On Socio-Cultural Evolution – Outline of a Comprehensive Theory

C.W. Rietdijk, D.Sci.


 

People are always against reason
if reason is against them
.
                                     Helvetius

 


1. There is a line in history; the role of interests, power and ideology

1.1 Progress as an overall development in society

Roughly, man's development and socio-cultural evolution especially appear in the domains of three central faculties of his psyche: the intellect, moral judgment and emotional life.
       During history, we see a broad increase as to applications, subtlety and consistency of reason, that is, of human intelligence. Merely think of progress in science, technology, and organization of the economy and society in general.
       
With respect to the other two main faculties, things are less obvious. But still we see some line of development. In the moral domain, it is broadly illustrated by what we see (mainly in the industrial world) about human rights, more rational values (rather than values based on dogma and convention), and governments more and more interested in the well-being of their subjects. The emotional sphere - far from independent of the other two -, at least within most educated elites, also showed a gradual increase in conscious coherence, "well-considered subtlety" and freedom of communication, and aptitude for intimacy. Note that Christopher Lasch and others called attention to the fact that intimacy at all is only "substantially" among us since two centuries. This is also related to the increasing economic and inner independence of the individual, which, in the emotional domain too, encourages him to freely develop, and less repress, his feelings and emotions.
       The above three interrelated human-faculty developments highly amount to progress, in a physical as well as spiritual sense.
       It is remarkable that sociology is virtually unconcerned with this major long-term development, that we call the red thread in history, which is in the produced part of bio-psychological evolution. Social science more generally got stuck in "chaotic" details because of its also ignoring vital ordering principles like progress, moral values, human quality and happiness. It did so because major interests do not like them to be emphasized. (See many instances below.) Within this scope, of adjustment to the status quo and also superficiality, some more phenomena fit too:

1) Sociology rather generally is hardly interested any more in what could be deeper, hidden interests and motives behind
various phenomena such as taboos, mores, ideas about education, law enforcement, art, etc. Surprise, curiosity and comprehensive theories got out of fashion.

2) Simply accepting men and cultures as they are here and now, without even considering them in the light of the above ordering principles, and comparing them accordingly. Convention, manipulation, hypocrisy and dogma are not even exposed as such. This is fatal for innovative thought because it belongs to the essence of socio-cultural thinking that it considers, orders, explains and assesses the phenomena according to the above vital ordering principles
. E.g., finding dominating forces in society and the community to violate integrity, or their not optimizing happiness, is part and parcel of this. Striking "detail": current ideology goes to all lengths in fending this off by contending that "the group" itself is the very source of our ordering principles, so that it does not make sense to judge it by “external” criteria.


1.2 The Enlightenment and its opponents as prototypes

In broad lines, the Enlightenment as a socio-cultural ideal and program aimed at stimulating progress in the above sense. Particularly, it emphasized reason, also for founding values and social institutions. In doing so, it had some serious shortcomings too:

a) It naively assumed man as an individual to be "good by nature",
his frequent corruption merely being induced by society. It assumed man to be defined by its environment at all. (Genes were still unknown at the time.)

b) It was superficial in neglecting Marx's and Freud's later discoveries. Viz. that man's ideas and convictions will highly depend on his individual or group interests
, rather than any objective moral or rational insights (Marx). What's more, it was far from the insight that such "dubious" sources of ideas and preferences (and many other human motives) will work unconsciously, reason often being powerless against them (Freud).

To begin with, the conflict between the Enlightenment and its main opponents - nobility, clergy and convention - itself showed many instances of a) and b) above. E.g., many French revolutionaries, too, were far from "good by nature", whereas both they and many clergymen (unconsciously) sought power rather than enlightenment, humaneness or the values of the Sermon on the Mount.
       Still, we can see the conflict between the Enlightenment and its opponents as a classic example of the one between red-thread evolution (progress) and contrastive forces in general
. The essence of the two opposing sides and their chasm is that, roughly, the Enlightenment sought more reason, rational moral values and also emotional openness and freedom, whereas nobility and the Church largely stood for vested interests and conventions that had to fear disadvantages from such development. Within this scope, "rational values" can be defined as such ones which are merely based on reason in the sense that their exclusive purpose is to optimise human well-being: minimizing suffering and optimising happiness as far as reason can guide us. Actually, such values amount in practice to "loving one's neighbour like oneself", i.e., to integrity and love of one’s neeighbour. [For a thorough foundation of a rational ethic see my The Scientifization of Culture (SoC) and Wetenschap als Bevrijding (WaB); information is on this site.]
       Exploitation, privilege, power abuse, and the censorship and ideological manipulation needed for continuing these, jointly caused pre-Enlightenment establishments (and many others) to contrast with red-thread evolution. In the domain of reason, morally and also as regards emotional openness and freedom. Now we posit four theses:

I. The essence of socio-cultural dynamics in all history is the struggle between pro- and anti-red-thread forces.
In this the first are gradually advancing by the mere cumulative nature of scientific and other discoveries, technological and economic ability and the interest of most people in using them for their well-being. The second - opposing - complex of forces essentially stems from those whose interests are "corrupt" in the broadest sense of being harmed by the enlightened values: truth, sound arguments, an ethic that can be legitimized rationally, and conscious, coherent emotions that cannot easily be manipulated (ideologically) because of such very qualities. In practice, the anti-red thread attitude is best recognized by its position that many things in life - morals, purposes, procreation, a possible life after death, tradition, human quality and value,... - cannot or should not be considered or decided via rational argument. And, in particular, collective myth (that plays an important part in manipulating people; think of ideology or religion, and see below) should not be considered via rational argument.
       The rest of history and sociology (beyond the above dynamics) is mere folklore: "coincidence".

II. The gist of the above conflict of interests is formulated by two quotations:
"19 the light came in the world, but men loved darkness more than the light, because their actions were evil. 20 Anybody who acts wickedly abhors the light and does not go to the light for fear that his works will be disclosed. 21 But he who does the truth, goes to the light, in order that it may appear that his deeds have been done in God." (Gospel of John 3: 19-21.)
"With the final integration of the instinctive and the spiritual by means of these human techniques, the edifice of the technical society will be completed. ... Our deepest instincts and our most secret passions will be analysed, published, and exploited. We shall be rewarded with everything our hearts ever desired." (Jacques Ellul in The
Technological Society, pp. 426-7.)
       Both quotations, though elucidating different aspects, imply that a straightforward and rational individual, with conscious and consistent purposes and longings, has an interest in truth and in a world that is in principle objective, transparent, coherent and knowable
. That is, such individual will not like troubled waters, whereas would-be manipulators will.
       This situation largely defines one's position in the red-thread debate: about rationalism, relativism, the idea of progress, and man as an object of science with ultimately clear, individually varied, qualities, longings and weak points in his genes as well as his behaviour. Here I understand by rationalism the thesis that consistently using our intelligence - sense of evidence - and careful observation bring us nearer to dependable knowledge than all other methods
. It neither presupposes reductionism, nor our limiting such intelligence to means rather than purposes, values or whatever: intelligence and observation are more than merely instrumental. (Note here: reductionism is the thesis that a whole can always be explained by its parts and local causality.)

III. There are two major differences between the red-thread controversy now and a couple of centuries ago. First, the pro-red-thread camp - because of the progress of science and lessons of history - can now correct its two major errors indicated in a) and b) above. Second, the anti-red-thread interests and the means used to serve them - such as ideology and bureaucracy - became much more complicated, indirect and veiled
. Simply because modern man would no longer accept them in open variants like bayonets, censorship or Pius IX's Syllabus Errorum (that explicitly denounced most of enlightened philosophy).

IV. All eras of the past - history - as well as both Machiavelli and modern sociologists (Karl Mannheim, Alvin Gouldner, and, of course, Marx,...) showed that:

a) By far most actions of the powerful aim at serving their own interests: power and privilege;

b) The ideas
- religion, convention, taboos, ideologies such as nationalism,... - and good intentions professed by them, or being paid lip service to, more often than not function(ed) to promote such interests, rather than existing for their own sake;

c) Actually, most historical situations, ideologies, institutions, taboos and massive actions by the rulers or other interest groups - from the guilds, persecutions, the feudal system and slavery to censorship, nationalism, Victorian morality and colonialism - were defended by arguments differing much from various hidden or unconscious motives behind them, which used to amount to self-interest of powerful groups
. Now my thesis is that it strikes the eye that current, contemporary, situations, taboos etc. hardly ever are reduced to some hidden variant of self-interest. Neither in public discussion, nor by social science. Here some vital explanations are overdue. You find them below. Especially pay attention to what is tabooed, repressed or adverse to the dominant climate. Note that taboos and such climate conspicuously often protect what contrasts with the red thread. Morally (e.g., the absence of true justice), as to reason (irrational art and philosophy), or with respect to quality (tabooing eugenics). [In this work we will understand by ideology a complex of ideas, assertions and arguments that (un)consciously aim at "selling" group interests to the majority by euphemistically disguising them as serving the public interest or as being morally good. It is a major instrument in social struggle.]

 Somewhat paradoxically - viz. in spite of its frequent anti-red thread role - religion was and is right in positing that the contrast between good and evil is primary in life
. For the red-thread chasm highly amounts to such contrast. From the point of view of socio-cultural science, studying pro- and anti-red thread interests, motives, ideas, actions and conflicts is essential because of its power of explaining social phenomena optimally coherently and simply. This will especially become clear in section 2, where many "disguised" anti-red thread ideas, preferences and other phenomena will be discussed.
       Finally realize that red-thread evolution is not merely connected with enlightenment, but, especially in our historical stage, also with the Promethean and sophistication on the move
.


1.3 Institutionalization as a major specimen of anti-enlightened instruments of power

Christianity began with Jesus (historical or not), the Sermon on the Mount and as a religion that especially aimed at helping and comforting the oppressed and deprivileged. In the course of time, however, such religion became integrated into the establishment, also as a major instrument for conforming and suppressing the majority. Additionally, the leaders of the Church derived much power, status and privilege from their position. What happened was that, gradually, Christian (and other) religions institutionalized: from (sometimes) starting as a primarily "progressive" factor, religion became an instrument mainly serving the interests of the relevant "apparatus" and those governing it.
       We saw similar things, inter alia
, in the development of the French and Russian revolutions. The first evolved from Mirabeau and human rights to Robespierre and Napoleon in a short time, whereas the latter - after rather half-hearted attempts to liberate the masses - resulted in Stalin and the Nomenklatoera.
       Parkinson's law, containing that bureaucracies in a broad sense have an inherent tendency of expanding, and Robert Michels' "Iron law of oligarchy" (the management of organizations will evolve in the direction of an oligarchy) constitute additional examples related to institutionalization. "Power breeds power"
may be a common denominator of the above social processes. (The idea of institutionalization stems from Quigley; he does not give the examples discussed. For details see SoC.)
       In a general sense, we see anti-red-thread inclinations stem from the fact - shown by history and psychology - that those having the power to do so - individuals and groups -, will put their self-interest first and foremost, openly or veiledly. The answer of pro-red-thread interests – i.e., optimising total happiness – should be furthering substantial democracy, transparency and enlightenment unto the intimate and the unconscious
.
       Current main obstacle to progress in the red-thread direction is that the above will be convincing for rational people, but its application to present-day situations and especially disguised anti-enlightened interests and instruments is difficult
. For various habits of thought became part of our culture. Culture that once has been characterized as "crystallized politics of ages". Now ideologists will have unconscious purposes and intuitive skills of manipulating such habits and half-conscious wants into the direction of relevant group interests. In the next section we discuss concrete instances of "survival of the fittest as to manipulation". The Church, Napoleon and the Soviet Nomenklatoera were not the only artists as to this. Note here that ideology is generally considered to be an instrument for manipulatively translating the self-interest of relevant social actors into moral or publicly acceptable terms. One prototype is the ideology of nationalism, that actually serves "to make the many exert themselves for the interests of a few", as it has been formulated. Similar things are done by other ideologies too.
       For the rest, progress does not primarily depend on what ideology brings about. In the words of J.K. Galbraith, old ideas more often than not succumb to "the onslaught of circumstance"
rather than other ideas. And such onslaught is mainly caused by scientific, technological and economic developments. Think of guns causing castles no longer to be invulnerable, the printing press spreading new ideas, and better contraception, mobility and mass consumption transforming the mentality. They were major factors, respectively, in bringing down feudalism, the success of the Reformation, and liberalizing sexual morals.



2. Current leading ideologies: political and cultural correctness, and conservatism. Related socio-cultural evils and interest groups. The cult of unreason and its anti-red-thread function

2.1 Principal theses of political correctness

We start with listing explicit or implicit starting points of "progressive" (liberal) ideology, which roughly define current political correctness:
(1) All people are of equal value; e.g., genetic rearguards do not exist.
(2) An individual is what he is by his education and social environment; genes are very secondary, also in the differentiation between social classes.
(3) All races and social classes are equally talented.
(4) Social evils practically always boil down to the exploitation of lower classes by higher ones, or to inequality in general, such as discrimination.
(5) Also crime and anti-social behaviour or addiction have social origins rather than individual genetic and moral predisposition playing a major part too (compare the Enlightenment: man is good by nature).
(6) Third-world problems stem from colonialism and exploitation rather than inferior local values (irrational, anti-individualistic) and, in various cases, low IQs caused by genes. All cultures are roughly equal in value. At least, western culture is not superior.


2.2 Main theses of cultural correctness

(1) Values and purposes result from social convention or agreement; they lack any objective (e.g., genetic or super-human) basis and cannot be deduced from facts or by reason at all.
(2) All cultures and class value systems in principle have the same merit.
(3) No objective moral order exists in the world, or any evolutionary "hierarchy" of mental quality with respect to human individuals.
(4) Neither there is any objective meaning of life apart from what a community or individual chooses it to be for it or him.
(5) The foregoing implies that any concept of objective progress is meaningless.
(6) Typically modern "experimental" and often incoherent (incomprehensible) art as well as postmodern philosophy has the merit of emphasizing the ideas of non-hierarchy, non-direction, subjectivity and the poly-interpretable. So has most non-rationalistic philosophy in general.


