Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How Children Should Be Treated

One of the most influential figures in my life has been my uncle Lev. When I was 5, my grandmother was punishing me for something or other, and he told her: “No, that's not how you do it with him.” He then proceeded to explain to me why what I was doing was wrong. This left a huge impression on me, and in my parenting I have practiced similar methods. Whenever my daughter does something wrong, I explain to her why it is wrong, and she does not do it any more.

I do not understand why more people don't do the same thing. Most children are not evil, and they wouldn't be doing wrong things if they know them to be wrong. Children are an intelligent form of life and should be treated as such.

The people who are advocates for corporate punishment are, for the most part, simply lazy parents. They do not want to go to the effort of engaging their children's minds and want the fists to do the job for them. This results in a disaster. Children do not learn right from wrong. What they learn is brutality and stupidity, and it makes these things the basis of their lives.

It is absolutely ridiculous that the people who are lazy parents get to claim that they have family values and that the rest of the world doesn't. I am a dedicated parent, and I am completely against domestic violence. Family relationships are a two-way street; and if you as a father want decision-making authority then you better be good to your family.

It is essential to treat children as an intelligent form of life rather than as beasts. I am good to my daughter, and she has been doing very well. I heartily suggest for other parents to make the same choices as I have and treat their children as an intelligent form of life.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Altruism and Self-Interest

There are religions and ideologies that claim man's highest nature to be altruism or service to humanity; and there are religions and ideologies that claim that man's nature is self-interest. Both are part-right.

There are some activities that are both altruistic and self-interested. Parenting involves going far out of one's way to take care of another life; it also involves extending one's family line. The parent is both altruistic and self-interested; and there is absolutely no contradiction between the altruistic and the self-interested aspect in parenting.

It has been found that some people have genes for altruism. Whether or not one has genes for it, one can choose to be altruistic if one wants to make that choice. While the views on the righteousness of this choice extend from those of Buddha to those of Ayn Rand, it cannot be denied that all people are capable of both altruism and self-interest.

In both cases, we see the capacity for both right and wrong. With altruism, we see the capacity for action that benefits others; we also see the capacity for denying people the right to positive experiences in their personal lives. With self-interest, we see the capacity for great motivation; we also see the capacity for short-sightedness and destructive rapacity. People are capable of both altruism and self-interest, and it is important that both be carried out in the best manner they can.

Neither altruism nor self-interest are either good or evil. Both can go right, and both can go wrong. The intelligent solution is to make the best of both while confronting potentials for wrong in both. And then people will be able to practice both altruism and self-interest in a way that actually leads to human benefit.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Narcissism and Psychology

Whenever I deal with someone who thinks that I'm full of myself, or that I'm a narcissist, or anything along the same lines, I know that I'm dealing with an idiot. I care about all sorts of people besides myself, including all sorts of people whom those who make such accusations don't give a damn about. I have been accused of being a narcissist or a sociopath by any number of lay people, but never by a real psychiatrist. Indeed, real psychiatrists told me such things as that I have the heart of a humanitarian – meaning, not only not being a sociopath, but being more well-intentioned than the next person.

The same people who prosecute people's feelings then claim the narcissists and sociopaths to not have any feelings themselves. This means that they are being absolute hypocrites. When a feeling suits them, they go with it; when it doesn't suit them they attack it. This is the kind of behavior that is credited to sociopaths and narcissists. The reality shows them to be much more entrenched in people who believe others to be these things.

Psychology is a science in its youth, which means that it is going to make mistakes. And the worst mistakes will be committed not by professional psychiatrists but rather by lay people who think that they know psychology better than psychologists. These people are arrogant enough to think that the little knowledge of the subject that they have qualifies them to damn people for life.

Are there such people as sociopaths or narcissists? Even if there are, they remain human. And that means, that they have the capacity to choose to act rightfully whatever their psychological makeup or brain structure. The “once a sociopath always a sociopath” myth is as wrong as “once a kike, always a kike” or “once a ho, always a ho.” And for as long as these people deny the right to choice and principle on the part of these people, the more they create enemies.

Enemies such as young Western men joining ISIS.

For as long as psychology decides that some people are evil and can only be evil whatever they do, it will see people reject psychology in large numbers and go to creeds such as Islam. At least with Islam they are human beings rather than monsters. The stupidity of claiming that some people are evil and can only be evil regardless of how hard they work, what work they do on themselves or what they accomplish, will always result in people leaving in large numbers the covenants that believe in such things and becoming their enemies.

Psychology needs to get a grip on itself and stop spouting obvious irrationality. If a man is responsible for who he is, then he can choose to act rightfully whatever his psychological makeup; and if some people cannot act rightfully then people are not responsible for who they are. I have no idea why this argument hasn't been made on a large scale before, but I am willing to do so now. I hope that people of goodwill see the rightfulness of my argument and correct this error that has plagued psychology in recent years.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Value of Friendship

When I was younger, there were any number of situations in which a woman wanted to be a friend, but I wanted more. My desire to want more destroyed the friendships. I have since then learned from these errors; and now I value friendship for what it is, whether or not it leads to anything else.

There was a situation where I spent a summer talking to a lady in California, then went to see her. She and I could not get along in person; however neither one of us wanted the other any kind of ill, and we remain on good terms. In another situation, where the woman wanted a friendship and I wanted more, I have since then respected her wishes, and we are now good friends.

Friendship is a valuable commodity; and I have had to learn a lot in order to keep the friendships that I've had. It's not “Let's Just Be Friends”; it's Be Friends as an affirmation of mutual goodwill. Friendship is not “just” something; real friendship can be a wonderful thing, whether or not it actualizes in a sexual relationship.

