above aesthetically pleasing terms actually lived their lives instead of how they preach others ought live their lives, the practical reality of their necessary conceptual Acceptance of technical slavery in their own lives so as to have the freedom to complain about it is easily seen. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for the rest of us to accept and to go on to the bigger questions of freedom of the will to power of the individual mind and soul. For example, even for Jacques Ellul, he had his chance explicitly to fight the last explicit imposition of technical slavery upon the world during World War II; he instead spent it making a good living as a potato farmer in Vichy France selling his product into the high demand created by TS and its World War II so he could survive to be critical of TS once liberated. Vichy France provided post-modernist hero Foucault with the formal education and the freedom to engage in his sexual escapades so that after liberation he could go on to complain about the West that liberated him and their supposedly destructive and oppressive power over the individual — though apparently he was not really seeking liberation nor needed liberation and could have continued living the life he wanted just as well under the tyranny of fascism or under the tyranny of communism as long as they left him alone to satisfy his sexual desires including sexual needs involving minors. The greats like Sartre, Beauvoir, and even my working class hero Camus and many more preachers of authenticity spent those World War II years — again, the last great opportunity for explicitly struggling against explicit technical slavery — enjoying the cafes of Paris and Marseilles and the critical adulation of both Vichy and German literary critics. These examples are countless. Intellectual proletarians are technical slaves as much as the rest of us but are simply in denial as to their status. Those who were or are not able to accept their technical slave status usually died fighting it either at the hands of others or by their own hand in physical or spiritual suicide.

 
Camus at least during his war years developed the idea of his book The Plague which is being rediscovered in this recent mass hysteria by the intellectual proletarians of the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and some others while completely ignoring — or not realizing — that the plague in The Plague was an allegory for fascism and Stalinist communism. They have also ignored the relevance to the recent mass hysteria of such books as Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World. Most definitely, they have not rediscovered Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom (“‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded.”).

 
It is the success of TS in creating freedom from material imprisonment that is its most powerful technique for creating spiritual and mental imprisonment through technical slavery for those who either lack the courage to face this new school type of imprisonment or who enjoy their technical slavery as acceptable mental and spiritual meaning in life. One of the reasons the recent Wuhan Virus has resulted in mass hysteria is because a large proportion of the world population especially in the West has gone their whole life without ever experiencing death or unbearable physical or even deep tragic emotional pain or emotional isolation from society and most definitely without experiencing actual plague, pestilence, famine, war, or anything approaching catastrophic social collapse. This is good; as I have said before, given a choice between my child growing up in a world of violence in which by necessity only the strong and the fittest survive accustomed to the traumatic misery of life or of their growing up in a peaceful world in which all survive and the strongest must by choice work at being fit and strong to the traumatic misery of life, I will always prefer the latter peaceful option. In the latter, the pragmatic reality is that the weak as well as the strong will survive thus perhaps weakening the chances of survival for all and the chances of our exploring, discovering, and conquering the universe; but, since one never knows whether you or your children will be among the weak or the strong, if possible, my love for myself and for them would prefer the latter option. T.S. makes the latter option more practically possible, acceptable, and workable than in any prior time in history.

 
So, given that acceptance of technical slavery is necessary to be a victor in TS and thus in life, it is not something of which workers should be ashamed or be ridiculed as bad faith lack of authenticity or whatever ridicule elitists have of those who are not their gods. The important question is what freedom of choice does nihilist Acceptance of this new school slavery give to those who have the courage to confront the mental and spiritual aspects of this technical slavery? The answer is that there is a will to power freedom of mind and soul possible for the technical slave. It is founded on a new school nihilist version of the old school concept once know as theological agnosia from the philosophy of Pseudo-Dionysius or Dionysius the Areopagite: “unknowing” or agnosia is not ignorance or absence of knowledge as ordinarily understood but rather the knowledge that no language can express that which is beyond and above language.  TS will always have gods who know what ought to have ultimate value and how others ought to live their lives. For the rest of us, the power of our will to power is to live without knowing either. The gods of TS will always convert their knowledge of good and evil into morality and ethics with its final attribute of violence. For the rest of us, the power of our will to power is to live without this knowledge and without this attribute.

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Virus Supplemental Part I

The individual is in a dilemma: either he decides to safeguard his freedom of choice, chooses to use traditional , personal, moral, or empirical means, thereby entering into competition with a power against which there is no efficacious defense and before which he must suffer defeat; or he decides to accept technical necessity, in which case he will himself be the victor, but only by submitting irreparably to technical slavery. In effect he has no freedom of choice. — Ellul, Jacques. “The Technological Society”. Vintage Books: N.Y., N.Y. (1963) p. 84.

