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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SERFING TO THE FEUD

"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."
--Robert Heinlein

There are a lot of labels and names being thrown around, and they've been around a long time.  People call the left socialists, communists, collectivists and so on and have for about a century now.  And there was probably a time when the left's goal in America and Europe was to establish some sort of communist ideal, or at least a socialist one.
But I don't think there really are many around any longer who are remotely interested in that today.  I think that they use a lot of the same language, the same tactics, and the same arguments, but they really are not that interested in the old political and social goals.
And in some sense, probably they never were, really.  Even the old school Commies while driven by party zealotry and Marxist or Maoist ideology deep down had another goal.  No, I think all that's gone now, and its been replaced by another goal, a much older one.
ABANDONMENT
Once, the left would stand for ideas such as equality, tolerance, free speech, liberty, and justice.  You could reliably hear the left call for toleration of ideas that were not popular, for free speech to hear things you didn't want to hear, and for equality between all peoples.  Peace was the byword, peace and brotherhood and love.
These days, free speech is called hate and violence.  Equality is called oppression, tolerance is mocked and derided, if its brought up at all.  And justice has nothing to do with right and wrong or fairness, and everything to do with enforcing codes and controlling behavior.  Liberty is viewed with suspicion or condemned as a source of problems, because free people might do the wrong thing, you see.  Someone might get offended, or face something they are not comfortable with, it might frighten or upset them.
And as for peace?  Violence is called speech, and the left openly calls for it against any political enemy.  Leftist gatherings too often are accompanied by violence, and always by destruction whether heaps of litter or broken windows and burning cars.  Peace isn't even mentioned any more.
What happened?  Why are these ideas all being rejected and reversed?  Well part of the reason is that the left never truly stood for any of them.  What they wanted was to be heard and to be allowed to do what they wanted, when not in power.  When they took control of society, culture, politics, law, academia, entertainment and so on they didn't need or want any of that any longer.
Freedom of speech was only so that they could be heard, not so anyone else could be.  Peace was only to stop them from being hurt, not to stop others from being hurt.  Tolerance was to get people to put up with their antics, not for them to put up with other peoples'.
And in the end, all they stood for and called to happen was lost in the rush for power and control, and ultimately, the real goal became more apparent.
FEUDALISM
There was an old system in place, long ago, called "Feudalism" in which the dangerous wilderness of a nation was stabilized and controlled by powerful warlords who in turn were served by the populace.  This system became highly sophisticated and structured in places such as England, Japan, and Russia.
The powerful few had weapons and money which was in theory used to protect the powerless many in exchange for food and service.  Taxes or tribute were paid in the form of goods and services, as well as servile obedience, for protection from bandits, other warlords, wild animals, and so on.  These lords had tremendous, almost unlimited power over the serfs, who rarely could add, much less read, and worked miserably for tiny scraps of what they produced.
The Lords lived like... well, kings.  They had the best of everything, they enjoyed the finest and were served by all.  Merely disobeying or even annoying one could easily lead to death, while killing a serf carried virtually no penalty for a lord.  Serfs had no rights, no earnings, no power.  They existed as a sort of life support system for the lords, for whom the very idea of lifting a finger to produce anything was insulting and beneath their lofty status.
And the system was locked in.  There was virtually no chance for advancement for a serf.  One might, perhaps, gain minor status through exceptional service in war, but it was rare and very limited.  Almost all serfs were born and died in that class and stayed that way by design.  Unarmed, uneducated, unable to band together, revolts were rare and ended very badly for the serfs.
This system worked very well for the lords, who had everything they might have wanted, and only had to do very little - and it was usually what they liked doing anyway.  For the serfs, it was protection from outside aggression, but without any liberty, any redress for harm, and any ability to get any better.  The system was so ingrained that most serfs rebelled against the idea of getting better, being "above their station."
NEW FEUDALIST
What do you call it when someone wants all the benefits of capitalism and modern civilization, but none of the means and structures to create and sustain it?  I don't blame the Occupy crowd from wanting cell phones as they decry capitalism.  I don't blame them for wanting all the trappings and benefits of the system they call evil.  But their very solutions and systems which would obliterate all that would also obliterate its benefits.