I now have any number of friends, and I am willing to go to lengths to cultivate these friendships. Some things are good all around, and goodwill is one such thing. I am willing to do a lot for my friends, and some of them help me out when I need it. That's how it is supposed to work.

I would definitely recommend that people pay more attention to their friends and that they strike up and cultivate fruitful friendships. Everyone is capable of it, and it doesn't cost a dime. Genuinely caring about people goes a long way; and it is a way to have in one's life many good things that otherwise would be missing from it.

Nazism and Definition of Evil

There are many people who see Nazism as the definition of evil. While I certainly see Nazis as having been evil, I do not see them having monopoly on evil. Hitler was a vegetarian and a fitness buff, but not all vegetarians and fitness buffs want to kill 50 million people. Hitler was claimed to possess either the narcissistic or the sociopathic personality disorder, but not all people who have been diagnosed with these disorders want to kill 50 million people. Hitler read Nietzsche, but it doesn't mean everyone who reads Nietzsche is going to kill 50 million people.

There is all sort of sordid stuff out there. Nazis just happened to be the most overtly cruel, and that got them hated more than anyone in the history of the world. Nazis were evil, but they were not the only people who were evil. Genghis Khan, Timberlane and Stalin were also horrendous despots; and it is important that this be remembered, as many tend to forget.

I am as much against Nazism as the next Jewish person; but I also want to see fairness and balance be brought to bear in the public discourse. There are all sorts of evil people out there, and they need to be dealt with based on what they are. Nazis were evil, but they do not define evil. There are all sorts of evil people out there; and most of them have nothing to do with Nazism.

It is essential that scrutiny be placed upon the practices of all sorts of people around the world. In many cases, one finds things that one would never expect to find. Whether or not related to Nazism, evil practices need to be scrutinized. And then the world would work in the way in which it is intended to work.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Nixon, Reagan and Politics of Charm

Nixon is one of the most hated people in American politics; and I think that he gets a bad rep. Nixon did a lot of things that should make American liberals happy. He opened the door to China; he started the Environmental Protection Agency; and he replaced a conscript army with a professional army.

Reagan was far more right-wing than Nixon; yet he does not get nearly as much criticism. I have no idea as to why this is. Maybe he was more charming than Nixon; but that does not make him better than Nixon.

The people who value charm above other qualities are always going to go for the people who are superficially charming but evil inside. They will value charming manipulators who don't have their best interests at heart. That the same people who hated Nixon would love Reagan shows that these people aren't thinking straight and that, in this case, they attract to themselves political figures who pretend to be nice while in fact being terrible.

I for one would take Nixon for Reagan any time. He may not have been charming; but he was hard-working and thoughtful, and he cared about the country. He implemented a lot of policies that came from the American Left; and the American Left owes a lot to this man.

I want to see credit be placed where credit is due. Nixon has done a lot of good for America. Things need to be put into perspective; and that is, give credit to those who deserve credit, regardless of whether or not they are charming or popular.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Nazism, Communism, Islamism and Political Correctness

There are many people who think that the solution to wrongful ideologies such as Nazism is political correctness. I have reason to doubt their claims. The real solution to bad ideas is not censorship or shaming, but real intelligence that refutes them.

I can refute Nazism in a paragraph. There is no such thing as the master race; different places did different things in their history, and during the Middle Ages the white, aryan, people were at the bottom of the world, and China was the world's top country. The Jews are not a monolithic entity, and there are all sorts of disagreements among the Jews. And if the Jews were, as Nazis claim, in control, and if the Jews were, as Nazis claim, evil, then the Nazis would be facing a firing squad. That they are instead free to spread their rubbish shows that either Jews are not in control, or that the Jews are so good that they are willing to let live the people who wish them dead. In either case, the Nazis are obviously wrong.

Communism is also easy to refute. There is no such thing as historical inevitability; people's choices will take history into any number of directions at any number of times. The businessman is not a thief or an exploiter, he is someone who gets things done. And the same problems that Marxists want to solve through class struggle can be solved much better through social mobility.

Islamism should also be confronted in the same manner. If not for America, then the people in Middle East would be practicing Communism; and if they were practicing Communism they would not be able to be Muslims at all; whereas with America as the top country they can be as Muslim as they want to be for as long as they are not killing Americans or their allies. The people who throw sulfuric acid into girls' faces for going to school – or the people who sell children into sexual slavery – have no business claiming to be moral and claiming the West to be less moral than them.

In all of the preceding scenarios, the real solution is real intelligence. It is only the lazy-minded person who thinks that censorship and shaming is the way. Use intelligence to deconstruct destructive fictions. The result will be bad ideas met with better ideas. And that is the purpose of the academic process.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Survival, Spirituality and Man's Greatness

In their 1980s hit “Eye of the Tiger,” The Survivors glorified “man's will to survive.”

It occurs to me that the hyena has the will to survive as well, and that the will to survive is nothing of which to be proud.

It makes sense to glorify man's will to achieve, or man's will to create, or man's will to contribute. It does not make sense to glorify something that is common to all of life. In an advanced civilization survival should be guaranteed; then the directions of man's effort will be toward practice that actually benefit the people.

I am perfectly willing to contribute to the society the things that I have to contribute to it. I am not willing to be engaged in a pursuit that pits my survival against that of other people. I want to contribute, and I want to be rewarded for contributing. I am in no way a bum. I want to do good and I want to do well.