2.3 Main theses of traditional conservatism

(1) Social order and a moral compass for the individual should be derived from traditional institutions, values and habits, which embody the wisdom of ages.
(2) Reason and rational values will be inferior to such wisdom.
(3) Human life is inviolable in the sense that abortion, genetic engineering applied to man, and euthanasia are reprehensible.
(4) Man is a member of a community rather than an individual; this should be reflected in his values, purposes and ways of thinking.
(5) For integrating society in a moral and other sense, and giving meaning and purpose to individual lives, religion need not be true in the scientific-factual sense. Neither needs convention be legitimised by reason.


2.4 A strange phenomenon: extreme nonsense accepted by the relevant in-crowds; two related "sub-cultures" that still are mainstream

In this sub-section, we give a number of rather typical quotations from leading intellectuals who highly co-represent cultural correctness. Their irrationality is so radical, the publication of similar ones so frequent, and their peer-acceptance so general, that some explanation is necessary of their meaning and function within the scope of socio-cultural processes. The phenomenon is too massive for lacking importance: "there is system in this madness". Hence some role of it may be expected in the interaction between pro- and anti-red-thread forces. The quotations to be listed, jointly with culturally kindred incoherent art, will indeed appear to fit in the antithesis and struggle of pro- and anti-red-thread tendencies, which means a substantial increase of coherence and simplicity in socio-cultural explanation and theory. Below, we will also find the above ideological theses to play a part in such pro-anti interaction. Now the quotations:

(1) "Being there is a being, that not merely appears under (an) other being. Rather, it is discriminated in the ontological sense by the fact that this being in its being aims at being itself. However, it then belongs to this way of being of being there that, in its being, it has a relation of being with this being."
Original German text: "Das Dasein ist ein Seiendes, dasz nicht nur unter anderem Seienden vorkommt. Es ist vielmehr dadurch ontologisch ausgezeignet, dasz es diesem Seienden in seinen Sein um dieses Sein selbst geht. Zu dieser Seinsverfassung des Daseins gehört aber dann, dasz es in seinem Sein zu diesem Sein ein Seinsverhältnis hat." (Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, p. 12.)

(2) "First of all, we can say that today's writing has freed itself from the dimension of expression. Referring only to itself, but without being restricted to the confines of its interiority, writing is identified with its own unfolded exteriority. This means that it is an interplay of signs arranged less according to its signified content than according to the very nature of the signifier. Writing unfolds like a game [jeu] that invariably goes beyond its own rules and transgresses its limits. In writing, the point is not to manifest or exalt the act of writing, nor is it to pin a subject within language; it is, rather, a question of creating a space into which the writing subject constantly disappears." (Quotation from Michel Foucault in The Foucault Reader, Ed. by P. Rabinow, N.York 1984, p. 102.)

(3) "One must in fact consider that the original relation of praxis as totalization to materiality as passivity obligates man to objectify himself in a milieu which is not his and to represent in organic totality as his own objective reality. It is the relation of interiority and exteriority that originally constitutes praxis as a relation of the organism to its material environment; and it is not doubtful that man - from the time he no longer designates himself as simple reproduction of life - discovers himself as Other
in the world of objectivity; totalized matter, as the inert objectification which penetrates itself by inertia, is in effect a non-man and even, if one wishes, a counter-man." (Jean Paul Sartre, La critique de la raison dialectique, p. 285, translation by D. La Capra.)

(4) "One should not criticise Marx, and even if we criticise him then you have to understand that it is absolutely no criticism: we already repeatedly said that we do not trouble ourselves about criticising, because that means that, on the level of the criticised object, one remains in a dogmatic, consequently paranoid, relation to knowledge." (Jean-François Lyotard, Ökonomie des Wunsches, p. 145, translation by me, C.W.R.)

(5) "Rorty's advice is that we change our vocabulary. We need to purge our language of unnecessary anxiety-inducing distinctions like the one between `rational' and `irrational' or between `subjectivism' and `objectivism' or even between `truth' and `falsity'." (Eugene Goodheart in Partisan Review, 1996, No. 2, p. 223.)

(6) "The Einsteinian constant is not a constant, is not a center. It is the very concept of variability - it is, finally, the concept of the game. In other words, it is not the concept of something
- of a center starting from which an observer could master the field - but the very concept of the game." (Quotation from Derrida in The New York Review of Books, 8-8-1996, by Steven Weinberg.)

The above kind of "crazy" quotations can be completed virtually endlessly, not merely with respect to the above authors, but to many other leading intellectuals too: about philosophy, the human condition, society, language, art etc. They are no incidents but "culminations" or a manifesto of a state of mind - an ideology - that also expresses itself in two other major phenomena:

a) The domination, in philososophy and socio-cultural thinking, of relativism, of the idea that the world and our lives are fundamentally incoherent and uncertain, of anti-rationalism and of the denial of both any socio-cultural evolution and some objective standard of the genetic or moral quality of human individuals. All of this is not far from nihilism. Question: "If objective ethical standards are lacking, what, then, was wrong with Auschwitz?"

b) Massively produced incoherent "modern" art, by Joseph Beuys, Karel Appel, Marcel Duchamp, or Barnett Newman, and by "incomprehensible" poets, or Arnold Schönberg and others. This variant of incoherence and aesthetic "subjectivism" conveys an implicit message - similar to that of a) as well as our quotations -, viz.: "The world is incoherent, man is above natural law (irrational), values and purposes are subjective, and evolution and progress are bunk."

Indeed note two major facts:
1. Our quotations, as well as a) and b), in letter and spirit, contrast to the highest degree with the red-thread way of thinking
, that is, with an enlightened mentality.
2. It is very unusual - partly even taboo - to publicly criticize quotations like the above ones, "modern art" or the bias towards relativism, uncertainty, anti-rationalism etc.
at stake in a).

Simple conclusion
: Our dominating ideology - "protected" by taboo and repression - is definitely of an anti-enlightened nature. Our quotations as well as a) and b) above, accordingly, contrast to the utmost with the two quotations plus comment in 1.2 II. Also note their affinity with political and cultural correctness and even with essential theses of traditional conservatism, which also contrasts with rationalism, rational values and enlightenment in a broad sense. (E.g., it will turn against rational arguments critical about, and individuals "breaking ranks" with respect to, dominating values and institutions of society.)
       Within the above dominating climate it is far from surprising that sociology not merely did not hit upon the idea of red-thread evolution, but for many decades not even produced coherent theories on society and culture at all
, restricting itself to detail subjects (and vague abstractions or harmless methodology). (Macro) incoherence is now part of the way of thinking.
       One can add that sociology's virtual standstill basically results from the circumstance that, in its domain, by far most major discoveries that do not anyhow "offend" vested interests and corresponding ways of thinking, have already been made
. E.g., if socio-cultural thinkers - in conforming to correctness - do not feel any urge of finding an explanation of what drove our above "crazy" authors to their utter absurdities, and of the fact that they were not laughed out of the room, they block a way to progress in social science.


2.5 What corruption and unenlightened situations are protected by, or thrive on, current ideology and corresponding taboos? Schelsky's idea

In his Die Arbeit tun die Andern - Klassenkampf und Priesterherrschaft der Intellectuellen (1975), sociologist Helmut Schelsky advanced the idea that, generally, ideologists will hate technology because the latter causes people to get less dependent on the supremacy of nature. Viz. such "emancipation" will solve many problems for whose solution they formerly called on ideology, e.g., social or religious utopias. Hence the (unconscious) bias of the "priests": technology means "competition" for their salvations. In SoC (especially section 19) such idea, inter alia, has been extended so as to also include people's dependence on the supremacy of "the group" and on uncertainties in our destinies - fundamental or not. E.g., think of chance encounters for finding mates, and of research into some possible hereafter. That is, dependence and uncertainty in these domains too will be welcomed by "idea mongers": they will be less than enthousiastic about large-scale transparent love markets as well as the research mentioned (and, actually, about red-thread progress at all) because these too could compete with their own "product".
       Let us link up with the latter. Since time immemorial, religion derives much (most) of its influence from its more or less "monopolizing" the domain of life and death. Then, arguing like Schelsky on this subject too, religion and traditionalist ideologists will appear not to be fond of man taking his destiny in his own hands
as to contraception, abortion, euthanasia and actively ending the life of seriously handicapped newborns (see one of the pages on this site). For this will make man less dependent on the supremacy of nature in this domain, which hitherto has been highly dominated by "ideologists". Actually, we saw precisely religion oppose the relevant red-thread developments in the past half-century. Also, we see indeed very little inclination among believers (and others) to scientific research into out-of-the-body experiences, near-death experiences, reincarnation and parapsychology anyhow.

Now our thesis is that this kind of (unconsciously) serving interests ideologically occurs much more often. Actually, social thinking admitted this state of affairs since a long time as a general phenomenon, but refused to be so consistent as to apply such insight to concrete instances here and now, that is, to present society
.
       However, we want to apply theory on the relations between vested interests on the one side (power, privilege,…), and on the other ideology (taboos, views on life etc.), to such very current situations and to social evils about which nobody protests in particular
. Actually, note that none of the great authors of Antiquity objected to slavery, and very few contemporaries did so to the persecution of witches much later, let alone cruel death penalties at all. We should not repeat such serious mistake.
       We discussed many social evils and the interests and ideological manipulation behind them in SoC
and WaB, and will concentrate here on a few. A common line is here that anti-red-thread (anti-enlightened) ideas generally tend to frustrate reason, arguments, rational values, moral indignation and conscious and coherent emotions (at least in various vital domains). This in order to facilitate repression, manipulation and virtual (inner) censorship for the benefit of corruption or other social evils which advantage some vested interest. Now we ask ourselves: In what socio-cultural situations common sense and justice are seriously violated in western societies, and what interests benefit from this? We consider some very general and fundamental ones:

(1) The extremely cruel idea that parents involuntarily should live with a seriously handicapped child such as a mongol. Also think of euthanasia in general. Interests at the background: churches (compare the above, about Schelsky), and also the "deprivileged industry" and egalitarian ideology, which unconsciously welcome disadvantaged as potential clients and/or favour the (relativistic) idea that all human beings are of equal value. For this kind of reasons, e.g., active euthanasia with respect to seriously handicapped newborns (and various other categories) is tabooed. For instance, though 54 % of the Dutch public is of the opinion that parents of such newborns should have the right to opt for euthanasia, not a single well-known Dutch intellectual sided with me when I proposed to give them such right, and a media uproar appeared
. An outstanding example of inner censorship.

(2) The way of thinking and practice in law and the juridical domain, which cause technicalities, the idea that not all evidence is permitted for use, privacy, the right of a defendant not to cooperate, and many complications to fly in the face of common sense and justice. Viz., in the face of the ideal that finding the truth and protecting the public against criminals constitute the sense and purpose of the legal system in the first place. Interests in this: lawyers thriving on complications, the rich whose expensive lawyers may find loopholes in complicated laws, white-collar criminals against whom admissible evidence is often hard to find. And above all: a boost for the fundamentally corrupt idea that the struggle between good and evil is not the most important thing in life and society, and that the authorities should not go to the utmost to enforce integrity, with all means at their disposal
. This is crucial because such idea is at the basis of virtually all other social evils, that can only continue because precedence of the moral, rational and public-interest dimension over group interests (such as cartels, unions, farmers, doctors, lawyers, the educational establishment,...) is not deemed self-evident or frustrated.
       Of course, this also brings us back to the essential point that corruption and social evils at all are fundamentally in an antagonistic relation to the red thread. Anyone having an interest in the first, will ipso facto
need to frustrate at least some element of reason and rational values, or to manipulate emotions. Therefore, this point (2) about truth and justice also has a very general impact.

(3) The frequent sad fate of whistle-blowers. This also demonstrates what is wrong with society's priorities and values ("ideology") in a more general sense: integrity very often does not prevail, and our establishment does accept this
on a massive scale.

(4) The gradual, more or less radical, degradation of (especially secondary) education, in the sense of lack of discipline, often no silence in the classes, anti-intellectualism (no coherent, systematic books and courses, little grammar, little deduction and system in science and maths, history and languages), and much comprehensivity rather than selection, which works very negative on discernable standards and quality. Relevant interests:
a) Educating people primarily to socially conform
("socially" rather than intellectually oriented education) and to consume (here-and-now satisfaction rather than delayed gratification and discipline);
b) "Progressives" preferring equality;
c) The anti-red-thread ideology in general: no systematic intellectual frame, social adjustment has precedence over the individual and his performance, low standards. Also think of emphasizing skills rather than knowledge, and of "discovering things by yourself" rather than being teached via well-organized and coherent books - which amounts to "studied inefficiency".
       Especially note the indirect, "underhand nature" of anti-red-thread policy and mentality
also in "progressive" education.
       Mind too that for an elite - say, the best 3 % - education should not at all "educate for life and society" but for considering them from a distance via thinking, values and emotions that are as independent as possible of what dominates here and now
.

(5) Mass immigration into the West of lowly educated, lower-class and (therefore, on average) low-IQ Third-World people, who will show high crime, drop-out and unemployment rates. Related interests:
a) Leftist political parties that will attract disproportionally many voters from the "deprivileged";
b) The disadvantaged industry (that is the biggest interest group in modern society): it gets more clients from abroad;
c) Cheap labour for employers in various countries.
       Again, public opposition is practically taboo ("racism", "discrimination",...). Even raids to find illegal aliens are taboo, so that obviously interests
are at stake that actually like problem cases and to keep them in the relevant country.
       The problem in question could be solved in a humanitarian way by the West overthrowing a dictatorship - in Iraq, Congo,... -, establishing a safe haven for refugees there, and its paying the bill for organizing such "successor of the United States", guaranteeing human rights and organizing a sound economy. At the same time, it should end the admission of economic and other refugees in its own countries, apart from qualitative elites.

