Scientism

Note: This article originally appeared in Social Matter Magazine in August of 2017. I’ve been told that site is currently under construction, but as a precaution I’ve re-posted it here because the content is now more relevant than ever.


Man has evolved to survive and reproduce within an ever-changing environment. This environment is almost entirely unknown to Man, due to our limited ability to perceive reality. I know, it probably seems to you that you know quite a bit about reality. You understand red shift and the expanding universe, you know we live in the arm of a spiral galaxy and the Milky Way is the view through the body of it. You know we live on a spinning globe, which is constructed of continents. You know the general topography of your region, and the streets and highways surrounding your home. You know the contents of your home, what you had for breakfast and that your body is constantly covered with symbiotic bacteria and insects.

Consider sight. We see the world around us via light waves: it appears solid, real, unquestionable. Of course you know about the spectrum of light: ROYGBIV. Your perception of the visible world is entirely composed of waves from this spectrum. This is known as the visible spectrum, which means that there is an invisible spectrum. Take a look at this graph of the electromagnetic spectrum and try to appreciate what a tiny fraction of it you are able to perceive.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Are UV or microwaves any less real, even though they are beyond your visual perception? You can perceive UV and microwaves, because they burn your skin, while x-rays (nuclear radiation) are totally beyond your perception even though they can kill you as surely as bullets. Hopefully you are getting an appreciation for the tiny fractions of the electromagnetic spectrum that you can perceive, and the vast stretches of it that lie outside your ability to perceive in any way. Similarly there is an audible spectrum, the tiny fraction of sound waves that the human ear can perceive.

We perceive such a small fraction of light and sound because it’s efficient. The eye and ear have passed the Darwinian test: they provide enough perception to allow us to survive and reproduce. Every extension in perception requires a concomitant increase in processing power, and you probably know that the brain accounts for about 2% of body weight but consumes 20% of the body’s calories at rest. It takes a lot of calories to maintain a brain, which is why most species opted for the economy models.

The main point is that there is much more to reality than you can perceive. Far more. And that’s not taking into account the perceptual tricks that your brain plays to make the world seem far more solid to you than what you actually can perceive. Even though the world appears solid to you visually, you’re brain is only processing a tiny fraction of your visible field but providing the illusion that you are actually seeing reality, which is why prestidigitation and pick-pocketing work. There’s a famous “selective attention” experiment which illustrates this phenomenon beautifully. The more you study perception, the more you realize just how little of reality you can actually perceive and process (attention) and how much of the solidity and reality of the world around you is actually illusory (the vast majority). It’s simply efficient to maintain just enough biological functionality of perception and cognition (and then to attend to only a tiny fraction of perception) to survive and reproduce, and not much more.

At the beginning of this post when I wrote: “This environment is almost entirely unknown to Man, due to our limited ability to perceive reality.” Now you see that I mean: even the environment that you can perceive is almost entirely unknown. I didn’t even mention the environment that is beyond your perception, such as things at microscopic scale, or galactic scale, or the insects crawling through your walls.

All of this discussion of perception and cognition leads to an important point about God. Westerners have this notion of the Logos or the Word, which is the idea that there is an order to reality which exists, even though we may not understand it, and which can be articulated. This is the central tenet of the modern conception of “science”: there is one reality and it operates according to rules and these rules exist even though we do not understand their operation, but we can extend our perception to deepen our understanding and articulate it to others. Science is an attempt to unravel the nature of reality that is beyond our perception or cognition. Theology is also an attempt to unravel the nature of reality that is beyond our perception or cognition. We might say that God is the reality to which we are subject, but which we cannot perceive or comprehend. That part of reality which we can articulate are in the domain of the known, while that part of  reality which lies outside of the known is part of a unified, organized system of rules and laws to which we are subject: God is as good a word as any to describe this unknown portion of reality that we are bound to obey for our survival.

Entering the Dream World

The method by which Man extends his understanding of reality and subsequently adapts to it is a fascinating topic. Children learn that the scientific method means: to propose a hypothesis, construct a test of the hypothesis, collect data from the test and communicate the results. How is an hypothesis created? Understand clearly that the need for a hypothesis is predicated on the understanding that some aspect reality is beyond our comprehension, yet we know it is there, and we are extending ourselves toward it, attempting to find a method of perceiving it. We intuit that there is something there, but we have no idea what it is or how to find it. A hypothesis is nothing more than an intuition.

There is no ‘invalid’ way to form a hypothesis (or intuition). Dreams are perfectly valid producers of intuition and hypothesis. Dreams, fevers, near death experiences, drugs, meditation, prayer, stories, legends, myths and religious experiences are all valid methods of formation of hypotheses, as a hypothesis is nothing more than an intuition. Science is simply a set of steps that we can attempt to use to launder our intuitions of error, bias, and wishful thinking. I say attempt, because working around our own biological and psychological biases, not to mention personal self-interest, is an almost impossible task, as the Replication Crisis is showing us in excruciating detail. Academia and science itself are in a death spiral of confidence due to the numerous obstacles and perverse incentives which prevent scientists and academics from laundering their testimony of error, bias and wishful thinking.

I am trying to communicate that there is a space, a gap, between the ultimate reality of the universe (which we may call God or the unknown) and between our ability to articulate (Christian Word) the rules (Greek Logos) of that reality. This is the space where intuition operates, beyond our conscious control, in a separate area of consciousness, which we call the subconscious. I tend to think of this as the dream world. This is where the artist operates, where hypothesis and intuition are born, in an unarticulated landscape of sensations and images and emotions.

We sense that almost all of reality is unknown to us, but we are sure it exists and that we are subject to its rules of operation. We know that we must obey these unseen rules (and this unseen ruler aka God) and we must stretch our minds out beyond our articulated understanding to meet them. This is the domain of the artist and the prophet, and now the scientist. The scientist must touch the edge of the dream world (hypothesis, intuition) and then attempt to launder the hypothesis of error, bias and wishful thinking, to render a truthful testimony (Christian Word) which attests to the true nature of reality (Greek Logos).

Similarly, religion, myth and legend are attempts to articulate the patterns of alignment with the totality of the set of objects and phenomena, both known and unknown, that we call reality. Religion, myth and legend communicate patterns of behavior which have been intuited to encapsulate some truth about how Man can align himself with both the known and unknown. These mystical forms of transmission of course deal with unscientific phenomena, such as dreams and visions, which operate outside of the domain of the conscious and articulated mind (and therefore outside the domain of the scientific method), in the subconscious (sub-lingual) area of the mind where the faculty of intuition operates.

The scientific method cannot operate in the dream world, the subconscious mind, and ironically, science is entirely dependent upon the operation of the subconscious mind and the faculty of intuition. The dream world, intuition, is the generator of the hypothesis which is at the root of the scientific method. Intuition is the root faculty which provides Man the ability to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown aspects of reality. The scientific method is only a set of tools used to launder error, bias and wishful thinking from our testimony of the nature of that reality, while religion, myth and legend are tools used to communicate the patterns detected by the subconscious mind, as stories which contain both the truth and artifacts from the dream world. The fact that visions, myth and legend are communicated in the raw language of the subconscious (unlaundered by the scientific method), is by no means an indicator that visions, myth and legend are devoid of valid testimony about how Man can align himself with both the known and unknown aspects of reality in order to improve his chances of survival and reproduction. If intuition always contained zero valid truth, then the scientific method would have nothing on which to operate.

Parallels: Christianity and Science

The more one studies the history of science, the clearer it becomes that science is Christian. The Greeks, you say? Yes, Aristotle (born 384 BC) is the father of what we would call the proto-scientific method. We really get the scientific method with Bacon (born 1561) and Newton (born 1642). What about the approximately two thousand years between these thinkers? The line that holds them together is essentially the Church.

