Category Archives: Philosophy

Sincere Questions in a World of Lies, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Doug “Uncola” Lynn asks a timeless and provocative question. From Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

When I was in high school we had an English teacher who had the kids carry the ring of a toilet seat to the bathroom instead of asking him for a hall pass.  Although this took place before the selfie and social media days, it was mentioned in passing as a humorous anecdote in a story printed in the school newsletter.  In turn, it was picked up by the city paper, then a regional publication, and by the time the “story” hit the national news, it had been twisted into the teacher forcing the students into wearing the toilet seat around their necks.

That was my first personal experience with hot air expanding up through the media stratosphere before, quite unscientifically, converting into bullshit raining down from on high.  It was like watching a game of “telephone”, whereby one media representative whispered “truth” into the earpiece of another, and onward up the line, until the national media was shouting “child abuse” through their collective bullhorns. Although each media outlet should have individually vetted the story they, instead, repeated the error of an earlier source.

Indeed, there are many reasons why lies travel around the world twice as the truth ties its shoes.  When searching for veracity in a world of deception, it’s like a wind forever blowing in our faces.  Fighting that gale is comparable to swimming the breast-stroke against a raging rapids, or rock-climbing in a bad hailstorm without a helmet: We get nowhere fast and end up with a thundering headache.

We stand at the edge of the abyss, at one-minute to midnight, in the black of a storm.  Pummeled by crosswinds of lies, we hear the sounds of war drums in the distance as the roar of economic uncertainty, and waves of debt and currency fluctuations pound the shoreline all around.

To continue reading: Sincere Questions in a World of Lies

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Doug Casey Warns “It’s Going To Get Very Unpleasant In The US At Some Point Soon”

Doug Casey presents a case for anarchy. From Casey at internationalman.com, via zerohedge.com:

You’re likely aware that I’m a libertarian. But I’m actually more than a libertarian. I don’t believe in the right of the State to exist. The reason is that anything that has a monopoly of force is extremely dangerous.

As Mao Tse-tung, lately one of the world’s leading experts on government, said: “The power of the state comes out of a barrel of a gun.”

There are two possible ways for people to relate to each other, either voluntarily or coercively. And the State is pure institutionalized coercion. It’s not just unnecessary, but antithetical, for a civilized society. And that’s increasingly true as technology advances. It was never moral, but at least it was possible, in oxcart days, for bureaucrats to order things around. Today it’s ridiculous.

Everything that needs doing can and will be done by the market, by entrepreneurs who fill the needs of other people for a profit. The State is a dead hand that imposes itself on society. That belief makes me, of course, an anarchist.

People have a misconception about anarchists. That they’re these violent people, running around in black capes with little round bombs. This is nonsense. Of course there are violent anarchists. There are violent dentists. There are violent Christians. Violence, however, has nothing to do with anarchism. Anarchism is simply a belief that a ruler isn’t necessary, that society organizes itself, that individuals own themselves, and the State is actually counterproductive.

It’s always been a battle between the individual and the collective. I’m on the side of the individual.

I simply don’t believe anyone has a right to initiate aggression against anyone else. Is that an unreasonable belief?

Let me put it this way. Since government is institutionalized coercion—a very dangerous thing—it should do nothing but protect people in its bailiwick from physical coercion.

What does that imply? It implies a police force to protect you from coercion within its boundaries, an army to protect you from coercion from outsiders, and a court system to allow you to adjudicate disputes without resorting to coercion.

I could live happily with a government that did just those things. Unfortunately the US Government is only marginally competent in providing services in those three areas. Instead, it tries to do everything else.

To continue reading: Doug Casey Warns “It’s Going To Get Very Unpleasant In The US At Some Point Soon”

You’re Not Actually Sailing If You’re Still Tied to the Dock, by The Unnameable

And now for something completely different: how to clear and expand your mind through contemplation. From The Unnameable at theburningplatform.com:

I look around these days and amongst my own kind I see three distinct groups: the Clueless, the Enraged and Those Poised for Battle. If you read Sun Tzu you will discover that timing is critical to any success; The Poised are now tight as a drawn bow, perpetually nocked and trembling with waiting for some definitive signal to release. Since something’s got to give lest The Poised collapse or fire prematurely, I recommend you learn to call the shots by making this giving-in conscious, deliberate, and beneficial.

If you live in the west, if you watch tv, if you attended taxpayer-funded school, if you once had faith in your government, organised religion, major media, then it’s guaranteed your mind has been chopped up, stamped on and re-formed like a chicken nugget. It would serve you to embrace that you have spent your entire life having your garbage picked up, having the fire brigade make an appearance when your house catches alight, enjoying the full rights and benefits of a contributor to a thriving republic, but now and for the foreseeable future no one is coming to rescue either you or your mind. Finding deliverance and freedom from the current mindfuckery under which we all labour is entirely up to you.