 

The last few weeks of mass hysteria have been a rich source of contemplation for me. Some of which will be covered here. Part of this series of essays will be an “I told you so” since I rarely in life have a chance to express this sentiment and never expected to see my prior predictions come to life in my lifetime. Part will be a supplemental contemplation on my primary concern throughout these podcast essays: what freedom if any do wage slaves, slaves either materially or spiritually, have while ruled by the gods of Technological Society? The latter contemplation has been further enlightened by my being stuck at home with the time to re-read a book I last read in my childhood: All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt: N.Y., N.Y. 1996). In the years since my first reading of it, I gradually lost faith in fiction as a source of anything but aesthetics serving more to hide reality than reveal it and thus completely forgot that this novel has my most favorite ending of any novel I ever read even though I completely disagree with the meaning expressed by this ending:

The creation of man whom God in His foreknowledge knew doomed to sin was the awful index of God’s omnipotence. For it would have been a thing of trifling and contemptible ease for Perfection to create mere perfection. To do so would, to speak truth, be not creation but extension. Separateness is identity and the only way for God to create, truly create, man was to make him separate from God Himself, and to be separate from God is to be sinful. The creation of evil is therefore the index of God’s glory and His power. That had to be so that the creation of good might be the index of man’s glory and power. But by God’s help. By His help and in His wisdom. “All The King’s Men” at pp. 658-59.

 

The above simple expression describing in its simplicity a meaning upon which some theologies have written entire books of verbiage and yet have failed to express with such beauty is to be admired regardless of one’s opinion of its value. It is truly a work of art in its purest form created from words. The essays collected here have been a conceptual contemplation of the social conversion of chattel slavery into wage slavery and its implications for those who are the new school slaves of Technological Society. Unlike mainstream modern and post-modern philosophy and theology who criticize this social construction while being instrumental in creating and maintaining it, I have accepted it as a necessary attribute of Technological Society. Class struggle while hopeless and ultimately destined and fated to be a loss for the individual fighting its power is necessary so we can all be a “victor” in the ultimate struggle we all share to survive the indifference of the universe to our survival. If you choose life, you necessarily choose Acceptance of your social class in life and the struggles it entails. For the individual who does not allow themselves to be cheapened into an aesthetic struggle between a fictional Self and a fictional Other, this struggle necessarily entails nihilism as a metaphysics and as a morality.

 
The following is a thought I expressed in my first published book Existential Philosophy of Law and further highlighted in subsequent writings:

As George Orwell wrote in 1984, in order for the Powers to keep their powers, it is not enough for hoi polloi simply to accept Big Brother, they must love Big Brother. Through law and its Powers, our Technological Society is bringing to life O’Brien and his Room 101, but it is not a room with a rat cage but a sterile, pleasantly decorated, warm, friendly room with a surround sound of legality and illegality negating conscious, complex tragedy in the classical sense: replacing it with fear, hatred, and the joy or pain of either winning or losing but without dignity of emotion nor deep or complex sorrow and thought while at the same time denying the truth that 2 + 2 by definition makes four.

As a result of recent events, even after this virus debacle is over, the present and future for wage slaves will be living and working in a Room 101 more commonly known as “WFH” (Working From Home) with all the necessary pleasantries and attributes for making such bearable. In the past, there was a differentiation between house slaves and field slaves. The future of class struggle is a differentiation between WFH wage slaves and the field wage slaves who will be serving their needs. The overseers who make up the Outer Party class will still exist to assure these two groups of slaves are busy fighting each other so as not to bother the Inner Party.  So, uh, I told you so.

 
Such WFH future will be more than bearable, it will be pragmatically better in almost every way by which such matters are now judged by those with the power to judge: 1) it will allow for proper social distancing to avoid communicable diseases; 2) no more miserable commutes back and forth to work and the associated wasted resources and time such commuting causes not only for individuals but for society; 3) reducing the cost of doing business by transferring overhead costs over to employees without need of paying higher wages; 4) no more expensive commercial leases for office and business space or at least greatly reduced lease expenses for such space; 5) allowing for both home and work to be located almost anywhere instead of being forced into crowded cities and their urban problems, high cost of living, and associated misery and disease spread; 6) allow for a cleaner and better social and natural environment for all who are naturalized to it while also allowing for better control and management of any social outcastes; 7) no more having to deal in-person and personal with the miserable struggles for power between the Self and the Other. When the Other is simply an image or a voice in a Searlean Chinese Room, it is simple and easy to resolve the conflict: you just close the screen or turn the computer off. If you do have an Other at your WFH, they will be roommates, significant others, spouses, or whoever you choose or reject and not those chosen by your employers without your input. In almost every technological material way, the reality of WFH and what is now considered artificial or virtual reality is pragmatically better than having to deal with the actual reality of personal and physical contact and especially the natural world. Eventually, VR and even the well-marketed AI will be considered and be used as meaning for “personal contact” in the same way the fictions of physics such as “atomic particles” and many other fictions in the sciences and the pseudo-sciences varying from “evolution” to the “sub-conscious” are now considered more real than the reality of what we actually experience. Already for most of the humanities, words such as the Self, the Other, Whiteness, and Blackness, are more real than any white or black person or any individual person or any particular state of affairs or experience actually perceived and experienced.

 
However, in my contemplations, I expected such a Room 101 reality to come to be in the same way reality is usually created in history: gradually over time or as the result of a natural catastrophe such as earthquakes or volcanoes or something similar. (But, not as a result of war. War is lawless. Because law in Technological Society has a monopoly on violence, any war that occurs would consist of legal acts of violence and thus not really be war just the rule of law exercising its power; the only acts of war that will occur will be individual acts of violence by fanatics who are outside of society and thus cannot socially construct social power.) Recent events have proven me wrong on this expectation. I greatly underestimated the power and the Powers of Technological Society.

