Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Self-Refuting Nature Of Political Correctness

The main premise of political correctness is that nobody can state anything that may be offensive to anyone else.

By that standard political correctness is self-refuting. If someone thinks that I am a racist or a misogynist or anything of the sort, then no, I do not want to hear that; such opinions offend me.

I know what a racist is, and I know what a misogynist is. And I know most certainly that I am neither. I refuse to be the whipping boy for the supporters of an evil party line. They can fight the white supremacists themselves. They do not need me or anyone else to support them in it.

In the current conflict in Charlottesville, I do not take sides. I would normally of course side with the counter-protestors, but having seen the behavior of people who claim such associations on the Internet and elsewhere I am not making that choice. In both cases we see fascism, and in both cases we see absolutely vicious behavior. When two jerks are beating up one another, the solution is not to side with either jerk. The solution is to allow them to keep beating up one another and be glad that they are not pounding at you for a change.

I have dealt with both sets of jerks. And both very much are jerks. They keep attacking me because they see one another in me, and now they can see one another in one another. So I am doing the reasonable thing. I am getting out of the way. Pound one another to your heart's content and leave me out of the fray.

Holocaust, Black Slavery And Hypersensitivity

Someone once posted a picture in which there was a photograph of the Holocaust with sign “Never Forget,” a photograph of 9-11 with sign “Never Forget,” and a photograph of slavery with sign “Get Over It.”

The Holocaust card has been over-played. It was over 70 years ago, and most people who were a part of it are now dead. Using the Holocaust to excuse such things as Israel's policy toward its neighbors has discredited the real wrongs that the Jews suffered under the Holocaust. So now we see many people claiming that Holocaust is some kind of a hoax perpetrated by Jewish media. All completely wrong; the Soviet media was not Jewish and it carried extensive accounts of the Holocaust as well as the Nazi invasion into Soviet Union that cost 20 million Soviet lives.

However if you over-rely on victimhood, eventually people will get sick of it and ask such things as “Well what are you now doing to improve your lot in life?”

Concerning the black people, the correct response is that equality means accountability. Most of their leaders are not victims of anything and live posh lives. They treat their own black people terribly. This is not the fault of the white man. This is the fault of these people themselves. It is necessary to confront them on their behavior.

Now some people would see the criticism of any black person as being racist; but that is a complete misinterpretation of the concept of racism. A racist is someone who thinks that one race is better than another. I am saying no such thing. I am saying that with equality comes accountability. And a person who is actually not a racist will just as readily confront black people who are doing wrong things as he would confront white people who are doing wrong things.

One trend that I have seen recently in Northern Virginia is integrated gangs. The white people who appeared to be from the country were hanging out with people who looked like gangsters. These types of white people appear to have more in common with inner city residents than do the white liberals who embrace political correctness. Both sets are very masculine and not necessarily in favor of education. Washington Times called the inner city blacks “black rednecks” and said that they got their culture from Southern whites. So we have the paradox of the white city liberals being prevailed upon to be hyper-sensitive while people who in many cases have genuinely racist attitudes are hanging out with inner city African Americans.

Hypersensitivity is not what the leaders of Civil Rights movement were after. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Relying on historical victimization to practice asinine behavior oneself does not achieve good character. It is a cop-out and a blame game. Whatever someone's grandfather did to your grandfather, you have the ability to choose something else.

Should black slavery be remembered? I would say that it is important to remember every significant event. Slavery should be remembered; but so should achievements by black people. There have been any number of black people who have done impressive things. I would like to see more mention of Toussant L'Overture, George Washington Carver, Richard Wright, Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, and any number of others. Black people do not need to rely for identity on a sense of victimization. They should rely for identity on great things that black people themselves have achieved.

I have any number of good friends who are black, and in no way do I treat them as anything less than myself. I want to see black people fix what is wrong in their culture. Do by all means remember slavery, but do not remember it only. Remember also the achievements done by black people. And then do more to encourage your own children toward similar accomplishments.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Anglo-Saxon Culture And Feelings

One debate that keeps going on is about the merits and flaws of the Anglo-Saxon culture. It is a debate that is very much worth having.

Most cultures have things right with them and things wrong with them. In the Anglo-Saxon culture, the biggest enduring problem appears to be emotional violence. They take a low view of feelings; so then they do bad things with feelings and bad things to people who are feeling-oriented. This will always alienate the feeling-oriented people, especially the artists; and I do not see that changing for as long as this remains to be the case.

Now there are many things that are right with the Anglo-Saxon culture. The stress on will, work, intelligence, ethics and character is a rightful one, and it has lead to many impressive accomplishments. However if they continue to denigrate things such as feelings, that will always result in the artistic type rebelling against them. This is in no way accidental. This is a direct consequence of these traits.

In Russian and Jewish cultures, there are also stresses on things such as work and intelligence. However these cultures do not militate against feelings. For this reason the artistic types in the West often look to Russia for guidance. Sometimes it works for the better, as when they bring into the West the great artistic and literary legacy of Russia. There are other times when, as when they bring into the West Russia's stupid ideas on politics, it works for the worse.

