Jesus, Voltaire and Prometheus: the Essence of Sociology
Current Orthodoxy that Keeps Waters troubled
C.W. Rietdijk, D.Sc.
|..., because the truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought.|
Many believe the Enlightenment to have been a failure; but they don't ask who were responsible, let alone showing horror of them.
Part I: Systematics
Why is the world so bad?
Well, I think, because many want it so.
Uncertainty, incoherence and troubled waters are the main instruments of evil. For they generate dependence and anxiety that make people susceptible to illusion, ideology and myth.
1. Philosophical Essence
Hippolyte Taine said: "There is nothing but facts and relations between facts".
Science is finding their coherence.
The rationalistic empiricism of Galilei, Newton and Einstein is superior because it led to the most extensive, most consistent and most reliable coherence. Let's call the coherent system of facts and relations they and kindred workers found, the GNE-network.
The difference between substantial and merely instrumental rationality (reason) is that the former also refers to values.
Note that subjectivistic and relativistic "schools" contrast with the above. But neo-positivism does too. For actually it does not aspire to a coherent model of the world, man and values. It restricts itself to formulas and observation, abandoning the most vital of all: real insight, the Aha-Erlebnis referring to imaginable models of reality. This is also a method to sweep paradoxes under the carpet. Paradoxes that, in turn, indicate that our frame of thinking could be inconsistent or otherwise incorrect.
2. The Red Thread of Social Evolution
The gist of Jesus of Nazareth, Voltaire and Silicon Valley can be integrated into a "red thread" in history: an evolution toward more enlightenment in three coherent sectors. I.e.:
a) An increasing articulation, consistency and application of intelligence and reason, in ever more domains.
b) An increasingly rational value system attuned to optimizing total well-being in society via integrity and love of one's neighbour; such optimizing can rationally be argued to be objectively "desirable", whereas none of alterntive values and purposes can. (Think of the honour of God or the king, Victorian sexual morality, or fundamentalism,...). (See The Scientifization of Culture, Ch. 2.)
c) Growing awakening, openness and coherence of emotional life too.
In practice, the advance of science, technology and a concomitant rationalization of management, of our value system and of the ways of thinking in general constitute(d) the "prime movers" in history as to red-thread progress. The latter roughly amounts to increasing enlightenment.
3. The Red Thread in relation to Rationalism, Culture, and Happiness
Three major points go with the red-thread concept:
a) Rationalism is the thesis that in reasoning about any possible subject one should aspire to the utmost degree of cogency and detail as to every step in the argument, so as to bring about an optimally coherent understandable model of phenomena, facts and their relations.
b) Culture - including the laws and the organization of society - should be efficiency in optimizing total happiness and in reducing unhappiness. In the last resort, it should serve the organization of happiness.
c) Happiness is served most by good genes, optimum information and rational values; that is, by bringing the world under rational and moral control. By means of science, technology, transparency, good management, economic dynamics, research as to the problems of life, the exposure of evil and hidden agenda's,...
4. The essential Coherence and Dynamics of Social Evolution
Society, history and their dynamics can most simply and coherently be understood - an understandable model being made of them - by seeing such dynamics as caused by the struggle of two mutually contrasting complexes of interests: pro- and anti-red-thread forces.
Among the former: inventions and discoveries, enlightened thinking, prosperity, the flowering of the arts,... Among the latter: censorship and the violation of human rights, special interests prevailing on the common good, inefficiency, corruption and stagnation,...
Historically, the relevant struggle saw culminations in the fight between the Enlightenment and nobility and the Church, in the Allies fighting Nazism, in sexual and women's liberation, in the cold war,...
Introducing the red thread and its enemies is to sociology what the Copernican system meant in astronomy as a contrast to the Ptolemaean one.
5. Sociology and Philosophy ignore Rational Values as a major Ordering Principle
By ignoring rational values as part and parcel of scientific thinking, both social science and philosophy (of culture, about ethics, on progress and the meaning of life,...) ignored an essential ordering principle of socio-cultural phenomena and dynamics. They did not even hit at all on the idea of the "red thread" and its opponents, so that social evolution was disregarded and conflicts were largely reduced to incidents. The meaning of culture remains elusive, it also being rather incidental and having no objective "advantages" or purpose.
6. Leaving rational Values out of Social Science leaves out many Causes and Explanations
The fundamental relativism of social science made it virtually blind to most coherence based on the above ordering principle. E.g., blind to hidden intentions (corrupted values and purposes) at the background of various ideologies, to bad faith in humouring vested interests at the cost of the common good, to more subtle forms of censorship and of making waters troubled, etc. Evil was not a category, let alone (unconscious) conspiracy. Well, then one ignores a substantial part of human motives and planning. Bad faith and (unconscious) "conspiracy" (ideologcal, bureaucratic,...) to give special interests precedence over the common good and rational values, lose much of their explaining power. For any hierarchy of purpose is lost. And, particularly, it becomes inexplicable why current Western and other establishments do (did) so much to fight red-thread tendencies. E.g., why a general climate of uncertainty, incoherence, relativism and of denying unconscious conspiracy at all is pushed ideologically? All social evils and ideological manipulation are suggested to be (co)incidences.