 

Within a matter of just the past few weeks, the Powers and their technicians of Technological Society have been able to construct socially a new world order consisting of a WFH Room 101 reality not only without a bang but even without a whimper. Sure, armed police and military are around to highlight this new world order, but they were and are not necessary. People have just marched into their new WFH Room 101 reality willingly, knowingly, and without complain like the banality of good expects of them — heck, even the bad people and the banality of evil have gone along with it. It is both amazing and scary to watch. As with much of Technological Society, its power is a much more impressive creation than anything the natural world has created or prior history has created — except of course for us. Natural creation requires a bang; Technological Society has now reached the point where like a god it creates naturally and by extension — both the Self and the Other become a virtual unity while the individual self and other individuals are still completely separate but irrelevant in reality. Diversity is maintained physically while completely eliminated where it matters. It is what all post-modern social justice theory both liberal and conservative has always wanted: an orderly and peaceful world under the rule of law in which any violence not naturalized to the rule of law is restricted to the spiritual purgatory or hell that may be the existential soul of the expendable individual and is thus irrelevant.

 
I will also say “I told you so” on the technique used for achieving this Brave New World: 1) by a random and arbitrary will to power of the Powers; 2) by the existential Heart of Darkness in all of us. I have gotten into greater detail on these two concepts in other writings (Existential Philosophy of Law and  An Existential Meta-Ethics) but will summarize how they have been at work in the last few weeks.

 
The pragmatic work of finding treatments and cures for the recent Wuhan Virus as for any virus or for any problem requires pragmatic descriptions that can be used to solve such problems. However, as any nihilist should know by now, it is a complete waste of time to seek explanations for the normative classification of the Wuhan Virus as a pandemic or for the normative social actions taken, either voluntarily or forced upon society by governments, as a result of such classification. All non-existential knowledge is pragmatic: something is true and objective to the extent it solves a problem. As recently as the first week of March, there was no agreement among major health organizations including among the so-called experts at the World Health Organization as to how to define “pandemic” nor how to combat one if the definition is agreed upon and satisfied — there still is no agreement. These disagreements and their history are readily available on the internet. Calling something a pandemic, epidemic, or any such classification intended not to solve a problem but to create normative value for a problem is itself normative and is thus created recursively or based on implicit or explicit assumed axioms. Any such classification is not required foundationally by any premises argued as logically required by that classification. If you believe something to be a pandemic, you will find statistics to support your belief. If you believe something is not a pandemic, you will find statistics to support your belief. Your belief decides what statistics are relevant and material and not the other way around. Likewise, the normative determination of what actions to take in response to a pandemic are created arbitrarily and randomly by those with the power to make these determinations and are then justified by reference to statistics and not the other way around. For some forever unknown reason, the technicians and the Powers-that-be of Technology Society decided that this year they would call the Wuhan Virus a pandemic and decided the normative value of controlling its spread through government destruction of the world economy and of personal individual freedoms in the United States was of greater value than suffering deaths by the virus to avoid the deaths and other harms that would result from economic collapse and failure to protect those freedoms.

 

As a historical contemplation, it would be nice and fun to contemplate why Technological Society used this particular virus instead of some other problem to make its leap into the next stage of its historical development just like it would be nice to know why history led to the World Wars I and II and not some other world wars. However, as with any historical event, no one will ever know exactly why this-instead-of-that occurred and any answers will be pragmatically useless because history does not repeat itself. Always remember the nihilist motto: reality does not happen for a reason, it just happens.

 
What is most definitely existentially true and thus objectively true by the nature of our existential Heart of Darkness is that the pandemic classification and the normative actions taken were not altruist: the mass hysteria of the last few weeks was not done out of unselfish caring for the weak, elderly, sick, or the innocent children of the world or as a result of some kind of “innate goodness” in the Powers who control social construction. It is descriptively true based on historical experience that there will be an internationally spread flu or some other virus every year that will kill at least >600,000 people almost all of whom will consist of either the weak, elderly, sick, or innocent children. In 2019, on average 15,000 children under the age of 5 died every day as a result of malnutrition, under nutrition, or outright starvation — a figure that will most certainly go up this year as a result of global economic collapse. One guided solely by altruism could make a very rational argument that every day should have a pandemic declared and that all of world society should consist of being one big hospital entirely dedicated to taking care of the weak, elderly, sick, or innocent. Why the Powers randomly and arbitrarily decided to pick the Wuhan Virus to create temporarily such a world so as to change world culture is a mystery and will remain so but without doubt it resulted from a will to power not from altruism. The Outer Party government officials enforcing the Inner Party’s will to power of Technological Society through forcing house imprisonment, unemployment, and loss of small businesses as a result of declaring a pandemic upon the world are doing so because they have nothing to lose and are not themselves suffering — for the moment and so they think. If the enforcers of a “pandemic” were themselves thrown into unemployment, economic loss, and imprisonment by the declaration of a “pandemic”, it would never have been declared.