A culture that militates against feelings will therefore always alienate feeling-oriented people. And it is for this reason that the artistic types in the Anglo-Saxon culture tend to become rebels, whereas say in Greece or in France many are not. The correct solution to that is to change this state of affairs so that feelings are not being denigrated. This being done, the feeling-oriented people will no longer rebel against the Anglo-Saxon culture. And instead of becoming alienated, these people will become patriots and contributors using what they have to offer to improve the countries in which they live.

The Germans' Unfriendliness Problem

For a number of years I lived on the Magnetic Island near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. There were many young tourists there from Germany. I noticed that they were smart, articulate and in excellent physical shape; but they did not appear friendly to me.

There were also young people there from Sweden and Netherlands. They had the positive qualities that the Germans had, but they were also friendly.

German culture appears to demand a lot of people. But one thing that it does not appear to demand is being a kind person. The result is people who have many impressive traits, but who are not all that good to other people.

Of course the Germans and the Jews have a very long and ugly history. I however bear German people no ill will. I want to see every place in the world fix its problems and improve. In case of the German culture, it appears to be this unfriendliness that is their greatest problem. That is off-putting to other people and gets German people accused of being arrogant and mean-spirited.

Maybe they are of the opinion that anyone who does not demand of himself what they demand of themselves is a lower form of life. However with any number of others – including the Swedes and the Dutch – I have seen people demanding a lot of themselves as well without being unfriendly. Most of the women with whom I had romantic relationships demanded a lot of themselves. However they also put in significant effort into reaching out to others and being good to others. That was even the case with all sorts of people who bore them ill will.

If the Germans are of the opinion that demanding a lot of themselves justifies them in being bad to other people, then the Swedes and the Dutch are a repudiation of that claim. They likewise are smart, articulate and in excellent physical shape; but they encourage being good to others. I suppose the Germans' unfriendliness problem is matched by the Russians and the French. And in all cases this attitude works against them. People all over the world hate the French, and many continue equating Germans with their conduct seven decades ago even though by now the Germans should have acquired a better reputation based on their more recent acts.

I have heard it said by an American who has traveled extensively in Germany that German men are assholes. I do not know if all of them are, but I have known some who definitely were just that. There was a German-descended man who would make his wife spend six hours a day cleaning their huge house and then come at her with fists if she left a speck of dust on the floor. There was another who told his daughter's boyfriend that it was OK to hit her. This kind of behavior does not lead to positive repute for German people.

Germans of course have many impressive accomplishments in their history. The recent trend toward Nazism and suchlike is completely misguided. Germany has many real achievements to look back to, and ones that are being achieved now. The German people do not need to look back to the worst time in their history. As for the Americans who have become a part of the trend, the correct response is to see them as traitors. Their grandparents died fighting the Nazis. In joining things such as Nazism, they are betraying their country. One cannot claim to be an American patriot or anything of the sort if he is supporting an ideology that his grandparents died fighting.

So if the German people want to improve their reputation, they will do more to encourage friendly behavior. Once again, there is nothing contradictory between such a thing and demanding a lot of oneself. Jesus Christ was greater than anyone in Germany or anywhere else, but He did not behave in an arrogant or off-putting manner. It is possible both to nurture excellence and kind behavior. And in this the Germans have things to learn from the Swedes and the Dutch.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Integrity, Bigotry And Cross-Cultural Flux

In my generation, the biggest problem has been that people are exposed to all sorts of conflicting influences. This results in all sorts of people having a mess in their heads.

A woman whom I once cared for, Michele W., had education in science; but she also had all sorts of spiritual experiences. This resulted in her going back and forth between her conflicting influences. In some cases this worked for the better. She was availed of all sorts of different perspectives. The result was that she was able to produce some of the most beautiful writing I've ever seen.

In my case, I've explored all sorts of paths. Most of them had something of value to teach me. I came up with all sorts of thoughts on all sorts of subjects, and I've applied concepts from different places in different pursuits to arrive at original insight on different matters.

The task of my generation appears to be to make sense of all these conflicting influences. Scott Lasch said that my generation was “at sea.” There is a reason for this. The reason for this is democracy. In a democracy, everyone will be influencing everyone else. What most people will do is avail themselves of other influences; then they will come back to their roots and use what they've learned elsewhere to empower their roots. So, for example, I have seen in Australia a man coming from Jehovah's Witnesses getting together with a New Age girlfriend, then taking what he has learned from her home to his mother and having that knowledge used to empower Jehovah's Witnesses.

In such a climate, very few people would have what one would call integrity. If integrity means acting as a single unit, then people with conflicting influences would find such a thing hard to come by. They will however have more knowledge. This knowledge could get used for all sorts of different things. And from what I have seen, the most lasting outcome is, once again, people learning things from other influences and then taking their knowledge home.

Sometimes the influences will be for the better. Sometimes they will be for the worse. We see men from Middle East coming to places like Oslo and Sydney and teaching young men in bad neighborhoods to be even worse to women than they had been before. Sometimes people will leave their roots and go with other influences. Sometimes people will influence their roots to change their ways. I come from Jewish atheists, but I have converted to Christianity, and some members of my family have made the same decision.

In such a climate, very few people will get away with bigoted beliefs. That is the case whether the bigotry is of religious nature or of materialist nature. Everyone is influencing everyone else. In such a situation everyone has to think. And in such a situation the opinions that do form will be of superior nature than ones with which one has started.