For hundreds of years, European higher education took place at Christian cathedral schools or monastic schools, where monks and nuns taught. This was the prototype of the modern University system, which grew organically out of the Christian higher education system. Consider the religious affiliations of most old universities in the West and you’ll get a feel for the enmeshed nature of Christianity and science.

Is it a coincidence that professors and priests wear black robes and funny hats for important ceremonies? Not at all, as the Christian schools were taught by the priests, monks and nuns. The university professor is the modern version of the priest, both guardians of the sacred knowledge of our people. The role of the university professor and the priest are the same, to act as intermediaries between the reality that is beyond our perception and comprehension and our daily experience. They both translate the unknowable into the knowable and then transmit this knowledge to the laity/public. They both work on the edge of the dream world and the common world.

However, both Christian institutions and their progeny, the academic institutions, are governed and operated by men, and all men have their own self-interests to serve. Academics and their students often like to remind us of the Catholic practice of selling indulgences, where laity could purchase forgiveness of sins. This was possible because the priesthood was the intermediary between God and Man, in exactly the same way that scientists and academics are the intermediary between Nature and Man. Is it possible that scientists and academics could fall prey to self-interest, error, bias and wishful thinking, in exactly the same way that the priesthood did? Just maybe?

The Instrumentalist Problem

Seeing clearly now that mankind perceives and operates within a limited scope and scale of a reality far beyond his capabilities to perceive and comprehend deeply, then the utility of extending perception becomes obvious. If something is too small to see, we use a device, an instrument of some sort which extends our perception, such as eyeglasses, a magnifying glass or a microscope. Similarly if something is too far away we use instruments such as binoculars or a telescope. To more accurately perceive groups of organisms, we do data surveys and use statistical analysis of the data to detect patterns. All of these extensions of perception require specialized knowledge and training. Not just anyone can build an electron microscope. We need specialists in instrumentation to manage the instruments with which we extend mankind’s perception of reality. We can call these specialists instrumentalists, who must master the intricacies of their particular instrument in exactly the same manner as a cellist: through persistent hard work (and with some innate talent). Of course, the difference is that most anyone can tell if a particular cellist has mastered his instrument, but it’s a bit harder to detect if a statistician is doing a good job. You have to be an instrumentalist in order to understand what another instrumentalist is doing. Then you have to do quite a bit of work to confirm his work.

Most of us have neither the ability, training or the time to double-check the work of statisticians and sociologists, and this is the purported function of the peer review system. This quote is from the conclusion of Richard Smith’s article Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM), and distributed on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.

So peer review is a flawed process, full of easily identified defects with little evidence that it works. Nevertheless, it is likely to remain central to science and journals because there is no obvious alternative, and scientists and editors have a continuing belief in peer review. How odd that science should be rooted in belief.

Notice that I identified the source of the article as an accredited peer-reviewed journal (JRSM) and the publisher as a credentialed scientific agency (NIH), as an appeal to authority, to discredit the notion that peer-review is a valid process that underlies credibility of scientific agencies. Now that’s irony for you.

I previously mentioned the Replication Crisis, which is the result of the failure of peer review. The heart of the failure of the peer is the Instrumentalist Problem: You have to be an instrumentalist in order to understand what another instrumentalist is doing. Then you have to do quite a bit of work to confirm his work.

This Noba project article, The Replication Crisis in Psychology,  references the data in the article Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. The findings of the original article are summed up in the following Noba project graph, which describes “the replication of 100 experiments reported in papers published in 2008 in three high-ranking psychology journals.” The basic point is that on average 2/3 of those experiments could not be replicated.

That’s only psychology. This problem exists in all disciplines. This article references 120 entirely fake articles which have been published in peer reviewed journals. The articles have been removed, so a blog at Nature kept a record of the IEEE-wiped-articles.

You can still use MathGen to generate random mathematics papers today. The blog bragged back in September of 2012, when its first randomly generated math paper was accepted to a reputable peer reviewed journal: Mathgen paper accepted! _ That’s Mathematics!. That was the first MathGen paper to be accepted, mind you.

Continuing from Richard Smith’s critique of peer review:

One difficult question is whether peer review should continue to operate on trust. Some have made small steps beyond into the world of audit. The Food and Drug Administration in the USA reserves the right to go and look at the records and raw data of those who produce studies that are used in applications for new drugs to receive licences. Sometimes it does so. Some journals, including the BMJ, make it a condition of submission that the editors can ask for the raw data behind a study. We did so once or twice, only to discover that reviewing raw data is difficult, expensive, and time consuming. I cannot see journals moving beyond trust in any major way unless the whole scientific enterprise moves in that direction.  [emphasisand emphasis mine]

Even if you have the ability to review another instrumentalist, it’s difficult, expensive and time consuming. Hence, almost no-one ever does it. The whole system operates on trust. Hence, Smith’s wry conclusion: “How odd that science should be rooted in belief.

The absurdity of it all really should make you laugh.

There’s a great scene from the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which I mostly despise for its post-modern humor) called “Science is a liar… sometimes“. Take a moment to watch the scene. This scene humorously illustrates the problem with instrumentalism: that unless you have seen the records and pored through the facts, the figures and the numbers, then in fact everything that you believe that comes from science is simply revealed knowledge (transmitted to you via the priesthood of science: academia) that you have accepted on faith. This faith is known as Scientism.

Scientism

Science is a methodology for laundering error, bias and wishful thinking from your hypotheses. Scientism is a religion, a cult, based on the faith in the authority of academia. The members of this cult accept the diktats of the academy as revealed knowledge. Scientism, like other religions, exists because mankind knows that there is a reality that exists beyond his perception which he must understand and adapt to in order to survive and reproduce. Because the perception of this unknown reality is a process of intuition followed by an almost impossibly difficult process of laundering error, bias and wishful thinking, while at the same time fighting the incentives to lie for personal gain, and using instrumentation that is difficult to operate and master, we rely on specialists to perform this task… and we simply trust that they aren’t lying.

Atheism is often justified through scientism. The scientistic atheist syllogism works like this: “You can’t use science to prove God exists. Science is the arbiter of what is true and only unscientific, unlearned and unenlightened rubes believe in things that cannot be measured by science. I am a scientific, educated and enlightened person, therefore God does not exist.” Of course, there are many God-fearing scientists, and as the development of the university system shows (and contrary to many atheist talking points), there is no inherent conflict between Christianity and scientific inquiry. In fact, the scientific worldview is very much a logical outgrowth of the concepts of the Word and Logos which are central to Christianity.

One of the main dangers of a religious faith in Scientism is hubris: the notion that because now that I Fucking L♡ve Science!(25 million likes on Facebook), we don’t need religions (because Science!™ isn’t a religion, you see) and Mankind can simply Science!™ his way into the future. This is the simple mental model used Scientians.

Faith is a wondrous thing. It is said to have the power to move mountains. How do we know where we should put our faith? Through scientific inquiry, the West has produced astounding technological wonders. Doesn’t the existence of all the wonders of technology prove that we should have faith in Science!™?

But what if Science!™ is a liar… sometimes? Well, fortunately (or not so fortunately) we have a solution to the problem of scientism. You might say it’s sort of a final solution. We call it the Darwinian Filter.

The Darwinian Filter

Scientism is a very new religion. Christianity, at two thousand years, is an old religion. Keep in mind that religions come and go. How many members of the Mithraic cult do you know? How many Zoroastrians? How can be sure that Scientism isn’t just another flash in the pan?

G.K. Chesterton has some great insights and quotes about traditionalism. One of my favorites:

“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” – Orthodoxy, 1908

Chesterton is pointing to the Darwinian Filter. Judging a religion based on it’s alignment to empirical phenomenon, that which is in the set of objects and phenomena that we can label known and can be articulated, entirely misses the point of religions: religions are attempts to align with that which is unknown and unseen, to extend perception to that which is outside the set of objects that can label known. We can judge whether or not a religion is in alignment with the unknown rules and the unseen ruler if is survives the process of natural selection. This is Chesterton’s democracy of the dead: those who survived and reproduced and passed their beliefs on to their progeny have their voices echo through the ages.