 
Unfortunately, the news is full of examples of this will to power at work. One of the most disgusting examples was given by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. I am old enough to remember his father former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo whose political success I followed because he was expected at one point to become the first Italian-American presidential candidate and perhaps even first President. I am Italian by birth and Italian-American by social construct. Mario Cuomo always struck me as being a psychopath. Unlike the other Mario Cuomo son who works at CNN and who seems pretty much to be an idiot, this son Andrew is no idiot and seems to have followed in the psychopathic footsteps of his father as exhibited by his cold-blooded and hypocritical ability to justify based on Christian love his exercise of government power to violate every federal and state constitutional protection there is against tyrannical exercise of government power. Specifically, he chastised those who oppose his actions by preaching about his love for his 74, 84, or whatever year old (forgot how old she is) mother and his Christian sense of love and duty to protect all elderly and the defenseless weak, sick, and innocent children endangered by the Wuhan Virus. This dude like his father is supposedly a practicing Christian and a power in the New York Christian community who has no problem supporting infanticide in the form of abortion and signed new law authorizing abortion as late as the last trimester of a pregnancy — something his father had no problem doing also. So, yeah right, he respects the life of the elderly, weak, and sick because they are innocently helpless to defend themselves but has no problem with killing the ultimate defenseless and innocent life of a prenatal infant in order to help his political career.

 

Dudes like these controlling the pandemic classification and response would knowingly and intentionally kill any one of us if it would give them just a slight increase in godly power over us and are what made extermination camp management possible and efficient. They care nothing for saving life or for taking life unless it gives godly meaning to their own life. Unfortunately, they are common in the Christian community as its “leaders”. No doubt, for example, the famed St. Augustine (a fricken Saint no less) and his ability after half-a-life of sinful debauchery to find his salvation in his faith that included justifying infant damnation was of the same psychopathic soul as this Cuomo family. Nietzsche would love their will to power as that of his Übermensch but I place their likes at the same level as that of psychopathic scum.

 
So, getting an explanation of the new world order in Technological Society is irrelevant. It happened for the same existential nihilist reasons everything happens in life: the random and arbitrary indeterminate nature of the universe and our existential Heart of Darkness. The big question is what now? For the wage slave now living life in the WFH Room 101 of Technological Society or out in the field serving these new school WFH slaves: must they also love this new life as victors submitting irreparably to technical slavery?

 

Water As A Person, Huh?

I recently inadvertently came across an article in the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law arguing for treatment of water as a person under the law in order to give it many if not all of the protections granted persons under the law. I skimmed it and had a good laugh but it then occurred to me how this article is a good exemplification or microcosm of the nature of modern language and of various topics in the philosophy of language such as the absence of any “meaning” for words other than their use and usefulness in any given context.

 
For the moment, water most definitely does not fall into any meaning of “person” except in an aesthetic sense created by poets or rhetoric. However, the same could have been said at one time for entities, concepts, attributes, or things such as corporations, unincorporated companies and associations, trusts, municipalities, states, and even the European Union which is now considered a “person” under much of European law. Hell, even rivers are recognized as persons in some African national legal systems and in tribal legal systems in other countries — even New Zealand does it for one of their rivers in respect of Maori tribal law worshiping a specific river as an ancestor. So, why not add water to the list of human and non-human entities recognized as persons by the law? Why stop at water? Why not treat fire, mountains, the sky, or anything else needing legal protection as a person? The Maori culture historically also worships ritual warfare, slavery, cannibalism, sexual abuse of women, killing of female children, and revenge killings, why does not New Zealand recognize any of these as persons needing respect under the law? Obviously, the cultural process by which words change meaning is convoluted yet it is amazing and impressive how smoothly and quickly such changes can occur when those in power want to change the meaning of words — even when the changes encompass or assume radical changes both in the background and in the foundation metaphysics and physics of reality. An obvious example of such radical changes in both metaphysics and physical conceptualizations of reality is the recent popular and very powerful adoption of radical changes in both metaphysical and physical meanings of the words “gender” and “sex” over a period of only the last few years. Despite this convoluted process, there can be described two universal aspects to this process of meaning change brought out by this simple example of water beginning its path to becoming a person: 1) it results from an teleological act of a will to power not from logical reasoning nor is it derived from sense experience; 2) the resulting change in meaning though it relies upon physical and metaphysical assumptions does not embody either physical or metaphysical foreknowledge — that is regardless of how ethically and thus aesthetically pleasing the change in meaning may be, the change in meaning will not necessarily change reality to meet the teleological motivations for the change so as to be pragmatically or even naturally true.

 
Reasoning does not care what specific premises, axioms, or whatever assumptions are used to begin one’s reasoning. Reasoning is at best a process or methodology for preserving truth however one defines truth not for gaining knowledge of truth. If one starts with true premises, axioms, or assumption, sound reasoning will preserve that truth and valid reasoning will assure it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. However, reasoning cannot guarantee one is starting the reasoning process with truth.

