Ten Main Points on Sociology
Wim Rietdijk, D.Sci.
evil among us is that most people feel social. relations to be more important
than sound arguments.
1. The Red Thread in History: Intelligence on the Move, Also Where It Refers to Values and Emotions
The gist of macro-social processes is progress.
man applies his intelligence ever more consistently to ever more problems. It
is his most powerful instrument in mastering circumstances. We see knowledge
and reason advance cumulatively in history, from Antiquity to the printing
press to Einstein. This process concentrated in regions on earth where genetic
(IQ and other) and social circumstances (inter alia, freedom) were
At the same time John Dewey was near to the philosopher’s stone:
“Once people start thinking, no one can predict the outcome, except that many persons, institutions and ideas will be certainly doomed.”
Within this scope, we saw the Church being put at a disadvantage by people individually starting to read and think about the Bible (Reformation). Similarly, Nobility and Clergy had to fear from the surge of reason inherent in the Enlightenment.
Now our first hypothesis is that “an optimum of phenomena can be explained by a minimum of starting points” if we argue as follows: The core dynamics of society is defined by the progressive struggle between “Dewey’s reason” on the one side and “doomed instances” on the other.
Our second hypothesis is that though, it is true, the relevant struggle between pro and contra Enlightenment (in a broad sense) was rather explicit and open in the times of Voltaire, it still continues in the present era too, in more indirect ways, the anti-forces disguising themselves as a rule. For nowadays few people openly fight reason like the enemies of the Enlightenment did, who rather explicitly defended dogma, censorship and (irrational) convention. Within the scope of our second hypothesis some major current ideas and tendencies disguisedly turn against reason in a broad sense (that causes the red thread in history). Three major examples:
1) Dominating relativism, subjectivism, postmodernism, modern art and the general idea that most or much in the world (such as man and his “free will” and irrational aspects) is fundamentally “above coherent natural law”, leaving truth, values and human destiny to subjective interpretation, chaos and “basic fuzziness”.
2) Anti-intellectualistic (“progressive”) educational reforms shifting the accent from coherent knowledge towards the social dimension and competences. (Also think of Riesman’s other-directedness.)
3) Traditional rightism that substitutes man’s “intelligently taking his destiny in his own hands” (which also implies fostering the common good) by conventional a priori’s such as sexually repressive morals, and taboos against euthanasia, eugenics and genetic engineering applied to man (who, in this climate of thinking, is “inviolable”).
Quite wrongly, neither happiness nor progress – as objective, rationally based values – play a vital part in modern sociology. Relativism undermines reason in it: truth and value are what the community feels them to be. In this context, critical and exposing thought disappeared from social science: the establishments and their values are right by definition, rather than our emphasizing objective rational truth and difference between good and evil. In this context, explanations of sexual taboos, irrational modern art and the domination of anti-rationalistic philosophy remain elusive. Generally, the interests of the powers that be and the masses’ clinging to mostly irrational mainstays found a compromise, such as in religion, nationalism and other ideology. Current political correctness, superficiality and other-directedness, just as subjectivism, are umpteenth specimens.
2. The Cumulative Effects of Discovery and Invention: Macro Progress is Inherent in Life
A quantum leap for social research will appear when lie-detector-controlled interviewing of (social) groups will be applied for researching the (un)conscious motives via which people come to their preferences and convictions.
tools, agriculture, cities, organized government, the wheel, Euclid’s axioms,
and the works of Galileo, Goethe, Edison and Einstein were no isolated
incidents but co-implemented the Onslaught of Intelligence, of Coherence, of
the Mind. Evolution and history join as to implying lines that are logical by
organisms showing faculties and desires. The line in history indicated in Sect.
1. is indeed in the produced part of biological evolution. We can also speak of
a progressive expression of coherence, intelligence and, therefore, truth.
Three aspects of the contributions of intelligence (reason, the expression of truth, …) to an inherent progress are particularly responsible for a coherent line (“red thread”) in history:
a) The cumulative nature of discovery and invention;
b) The circumstance that the latter represent a way of thinking to the effect that the productive application of intelligence to tools, government and algebra tends to foster reason to be also applied to domains like the problems of life, values and emotions. This also contributes to reason, rational values and the coherence of many well-educated people’s emotions to gradually gain on dogma, ideology, taboo and prejudice.
c) The successful application of intelligence in the service of increasing man’s power over nature contributed to his gradually lessening emphasis on getting power over other people. (Compare the mentality of most rulers and others before and after the industrial revolution.)