The Darwinian filter is the ultimate judge of truth and falsehood. Only that which is aligned both with the known and the unknown can survive. Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson had a pair of conversations about the topic of truth. Essentially, Peterson advocates that the Darwinian Filter (natural selection) is the ultimate yardstick by which we judge truth because passing the filter shows that the truth is in alignment with both the known and the unknown. Harris, being a materialist rationalist, only judges truth by comparing it to the set of what is known (empiricism), and ignores that which is unknown. This is scientism at work: limiting discussion to the known(empirical) and ignoring the unknown even though it is clear that the unknown is every bit as real, powerful and deadly as the known.

Harris is an atheist. Refer to the atheist’s syllogism in the previous section again to get a feel for his response to Peterson. This is also a semantic argument: Harris insists that the definition of true only makes sense in relationship to that which is empirical, and I agree to an extent, but it’s difficult to find a better word to describe that which survives the Darwinian Filter by being in alignment with both the known and the unknown. That which is true is consistent with fact or reality, so to limit truth to consistency with known reality or fact (empirical data) while ignoring consistency with unknown realityseems to me to be an arbitrary limit.

To be clear, I understand why materialist rationalists like Harris want to limit truth to that which is empirical: because the doorway to the unknown leads to the Dream World, and that way lies madness. In order to keep his logic clean and simplify his calculations, he discards the unknown. I understand how this makes the decision process simpler, but it can lead to conclusions which can be corrected only by the Darwinian Filter.

For example, it’s now almost universally accepted that Communism is a failed ideology, but it should be pointed out that Communism is a scientistic ideology. Communism was a modernist project to create a scientific government based on rational assumptions. It sounded true to a lot of people who thought long and hard about the relevant concepts. It was logical, rational and scientific. The Russians tried to implement it… and tens of millions died. Of course, “maybe some of the equations weren’t balanced correctly” thought the Chinese, so they attempted a modified implementation… and tens of millions died. Then “The Chinese must have miscalculated“, thought the Cambodians…

Eventually, after enough millions had died, it was observed that Communism was repeatedly failing to pass the Darwinian Filter, so some began to wonder if there was some unknown force or rule (besides evil Capitalist pigs) causing the failure. It was also observed that the archaic systems being overthrown in favor of Communism had passed the Darwinian Filter. We should note that the feudal orders that preceded modernity were at least functional enough to allow for  some stable level of survival and reproduction, and that in hindsight Communism wasn’t a great trade. The Communists thought that they no longer needed to account for Chesterton’s democracy of the dead, because Science!™.

One last quick example of truth not passing the Darwinian Filter. One common result of life in our post-modern world is the philosophy of nihilism. The nihilist’s syllogism goes something like this: “All living beings suffer and eventually die. If all life results in suffering and eventual death, then life is cruel and pointless.” The first assertion in this syllogism is consistent with empirical observation. The conclusion is rational and logical. Therefore, it meets the materialist rationalist definition of true, which is why nihilism is so tempting. However, nihilists don’t survive long and don’t see the point in doing hard things like raising children, so their voices don’t echo through the ages. Nihilistic biological tendencies, dogmas and religions are filtered out of life. So while empirically and logically true, the nihilistic conclusion doesn’t align with the unseen and the unknown and is thus filtered out. No matter how we might try to promote nihilism because of a fervent belief in its unassailable truth and logic, it will be filtered out by the mechanisms of natural selection: when measured against the Darwinian yardstick nihilism is found to be false.

The Cargo Cult of Scientism

An essential key to understanding Scientism is that it looks like Science!™ to the naïve observer. Science has a feeling, a language, a meter. Science is cool and collected. Science uses large, strange words. Science is new and smooth, shiny, glossy.

Science is none of those things because science is a series of methodologies to launder error, bias and wishful thinking from our testimony about reality. What I was just describing was technology and marketing.

There are cases in the 20th century where the Westerners came into contact with various Melanesian primitives. They arrived in ships and airplanes and brought gifts for the natives and other supplies: their cargo. After seeing the wonderful cargo of the Westerners, some leaders of the primitives had visions and instructed their followers to construct mock airplanes in order to bring more cargo. These groups became known as Cargo Cults for their belief that mimicking technology would bring them cargo.

Scientism works like a cargo cult. A charismatic leader who mimics the look and feel of Science!™, convinces his followers that the cargo will come. When the cargo does not materialize, then eventually he needs to identify some scapegoat to blame, some secret evildoer who works so subtly that he cannot be detected. Almost by magic, the evildoer commits his crime and spoils the cargo. For the communists, this evildoer was the capitalist, the kulak, whose superior material standing was proof enough of his crime. For our post-modern multiculturalists, racial peace, harmony and equity is only staved off by the evil racist, whose magic works so subtly now that only “systemic” or “institutional” racism can be detected when the SAT scores or socio-economic data are collected. For the feminist, despite years of affirmative action there are fewer women in tech only because of the evil of the misogynistic patriarchy, and ironically, any many who refuses to own up to his oppressor status will not be allowed a job.

As long as charlatans can present their case in a package that looks and sounds scientistic, then they can pass off amazing nonsense as Science!™. You remember the Replication Crisis and MathGen, right?

Counter-Intuitive Science!™

Currently, educated people are so habituated to scientism that they don’t believe what is in front of their own eyes, because some scientist tells them that reality runs counter to their intuition. Scientians love to spout counter-intuitive nonsense. The more counter to intuition the better, because the more nonsensical the conclusion, the more it proves that the proponent is a true believer in Science!™.

Intuitively, when we look out from a high point, the terrain appears flat. Counter-intuitively, the Earth is round. Intuitively, the sun and moon rise on one side of a flat plane and set on the other side, appearing to circle the Earth. Counter-intuitively, the Earth circles the Sun (while the Moon does in fact circle the Earth. Score one for intuition!). These are arguably the two biggest guns in the counter-intuitive scientist’s gun. Don’t believe the anthropogenic climate change? Ah-ha! You probably think the Earth is flat too, don’t you?

Once we have been shamed enough times by the failure of our silly human intuition, we learn not to trust ourselves, because we are not highly trained instrumentalists. Even highly trained instrumentalists cannot question other highly trained instrumentalists if they are in different fields. We are bombarded by shows which love to prove how our natural intuitions are wrong. Because there are so many fascinating examples of reality working counter to our intuition, and because some smart scientist showed us the truth, our confidence in our own observations and conclusions are eroded.

Until finally one day someone tells us that race isn’t real and it’s just a construct to justify the oppression of non-whites, and we wonder how we ever believed that we were members of an extended family called race. This revealed knowledge shows that the world’s history of ethnic conflict was all the result of Man’s misguided intuition as we rapturously chant “Diversity is our greatest strength!” Or we knowingly nod when the teacher tells us that gender roles are socially constructed and there’s nothing a man can do that a woman can’t do just as well. We feel shame when the revealed knowledge of Science!™ leads us to realize that the manner in which we sat on the train the day before was an expression of the Patriarchy. Very soon Science!™ promises to free us from the arbitrary and socially constructed age barriers which prevent true love between adults and children, and we will awe at the wonders of Science!™ and ask ourselves how we could have been so blinded by superstitious intuition. Science!™ will free Man from the darkness of intuition to finally see clearly that War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

When we believe and parrot nonsense just because an academic or scientist told us so, and used important sounding words like “marginalization” or “de-centering”, then we have fallen prey to the cult of Scientism, where the counter-intuitive is almost always right, and all of our ancestors were racists, misogynistic, superstitious fools who believed in the traditions passed down to them by their forebears and the democracy of the dead.