This – wanting to do good and to do well – I regard as truly righteous arrangement. It benefits humanity at the holistic level, and it benefits humanity at the individual level. People are free to advance their interests; people are also free to help others. The result is humanity benefiting at all levels – once again, the definition of true good.

If humanity has evolved, then being willing to do good is a part of human design that leads to better conduct to fellow man. And if humanity was created, then the same will be a part of human makeup as well. In either case, being willing to do good things for the world are a necessary part of the human makeup; and both altruism and self-interest will be a part of human existence for as long as there is such a thing.

It makes every sense to reward those who make meaningful contributions. It makes no sense to support those who regard – either from scientific perspective or from the Christian perspective – those who are against this process. Neither science nor spirituality should be against man's greatness. And in wresting such things from the ideologies that condemn them humanity gets to benefit at all levels.

Lessing, Spirituality and Sensuality, and the Jews

Gotthold Lessing, an 18th century German philosopher, wrote about distinction between “the Sensual Jew” and “the spiritual Christian.”

Mr. Lessing, I am your worst nightmare. I am a Jew who is both sensual and spiritual. And I see it quite possible not only to be both, but by being both to get the most out of life.

A Soviet appartchik described Anna Akhmatova, a great Russian poetess, as “part-nun, part-harlot.” What it truly meant is that she was spiritual and erotic at the same time. Her poetry paid homage to both romance and spirituality; and that, I see as the best combination possible.

Really, there is no reason for there to be any contradiction at all between spirituality and sensuality. Sensuality can in itself be a path into higher states of mind. As for spirituality, true wisdom – and true knowledge – build respect, even awe, for nature in its richness and complexity; and a true practicioner of spirituality is respectful toward such things.

In fact, among the Jewish people I know I've found very profound spirituality, and it does not teach them to beat their wives or to kill infidel or to put innocent people in concentration camps. If you go to a synagogue, you will most likely hear sermons with a lot of wisdom and insight. Probably the wisest things I've ever heard, I heard in a reform Jewish temple. It is outrageous that Jews be portrayed as less spiritual than Jew-haters; and doing so profanes spirituality.

Really, who is more spiritual: A Jewish rabbi who has put huge hours into studying the Torah and the Talmud and in helping people in his congregation solve their relationship and family problems, or the neo-Nazi who knows nothing but hatred and brutality? Who is more spiritual: a Jewish scientist or doctor who is preoccupied with building useful knowledge and implementation, or the idiots who picket the funerals of their own country's soldiers for defending “f*ggot America”? I have known magnificent people who were Jewish, but very few who were Jew-haters. In cases of most Jew-haters, they are simply jerks; and they are attracted to an ideology that gives them the right to be jerks.

Mr. Lessing is completely wrong about both the Jews and the Christians. Not all Christians are spiritual, and many Jews are spiritual. Whereas Christianity can be taken into any number of directions, and it has been taken into any number of directions through history. The worst of these have been conquest against the rest of the world, abuse against women, and hatred of Jews. I also however know that Christianity is not limited to these errant directions, and I've known Christians who were operating from the position of genuine good faith and good will; and they have had harsh things to say about those in Christianity who militate against Jews.

A friend of mine at a local church told me that Jews and Christians have a lot in common and that they should be able to work together. A creed of tolerance and forgiveness demands nothing less. As for spirituality and sensuality, the two can very well work together; and in doing so they both advance wisdom and give people a richer experience of life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Sheep and the Wolves

The sheep and the wolves is a metaphor that has had much more influence than it ever deserved to have. According to this metaphor, some people are good (sheep); some people are bad (wolves); and some people are bad pretending to be good (the wolves in the sheep's clothing).

I do not see any reason whatsoever why so many people should believe in this metaphor. There are all sorts of other species than sheep and wolves; and many of them have far more to offer than either the sheep or the wolves.

I am neither a sheep nor a wolf. I have a strong antipathy toward both. The first overpopulate the world and consume all its resources; and the second has no conscience and treats people like dirt. I would rather see the lions or the gazelles get a passing chance. Yes, there are prey-and-predator relations among them as well; but they are far more interesting than the sheep and the wolves and also far more beautiful.

To claim that one must be a sheep, or else one is a wolf, is the true wrongdoing here. Sheep are only one out of many species. If one isn't a sheep, it doesn't mean that one is a wolf. It can mean all sorts of things, many of them much better than either the sheep or the wolves.

Having been accused of being a wolf in a sheep's clothing, I have to say this. I am not a sheep, and I am not a wolf. I am what I am myself, and I resent being portrayed as something that I am not. There are many possible things that people can be. The more this is understood, the more humanity has to stand to benefit from the efforts of people who are neither sheep nor wolves but are who they are themselves.

Sociopaths, Pedophiles and Basic Reason

Some people in feminism – and in psychology – have been claiming that sociopaths and pedophiles are evil and can only be evil, and that they cannot change whatever they do.

This militates against basic rationality. If people are responsible for what they are, then anyone – including pedophiles and sociopaths – can choose to act rightfully; and if some people are incurably evil then people are not responsible for what they are. What we see here is an entirely worthless mentality, useful only for conducting witch hunts; and it is outrageous that people who claim to swear by science and rationality behave in such a completely irrational way.

I am neither a sociopath nor a pedophile; I am however someone who's gone into all sorts of directions in my life, some of them better than others. And I say with full certainty that anything that is capable of choice is capable of both rightful and wrongful behavior. Even if someone is born with a brain abnormality that results in a disconnect between two centers in the brain, he still has choice and will, and he can still be a good person if he chooses to put his mind to it. If the heart fails, use the mind; and if your heart lacks in empathy, use the mind to compensate.