More recently, an anti-enlightened tendency, in particular among intellectuals, appeared on the scene: a tendency to the effect that intelligence became highly institutionalised (compare also Sect. 3., particularly on Quigley). That is, most working with advanced reason became academics in a sense of organization men, which fostered conformism and group thinking to a substantial degree. “Independent” thinkers became more and more dependent on peers, subsidies and publicity. In all, Riesman’s other-directedness started dominating the thinking class too.
3. The Relevance of Machiavelli, Marx, Darwin, Freud, Michels, Quigley, Schelsky and Riesman for Understanding Who Are the Modern Successors of Former Anti-Enlightened Nobility and Clergy
We saw that in the 18th and 19th centuries the antithesis and strife between pro- and anti-“red thread” force were rather straightforward and clear, and we now want to update this source of basic socio-cultural dynamics. For this we need the essences of what eight major thinkers have to say:
Machiavelli. Rulers will not be honest. Their true purposes are power and privilege, but they hide this behind misleading words, such as ideology.
Marx. Thinking (the ideas) of people is defined by the means of production; we may generalize: by concrete interests and power.
Darwin. Competitive struggle for dominance or survival is primary, conscious or instinctive.
Freud. He may have been wrong in many of his ideas, but gave us the valuable concepts of the unconscious and unconscious strivings.
Michels. In 1911 he formulated his Iron Law of Oligarchy, to the effect that in all organizations there is a tendency to power becoming concentrated in the hands of an oligarchic top.
Quigley. He introduced the concept of institutionalisation, which contains that “instruments of expansion (of progress)” tend to “institutionalise”. That is, they become primarily instruments of power and privilege in the hands of those managing the relevant movements or organizations. Major examples: Christianity and (the first stages of) the French Revolution, that resulted in Napoleon.
Schelsky. He plausibly explained that ideologists will distrust technology because it makes man less dependent on the overwhelming forces of nature and, therefore, will cause him to less calling on ideology for hope and a way out of his problems and anxiety. The idea can be generalized to: the ideologists will distrust reason in general, not merely technology. The more so because consistent, not-merely-instrumental, reason will tend to expose ideology, from nationalism to egalitarianism.
Riesman. His thesis: roughly after WW II the prevalent type of man became the other-directed one, who derives his values and purposes from “the others”, or, from mainstream thinking. Striving after being liked by others, and “selling oneself”, define this utterly conformist type. “Selling oneself” in a general sense joins with the core function of optimising sales by business, whose bottleneck is now selling rather than production.
Jointly, the insights summarized above can be integrated into a coherent explanation of what are the modern successors of prototypical Nobility and Clergy as anti-enlightened (anti-red thread) forces that co-implement the earlier-mentioned core dynamics in history in their struggle against “the thread of reason and progress”.
We can start from the insight that the (officious) in-crowds constituting the establishment can highly be seen as Michels’ oligarchs and Quigley’s managers in many kinds of organizations or movements. Their (un)conscious “Machiavellian” purpose is power and self-interest. (Also think of Marx and Freud.) The relevant well-organized groups’ self-interest also defines their ideological preferences (think of Marx), that are far from emphasizing an onslaught of enlightenment in a broad sense: openness, coherent transparency, exposure of manipulation and taboo, … Thus it is fairly clear who succeeded Nobility and Clergy nowadays. Schelsky and Riesman are very relevant as regards the ideological preferences of and manipulation by current establishment: they are highly in the direction of anti-reason and mostly in that of conformism. Of course there are complications, inter alia, many established groups have an interest in techno-science whereas, even more importantly, Darwin appears on the scene on both sides of the “struggle for or against enlightenment”: there is survival of the fittest competition with respect to both pro- and anti-enlightened forces such as ideologies. Various among the latter – nazism, communism, nationalism, egalitarianism,… – appeared to function as rather “fit” instruments of power, and survived rather stubbornly in a Darwinian way.
Within the above scope realize that current antithesis between on the one side reason and progress and on the other side the (ideological) concepts and preferences inimical to them is much more hidden and disguised than, say, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Inter alia, think of the then rightists, such as pope Pius IX publishing his Syllabus Errorum.