(6) More generally, current Western governments are indifferent to human quality
, as appears from anti-eugenic ideology as well as immigration policies. Simply, organized interests in human rearguards prevail on the common good as well as moral and human-quality considerations, which is characteristic of an anti-red-thread attitude. (Also compare section 3.2.)

(7) The authorities' virtual inaction as to addiction, which could be radically diminished by compulsorily interning addicts (who can be found much easier than dealers), and only releasing them after their kicking the habit. Obstructing interests: again the helping professions (disadvantaged industry), which like large numbers of clients, just as other organizations. Also many from the "narcotics brigades", who might lose their jobs by the relevant practical policy.

(8) A milder variant of communist "nomenklatoera"
is constituted in modern society by a bloated bureaucracy that frustrates reason, efficiency and justice not only by playing a part in interest collusion, but also by having a vested interest in making the solution of problems "difficult", "complicated", and everything obscure. For an impenetrable wilderness of laws, rules, procedures, committees, and interests that frustrate the straightforward priority of red-thread values and purposes not only makes change difficult but also helps such very bureaucracy to survive in being powerful, also by its monopoly of "knowing the ways" in the deliberate maze. This is a clear-cut example of institutionalization (and of Parkinson's law). Just as anti-enlightened interests in general, the bureaucrats in particular hate life and its problems to be clean and transparent - from regulations, procedures and the law to sex, the problems of life and art and philosophy. Throughout history, most mass frustrations patently obviously arised from simple stupidity and moral failure of the rulers. In our time, on the other hand, things are said to be very complicated... In agreement with the above, people indignant about or frustrated by some social abuse will complain that they feel powerless because of the obscureness of the situation, causes etc. Well, this is precisely the abuse's (or, the abusers') intentional "self-defense". Also compare here that the "correctly thinking" leaders - remarkably - are by no means happy if I posit that all suffering and frustration has concrete and in principle simple causes. They hate simplicity, coherence and transparency. Evil too should be vague, relative, and also far from "simply" derivable from genes or (veiled) interests. In such spiritual climate, troubled waters, "poly-interpretable" art, "deep" philosophy and an "unmakable" world fit precisely. Hence we are flooded with them, as well as with incoherent pseudo-criticism functioning as "lightning rod". Think of hippies, Eminem and rappers, and a host of "neo-Marxisms" theorizing about the economy without even being interested in its growth rate and efficiency... (On bureaucracy, also see section 6, 11.)

(9) A rather comprehensive social evil is that the very complication and obscureness of modern society cause it to be easier for well-organized special interests to influence their own sector disproportionally in various cases. Think of big business, doctors, farmers, unions, the educational establishment etc. They often dominate so much that even small groups like sugar and peanut growers, e.g., succeed in inducing some "democratic" governments to institute high relevant import duties, to the detriment of 99.9 % of the public.
       Corroborating one of our main theses - viz. that free discussion is highly frustrated - is that not even such corruption causes a massive outcry: too many complications and veils confuse matters, whereas the media, political parties and "spokesmen" join in the round game of not prejudicing each others' vital interests. This is best for their own interests and careers.

(10) More generally, troubled waters - anti-enlightened situations in life at all - cause most human anxiety too, for this is a normal reaction to basic uncertainty. Inter alia
, think here of the results of "relatiocracy" and of softness on crime, aggressive behaviour and inconvenience, as well as of the refusal to use lie-detectors in fighting foul play of many kinds. Also think of the sexual domain, where much more (frustrated) energy is invested in (mostly stupid and endlessly repetitional) songs about subjects like "My Baby" than in a transparent and efficient love market.
       In this context, particularly note the anxiety of those 99 % among us who refrain from violating even utterly irrational taboos: apparently, most people are so much afraid of each other that they conform...

In all, we see the rather striking situation that, on the one hand, violations of or contrasts with the red-thread complex of ideas and attitudes are a precondition for abuses in the broadest sense, such as the above ones. On the other, our politically and culturally correct ideologies, our philosophy and "modern" art not only are positively anti-enlightened, but are even protected by taboos and "not dones"!
Some similarity to former historical periods presses itself upon us, because then too, ideology was on the side of massive self-interest of the established. And such ideology (religion, convention), therefore, was vigorously maintained by the establishment. Some analogy between on the one side priests, religions and conventions of the past and, on the other, present-day intellectuals and their "correctness" is obvious. The means of the latter's enforcement changed - from bayonets, censorship, convention etc. into other-directedness (Riesman) and various other ways of counteracting enlightened attitudes as discussed by us. As to the absence of massive protests, compare our foregoing remark about slavery and cruel penalties. Of course, current (western) evils are less radical as to the related suffering. But some socio-psychological laws and means of "making the many dedicate themselves to the interests of the few" might not have changed essentially (remind our quote on nationalism). What certainly did not change is the anger of the profiteers against those publicly questioning their ideological instruments and motives. The essential cause of the aversion to red-thread ideas and values - that so frequently appears with in-crowds and "elites" - is that reason, integrity and emotional openness so often interfere with, or threaten, their latitude for manipulation, for creating myth, for playing obscure games, for being crudely or subtly unjust, unreasonable or inefficient, and for power and privilege based on these at all.
       Fundamentally, it is a tautology that social evils and corruption have as a precondition that, somehow, reason, rational values or the awakening of our free and authentic emotions should be frustrated, repressed or manipulated (e.g., by ideology). That is, the public state of mind should show anti-enlightened elements
. In this sub-section we saw radical specimens. What is more: the main three current ideologies (compare 2.1-2.3), as well as trendy art and philosophy, do little else than counteracting red-thread ideas - via relativism and uncertainty up to "nurturalism", the "poly-interpretable" and indifference to progress. Pure coincidence? If not, quite a lot of things would tally, even the circumstance that, up to now, virtually no one saw the still obvious connection.


2.6 More about the roles of left and right

The antithesis of current left and right is highly inconsistent and unfruitful as an answer to social problems:

a) Why couldn't the "right" derive the certainty
and order it pursues, from science, technology, rationally based values and a rationally organized society rather than from much less "certain" historically developed traditions and religion which lack an objective basis? Mind in particular that convention, religion and other social institutions on which rightists will base their order and certainty, were and are highly tainted by their historical ideological function of serving power, privilege and establishments at all. Note that it has been observed: "Culture is crystallized politics of centuries". More than a little bit distrust is called for!
       What's more, much of the "cultural lore" passed on through the ages - among which is much "ideology": ideas about life, death, sex, procreation, good and evil,... - has been a product of social survival of the fittest. But..."fittest" in the sense of social compromise, or instrument of "integration", as to the interests of the establishment such as power, and those of the (manipulated) masses such as safety and stability. Nationalism, conventional sex morality and objections to euthanasia are among the results, and are dubious from the point of view of human happiness
.

b) Why shouldn't the "left" eagerly embrace "bourgeois" values like performance ethics, delayed gratification and genetic and educational quality in the name of progress and the Promethean
?

c) Why shouldn't both jointly hate rearguards and permissiveness towards them, as well as degradation, as harmful to order and
progress, and why not jointly loathe the philosophy of uncertainty and relativism as inimical to both of them too? Why couldn't left and right endorse a rational love market, both reducing uncertainty and fostering man's taking his destiny in his own hands by reason and transparency? Why not unite in the "Schelsky" spirit and fight man's dependence on forces not brought under rational and moral control, thus serving progress and reliable order once more, and also reducing anxiety?

The basic reason why a), b) and c) didn't materialize is that both left and right institutionalized, cherishing ideals quite different from an enlightened order and
certainty, moral quality and progress. E.g., the left primarily became an ideology serving the deprivileged industry and bureaucratized egalitarianism (in education, redistribution etc.), whereas the right continued to represent most historically older vested interests - big business, farmers, religion,... - and their kind of "order".



3. Lip service to orthodoxy. How modern conformism and taboos work

3.1 Establishments flying in the face of red-thread values and practice

"The bigger problem is this: British courts are throttled by procedures so Byzantine in their complexity that none but the rich, or those qualifying for legal aid, need consider bringing a case. For most people, litigation risks financial ruin. Complexity is also the prime reason for the soaring cost of legal aid." (The Economist, Sept. 16, 1995, on Britain's antiquated courts.)
       One day earlier, I read in the Dutch weekly HP/deTijd
(Sept. 15, 1995): "Politics degenerated into `going through the emotions': nobody knows how to really tackle the great problems; solutions that harm organized interests do not stand a chance from the very start." (Translation by me, C.W.R.) And The Wall Street Journal of April 17, 1988 wrote: "There is no lesson more portentous for the next century than that in modern Western societies, bureaucratized vested interests are virtually impossible to shift short of actual physical violence." {An illustration of such interest: "The paper from the [World] bank's development research group...estimates that breaking up carrier agreements among shipping lines would reduce transport costs by 25 per cent and liberating port services would cut costs by a further 9 per cent." (The Financial Times, March 1, 2001.)}

Two comments:
a) British courts, European farmers, US educational establishment, the AMA (American Medical Asociation), labour unions in many countries,... are among the "organized interests" of our second quotation. How do they maintain their semi-veto power? Milton Friedman's and various others' summarized answer: by constituting a network or "cartel" of traders in priorities. Viz. farmers help the AMA in maintaining high fees and fending off competition if the AMA endorses substantial financial aid for farmers, and so on. Moreover, expert, motivated and rich lobbies are always nearer to the officials and representatives than the - unorganized and rather indifferent - general public. In any case, the facts show that organized interests have a disproportionate influence in their own sector - which is downright undemocratic. Why about all media, and the intelligentsia, are less interested in the quotation from The Economist, and the lack of democracy at all that is evident from it, than in Heidegger, sports and "modern art"?
[Also compare 2.5 (9).]
b) For me personally, the mere first (and many similar) quotation suffices for making impossible any bit of solidarity with or sympathy for our establishment or "the group" at all
, simply because of their tolerating a massive immoral situation structurally. (The content of section 2 more than suffices too.) In fact, I consider the most intriguing problem of sociology to be this: What circumstances or mechanism cause the majority of the public to feel so dependent on "the others" that, far from washing its hands of our establishment in moral disgust, it feels so much unhappy with such others' potential scorn that it will not even violate taboos and current "correctness"? This problem is vital in particular because it is at the core of that of wielding power, especially in nominally democratic societies.
       A major lesson from the Economist
quotation and many other foregoing passages is about our establishment's moral level. Viz., that we should never disbelieve any hypothesis because bad faith of the powers that be is part and parcel of it. For "elites" that, inter alia, for many years tolerated judicial systems not dominated by the ideas of truth and justice, but by technicalities and frustrating complication, are morally corrupted by such very fact. It is in agreement with this and the foregoing that polls show a low public esteem for many sectors of the establishment, such as US Congress, unions, business, law firms, journalists,... (See SoC, particularly section 35.). Clearly, selection for "elites" and leaders is far from quality-oriented. This is a core social evil.
       For the rest: democracy requires that the physical violence The
Wall Street Journal speaks about should actually be applied by the authorities. In actual fact, the situation the paper indicates does not even cause a public outcry. This circumstance irrefutably demonstrates the very (unconscious) collusion of vested interests - including "correct" ideas - that features in our argument.
       Within the above scope realise that rational ethics essentially refers to priorities of interests. Here it is where our establishment fails.


3.2 How modern conformism works; lip service to the orthodoxy and repression of essentials. Religion became secularized

First thesis
: Current ideology and "correctness" still have roughly the same function as former religion and convention. Viz. integrating the complex of dominant interests (establishment) with (partly manipulated) needs of safety and hope of the masses. Profiting most were (are) the powerful: they will frame the ideology more than others can - so as to make it fit their own interests. In fact, we see the same thing happen as discussed in 3.1 a): the best organized partly intuitively and compromisingly collude at the cost of the less powerful. (About actual collusion see also SoC, especially section 38.) The only additional aspect is that the ideological and cultural superstructure is now included too in the collusion. Again we see: "culture is crystallized politics of centuries".

Second thesis
: Ideological manipulation would not exist if everybody was willing to cooperate in optimizing public well-being by rational means. This virtually implies that ideology always aims at creating a bias in favour of the powerful and the in-crowds as to the distribution of life's pleasures and sacrifices, as compared to an "enlightened" situation corresponding to red-thread priorities (integrity and optimizing happiness). All irrational power and privilege need to infringe upon enlightened (red thread) ideas and practice. Examples are the social evils we discussed.

Third thesis
: All ideology tends to trade power and privilege - to the in-crowds and well-organized - for safety and "solidarity" to the others. "Solidarity" was/is essential in Christianity, the Islam, social convention, socialism, egalitarianism, nationalism, nazism and Riesman's other-directedness. Without solidarity, there is neither safety for the majority, nor delegation of power to the elites. Of the ideologies mentioned, Christianity and socialism have most affinity to the red-thread state of mind. However, both institutionalized: their "managers" integrated into the establishment, as intellectuals generally did, inter alia, by managing - elaborating, applying, defending,... - dominating ideology, and by their role in the "apparatuses" and the in-crowds.

Fourth thesis
: Current ideology - of which we described three variants in section 2 - may best be characterized as a secularized religion in which God is substituted by man (and particularly by "us"), who is semi-inviolable now. Think of other-directedness, egalitarianism, objections to eugenics and genetic engineering applied to him, forbidding DNA tests without his consent in law enforcement, etc. Also think of what essentially became a basic taboo in current stage of the "orthodoxy": the idea that major sectors of our establishment could be in bad faith, though unconsciously (for the most part), as they used to be throughout history. Actually, such taboo is the core of conformism.
       Most influential is egalitarian solidarity
, whose believers are outraged if an exclusion from procreation is proposed with respect to habitual anti-socials, criminals, addicted and mentally subnormals, but are indifferent to the circumstance that in the West generally the well-educated have less-than-average numbers of children. In fact, this is an anti-evolutionary, "qualitative" down-with-us attitude, and a pre-eminent specimen of how vested interests (the deprivileged industry and egalitarian ideologists) can fly in the face of progress as regards the most essential: human quality.