 
Nothing in reality or sense experience requires an axiom, premise, or assumption treating water as a person. If one believes water needs to be treated as a person, for whatever reasons one believes this, this set or context of beliefs gives one the teleological or normative goal of having the use and usefulness of the word “water” be the same as the use or usefulness of the word “person” within that context or set of beliefs. The ultimate goal is to give water the same power as a person in our reasoning. If this act of will has the power of violence upon others, especially a monopoly on violence such as the law, this act of will can be compelled upon others to force them to have the same belief in water as a person in order to achieve the teleological or normative goals for the change in meaning. For example, the argument for treating water as a person usually begins with the premises that water is necessary for all persons to live and to enjoy life and that the abundance and purity of water is being threatened by technological pollution of water thus threatening human life. These premises can be derived directly from sense experience. There are then an uncountable number of conceptual options for dealing with these empirical problems. One option is the teleological or normative goal of treating water as a person legally, ethically, or even pragmatically. This is a creative option that is both aesthetically and normative pleasing but is not derived from sense experience but derived existentially and conceptually in the same holistic way we derive “I am therefore I think” and “I think therefore I want more than just thinking” as I have contemplated in other essays. Acceptance of this creative option creates the law and ethics and even the facts to justify itself and not the other way around: the conclusion and supporting facts are created by the act of will wanting water to be a person in the same way any act of will is created. It is not the case that facts lead to the teleological normative goal but the facts are created to justify that goal. An explanation of the creation of this act of will is not something of which we can speak within any language wordgame other than that of intention and will because this existential act of will precedes language as I have contemplated in other essays

 

Even the simple act of will of raising my left arm at this precise moment cannot be explained empirically or conceptually in any way but as an act of will or intentional act. Science can talk all it wants about neurons in the brain being activated that then activate electrical and chemical signals in nerves that extend into my arm but none of these explanations describe why or how “I” activated the neurons to begin this process of raising my left arm nor the nature of this “I” that started this process of raising my hand.

 
Once our act of will successfully leads to a change in meaning, the change will not necessarily change reality so as to achieve the teleological or normative goal for making the change — though it might. Reality is still what it is and we cannot lose sight of this fact. Conceptually, at present “person” has more power than “water”. By making water a person, though this raises the power of water to equality with a person in our conceptualization of reality, because all power is relative this equality means reducing the power of person to the same as that of water in our conceptualization of reality. What effect this will to power for water at the expense of person will have on the pragmatics of our conceptualization of reality is an unknown. Just as when the Supremes in their wisdom made corporations “persons” for many constitutional purposes, this change in meaning strengthened the power of corporations but weakened that of persons in the sense that persons were no longer more powerful than corporations. Perhaps the best example of such distinction is abortion. Making a “fetus” mean the same as “choice” is a result of the teleological normative goal of giving a pregnant woman the power of life or death over a certain form of life. The reality of that form of life and its death have not changed by this change in meaning and the final effect of such a change in meaning upon a society that allows and enforces it by violence is unknown. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel said about evolutionary explanations for morality:

Even if we took the most optimistic view possible, and assumed that in general men’s consciences have been approximately molded by evolutionary forces, the best we could hope for is that they should lay down principles which have been useful. Unlike the God it has replaced, natural selection cannot be supposed to possess or to embody foreknowledge.

If the human race perishes in a nuclear war, it may well be (although there will be no one alive to say it) that scientific beliefs did not, in a sufficiently long time scale, promote “survival”. Yet that will not have been because the scientific theories were not rationally acceptable, but because our use of them was irrational. In fact, if rationality were measured by survival-value, then the proto-beliefs of the cockroach, who has been around for tens of millions of years longer than we, would have a far higher claim to rationality than the sum total of human knowledge.

 

We can see these two aspects present and being ignored in the recent and ongoing arguments for the meaning of “sex” and “gender”. Empirically, the word gender was taken from linguistics and incorporated into problems dealing with differences among the male and female sexes by psychiatrists dealing with individuals who were hermaphrodites, androgynous, or had other unusual sexual characteristics such as bodies that appear female but have XY chromosomes. As with all words, even the word “sex” commonly used to mean a distinct biological male/female distinction has some vagueness and ambiguity as is true of all words because language is a social construct whose meaning is dependent on the context of its use and usefulness. Empirically and scientifically, defining sex involves many factors of physical attributes, chemicals in the body, and even conceptual genetic combinations that are not as clear and distinct as is commonly assumed. We could have more than two biological sexes: 1) male; 2) female; 3) hermaphrodites; 4) intersex (androgynous); 5) gonadal dysgenesis (women with xy chromosomes); 6) infertile persons; and probably some more if we really wanted them.

 
No one wanted more than two and there was no reason to do so until the 1970’s when feminists picked up on this sex/gender distinction to try to break the association of what they considered to be socially constructed male behaviourial characteristics with the male sex and of what they considered to be socially constructed female behaviourial characteristics with the female sex. As with the water/person meaning change, this feminist theory had a teleological normative goal of empowering the female sex by eliminating what they considered to be an unequal power balance in favor of the male sex so as to supposedly equalize power between the sexes. Regardless of whether one disputes the soundness or validity of their arguments, in the last few years these arguments and their teleological normative goals have been accepted by the law, academia, and ethics along with the assumed metaphysics and physics that justifies the change in meaning of gender for now but eventually also for sex. As I wrote in my previous essay Not Utopian But Heavenly, the ultimate goal of this assumed dogmatic metaphysics and physics appears to be not a utopia but a heaven on earth socially constructed consisting of angelic humans equal sexually because there will be no sex. Thanks to this teleological process taking over the monopoly on violence called the law, such a genderless and sexless society in which everyone is their own gender creating their own sex seems to be our future for the foreseeable future absence some catastrophe or revolution.