Conclusion

Science, logic and reason are useful tools for the manipulation of the set of objects and phenomena that are known and can be articulated. The set of objects and phenomena that are known is a subset of the totality of objects and phenomena that exist. Logically, this means that there is a set of objects and phenomena that are unknown. In order to survive, mankind must align himself with both the known and unknown sets of objects and phenomena. Inevitably, this means that Man must use some faculty or process that is external to the domain of science, logic and reason, in order to align himself with the set of objects and phenomena which exist, but which remain unarticulated (unknown).

Intuition is the root faculty that Man uses in the process of converting the unknown into the known. Intuition is a subconscious faculty, which is an area of consciousness below the level of language and which operates on sensation, image and emotion. The domain of this faculty can be articulated as the dream world, where the unknown is perceived, but not articulated. Mankind depends on his intuitive faculty and the expressions of the dream world to extend his perceptions from the known and articulated into the realm of the unknown and unarticulated.

Man can communicate knowledge of patterns of alignment with the unknown and unarticulated through the expression of the dream world, as myth and legend. Religions, myth and legend are vessels which communicate Man’s intuition, in the language of the subconscious, which can be easily absorbed by the unconscious faculty of others. Alternatively, Man can begin with intuition and attempt to use the scientific method to launder his testimony of error, bias and wishful thinking, and then transmit this knowledge through the conscious and articulated faculty, through science.

The process of scientific inquiry and communication is fraught with obstacles. The obstacles include: the near impossible task of laundering error, bias and wishful thinking from intuition; the difficulty of learning to properly manipulate and then master instruments; the monetary and time costs of confirming or disconfirming testimony; the incentives of self-interest to falsify testimony. We have mounting evidence which are dissolving confidence and trust in the forms and processes of scientific inquiry, as error and costs mount.

The scientific endeavor essentially hinges on trust, or faith, due to the high costs of confirming or disconfirming testimony. The public is blissfully unaware of the importance of trust in the process of the scientific endeavor and naïvely extends trust and faith to academia and the scientific community. This belief is known as Scientism, which functions as a religion, operating on faith and administered by self-interested men.

A central tenet of the religion of Scientism is that Man suffers from an original sin: intuition. Scientism promises to cleanse man of this base animal faculty through the tireless hard work of Science!™, if only he reject his intuition and submit himself to the revealed knowledge of Science!™. Scientism teaches that Man’s intuition is the root cause of all conflict and strife, which leads him to believe in superstitious religions, myths and legends such as: that there are only two genders, race is real and it matters, that men and women are different, and that it’s wrong to have sex with children because God said so.

Religions are validated not by the scientific method, but by a much harsher and empirical standard: the Darwinian Filter. Scientism, as a new religion, will continually be tested against the Darwinian Filter. The price of adherence to a false religion, meaning one which cannot pass the Darwinian Filter, is death or genetic death.

We all operate on revealed knowledge. I remain skeptical of Science!™ and its revealed knowledge, and the skepticism of the public is growing and errors produced by the academic and scientific community continue to mount. The living will get their chance to vote, with their lives and the lives of their unborn children, on which religions, myths and legends are best aligned with the deepest, unarticulated truths of nature and reality, but as for me, I’ll also be counting the votes of the democracy of the dead.

White Guilt by Shelby Steele

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Dedication

What follows is an analysis of the phenomenon of white guilt, which finds its origin in the Civil Rights era and the preceding cultural milieu. It is an honest a critique of the mindset of white guilt, which may be seen as condemnation by some, especially to Baby Boomers. I do not mean to insult or condemn, though I do offer criticism, which is a form of judgement. I pray that Baby Boomers who may read this post please accept my apologies for any perceived offense, as my only intent is to articulate the underpinnings of white guilt that we may build a brighter future free of its burden. I dedicate this post to the Baby Boomers in my family and my life, with love. —Butch

Introduction

Some of my family members of the Conservative Baby Boomer persuasion recently told me about a book, White Guilt by Shelby Steele. A friend of theirs, also of the Conservative Baby Boomer persuasion, an accomplished physician, had recommended it highly. I’ve been attempting to Red Pill these family members for years, so I jumped at the opportunity to engage with them on the book, an analysis of the racial phenomenon known as white guilt. A few clicks on Amazon and I had a paperback copy in just a couple days.

The book is rather short, divided into 4 parts:

  1. The Story of White Guilt: A autobiographical section where Steele tells his story of being born into segregation, his general experience of it, and his awakening to “black consciousness”. This is an overview of the field of battle on which the anti-white paradigm was born. 63 pages.
  2. An Expanding Guilt: Coming of age in the Civil Rights era, Steele’s expanded “consciousness” of his “blackness”, his adoption of the black militant posture, a general analysis of the Baby Boomer (hippie) sociological phenomenon. This is an overview of the flowering of the anti-white paradigm and the destruction of pro-white American values. 28 pages.
  3. The Ways of Blindness: Steele introduces the terms “white blindness” and “dissociation”, and offers an analysis of the shift in the value system as the Baby Boomers came of age. Here he offers some solid analysis of how the Boomers lowered the status of pro-white America through shaming and created an alternative moral model of the “new man”. 41 pages.
  4. Dissociation and Culture: Where Steele bemoans the death of Western values which died along with pro-white values. 5 pages.

The book was published in 2006, during the second George W. Bush administration. I will admit that this book review is about a decade late, and that I have a considerable amount of hindsight.

This is a work of literature: Steele does not use footnotes, historical analysis, comparative analysis, or references to scientific data. There are almost zero numbers or percentages in the book. This book is entirely literary, with many bald assertions and a bit of pop psychology. In essence, there is almost zero appeal to science, only literature and some reference to recent history and current events. Obviously, the book was intended for consumption by an average white American conservative audience, and is not a book of serious scholarship, though I did find it to contain some valuable insight.

Executive Summary

Steele uses the term white guilt as shorthand for the sociological phenomenon of whites committing civilizational suicide, though he never mentions civilizational suicide or white genocide. In essence, Steele, being of the Conservative Baby Boomer persuasion himself, argues for a return to color-blind meritocratic conservatism, where blacks are offered free and open access to Western civilization in America (as now), but are both required and encouraged to work and produce, as they were under segregation and slavery, but now as full equals. Steele defends the morality of the Left which requires whites to open Western civilization to all comers, but he also holds a contradictory belief in the values of Western civilization, which created indisputably the greatest civilization to ever exist. Steele has an acute conservative awareness of the decline of American society since the Civil Rights era, while also holding a typical Baby Boomer opinion that the changes which caused this decline (civil rights) were a moral necessity and achievement which should be celebrated, a clear logical contradiction from a pragmatic viewpoint. He then vaguely and, I think, halfheartedly argues for some sort of return to color-blind meritocracy, one which focuses on maximizing the human potential of blacks rather than equalizing outcomes through redistribution and affirmative action (which Steele views as racist). In essence, Steele asserts that “Dems aRe the Real Racists (DR3)” who engage in the “soft bigotry of low expectations”, in typical conservative fashion, and this is how he substantiates his advocacy of return to color-blind meritocracy. Steele argues that the Civil Rights movement was necessary, moral and good, but bemoans the loss of Western values and realizes that the promise of Civil Rights and the Great Society never materialized for blacks or whites.

While I don’t find Steele’s DR3 arguments for “personal responsibility” to be workable, he did offer some analysis of the problem that I did find useful, and I feel that the read was worth it, if only to understand the mindset of the Conservative Baby Boomer better.

Meritocracy is White Supremacy

I’d like to begin by addressing Steele’s conclusion: a call for color-blind meritocracy. A little blurb on the back of the book says that “acclaimed race relations scholar Shelby Steele sounds a powerful call for a new culture of personal responsibility”. This is Steele’s essential conclusion, which considering that this book was written in G. W. Bush’s second term, is an all too familiar conservative talking point.