Many arguments and discussions are frustrated by repression and taboo. In a climate in which even so primary facts as the scarcity of sexually attractive individuals, and a primitive (obscure) love market (now gradually improved by Internet), are virtually repressed, one should not wonder why, say, current discussion about “the gap between public and politics” leads nowhere. For example, one among current core taboos is that against exposure of, or openly insinuating bad faith with, major actors (vested interests) in the establishment and in politics. Bad faith (hidden agendas) in educational ideas, in softness on low-IQ immigration from non-enlightened cultures, in tolerance of evils in the complicated and technicality-infested juridical domain,… Of course, in such atmosphere there will not be much substance in lessening the gap in question.
More specimens of repressing or tabooing open reason in the “sneaky” modern way; unconscious obstruction of the read thread:
1) Current intelligentsia, integrated in the establishment, institutionalised in Quigley’s sense and became the main supporter of dominating anti-enlightened ideology which is a true counter-revolution against reason: relativism, “French philosophy”, irrational “modern art” without substance,… Also note here that now dominating egalitarianism – mainly pushed by the intelligentsia – is kindred to relativism and as such is also anti-red-thread in relativizing not merely arguments but also both progress and genetic human quality (anti-eugenics). Egalitarianism is the most recent variant of solidarity ideology (see Sect. 5 below). Finally it is revealing of their conformism that moral indignation about social evils is definitely “out” among intellectuals. Neither (the late) sexual taboos, nor political correctness, nor “modern art” (often ridiculed in private) evoke emotional resistance, let alone serious and coherent opposition. New comprehensive and/or exposing socio-psychological and cultural explanations are beyond the mainstream intellectual’s horizon of thinking.
2) Our leaders are so little interested in enforcing integrity that they even respect the silence (omertà) of groups of arrested suspected Mafiosi rather than declaring guilty automatically everyone who refuses to answer all relevant questions, controlled by lie-detectors.
3) Such leaders are also so much vested-interest-friendly that they needed decades for banning tobacco advertising to some degree, though according to open scientific data hundreds of millions will die by the product.
4. The Main Instrument of Power Apart from Organization: Solidarity Ideology; Current “Religion of Man”
Nationalism is an instrument to make many exert themselves for the interests of a few.
nationalism works as indicated in our motto, but all “solidarity ideologies” do:
religion, common traditions, Riesman’s other-directedness, egalitarianism, and
“unity” more generally. Some reasons:
Unity lessens dissent, criticism and the controversial, whereas the common ideas, aims and emotions will stem from the powerful and their interests rather than from others. In all, solidarity is kindred to conformism. The Nazis’ “You are nothing, your people is everything” is a mere extreme illustration of how those who exert or seek power strive after gathering people around some “centre” they dominate or manipulate, from God to the nation to the proletariat to the others in general. Essential tendency: make everybody mainstream or conform him to the centre (of power). Think of God(s) moulded by the priests.
Also, “solidarity” has as a major feature that people accept and include in the “We solidarity” all vested interests and prominent social actors in society: “All of us and of them belong, from the powers that be to traditions and taboos”. Criticism and controversy are out.
In modern semi-rational society the traditional “sacred” solidarities around religion, myth and tradition have been largely substituted by secularised ones such as around egalitarianism, Riesman’s other-directedness and “Man as He Is”. Within this scope, eugenics, genetic engineering on man, “discrimination” and euthanasia are taboo: they violate inviolable Man as He Is. Politically correct egalitarian other-directedness is our current solidarity religion, that, inter alia, benefits our most powerful vested interest: the “disadvantaged industry”. Projections into heavens and into the sacred (of “unassailable” individual and social preferences and forces) were retracted and brought down to earth: Man, the Group and Society proper now constitute the secularised pinnacle of value (“God”).
The power-and-conservatism aspect of this secularised solidarity religion in particular manifests itself in its implication that not only “all men are valuable” but also “all social actors and what is given by nature or history are valuable and in good faith”. Exit Machiavelli, Michels, Quigley, unconscious manipulation, Schelsky and basic social evils! We are back to fundamental conformism and adjustment via secularised solidarity.
Realize that the “religion of Man” joins with the radically erroneous one among the theses of the Enlightenment, viz. that man is good by nature. This major error is adopted by the anti-red-thread camp, thus also complicating the left-right antithesis. For me personally, my inner need of progress, and of rational and moral – scientific – control of destiny and the world, comes highly precisely from my “not counting on man and his qualities and prejudices”! I mainly trust in reason, science, progress and in objective truth and value because I do not do in man.