Some people will not be able to handle this state of affairs. We are seeing some of this in the recent events in Charlottesville, where I attended university. When I was at UVA, my roommate was a Rush Limbaugh Republican, and I got to hear it quite a lot from his side. I also got to hear it from the 1990s feminists. Neither set of opinions appealed to me; but boy did I get to hear them.

I once heard it said on the Internet that one does not find out about other people by killing them but by living among them. I most certainly lived among all sorts of people. And in some cases, it is by finding out about the other people that one decides to go on a killing rampage. Not all of the Trump people are simply ignorant louts. Some appear to have a knowledge of what they are talking about. They decided that some people are living a lifestyle that is incompatible with their values, and they want to tear them to shreds.

The negative outcome of this state of affairs is confusion. The positive outcome of this state of affairs is people learning about other perspectives and using them to supplement their own. In the process everyone grows, except of course when they are killing one another.

This works also for the politically correct. For decades they have been throwing around terms such as “racist,” “misogynist” and “sociopath” on all sorts of people who weren't; so now they are being met with real ones of the above. I am not taking sides in this battle. Certainly if one party resorts to violence that should be contained by law enforcement. However I do not see either one as being better or worse than the other. Whether you preach tolerance but practice intolerance, or whether you both preach and practice intolerance, you are equal in my eyes.

Of course a major concept toward that effect is the dialectic. We are seeing all sorts of dialectics going on all around us, and there is absolutely nothing guaranteed about it working out for any kind of a positive synthesis of the forces. One immediate result is people beating the crap out of one another. Another result is people influencing one another for all sorts of negative outcomes. And then of course there is the constant possibility for an ongoing conflict with no resolution.

In such a situation, people very much do get to find out about one another. And then they decide whether to live with one another or to tear one another to shreds. We are seeing the possibility for both outcomes as well as any number of others. Not everyone who is choosing to be intolerant is a bigot. Some of them have educated reasons for being intolerant. They have learned from all sorts of others, and they are using this knowledge to empower their roots.

God And Reasons

God will want us to do all sorts of different things. Sometimes God will tell you the reason, and sometimes God won't tell you the reason.

You end up finding the reason later.

In some cases, you will not understand the reason. In other cases, you will not agree with the reason. But in all cases you will end up finding out later that the reason was right.

Our worldviews are in some ways compatible with the truth and in other ways not compatible with the truth. According to our worlviews, God can sometimes be a part of it and sometimes not so. Some of what God tells us may be in contradiction to what we believe to be logical or rational. Some of what God tells us may be in contradiction to our values. But in all cases God's reasoning is superior to our reasoning, and we stand to benefit greatly from trusting to His wisdom.

If our worldview tells us that all that is real is material world, then God's logic may be incompatible with our own. If our values tells us that something is right that is in fact wrong, then God's ways may strike us as being wrong. But we end up finding out later that in both cases God is right.

Sometimes God's ways may strike us as being crazy or ethically wrong. However they appear to have a greater wisdom and greater principle than what we learn elsewhere. We end up finding out the reason later, and it is a more profound reason than anything that we may expect.

It is for this reason that faith results in greater understanding than either logic or the world's wisdom. Faith is reliance on a wisdom greater than ours. Anything else stands to be used for wrong things. But faith cannot be used for wrong things. Allowing God to guide us leads us to wiser acts than anything that we can learn elsewhere. And unlike intelligence, logic, common sense, wisdom or anything else under the Sun, faith cannot be used for wrong. We are allowing a being with a wisdom greater than ours to guide us. The wisdom and the knowledge belongs with that entity. We are availed of this wisdom when we are ready to receive it; and until then this wisdom guides us.

For this reason faith is a more reliable path than any other. We rely on the wisdom of an entity wiser and better than are we. Sometimes we are availed of the reasons, and sometimes we are not availed of the reasons. Once again, understanding the reason come later, when we are ready to receive it. And it is in doing this that we are actually lead to wise conduct, whether or not we possess the same wisdom at the time that we are doing the acts.

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Last Word On Feminism

My family is asking me to shut up about feminism; so I will. But I will not do so before stating my parting thoughts on the subject.

In dealing with things such as incest and domestic violence, the correct argument is not toward gender equality. Many people do not believe in such a thing. Instead it is about abuse of power, which is a concept to which just about anyone can relate. The concept of abuse of power has been formative to the world as we know it. Seeing abuses of power by European monarchies, the founders of America implemented a government of checks and balances accountable to the people. This concept, unlike most of what has come from feminism, has been highly successful; and it is a concept to which just about everyone – liberal, conservative or else – can relate.

Two other conservative concepts that can be useful in this are those of family values and character. Family values means treating one's family right. And character means controlling what you are doing with your mouth, your fists and your other body parts. Once again, most conservatives will not relate to the concept of gender equality or non-violence. They will however relate to these concepts.

Now much of what came from feminism has in fact been correct. Much of the rest has not been, and it is largely the opinions of women – and not stupid or weak ones either – that shaped my views on the subject. I have been told by any number of successful, intelligent women that feminism has gone too far. I have been told by a successful woman from Russia that American feminists are “abnormal” and “want a penis.” I have been told by a feminist graduate student that in “traditional” societies women actually had more power than they do now, as they were in control of reproduction and sex and that women now are under control of “male-dominated business culture.” And then of course there is Ayn Rand, who was in no way stupid or weak, stating that the matriarch is an unnatural creature.