Fifth thesis
: Historical continuity - as to religion or ideology benefitting the established and at the same time "appeasing" the masses or the public by providing safety, hope and a compass (in particular by solidarity) - also appears in another respect. Viz. in that the very stability and strength of the system requires that anyone who wants to join in the game (of compromising and trading interests) and get ahead should at least pay lip service to the prevailing ideology. For this convinces his peers and potential co-profiteers in the in-crowds that he is dependable, and no spoilsport. Current religion/ideology should be accepted as to spirit too, which implies various radical contrasts with enlightened ways of thinking. That is, with common sense and elementary justice. Hence we hardly ever see a (would-be) establishment figure turning against irrational philosophy, "modern" art, the spirit of the juridical system, the genetic quality of the "disadvantaged", egalitarian education, liberal immigration policy, the "inviolability" of human life or more-than-incidental social evils at all. This too is an aspect of "solidarity", and a kind of ideologial collusion or neo-corporatism. Such lip service is comparable to paying honours to the statues of the Roman emperor - whether one did or did not believe in his divine origin -, which many Christians refused to do. Paying tribute was crucial because it meant: "I conform to the system". Actually, not much changed fundamentally as to this during the ages. The principal "evolution" was that the systems became subtler, more complicated, as did society as a whole. Lip service did so as well, e.g., often becoming more indirect. Mind here that "systems" and ideologies, just as cultures at all, will be rather subtly innerly consistent too, which comes about mostly unconsciously, as can be seen, for instance, from the grammar and idiom of a language, that found their consistency and appropriateness unconsciously and intuitively, without any linguist deliberately interfering. The same thing occurs with culture at all, power mechanisms such as ideology included. Therefore, we do not need conspiracy theories in the usual sense for still finding that "there is much system in the madness" of ideology, the interests it serves and the lip service paid by about everybody in the speech-making community. And, we should add, in the negative reactions ideas like the above are faced with...
       E.g., the "artists" in making career instinctively sense that emphasizing "nurture" as compared to "nature" serves the powerful deprivileged industry and fits well in "solidarity" more generally. Something similar holds about stressing egalitarian educational reforms, or pleasing lawyers and the rich by advocating even more rights and complications as to "due process" and the like. Only the public at large pays the bill, but is less "expert", less organized and less well-connected. As it happens, emphasizing "uncertainty" and "chance", as well as fundamentally relativizing both values and the idea of progress, is pleasant for everyone happy with things as they are. Pure coincidence that such philosophy sets the tone? In short, many are very busy demonstrating that they indeed belong.
       Simply, the ballyhoo of ideology, and also cult authors and artists - from Heidegger and Foucault to Beuys and Beckett - are what the flags and national anthems were/are of nationalistic ideology, equally serving "solidarity around the oligarchy" in a broad sense. Viz. they symbolize an anti-red-thread state of mind that actually leaves values, purposes and partly even truth at all to "social agreement", that is, to the powers that be. This means that truth, good arguments, righteousness and integrity no longer are faced with bayonets and censorship, but are declared not even to exist in the first place
. Small wonder that moral indignation and the Voltaire dimension disappeared from intellectual debate. They were substituted by "alienation", "language", "being", "social relevance", "innovatory art" and the like, which also compete with sporting results in draining energy.
       Within the above scope, "credo quia absurdum"
(I believe it because it is absurd) still plays a part in the sense that, in order to really and credibly attest to one's belonging, and to his devotion to the anti-enlightened system, one indeed should go as far as sacrificing rational and moral judgment to a substantial degree. Not ridiculing Heidegger and Karel Appel, not decrying the subordination of truth to technicalities in legal proceedings, and saying that all people have equal value, indeed go as far as practically possible in such sacrificing, at least in modern industrial society.
       An utmost in testifying to correctness - relativism, "solidarity", the fundamental status quo,... - is objecting to sterilization of the retarded and chronic problem cases.
       In all, we see historical continuity too in the aspect of religion consisting of sacrificing
to the gods: once we offered sheep and jewels to obtain their favour. Now we sacrifice part of our common sense, conscience and emotions (think of sex) to current secularized deity: the group and its "correct doctrines".

Sixth thesis
: In particular four arguments tell for our idea that also current ideologies as discussed unconsciously function similarly to former religions, convention and "isms", viz. as anti-enlightened manipulative instruments of irrational in-crowd power and privilege. I.e.:

a) The works of influential authors like Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Michel Foucault (who maintains reason not to be superior to insanity and that criminals are merely "criminalized"), and of artists like Appel, Beuys, Duchamp and incomprehensible poets, are so extremely void or crazy that their "popularity" should be due to hidden interests and motives rather than arising from any value of the relevant works as they are
. Hardly any other such motive can be found but their ideological import and atmosphere, which cause many to feel "pleasantly touched" by the publications, paintings etc. in question, without conscious considerations need play a part.

b) This argument is compounded by the circumstance that - though frequently ridiculed in private - the relevant "totems" and their works are very seldom seriously criticized publicly, which strongly suggests taboos shielding an officious ideology.

c) At the same time, the fact that even extreme social evils such as described in section 2.5
, and the one indicated by The Economist, do not even provoke massive moral criticism, demonstrates that some very radical conforming forces, among which a moral and emotional anaemia, are operative in society, and highly frustrate both reason and conscience. Why not assume that these forces are precisely those of which we can see that they undermine reason and the ideas of good, evil and human quality, such as current variants of "correctness" do? The more so because similar things happened throughout history. Censorship merely became more indirect and subtle, also partly internalizing. It is not at all a coincidence that our highbrow cultural supplements - such as of Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad etc. - emanate emotional anaemia to the extreme, viz. the total absence of anything inspired or moved by one’s being on his way to something important: irrelevance and stagnation, simply cultivating what the cultural establishment agreed upon to be highbrow and to have a corresponding status. And all variants share an anti-red-thread climate: relativism, subjectivism, non-catharsis and going nowhere.

d) Our above discussion and theory about the relation of pro- and anti-red-thread forces in society, and the role of the second kind of forces in serving unenlightened power and interests, produce so much more coherence, simplicity and historical continuity that their refutation should require a virtual quantum leap in sociology in order to improve on this in explaining power.

As regards such coherence and simplicity there are too many ideological preferences and fashions pointing in the same anti-red-thread direction - which can only be explained coherently by seeing them as such - for "coincidence" to be anyhow plausible. Viz. think of:

1. Most - much varied - schools of modern philosophy and art. As to philosophy, more-than-instrumental reason and rationalism - referring to values, purposes, the meaning of life,... - are virtually nonexistent. As regards "modern" art: its basic collapse is its not even intending
to bring nearer to a solution, to emotional concentration or to catharsis whatever important on the emotional, moral or intellectual level, or to uplift man. It even suggests such solutions to be fundamentally elusive.
2. Relativism, also in details-mongering sociology. The moral dimension at all is "out" with intellectuals, let alone moral indignation. Also mind that radical relativism amounts to saying: arguments have no more value than "their (non-rational) starting points" and, therefore, are never decisive. Exit reason, good and evil.
3. General emphasis on "uncertainty", "chaos", "unmakability" and meaninglessness.
4. Anti-intellectualistic, "socially" oriented ("progressive") education.
5. Egalitarian aversion to measuring man, his genes and his qualities; many like him to be "a mystery".
6. Massive criticism of the idea of progress and the Enlightenment.
7. The prevalence of Riesman's other-directedness
: relativistic conformism to the extreme.
8. An essential though moderated continuation of the sexual taboos in the form of the frustratingly primitive nature of the love market (hardly more rational and transparent than at the time of the Batavians), and repression of this, as well as of the "genetic scarcity" of positively attractive people. Once more: uncertainty, relativism and repression of the evident.
9. Emphasis on man's "nonrational" nature, with the suggestion that his passions, preferences, moral failings and "free will" would not obey rational, coherent and knowable natural laws, and are "intangible".
10. Truth and justice are even relativized in a technicalities-, privacy- and rights-of-the-defendant-infested juridical domain.
11. Subtle stimulation of vague anxiety, not only via 3 above, but also by wishy-washy policies against crime and other aggression, and by sexual values still intimidating to such an extent that people will be too shy for expressing their relevant longings at least so explicitly that a massive rational and transparent love market would arise.
12. A suspicious near-consensus
as to the foregoing items, opposition in various cases being virtually taboo.

Seventh thesis
: The great problems of life not (yet) having been solved - those of death and a possible survival, of evil and its victims, of sexuality and finding an optimum mate, of competition and anxiety,... -, most people still feel so vulnerable and dependent on the supremacy of nature, coincidence and "the others" (compare Schelsky) that they continue to be highly in need of safety, certainty and a compass. Well, culture and the establishment are very obliging in offering a "religion" to supply the deficiency. I.e. a system of values, beliefs and conventions that not only is available but even expressed and propagated from all sides. Small wonder that a great majority prefers the line of least resistance, and easily adjusts to such ideology and conventions, though they will frustrate much of reason, rational ethical standards and emotions. As regards the latter, compare sexually repressive morals as an integral part of anti-red-thread ideas: censoring free trade in emotions like "normal" censorship does with respect to free trade of thought. (For details see SoC, Chapter 3.)
       Especially, the weak individual seeks safety and help from "the others" and their solidarity
. All conforming instances help with this, such as by stressing "uncertainty", chance and the "unmakability" of life - current philosophy and opinion leaders do little else - and everything contrasting with red-thread ideas such as objective values, the power of science and technology, and the concepts of evolution and progress. Also they instinctively exploit our ignorance about death and a possible hereafter - as the priests did unconsciously during all history. An ignorance fostered by our leaders to whom it did not even occur to spend, say, a percent of the national product on scientific research into near-death experiences, out-of-the-body experiences, reincarnation, mediumistic phenomena and the like. Again ignorance serves the "elites". (Also compare section 2.5.) Realize that making people dependent by emphasizing uncertainty etc. works as unconsciously as the Church's doing so via the stimulation of guilt feelings, e.g., in the Middle Ages, which caused the masses to need such Church even more.
       Of course, it is the individual's very inner dependence on "the group" that strongly discourages his fundamentally criticising or violating the taboos, even apart from the earlier-mentioned factor of career (Fifth thesis). Actually, each serious criticism against established ideas, practices, interest groups or "mandarins" is essentially experienced as a threat to the secularized "God", to "us", to the group as source of solidarity and our common foundation and support.
Somehow, it is like criticising the king, the pope or the clergy in former days. And mind that there are only few individuals who are so much moved by the stars, aesthetic or sexual emotions, or by the unhappiness irrational morals and social evils will cause, that they do not need (and trust) such group for safety or any basis at all, because a natural basis works vigorously in themselves. This situation, in essence, embodies human failing, and also is the pre-eminent prop of any status quo. The enlightened basis in question - by "debunking" the powers that be - can also help in teaching us that by far most social problems (and, in the future, the problems of life) are not at all "difficult" to solve. The only "difficulty" is in artificially troubled waters, repressions and myths, impenetrable bureaucracies and the establishment's refusal to enforce integrity and efficiency by cracking down on some vested interests - such as in British courts, in cartels, or in the disadvantaged industry, interests that frustrate straightforward solutions - by every available means.
       Some might commit the chutzpah of asserting: "What you say is not new, and not very important either". My question: "If it is not new and you realized it before, why then didn't you turn earlier against our (academic) establishment and the social evils I mentioned?" And as regards its importance: "What else than conformism, collusion and the betrayal of red-thread values `quagmired' socio-philosophical science into futility, and caused society's hyper-tolerance towards special interests and, therewith, most social evils?"

Eighth thesis
: Apart from what we see around us as regards the power of well-organized minorities - farmers, the juridical and educational establishments, the profiteers of third-world immigration,... - to harm the public interest and silent majorities, there are three general arguments strongly suggesting that even in modern, nominally democratic societies power is highly concentrated in the hands of small groups:
a) Robert Michels' Iron law of the oligarchy
(1911), to the effect that in organizations there is a very strong tendency of concentrating power in the hands of a few. Well, why not in the many organizations and "networks" dominating society? In politics, the media, unions, big business,...? Actually, a large majority of Americans thinks so too: viz. that their country is governed for the benefit of a few big interests. (See SoC, also for many more demonstrations of the collusion of interests constituting the establishment.)
b) The phenomenon of institutionalization
, i.e. that many organizations, ideas, political parties and bureaucracies in principle devoted to the public interest, gradually become instruments for the benefit of their managers. Again see SoC for elaboration.
c) What we saw earlier about nationalism (benefitting the few via the efforts of the many) can be extended to most ideologies and "isms". It simply appears
to work this way in practice: power and being at the centre breed power for the centre and those who are there. For the others have basic handicaps: being less organized, inferior network, less information, less publicity, less knowing one's way about,...

Ninth thesis
: Apart from the above, there is also a rather well-known reason why conformism and other-directedness increased and moral indignation and the Voltaire dimension dwindled. Viz. the circumstance that modern society shows much more mutually knitted interests, massive communication, taking and leaving, "image" and the seller mentality: the "diplomatic-political way of being". Politics itself reflects it: less and less principles, more and more "image", while everybody shifts towards the centre... This may be often positive from the practical point of view, but, e.g., it is deadly for objective social-scientific thinking if it becomes a habit of thought, which "other-directedness" and the "diplomatic" in a very broad sense did indeed.