Note that solidarity is not exclusively unconsciously “conspired to” by the establishment but – just as the old-time “sacred” solidarity religions – is actually a compromise of rulers and the masses who seek safety and stability, (For unconscious “conspiracies” see Sect. 5.) Further note that the deification of man radically frustrates the solution of important social problems: “valuable” anti-socials, multi-offenders and problem youths should not be sterilized or permanently removed from society.
There is one more phenomenon via which the rank and file, particularly among academics, complements the establishment in producing conforming “solidarity” within the scope of large-scale social round games. That is, even the vast majority of academics and intellectuals have nothing original to say but still want to join in the high-status expression circus, such as in philosophy, the arts, sociology, educational or crime expertise. This created an enormous round game of non-substance: Heidegger or “French philosophy”, and “experimental” art joined sports and fashion as referring to non-issues and non-performance. Those participating have a vital interest in belonging, in being accepted by their peers, for they have nothing else to base their identity and status on, producing nothing authentic. This macro round game, serving the rank and file, precisely completes the need of “solidarity” felt by the establishment, similarly to how earlier Clergy and the believers matched their needs into conformist solidarity. Massive verbiage, superfluous juridical complication and bureaucracy keep many mediocre busy and conform them at the same time. He who has anything substantial to say is a threat to the leaders and the gamers alike. He will be hushed up. (The peer-dependency of most intellectuals was earlier pointed out by Hayek.)
The above highly reflects Riesman’s other-directedness as manifesting itself especially among the better educated.
Remark: The above also completes the explanation of a remarkable phenomenon, that is, the fact that in modern society particularly intellectuals will highly lack moral and emotional indignation with respect to criminals, anti-socials, hooligans, problem youths and the like. (Our highbrows loathe “abdominal sentiments” to a degree of “down with us”.) A few elucidatory points:
*Relativism and egalitarianism reduce one’s aversion from evil;
*Solidarity with “all of us” does something similar;
*Rational values and experiencing one’s emotions such as indignation freely, without repression and coherently, are in line with openness and reason as components of the red-thread attitude to life, so that moral and also “abdominal” sentiments should defy egalitarian or other taboos. Within this scope, whole-heartedly hating hooligans, swindlers and lying politicians as “errors in a world aspiring to enlightenment” is part and parcel of such red-thread spirit, just as free sexuality. Only being a source of needless distress should set a limit to relevant sentiments.
5. ”Unconscious Conspiracy” is of All Time
(1) The historical process of the generation of languages with all their rules and :consistencies proceeded without any expert interfering. It occurred “simply” by people’s gradually sensing what coherently fitted in the practical means of communication that was in the process of originating. That is, language came into being by collective unconscious conspiracy (with good intentions).
(2) The Greeks of Antiquity believed the Gods to live on Mount Olympus, but never tried to have a look there. Apparently, they were not quite certain but needed the idea of the Gods for socio-cultural reasons, and unconsciously found the compromise of not starting any expedition.
(3) When Medieval Church pushed massive guilt feelings, that in turn made people even more innerly dependent on the Church for absolution and Sacraments, there was no conscious conspiracy by the Church leaders, no more than among rulers “organizing” scapegoats or nationalists who wanted “the exertion of the many for the benefit of the few”. No, but certain leaders instinctively and/or collectively sensed what ideas or ideology served their interests.
Now our hypothesis is that the relevant, or similar, unconscious conspiracies continue to be among us in many forms, just as in the past. Also note within this scope that there was and is a Darwinian survival of the fittest as to traditions, ways of life, mentalities, power instruments such as ideologies, and other features of the economy, bureaucracy and culture. The question which “conspiratorial instruments” will socio-culturally survive or prevail is strongly connected with how they relate to power. (That is: it is not traditions, ideologies etcetera that are “best” which will survive, but those providing their proponents with optimum power.) Our not having seen in time how the open struggle between enlightened ideas and their adversaries in the age of Voltaire was later continued disguisedly and unconsciously on many levels, inter alia, led to two World Wars.
I doubt whether conformist, relativistic, social science, anti-rationalist philosophy and the general public will in time recognize the unenlightened vested-interest-friendly nature of currently dominating ideologies, prejudices and taboos for preventing future massive new waves of unpleasant things. [Inter alia, think of massive crime and the degradation of education and, even more seriously, that of the average quality of human genes (dysgenics by the poor having more children), as consequences of egalitarianism, political correctness, relativism and a radical “cultural lag” of virtually ideological alpha and gamma thinking as compared with advancing high-tech. In this context especially think of permissiveness and anti-eugenics. Permissiveness also as to the immigration of low-IQ groups from the Third World; for details see R. Lynn and T. Vanhanen: IQ and the Wealth of Nations, 2002.]