These views do not come from me, and they do not come from “the patriarchy.” They come from strong, intelligent women. Now many women in feminism think that they are strong and intelligent; but they could not possibly be stronger or more intelligent than Russian women. One way to correct in-bred errors is through introducing things from abroad that refute these errors. And the more Russian women go into places such as America, the more they stand to correct this wrongful point of view.

Now I most certainly do not want to see a hidebound patriarchy. But neither do I want to see a mean-spirited matriarchy. And this is what we see from many people involved in this movement. When Julia Mancuso, a champion skier, wore a tiara, she was attacked by other women in the race. Yet she won the race and they didn't. Here was a woman who beat tomboys at their own game while remaining a woman. Many women stand to learn from women like her.

The feminists have put women in a race in which they can only be second, while denying them the place in which they are first. So what do we see but a movement in the opposite direction. Many young women have had it with bullying by matriarchial older women; so they have gone to patriarchial young people like Eminem. I do not foresee these men being better to women than the matriarchs. However I do not see them being worse to them than feminists have been to women who are kind and beautiful.

In female-run establishments, the culture has mostly been terrible. The better qualities in women – such as intelligence, beauty and willingness to work hard – get attacked rather than rewarded. A woman stands more to gain from being with a patriarchial man than from being in such an establishment. And yes, we are seeing a flux in the opposite direction. Many women have had it with this state of affairs and are willingly choosing to be with dominating men.

If women really want economic and social equality, they will need to understand the meaning of the concept. The life of men is not exactly peaches and cream. They will need to endure market competition. They will need to deal with all sorts of assholes. In some cases they will need to go to war.

Some of these women claim that they are leaders of women. Who on earth voted for them to do so? How dare they claim leadership of 50% of humanity? This is a vast and illegitimate power grab. And they are using this power in the way that is just as totalitarian and oppressive as anything that was done by the self-proclaimed leaders of the proletariat. Any opinion that is not a part of their party line comes under vicious attack. This is the case regardless of whether it comes from women or from men.

The Southern women have a much better idea. They do not challenge their men's leadership. So their men love them and take care of them. They let the men think that they are running the show, while in fact they are running the show themselves. And it appears that these women are much happier with life than most women in feminist cultures.

Now I most certainly do not want my daughter to wind up a punching bag for some jerk. But neither do I want to see her abused by feminists for being kind and pretty. She is good at both boy stuff and girl stuff, and she has been a fashion princess since she was 3. I did not teach her to do that. When I was a child, I was not into any such things. These were her own propensities, and one that I neither attempted to encourage or to discourage.

The ones who attack things such as romantic love do not know what they are talking about. Romanticism is in fact a natural successor to rationalism of any kind. The mind has contempt for such things as nature and feeling until it has studied them enough to see in them a logic more profound than anything that it itself has been able to invent. At which point contempt gives way to respect and even awe. And the lack of such respect is a mark of either inadequate knowledge or inadequate cognition.

What is the natural successor to romanticism? It appears to be a belief in God. With the existence of spiritual forces, the concept of God becomes more credible. Now Christian religion does in fact give men the authority; but it also commands them to use it rightfully. A man who comes at his wife with fists because she left a speck of dust on the floor is not using authority rightfully. A man who becomes a batterer after his wife refuses to abort their child is not using authority rightfully. A man who puts his fingers up the vagina of a one-year-old child is not using authority rightfully. These things should not be confronted as part of a gender war. They should be confronted because they are abuses of power.

So this is where I leave this issue. The legitimate parts of feminist movement should use arguments that are not what only they believe, but what other people believe as well. Confront abuses of power, and appeal to values such as family values and character to fight abuses. But do not dare claim that you speak for 50% of humanity and that nobody else does. And see what you do with the influx of Russian women. They will show you what strength and intelligence actually means.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Uses And Abuses Of Logic

Logic is a useful method, but it is just what it is – a method. It is a process of investigating and explaining the universe. It is not a worldview.

Unfortunately there are any number of people out there who have turned it into a worldview. The worst of these are people who think that it is illogical to have religious beliefs or that it is illogical to have feelings. This has lead these people to practice a very real form of bigotry that is in no way consistent with the meaning and definition of logic.

Probably the worst behavior that I have seen in such people is that of predation upon their partners. A man would be of the belief that women are irrational because they have feelings. So the man would make one or another poisonous statement; this would bring on an emotional response; and he would walk away claiming that the woman is irrational.

This kind of predatory behavior discredits logic itself.

Should logic be learned and practiced? By all means. But it should not be used as a tool of predation, and it should not be something that leads to bigotry. No, it is not irrational to believe in God. No, it is not irrational to fall in love with someone. The idea that such things are irrational are a result of inadequate understanding on the part of the people who have this idea. In both cases what we find is not logic but abuses of logic. Logic itself should not be blamed for it. The people who use logic for things of this sort should.

As in many cases, distinction needs to be made between a value and the misuses of the value. Logic itself is a valuable and important tool. But that is what it is – a tool. And tools are what you are using them for. By all means use logic to investigate the universe and make sense of things. But do not use it to prey on your partner, and do not use it to justify a bigoted worldview.

