More than just a smidgeon of evil.
Let me tell you another tale of my childhood. Of the environment that turned me from a wide eyed foreigner amazed with the potential of a country like the United States. To a militant socialist who fantasized daily about its violent deconstruction and downfall. And how I got past that, thank Odin.
I didn’t become a militant socialist overnight. It was a long and ugly process. Done by the machineries of politics, culture, oppression and sheer madness that have been grinding away since long before I set foot on this planet.
I spent much of my childhood living near Eugene Oregon. If you have never been there, the place is lousy with hippies. What you might not know is that it is also infested with white supremacists. It was not an uncommon thing to see a party in the neighborhood where everyone there had nazi tattoos and flew confederate flags from their jacked up pickup trucks.
For years I wondered why this was. At first I believed that it was a predatory response. Hippies make a nice soft target. Their beliefs in nonviolence in all circumstances make them excellent targets for aggressive people. Later on, especially as I spent more time in school I found out that many of these wannabe nazis were actually children of hippies. They were rebelling against the extreme “left wing” philosophies of their parents. By going as far to the “right wing” as it was humanly possible to go. Throwing out their parents philosophies of diversity, peace, love and “understanding” in favor of violence, aggression, homogeneity and above all else, strength. As expounded by the works. In some cases mangled and misinterpreted, in other cases not so much. Of Nietzsche, Darwin, Malthus, Hitler, madam Blavatsky and a bunch of other long dead foreign intellectuals.
I became an odd hybrid of the two strains. I believed in all the ideals of modern day liberalism. On the other hand I was an extremely angry young man who had a fascination with guns and such a burning hatred of the nazis that infested my school, my neighborhood and pretty much my every hour not spent in my garage that I wrote extensively about a future where I would lead an army that would march these assholes into camps where they would enjoy the ironic death by starvation or gunshot or gassing that they wanted to inflict on everyone else. I wanted vengeance, lots and lots of vengeance.
Fortunately for me I moved out of Oregon, to Idaho. Where my fascination with guns led me to much more reasonable right wing types who sent me on a journey that led me to abandon all of my ideas of modern liberalism and most of my anger. I miss Idaho, but I’m here to talk about something a bit deeper. How I came to realize how practically everything I was taught in school and elsewhere when I was young. Was deeply and profoundly wrong.
There is considerable debate as to wether human behavior is the product of environment or genetics. The age old debate of nature vs nurture. Well, I’m going to settle that debate right here and now.
It’s about 80% nurture, 20% nature. Guess which part is more important?
The most important single factor determining behavior, from my observations is simple and blazingly obvious. What determines behavior is a persons deeply held beliefs. Those beliefs influence all the big decisions that are made in life and most of the small ones. Beliefs are set in childhood and persist all the way to the end of a persons life. Oh sure there are a few cases here and there of people who have changed some important beliefs in their lives. But this is a rare and unusual thing.
Beliefs are set primarily by the culture you are born into. Even in cases where a person is adopted into a culture where they share no racial similarities to their peers. They will grow up with the mannerisms, beliefs, religion and language of the people surrounding them.
If you are reading this you probably fit a general profile. A profile that is widely perceived by most cultures as incredibly dangerous. You probably believe that societies should be organized from the bottom up. Based on voluntary interactions between free people. You probably don’t believe in using violence to solve problems. You don’t see the validity of controlling absolutely everything and you are not looking forward to the future that the mainstream media has prepared for us. With every news broadcast, movie and TV show they shit out. All of which prophecies dystopian nightmares of global warming, tyrannical governments (perhaps even alien invasion!) and all sorts of people being marched into death camps for various reasons.
So, where did my tyrannical mindset come from? Where does anyone’s mindset come from? No child, (excepting perhaps one with serious mental issues.) Wants to tyrannize anyone. However, from a very young age children are affected by culture. Square, or any other shaped pegs are whittled over time into round holes. Note that I did not say schooling or religion. Though they are certainly major perpetrators. Which brings me to a considerable irony of how I was raised. My family is fairly secular. Religion was more of a curiosity to me than something that was a major part of my life. My parents and educators did not force religion on me, at least in part. Because of the various crimes committed by religious people throughout the centuries.