The problem is that Meritocracy is White Supremacy. Or, I could use less inflammatory rhetoric and state that meritocracy results in hierarchy. The analysis of DR3 is correct but pointless: the Left is convinced that blacks cannot compete with whites on a level playing field, which is essentially a “racist” conclusion, because addressing race realistically in the current year is “racism”. Of course, the DR3 analysis is pointless because racism is a concept that is only used to harm white interests, and because the Left is a coalition of non-whites against whites, the Left is impervious to charges of racism. Then there’s the fact that the Left excuses the low performance of blacks with narratives of “institutional” or “systemic” racism, thus once again hiding their pragmatic racial calculation behind a veil of anti-racism.

Let’s imagine that our society took Steele’s call for “personal responsibility” seriously and implemented an essentially libertarian platform which removed all diversity quotas, affirmative action, housing subsidies, busing laws, government oversight of racial lending outcomes and welfare/redistribution. Blacks already exist primarily as an underclass today despite all the social engineering palliatives. Everywhere that there are large numbers of blacks we find crime, poverty and dysfunction.  Is there really any doubt that the black/white socio-economic gap would widen even further? This is the inevitable outcome, when you have an average white IQ of 100 and an average black IQ of 85 competing in modern America where IQ is more determinative of socio-economic outcomes than ever.

If we actually implemented a color-blind meritocracy, there would be almost zero blacks that could qualify for college, and thus any sort of professional positions. Without affirmative action, diversity quotas and lowered standards, we would have far fewer blacks in middle class jobs. Without government makework positions such as the postal service, DMV, and other government bureaucracies favoring ‘diversity’ there would be even less. This would reduce the average black income even further, limiting the black pool of housing locations, limiting high dollar car loans to blacks, limiting credit card offers. Without government intervention in housing and lending, most banks and landlords would find ways to avoid lending to blacks, except for specialist “predatory” lenders and slumlords. The ghettos would grow even larger. Certainly the changes that we would witness would be seen as an increase in “white supremacy” from the viewpoint of the Left, because such policies would increase the black/white socioeconomic gap.

Thus, meritocracy is white supremacy: A fair and even-handed implementation of a merit based system, the fabled “level playing field”, has the practical result of segregating blacks into a permanent underclass in white countries. Steele fails to address any of these issues in the book.

Dunning-Kreuger and Wishful Thinking

Of course, Steele is a high functioning “black” (although, from his photos he appears to have more white blood in him than black) who can compete with whites on a level playing field. He’s one of the talented 1% of blacks who could fare well under a meritocratic system. Because of this, he suffers the Dunning-Kruger effect: a bias where smart people underestimate just how difficult a task is for an average person, because for them it is relatively easy. Steele takes a solipsistic view of the problem, assuming that most blacks are like him. He buys the equalitarian narrative and attributes poor black socio-economic performance to slavery and Jim Crow. This self-delusion about the reality of collective black ability is the only possible way that he could justify supporting meritocracy. This is mere wishful thinking, because we have plenty of evidence that his assessment is wrong, and the Left knows it, which is why they condemn meritocracy as white supremacy.

From his stories, Steele came from a high functioning black family who did quite well under segregation. His parents fought to get him into a white school, where he was the only black. They owned houses that they rented out, and they actually had to hide their high income from others. He tells stories of pining to be accepted into white society as a boy, and how painful the racial barrier was for him. Steele is married to a white woman.

ShelbyRitaSteele2
Shelby and Rita Steele

His family could compete with whites on a level playing field, and essentially that is all they wanted: to be accepted as full-fledged members of the white in-group. Given this context, it’s understandable that Steele advocates for meritocracy. He just happens to indulge a cognitive bias which allows him to refuse to acknowledge the biological component of black dysfunction, and to recognize that he and his family are statistical outliers. When building public policy, we must do so according to aggregates, finding the mean value of distributions. It is illogical to produce public policy which only works for less than 5% of a given population. We must produce public policy based on the average member of a group.

In short, Steele’s call for color-blind meritocracy, a common Conservative Baby Boomer theme, is based in bias and wishful thinking. It’s simply a non-starter because his solution would result in greater segregation between blacks and whites.

Rejecting Black Nationalism

Steele relays his awakening into the avant-garde of black militancy in the first part of the book, but then he simply rejects the notion of black separatism or black nationalism which is the hallmark of much of the black political thought. Given his biases, his desire to be fully accepted into white society as a full in-group member, this is understandable. However, Steele rejects black nationalism out of hand, refusing to take the idea seriously.

ShelbyRitaSteele
Shelby and Rita Steele

He accuses Malcolm X of promoting the “ugly theme of separatism“. No analysis, no argument, simply the label: ugly.

He dispels the validity of black America as nonsense, saying “as if we still share a singular destiny”. For Steele, as for most all Conservative Baby Boomers, it is axiomatic that blacks and whites in America will be forever joined in a political union. Any other notions can be rejected without argument because they violate this unquestioned assumption.

Steele writes “Freedom can be seized only by individuals. And the fact is that we blacks are free“. Of course, he neglects to mention that sovereignty can only be seized by groups. By limiting his frame to the classical liberal framework of individualism and freedom, he hides the group self-determination known as sovereignty. I view this to be sophistry, attempting to win his point with a half-truth, leaving a portion of the truth untold. Black freedom can only be guaranteed through black sovereignty, or black nationalism. Just as white freedom can only be guaranteed through white sovereignty, or white nationalism. There are many good arguments that the freedoms of any nation or ethnic group can only be guaranteed through sovereignty, foremost of them are historical examples. What exactly was the point of the American Revolution, if it was not that the Founding Fathers believed that the freedoms of the members of the distinct American nation could only be guaranteed through sovereignty? Why do blacks seek ever increasing black oversight in government and policing, if not that they feel their freedoms are protected via sovereignty? It’s unfortunate that Steele does not deal at all with the topic of sovereignty.

In fact, we see many black now want re-segregation as an attempt to regain black sovereignty. They want black-only schools and spaces. Of course, they want whites to fund this segregation. Essentially, many blacks now want a divorce from the white majority, but they also want alimony payments. This is the problem with black nationalism for those who seek to continue black parasitism of whites: black nationalism is a divorce with no alimony or child support. It is the path to true adulthood for black America, one in which they control their own distinct destiny and are entirely responsible for the outcome.

I personally support black separatism and black nationalism as the means to black sovereignty and I recognize the desire of all distinct ethnic groups to seek to steer their collective destiny via sovereignty. I even support the right of white people to seek their unique collective destiny via sovereignty, as outlandish as that logical conclusion is in the current year.

Blindness to Humanity

In part 3, The Ways of Blindness, Steele gets rather flowery and literary in referencing the Ralph Ellison’s 1953 novel Invisible Man. In this context, the assertion is that whites are “blind” to the “humanity” of blacks. So, “invisibility” is the “unseen humanity” of blacks. I found this literary device to be rather unwieldy and counter-intuitive, because in essence it means that to see color is to be blind to humanity. Conversely, to be color-blind is to see humanity. Therefore, in this metaphor to be color-blind is to have sight, and to see color is to be blind. You can see why I find this device to cumbersome. It’s obvious sophistry when what you see with your own two eyes (the reality of racial differences) is labeled blindness.

This section did clarify “humanity” for me. I now understand its usage by the Left much better for having to work through this inverted metaphor. Humanity is itself a universalist concept, it is an assertion of unity. Humanity is another way of saying the tired old trope: there is only one race, the human race. Humanity disguises and downplays racial and ethnic differences. Within the context of Invisible Man, to see humanity is to blind oneself to in-group and out-group differences. To accept humanity is to reject kin. Ellison and Steele both wish to be accepted as full members of the white in-group, so they seek to destroy the conceptual validity of white kin selection and in-group preference by asserting kinship only to the super-group: humanity.