Going back to the productivity, population, and "emissions" of the 18th century would result in no more I phone, no more internet, no more cars, no more shoes, no more clubs, no more take out.  Everything they take for granted and demand, assume as their birthright, they would destroy.
Unless... you create a system by which everyone except them is forced into this regressive, low-tech lifestyle.  Where they are the lords, where they have all the benefits, for which they pay by being enlightened keepers of the truth and warriors against the evils of capitalism and the right wing.
They don't want children educated, they want children to be trained.  They don't want people to have freedom, they want people to obey.  They don't want a society of equality, they want a society of supremacy.
And this New Feudalism isn't just on the left.  There are those on the right who'd love the same system, with them in charge, and everyone shut up and doing what they're told beneath them.  They would control everything and make everyone Do The Right Thing or take a helicopter ride without a return ticket.
Always this is structured in the framework of doing good for people, in terms of service, of helping those in need, of protecting.  That's what the lords said in 1100 too, it was God's will that they be in power protecting the serfs from the bad stuff.  Why, they deserve the best of the farm and exclusive rights to hunting and fishing.
Ordinary people cannot be trusted to handle things themselves, they're stupid, or sinful, or unelightened, or just sister-marrying knuckeldraggers living in trailers.  Its for their own good that we control them, and look, they like it!
As the United Nations recently argued, its better that people not be educated, they're bad for the environment:
"Generally, more highly educated people, who have higher incomes, consume more resources than poorly educated people, who tend to have lower incomes"
Besides, they're easier to control.  Just educate them enough that they can do the jobs required to give the lords what they want, and no more.
SOCIAL JUSTICE
And this system only works with a rigid, absolute code.  You have to have a structure by which everyone knows their place and dares not step outside of it, or they cannot be controlled and the serfs might start to question their situation.  
"Social Justice," the left's code for "controlling society by claiming a system of fairness and oppression" is that code.  There is no way to have equality of outcome for anyone without absolute tyranny.  Justice, true justice, only allows for and provides equality of access and treatment, not equality of life and experience.  Social Justice tries to change that by imposing absolute rules of who wins and who loses, so that a "balance" is reached.  Whites have had it too good for too long, so they must be repressed to bring about equality.  Men have been too strong for too much of history, so they must be repressed so that women can find equality.  When does this end?  Some day, just trust the lords, they will handle everything.  Like the ancient story of the emperor cutting the tops off all the wheat to make it equal: none may grow too tall, all the same height, this is how the equality will be reached.
But you cannot have equality for all, because otherwise who'd have the power to enforce this system?  Someone has to be on top, someone has to arbitrate and create all the rules, someone has to oversee all this.  Someone has to cut those tops off that grow too big.  Leave it to the lords.  They will handle it, just pay your tribute.  They're enlightened, they're better, they understand, they're woke.
Want an example?  Try Spacial Injustice.
The University of California-Los Angeles is offering a technology class this summer examining how “car culture” contributes to “spatial injustice.”
The course, “LA Tech City: Digital Technologies and Spatial Injustice,” will be offered through the UCLA Digital Humanities department and will be taught by Professor Todd Presner and Professor Dana Cuff.
“Students will investigate spatial justice and injustice in the multi-ethnic city through the lens of three thematic technologies,” the syllabus states, listing cars and highways, the Internet, and film and media as factors that contribute to spatial injustice.
While Professor Presner declined to comment, he referred Campus Reform to the definition of “spatial injustice” by Edward Soja, who laments the “production of unjust geographies and spatial structures of privilege” within cities, which he argues can be “aggravated further by racism, patriarchy, heterosexual bias.”
Rojas argues that while the inner-city working poor “depend on a more flexible bus network given their multiple and multi-locational job households,” as compared to “the relatively wealthy suburban population” in Los Angeles, “the accumulation of locational decisions in a capitalist economy tends to lead to the redistribution of real income in favor of the rich over the poor.”
Some have cars, and others do not.  This is unjust, because it lets them do things others cannot.  Cut the top of that wheat off.