Note here a common function of anti-enlightened ideology, (self-)censorship and taboos (those of the Church and convention up to and including those implied or fostered by current egalitarianism, group-mindedness, other-directedness and political correctness). That is, frustrating and censoring independent reason and intelligence. In the 18th century authoritarian dogmatism fitted best in the general cultural context as anti-reason and repression, whereas in the 20th and 21th centuries relativism, egalitarianism and political correctness do so. The former “general censorship” helped the then establishment (Nobility and Clergy), and the latter helps all enemies of substantial rational thought, values and progress, and in particular the most powerful vested interest: the “disadvantaged” industry that thrives on low-quality genes, permissiveness, and degraded education. In all, we see joint anti-red-thread (anti-reason) ways of thinking humour the kind of forces “that will be certainly doomed” as indicated by our earlier quote of John Dewey. Or, the solidarity ideologies respectively constituted by 18th-cetury religion plus convention and 21th century other-directedness plus an egalitarian cult of Man have similar functions. Also within this scope, Victorian emotional-instinctive censorship (no free trade in emotions) and current superficial short-term hedonism (compare the abysmal level of TV) have many things in common: censoring substance and humouring vested interests (then nationalist traditionalism, currently the consumption industry) are among them. And don’t forget the major general factors of solidarity-conformism and exposure-inimical relativism.
6. Those Who Fear, De-emphasize and Relativize Truth, Reason, Good and Evil – because, as Current Analogues of Nobility and Clergy, “they would be certainly doomed” by them – Corrupt the Very Foundations of Philosophy
The core thesis of anti-ratio-empiricism is the idea that truth and value (co-)depend on non-rational “premises”. Of course, the trick is that such relativation allows one to fabricate truth and argument according to his own preferences, as to conclusions or results. If you don’t like my conclusions and prefer others, you simply assert that my “premises” differ from yours and that thus you legitimately feel free to reject such conclusions… Thus all “truths” and arguments can be accepted or not by simply adjusting “premises”. For example, the premises of some cultural tradition, religion or ideology are declared beyond rational criticism and one may arrive at any “true” conclusion one prefers.
In actual fact, a ratio-empirical, objective, basis of truth and moral value can be found by starting from five fundamental empirical facts that not even need the “premise” that our set of experiences is more real than a coherent dream. Those facts are these:
I There is no contradiction between modern-critical observations by different observers;
II There is no contradiction between mathematics and scientific logic as applied by different experts;
III There are no contradictions between conclusions found via the I and the II way. I call the complex of conclusions within the scope of I – III the network of Galileo, Newton and Einstein (GNE). It appears to be the single most dependable and most coherent source of finding facts and relations between facts, that is, truth. If life would be a dream, I – III continue to hold true, on the understanding that such dream appears to be utterly coherent. Generally, we act rationally if we consider to be objectively true everything that fits in the obviously coherent and consistent GNE. Of course, I remain free to accept or reject, say, specific paranormal phenomena according to my estimate as regards their fitting in GNE.
IV It is a tautology that I strive after what I deem “desirable”, which highly or completely coincides with what makes me happy.
V Now establishing what is objectively and logically optimally desirable is easy to find: coordinate our joint “desirables” so as to make happen what produces the most joint satisfaction; or, what produces a situation optimising the realisation of what the collective of us deems “desirable”: if you can cause your neighbour to experience greater happiness than you are abstaining from, then abstain. If you cannot find any plausible way to compare the relevant amounts of happiness, well, then the ethical system advanced here has nothing to contribute to my choice in question. Note a (theoretical) problem with the above utilitarian ethics: not many among us would be prepared to go as far as preferring 100,000 individuals to experience a small benefit at the cost of one individual to live through torture, apart from what would optimise total happiness. Also note that in any case the above rational ethic firmly disqualifies many conventional do’s and don’ts, such as Victorian sexual morals and an obligation to “die for one’s country”, apart from real moral points (such as in WWII). Earlier proponents of utilitarianism, such as Bentham, did not realize this.
The above establishes objective standards for truth and value, no premise whatever playing a part with them. By the way, the mutual agreements as to I – III above is very striking, and strongly suggests that nature is utterly consistent and coherent.