Having been a good person at some points in my life and a bad person at others, I stand here to demonstrate that anyone can be a good person, whatever his brain condition happens to be. Choice trumps chemistry; and even if something is wrong with a person's brain he can still choose to make rightful decisions.

If a pedophile wants to be a pedophile, then he should be locked up. For others, there should be a way to help them get over these urges. As someone familiar with Buddhist practices, I am reminded of a meditation that they do in order to get over their sexuality altogether. Whenever they start feeling horny, they meditate on decomposing corpses; and over the time this deconditions their whole sexuality. If Buddhist monks can use this to do away with their whole sexuality, then surely pedophiles can use this to do away with their errant sexual urge for children.

With sociopaths, the solution is getting them to think about how their behavior affects the next person. Unless a person is downright evil, he will not be trying to hurt anyone; and if they know how they are hurting other people then many of them will stop these behaviors.

In all cases, choice makes it possible to act rightfully regardless of one's brain chemistry. And treatment of these disorders is done best by encouraging rightful choice.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Antichrist

A vast number of people have been portrayed as the Antichrist, everyone from Reagan to Obama.

In 1990s, Jerry Falwell stated that the Antichrist was a Jewish person in his 20s of foreign ancestry living in America. That does not apply to either Reagan or Obama; but it does apply to someone with whom I bear a more than slight acquaintance.

If there is a person such as the Antichrist, my advice to him would be to simply not do his job. What matters it to him that he gets the running of the world for a couple of years if he spends eternity in hell? My advice would be to simply refuse to play his part; and if God wants to destroy the world then He will have to do so in a way that does not involve the Antichrist.

There have been passages in the Bible in which Moses argued God out of killing the Jews. When addressed sincerely and humbly, He would listen. If the Antichrist refuses to do his job, then God may spare the world. At the very least, the Antichrist would not be contributing to the problem and will be doing everything in his power to save the world.

If there is no person such as the Antichrist, the matter can be ignored. But if there is an Antichrist, it is still possible to avert an Armageddon. Antichrist, simply refuse to do your job. And emerge as someone great who has saved humanity.

Lies Confronting the Creative People

As a creative individual, I have experienced all sorts of nastiness confronting creative people. This is my response to some of these claims.

Claim 1: You are a freak, what do you have to offer us?

Answer: Wisdom comes in all sorts of unexpected places, and it takes someone who thinks differently from people around them to come up with new ideas or correct other people when they are going wrong.

Claim 2: Creative people are selfish/narcissistic/etc.

Answer: If that is the case, then the world owes everything it has to selfish and narcissistic people. If it is narcissism to be preoccupied with ideas, then the world owes everything that it has to narcissistic people, as everything that we have started with thought. If it is narcissism to want great success, then the world likewise owed everything that it has to narcissistic people.

Claim 3: Your life is not perfect, what do you have to offer anyone else?

Answer: If my life was perfect, I may have very little to offer the next person. A woman of my acquaintance was thinking about writing about her life but did not want to do it because not everything in her life had been good. In fact, writing about bad things can be highly useful, and it can show people a way to make the most of a bad situation.

There are any number of other claims on this matter, but I do not wish to bore the reader, so I will say this. There is a vast use for creative people, and they do a huge amount of heavy lifting for everyone else. Sometimes they are rewarded, and sometimes they aren't; but in all cases they do something important for the civilization and should be rewarded appropriately.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Immanuel Kant and Scott Peck

Scott Peck was to psychology what Immanuel Kant was to Western philosophy. In the same way as Kant had used philosophy, after a blossoming during Enlightenment and Romanticism, to affectuate a return to the Protestant dogmas that philosophy had sought to replace, so did Peck use psychology, after its psychoanalitic beginnings in early 20th century and its existential humanistic blossoming in 1960s and 1970s, to affectuate a return to religious dogmas that psychology had struggled to overcome.

The philosophy of Kant - and the psychology of Peck - employed a device referred to by Mortimer Adler as suicidal epistemologizing and suicidal psychologizing. Kant claimed that the imperfection of human perception meant that it was only capable of apprehending the phenomenal (apparent) instead of the noumenal (the true); he also claimed that beauty was relative, illusory and insignificant ("in the eye"). With these claims he trivialized and denigrated both science and art. In creating in public mind the suspicion of both empirical and intuitive modes of cognition, practiced respectively by Enlightenment and Romanticism, he destroyed both Enlightenment and Romanticism. In the same manner did Peck, through his contributions, place in the public mind contempt for and denigration of both reason and passion, equating the first with Cartesian logic that was inadequate to describe his experience of synchronicities, and claiming the second an invalid basis for either relationship or meaningful interaction. The result has been contempt and invalidation of both reason and passion and the destruction, first by philosophy then by psychology, of both aspects of humankind.

Both of course are wrong in all aspects. Reason is not limited to Cartesian dogmatism, and the intellectual and scientific pursuits, in higher physics, anthropology, and more advanced psychological studies, have uncovered knowledge that entirely exceeds Cartesian dogmatisms and its brainchildren - skepticism, behaviorism, logical positivism, and similar abominations. Beauty has been shown scientifically to exist both in absolute and in relative forms. As for romantic passion, it has been at the root of the best marriages I've ever seen - marriages that produced wholesome families, meaningful and lasting love between partners, beautiful and intelligent and accomplished children, and are still going strong 50 or 60 years down the road.