KING'S FOREST
In feudal systems there's a basic hierarchy of power and ownership: you know exactly the structure.  This guy is on top, this guy ranks slightly below him, and so on.  We still see this in the military, with an absolute command structure.  Everything belongs to the army, it just lets you use some of it sometimes.  Including you.
The King owns all the land, but will parcel it out to others as rewards for service and for that lesser lord to control and bring him proper tribute.
Similarly, the attitude of the modern feudalist is that the government owns everything, and it lets us have some of it.  Don't believe me?  Look at the recent tax cut and the responses to it.  It was repeatedly called a "heist," it was called theft for you to keep more of your earnings.  Theft from whom?  The government of course, who properly owns this.  Government owns it all and lets you have some of it.  If it likes you.
You can petition the government for some of it, through grants and loans and subsidies.  But you best be the kind of person who properly understands their place and social justice to get it.  Green energy startup?  You're the good sort of person.  You can have some of the government's money.  Create an electric car?  You can have subsidies to help build it, to cut your taxes with the state, and for people to buy the car from you with.
And this connects to another theme: the worthless leader.  Sure, they could fight, and they were great with courtly duties.  They knew poems and languages, and how to dress, what every knight's shield design was, and how to ride a horse.  But they knew almost nothing of any practical value, eventually.  Left alone in a forest, they'd just wander around complaining and die eventually.
And that's what the modern feudalist is like.  They never learn anything of significant value.  They learn how to rule.  If you have noticed, they never do what they call for, they simply teach others to do it, they "organize" they rabble rouse.  They get marches together and are activists, but don't actually go out and do anything to help or construct or benefit anyone but themselves.  That college degree in wymyn's intersectional lesbian studies doesn't actually teach you anything that you can use or help people with. It just fills your head with "woke" ideas and proper jargon.  You are good at being that feudal leader, and the actual doing is up to other people.  And you're considered great for being that way, by the fellow feudalists.
KNOW YOUR PLACE
In the end, none of it is truly about the causes that are trumpeted.  Social Justice isn't really about justice or society at all, its about controlling you and I, and keeping you in your "proper" place.  Kneel to the philosopher kings, tug your forelock and look down when they pass.  Never question them or doubt.  Don't try to be better than you are.  Obey.  Submit.  All those rules you must live by, of course they don't have to; they're your betters.  They make the rules, they don't have to follow them.  They're put into that place because they are enlightened, woke, politically correct.
So there's no equality, tolerance, justice, peace, or any of that.  Just control.

Friday, January 12, 2018

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"

One of the aspects of Christianity that some other religions find odd or unpleasant is evangelism.  The term comes from the Greek word for Gospel: Evangael.  It is a concept of reaching out to tell others about the "good news" of salvation as told to by Jesus and out of an outpouring of love and joy in the heart, wanting others to have this as well.
The term has gotten broader meaning over time, so that evangelism is pretty much any very excited person pushing their delight or worldview on others: veganism, environmentalism, D&D, fly fishing, whatever.
And there's a newer version out there being taught today to kids by every outlet imaginable.  Kids books, television shows, movies, comic books, teachers, news broadcasters, everyone.  Its like having Sunday School all around you all day long.
SNOWFLAKES
When people look at the culture around them, they see some problems.  They see overprotected children being kept from difficulty, failure, or potential harm by parents to an excessive, over zealous degree.  They worry that such children will grow up unable to deal with the challenges and difficulties of reality.
And that's a valid concern, one I've written about here several times.  The bulk of the crazy that's swirling around culture comes from young people growing up enough to be confronted with an unfair, unjust, painful world they were protected from too much and too long.  They tend to be unable to deal with this, having never learned the basic skills, and often throw a tantrum.
We all know what this is like and have seen it over and over in the news, from Occupy to people screaming at the sky over who won the presidency, to colleges banning words, changing language, and considering free speech a suspicious, if not destructive concept.
EVANGELISM
But there is another source of the problem here, and it comes from the other side of the issue.  Its the problem of children being raised with the idea that there's some utopian ideal that tehy can and will achieve because of their greatness.  The term usually thrown around is a variation of the title, above: "Be the change you want to see." 