I have known any number of people who excelled at logic who had very real spiritual experiences or were very sincere believers in Christ. These included distinguished scientists, successful entrepreneurs, highly educated professionals. My mathematics teacher, who excelled at logic, told me that there is nothing incompatible between science and the existence of God. I know another man who wrote a book about how the theorems of contemporary science are consistent with the existence of God. These people weren't stupid, they weren't crazy and they weren't on drugs. They were better at logic than most skeptics.

Once again, logic is a tool. Tools are neither good nor bad; they are what they are used for. If you are using logic for rightful things, then more power to you. If you are using it for wrongful things, then it is important that such a thing be confronted. Use the logic to investigate the world. Do not use it to become an abuser or a bigot. Doing the latter discredits logic and feeds irrationality. And that has bad consequences for the world – consequences that stand to be averted if logic is used responsibly.

Against Marxism; For Clean Energy

On the Internet I have been seeing Marxist rhetoric about the workers controlling the means of production and about the propertied classes exploiting the workers.

I know a number of businessmen. Most of them came from humble backgrounds and worked hard and struggled to get where they were. They did not come from “propertied classes”; they came from nothing. They were not born with what they had. They had to work at it.

In America, we see a phenomenon inverting the claims of Marx. Marxism appears to carry its greatest appeal to university students from middle-income and upper-income backgrounds. Whereas conservatism appears to carry its greatest appeal to people coming from humble backgrounds. Seeing this, Ronald Reagan inverted the Marxist rhetoric. He stated instead that “liberal government” and “liberal academia” were dictating to American people an order that was against their values. This was a brilliant political move, and Reagan became a very powerful president.

In fact it is most likely that business world would discriminate against the high-born. It is likely to see them as not being willing to work hard and expecting everything to be given to them. It would instead look for workers among the people from lower income backgrounds who know what it is like to struggle and to work hard.

This makes people from higher-born backgrounds less, not more, competitive in the business world. However that does not render them useless. There are all sorts of things that these people can do that needs to be done. There is a need for science and education. There is a need for creating a culture worthy of being called a culture. There is a need for priestry and spiritual knowledge.

I have of course heard it from all sides. I come from a complex background that had many different influences. I was born in the Soviet Union; moved with my family to America at age 12; and while in America lived a variety of lifestyles and had a variety of education and jobs. I have dealt with any number of people in positions of wealth or influence, and I have dealt with any number of people who were in humble situations. A negative result of this was having a mess in my head that it has taken me lots of work to resolve. Positive results of this included understanding the perspective of many different kinds of people and having all sorts of input that I otherwise would not have had.

What I found with businessmen is that they were not part of a class. Once again, most of them came from humble backgrounds and got where they were through their own efforts. Many of them actually worked harder than their workers; and even those who did not once had.

Reagan was also wrong in a number of ways. He was completely wrong about education. When the higher education is unaffordable and the primary education system is weak, people lack the knowledge that they need to make informed political and personal decisions. He was dead wrong about the environment. We have not created nature and cannot re-create nature; and it is wrong to blindly plunder what you have not created and cannot re-create. He was however absolutely correct to affirm entrepreneurship and economic opportunity, and he was also correct to oppose Marxism.

The idea of propertied classes exploiting working classes is credible in places with rigid class lines. It is much less credible in places where someone can come from nothing and become a successful entrepreneur. Once again, I have known a number of such people. None of them struck me as greedy, and none of them struck me as exploitative. When I worked in computer industry I was being paid right and I was being treated right. I grew to respect a number of these people.

Should workers be treated well? Yes they should. The inspiration from that however should not come from Marx. It should come from the Bible. You treat others the way that you want to be treated. You are good to people regardless of their background. And if you are getting something of benefit out of your interaction with someone, then you are obligated to treat them rightfully whatever you believe their character to be.

The last of this, of course, has applications in personal relationships as much as it does in economic and political issues.

Marxism, in itself, is ridiculous. There is no such thing as historical inevitability. History is not driven by dialectics but by people's choices, and even in the situation of the dialectic there is nothing at all inevitable about it working out for the better. It can work out in any number of possible ways. The businessman is not a thief, he is someone who gets things done. And the idea of class struggles and history being driven by such a thing may have been credible in 19th century Europe, but it is not at all credible in much of the rest of the world. Some places do not have anything such as classes. In other places, such as America, there is – or at least there is supposed to be – social mobility, in which someone can come from nothing and become a successful entrepreneur.

When one creates a false god, that god will turn against him. If you deify “the people,” you will be confronted with the worst from the people whom you have deified. They will be guaranteed to be on their worst behavior and will most likely lynch you. We saw this with Stalin and Mao. This was not an aberration. It is a logical outcome of the beliefs that they had espoused. People – all people – are capable of both righteous and non-righteous behavior. The people not in positions of power are not necessarily better than people in positions of power. The first can mean anything from Joan of Arc to the Westboro Baptists. The second can mean anything from Theodore Roosevelt to Genghis Khan.

Is it rightful to insist that business be good to workers? Yes it is. It is not rightful at all however that this be done according to beliefs that are transparently wrong. You do not deify “the people” or their claimed representatives. You do not adopt an obviously wrong concept of history or its future. You do not discredit yourself by adopting a transparently wrong ideology.