This is the upshot of human rights, the universal brotherhood of man. It is an enlightenment concept that is both universalist and individualist. To view a man as a human and nothing more, then we assign him membership in the largest possible group, which has the effect of eliding his membership in sub-groups. The truth is that of course he still belongs to ever decreasing circles of sub-groups: human > race > nation > tribe > clan > family > nuclear family > individual. It’s a bit of a trick to make a man an absolute individual by asserting his membership in the largest possible group. I believe this trick plays on Man’s natural desire to be a member of a group. “Once there is only one in-group, then there are no more out-groups”, goes the fuzzy thinking.

While today the concept of meritocracy is seen as a rightist position because it favors whites over blacks, it must be understood that its birth was as a reaction to the rigid class system of the ancien régime or feudal orders. In those day, the class system (feudal order) based on group or class differences was rightest (stable order valued over change), and the notion of disregarding group affiliation or station of birth and viewing each man as an individual to be judged on his own merit, was on the extreme left.

To use Ellison’s cumbersome metaphor: to see an individual you must be blind to his class or group affiliations. In this way, individualism is itself a universalist concept, and is functionally indistinct from humanity. To accept individualism is to reject group affiliations. Thus, the modern rejection of kinship and in-group preference (labeled as “racism” in the current year) is an extension of the rejection of class and group preference begun during the enlightenment.

Thus, while European enlightenment thinkers created the individual by asserting that the only moral course of action was to ignore group membership, the modernist cosmopolitan thinkers re-created the individual by asserting that the only moral course of action was to ignore sub-group membership in favor of the human super-group membership. This human concept plays to Man’s psychological need for group membership, while playing to leftist individualist conceptions, and creating the conceptual framework for a one world government. Quite a trick, that.

Now I see clearly that any talk of humanity or human rights is a call for the rejection of all group boundaries and to view every individual as devoid of group identity and motivation. I also see clearly that this is an impossibility, as every man has some sort of group identity with which he will refuse to part. In practice, this “seeing of humanity” is to ignore groups by seeing them as collections of individuals, which leads to any number of problems. It is training oneself to not see the forest for the trees.

Take the Muslim problem, where a small but significant portion of Muslims in the West are jihadis willing to kill Westerners for their in-group’s benefit. If we “see their humanity” and view them all as a collection of individuals, rather than as members of a collective (a competing tribe), then we are limited in our response to the jihadi attacks: the legal system. We are only able to hold individuals accountable via the legal system. In effect, this means that we must wait until the jihadi performs a “criminal” act (for example, murdering dozens of teenagers at a Manachester concert hall), then and only then can we prosecute.

Law is the method by which we hold individuals accountable. How do we hold groups accountable? We hold groups to account through war. When we view jihadis as members of a group (Arab or Muslim), then we can perceive their actions as acts of war, rather than as criminal offenses. As long as we maintain the fidelity to individualism and only “see humanity”, then we are powerless to act against the invaders as a group, to hold them all accountable for the actions of their in-group members. This allows them to act collectively for group interests, while the individualists are helpless to defend themselves and must suffer endless “terrorism” as “part and parcel” of living in a big city. Only by recognizing group affiliation can we hold groups accountable.

Assertions of humanity are attempts to create in the mind a collective human destiny, which obviates any collective national or ethnic destiny. National sovereignty and humanity are mutually exclusive concepts. If we are all going to be a collective humanity, then we are all going to be ruled by a collective human government, a global government which will enforce all human rights (and laws). If there is only one group, the human group, then there can be only one law, the human law, and to have one law you may only have one government. Therefore there can be no nations, no national destiny as long as we recognize humanity and human rights which logically has the concept of global governance embedded in its premise.

AllOneBronner
Dr. Bronner’s All-One soap. This manifesto used to be printed on every bar’s wrapper.

Humanism and humanity are entirely leftist constructions, which Ellison and Steele use to undermine the in-group cohesion of whites intellectually. Yet, Conservative Baby Boomers hold up writers like Steele as rightists while they espouse concepts which destroy the ability of whites to defend themselves from invasion and dissolution. Only national identity, national destiny and sovereignty stand to prevent the homogenization of the world’s unique and beautiful peoples into One People, One World, One Government.

The Morality of Civil Rights

Steele is absolute in his assertion that the “Civil Rights” movement was a moral necessity and was a shining moment of triumph, at the same time that he recognizes that the promises of the Civil Rights movement and Johnson’s Great Society never materialized. In fact, Steele is very aware that by many metrics, black America is far worse off under the new regime than they were under segregation.

RealCommunism
REAL communism has never been tried!

The subtitle of the book is “How blacks and whites together destroyed the promise of the civil rights era”. Steele views the promise of the Civil Rights movement as having been subverted, as a noble project which was implemented improperly. Let me guess: Real racial integration has never been tried! I don’t mean to be snide by making the comparison to communism, but I think it’s important to notice some similarities.

Communism, like racial integration, is a leftist project designed to remove class boundaries and achieve social harmony. Communism has failed over and over and over, and yet even today, you can find many American true believers who insist that true communism has never been tried… because the reality of communism never aligned with the theory of communism. See the No True Scotsman logical fallacy.

Similarly, the reality of racial integration and the social harmony that was projected to result from integration and multiculturalism, has never aligned with the theory. Under communism, when the project failed there was always a capitalist scapegoat to blame: groups and individuals who ruined the promise of communism by not believing enough in the project. What do we see today when the promise of racial integration never materializes? We have another group of scapegoats who ruin the promise of racial integration by not believing enough in the project: the evil racists who infuse the very fabric of American life with their “institutional” or “systemic” racism. Steele, to his credit, explicitly denies the existence of systemic racism.

The communists were 100% convinced that free market capitalism was immoral, just as the multiculturalists are 100% convinced that nationalism and “racism” (ethnocentrism) are are immoral. The parallels between communist true believers and integrationist true believers are very interesting.

Communism was eventually judged to be an unworkable system due to persistent failures of the ideology to materialize, not mention the hundreds of millions of deaths. The theory of communism was eventually shown to fail the Darwinian test: it killed far more than it helped and the people rejected it, like a patient rejecting an organ transplant. Again and again.

As I stated, Steele is aware that in many ways blacks are objectively worse off now than they were under segregation. I’m not arguing for segregation, which I think is unworkable, but I am arguing that we have plenty of evidence that proves that racial integration is a failed project. Steele admits that it has failed himself when he admits that white America had to sacrifice their very Western value system of individualism, meritocracy and liberty in order to attempt to integrate blacks into white society. This is the “soft bigotry of low expectations”, the American attempt to exempt blacks from the Western value system of personal responsibility, while simultaneously attempting to integrate them fully as equals, which is obviously an insuperable contradiction.

Of course, Steele believes that we simply didn’t do it right. Where he writes that we “destroyed the promise of the Civil Rights era”, what he means is that we didn’t implement the theory properly. He wants us to continue the project of racial integration, but this time subjecting blacks to the meritocracy and developing their human potential. I argue that this is nothing more than the “white supremacist” solution, and will simply result in further re-segregation, due to the biological realities of the differences between Africans and Europeans. We are simply separate, distinct, unassimilable ethnic groups and there is no changing the reality.

We tried racial integration. We really did. It failed because it was doomed to fail. It was just another Utopian dream of a perfect society, which has caused more suffering than harmony. Globalism, multiculturalism, and racial integration are all the same idea: that we can create a perfect social order if we all drop our various racial, national and ethnic identities and accept our Universalist Individualist identities as The Human Race.