 
What effect will these changes in meaning for sex and gender have upon reality? Despite everyone involved pretending to know, just as no one knows what the result of making water a person will be, no one really knows what the result will be of  changing the meanings of sex and gender will be. Despite our inability unambiguously to define “sex” empirically as is true for all definitions because all words are vague social constructs, in all known sense experience there are two and only two sexes for purposes of reproduction which is a fairly important aspect of reality. These two — male and female sexes — are necessary for persons to reproduce and thus for societies to continue living. Heaven may be sexless but heaven does not need physically to reproduce. Even for test tube babies we need a male and a female contribution to the tube. Of course, life was not always divided into male and female. For hundreds of millions of years and perhaps billions of years, life consisting of single cell and even multiple cell individual lives reproduced and prospered without two sexes or any sex, there was only individuals. This seems to be the future desired by those who presently control our social will to power to change meaning in the wordgame language of sex and gender: a world of individuals defining their own sex and gender. The Powers have the will to power to achieve this just as they soon will be doing with the wordgame language of water and person, but will this change in language succeed in changing reality? If reality does not go along with our language telling it what to do, what then? Maybe the proto-beliefs of the cockroach will give them the last laugh on all of us.

Charity Not Love

The word love is everywhere these days. From the actual and seriously taken presidential campaign of Marianne Williamson to all popular secular and religious philosophies. (Personally, I loved Williamson’s campaign — for great comic relief if for nothing else. She seem to be the only real person in the whole bunch.) Love is seen as the answer to all problems involving human relations in almost any form. So, why is not “love” listed in any of the classical virtues going back to Plato’s Republic nor in the list of Western theological virtues? These two sets of virtues total seven and consist of prudence, justice, temperance, courage (or fortitude), faith, hope, and charity. It is with good reason love is excluded and I am getting tried of hearing about love as if it is a cure-all. When everyone seems to agree on a concept, one should immediately be suspicious of it as either a delusion or a con.

 
As I contemplated in my essay asking Why Does God Hate the Poor: Can God Love? Part III , love is a self-centered act and one side of a two sided coin in which hate is the other side. One cannot know love if one does not know hate and the reverse. Love is the relationship we have to that which gives meaning to our life; hate is the relationship we have to that which denies meaning to our life. Love is the answer? To what? What is the question? So, love of money, power, sex, rape, child molestation, your tribe, or the almost uncountable number of acts most people would call evil and which the evil love are answers to evil? If you love your neighbor must you not hate if not the evil person who hurts them but the evil acts that hurt them? Must you not hate evil acts? According to those who preach love is the answer, you must hate and punish racism, sexism, fascism, and much more in order to be a truly loving person. Love is not the answer but only an answer to certain specific problems. Even assuming it is somehow possible to love your enemies, loving their evil acts only helps your enemies do evil to you and to others and to spread their evil acts — however you define evil. By definition, to love truly, you must hate the evil acts of those you love to help them see the Good.

 
As is often true, the Ancients and the Medieval Scholastics were wiser than much of modern philosophy in their contemplations and so they intelligently left “love” out of their list of virtues to instead include Charity. Charity is considered a theological virtue because supposedly it cannot occur naturally, it is a gift from God in which a person sees God and other persons not as a means to an end — such as achieving meaning in one’s life — but simply as an end-in-itself. It is not a two-sided coin as is love and hate. Its absence is not uncharity or the state of being uncharitable but is simply its negation or absence — just as nothingness does not replace being as an state of existence but is simply nothing regardless of what Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, or their worshipers otherwise preach in their aesthetics.

 
Is Charity a meaningful concept existentially or in any pragmatic form or is it itself simply aesthetics? Is it used and useful only in the same way as the words “Pegasus”, “the Self”, “the Other”, or any of the other uncountable amount of words available for preachers of certain ethics and moralities to use to promote their self-centered images of how the world ought to be? Does it have pragmatic value for nihilism? Maybe. At a minimum, it gives us a word to use and is useful for pointing out the absurdity and the shallowness of the omnipresence of “love” in present society as another false god. Nihilists can do better than love.

Quantitatively Based Classes

In my book They Hate if You’re Clever and Despise a Fool, I argue social classes are an inevitable and necessary part of any society because class struggle is necessary for social progress. I end the book with proposed classes to be accepted consisting of 1) Patricians subdivided into true Patricians and Capitalists and their supporting intelligentsia; 2) Plebeians subdivided into petite bourgeoisie, wage slave proletariat, and intellectual proletariat; and 3) Lumpenproletaria. These classes are conceptually qualitative. Upon further reflection, I now understand this ending proposal to have been wrong. Recognizing qualitatively defined classes in practice only serves to tip the balance in favor of those with the power to define concepts and quality which are always the ruling classes and their Inner and Outer Party. Classes should be defined as best as possible numerically so it is evident to each person in what class they are and in what class they want to be. In addition, numerically defined classes will allow for explicit conceptualization of what obligations are owed to each class by the government and what obligations are owed to the government by each class. All language is vague including numeric language, but the vagueness can be dealt with much better through the use of quantitative rather than qualitatively defined social classes. Probably the best way to do this is by using property-based classes as was used by the Roman Republic.