The quote is usually attributed to Gandhi, who never said that (as far as anyone can find) but the closest we can find is this quote: "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do."
Now, this sounds nice enough, and it is indeed part of Christian doctrine: live your life in such a way that you bring glory to God and possibly get people to ask why you're different and what could be bringing that about.  The concept here is that young people often see the problems with the world around them, and that if they have an idea of what the world should be like, well they can live that way and thus change the world as those old terrible people all die out.  They'll just replace humanity with Humanity 2.0, rebooting to a purer, more enlightened world!
And in the process, people will see what better people you are, and change to be more like you, because clearly, its superior to their old traditional old ways of oldness and olditude.  Old.  Did I mention that they are better because they are young?  And not old?
The concept is to build a better world by pretending its already here, in defiance of the old and existing.  Your Will, to put it another way, has the Power to transform the world around you, and bring about a superior existence, one that perhaps will last 1000 years.
This is, in large part, why there's been such a ridiculous outcry against Brexit and an even larger, insane, frothing, tantrum against President Trump's election.  We were making the world better and you ruined everything!!!! Its fury and frustration that their grand plans are being undone by old stupid white people who should all just die!
We spend a lot of time trying to change other people. There is, after all, so much wrong with them: they’re selfish, arrogant, bullying, weak, cold, needy and so on. So we try to point this out – and often meet with resistance, denial or sheer indifference. This can be very agitating and hence renders us cross and severe. Why won’t people take our lessons board?
THE WALL
And the problem with this perspective is that people who try to change reality by pretending its not there, tend to bash up against the impervious solid wall of reality over and over.  Eventually they either adapt to reality, pretend they've accomplished their goals, or go crazy with the frustration and anguish of failure.
The flaw here is not that one should not try to make the world a better place, nor that we ought not teach children to be better than the world around them.  Its not even that you cannot influence culture by bringing up a generation of young people who understand life and know better than what they are presented with -- every Christian parent dreams of just that.  There's hardly any parent alive who does not want their children to be better than they were and to have a better world than they did.
The flaw is that the world they envision and desire is at odds with the real world.  By this I mean that their dream utopia is not possible in this fallen and sinful world.  That we live in a world that is fundamentally flawed, damaged, broken, and unjust.  It is no so because people are such jerks, rather that people are such jerks because they are part of such a world.
No child is ever going to be raised enlightened and holier than their existence.  We are not going to raise a generation of saints who know no hate, injustice, cruelty, or sadness, because we have that within us and it comes from us.  The miseries of the world are not imposed from the outside upon a noble and just innocent people.  They come from us.  We create this world, not the other way around.
The world is the way it is around us because we are in it.  No matter what just and proper and noble ideas we have, we are not the agents of bringing a new era of utopian enlightenment and beauty.  Its like asking a slug to make a clean and crisp newly folded stack of laundry.  We get our slime everywhere.
KINGDOM COME
Christians face this dilemma every day: we are called to be "salt and light" in the world; to bring God's truth to a sinful and fallen world desperate for healing and truth, but also know that this sinful and fallen world cannot ever truly be redeemed until Jesus Christ returns and sets all to right.  All our efforts can bring about is temporary, flawed change -- it can make a better place in some ways, but always at the cost of other problems, and never forever.
Christians did manage to bring a tremendous amount of good in the past, but always at a cost.  All the good done and known in the past was also paired with ills.  The 1950s were a more openly moral society that shunned most modern ills, but was blighted with bigotry, sexism, and other cruelties and sins.
However, Christians know that their efforts are not about success and triumph, but about doing good, serving God, and glorifying His name.  It is a religious effort, it is faith-based.
THE NEW FAITH
And so is the "be the change" movement.  It is a religious, faith-based movement dreaming of saving the world through works and bringing about a paradise on earth. It defies reality and substitutes its own ideals, trusting that if people try, work, and believe hard enough, everything will all be better.
This is not a system of logic, reason, studied theory, and scientific knowledge given form.  Because it is a faith, it doesn't need to make sense or have any basis in reality.  It can defy reality, and it is something that people who are adherents of will gladly, zealously evangelize about.  And when it doesn't work, that doesn't mean the faith is wrong, it just means someone interfered with their perfect efforts.  Those old people, those republicans, those white people, they got in the way, it would have worked if not for them! 