Tenth thesis
: Much of the anti-enlightened position can be summarised in the following paradigm that dominates many domains: The universe is fundamentally co-characterised by relativity of truth and value, by uncertainty and “fuzziness”, incoherence, subjectivity and the poly-interpretable. Microphysics, human destiny and good and evil are cases in point.
       In essence,  about all criticism against my work boils down to my not conforming to the paradigm. Think of my rationalism, determinism, tendency to “macro coherence” and positing (actually: logically deriving) an objective ethic. Critics virtually ignore other aspects of such work: explanations, theories and arguments at all. On the pages “Paradigm in Default” and “On Basic Superstitions” we elaborate this and, among other things, show that the paradigm, far from being an “option”, can be refuted by argument.
       Why so many feel much sympathy for the RU paradigm: for chance, uncertainty and relativism? Well, not only because (their) vested interests often thrive on troubled waters but also because as individuals they do not want to give up both “free will” and “the latitudes of the jungle”. Hence they hate rationalism, determinism and even comprehensive master laws, say, about truth, good, evil and destiny. (As to me, I feel such laws to be more dependable than the free will of others.)
       For similar reasons they instinctively hate man, his faculties, failings and preferences to be measurable and being integrated into a transparent “Blueprint of Reality”.



4. Techno-science transforming life and society; radical help from the beta approach as to the problems of life, such as fraud and evil, man's immoral bias and his survival by competition, sexuality, uncertainty and anxiety, and a possible hereafter

4.1 The anti-red-thread (unenlightened) way of thinking about man, and the institutionalization of the intelligentsia

The most important feature of the techno-scientific-industrial revolution - apart from its reducing poverty, disease, dependence of the individual and other concrete evils - is that it changed our way of thinking. Viz. in the sense of ever more emphasis on reason in ever more domains of life, that of values included, which are more and more required to be rationally legitimised. (Also compare section 6.7. below.)
       Contrasting with this - and, in fact, as a rearguard action -, probably an optimum of the irrational and irrelevance as to life and its problems is produced by those endlessly speaking in terms like uncertainty, unmakable, "existential", "being", "alienation" and other ones associated with the claim that man is fundamentally helpless in a chaotic world, and even without innate directions as to ethics and purpose. Such idea still continues its usefulness to ideologists, inter alia
, in the Schelsky way. The irrelevance mentioned stems from the fact that the philosophical concepts in question do not refer to any coherent model of the universe or man, to consistent progress, or to any meaning of life in the sense of an evolution towards good and quality prevailing over evil and the inferior. Mind here that their futility (their leading nowhere) or their dogmatic nature (especially in the past) often characterizes ideas attuned to serving the status quo.
       Note that the radical change of thinking indicated in the penultimate paragraph, from a standpoint of self-interest, will constitute an even more far-reaching motive of traditional thinking and ideology for not liking technology (and industrial society) than the motive given by Schelsky
.
       Within the above scope, it is too extreme a coincidence for being truly coincidental that virtually all modern philosophical "schools" and massively pushed modern art have some crucial things in common.
       First, existentialism, structuralism (L(c)vi-Strauss, Foucault,...), present-day positivism as indicated below, philosophy of language (analytic philosophy), "critical theory" (neo-Marxism, Adorno, Horkheimer, Habermas) and postmodernism all share the feature of rejecting the idea of an objective value system which is deducible by reason, and independent of any social agreement. Existentialism is subjectivistic, structuralism and postmodernism emphasize contexts, whereas current positivism deems values not to be rationally deducible (that is, subjective again) and is not even interested in understandable, coherent models of reality (but only in formulas predicting the outcome of experiments). Further, the analytic thinkers and most other schools do not construct coherent theories about the world either, while the "criticals" put human communities first and foremost and cut down their (very abstract) criticism to merely one social evil: supposedly wrong class relations. Moral indignation is about unknown to all schools in question. (Not even the criticals bother about lying politicians and what we can do about the problem.) Genetic quality of man is a dimension not even definable by any school's concepts, let alone improving it or evolution at all.
       Second, the all-important concept of happiness
simply is not even a subject of discussion. Neither is what science, technology and rationalization of thinking in general did for increasing it. Leading intellectuals are not interested in them anyhow; the techno-scientific revolution is a mere side issue to them, apart from references to "the environment" or, now and then, even to "Auschwitz"...
       For the rest, also remind here sect. 2.4
, under b): "The world is incoherent, man is above natural law (irrational), values and purposes are subjective, and evolution and progress are bunk".
       We are not too harsh if we conclude that, just as incoherent art, current philosophy for an overwhelming part is a kind of social round game, employing many academics whose studiedly irrelevant works and ideas ("theology") are not less (unconsciously) attuned to humouring or serving the status quo - i.e., by emasculating reason and being anti-red-thread-minded - than former religions and other "orthodox" ideologies were
. Within this scope, our leading intelligentsia - alpha academics, art critics, ideological trendsetters,... - has been largely institutionalized. Both in the sense of serving their own careers without turning out anything substantial, and in that of integration in the "institutions that be". Also compare the last two paragraphs of 2.4 about the state of social science.
       Actually, we got into a situation in which organization and institutionalization became so radical that ideas and arguments - also in the philosophical domain - only find an audience as far as they are brought forward by, or are sympathetic to, organized interests and "correct" thinking. And most organized interests are "friends"
. Hence about everybody says the same things – or, more frequently, nothing at all – , such as about "being", "alienation", or "innovative" art.
       For about three quarters of a century, by far most intellectuals have not been occupied with finding (new) explanations of socio-cultural phenomena (such as abuses and taboos) but rather with herd behaviour in the sense of taking sides in some "mass" issue
: socialism, Vietnam, the environment, the deprivileged or schools of art or philosophy. They were and are not very intellectually curious, in coherence with their primarily being ideologists. Their "originality" reduced to “Sein und Dasein”, James Joyce or Marcel Duchamp, as pretexts for the real thing, and currently they will be more "correct" than whatever other "class". Their moral indignation is reserved for what is "incorrect".


4.2 Solutions of problems of life from techno-scientific progress and the beta way of thinking about man

(1) About lying. Lying by politicians and many others whose words count is far from unusual, and more often than not it harms others, also by misleading the electorate, that should know to what policies their votes really go. As enunciated in SoC, lie detectors - providing that they are applied to groups (say, of 15 persons or more) rather than mere individuals - can disclose lies by, or the true opinions of, such groups with almost 100 % certainty, in spite of such apparatuses being merely 85 % dependable. Still, the speech-making community is silent about the subject. This vital fact simply reveals that our establishment and even the bulk of its critics feel no urge of the truth being nosed out in those many troubled or downright corrupt situations society tolerates now. Some potential detector-controlled questions to the members of relevant groups:
a) "Why didn't you introduce a bill in Parliament to the effect of radically ending the state of affairs in British (and many other) courts to which The
Economist referred in our quotation in 3.1?" More than 600 British members of parliament could be interviewed, to begin with...
b) "Do you feel some network in the juridical, police and political apparatuses shielded Marc Dutroux (the Belgian accused of murdering some children)? Can you give arguments?"
c) "Is your party sincere in saying that it does not give preferential treatment to big interests A, B and C? What motives are at the background of this?"
d) "Is it true that your union made deals with the Mafia?", "Do you pay periodic fees to some organization for `protection'?"
e) "As car dealers, do you constitute a cartel?" Etcetera.

(2) On a possible hereafter
. Speculating about death makes much less sense than doing research into out-of-the-body experiences, near-death experiences, reincarnation and mediumistic phenomena. Why continuing the fruitless approach? Also, a new item for a detector-controlled question to our representatives: "Why didn't you vote for a NASA for parapsychological research? Why you are not very curious to know scientific facts about our destiny?"

(3) On sexual problems
. If everybody had many willing and attractive potential mates to choose from, most sex lives would evidently become much more happy. This simply amounts to establishing that we will repress the sad consequences of the "natural scarcity" of positively attractive people and of a sexual market so primitive as to be based on chance meetings. There is hardly a domain in which the "nurture", social-environment-domination theory led to so radical a repression as in making most people "forget" this, and pretend that everybody is about equally attractive, though for different potential mates: relativism and egalitarianism ad absurdum.
       The above means that eventually genetic engineering, Internet and other large-scale love markets, and techniques of measuring emotional reactions and preferences, will amount to a quantum leap as to our sexual lives. The extreme primitiveness of current thinking about sex is demonstrated, inter alia
, by the suggestion that old people should have a normal sex life, without adding that their partners will not be very attractive after all...

(4) More generally, genetic engineering constitutes a pre-eminent means of improving human quality, besides adequate education, of which the potential appeared to be limited. At the background of the resistance against this idea (and against eugenics) probably two factors are prevalent. First, it flies in the face of current "religion of man", which anyhow considers him to be "inviolable" as he is. Second, the disadvantaged industry is less than happy with fewer deprivileged. Also, in view of its appeasing attitude to (social) evil in general, increasing man's moral and other qualities does no more belong to the priorities of our establishment than red-thread evolution at all.

(5) About uncertainty, anxiety and competition
. Probably the most tragic factor of human existence is that evolution and progress highly work via competition and survival of the fittest in a broad sense. To some degree, "we are born as each other's enemies, as gladiators". Culture and especially religion did much to relieve this, in particular by emphasizing cooperation, love, heaven and solidarity - the latter and religion having serious negative sides too, as discussed earlier.
       I see two fundamental
solutions of the competition problem of life, one being discussed in section 5 below. The other again is inherent to the techno-scientific revolution. Viz., progress in "measuring man", his genes included, will someday fundamentally change competition. Selection for one's task, function and status in society will no longer be defined by some more or less honest "struggle" but largely from measuring what we are and can. Via genes, brain waves etcetera. That is much less harsh, chance-dependent and anxiety-provoking than most current competition (among individuals). As regards the competition element in finding a mate something similar holds.
       More generally, science and technology will radically reduce uncertainty and chance as to the vicissitudes of life: as to mates, career, disease, personal conflict (which may be settled by experts "measuring everything relevant", up to and including unconscious motives),... Such reduction of chance and uncertainty means reducing anxiety
. It is probably the most revealing demonstration of the vested interest in both ignorance and evil, that many do not like the above perspective at all. (Compare our quotation from Ellul in 1.2, who did not like the relevant vista either.) Actually, their mentality and instincts are still geared to the jungle stage of evolution rather than the rational and moral one.

General conclusion
: the solution of most problems of life can only be expected from ongoing techno-scientific evolution and red-thread progress in general. Various vested interests - irrational power and privilege and, therefore, ideology, myth and troubled-water-lovers - radically oppose. So much so that paying tribute to the statue of the Roman emperor, the sacred host or the national flag, as a sign of joining in the social game, is now substituted by lip service to current anti-enlightened ideologies, e.g., by not ridiculing incoherent art or the cult of unreason as represented by Heidegger, Foucault, postmodernism etc. This is a profession of faith, belonging and dependability.


4.3 Major investors in evil and rearguards object to or play down genetic manipulation

(1) Not very consistently, current orthodoxy holds that, by genetic manipulation, hardly anything can be done to improve man's moral quality. Because his nervous system, health, IQ, temperament and personality traits - quite obviously - are defined by genes to a great extent, such scepticism about a corresponding moral improvability of man via techno-science arouses the suspicion of wishful thinking. If something which is both great for the human race and obvious from a rational point of view still meets little enthousiasm, some hidden interest may play a part.
(2) Such positive interest in evil can indeed be found in two substantial instances: the deprivileged industry and the domain of law. The first highly thrives on human problem cases, and lawyers as a group go to great lengths in actually cushioning the morally deficient out of self-interest.
       Current egalitarian "permissiveness" with respect to human failure, shortcomings and inferiority - think of addicts, anti-socials, unruly students, illegal aliens, gangs of youths,... - indeed suggests an immense investment in inferiority
. E.g., if the law does not even permit criminal investigation of DNA material without a person being either officially a suspect or consenting, this is morally perverse to such an extent that some interest in such shielding of evil cannot but exist. (Think of complicating law enforcement, or the mentality of "privacy": "We should have the right to hide truth".)
       Apart from specific interest groups such as the disadvantaged industry, lawyers etc., basic psychological mechanisms are at stake too in a structural aversion to any radical crackdown on evil. Think of lie detection, violation of "privacy", eugenics and DNA analysis, even up to and including putting cats among the pigeons and denying that most things are "more complicated" than common sense feels them to be. Probably, most people (correctly) sense evil to be part and parcel of themselves too, and they do not want such part to be brought to the light "too explicitly". Therefore, they are very "careful" as to whole-heartedly sympathizing with our quotations from the Gospel of John and from Ellul, in 1.2
above, and prefer the "political" way of being to the straightforward one. This, in essence, is human failure. (We do not see 100 % straightforwardness and 0 % politics as a realistic option, but advocate a radical shift of the current balance, which, in public life, seems to be about 25 % against 75 %.)



5. On nonlocal coherence, paranormal phenomena and the meaning of life. On a possible Principle of Ultimate Coherence some call God

5.1 Paranornal phenomena - far from being "supernatural" - contribute to the macro-coherence of the world

Below, five reasons are given why I am convinced that paranormal phenomena in principle exist. That is, inter alia, coincidences as to human experience which transcend normal space and time relations but still obey rational natural laws - though nonlocally operative ones (compare 2. below). E.g., precognition, psychokinesis and striking coincidences containing some meaning or message for an individual. Such reasons are:

1. Experimental results in literature, e.g., as given in SoC
, p. 473 and WaB, p. 158.

2. The appearance of various nonlocal phenomena in quantum physics, which demonstrate that transcending normal space-time relations appears anyway. E.g., in the famous paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen
one actually sees "telepathy" between two mutually distant physical systems.

3. A number of personal experiences as regards precognition and striking coincidence which virtually exclude the hypothesis of "mere chance".