When your life is no longer working, when following orders or chasing after approval, recognition or promotion is no longer the thrill it once was it’s time to see that you just aren’t that guy anymore. It is then you must start thinking like a sculptor and begin to chip away the parts that are no longer you.

In the west, the practice of contemplation has endured massive amounts of subtle and not-so-subtle ridicule … why? Because it’s bad for business. Ask yourself where you first heard that contemplation was a waste of time? Someone will have said it at some point … who? And for what purpose? And what did they want you to do or buy instead? Practicing contemplation will make the answers to these questions clear.

To continue reading: You’re Not Actually Sailing If You’re Still Tied to the Dock

They Fight the Law and the Law Wins, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

A corrupt nation veers towards collapse. What happens afterwards? From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

I saw the tears of the oppressed—

and they have no comforter;

power was on the side of their oppressors….

–  Ecclesiastes 4:1

 

In viewing the daily headlines and reading various online blogs, it appears many of these have converged into discussions on law and rights.  Two examples of ongoing national conversations include mass shootings versus theSecond Amendment and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s preference for prosecution of process crimes in a bogus election hacking conspiracy, over a real investigation into documented corruption at the highest levels of American government.

On April Fools Day it was revealed the Washington DC permits for the March 24, 2018 “March for Our Lives” event were acquired months before the Parkland Shooting even took place. The irony is palpable.  One would think that would be the smoking gun (pun intended) evidence of a conspiracy, but no.  Nothing shall prevent the children from wielding their emotional wounds, like a Samurai sword in a Tarantino flick, against the Second Amendment; and Laura Ingraham’s right to free speech.

The very next day, on April 2, 2018, Deerfield, Illinois nullified the U.S. Constitution and gave their residents 60 days to turn in their guns or face fines of $1,000 per day per gun.

The day after that, on April 3, 2018, a previously undisclosed memo was unveiled proving illegal collusionbetween Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and his co-conspirator, Robert Mueller, in the special counsel investigation of President Trump.

 

An August 2017 memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to Special Counsel Robert Mueller surfaced late Monday evening in a court filing. Mueller used the memo to defend his scope of the investigation against a recent motion Manafort filed to dismiss his case.

In the heavily redacted memo, Robert Mueller admits Rosenstein’s order appointing him to Special Counsel was intentionally vague.

‘This violates the special counsel law that requires a specific statement of facts to be investigated’, says Attorney Gregg Jarrett.

So let’s get this straight: Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller to be special counsel, signed off on at least one of the misrepresented, and therefore illegal, FISA applications on Team Trump for a counterintelligence investigation.  His aforementioned August 2, 2017 memo to Mueller is now being used to justify the July 26, 2017 home invasion on Paul Manafort after it happened.  Now Mueller is, instead, investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice for firing former FBI Director, James Comey.

To continue reading: They Fight the Law and the Law Wins

He Said That? 4/5/18

From Stephen King (born 1947), American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (1999):

The idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time.

Lead Us Not Into Perdition, by Robert Gore

…Besides, the almost beseeching way the men looked at him was irritating. Sometimes they acted as if they would forget how to breathe if he or Gus wasn’t there to show them. They were all resourceful men–he knew that, if they didn’t–and yet at certain times they became like children. All his adult life, he had consented to lead, and yet occasionally, when the men seemed particularly dumbstruck, he wondered why he had done it.

He and Augustus had discussed the question of leadership many times.

“It ain’t complicated,” Augustus maintained. “Most men doubt their own abilities. You don’t. It’s no wonder they want to keep you around. It keeps them from having to worry about failure all the time.”

“They ain’t failures, most of them,” Call pointed out.”They can do perfectly well for themselves.”

Augustus chuckled. “You work too hard,” he said. “It puts most men to shame. They figure out they can’t keep up, and it’s just a step or two from that to feeling that they can’t do nothing much unless you’re around to get them started.”

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry

With these few paragraphs, Larry McMurtry demonstrates more insight into leadership than scads of studies and tomes. There is a fascination with political leaders far disproportionate to their actual importance. Most of what importance they have is of the negative variety: they can and usually do mess things up. McMurtry dissects the psychology of the led, putting his finger on the human frailty behind the cult of leadership. Not bad for a cowboy novel.