 
I have dealt with this issue before when contemplating the use of standardized testing as a measure of education and for school admissions. The argument against standardized testing is that standardized testing favors the rich and the dominant culture because they have the resources to prepare for these tests and their culture defines the correct answers to these tests; further, qualitative methodology such as interviews and examination of life experience is argued supposedly to allow for creating and accepting diversity in a student body. This argument is nonsense in practice. In reality, all methodology favors the rich and the dominant culture regardless of whether it is standardized testing or supposed qualitative methodology. However, the advantage of standardized testing, especially for STEM subjects, is that the answers are the same for all classes and thus all are measured by the same standard. 2+2=4 for both the rich and the poor. If a poor person gets correct answers on a standardized test, they must be accepted as correct in the same way an upper class correct answer must be accepted on such test. This is not true of qualitative testing. What a hiring or admission committee wants to hear and the form in which they want to hear the answer to whatever nonsense questions they ask for diversity purposes is best known and usually known only by someone who has grown up in the upper class culture of the committee members since birth. Unlike math, such socialization is not something one can learn outside one’s social class; it is something one is born into and one grows up in and into. For these non-standardized examinations, 2+2 may in fact =5 when they want it to equal 5. One knows when 2+2=5 by growing up in the social class that decides when 2+2=5 not by learning it.

 
As is fairly well-known, the Roman Republic was divided up into three general classes consisting of Patricians, Plebeians, and Slaves. However, through their censuses, the Republic further divided these classes quantitatively. These subdivisions though varying at times generally consisted of: Senatores owing property value of > 1,000,000 sestertii; Equites > 400,000 sestertii; Plebeian commoners of the First Order >100,000; Second Order >75,000; Third Order >50,000; Fourth Order >25,000; Fifth Order >11,000; less than 11,000 and the landless poor were considered Proles and Proletarii. These classes were used to define the representatives each class got in the various assemblies of the Republic; the votes each of their representatives held in each assembly; and the number of electors each class received when it came time to vote for the patrician senators including the Tribune of the Plebs in the Senate and for any legislation passed by the Senate. These classes also decided the required contribution of each citizen to the Roman military. For example, the Equites were called such because they were required to provide horses and cavalry; the First Order Plebeians became the famous Triarii of the Roman Army of the Republic — the Latin expression equivalent to our “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” was “time to bring in the Triarii.” Even the Prols and Proletarii, as freemen, were expected to provide oarsmen for the war galleys. These economic-based classes and the class consciousness, struggle, and resilience they created transformed the failed and sacked Roman Kingdom from a tribe limited to the City of Rome and the surrounding hills to the Roman Republic conqueror of the Italian Peninsula in a hundred years and then of most of Europe and of the Mediterranean within the remaining 400 years of its life. As always occurs, the Patrician class eventually got too powerful, overcame the power of the other classes, and the Republic became the Empire — our future unless we wake up to it.

 
When creating such classes, we must make sure to count gross ownership of property and economic value not net ownership — that is, we must not subtract for debt. Being in debt runs the risk of eventual failure but at least it indicates one has hope in the future and hope in society — it links one’s success to the success of society and the reverse because society needs you to succeed and get its investment back at least and hopefully profit — again, there is hope there. Julius Caesar at the time of his rising to power was the wealthiest person in Rome but also the most indebted. He did this intentionally according to historians because both gave him power. His wealth gave him power directly. His debt gave him indirectly the full power of the wealth of his creditors because they all needed for him to succeed so as to profit. For the individual, having “f–k you” wealth is great but not for society. Debt is one of the ways a society builds the future and assures everyone is invested in that future and the reverse.

 
Not sure why I made this mistake in the book. I wrote the book more as a descriptive conceptual analysis of race and class than a normative suggestion of what they could be or should be which I do not like doing anyway. In the end, I prefer anarchy. In any anarchy, the natural class divisions based on wealth will develop on their own. The big problem is to get the power of the law away from trying to negate these natural class divisions — when the law gets involved, the end result is always the same: the Republic becomes the Empire and then its Fall.