Even ignoring moral judgment about it, the red-thread concept essentially contributes to making society much more coherent and transparent. It explains why the motives of the powerful, of in-crowds, the privileged and ideology throughout history highly focused on fighting red-thread (enlightened) values that in principle expose them. Anti-rationalism, sexual taboos and incoherent modern art and philosophy become understandable from one ("troubled-waters", anti-reason and anti-coherence-of-emotions) point of view, as will be elaborated below. After our additional invoking the moral dimension, it becomes also clear why establishments will be little motivated to fight abuses or foster happiness: they will be amoral or worse, in coherence with their position with respect to the red thread. They simply are more interested in vested interests and power than in happiness and justice with respect to the public.
7. Anti-enlightened Tendencies will Disguise Themselves nowadays
It is a major result of our thinking that, whereas the antithesis of pro- and contra-red-thread (anti-enlightened) forces was rather clear and uncomplicated during most of history, and is so in the Third World, the anti-forces will be disguised and indirect in modern society, as a condition for their survival in a rather rational and educated society.
Much contributing to such disguise is that both traditional "orthodoxy" and politically correct "progressiveness" will make a mess of the contrast of enlightened and anti-red-thread values. Viz., consider the complex of mutually logically and emotionally kindred enlightened values and other concepts as constituted by progress, performance, happiness (lust included), transparency, reason, coherence, integrity, love of one's neighbour, freedom, makability, genetic and moral quality,... Then we see that such complex is massively counteracted by a positive climate with respect to relativism, uncertainty, the "deprivileged" (genetic rearguards), incoherent art and anti-rationalistic philosophy, and tabooing sexual lust. Most people don't see that the latter climate - largely passing for "leftist" - is disguisedly reactionary: man cannot or should not take his destiny and happiness in his own hands, and genetic quality is bunk. This serves many vested interests and "the law of the jungle". (Also see below.)
8. Most "Solidarity", and Incoherent Art and Philosophy, as Disguised anti-enlightened Ideology
Some hidden or disguised mechanisms within this scope are:
a) Nationalism and other "solidarity" ideologies. The former has been characterized as "an instrument to make the many exert themselves for the benefit of the few". Well, this also holds with respect to other "solidaristic" ideologies such as traditionalism, nazism, communism and many orthodoxies. They simply betray naive people. Also think here of conformistic political correctness, serving leftist parties and the "deprivileged industry". (Realize that egalitarianism is one more solidarity ideology.)
b) Though virtually unrecognized, a major ideology dominates among modern intellectuals: "The world is incoherent, man is irrational, values are relative and, therefore, progress by reason and `rational values' is impossible. Such a thing as the red thread is irrelevant".
Of course, this thesis is anti-red-thread - and a disguised mechanism in the above sense - to the greatest possible extent: it abandons objective values and, therefore, leaves the status quo and its power and privileges fundamentally unchallenged. Not even moral indignation can be rationally well-founded. This is paradise for vested interests, the powers that be and the law of the jungle. It is also a disguised variant of censorship because rather than fighting reason, sound argument and rational values by banning them, it contains that they do not even exist or, at least, are subordinate to "the interests of real life", the preferences or agreements in society, "existential choices" of man and/or historical developments.
The above thesis is massively but mostly indirectly pushed or implied by incoherent "modern" art (the "poly-interpretable", subjective truths,...) and relativistic and subjectivistic philosophy, from existentialism to postmodernism to neo-positivism. (Note that the latter disregards rational values and understandable models, which actually also implies both incoherence and moral relativism).
Realize that true solidarity is not at all bad: it is simply love of one's neighbour, jointly optimizing happiness and being enthousiastic about enlightenment and progress. Any solidarity apart from roughly the Sermon on the Mount - integrity and love of one's neigbour - is corrupt, and a mere variant of group-mind conformism.
The massive instinctive sympathy for the ideology formulated at the start of b) is basically due to the interest in troubled waters - the fundamental immeasurability and obscurity ("mystery") of man, reality, quality, good and evil - of all individuals and organizations anyhow thriving on abuse, manipulation, or deceit. This state of matters is so evident and obvious that its repression (non-discovery hitherto) in itself needs a sociological explanation - which is given by our general theory of disguised anti-red thread forces.
9. Many Unconsciously Recall Longingly the "Original Sin" - one more Anti-Enlightened Force
A translation into scientific language of the concept of "the original sin" can be given when we realize that during evolution - about up to civilization became important, with Jesus of Nazareth and the Enlightenment as special marker stages - the law of the jungle predominated absolutely. Self-interest and prevailing on the competition by all means available were the main instruments of evolution. Civilization and conscience interfered and made it possible to overcome the "original sin" to some degree for the benefit of the common good (happiness).
Actually, the anti-red-thread forces, in the individual psyche and in society, largely amount to giving elbow-room to the "original sin". This appears mostly hiddenly in our stage of civilization, because openly siding with such sin - aggression, deceit, the irrational and humouring special interests - would seldom survive in modern democracies.