Hardly any of the dominating philosophical schools – existentialism, structuralism, postmodernism, philosophy of language, (neo-)positivism,… – represents anything more than either relativism, verbiage, or purifying everyday language into being more cogent (not adding new substance). The net results will be more subjectivism and man’s being “above science” in the sense of his thoughts, actions, preferences and values having legitimate alternatives (as to fact and value) in deviating from GNE as well as from utilitarianism. In other words, current academic (and other) philosophy is mere ideology that turns against the “red thread”. By the way, realize that our pro-Enlightenment position does not prevent us from admitting that such Enlightenment was substantially wrong in its assuming “man to be essentially good by nature”. In sum: philosophy not occupying itself with constructing understandable models and rational explanations of the universe (including man) within the scope of GNE is busying itself with non-problems.
7. Modern Physics and “the Frontiers of Thinking”: Determinism, Coherence, Nonlocal Phenomena and Understandable Models
In Sect. 6.1 of this website most of my work in physics is summarised. The following results are relevant in the context of the present Section:
(1) Five demonstrations that SR implies that the world is realistically four-dimensional rather than three-dimensional, the time dimension being as realistic physically as the three spatial dimensions. This means that the past and the future exist just like the present does. This also means that determinism holds.
(2) Four demonstrations that the future does not only exist but – within the QM “uncertainty margins” – even has influence on the present. Three among the proof are independent of SR and one even of both SR and QM.
(3) The above – the appearance of both causal and retroactive influences – means that some feedback in the time direction exists in nature. This, in turn, implies one more fundamental reduction of coincidence (uncertainty), apart from that of (1). That is, causes to some (unknown) degree also reckon with effects or results (because of the retroaction).
(4) In a paper in Physics Essays (Vol. 16.1, 2003) I hypothesized that Einstein’s hidden variables (that according to him define physical variables within their Heisenberg’s uncertainty margins) are precisely retroactive influences.
(5) Within this scope, I also hypothesized that in a realistic four-dimensional universe the concept of distance between events A and B refers to how much of the entity action (an amount of four-dimensional “occurring”) fits in-between A and B. That is, how much action is needed to transform A into B. This kind of four-dimensional distance substitutes the classical three-dimensional distance between (three-dimensional) objects A and B, that is, the amount of objects (standard measuring rods) that fits in-between objects A and B.
(6) Now it appears that the new concept of “action distance” (between A and B) can explain QM nonlocality: if and only if the action distance between A and B is zero, there are “nonlocal” phenomena between A and B. Compare the two correlated particle measurements in the Paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen and also the processes in the two slits a particle passes “simultaneously” in the Young double-slit experiment.)
(7) One more explanation by the four-dimensional model: the quantization of action stems from the event-like (4-dimensional) quantum of action to be a realistic elementary process, “atom of processes”, or of “occurring”.
(8) In all, the realistically four-dimensional world introduced here is much more definite (less “fuzzy”), much more (even nonlocally) coherent, much less coincidental and much more allowing imaginable models than not only the QM world and its uncertainties, but also as compared with the 19th-century “billiard ball” physics that, it is true, was deterministic but still implied much coincidence by the mere circumstance that causes (mutually uncorrelated causal chains) did not reckon with effects anyhow. On the contrary, our above point (3) contains that it is different in the 4-dimfnsional model, which fundamentally increases coherence by the mere circumstance that retroaction, nonlocal correlations (influences) and the fact that in a 4-dimensional world natural laws also coordinate 4-dim events all add their ordering effects to that of causality.
(9) In Sects, 1.3 and 1.4 of this website we discussed a change of paradigm, from RU into CT. It is clear that our above points radically make turn RU into CT, even apart from what we discussed about them from the socio-philosophical point of view. Of course, the above steps in the direction of even nonlocal and deterministic coherence contrast radically with current emphasis on subjectivity, coincidence and fundamental uncertainty.
8. What May Give (objective) Meaning to Life?
acquiescing in the idea that “God plays dice with micro-particles” are not
intelligent; those who acquiesce in His doing so with evolution and human
destiny are immoral.
James Burnham once observed
that many were willing to die for Medieval values such as Kings or a complex of
traditions but that, on the other hand, very few are ready to do so for modern
secular ideals (freedom – for some – constitutes an exception). We will try
here to find from the foregoing a rational, moral and emotional basis of some
more-than-incidental inspiration that amounts to the experience of meaning of
our lives and of what happens more generally. Let’s give an argument.