There is in fact a way to correctly address and attain the legitimate aspirations of people who are attracted to Marxism. Converting to better energy technologies will create a large field that will hire both the brawn and the brains. The people who have been dislocated by flight of manufacturing jobs to places like Mexico and technical jobs to places like India stand to be hired in large numbers to put into place better technological solutions. And this will create a significant field in which such people can work and be constructive citizens while remaining true to their rightful values.

This then becomes the best solution to the mess that we are now facing. Put into place a large-scale conversion toward better technologies, hiring both the laborers and the techies. To me, it matters absolutely nothing to which extent this is done by business or by government, for as long as it is done.

The computer jobs are gone to India, and they are gone forever. So are the jobs that have gone to China and Mexico. However converting to better energy technologies will create millions of jobs in both sectors and put to work the parts of America that have been dislocated by job flight abroad.

If you are attracted to Marxism for legitimate reasons – as opposed to wrongful reasons – then this is the solution on which you need to be working. Create a big field that will hire both the brawn and the brains of the country. Put all these people to work doing something that's actually beneficial. That will do much more to benefit the worker than would Marxist agitation. And that will give people who are attracted to things such as Marxism a better reputation even as it will be a way for them to constructively apply their rightful values.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

True And False Paths To Personal Goodness

There are a number of possible ways to become a better person. Probably the most useful one is that of learning from people who are good. Of these there appear to be two kinds. One is the people who have always been good people. The other is the people who became good even though they did not start out that way.

Much can be learned from observing both kinds of people. But the person who will be able to explain to you the process the best is the second kind. That is because such a person has had to learn it consciously rather than unconsciously or being born with it. A person who's had to learn something consciously will understand it better than someone whose learning has been unconscious. As a non-native English speaker I am often praised for my command of the English language. That is because, as a non-native English speaker, I have had to learn English consciously; and doing that with anything will give you an understanding of the subject.

Now there are many paths claiming to offer a way to becoming a better person, and most of these paths are dead-ends or worse. I will examine some of these paths here.

One path not to take is self-esteem psychology. As a woman from World War II generation once told me, self-esteem used to be called conceit. Now there are situations in which encouraging self-esteem is rightful, such as in situations in which someone keeps getting exploited. However to claim that self-esteem makes good people is obviously wrong. The way that I treat the next person is not based on how I feel about myself; it is based on how I feel about the next person. Indeed a strong case can be made that it works in the opposite direction. If you have higher standards for yourself, you will find it more difficult to feel good about yourself than if you have lower standards for yourself. Rewarding self-esteem does not reward personal good; it rewards low standards.

Another path not to take is deciding that everything that happens to you is a reflection of what's in your consciousness. This path creates complete jerks. If anything bad happens to you, whether or not it is your fault, you get blamed for it. Now it is valid to see where one can make more informed choices. It is not valid at all to think that, if I were to kill you, it is your fault rather than mine. A person who believes such a thing will be a fair-weather friend who supports you when you are up then kicks you when you are down. That does not create better people; it creates worse people.

A related path not to take is “positive thinking.” Being positive may make you attractive to people, but ultimately it creates more problems than it solves. You think positive, you fail to anticipate problems, you do foolish things. An engineer who thinks positive will create equipment that will blow up on use. A policy maker who thinks positive will formulate policies that cause more problems than they solve. A woman who thinks positive will fall for the line of a player and wind up in a bad situation.

Yet another path not to take is Freudian, or Adlerian, or personality, psychology. Freud and Adler did not become better people as a result of the beliefs that they preached; they became worse people as a result of the beliefs that they preached. With personality psychology, what we really see is a psychology of personal disfigurement. We are also seeing fascism. In the concept of the criminal personality they have re-created the Orwellian concept of crimethink, and with it a totalitarianism so absolute that people are not allowed to be free from it even within the privacy of their minds. With the concept of narcissism they have pathologized most of the world's greatest contributors. And with the concept of adequacy and adequacy striving they have pathologized everything that has taken humanity from caveman to man on the moon. No human being is an adequate match for a tiger, nor should he strive to be an adequate match for a tiger. He outdoes the tiger using superior methodology and in so doing advances the lot of humankind.

With Islam, we see the exact same problem as we do with Freud and with Adler. Mohammad, as a result of inventing Islam, went from being a good person to being a bad person. He started out as an honest, intelligent, truth-seeking person; he became a tyrant and a pedophile. Whereas Paul, as a result of following Christ, went from being a bad person to being a good person. He knew that he was a sinner. Understanding this – and being able with the help of Christ to get from point A to point B – allowed him the insight that he needed to become one of the most brilliant moral teachers of all time.

Still another path not to take is political correctness. Political correctness does not create tolerant people; it creates people who are insincere. For me to actually know whether or not to tolerate or respect the next person I need to understand their perspective. This requires for them to be able to express their honest opinions, however offensive these may be. If people cannot express their honest opinions out of the fear that it may offend someone, I will never know their actual perspective, which means that I will not know whether or not to extend to them tolerance or respect.

Yet another path not to take is unconditional conformity to whatever is around you. Different places have different ways, and most are good in some ways and bad in others. You need to use your mind to figure out when people around you are doing the right thing and when people around you are doing the wrong thing. Then it is possible to make an informed choice: To support them in what they are doing right and oppose them in what they are doing wrong. Doing this makes you a positive influence on the people around you. You adopt what they are doing that is right and change what they are doing that is wrong.