The writing is on the wall. Globalism and multiculturalism have been tried and they failed, just like communism. If you are a true believer, than you can never be convinced otherwise. It may be that it will take Rivers of Blood to convince most Europeans. I would like it if we could be smarter than that, but I have read a bit of history, and history is a slaughter bench.

Higher Consciousness and The New Man

Steele does a fair amount of analysis of the shift in power dynamics that occurred during the ’60s. One concept I found useful to deconstruct was higher consciousness. Steele doesn’t deconstruct it, he simply uses the phrase, but in my view higher consciousness  or expanded consciousness means nothing more than new religion.

One can be conscious of many objects within one’s perception. If one can expand one’s perception, then one can expand the set of objects of which one is conscious. The Baby Boomer generation contained a group known as the hippies, who used “mind expanding” hallucinogenic drugs. Jim Morrison’s The Doors was named after Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception which details Huxley’s mescaline trips in the ’50s. So, expanding perception (opening the doors of perception) is “mind expanding” or “expanding consciousness” to reach “higher consciousness”. Hallucinogens are commonly known to produce “religious experiences”.

In 1967, Timothy Leary, spoke at Golden Gate park to 30,000 hippies at the “Human Be-In” where he famously stated:

Like every great religion of the past we seek to find the divinity within and to express this revelation in a life of glorification and the worship of God. These ancient goals we define in the metaphor of the present — turn on, tune in, drop out.

The higher consciousness of the ’60s that Steele tells of is nothing more than the birth of a new religion, where religious experiences could be purchased for a couple of bucks. Americas youth were lured to this new religion with tales of “free love” (easy sex), Rock’n’Roll and the status of subscribing to a higher morality. All they had to do was to reject the value system of their parents entirely.

Christians often describe themselves as “followers of Christ”. What does it mean to “follow” in this sense? It means to attempt to be Christ-like. It means to encounter new situations and ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?”. It means to hold in your mind a mental model of the perfect man and attempt to use this model to negotiate your present life.

Holy Man Jam, Boulder, CO  Aug. 1970Steele tells of how the Baby Boomers were offered a new model, the model of the “New Man”. This “New Man” was the embodiment of “expanded consciousness”, meaning he was the avatar of the new religion. They crafted for themselves an image, a narrative, a mental model of how this “new man” would act, and to act in this manner was to express the ideals of the new generation, to be seen as a man of high status. So, just as previous generations had been “followers of Christ”, this new generation followed the “New Man”, which they invented out of whole cloth during drug-fueled love-ins. It was quite a feat, engineering this new religion. We should spend a lot of time investigating this  miracle of modern mind-control.

It’s important to realize that we live in a dominance hierarchy, and we seek climb this dominance hierarchy. Our station in the dominance hierarchy is determined by our status. We signal our status to others constantly with our mode of dress and speech, the type of stores we frequent and cars we drive, our taste in music, art and literature. Almost every aspect of our lives is a signal. In the ’60s, growing out your hair and wearing a leather fringe jacket and driving a motorcycle, smoking weed, taking LSD, and engaging in “free love” signaled an expanded consciousness, a higher status. Holding the correct opinions about racial integration also signaled a higher consciousness, and thus a higher status. Mouthing platitudes like “make love, not war”, signaled enlightened higher status.

The “New Man” defined the new model for which status was awarded and thus station in the dominance hierarchy, with the new model having its basis in the value system defined as “higher consciousness”, the new religion. Conversely, holding to traditional values and opinions of race relations signaled “lower consciousness”, a “narrowness” of mind or “Close-mindedness”. The Baby Boomers mercilessly shamed, mocked and ridiculed those who refused to worship the ideal of the “new man”, because shame, mockery and ridicule are the tools used to lower the status of the targets.

With the help of mass media (and none of this would have been possible without mass media), glorifying the hippie revolution at every turn, the Baby Boomers were able to forge a new religion and with it a new value system to replace traditional Western values. Between media and academia, a new consensus was manufactured and racial integration was at the heart of it. What most people didn’t understand was that this new movement would be hell bent on undermining Western values and thus Western civilization forever. What was described as “adolescent rebellion” that would soon pass into maturing was nurturing a value system which ran directly counter to the values of Western civilization. The birth of a new value system was the birth a a culture war, or war of the cults, also known as a religious war.

In his book, Steele celebrates this birth of “higher consciousness”, then decries the death of the Western value system and urges a return to it. He doesn’t seem to understand that these are two contradictory goals: the higher consciousness is virus with a payload designed to undermine Western values of truth and justice with relativism and social justice.

This section was the most insightful for me. Helping me to understand the usage of “consciousness” that I was previously unable to fully articulate and to view the ’60s as the beginnings of a religious war. It also help me to clarify the importance of status signals and value system that undergird our society.

Conclusions

White Guilt contains the central themes of Baby Boomer Conservatism: an unthinking intellectual conformity to leftist universalist individualist concepts (created by years of mass media exposure) which create a cognitive dissonance with their intuited desire for a return to traditional Western values. Baby Boomer Conservatism has failed to conserve anything, and this is because it is based on the leftist value system. It is simply impossible to conserve traditional values while simultaneously espousing modern values. To Baby Boomers, even the conservative variety, there is no greater sin than racism, which means that they have no intellectual ground to stand on when trying to preserve (conserve) Western values, which are uniformly rejected by non-Westerners (non-whites) and integrationists and which are upheld by Westerners (whites). To preserve Western values requires a value system which holds the preservation of whites as its highest value. Isn’t it obvious that the preservation of the Jews is the highest value of Israel? How could ‘conservatives’ in Israel protect the Jews from invasion and dissolution if they held ‘racism’ (ethnocentism, preferring and privileging Jews over non-Jews) as their highest value? The Baby Boomer Conservatism’s insistence on cleaving to ‘anti-racism’ (anti-white) as its highest value is why it fails to conserve anything, because what it aims to conserve, at root, can only be conserved by conserving the white population.

The Western project has been to create powerful societies built on the natural law of reciprocity. Reciprocity, not equality, is the basis of the Western value system. To treat a mentally handicapped man in exactly the same way as a normal man in the court of law, not taking into account his handicap, is to treat the equally, but unjustly. To treat the two men differently, taking into account their differences is just, but not equal. Taking differences into account is just, because it passes the test of reciprocity: if I was the mentally handicapped man who did not fully comprehend his actions, then I would want my lack of comprehension taken into account. That is justice.

The racial integration project failed because blacks and whites are different. The Left, in an attempt to render justice, decided to create a dual system (asymmetrical) where whites were held to one standard and blacks were held to another standard. In some sense, this calculation may be seen as just. The main problem though is that the Left consistently maintains that blacks and whites are equal, they then use neo-Marxist oppression narratives to assign blame for unequal outcomes between blacks and whites to white “racism”. The justification system is not just a lie, it is now a blood libel. White privilege is an oppression narrative of the original sin of whiteness. This oppression narrative has increasingly expanded as white society has gone to ever further extremes to engineer away black and white differences. We have now reached a situation where whites are getting dangerously close to losing their demographic majority in almost all white countries, while simultaneously anti-white narratives (assigning blame for all the worlds ills to the shrinking white demographic) are rapidly expanding. There is little doubt that these increasingly hysterical anti-white narratives will be used to justify all manner of physical violence against whites, should they lose their majorities.

It is in this context of increasing likelihood of mass violence against whites that we are seeing increasing resistance to mass immigration and integrationist policies, to multiculturalism and globalism, by younger generations who sense that they will be the targets of racial violence (as the Baby Boomer generation dies of natural causes in relative luxury). The sins of the fathers may likely be visited upon the heads of their descendants, as a hated white minority is attacked by a growing non-white majority, driven by racial hatred created by the anti-white narratives generated by the ancestors to justify their integrationist policies.