1. Our earlier discussion made it clear that we are not satisfied by subjectivism such as “We ourselves define the meaning of our lives”, or with the derivation of meaning from the Russian czar or a set of dogmas and taboos. The mere not fitting in the GNE network of all of this disqualifies it as relevant to any objective meaning.
2. Above, we found happiness to be the objectively desirable, that is, the only rational value. This implies that any meaning of life cannot but have something to do with happiness, for meaning is connected with realizing something positive, or valuable.
3. Going into more detail, we posit three hypotheses aiming at answering the question what might be a meaningful purpose of life in a scientific context. First, we assume that the four-dimensional universe and its processes physically-materially (observably) are expressing everything that is theoretically true or has moral relevance, from the theses of geometry to the implications of the Sermon on the Mount or of Stalinism. All of this expression is consistent and coherent, also like in a good, impressive, play. Actually, our hypothesis borders on tautology: of course, the concrete universe expresses natural laws whereas, in turn, the latter reflect coherent truth and values (think of evolution, man’s life, harmony, beauty and often their opposites). Second, our own expression of truth and values can produce intense or even cathartic experiences of meaning. Say, discovering Newton’s Law or seeing through some relation between good and evil, or experiencing harmony by music, all have something to do with both expressing truth and experiencing meaning. Third, if an individual subjectively has the impression that he is “expressing himself”, he actually implements the expression of the natural laws conducing him to his relevant actions. Natural laws by this very fact have to do with truth and/or value. We now generally hypothesize that there is such a coherence in truth, value and natural law that “meaning” is a feature naturally going with some of their cooperations as appearing in man. In particular, man’s understanding or emotionally experiencing substantial truths or coherences tends to produce in him a sense of meaning.
4. In order that experiencing meaning is more than an incidental illusion, prejudice or error it should be an aspect of the positive (evolution, beauty, coherence, the morally good,…). In short: “meaning” is experienced by man as a concomitant of his positively participating in coherent evolution as to happiness on the move.
5. Obviously, “meaning” virtually presupposes the objective, coherent, non-fuzzy world we discussed in Sect. 7. There cannot be meaning in a fuzzy and fundamentally uncertain or coincidental world because the essence of meaningful is: “the durable, coherently impressive and positive on the move”, without anything arbitrary, so that also long-lasting motivation of existence can be associated with it. There can be no place for death as the final word in an objectively meaningful universe; death as the last word would undo everything positive, leading to nowhere. Additionally, any basic uncertainty would also make problematic any purpose of evolution as well as the defeat of evil. For this kind of reasons I wonder about the emotional bias to fundamental uncertainty and coincidence of a majority. Would one longing for the defeat of evil prefer troubled waters? If you are straightforward and full of hope you should bet on order and coherence, on a ratio-scientific “invisible hand“ not only governing the economy but life, evolution and the coherence of natural law in the first place.
9. New Ideas on the Economy
Liquidity is printed sheets of paper.
Elsewhere on this
website – Sect. 4.3 and Sect. 2.5, Part 6, Item 13 – we introduced a proposal
about how economic recessions could be averted by a combination of policies
among which is essential that liquidity (effective buying power) is made not to
fall short as compared with production capacity.
We now complete this idea with the additional suggestion of shifting the emphasis of economic exertion to some degree from “short-term consumption” (in advanced countries) to long-term progress and the solution of man’s problems of life. In this context we remind of the facts that a) in the industrial world only .3 % of GNP is spent on fundamental research (2.5 % on R & D more generally), whereas hardly 20 fulltime researchers in the world work on paranormal phenomena such as a possible life after death (near-death phenomena, reincarnation,…). We propose to change this by government policies (tax and other) partly reallocating economic exertion similarly to how this happens in times of war. Then, say, 50 percent of the economy is “artificially”, non-economically, made to produce military goods and services. We now suggest to analogously shift, say, 15 % from (luxury) short-term consumption to what fosters long-term progress. Think of
1. Gradually increasing the above .3 and 2.5 % to, say, 3 and 10 %, respectively.
2. Radically subsidising NASA- and Genome-like projects in domains such as nuclear fusion (now only good for euro 250,000,000 a year), Artificial Intelligence, brain and parapsychological research, genetic engineering, fundamental physics and biological, medical, environmental and space research, etcetera.
3. Inter alia, by means of an incomes policy, government should see to it that no longer “the best and the brightest“ seek education and employment in the financial or juridical domains rather than in R & D.