As anyone who knows anything about communism knows though. Just because you don’t have a religion, doesn’t mean that you are incapable of committing heinous crimes in the name of something else. We could go barreling off into a tangent that religion is needed to temper the insanities of human behavior. That if we lived on a planet of atheists we would alternately either be living in some hippie utopia or Stalinist nightmare. We will probably never know what a planet of atheists would look like. In any case, I believe that I am an excellent example of the failure of atheistic, liberal and hippie ideals to create a generation of peace loving young people.
Eugene Oregon is not a peaceful place. Besides the aforementioned nazis there were plenty of other dirtbags. Drug dealers, meth users and people who just practiced violence purely for violences sake. Rough place to grow up. If you asked someone why they behaved like a psychopathic narcissist you got one of two answers. Either, “shut up you little bastard, go away or I will stomp out your empty skull.” Or a long winded, angry diatribe about how there is really no such thing as good or evil. Or if there was that they were beyond good and evil. That the rules of man or nature didn’t really apply to them, or anyone. That they believed in quantum physics where the only rule is uncertainty and they might turn into an eagle or zap off to the moon any day now. Or what were these rules anyway? You can’t have rules, man! Or some other variety of moronic solipsism.
Why did the people I grew up around believe in such things?
Eugene had the overarching feeling of being a place in terminal decline. The hippies that ran most things there had grown up in a society that was facing the seemingly inevitable threat of total nuclear annihilation, so they lived like there was no tomorrow. Then tomorrow came, the big evil Russian communist empire that they had been told would either destroy or take over the world fell like a sandcastle on a rainy day. Having spent their youth partying and doing whatever they wanted they were old now, having children of their own. Their parents were retiring after decades of work and they inherited a world that they clearly didn’t know what to do with.
So these seekers of the end of days went out seeking other ends. The Y2K virus and 2012 doomsday prophecy were pretty popular. Until they were revealed to be the raw, uncut horseshit they were. So the Götterdämmerung of choice for most of these people has become the theory of global warming. Or is it climate change? I can never keep track of what they keep naming this thing.
Global warming is the perfect apocalypse for these people. Nebulous, vague, a problem that will only really start to bite at some arbitrary date in the future. Yet, it is all your fault. It is not caused by any gods that you don’t believe in. It is your original sin. Your penance for the crime of harming our one true God, Mother Nature. Or something like that.
How does one wind up believing in such an insane concept as an apocalypse without religion? Well, it’s not a one step process. In Eugene I hung out with all sorts. But I found myself most comfortable being alone, hiking in the woods. Or at the Oregon Air and Space museum. Where I spent most of my time talking to old folks about aviation. Naturally the conversations went off into other things.
It was a curious juxtapose. I met plenty of parents and grandparents who hardly recognized their own children. They had labored away in various jobs for decades. Many of said jobs were being moved to some third world hellhole because their children had given up the keys to the kingdom and were unwilling to do such difficult and dangerous labor. The previous generation had been too busy doing what society had told them to do. Go forth into the world. Kill nazis, communists or brown people. Make money at the job waiting for you when you come back from the war zone, raise a family.
They abandoned their children to be raised by the state. A creature that fundamentally and probably permanently changed society into something they couldn’t recognize. But by the time they finally realized this they were shuffled off to the oblivion of old folks homes, social clubs and whatnot and there was little they could do about it but bitch about how they wanted their country back.
It wasn’t their country anymore. They had allowed their children to be raised by television, pop culture and a public education system helmed by an out of control government. Creating a generation unable to improve upon and barely able to replicate the creations of their predecessors. Dependent on the government to act as a surrogate parent. Organizing everything in their lives. Taking care of them, so they never really grew up emotionally or mentally.
They did grow up physically, then they had children of their own. Children having children doesn’t usually work out very well. How can you show your children how to be a proper functional adult. When you aren’t one yourself. When you are still “trying to figure it out yourself?” Naturally this creates a legion of children with some pretty serious and ugly psychological issues. Manifest most dramatically nowadays in the Social Justice Warrior crowd. Who are so out of their tiny little minds that the mere existence of certain words triggers them to retreat to safe spaces. The insanity mutates, changes and folds in on itself as it grows more crazy. That’s the thing about contradictory thinking. Once you start doing it, you can’t stop. The lies have to become bigger and more elaborate. The fever dreams become more ambitious and divorced from reality. The aggression feeds on itself and becomes stronger.