THE CONSEQUENCES
Again, its not that we ought not teach people to be better than their natures lead them to be.  Christianity strongly agrees with this, as do most other religions of the world.  All of us know, deep down, things aren't the way they are supposed to be -- or at least how we could envision them being.  I believe Mormonism is based on nonsense and lies, but that doesn't mean that they and are not generally a very positive influence in our culture and communities.  Buddhism is nonsense and wishcasting, but that doesn't mean Buddhists cannot be pleasant people who are good neighbors.
My concern is that these well meaning people are teaching nonsense to kids, with a presumption of malice and evil in their opponents, that they are teaching self-righteousness and arrogance, combined with an assumption of invulnerability.  The Bible teaches that we're ALL sinners, who struggle against it, and never are perfect, so we cannot condemn or look down on others, only condemn their acts in comparison to God, not us.  These people are being taught that they are inherently superior to others, and that disagreement is a sign of evil and corruption, not a difference of opinion.  That there cannot be common ground, that there cannot be discussion or debate.  That even talking about a difference of opinion is so bad it should be shunned and banned.
And this combines with the helicopter parent, the snowflake effect, to create a sort of super-person, an opinion that one is wonderfully just and right and others horrible and evil.  Which is, to put it simply, the source of some of the world's most horrific evils imaginable.  In the process of trying to end bigotry and intolerance, they're being trained to be the most bigoted, intolerant people imaginable: "they’re selfish, arrogant, bullying, weak, cold, needy and so on." And we're not, by implication.  We can easily list off the top of our heads the evil movements in history that had this exact viewpoint in a division of humanity.
So dealing with these evil people becomes not just a matter of importance, but necessity, an imperative.  This must be done or our utopia will never take place.  And that's how we get church shooters, baseball game shooters, people tackling senators, cop killers, and so on.  When the mentally unstable take this to heart.
And even more broadly, individuals are driven to the limit by how the world keeps not being what they insist and demand, how they keep failing to be what they want to be, and how others keep having points and information that greatly challenge what they've always believed.
Combine this with the snowflake effect and you end up screaming at the sky and wearing costumes shaped like women's genitalia.  You end up marching and shouting slogans, breaking things, burning things and attacking people.
In short, it drives you absolutely crazy.  Or lying to yourself.  Or you abandon it, take the "red pill" as in Matrix, and wake up to a slightly more depressing, but real world.
BEING CHANGE
See, we should try to be better.  We should try to raise our kids to be better than us.  But that should be based on truth and reality and humility.  Not the idea we can fix everything if only we try hard enough and those awful people die... somehow.  We need a dogma of working to produce a better world, not innate perfection and defiance of reality that brings about perfection.
And that dogma cannot teach that we'll pull it off if the bad people stop blocking us because its a short trip from that to "therefore we must get rid of them."  And I'm looking at the right and the left here, I see too much of that uttered on both sides.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

A WORD AWAY

For the past year or so I've not put much on to my blog, partly due to a focus on other writing, partly due to a waning interest in blogging, but mostly due to difficulties with  my health.  It seemed like everything I did took twice as much energy, like I had weights attached to me. 
Just the idea of sitting down to write something felt like contemplating a marathon, and it just took the life out of me.  So I haven't done much and for over six months wrote nothing on either this or my writing blog Inscribed.
However, I am feeling some better now, and have a bit of a break in writing to work on illustrations, so I plan on putting more focus onto Word Around the Net.  I know its been an awful long time now and likely people aren't even looking here any longer, but for those who do or have the feed, its out here still.
I plan at least one post a month, and more as things arise.  If you saw the "drafts" portion of my blog you'd see I have about ten things started up but not written very far, ideas that came to me and I "jotted down" as it were notes and links to pick up later.  So I have plenty to get going with, but I don't mean to make it a job like I did at the start, forcing three or more posts a day five to six days a week.
I hope you'll stick around and see, there's quite a lot out there to think about.