In taking the stances that they did, Kant and Peck thus became destructive of both the intellectual and the passionate aspects of man - and destructive of all the greatness and progress and richness of life that these two aspects have produced. And in pursuit of their dogmas, was created a character that is essentially necrophilic (death-seeking) and seeks to destroy, in its relations, policies, thoughts and activities, all that creates and affirms and adds to life.

In both cases, a pursuit that produced great improvement for many and at multiple levels was effectively destroyed by being used against its own foundations. With Kant, philosophy had destroyed itself -both Enlightenment philosophy that made possible Western science and Western democracy, and Romantic philosophy that made possible the world's greatest literature, cultural blossoming and richest interpersonal experience and relations - by claiming the mechanism for both to be imperfect or trivial. With Peck, so did psychology, in both its analytical and its humanistic aspect - by trivializing and denigrating the aspects of human being to which it spoke and which it worked to describe. And the pursuits that have given the Western world its greatest accomplishments - democracy, science, innovation, freedom, great literature and art, understanding of nature, civil and human rights, meaningful and beautiful relationships between men and women, and humanistic life-affirming values that went to a great length to make most of both accomplishment and experience - were subverted by the pursuit that had conceptualized them being used to destroy its own foundations. And in both cases, the result was an imposition, against a flourishing of life through affirmation of passion and intellect, of orders and character that were fundamentally anti-life.

The Victorianism that followed Kant, like the three decades that followed Peck, were contemptuous of both intellect and passion - contemptuous as such of the life-enhancing and life-affirming aspects of humanity. It is a mentality that by its own nature can only lend to systemic violence, oppression, and war against both feeling and intellect, which lead directly to abusive, controlling and systematically destructive mental, emotional and relational habits in people who are a part of that mentality. But furthermore still it leads to destruction of all that thought and feeling make possible: science, democracy, freedom, ingenuity, innovaton, human rights, beauty, compassion, art, love, vitality, and every meaningful form of improvement in people's lives. This, of course, has been the essential character of both the Victorian era and its more contemporary equivalent. And just as Kant and Peck came to believe that the source of evil was hubris - which their followers use to damn both reason and passion and people who affirmed, cultivated and benefited from both - so has the far greater hubris of their own mentality made apparent itself in its values and its effects.

In both cases, just as Kant used philosophy, and Peck used psychology, to destroy the ages of reason and passion, so have the concepts they brought in to replace them convicted the orders that they had ushered in. The Protestant morals that were used and then hideously misused to sustain the dark night of Victorianism were in the end employed themselves to convict as morally damnable an order that consigned the bulk of the people in it to colonization, child labor, brutality, squalor, suffocating formalism, hysterical prudery, internecine warfare, disconnection from life both within and without, and brutal, cruel, degrading, unforgiving existence. Likewise the concept of responsibility that was used and then hideously misused for the last three decades is now making apparent the irresponsibility of suffocating innovation in energy sector to keep alive the stranglehold of oil cartels, giving taxpayer subsidies to beef industry that takes 10 times as much biomass to produce a burger than the vegetable industry to produce an equivalent amount of grain, consuming 4,000 calories a day and driving SUVs while millions are dying because of disastrous climatic events caused by ecosystemic destruction and accumulation of CO2 missions in the atmosphere, destroying with no thought for the future or for what made them possible the natural treasures that man cannot conceivably recreate, and ladening the future generations with trillions of dollars in debt, amid collapsing family incomes, in order to pay for a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. By applying at the collective level the characteristic that is demanded of the individual, is seen the corruption of the arrangement itself. Victorian moralism was rightfully used to show the moral wrongness of the Victorian order; and the more modern-day responsibility is likewise making apparent the irresponsibility of the present one.

And just as personality psychology has been used and hideously misused in the period following Peck to target people who thought or felt differently from the social or communal entities of place and time, whatever the character of these entities or their intent or the actual substance of their beliefs and behaviors, so has it been used by others, rightly or wrongly, to describe business, politics, religion, psychology, media, and even the Western civilization, as possessing a psychopathic and predatory character.

The same concept is now used by me to describe any communal or social entity that seeks unlimited power over the minds, beliefs, personalities and lives of the people within it - and then seeks to impose itself on others.

To believe that an unofficial organ of power, that unlike official organs of power in a constitutional democracy is not subject to check and balance and official accountability, is somehow less prone to corruption and wrong and abuses of power than official organs of power, is ridiculous. Such an entity becomes law, reality and sanity unto itself and therefore is capable of the worst forms of corruption and systemic crime. And in countries where the power of official organs is checked and balanced and made to accord with constitution and bill of rights, but for some or another reason the power of unofficial organs is not subjected to similar scrutiny and is thus used to commit most horrendous abuses and most illegal abominations against the people within them and without them, these entities not only can be seen as unconstitutional, but in fact should be seen themselves as possessing the worst of these disorders.

The sociopathic character that does not recognize law, is the character of the community or the social network that becomes law unto itself and thus not only perpetuates and then covers up systemic crime while totally controlling the people within it, but also commands of people inside of them unconditional loyalty regardless of scale of their crimes against people both inside and without. And it is these entities, not the people they demonize, that are the true danger not only to democracy, but to humankind as it exists at this time and as it stands to exist in the foreseeable future. The crimes and coverups of small towns, gangs, old-boy networks, cults, Islamists, Jehovah's Witnesses, paramilitary organizations, and corrupt networks and operations in medicine, law, police, courts, psychiatry, and politics, are a far graver threat to rule of law than are the works of any number of axe murderers - and they affect people's lives to a far greater extent.