4. Some earlier mentioned phenomena - such as that none among the well-known authors at the time turned against slavery in Antiquity, and practically none in the ages before the Enlightenment did so against torture and cruel justice at all - can hardly be explained without our assuming that mankind somehow functions as an organism
. One in which, inter alia, telepathy-like mutual influencing is indispensable for explaining extreme degrees of massive similarity of opinions. Or: conformism often is so radical that an obvious hypothesis is that minorities tend to be forced into line telepathically, via common "inductors" and otherwise. As to such inductors: If I give my (alive or deceased) father's watch to a clairvoyant, such watch works as an inductor like a knot in my handkerchief, used to remember something. The knot works by being associated in my individual mind with something I want to remember. Well, similarly the watch functions as a "knot" in the collective organism we suppose mankind to constitute to some degree. I.e., the watch is associated with my father's life, and via such "knot" the clairvoyant may "remember" parts of it, now via super-individual association. (For details see SoC, chapter 10.)
       Now real life is filled with inductors - utensils, symbols, objects of desire,... - that may all stimulate psychic contacts and mutually integrating processes among individuals, such as more specificly between the minds of my father and the clairvoyant. This may be an additional factor in explaining the above and many other cases of extreme conformism
.

5. It would not be very consistent if natural law did create coherence - order - in the local sphere of houses, cats and measuring rods, but would not do so in greater wholes such as evolution, human destiny and the entire category of human concepts such as meaning and justice. Moreover, realizing the subtlety and coherence of nature, it would be utterly implausible if the deep and smart laws would not have reckoned with human categories such as hope, suffering, goodness, and justice - and would not appear to be co-attuned to them as majesticly as the starry sky and the sun setting over the sea.
       Repeating Einstein, I ask myself, this time about the hypothesis of a universe without purpose, without macro coherence as to evolution and destiny, and without eventual justice: "If I were God, would I then have created the universe in that way?" Asking this question is answering it... We simply need the paranormal for co-embodying such answer. For, contrary to popular belief that paranormal phenomena violate natural law, and rational science and understanding, my preliminary hypothesis is that the paranormal is part of those natural laws and phenomena that cause the universe to be more rather than less rational and coherent than 19th-century physics assumed
. More coherent, e.g., in the sense of the phenomenon of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (EPR). This means: so much coherent that even mutually distant phenomena in some circumstances are coordinated or "orchestrated" by consistent, rational laws. Besides EPR, striking coincidences in the lives of men, in evolution and in some ratios of natural constants are then special instances of the relevant macro coherence of the universe and its laws. (Mind here that some among such ratios appear to be "narrowly attuned to" allowing man's appearance.) About EPR, the nonlocal and various other points of contact between modern physics and parapsychology, see SoC, chapter 10.

One more vital point within this scope is the highly "hierarchical" order of natural laws. E.g., all conservation laws - of energy, momentum, charge,... - follow from one principle, expressed by Noether's formula. Likewise, the equations of motion of different kinds of particles all follow from a general Principle of least action.
       Now extend this idea in a way having some relationship to the Big Bang
. The latter means that everything there is now, "articulated from" one unspecified, far more homogeneous mass element, "simply" by the nature of such mass and logical principles, which jointly resulted in a host of natural laws. Well, if even reality as a whole - current universe with stars, men etc. - should be seen as an articulated consequence and expression of the far more homogeneous Big-Bang base material, then we are tempted to assume that the special aspect of the universe that consists of its complex of natural laws, stems from one, more general and "uniform", source too. We could reason in two steps:
a) Arguing in the produced part of Noethers principle and of that of Least action in reducing many "detailed" natural laws to some more general master law(s)
. Viz. we consider the possibility that even such principles, in turn, stem from a more general logical or material basis, and so on, similarly to how the universe at all can be reduced to the Big-Bang situation. Mind here that natural laws are indeed a mere aspect of the universe in the sense of defining its order and coherence. Hence, if the universe at all can be radically "reduced", its order can be too, and so - probably – also its laws.
b) Thus we may ultimately come to a comprehensive master law even containing both Noether's and the Least action principle, and much more. This may be called the Principle of Ultimate Coherence
. It would be a name in scientific terms of what many call "God": the instance from which everything else originates.
       We could also say: the integrating Master Law coordinates the universe in principle as a human psyche coordinates his body, the coordinator and integrator in neither case violating any law of nature. On the contrary, both of them
are (a complex of) natural laws. Exit the supernatural, enter the sacred - and deep purposes like, sometimes, man's - as inherent to what science studies.
       The only hypothesis at the basis of these ideas is our thinking - generalizing the Noether and Least-action "master-law" concept - that not merely the universe but also its law-governed order can be reduced to very simple and general terms
, as essentially represented in the Big-Bang starting situation.


5.2 The meaning of the foregoing for our lives

Without subtle natural laws causing some coherent line in our existence - one in which objective man-friendly values play a vital part -, and without any form of continuation of life after death, speculating about the meaning of life would make no sense whatever. Simply, none would be there. Such "meaning" could only be subjective fantasy. For no evolution would exist in the sense of objective good eventually prevailing on evil - on tragedy, frustration, injustice and primitiveness - by the very coherence of things. Mere death would reduce any now-and-then prevalence to a stay of execution...
       Morally criticising one's society and culture, confronting a vast majority, would make little sense either in the absence of values inherent to natural law and the order it creates: good, evil and possibly even truth, would be problematic in principle. For they would not be features of the world, and only be defined by such majorities. Accordingly, in my critical research into socio-cultural problems I would not have any objective or even motivational basis. Of course, this implies that - intuitively intentionally or not - pushing the ideas of relativism, an incoherent and uncertain world, and "dead is dead", is among the best ideological instruments to stave off criticism of the status quo. E.g., my own basis of strength from which I stand up to the speech-making community - e.g., in explaining social evils so as to imply bad faith with their upholders - is that I feel "the great coherences" to be on my side. On the other hand, one for whom it is uncertain whether any such coherences (among which moral and other values) objectively exist, and whether they are violated, say, by torture and "Auschwitz", cannot call on anything more than his personal taste as a basis of protest, which is not much...
       The foregoing actually amounts to a "scientifization" of religion, we generalizing what we do in substituting Genesis and Creation by an evolution inspired and constrained by nonlocally "orchestrating" natural laws ("God's hand"). Quality, evolution, coherence and catharsis define the core of what gives meaning to existence. Therefore, they should be at the centre of both science and religion.
       I surmise that another dimension of religion could be brought within the realm of science too, viz. our personal attitude as to seeking "the Kingdom of God", prayer, and defending oneself against evil ("the devil"). The natural laws governing this dimension are probably also of a paranormal kind. For we are dealing here with hypothetical coherence in human destiny and "the affairs of man" in general that radically transcends locality in space and time. It seems probable that, as to these matters too, human intuition precedes rational understanding.
       Our main hypothesis is that, to some degree, mankind (and the universe at all) functions as an organism
, in which the instruments of communication are also constituted by unconscious telepathy and nonlocal laws producing meaningful coincidences, so that minds and events to some extent could be "orchestrated". Again compare the phenomenon of EPR in microphysics, and also Niels Bohr's pronouncement: "A microprocess constitutes a whole". We essentially extend this to human life and mankind, without anyhow abandoning reason and coherence effected by natural law. We are even "super-rationalistic" in concluding from EPR and other nonlocal phenomena (such as retroaction in physics; compare SoC, section 48) that the world is not only "rationally ordered" in the micro and meso domains but in the macro one too, and that relevant coordinating natural laws exist.
       A second hypothesis is that moral climates
and deep motives can play important parts in the working and effects of the more-than-locally operative organically integrating phenomena and laws. Also, we assume, inter alia Christian religion had/has some spark of intuition as to what moral climate and deep motives work positively. I only will summarise my own long-term experience in two "points of action", relevant to two main aspects of such climate and motives, respectively. These aspects refer to harmony with the positive ("the sacred") and defence against evil. The latter may not merely be abundant in visible domains but continue into the collective unconcious, just as most characteristics of the human psyche.
       On account of parapsychological research we make the rather obvious assumption that association
works on a super-individual level too, that is, in the "organism" mankind also is. (For detailed data and arguments in this whole context cf. SoC, chapter 10. Also compare 5.1, 4. above.) Now my two points:

(1) As a kind of blend of prayer, meditation and actively "orchestrating" the positive, try to disengage your (frustrated) strivings from their normal objects and ways of action. Transfer their now “unspecified” energy to a deep, preconscious level of your psyche and feel it working on positive developments. That is, inspire the super-individually orchestrating, organic forces into such direction, in an atmosphere of soundly enlightened sacredness.
Let your energy go around local obstacles and work via general nonlocal coherences. Make your intuition guide you in this still largely unknown domain, by assuming the inner attitude you feel to harmonize with the deepest intentions of the Great Principle: one of loving devotion and the sacred. If the paranormal does exist at all, it is most probably also a means of self-preservation, and we have a faculty in this respect. That I am describing here. Experience as your ultimate basis, strength and hope your share in such all-important Principle, its Spirit defining your ultimate fate. Feel yourself in Its hand, in applying your "integrative" faculty.

(2) Fend off evil and negative "inductors" by not even associating your emotions with them, apart from "debunkingly realizing" their radical inferiority. Especially feel their implicit and veiled
actions to be signs of their fundamental nature and weakness which shun the light, open debate, the Aha-Erlebnis and catharsis, so that troubled waters are inherent to them and their main defence too. Turn against their essential spirit by once more committing unspecified energy on a deep level, this time to find and eliminate or enervate such partly hidden spirit. Just as in (1) inspire comprehensive organic processes and laws. ("You evaded my arguments and hit below the belt, but here you get into my grip!")
       My experience suggests that it is advisable to make the detached energy, lovingly and healingly, often particularly work via the plexis-solaris
and below-the-belt area - this possibly symbolizing evil's preferred sphere of action. More generally, realize evil's preference for the underhand way, also by its indeed acting via associations. Therefore, in "extending" feelers, emotions and strivings into the outward, into the community, be innerly on your guard in really fending off elements of a negative complex that to some degree are associated with what you now "attractingly turn to". That is: keep your guard up against psychic pollution in striving, hoping etc. too. More specifically: turn against psychic pollutants associated with the objects of your emotions and strivings by means of the unspecified energy, after recognizing such pollutants' atmosphere and mentality. (Possibly, an intuitive insight into the above may be at the basis of ascesis.)

To some extent, integrate (1) and (2):
If strivings or emotions emerge in your psyche, often realize/apply: "The whole of this sublunary world is rather dubious and emotionally polluted, so let me detach, transfer and reinvest this energy into the serene orchestrating Master laws on the deep, safe level". That is also: invest little energy in worrying and frustrated longings, but let it work in your "divine Spark", which science once may find to act as a kind of nerve centre of your experiences, causing coherence in them and making you more than a plaything of fate
. Feel strength by investing energy in the Spark, as your "integrative"-paranormal faculty, where it nonlocally orchestratingly works on guiding the vital things. By detaching and "transferring" the energy you optimize its degrees of freedom too.
       Vary the accents in the above "method" in order to make possible its (intermittent) continuation. [There are four main accents: loving devotion, making your transferred Spark-invested energy "orchestrate" (feeling strength and self-confidence by doing so), fending off evil and its "voodoo", such as paranormally caused anxiety and failure, and the plexus-solaris variant.]
       Mind that we are experimenting here in unknown territories. Also mind that these could be vital as far as natural, including psychological, laws and processes most probably transcend those of colliding billiard balls to such a degree that EPR is a mere tip of the iceberg of coherent nonlocal orchestration. Such one, moreover, for which psychological concepts like good, evil and purpose are relevant categories or variables.
       Within the above scope, be conscious of the radical impact of evil at all - in the collective domain too. History shows it abundantly. Our tragic competitive condition highly fosters it. And we see its massive and hardly veiled appearance in current ideology too. For, e.g., the opposition against sterilization of chronic problem cases, and against making finding the truth and enforcing integrity prevail on "privacy", "rights" and technicalities as a matter of course, essentially amounts to siding with evil.



6. More on the core of socio-cultural philosophy and processes

1. The integration of rationalism and empiricism we call science is superior as a way to dependable knowledge, just because experience shows that it produces the simplest and most coherent network of facts (observations) and relations between them, also for predicting phenomena. No presuppositions play a part. Not even reductionism or our not dreaming "reality": our possible "dream" appears to be very coherent.

2.
The mistake was, not applying reason and the ratio-empiricist spirit of science to the primary things too: good and evil, purpose, the intimate and the unconscious, passion and tragedy, and to the question what remains of man after death. The same anti-rationalists objecting to such application, blame reason for being "merely instrumental"!
       Within the above scope, it strikes the eye that so many people generalizingly complain that life is a mess, since human failing is fundamental and on all sides, and that, therefore, pessimism is the obvious position. Why not detailedly and coherently finding out what precisely
is wrong in life and in specific men or groups, cracking down on it as we do here, and ask ourselves who have an interest in our remaining passive and pessimistic. And, particularly, have an interest in a general philosophy to the effect that the problems of life cannot be tackled by reason and good will, such as the spirit of our two quotations from the Gospel of John and Ellul (see 2.1, II)? What hidden interest made people so inconsistent as to feel that human nature, disposition, is of a rather low moral quality, whereas at the same time they furiously object to genetic engineering?
       Transparency and coherence are not far from being necessary and sufficient conditions for the morally good to prevail, just as troubled waters and censorship are so with respect to evil. Both Auschwitz and the Goelag would have been impossible if they had been on tv daily.