Read typical history texts, newspapers and news-oriented websites and you’ll conclude that the only phenomena worthy of notice are the leaders’ personalities, bloviations, and machinations. Part of it is by design of leaders themselves, they’re always circulating their propaganda and versions of events. Part of it, as far as journalism goes, is ideology and temperament among the journalists. Most of them are statist to the core. Covering government and its leaders fits their view of the world and philosophical precepts. Besides, it’s easy. There are all those press releases and leaders makes themselves available to the media.

For historians, the most extensive archives available are usually those of political and military figures. (With the possible exception of writers, who often leave copious quantities of personal journals and letters. It’s why many biographies of writers make good doorstops.) Some of truly important and interesting historical figures leave no record at all, other than their works.

Who has had more effect on the lives of the average American, Presidents Eisenhower through Trump, or the inventors of the birth control pill, the microprocessor, and the internet? Most people will answer the latter. Why then, can they name the presidents but not the inventors? What hugely significant innovations are being birthed right now by obscure innovators while Trump hogs the headlines?

Noise is not usually important and it’s not progress. That’s often a quiet affair, conceived in the minds of innovators and furthered in laboratories and the like. Innovators work hard, think for themselves, and don’t doubt their own abilities. This, according to Augustus, separates them from the mass of people, crying for their leaders. Unfortunately, he’s right.

It’s that thinking for one’s self that’s most problematic. Thinking is often difficult. Confusion, with which every thinker must grapple, is stressful. People look to leaders to do their thinking for them: “It keeps them from having to worry about failure all the time.” Of course leaders often fail, and turning over responsibility for your life to one precludes individual achievement and success. However, being relieved of thought and responsibility makes it all worthwhile for those who find those burdens troublesome.

If you read between the lines of received “history”—the comings and goings, wars, depredations, and the all too rare wisdom and courage of aristocrats and rulers—you can discover those incremental steps that propelled humanity forward. Gutenberg’s printing press, invented in 1453, and Columbus’s voyage to America 39 years later had far more impact on humanity’s course than anything the mostly forgotten rulers of the time did.

The Industrial Revolution wrought more progress in a shorter time than any period before or since. Historians virtually ignore it, probably because the leaders of the time are no more than footnotes (see “The Magnificent Eleven,” SLL).

Piqued, shoved from the limelight by inventors and other innovators, leaders reasserted themselves, doing what they do best, engulfing the world in the war that brought the Revolution to a close. There were deaths in the millions, but the leaders were once again front and center, a position they haven’t relinquished since.

If you think of a society as a living organism, freedom allows every sensory, perceptual, and cognitive cell to operate. Information flows across the cellular network, enabling the organism to best adapt to and improve its environment. When the state and its leaders exercise control, the organism is essentially shutting off its own cells. The rulers become the only cognitive agents, doing most of the thinking, and only approved narratives can be communicated across the network. In totalitarian regimes, individuals even learn to “not perceive” anything that contradicts those narratives.

Most people in such societies become, in McMurtry’s words, dumbstruck children; it’s the safest course. They’re taken care of and not thrown in jail. But they’re also not questioning, thinking, experimenting, failing, succeeding, innovating, or progressing. One phenomenon is universal across unfree societies: decay. Having shut off so many of its own cells, gangrene sets in and the organism rots and eventually dies.

Left to their own devices, most people “can do perfectly well for themselves.” They take responsibility for their own lives because nobody else will. Doing well for themselves there’s a spillover: they do well for others. Each individual becomes a potential agent of perception, experimentation, discovery, and innovation for the organism as a whole. Through communication, trade, and myriad other voluntary interactions, networks are formed and individuals have choices and opportunities they never would have had on their own. This decentralized, dynamic, and ceaseless organic adaptation, when relatively unhindered, is history’s hidden theme and the true engine of progress.

The best thing “leaders” can do is let it happen, but that’s the opposite of where our leaders are leading and their dumbstruck children are following. Terminal gangrene is well advanced. Pacified by the media and distracted, surveilled, and soon, social-credit scored by their technology, dumbstruck children don’t protest the rot and stench. Thought, responsibility, and courage are just too hard.

Perdition is where the leaders are leading. Perdition connotes both death and damnation. Those who abdicate their minds and follow the leaders deserve no better. The collectively borne consequences of foolishness, venality, and evil can’t be avoided, but thinking, taking responsibility, shunning the lemmings, and speaking out are choices open to everyone. It’s not just a matter of survival, it’s a matter of soul.

You Should Be Laughing At Them!

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He Said That? 3/31/18

From Joshua Rogers, blogger:

Creativity doesn’t come from glancing quickly at your Twitter feed while in line at Starbucks. It comes from deep thought. It comes from voraciously reading books—long books that require focused attention. It comes from meaningful discourse with other intellectually curious people. It comes from listening and asking good questions.