Integrationist policies have observably failed, but they now have a momentum of their own. The age of White Guilt is over, as we can no longer afford the luxury of Utopian humanism and one-worldism. We must now face the harsh realities of racial difference and tribal conflict in our country, our cites, our neighborhoods, our schools and our homes thanks to the massive multicultural experiment which gambled away our homogeneity, peace, harmony and sovereignty.

 

 

God as Meta-Personality

I can’t say that I know what God is with any assurance. I have an empirical bent. But I am quite convinced of the utility and even fundamental necessity of religion and of the idea of God to successful human societies.

One notion that I have heard from Dr. Jordan Peterson is the idea of God as being a sort of meta-entity. There is a video (that I can’t find) where he states this, and says something like “and you can make a deal with that thing” (or something similar). If you know it, please link me.

I was reading the Heidelberg Catechism today:

Q & A 4

Q. What does God’s law require of us?

A. Christ teaches us this in summary in Matthew 22:37-40:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind.’1
This is the greatest and first commandment.

“And a second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’2

“On these two commandments hang
all the law and the prophets.”

1Deut. 6:5
2Lev. 19:18

So, the two important aspects of God’s law, according the the Heidelberg Catechism is complete commitment to God and community (neighbors). It’s interesting that these two are primary, God and community. This seems to fit with this notion of God as meta-personality with whom a deal can be struck.

Think now on the Last Supper, where Jesus said that the wine was his blood and the bread his body. Why? Because of animal sacrifice. The Greeks, previously, and the Jews and Romans, contemporaneously, practiced animal sacrifice. Often, to atone for some sin, an animal sacrifice would be offered to appease God. I’ve recently re-read the Iliad, which depicts animal sacrifice, and in this ritual the meat is given to the community to share. Previously, I had assumed the flesh was not consumed. I was wrong.

FEAST AFTER SACRIFICE

At this point, the sacrificial ritual would become a feast for gods and humans alike. The animal would be cooked over open flames on the altar and the pieces distributed. To the gods went the long bones with some fat and spices (and sometimes wine) — those would continue to be burned so that the smoke would rise up to the gods and goddesses above. Sometimes the smoke would be “read” for omens. To the humans went the meat and other tastier parts of the animal – indeed, it was normal for the ancient Greeks to only eat meat during a sacrificial ritual.

Everything had to be eaten there in that area rather than taken home and it had to be eaten within a certain amount of time, usually by evening. This was a communal affair – not only were all of the members of the community there, eating together and bonding socially, but it was believed that the gods were participating directly as well. A crucial point worth keeping in mind here is that the Greeks did none of this while prostrating themselves on the ground as was the case in other ancient cultures. Instead, the Greeks worshiped their gods while standing up — not quite as equals, but more equal and more similar than one normally encounters.

Now, understanding this ritual consumption of the sacrificed animal, the Last Supper makes sense. Jesus was to be the sacrificial lamb, his blood shed to atone for the sins of mankind and his body feeding them, much as a the blood of the fatted calf could atone for a man or group’s sins.

Isn’t it interesting that the sacrifice fed the group? If we honor the conglomeration of everyone in the community who is not ourselves as we honor God, feeding them fat and meat as a ritual to atone for some transgression while dedicating the blood to God, then it stands to reason that our concept of God and our concept of the community are inter-related. This lends credence to the idea that we treat this meta-personality as God.

Now, I’m not asserting that this meta-personality model is true. I’m asserting that this ritual of animal sacrifice is a good way to bond a community together, to take care of them, and to atone for transgressions. I think it’s obvious that the group does stand in judgement of the individual and can choose to help or punish an individual, and it is wise for individuals to curry favor with the group. This would explain the meaning and purpose of animal sacrifice, which would then explain the metaphor of the Last Supper and why it resonated among people who practiced animal sacrifice. Just because we humans function this way, does not mean that there is not an all powerful creator God, it just means that humans follow rational incentives in the creation of their religious rituals.

You’ll notice that ‘getting right with God’ inevitably means atoning to the community for transgressions. And God’s laws inevitably lead to harmony in the community. Feeding the community is a great way to obtain the forgiveness of the community, in addition to making them healthier and stronger and more united as a group.

On Roosh’s Moderate Half-Measure

Roosh has a plan to save Western civilization. It’s not bad. In fact, I’d call it a good start.

suffragette

Why stop at removing the vote from women? If we get all these benefits by removing the vote from women, what other benefits would we get if we removed the vote from men of ‘poor character’ and men who don’t own property?

It should be clear to you that women will always use their votes to destroy themselves and their nations, to invite invaders with open legs, to persecute their own men, and to ravage their economies with socialism. Because they don’t operate on logic like men do, you will always have this destructive element within the political ranks of your nation as long as women have the right to vote. Giving them this right was a terrible mistake. I can now claim to have one political dream, and that is to repeal women’s suffrage. I will vote only for politicians who put me closer to realizing this necessary reality. Within my lifetime, I’m certain that at least one country, in an attempt to save itself, will elevate a barbarous and ferocious strongman to fulfill this task, and he will have my full support, because repealing women’s suffrage is the only issue of our day that can single-handedly solve all the others.

I guess we have to start somewhere.

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Addendum, related:

“A democracy, properly so called, is a political organization modelled in accordance with the law of equal freedom. And if so, those cannot be called democracies under which, as under the Greek and Roman governments, from four-fifths to eleven-twelfths of the people were slaves. Neither can those be called democracies, which, like the constitutions of mediaeval Italy, conferred power on the burghers and nobles only. Nor can those even be called democracies, which, like the Swiss states, have always treated a certain unincorporated class as political outlaws. Enlarged aristocracies these should be termed; not democracies. No matter whether they be a minority or a majority to whom power is denied; the exclusion of them is in spirit the same, and the definition of a democracy is equally broken. The man who steals a penny we call dishonest, as well as the man who steals a pound; and we do so because his act equally testifies to a certain defect of character. Similarly we must consider a government aristocratic, be the class it excludes large or small.”
— Herbert Spencer, Social Statics (1851), Ch XX, § 9

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Addendum 2:

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Cultural Marxism Defined

I’ve been seeing complaints from people that they don’t understand the term Cultural Marxism. Often this lack of understanding is communicated by labeling the term “meaningless”. I know what it means, and it’s a very appropriate term. Here’s a quick explanation.

Karl Marx was attempting to create a Workers Revolution. He intuited that there are a lot more workers than there are owners, and understood that if he could give the workers moral license to attack the owners, that they could take their stuff without having to produce it themselves. It was a simple plan and it worked well enough to kill hundreds of millions of people.

After the Workers Revolution failed to materialize in the US, a group of Marxists known as the Frankfurt School were theorizing on how to complete the revolution. They took Marx’s economic mechanism of dividing Labor (workers, proletariat) and Capital (bourgeoisie) and abstracted the economic model to a generalized Oppressed and Oppressors model, which is not economic but ideological. This is generally known as Critical Theory.

The Critical Theorists then realized that they could apply this method to any cultural/ideological space. Where Marx thought in economic terms (labor/capital), the Frankfurt school could divide any cultural space:

Social Space Oppressed Oppressor
Gender female male
Sexual Orientation gay straight
Race non-white white

Thus we see the Marxist divide-and-incite technique applied to culture : Cultural Marxism.

Once you have divided the space, the next step is to critique the ideology of the ‘oppressors’ as being self-serving and parasitic (Rule #3: SJWs Always Project). This is the ‘critical’ as in ‘critique’ part of Critical Theory. In essence, it boils down to chimping out while using scientific sounding terms like ‘marginalization’.

Bonus points for politicians if they can then herd all of the oppressed groups into a Big Tent Rainbow Coalition of Aggrieved Victims. The only problem is that you’ll have to be careful to work out a victim-status hierarchy, including intersectional victim status, which turns out to be a lot more complex than one might think, as we see with Political Correctness.

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