The same can be likewise said of religions that think that they are superior to both nature and to humanity - indeed to entire Universe - and denigrate then destroy all accomplishments of science, democracy, business, art, literature, human rights, and nature in all its richness, in order to make room for their supremacy over a world that they have inherited both from nature and from the people who had created and contributed to these pursuits. The people who claim the universe to be God's, and all accomplishments of mankind and the vibrancy of nature and all things lovable to be belongings of God, appropriate for the Church or the Mosque that had created none of these things - that destroyed them where they existed and resisted most of them every step of the way when they arose in the areas of their dominion - the credit for nature and for humanity and all things lovable and life-affirming, both natural and manmade. All things of course that the Church and the Mosque condemn, deny, sabotage and then, when created by others and coerced from others, want to claim as their own to wield as tools of control against the existing and yet-to-exist. Such an entity can by itself be seen as not only psychopathic and narcissistic, but totalitarian and indeed necrophilic.

For such an entity to claim to define people, humanity, nature, and all that exists in the world, as any kind of evil or good, is preposterous. The evil belongs with these entities themselves and with the philosophers and psychologists - Immanuel Kant and Scott Peck - who brought them back into influence in these respective endeavors, after the mind and the genius of humanity in both these endeavors and their brainchildren had struggled to help humanity out of their grasp.

The religious supremacism has become so complete as to war in the past decade, with effective and thoroughly disastrous results, against both science and democracy as well as constitutional law. In the same way as it has warred in the previous two decades against individuality, relationships, culture, eros, beauty and romance, it is now warring, disastrously, against science and democracy. First it destroys Romanticism; then it aims straight for Enlightenment. And it is then that is seen its true character, in all its psychopathic totalitarian apocalyptic horror.

The extent of the necrophilic character of such a mind is seen in its future predictions. Its hubristic hatred of life at all levels is so complete as to foresee a violent destruction of the world itself. And the economics and politics practiced by those who most loudly claim to profess Islam and Christianity are all directed toward planetary destruction and global war. There is no future in this; the future in this is complete destruction of all that lives on the planet. And I see it as duty of man, as a being of life, to not only preserve nature but to preserve humanity, and to create a future in which both humanity and nature can live, coexist, blossom, and reach their ever-greatest fruition and accomplishment.

This comes through thinking - and pursuant that activity at all levels - that is affirming of life at all levels and dedicated to its enhancement, enrichment and perpetuation. The necrophilic mentalities - and pursuant that the necrophilic effect on the world of all the activities that they inform - must be replaced with ones that are biophilic and make most of life - both human and natural - in short, medium, and long-term. With this change in mind, all human pursuits - business, politics, technology, relationships, families, science, art, education, spirituality - can begin to work toward a viable future. The people who truly love and embrace life, will value life, and will create demand for - and supply of - economics, technologies, policies, ideas, art, and modes of interaction that are life-affirming and that add to life, extend life, and make possible life worth living for their descendants and for humanity, as much as they will take care to protect life that they have not created. The people who think that destroying the world will get them to heaven, will and do take their political, economic, spiritual and interpersonal activities to the direction of violence, destruction, plunder, theft, torture, abuse, and death.

Romantic attitudes are a logical consummation of rational ones and their further development. The mind is contemptuous of nature until it actually studies nature and finds in its workings the mechanisms far more intricate and intelligent than any that it itself has yet known how to contrive. By the time the science can actually create anything of similar quality or complexity as a living being, it has full respect for natural life; at which point it can learn to build on it, improve on it, create sustainable agriculture and development, recreate some of what was blindly driven into extinction, and even create new life. Similarly, the mind has contempt for - "instinct," feeling, passion, eros, sexuality, nurturing, reproduction - until it actually studies the mechanisms of these things long enough to find in them similar intricacy and intelligence - at which point it realizes the extent of its complexity as being superior to anything that it itself knows how to create. At which point it likewise develops respect for what it would by itself see as inferior function, and then actually becomes capable of creating and building and even improving upon humanity. True natural science, like true psychology, build understanding enough to achieve respect for what they study. And it is only then that they can replicate and even improve on these givens. At this point, the mind becomes an intelligent creator instead of a dumb destroyer. And then - only then - can man's rationality be said as itself having legitimately earned respect.

To tip the balance for life, man must become a creator more than he is a destroyer. At all levels of thinking - and all levels of action - man must do more to enhance life than he is to destroy it. It is then that there is a better future in view than that of the Apocalypse. And it is then that man can be said to be equal to nature and even possibly an improver.

The period after Victorianism saw electricity, telephones, airplanes, automobiles, skyscrapers, women's rights, middle class, Panama Canal, national parks, higher physics, film, psychology, Harlem Renaissance, Fitzgerald, Akhmatova, Modligliani, and an open, livable social climate that directly enhanced both the quality of people's lives and accomplishment of civilization. What this period of innovation and freedom was for 20th century, can be accomplished on even greater scale for 21st at this time. Solar and hydrogen energy, space travel and colonization, nanotechnology, biotechnology, economics designed to maximize intelligent creation and minimize destruction of what one has not created, prudent resource management, intelligent collaboration between private and public sectors, affirmation and rigorous defense of human rights, values favorable to innovative and creative thinking, positive regard for and affirmation of both the feminine and the masculine and a mutual understanding between one another allowing beautiful and happy relationships and marriages, respect for and cultivation of both feeling and intellect, affirmation and cultivation of both individuality and dedication to benefit of the species, and political and economic policies designed to maximize intelligent creation and minimize blind destruction, can be a seed of a renaissance with unlimited potential both for the currently living and for the yet-to-exist.