3.
A Promethean evolution of substituting "social" markets by increasingly rational, transparent and sophisticated technological ones - in reproductive cells, human qualities and jobs, mates, ideas and kindred spirits (friends), and much more - will also mark this century. Internet, information technology, genetics and the technology of measuring man are central in this rationalization of social processes. Technology will evolve from making life more affluent and easier to improving man genetically and also the ways in which individuals and their qualities, products and preferences subtly find each other for many interactions aimed at. Chance, uncertainty and "social games, sieves and manipulation" will be reduced and/or substituted by science and technology. Generally, sophisticated tech-markets will benefit nonconformism, quality and individual preference as against "correctness", relatiocracy and coincidence.
       Whereas current "commercialization" of life has very serious drawbacks too - also because advertising continuously emanates a superficial atmosphere of consumption, amusement and the line of least resistance -, a transparent technological market in essentials will tend to make man more serious. For happiness will more and more become a matter of rational, well-considered optimization rather than playing games, chance and living in the here and now
.

4.
The main problem of the Third world is its arrears in red-thread development: in rational organization and abstraction, morals (corruption, power relations, human rights) and emotionally (group-dependence of the individual, very "local" orientation).

5.
The essence of art is concentrating and focusing the emotional content of truth so as to effect optimum poignancy: an emotional Aha-Erlebnis. Therefore, the incoherent, incomprehensible, trivial, hyper-"individualistic" and merely "innovative" which many call "modern art" is a mere implicit way of devalueing and unsettling both truth and emotion.

6.
A vigorous basis of inner harmony and strength is one's instinctive emotional core (self-preservation, sexuality, sense of beauty,...) and moral dimension (sense of the elevated, compassion,...) being each other's allies rather than enemies. (On the other hand, e.g., Freud "constructed" a well-nigh inherent contrast of sexuality and conscience.) For me personally, such alliance has been the single most important factor causing an inner independence of "the group" and my not fearing its wrath. E.g., I experience aesthetic sexy pictures as something sublime, just as various other primary emotions, which highly integrated my instincts and conscience: lust is sacred rather than suspect, just as torture is pre-eminently wrong. On the other hand, the orthodoxies will discredit sex: "the lower instincts", "sex and violence",..., which logically does not breed strong and coherent, autonomous characters. Of course, the orthodox do not like them. (It may be that most people will "distrust" their fellow men's lust because the world is so tragically competitive...)
       My conscience developed from my not wanting to be victimized by what threatens my happiness, sex included, and extending this to others too
.

7.
There is a direct relation of progress in the intellectual domain - science, technology, sophistication of the economy,... - and that in the domains of ethics and emotional life. As already observed in 4.1, reason more and more penetrated the domain of values. Purposes and morals also became more rational because a sophisticated economy, and groups continuously negotiating about their interests, conduced to people thinking ever more in terms of balancing pros and cons quantitatively, which led to utilitarian values. Quantifying and rational argument about ever more matters also "disenchanted" man and his ideas. Genetics too tends to reducing him to measurable qualities.
       Articulated awakening, coherence and exchange of feelings and emotions, beyond one's own limited group too, are all furthered by the modern increase in scale and massive supply and demand as to the expression of emotions too.
       The above evolutions are clearly visible in what happened to intimacy
(it substantially originated only two centuries ago), religion, nationalism and other ideologies (they are on the decline in modern affluent society), sexuality (it got freeer and more "utilitarian", individual happiness becoming primary), and compassion (it became rather obvious from a utilitarian point of view that we should all rationally cooperate in avoiding suffering). The primacy of happiness, utilitarian (rational) values, and freer emotions has also been fostered by reason undermining dogma, prejudice and convention that limited them before. (For serious drawbacks of modern developments, see SoC, sect. 6.)
       One more major cause of science and technology being morally
beneficial too is their tending to make man gradually shift seeking power over others towards seeking it over nature and coincidence.
Conclusion
: red-thread progress in reason, ethics and emotions constitutes a whole in essential respects. For example, the Enlightenment did not only fight unreason but also abolished the rack.

8.
The ethics of "minimum suffering and optimum happiness for all of us combinedly" is objectively the best because we long for more happiness and less suffering, whereas logical arguments to the effect that something else should prevail on happiness or the reduction of unhappiness, never have been given. Why would I have to suffer for some purpose of which the priority to reducing unhappiness cannot be argued?
       Further, a convincing argument telling for the idea that values indeed co-depend on facts is that nasty rulers are always bent on hiding various facts.

9.
First, it is remarkable - and far from demonstrating a high level of it - that, to my knowing, social thinking did not produce any critical theory as regards (tacit) unenlightened motives at the background of so abundantly appearing a phenomenon as radically restrictive sexual morals. This in spite of such morals' highly functioning as an emotional analogue of what censorship is in the cognitive domain, as we already indicated.
       Also, it is curious that even in modern "free" society people will be so ashamed and timid as to expressing their longings for a love partner that it strikingly contrasts with the attitude as regards about every other desire. Hence, in contradistinction to such other desirables, no rational, large-scale and transparent market
in such partners developed. We are far from free trade in emotions.
       Third, such strange fact seems to strike nobody, no more than the "sexual famine" evidenced by the massive demand for sexual "surrogates" via various media. Apart from H.J. Eysenck and the present author, hardly anyone ever called attention to radical "genetic scarcity" as to positively sexually attractive men and women. This, jointly with the primitive market, causes the famine.
       Apart from the circumstance that "censorship" and frustration by inferior markets and scarcity of attractiveness cause much repression, lack of conscious articulation and, therefore, emotional manipulability, there is another major anti-enlightened aspect of "engineered sexual frustration" too. Viz., as Masserman, Laborit and others found, frustration of strong desires in a climate of uncertainty will produce anxiety
. This is what abundantly occurs in the sexual domain: no free expression, no rational markets, scarcity of quality, playing games, and the like. Such anxiety can be manipulated into (collective) neuroses. Some examples: nationalism, fundamentalism, the defense mechanism of "We", convention and adoring charismatic leaders,... These also appear in the Schelsky way, because the anxiety makes people more dependent. In agreement with a more general feature of neuroses, we see a vicious circle too: the anxiety at stake here precisely generates the shame and timidity of the second paragraph, which in turn frustrate "free trade", and therewith the solution of the problem of the anxiety in the first place.
       Small wonder that the three major repressive factors of the first paragraphs of this point 9 are still "operative": they belong to the anti-red-thread instruments of our time... (For a more extensive treatment, see SoC
, chapter 3.)

10.
Egalitarian conformism is popular because it suits mediocrity as well as relatiocratic rather than meritocratic "elites".
       Incoherent and relativistic modern art and philosophy, emanating the irrational, uncertainty, the subjective and the poly-interpretable, are in great demand with manipulating power elites for the same reason why troubled waters are so at all. They simply are an ideologically veiled attack on truth, transparency and integrity
.

11.
The disadvantaged industry - thriving on ("Parkinsonian") hypertrophy of bureaucracies benefitting (largely genetic and moral) rearguards - is merely part of a more general phenomenon. Viz. a bureaucratic "new class" of institutionalized intellectuals, bureaucrats managing interest coordination and complicated rules, and helping or emancipatory professions. "Corporative" interest collusion and the inefficiency of bureaucratic, juridical and regulatory complication and obscurity define their power as oligarchs often frustrating both votes and free markets. By such very situation, they are inimical to the enlightened, common-sense and moral way of thinking inherent to the red thread. They neither like lie detectors, nor civil suits decided within a week after parties and judges discussed three afternoons on the basis of a mere few transparent sections of the law that are unambiguously mere produced parts of ethics. They want complicated rules and agreements to continue, and the 400 committees in the Dutch Ministry of Education, and the four circulars a week it sends to all primary schools... Together, the business community, the in-crowds-of-ideas, and the bureaucrats constitute the main pillars of the establishment (jointly also dominating education, the law, the media and ideology). Inter alia, they institutionalized (non-beta) thinking. Further, the generally permissive approach of rearguards is also an aspect of the new class having an interest in the (social, educational, crime, addiction,...) problems it manages not being solved (because this would tend to reduce bureaucracy). [As to bureaucracy, also compare 2.5, (8).]
       Eventually, the above negative situation will be superseded by Galbraith's "onslaught of circumstance": communication, information and genetic technology will make most "outgrowths" obsolete in the long run, as did other "onslaughts" with respect to feudalism, absolutism, Victorian morality etc.
       Generally, it is an essence of the pro- versus anti-red-thread controversy that dominating groups understand that they have little to win by rational morals, transparency and substantial reason prevailing on the well-organized and their networking, bureaucracy, the "correct" ways of thinking, troubled waters and interest groups at all
.

12.
Competition in excellence is a primary source of progress. Each in its own way, "progressive" egalitarianism and vested-interest-friendly conservatism not seldom tend to thwart it.
       The near-absence of true progressiveness and nonconformism these days, is illustrated by:
a) Hardly a leading sociologist, philosopher or artist exposes whatever sacred cow so as to attack a concrete powerful interest group;
b) Virtually all intellectuals concur in stating that the problems of life are "existential", or unsolvable by techno-scientific or other rational means, which amounts to immobilism;
c) The wave of mutually related variants of anti-evolutionary thinking - anti-rationalistic philosophy, incoherent art, fundamental relativism, anti-intellectualistic education, neo-corporatism, egalitarianism, social environmentalism and the "alternative" culture (Greens, Bohemians,...) - is hardly ever fundamentally criticized from a coherently enlightened and Promethean point of view.

13.
Optimum economic growth combined with little inflation can be effected by a combination of policies:
1) Eliminate the semi-veto power of various organized groups such as unions, big business, farmers, doctors, dealers,.., so that prices and wages are no longer "sticky" but competitive. Forbid anti-competitive or efficiency-unfriendly agreements, regulations and practices in the economy.
2) Within this scope, abolish the right to strike, solving labour conflicts by arbitration, if necessary. The arbitrators should report to parliament and only serve the common good (high growth, low inflation).
3) If total demand appears to be below production capacity (recession), create additional money and give it to the consumers (e.g., via tax reduction), until demand is adequate. Contain prices by a) wage control, b) the competition stimuli embodied by 1) and 2), c) price control as far as necessary. (Such controls worked effectively in the US in World War II.)
       The above policies are elucidated by Fisher's formula
:
                                                                    MV = PT,
in which M is the money supply (to be increased), V is the circulation velocity of money (preliminarily supposed to remain roughly constant), P is the general price level (to be contained by both free competition and possible wage and price controls), T is the aggregate production volume, to be increased according to the formula
. For, M increases and V and P remain roughly constant. (For details, see SoC, chapter 6.)
4) Start "NASA's" and "Genome Projects" in various sectors of techno-science (quantum computing, brain research, parapsychology,...), increasing total relevant expenditure. In ways as explained by Robert Solow (Nobel laureate 1987), additional discoveries and inventions thus produced will in turn stimulate the growth rate (and the development of society as a whole).

14.
Massive degradation primarily stems from the egalitarian idea that addicts, anti-socials, underclass people, lowly skilled and most drop-outs need not feel ashamed. Such standpoint fits in the relativistic mood: nearly eliminating the moral dimension out of society, apart from denouncing "discrimination", "stigmatization" and non-egalitarian ideas at all. Generally, genes, innate and other rational values, and quality were repressed as human categories by "nurture"- and relations-oriented "correct" ideology. This also reflects the disadvantaged industry's interest in its problems not being solved. (As to these matters also compare SoC, sections 42 and 43.)
       We see one more radical manifestation of degradation in the bulk of modern literature, which will lack the positive: stable warm feelings, beautiful emotions, admirable characters, the struggle between good and evil and our commitment to it,… Coincidence, meaninglessness, things fizzling out, boredom, accidental relations,... here represent "modern" amoral and directionless anti-enlightened attitude to life of the cultural establishment. (If this continues, the alfa culture simply will dwindle into obsolescence in a dynamic beta world.)
       More generally, chaotic, "unfocused" modern art - no rhyme, no rhythm, no plot, no harmony, no beauty, no message, no ideal, no truth, but mere images, hints, nuances,... -, as earlier referred to, is an obvious means to undermine reason and coherent values and emotions, this implying the waters of the soul to be troubled
. No refined passions or chutzpahs, no focused struggles or hope...
       Art should do to emotions what science does on the intellectual level: concentrating, articulating, making the essential and coherence be felt, producing catharsis or the Aha-Erlebnis in our marrow.
       In coherence with the above, the energy of most intellectuals has been diverted from the Promethean (techno-scientific progress) and (enforcing) integrity towards non-problems like "being", "nothingness" and "alienation", new fads in writing or painting and the ever elusive interpretation of Heidegger or James Joyce. Everybody can sense that this is unbeatable in frustrating substantial thinking about progress and social evil. The more so if about all social commitment and compassion, in the egalitarian way, are drained to groups that highly consist of genetic and moral rearguards labeled deprivileged.
       Technology-driven liberalization and subtilization of (information) markets, and meritocratization (measurement of man) will be counterforces against the above and give us back the independent intellectual, also because they will radically reduce the "social dimension" and conformism
. Listen to Nobel laureate in physics Louis de Broglie:

"If the ideas of geniuses that have been the propellants of modern science would have been subjected to commissions of specialists, they would without any doubt have appeared to them as eccentric and would have been rejected because of their very originality and depth..."
(Ann. de la Fond. L. de Broglie, Vol. 14, No. 1, 1989.)

In beta science, such ideas still survive because they get verified; but in the alfa and social-science domains, being friends with the commissions and one's peers is very often preponderant, because irrefutable verification will be difficult. This resulted in what we described above: I-want-to-go-nowhere conservatism (immobilism)...
       Note that the crazyfication of anti-enlightenment, from former romanticism and the Church towards James Joyce, Michel Foucault, Rauschenberg and postmodernism, marks its retreat into chaos and confusion, which, after all, means progress
.
       Mind too: if life has no meaning, consumption is about the only sensible thing left to do, which will not be unwelcome to many. And if there are no objective truth and value, the only ways to self-respect are getting ahead and the others' applause, which highly means conformism
.
       In all, independent social criticism is virtually dead
. It drowned in images, amusement, the here-and-now, the tv commercial and Harold Pinter (absurdism), that compete in keeping people from formulating their basic as well as subtler longings in coherent, rational and "economic" terms.