Another path not to take is the belief that you can never be angry or that you can never be negative. There are times when anger is the correct response. As for being “negative,” sometimes you do have to say things that are negative. If a nuclear reactor blows up, you have to tell people what has actually happened. Doing anything else is not enlightenment, it is lying.

Beliefs are correctly judged by their effect on the character of the participants, and that means especially their transformative effects. If someone as a result of adopting a belief system becomes a better person, that speaks for the belief system. If someone as a result of adopting a belief system becomes a worse person, that then speaks against it. We see an example of the first in Paul. We see an example of the second in Mohammed.

With Buddhism, it appears that it does in fact succeed in creating good people. However I have known bad people in Buddhism as well. Probably the best thing about Buddhism is that it has created viable paths that people can take regardless of their religion. It is possible to practice Zen meditation, which has been scientifically shown to make people happier, even if one is a Christian.

So if one wants to figure out how to actually become a good person, the correct solution is both to observe people who are good people and also listening to what they have done to become that way. Once again, the people who will be able to do the best job of the second are the people who went from being not good people to being good people. With people who have always been good people, simply observe. With people who got from Point A to Point B, both observe them and listen to them.

Meaning Of Being A Good Person

One of my lifelong quests has been to find out the meaning of what it is to be a good person.

What does a good person do? A good person leaves the world a better place than what he has found. He also is a boon to other people and to the world.

In economics and politics, this means maximizing creative potentials and minimizing destructive potentials. It means allowing people a better existence without destroying what you have not created and cannot recreate. It means using technologies that are brain-intensive and not resource-intensive and it also means maximizing opportunity and prosperity while minimizing damage.

In interpersonal interactions, this means doing what's right by other people. That can take any number of possible forms. Sometimes you need to encourage people or support people. Sometimes you need to teach people. Sometimes you need to correct people when they are doing something wrong. You need to learn how to do all of the above and have the correct judgment to know what you need to do in any given situation.

Socially, this means achieving covenants that are workable, happy and fair. It means looking at how the social universe can be the best place that it can be. It means supporting people's legitimate aspirations and providing a framework in which such can be met in a way that is also beneficial for others. It means figuring out how human relations can be arranged in an optimal manner that works for everyone involved.

In ethics, this means demanding of oneself a rightful behavior. It means making a commitment toward righteous conduct. It means caring about other people and seeking their best interests without participating in whatever errors they practice. It means seeing through any possible form of wrongfulness and instead seeking righteousness in all ways.

In intellect, this means having adequate knowledge of the world so that one can understand the consequences of his actions. It means informing yourself enough about the world to know what actions have what effects. And it means making a commitment toward actions whose effects are rightful and beneficial.

In feelings, this means maximizing feelings that are beneficial and minimizing ones that aren't. It means growing good feelings such as compassion and kindness and reducing the influence of feelings that are unrightful. It does not mean never being angry or being negative, but rather only being angry for rightful things and using negative hunches to see problems enough to solve them rather than to create problems. If negative feelings arise, the solution is to see whether or not they are legitimate. If they point to a real problem, the correct solution is to solve the problem. If all that they are doing is whining, then the correct response is to tell them to shut up.

In psychology, this means maximizing lasting happiness. I do not mean temporary happiness; I mean happiness that lasts. I mean doing things in the world that give people more to be genuinely happy about. I mean solving problems in such a way as not to create bigger problems. I mean using real thinking rather than positive thinking or negative thinking and facing the problems head-on enough to solve them. I mean doing away with wrongful theories and operating according to things that are actually and legitimately true.

In gender relations and other political matters, this means maximizing the beneficial actions on the part of each side while minimizing each side's negative potentials. In conflicts such as between business and labor or men and women, neither side is good and neither side is bad. Both are capable of both. The correct approach to such matters is what I call the positive middle path, in which the interests of both sides are taken into account, and mechanisms are put in place to maximize the beneficial action on the part of each side and minimize negative action on the part of each side. In a related situation, it is to strive for win-win scenarios whenever possible; while reserving the use of superior force against people who choose to be implacable enemies.

In intimate relationships, this means being committed to the partner's well-being. It means doing the right thing by the partner and treating the partner rightfully. It also means maintaining a loving, forgiving and generous frame of mind, so that a partner's misstep does not ruin the relationship.

In religion and spirituality, this means maintaining commitment to righteousness while also being loving. It means caring about other people and wanting their ultimate well-being without yourself partaking in sin. It also means doing as much as one can to maximize light and minimize darkness. It does not mean never being angry or negative. It means choosing both righteousness and love.

On matter of sacrifice, this means knowing what sacrifices are rightful and what aren't. You do not sacrifice yourself for the mafia. You do not sacrifice yourself for Catherine McKinnon or Ash Patil. You do sacrifice your own interests for greater whole when that is the rightful thing to do. You practice discernment and see what is lower quality and what is higher quality, and you use this criterion to decide which qualities should be legitimately sacrificed to which.