4. Anyhow, venture capital should abound, on the understanding that inventions in a garage or a new idea about QM is more profitable to society in the long run than expensive hotels, also if classical capitalist profitability of the latter exceeds that of the former for the next ten or twenty years.
5. Mind that the above policy will also stimulate the economy similarly to how military expenditure will do. Even more so, because the additional inventions and insights won by the massive research will contribute much to new economic activities and, more importantly, to the solution of our problems of life (medical progress, problems like death, anxiety, sexual attractiveness, meaning of life,…).
Generally, our new approach will correct capitalism as to its adjustment to short-term hedonism, at the cost of long-term purposes, insight and the serious sides of life.
10. Explaining More by Less – a Major Advantage of Our Theory on “the Red Thread in History”
current state of social thought can be seen from the circumstance that it humours
the taboo against the idea that most “disadvantaged” owe their problems to
their lack of genetic and/or moral qualities.
We now enumerate a
number of very diverse social phenomena which have in common that up to now
they were difficult to explain whereas not even much effort was devoted to
their explanation, in spite of their obvious negative aspects for many. In a
way, they are shielded by taboo against exposure, or are repressed. We state
various specimens, explain them by our “red-thread versus anti-scientism”
theory, and finally draw one major conclusion.
1) Anti-rationalistic and subjectivist, often relativistic philosophy dominates in the field: Heidegger, Foucault, Levi-Strauss, postmodernism, “truth depends on non-rational pre-suppositions”,… Our theory explains this as one specimen of devaluing reason, more indirectly than the Church practised against the Voltaires. Particularly note that the philosophies in question do not contribute anything to the construction of an understandable model of the world.
2) Though incoherent “modern art” (Mondriaan’s Victory Boogie-Woogy, Joseph Beuys,…) is often ridiculed in private, hardly anyone does so in public… Our explanation joins with that in point 1) above: disguised anti-reason.
3) A near-universal “progressive educational reform” that is anti-intellectualistic in de-emphasizing grammar with foreign languages, systematic proofs in mathematics, system in physics, coherent lines in history and advocating “discovering things by yourself” rather than general education. Again: contrast with coherent reason.
4) Repressive sexual morals; we can explain them as censoring human emotions and instincts similarly to how “classical” censorship censored ideas, that is, reason. The purposes of both kinds of censorship are the same: making man more unconscious and manipulation-prone in the two domains in question.
5) Anti-Semitism up to about 1850 AD will have had mainly religious sources. After that time, the following is rather obvious from a reactionary point of view: Jews have been in the forefront of enlightening ideas more than whoever else. They contributed to people becoming “uprooted” with respect to traditional ideas and their country. Think of internationalism, and their revolutionary contributions to physics, psychology, film, banking, socialism,… Hence many hated Jews as revolutionaries in a broad sense.
6) The permissive attitude of Western establishments and especially intellectuals as to Third-World immigration and Third-World cultures that are far from inspired by any Enlightenment. This attitude strongly suggests such intellectuals to be far from positively endorsing enlightened values. Truly progressive people would oppose culturally unenlightened and on average low-IQ immigrants to be admitted, much more than rightists will oppose.
7) The important “nature” (versus “nurture”) components in crime, low IQ, psychological problems, and underclass phenomena are ignored by the politically correct and others, in spite of Herrnstein and Murray’s The Bell Curve (1994), massive research and common sense. By this they humour the disadvantaged industry and profess the “religion of Man” (who of course “can never be genetically inferior”).
It is obvious how simple the explanation is – as disguised anti-enlightened ideology – of the above phenomena. We see the “unexplainable” fit simply within the scope of “Nobility and Clergy” that in earlier stages more openly defended the interests of Dewey’s “those who would be certainly doomed” by consistent reason. It is clear that its explanatory power tells much for our general theory as enunciated above.
It joins with the line appearing above that there is also coherence in how establishment figures will obstruct bringing something important from its place by radical measures. Standard reactions: “This is not a real solution but only addresses symptoms”, “This cannot be done for juridical reasons”, “This is not practicable and only emotional”, “This violates privacy or would stigmatise specific groups”, “This is `gesundenes Volksempfinden’”,… The common element: humouring the status quo and de-emphasizing rational and moral intervention.
For the rest, it is a major drawback of mainstream social theories that they ignore the core concepts happiness, evil and genetic quality referring to man. This also amounts to accepting basic things as they are, that is, conservatism.
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