This can only come from this: An understanding of and respect for life at all levels, allowing man to see and feel life at all levels and, enriched with this understanding, to become an organ of life-creation, life-perpetuation, and life-enhancement, making possible livable long-term future for both the planet and humankind. Necessary is a concept of human being as an integral entity with relation to self, species and nature, that leads to an affirmation of individuality and an affirmation of humanity and an affirmation of nature, allowing people maximal self-definition, maximal contribution to good of the species, and appreciation of nature resulting in minimal damage to it. Necessary is a recognition and valuation of all aspects of life in both natural and human forms, creating a life-affirming mentality that finds expression in people's thoughts, feelings and actions, and thus their effect on the world as well as the covenants they create. The values, perceptions, cognitions, and consequently arts, science, economics, policies, and relationships, all stand to be improved by transition to modes of thinking that are affirming of life at the natural, individual and species-directed levels. And then all these pursuits will direct themselves to creation of life and enrichment of life instead of its destruction, while having respect enough for what man has not created to minimize damage to it.

The future can and should be better than present, and there is a way of making it so. It comes from embracing the modes of thought, feeling and relating that recognize and make most of life at all levels and moving beyond destructive, necrophilic mentalities and orders, to ones that are biophilic and creative, resulting in similar transformation in all activities of humankind. It is time to embrace nature, humanity and life itself, and to create for all these a viable future. The choice is about nothing less than artificial destruction of the planet and all its inhabitants, or a sustained improvement in life human and natural for as long as the informed genius of humanity embracing and building upon the givens makes it possible for nature and for humanity to flourish, grow, and reach ever greater achievement and ever richer experience and fruition of life.

My Misgivings About the Golden Rule

The people I've known whom I see as good people tend to credit their goodness to following the Golden Rule. Since they know more about being a good person than I do, I will not challenge that the Golden Rule works for them. I do not however necessarily see it working for everyone.

My concern is simply rational. People differ from one another, and they will all want to be treated in different ways. If I treat the next person the way that I myself want to be treated, I may not be treating them the way that they want to be treated. I run the risk of projecting myself upon the next person while dishonoring who the next person actually is himself.

There are some things that people may want to be treated that aren't good at all. If I was suicidal and wanted the next person to kill me, I would not be justified in killing the next person. If I was a sexual masochist and wanted to be chained and whipped, I would not be justified in doing that to the next person either. Even avoiding these extreme situations, there are all sorts of differences in how people may want to be treated; and treating the next person the way that you yourself want to be treated may not be congruent with the treatment that they themselves want to receive.

The Golden Rule works to the extent that people are all similar to one another. It does not work to the extent that people are different from one another. Different people will want to be treated differently; and while the Golden Rule works – sometimes extremely well – on matters in which people are similar to one another, it does not work as well on matters in which people differ.

I have been seen as an alien all my life, and I am skeptical of the idea that treating the next person the way that I myself want to be treated would be a workable proposition. I think that much better than that would be for me to figure out how the next person would want to be treated and act accordingly. That requires brainwork; but I think that the results would be worth it. That way one can make a meaningful difference in people's lives while sowing – and benefiting from – good will.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Wrongful Claims of American Right

This is to address the wrongful claims by the American Right.

One of these claims is that they want taxes to be low. In 1990s, I was making good money in the computer industry, and at no point did I have a problem with paying taxes. And when I myself needed help, the American government came through for me.

Another is that they are protecting gun rights. I never wanted to own a gun; I want to live in a place where the police does its job. I have nothing against the people who want guns, but I want nothing to do with their demands.

Another is that they are protecting family values. In fact, the people who actually practice family values do not benefit from this one bit. A loving, committed relationship does not find its way in the court house; and the relationships that do find themselves in the court house are relationships in which someone is doing something wrong. Which means that the family values agenda serves the wrongdoers and nobody else.

The right-wingers also get a lot of support for standing up to Islamic terrorism. In this as well they are nowhere close to being alone. There are plenty of liberals and feminists in America who are against Islamic terrorism. And some of them are out in the front lines fighting this threat.

Some of them also claim that they are protecting “life” (the embryo). I do not see how the clump of cells which is the embryo in its first trimester – or the fish which is the embryo in its second trimester – qualifies as human life. A case can be made that the third-trimester embryo is in fact human life; but none can be made that the first or the second trimester embryo qualifies as human.

Then there is the claim that they are America, and that the rest of America is not America. This is the most ridiculous claim of all. America is a huge and diverse country, and it owes to all sorts of people. Some of these vote Republicans, and others do not.

I do not understand why the claims of these people are not being put to greater scrutiny; but I am willing to do just that. Most of the claims of American Right are simply wrong. And the more people confront them, the greater becomes the knowledge and the better becomes the lot of American people.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Appreciation for Altruism

The altruistic people are willing to help other people in times of need; but they will demand to be appreciated in return. I see absolutely no problem with that. If you are doing something good for another person, it is rightful to want to be appreciated; and there is absolutely nothing unreasonable about their demands.

I used to rent out a unit from a lady, and she kept complaining about “being treated like furniture.” I realized that she was right. If you are doing something good for someone, then gratitude and appreciation are warranted; and there is absolutely nothing wrong in demanding these things.

