It's hard to imagine a bigger pile of excrement than the concept of "progressive." It is used to describe "new" ideas, which to the young and other ingenues, seems like something possible. Let us correct that misconception immediately! There are "new" technologies, but they are variants on past technologies recombined in new ways; there are "new" events, but they repeat the patterns of history. No two events or technologies are identical, but their abstract forms are so similar it's silly to try to differentiate them. We have "new" ideas if we find new ways to express an eternal truth, like writing a new book or a symphony, but will we invent a "new" way of writing music? Not really, except in an academic sense, and with the untold billions of songs played through history, it's likely that our "new" idea was hit upon by someone else at random. Thus the idea of progress is foolish, because what is true will always be true, and one cannot find a higher form of truth through some "new" concept. But why is the idea of progressivism so favored? It allows couch-sitting idiots to sit back like fat kings on a throne they don't deserve and demand "new" ideas to solve problems that are only problems because of our disorganization and selfishness. As always with humanity, deny the elephant in the room and focus on the details, as it allows us to continue existing in our private universes, free from caring about reality. At least until pollution, war, disease, famine and discontent of our own making either wipes us out or breeds us into an elaborately complicated variant on the chimpanzee.
The root of all the West's problems, at least, is individualism. By this we mean putting the individual before all other factors of decision making. A common misconception of course is that by being an individualist, the person somehow gains a greater uniqueness or bravery in asserting their own beliefs (which they invent in order to assert them, in a parody of logic). Nothing could be further from the truth! The individualist has created a false god, a worship of self, which is like saying that in the world we will pay attention only to things that come in threes. There is more to the world than the individual, but we choose to focus on the individual instead of the whole; what could motivate this except fear? Fear that the individual does not measure up? Consider this: if herds of sheep united against their attackers, they would never lose a member. Instead, they panic as a group and determine their paths individually. It seems paradoxical, but the greatest herd-mind is that of the individualist, because they are afraid to embrace the world as a whole and do what is right, which actually takes bravery as it may require individual sacrifice, and it takes actual knowledge to know what is right. Interestingly, individualism requires neither of these, nor has ever produced a single viable solution through history. Bleat yourself into a corner; be an individualist.
Listen, I -- I don't know how to tell you this, but it's one of the most important things you can learn: there's a lot wrong in this world, but not with this world. The same nature that produced us and refined us to the degree that we can understand philosophy, architecture, art, science -- this is a wonderful gift from the void of the universe. The basic order of life is sound, benevolent, and godlike in its gifts. Humans may be screwing up, but from every error there is learning, and life will reward that which is true to eternal principles, because life is a higher order than humanity -- everything humans do is regulated by life, much as the weak among us would like to convince you otherwise!
Most people who get involved with any form of social critique give themselves over to a negativity that believes not only that things are wrong with society, but that humanity and by extension life itself is somehow broken. This is an error that assumes our current human society determines more than the passage of a few centuries, which to my mind is error. That which is well-designed will persist; that which is poorly designed may take long to perish, usually because it is parasitic, but eventually is relegated to a lesser role. Where is the Soviet Union today? Pol Pot? The Spanish Inquisition? All these things lived off the excess of others and when forced to make a way for themselves, could not: all they could do was react and parasitize, and they failed to create.
Creation is a positive sensation, although it involves destruction, but there is a form of destruction not only without hate but without love that is merely a practical matter. If love is in your heart when you conceive a design, but the design requires the removal of people or things, you destroy them without any emotional response because your emotions are reserved for the goal at large. You want to make something better, and all of the tasks leading to that betterment are blessed by a fullness of spirit, but it does not mean that one reacts to a necessary death any more than one reacts to the cleansing of a bathroom. Life has its ugly and its beautiful, but together they serve a more sedate kind of beauty, which is the eternal renewal of nature and the cosmic order.
I will not lie to you -- our society now is misbegotten, it is destructive, and it is a path to death. But it is only one force at play on the battlefield of life. You and what you do with your life are a force beyond society and its moral rule, and the instant you realize that society makes rules for itself only, you are liberated to see the whole picture. It is transient. That which is eternally true is not. If you joyfully labor according to the latter, and not the former, you will rise above the mess and become a force contributing to creativity. Most people, whether punkers or metalheads or bitter bartalk liberals, get immersed in the negativity and use it as a shield, justifying their own lack of accomplishment (whether in a social sense -- $$$ -- or not). There's more that you and the other people who are not drawn into this mess can accomplish.
Negativity as an emotion will corrupt and poison everything it touches, much as decay spreads from rotting corpse to dry wood in a coffin. It is an error because it is an emotional reaction to the world as a whole in a binary sense, such as "Either I'll like it or hate it, but either way, I'll have some clear-cut indisputable way to explain my position in it." Undermen are those who are consumed by negativity, although they are specifically those who use popularity as a tool of revenge against reality and natural selection. There are those who claim to be on the opposite side but are actually in the service of negativity, and if you question them, you will find they lack any intent of making things better. They want to complain and if given a chance, to slit throats and help themselves to the riches. Your average neo-Nazi and Democrat are the same in this sense, because they are propelled by this desire for revenge. All of this originates in an underconfidence that can only be assuaged by some statement that sounds like the word of God, e.g. "The world is evil and I must destroy it" or "The world is good and I must submit to it." What is the world, in that view? -- They are confusing the world with the social world, and forgetting that the social world is a phantasm of our own minds, untested against nature on the scale of thousands of years which will prove its fitness.
No matter how much the world appears to you to be horrible, to suck, to be beyond redemption, look at the facts: the error is in human society and in particular, this type of human society; it is not this period in history itself, but the fact that during this time of history, we have opted for this type of society, this type of philosophy, this type of fundamental motivation. All of our errors can be cured in the mind. The first step to this is purging oneself from good and evil, positivity and negativity, holy and profane... removing all arbitrary distinctions that allow us to classify the whole without looking simply at the task. When one looks at the whole picture, often what is good is revealed as evil, and likewise -- therefore it makes less sense to do that than it does to think of a design we desire, and work toward it with a subtle positivity and love in our hearts, but no emotion in our fulfilling of its tasks. This is the path beyond negativity, self-hatred, underconfidence and other useless time-wasters that vitiate most people on earth and turn them into useless slaves to bitterness.
March 4, 2005