On matters of strength and power, this means practicing judgment, righteousness and self-control. Both strength and power are tools, and tools are about how they are wielded. Anyone who has such things needs to learn how to use them wisely. These things are tools and should be treated as tools. And none should be allowed to become a purpose in and of themselves.

There is more – much more. But it is these qualities that are most present in genuinely good people I've known. And I certainly hope that the influence of these people reaches as many people as possible, so that anyone who aspires toward things such as personal goodness knows what it means to be a good person and what is demanded of him to become one.

False Gods And True God

It appears that, when people make a false God, the true God will take it away.

Some people make a false God out of the political system; so then the political system turns to trash and acts terribly toward the same people who worship it. Some people make a false God out of the economic system; so then the economic system likewise turns to trash and behaves in an ugly manner. Some people make a false God of society; so then society likewise turns into rubbish. Some people make a false God out of the mind; and the mind goes insane.

Kwame Nkrumah, a much-revered independence leader of Ghana, said “seek ye political kingdom and all else will follow.” The first generation African political leaders did just that – with disastrous results. Africa right now is improving, and the large part of the reason is that they've learned from their errors. You do not elevate state to the status of God. That elevates whoever runs the state to the status of God, and no human being deserves that kind of power.

Who does? God and only God. I have learned this the hard way, having tried out just about everything that is there. I have had influences from all sorts of places, and most of them did not get along. As a result of this I wound up with a huge mess in my head that it has taken me tons of work to resolve. In the process I have come up with useful ideas. But more importantly I have seen what works and what does not work and in what ways, and more importantly – why.

When you elevate the state to the status of God, you give godlike powers to a flawed human being. The same is the case with economic and corporate system. The same is the case with society, intelligence, relationships, what have you. In most cases the situation turns sour. For a long time feminism held promise for a better future; then leaders of feminism started acting like jerks and acting in a vicious and irresponsible manner. For a long time psychology held promise for a better future; then psychology turned fascist. Whereas God has a much greater wisdom than any of such mentalities, and it is rightful that He alone hold that kind of power.

So when a false human god is elevated, it appears bound that such a thing will turn fascist in one or another way. We have seen this with just about everything that has been tried. Africans seek political kingdom first, and they get abused by a bunch of despots. People worship money and success, and wind up eaten up by a system that swallows them whole. People believe in feminism as a path to a better future, it turns into a vicious and fascist movement. We see this with psychology, sociology, and just about everything else.

The correct situation is just what is said in the Bible. It is to “seek ye God's righteousness and all else will follow.” The world's wisdom, as the Bible says, is foolishness in the eyes of God. The correct solution is to rely on the wisdom of God. And then it appears that God will arrange one's life in such a way that correct things to want are provided for, whereas wrongful things to want are not wanted any more.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Turtoises And The Rabbits

One metaphor that we see all sorts of people currently use is the one between the rabbits and the tortoises. The rabbit is faster than the tortoise; but the tortoise outdoes the rabbit through deliberate committed effort.

I am reminded of the Brazilian soccer team. For a long time the Brazilian soccer team had the flair but not the discipline. They would play scintillating soccer; but they would lose. So then they had a coach who corrected that state of affairs. Under him, the Brazilian soccer team would play boring soccer; but they would win.

In the last two world cups they had neither the flair nor the discipline, and they played boring soccer and went down in flaming defeat.

There are implications for this in all sorts of things that are more important than soccer.

For a long time, when faced with men's success at achieving economic and political power, women decided that they were going to copy men. In the process they denied what they were as women. And this allowed some of them to get political and economic power even as they militated against the qualities in women that are superior to those of men.

My mother had a sign on her refrigerator that said that “women who want to be equal with men lack ambition.” She achieved significant success in computer industry, but she remained very much a woman through all this situation. She is very beautiful, very compassionate and very kind. People like her have a lot to teach feminists.

And no, I do not lust after her.

When faced with the success of a different or a hostile social group, it is valid to see what they have done in order to achieve this success. It is in no way valid to deny what you are in the process. If tortoises win through a determined effort, then it is valid to learn from them the habits of the determined effort. It is not valid to deny as a process what you are as a rabbit.

The women who want to be copy to bad men may in fact achieve professional success, but they will not be happy as a result. They will only be happy if they learn from the men what they have to learn from the men while remaining women in the process. Right now, in America at least, we are seeing women from places such as Slovenia achieving great success and great influence. They have every right to this success and they have the right to this influence. They are women who have learned what they had to learn from men while themselves remaining women.

This confusion therefore stands to be solved through correct learning of historical lessons. There are men who have learned to be effective in one way or another, and there are women who have learned to be effective by learning one thing or another that has been appropriaxed by men. Joan of Arc achieved great success – and respect for the women in her own country – by beating men at their own game. She did not do so by becoming mean or ignorant in the process.

I have every interest in seeing women advance in society. That stands to benefit women such as my mother and my daughter. I however have no interest in seeing women become an inferior imitation of bad men. If I wanted another man, I would be a homosexual. Whereas I have interest interest in seeing women who are genuinely good people advance.

Are turtoises capable of advancing? Of course they are capable of advancing. But that does not mean that rabbits have to adopt the worst course fallicies of turtoises in order to advance as well. Learn from the tortoises what you have to learn, while yourself remaining rabbits. And then you will achieve a success that is owed to rabbits regardless of what turtoises around you happen to do.