The liberalism of the environment I was in hadn’t quite gotten to the pinnacle of barking insanity that it is with today’s SJW types. But it was tantalizingly close.
Being raised with a philosophy like modern day liberalism. Especially with its grim environmental message as typified by the predictable yet utterly insane show Captain Planet, linked above. Is it any surprise that many kids in North America go through a nazi or goth or vampire or some other “I’m dark and brooding and beyond good and evil, phase?” If you have been told that your very presence on this planet is evil. Then be evil! Go all the way until you become a straw man version of evil. Which is precisely the idea of societal planners who continue this system of utter madness.
It doesn’t matter if you are a nazi, a communist, a liberal or a conservative. Or whatever else you want to label yourself as.
What matters is that you are continuing to play a game that has gone on for millennia. Perpetuating the cycle of masters and slaves. It doesn’t matter if the masters are wearing communist garb. Trench coats decked out with swastikas like flair at TGI Fridays or a policeman’s uniform. The state continues on by reinventing itself. Adopting or adapting to the trends and styles of whatever time it is incarnated into. Sometimes the statism becomes so ingrained, so overwhelming that there is nothing left but to address the functions of basic existence. The state has taken everything else. All you have is your hate of whoever you perceive as your enemy. Or the belief that resistance is completely and utterly futile.
This gets into something a bit beyond the concept of the state. Even if we had a “stateless society” there would still be people seeking to conquer and enslave, why? Because humans are still humans. We may have the ability to dream wonderful things. To create magnificent machines, beautiful music and artwork that can move millions of people to tears. But many these achievements are done by people seeking to do a simple thing. To leave some kind of a mark on the world. Something for which to point to and say. “I was here, I mattered.”
To create a society where everyone is allowed to do such things is what we are working towards. However there are now and have always been people who seek to make their mark in the span of human history by forcing people to bend to their egos. To make a world that is formed in their image. To be the only ego that matters. When leaders clash like this wars happen. Which are of no use to anyone except those who profit off of wars. In the United States the economy has been built off of war since the early 1940s. It is so entrenched that it is hard to imagine anything else. Even the hippies I have been talking about here liked to imagine a world without war. But they didn’t offer up much in the way of functional solutions. Plenty of nonfunctional solutions like complete global disarmament. Socialist economic practices and mediating to increase an areas “peacefulness”. But nothing that functions in the real world.
Which brings me to what I feel is the most important thing to take away from this article. In order to define yourself as something, that means, (for all but the tiniest handful of people). That you are against something. The deepest rift in this country at the moment is probably the approaching unreconcilable differences between those of the left wing and right wing political persuasion. How did we get to this absurd point where the two chosen leaders of either side are people who in a somewhat sane society. Would probably be on trial for fraud, embezzlement, coercion and yes, outright murder?
This is the end result of the system as it is. It is the end result of this system wherever it is used. In order to create a truly functional society of human beings you don’t have to do all that much. You simply have to ingrain some simple ideas into everyone in your society. The first being what I have come to call the balanced nonaggression principle. (Nonaggression principle 2.0 sounds tacky, overly computer hipster and prone to zeerust in my opinion.) Do not initiate or accept acts of aggression. Along with the trivium method.
With effective critical thinking and the nonaggression principle in place the human mind simply works better. When the individual functions better, so does society. However, both of these ideas are incredibly dangerous to the continued survival of the state. So they are kept hidden, as well as an idea can be hidden. In the past this wasn’t too difficult. Books were expensive, newspapers were monopolistic bodies which were easy to control by threatening censorship or yanking advertising dollars. Nowadays things are different, which you obviously know because you are reading this instead of having it whispered to you in a darkened cafe while waiting in terror for a policeman’s truncheon to ruin our pleasant conversation.
That was then, this is now. We acknowledge that we have freedom of thought. However we must acknowledge that not everyone does. That the overwhelming bulk of people in the USA and elsewhere are so beat down. So indoctrinated, so utterly brainwashed by the state that they are completely ignorant of the true nature of humanity and are incapable of recognizing it if they saw it.
Patience, we are swimming against one hell of a tide of ignorance, ingrained behavior and culture. Don’t get overwhelmed by the masses, remember, it all comes down to you. You cannot control anyone’s behavior than your own. So let’s work towards a society where this is understood and not merely paid lip service.