Not Utopian But Heavenly

For when they rise from the dead, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven. … He is not the God of the dead but of the living.
— Mark 12:25, 27

One of the funnier aspects — or sad depending on your perspective — of the secular religions now running Western Civilization is their assumption — or hijacking depending on your perspective — of Christian dogma upon which to build the foundation for their social engineering. All presently popular Western social justice theory is Christianity without the Christ and usually without even the God aspect; one’s conclusions as to whether conceptually or pragmatically this makes sense is the perspective from which you would find this fact either funny, sad, assumption, or hijacking. One problem however is indisputable, it allows for the criticism that all present popular Western social justice theory is “utopian”, meaning it aims to achieve an idealistic, cosmically just perfect state that is really unattainable. This criticism is not entirely accurate, however, more importantly, it is not fair to Thomas Moore and his book Utopia. Neither Thomas Moore nor Utopia were idealistic moralists living in an academic or other ivory tower of power. Moore lived in a very practical world in which he was eventually martyred for his beliefs when he opposed Henry VIII’s creation of his own secular religion in opposition to Moore’s beloved Catholic Church. Utopia was actually a satirical but pragmatic critique of many Romantic notions of the 15th and 16th Century seeking to create societies we would now call utopian in which Moore proposed practical alternatives. For example, Utopia still had slavery but it was limited to criminals who had committed serious crimes who would forfeit the right to freedom protected by society. A better description of modern social justice theory would be “heavenly”; not only does it depend on Christian dogma for its foundation, it seeks to create a heaven on earth. A good example of this heavenly conceptualization at work is the present omnipresent disputes regarding “gender”.

 
The present argument for allowing all individuals to define their own gender is premised on “gender” being a social construct. Unfortunately, as much as opponents try to argue against this premise, the reality of language is that it is a social construct; what the disputes leave out however is the fact that all language and all words are social constructs. The meaning of all words is their use and usefulness. Saying gender is a social construct is in itself and should be seen as a fairly worthless statement; one can say the same thing for almost every word or sentence including numbers and mathematics. “2+2=4″ may be a social construct; this does not change the fact that if you are going to decide one day to mean “3″ by your first use of any “2″ in a sentence and thus make sense of “2+2=5″, you should probably check with others and get their approval before doing so or you will have a hard time surviving in even the most primitive of society.

 
Though it follows from modern philosophy of language that “gender” is a social construct, no one making the currently popular argument that gender is a social construct relies or, I doubt, has even read any philosophy of language to make this argument. Philosophy of language is very dense and difficult to read for the simple reason it is using language to contemplate language. What has actually happened is that feminists, secular humanists, and many others whose normative goal is elimination of what they see as a male dominated society have jumped on the concept of “social construct” as a means to that end: if we eliminate male and female and make all individuals equal genders there will be no supposed domination of the female gender by the male gender thus giving all individuals the freedom to be all they can be — except for the freedom of choosing a society with just two genders male and female which will be denied as a given. As always, the purveyors of an ethics and morality want to create a world in their image and use the necessary attribute of violence in all ethics and morality to achieve that creation. The end justifies the reasoning and not the other way around.

 
Conceptually, one must admit, it makes sense. Given the foreseeable power of Technological Society, if the creators of this image can harness that power, they might be able to get away with it: test tube babies, hormone drug therapies, surgery, psychiatric drugs, educational propaganda techniques, and so forth. A world of androgynous individuals living without any battles between the sexes and perhaps even without sex and thus without all of the trouble and misery such activity has caused past societies may be our future of peace? What would such a society look like?

 
Well, we actually have an image of what it would look like: heaven. Though angels — and even demons — can take either masculine or feminine form while doing whatever it is they are doing on earth, in the Christian biblical concept of angels (ignoring the Book of Mormon), they are sexless and genderless. If it is good enough for heaven, why not for this earth? A society made up of genderless happy angels not engaging in competitive battles between the sexes working for the common good in which each gives to society going to their ability and gets according to their need, sounds good in words. We should check the reality of heaven to see how it works out though.

 
According to biblical scholars and theologians, though genderless, heaven is not classless. It turns out the angels are divided into three spheres: the First Sphere made up of the famous and well-known Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; the Second Sphere made up of Dominions, Virtues, and Powers; and the Third Sphere containing the famous Archangels and just regular Angels. What do all these angels do? Worship God’s Will of course as God deems necessary with each having responsibility for various aspects of Creation; the higher the responsibility, the higher the Sphere. The job of the highest class of angels, the Seraphim, until ordered to do some task directly by God, is to circle God’s Throne continuously shouting: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” — Isaiah 6:1-7. (Sounds kinda like a CEO surrounded by an ass-kissing board of directors.) As I have always argued, there is no such thing as a classless society. Unfortunately, there is not much one can do to rebel against classes created by God — though I hear some angels gave it a shot anyway; good for them.

 
So, in addition to foundational dogma, the goals of post-modern social justice theory has assumed — or hijacked depending on your perspective — the Christian concept of heaven. Utopia was still on this earth though its ideas not of it in the classical Christian sense. Any verbiage that seeks a heaven on earth is not on this earth nor of it. We should respect the martyr Moore and stop using “utopian” to describe something that is really not satirical nor pragmatical but normative with a goal of creating a heaven on earth — something Moore wrote against in Utopia.

 
The goals of modern popular social justice theory especially in its post-modern form which lacks the sense of humor required for satire are not utopian but heavenly; they seek to make us all angels doing … ah … what? It cannot be to worship God’s Will, that is a big heresy in the dogma of this secular heaven. So, what is it? Is it perhaps to worship the wills of the gods of this secular heaven? As Orwell calls them, the will of the High of his 1984? I will leave the reader to contemplate this question with the guidance of Orwell.