My mother is an altruist who goes to great lengths for her children; and she is right to be angry when she is not being appreciated. She is not a Communist, she has a good position in capitalist economy. It is right that she be appreciated for the good things that she does; and it is also right that the next person be appreciated for the good things that they do for others.

If someone is being helpful to you, then the least you can do is be good to them. This carries across nations and ideologies. Being willing to help is one of the best traits that a person can have. And demanding appreciation is absolutely rightful in these cases.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

What It Means to be a Good Person

One of my life's major quests has been to figure out what is genuine goodness. There are all sorts of things out there that think themselves good but aren't; but true goodness is found in all sorts of places, some of them expected and some less. Fortunately I have known any number of people who are genuinely good, and I have learned from them.

What are the qualities of a good person?

A good person is caring. He cares about other people (and in some cases nature as well). He wants to do the right thing by the next person, by the civilization and by life as such. Whether they take this direction into science, or business, or environmentalism, they become a force for good; and the world benefits from their actions.

A good person is kind. He does not want to see others suffer and seeks to relieve suffering wherever there is suffering. There are any number of ways in which this can be done; and both with the clean energy entrepreneurs, professors and teachers who dedicate themselves to developing people's minds, people fighting domestic violence, and any number of other directions, the good person operates from the position of kindness and makes kindness count in the world.

A good person is responsible. He recognizes how his actions affect other people and nature and arranges his activities in such a way as to best impact both. He takes responsibility for his effect on the rest of the universe and strives to make sure that it is the best impact that it can be.

A good person is wise. He pursues wisdom in order to make sure that his decisions are the best that they can be. Specifically he strives to make sure that his actions impact upon the world in the best possible way and pursues wisdom to make sure that they do so.

A good person is principled. He chooses to hold himself up to a high standard of conduct and refuses to do wrongful things. He demands of himself the best and leads by example, so that other people also know what it means to be a good person.

A good person may or may not practice self-sacrifice; most problems do not require self-sacrifice to solve and are much better solved through applied intelligence. However in all cases a good person would be willing to help other people and direct them to better ways of being and better ways of life.

There is more – much more; but I don't want to bore the reader, so I will say this. Anyone can be a good person if he puts his mind to it. And that is even the case with people such as sociopaths and narcissists who are regarded as incurably evil. Anything with capacity for choice is capable of right choice. And that means: Everyone.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

On Narcissism

There are many people – both good ones and bad ones – who militate against the people possessing of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Having myself been accused by lay people – but never by professional psychologists – of possessing this disorder, I have a lot to say on this matter.

If it is narcissistic to want to pursue great success – as we see in some definitions of narcissism – then everyone who's had great success is a narcissist; and the world owes greatly to people who have this disorder. If it is narcissistic to seek great passion, then the world's best writers and artists have been narcissists, which likewise means that the world owes greatly to people who have this disorder. Finally, if willing to matter is narcissistic, then everyone who's done meaningful things is a narcissist; and the credit for the best accomplishments of the civilization belongs with its narcissists.

Are there jerks among the high achievers? Of course there are; but there are also jerks everywhere else. If there is such a thing as narcissism, it applies to all sorts of people at all levels of society. There are plenty of gangsters who could be portrayed as being narcissists; there are also any number of high-level businessmen who could be portrayed as being narcissists as well. A disorder that applies to 1% of humanity will have 70 million people possessing of it; and some of these people will be doing well and others won't.

I resent being portrayed as a narcissist. I do not only care about myself; I care about all sorts of people, including people who portray me in this way don't care about themselves. Real psychologists have portrayed me as having the heart of a humanitarian. That is the opposite of being a narcissist.

For people who actually are narcissists, or even sociopaths, I recommend using their mind where their heart fails. If they are not gifted with empathy, then they can use their intelligence to figure out what people want and how their actions and words are affecting the next person. Use what you are strong in to compensate for what you are weak in; and come up with solutions that are informed and profound at once.

Most human-made problems have solutions; and this is the case with such problems as narcissism and sociopathy. If you have these disorders, it does not mean that you are damned. Use your mind where your heart fails and find yourself acting rightfully. And then you can be a good person, whatever the mechanisms of your mind happen to be.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Are All Communists Evil?

For a long time, in America, the worst thing that one could be called was a Communist. I spent the first 12 years of my life in the Soviet Union; and I think that not everyone who was a Communist was evil.

My grandmother was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party of Soviet Union. She was nowhere close to being evil. She was a responsible, hard-working and ethical person who worked hard as a math teacher; and when she retired she continued to work hard, cooking dinner, cleaning the house and helping me along in my education to result in me becoing a star student.

Were there atrocities under Communism? Of course there were. Absolutely nothing justifies Stalin. But let us not be blinded by our anger against these wrongdoings to the point that we paint all Communists as though they were Stalin. There were evil people under Communism, and there were good people such as my grandmother under Communism; and it is wrong that the good people who bought into Communism be conflated with the people who ran labor camps and torture chambers.

In fact, a lot of people who bought into Communism could make exemplary citizens. Their ideology taught them to work hard and benefit the next person. If these people are given a purpose, other than Communism, to work as hard as they did under Communism, then they will be able to do a great deal of good

I am not a Communist; but neither am I a bigot, and I apply on social matters the supremely American thinking of looking for opportunities. The people who honestly believed in Communism and who worked hard under Communism can work just as hard, and be as good citizens, under other systems. My advice to Americans is to reach out to these people and convince them to benefit America rather than the Soviet Union. That way, what's right about these people will be allowed constructive expression; and instead of benefiting Stalin they will be benefiting the West.