15.
More generally, we see much reduction to the lowest common denominator in consequence of egalitarianism, other-directedness, the mass media, consumption mentality and the absence of inspiring long-term ideals. Not merely in advertising and politics Boorstin's image became more important than substance. Hardly a leading intellectual will publicly take some position that could harm his image. Worst of all in this essentially anti-enlightened tendency is a fading of interest in the single most important issue of life and science: tragedy - that is, evil and coincidence - and how justly and dignifiedly answering to it may be inherent to deeply coherent master laws of the universe.

16.
Clear, intense and coherent emotions are the core stimulus of clear, intense and coherent thinking. Who ever dreamt up an antagonism of reason and emotions?
       Thinking about man, suffering, loneliness, death, sex, anxiety and ethics in terms of "alienation", "the absurd", “being”, “language” and "the void" rather than of clear reason, new scientific discoveries and technologies, enlightened religion and well-ordered emotions is worse than merely wrong: it is fruitless.
       Finding life meaningless is lacking the guts of sticking to the conviction that the utmost moving and beautiful you ever experienced belongs to the essence of the world and will prevail.
       The basic reason why most intellectuals reject the idea of a coherent world reflecting a deep moral order is their sensing it to be not in their best interest.
       I never met an opponent saying: "Dear (though naive) man, I applaud your striving after enlightenment up to the intimate and the unconscious, after enforcing integrity by using every possible means, after reducing coincidence and after the organization of happiness; I hope it will succeed, but alas, I am afraid it will not". Actually, I met much annoyance. You may guess the mentality and interests at stake...

17.
Many object to the idea of "gene passports" and the measurement of ever more variables of man, such as about his intelligence, personality, preferences, and various (other) faculties. They explain their objections by adducing the risk of discrimination and the like. Actually, I surmise, they even more fear that current partly "relatiocratic" social hierarchie may be substituted by a far more meritocratic one as soon as the relevant measurements get accepted and a "natural aristocracy" becomes clearly visible.
       More generally, society is so much infested with hidden motives and insincerity that both the idea of the above measurements and that of lie-detection are massively experienced as a danger
that threatens "our most intimate plans and tactics". The in-crowds instinctively do not want any scientifization of careers and power hierarchies. Of course, techno-scientific evolution still goes into the direction of our being "analysed and mapped unto the utmost subtlety". People even will require so for their prospective mates...
       There is a possibility that some kinds of measurements which remove illusions or repressions would result in much unnecessary unhappiness. In fact, this could be measured too
, so that the relevant policy can be adjusted, if necessary.
       Summarizing something essential: if individual qualities may not or cannot be measured, if good and evil do not objectively exist after all and, finally, many things (such as the lies of politicians) are safeguarded by "privacy", radical consequences appear. For, then, everything that is established can hardly be subverted or even arguedly be declared in default
.



Primary results and special features of my socio-cultural work

1. A demonstration from Gödel's well-known theorem that relativism as to facts is untenable. (SoC, p. 5.)

2. A psychological explanation of how sexual frustration causes anxiety, repression and collective neuroses, and how sex-unfriendly morals amount to censorship - an anti-free-trade policy - on the level of emotions and passions, which has similar consequences as censorship in the intellectual domain (no free trade in arguments). Viz. making people manipulable - emotionally this time - via repression, "inarticulateness" and anxiety.

3. Finding that social dynamics is mainly defined by the antithesis of pro- and anti-red-thread interests and forces. Application of this to the Enlightenment, education, crime-fighting, philosophy, art and other domains. This makes sociology both much more coherent and simpler.

4. The explanation, within the scope of 3), of relativism as an unconsciously applied "trick" to devalue rational and moral argument, for the benefit of anti-red-thread (unenlightened) social interests, and as a modern "non-authoritarian" variant of censorship in its reducing the role of reason.

5. A radical extension of Schelsky's idea that ideologists will distrust technology because it makes people less dependent on the supremacy of nature. We also apply this on the supremacy of chance, the community, uncertainty,... in various vital situations.

6. An explanation of much of current dominating ideology as also representing the interests of both conformism and the "deprivileged industry". An elucidation of various aspects of conformism and the interests constituting its background.

7. Realize that many things become clearer by considering the massive support gained by void and irrational publications (Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida,...) or modern art as a sacrificing of reason and sound judgment by the supporters. Viz. as a demonstration of loyalty to the current God (the group as an "organism") demanding the individual's subordination to His values and mores. This would be in line with former offerings of sheep and jewels, and at the same time demonstrate: "I accept even the utmost irrational if you, God (the group), demand it as a sign of loyalty". (S. Andreski hinted at something similar with respect to priests who as a sign of loyalty sacrificed sexuality and reason, saying: "Credo quia absurdum".)
       The above idea would join with the function of the (partial) "sacrificing" of reason and moral judgment as a "solidary" acceptance of various powerful anti-enlightened vested interests in society - and as support of anti-red-thread ideology -, and with adoring the Roman emperor's statue as a sign of belonging.

8. An extension and concretization of Quigley's theory on institutionalization. Application to Christianity, the juridical, educational, philosophical, art and bureaucratic establishments, and the intelligentsia in general.

9. Derivation from Fisher's formula MV = PT of a means of stimulating economic growth and averting both recessions and inflation.

10. Finding concrete relations between some phenomena in microphysics and parapsychology, with respect to nonlocal "orchestration".

11. The discovery of coherence in various kinds of striking coincidences in the lives of some people, also in connection with their relation to the collective.

12. My waking up to the role, and elucidation, of the RU paradigm that dominates current thought to a major degree in philosophy, the arts, sociology and microphysics. It is characterised by the concepts relativism (R), uncertainty (U), incoherence, chance, the subjective and the poly-interpretable. It is now the pre-eminent anti-enlightened force in the cultural domain, contrasting with rationalism, determinism, coherence up to the nonlocal sphere and also with any objective and dependable ethics.

13. My work not merely puts the ratio-empiricist way of thinking first and foremost, but also expects the solution of man's essential problems primarily from "beta" developments. Think of lie-detectors, a rational love market, genetic engineering, research of the paranormal, "measurement of man" etc. This roughly amounts to a continuation of the spirit of the Enlightenment into the intimate and the unconscious. Our not yet having done so is precisely the main reason why the enlightened approach partly disappointed up to now.
       Within the above scope, I see as the most characteristic sentence of such work: "Happiness is a question of information and genes; that is, of information". (SoC
, p. 542.)

14. One more feature of my publications is their more-than-incidental violation of taboos. While it is commonplace to stress human weakness, failings and frequent bad faith in a general sense - so much so that most intellectuals became pessimists -, it is highly unusual, and virtually taboo, to locate such failings or even bad faith in concrete current social evils, mentalities, groups, double agendas or ideologies which veil interests. (The whole of neo-corporatist and other-directed society resists this; compare 3.2, especially the Ninth thesis.) We still do so in a systematic procedure of sociological explanation, also finding that repression and taboos pre-eminently function in order to prevent just that, and to protect hidden interests of the powerful. (Hence, the very hidden variants of evil are the most interesting, and their analysis is sociologically productive.) In this way, we explained so various phenomena as repressive sexual morality, philosophical relativism, modern art, educational and social degradation, opposition against eugenics, and much more. The result is a radical increase of coherence and simplicity in the model of society and culture.
       One consequence of both points 13. and 14. is that we are optimistic about the future, in spite of a critical position. Another is that my work itself is tabooed too.
       In the context of the above it is also striking that in theory ideologies are admitted to generally disguise, hide or "embellish" interests, but that hardly a sociologist will ever say which current ideology hides which precise interest
. We do. E.g., most Americans (58 %) feel their country to be governed for the benefit of some big interests, and 68 % felt "to be systematically lied to by their leaders" (SoC, p. 380). Few intellectuals pursued the matter (most continued to subscribe to "correct solidarity"). We tried.

15. Most of my unusual aproach and dissent stems from one factor: my being impressed much more by the starry sky and other overwhelming beautiful things than by the ideas of the speech-making community, whose possible support pales before such beauty.
       One more remark about the moral and the emotional. It can be forgiven that most people did not hit upon the ideas and explanations in the foregoing. But one thing is unforgivable: the circumstance that our speech-makers' moral gut feelings did not sense that something very serious "is rotten in the state of Denmark"
, and did not warn them for the mentality at the background of the evils we discussed and for the "correct" ideology sustaining them. Actually, their generally positive attitude towards our establishment and their acceptance of its moral authority - just as those of historical authors in Antiquity or 1600 A.D., who did not protest - repeat the classic experiment of Milgram on the largest possible scale. Viz., people will subordinate their conscience even to non-violent authority if it is presented with sufficient ballyhoo. (For details see SoC.)
       In such moral climate many take it ill of me that - in championing eugenics, lie-detectors, radical priority to the truth in the juridical domain, "measuring man" in the broadest sense, selective education, enforcing integrity by all means disposable, and also in seeing through abuses and ideological disguise - I am a spoilsport. A spoilsport as to the collective myths and social games with which so many interests and habits of thought are related. A spoilsport in particular with respect to current myth of man as an inviolable ("semi-sacred") entity deserving the greatest possible respect; man who - inter alia
, by egalitarianism - made repression of his (often genetic) failings and inferiorities part and parcel of such creed.
       On the other hand, I simply consider morally unreliable those for whom "the group" rather than incorruptible reason, rational values and awakened, coherent emotions constitutes their ultimate frame of reference. Such "betrayal" already appears from their mere acceptance of the ideas and preferences of their social environment and culture without thoroughly weighing rational arguments pro and con
, an attitude also evidenced by their avoiding open discussion, e.g., of the foregoing. They clearly want repression, myth and taboo, which actually amounts to selling out integrity. They simply want to belong, and subordinate to this emotional openness, objectivity and curiosity.



Eight main issues of dissent

For most practical purposes, the contrast between mainstream socio-cultural thinking and my work concentrates on eight mutually coherent general points:

1. Mainstream thinking is far from experiencing (sexual) lust and happiness in general, beauty, the sublime, the morally positive, performance and the idea of progress within the scope of one coherent positive complex according to a consistent rational value system centered around happiness. (Compare points 20. - 25. of the page Beyond the Brainwashing.)

2. Also it represses the whole dimension of qualitative genetic differences between men, and of improving human genetic quality. It somehow canonizes man as he exists now.

3. This Site generally emphasizes the idea of transparence and coherence, inclusive of the domains of values and the emotional. It fights myth, ambiguity, playing games, chaos, relativism and troubled waters. (Compare the quotations from Ellul and the Gospel of John in 1.2 II.)

4. Also, it criticizes mainstream thinking in its not being willing to enforce integrity by all means disposable. Think of the juridical system, the absence of lie-detection in politics, softness on moral rearguards, bureaucracy and troubled waters, and the usual treatment of whistle-blowers.

5. In my work, an idea of Machiavelli, Marx, Mannheim, Gouldner and others - viz. that powerful interests will ideologically, bureaucratically and otherwise manipulate the public into conforming to and humouring such powers that be, and into assuming their good faith - is pursued and applied to concrete current groups, interests, values and ideologies. This leads us to various exposures that, of course, are "fended off" via repressions, taboos and hushing up substantial nonconformism.
       Generally, my work makes it plausible that most unenlightened situations and ideas
- i.e., those contrasting with 1. and 3. above - stem from powerful interests that fear reason, rational values and emotional awakening just as nobility and clergy manifestly did during the age of Enlightenment. Cases in point (as to such situations etc.): nationalism, egalitarianism and the idea that the world is unmakable.

6. Point 5. implies that, at least unconsciously, "conspiracies" do indeed appear. For example, tendencies to foster conformism around major interests, from former kings and nations to current "deprivileged" industry and political correctness. In unconscious processes, ideologies try and make such interests pass for the moral or public good. E.g., lawyers "conspire" to keep law enforcement needlessly complicated, with many "rights" and technicalities. This means that the indirect, veiled and underhand (ideological) pursuit of interests plays a far more general part in society and culture than if it would be merely restricted to short-term tactics in politics.
       It is inherent to this that ideas such as those of this Site will be hushed up. They also diverge so much from prevailing "association complexes" that many feel them to be "difficult".

7. The core mentality of the relevant conformism - and the single most important antithesis of the spirit of 1. and 3. above - is exampled by the fact that the speech-makers do not show any moral indignation about the many abuses and chutzpahs exposed in my work. They do not even feel any urge of discussing them. Such amoral position is compounded by their appeasing attitude towards moral or genetic rearguards of many kinds, from recidivists and chronic underclass people to abusers of welfare, lying politicians and those firing whistle-blowers.
       The above so radically discredits the "orthodoxy" that actually nobody should feel the slightest hesitation as to "breaking ranks" and becoming a "lonely" dissident. Even this has been made more difficult by dominating mentality. For speech-makers and current "religion" (centering around the group and other-directedness) don't think in terms of an objective, rational value system. They think and feel in those of social relations: "What do others think and feel about what I say, and is there a social basis for my or Rietdijk's ideas?
Will I achieve something with others by exposing the immoral?"

8. Further, my work posits the hypothesis that the world is rationally coherent up to and including the nonlocal, or macro, domain. So much so that a moral order appears in the universe. (As to nonlocal coherence see also the page on my physical theory: Four-dimensional Reality and its Coherence.)
       This point 8. is rather independent of 1. - 7. Nevertheless, it could very well be that nonlocal coherence and a moral order are repressed by most in-crowds for similar reasons why other ideas on this Site are. For a concomitant "rational religion" would make people definitely less morally dependent in life, which will not be applauded by establishments. Hence, e.g., massive research into near-death and out-of-the-body experiences would not fit either in the perspective of our leaders. They prefer a climate of uncertainty and dependence. As to ethics, as to a possible hereafter, and as to the solution of the problems of life in general,...


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