The essentially mutually inimical or competitive attitude of people, implied by the "original sin", cannot but instigate such a thing as "basic anxiety" (and guilt feelings) in most of us. I reacted differently to it from how most people do. The latters, encouraged by culture, said to themselves: "If you can't lick them, join them", and conformed to the group and its values. I, on the contrary, did a similar thing to what Jesus of Nazareth did: I chose as an inner basis and mainstay objective, rational, "divine" values and truths: not people or the state, but the foundations and Laws of the universe constitute my "defense mechanism" in the "jungle".
Those of the majority joining in the (social or cultural) game will adopt a kind of spiritual and emotional uniform by which they recognize each other as allies. Such uniform has both positive and negative sides. The first contain solidarity in the sense of restraining the original sin: mutual help, comfort and the like. The negative side is conformism, censorship and ("solidarily") siding with the powerful. Once such uniform was religion, convention and family, or King and country, now it also contains political correctness, the mores of one's students' union or fashion, accent and subtle ways of conduct. All of this also helps your career, though it need not go as far as old-boys networks. The message under the skin, of such uniform, is too often: "right or wrong, our interests and our kind of people". This, in the last resort, is the greatest threat to the red thread.
10. Six major (unconscious) Anti-Red-Thread Instruments
We now consider some (mostly disguised, hidden) ideological or other social instruments that at the same time tend to counteract the red thread (enlightenment in a broad sense) and unconsciously humour "the original sin". That is, they foster vested interests and other social actors which do not feel happy with red-thread developments. We indicate some preliminarily:
a) Institutionalization. Christianity and the French revolution began positively, also fighting for the oppressed. But they "institutionalized" into systems primarily benefitting their "managers": the clergy, and Robespierre or Napoleon, respectively. We will argue below that we see many analogues in modern times, e.g., in the domains of law and its enforcement, the educational establishment, the world of art, the intelligentsia and "progressive" parties, the latter starting as solidarity ideologies tending to mitigate the laws of the jungle (like civilization at all), but gradually evolving to doing what we found about nationalism in 8. a) above.
b) The "troubled-waters" ideology of 8. b), counteracting fundamentally coherent reason and values. It is a major factor in internalizing censorship.
The "cult of incoherence (chaos)" is continued in the human psyche itself: in our "orthodoxy" (traditional and associative way of thinking):
- Both the churches and Freud preached a contrast of (sexual) lust and conscience;
- A contrast is also almost universally suggested between reason and emotions;
- Reason and values have been tradionally separated, even by "rationalistic" neo-positivists.
Such contrasts contribute to reducing the straightforwardness of man, making him "muddleheaded" on a fundamental level of experience: troubled waters even penetrate the intimate. This makes him much more innerly dependent and manipulable. (For an extensive discussion see Section 29 of The Scientifization of Culture.) In this respect too incoherent modern art, subjectivistic, relativistic and anti-rationalistic philosophy - from Heidegger to Lyotard - and a superficial here-and-now attitude join with a general climate of uncertainty and incoherence on the primary psychical level. This makes man innerly helpless, susceptible to and dependent on ideology as a "saviour" rather than inducing him to improve the world via ever more knowledge of its coherence and the rationalization of values.
c) Sociologist Helmut Schelsky advanced the idea that ideologists will distrust technological progress because it makes people less dependent on the supremacy of nature and, therewith, of the social or other gospels of such ideologists. This idea can radically be generalized: ideologists and establishments unconsciously foster the individual to be dependent more generally than as to nature - on "the others" (Riesman's other-directed personality), on convention, on the Church, sexually because of an inefficient sex market, by pushing the idea that life is "unmakable" and fundamentally uncertain,... Also think of troubled waters, no understandable models of reality, no clear causes and culprits of abuses, complicated procedures and bureaucracy,...
Generally, troubled waters as pushed by modern art and philosophy have similar effects for human dependence and powerlessness as troubled waters on more concrete levels.
d) Pushing superficiality and conformism. This joins with keeping the masses in ignorance during most of history. It not only prevents people from independent thinking but also stimulates an attitude of carpe diem, that is, lavish consumption (which is fine for major parts of the establishment too). If people are not motivated by major values, purposes and hopes, consumption is still the only thing happiness can be derived from.
Also note here that relativism induces "other-directedness" (Riesman) and hence conformism. People have no compass but the others, the group, as reason stops short of values.
Nowadays, some historically new factors contribute to conformism and superficiality:
1. A massive bombardment of the individual with incoherent impressions, out of many directions, coming from an ever more complicated society.
2. The mass media as a special case of 1.
3. "Networking" as one more concomitant of 1., and especially as a consequence of the growing interwovenness of individual activities.
4. The greater relative importance of teamwork, which makes people very dependent on the appreciation of their colleagues and peers.
We can best characterize the mentality in question - also pushed by the consumption industry and advertising - as John Cleese did: "American teenagers are more ignorant then whoever else in whatever period of history: not because they are stupid but because they lack any interest in what does not immediately refer to their own lives". (See NRC Handelsblad, 11/3/2003.) It is not only so with such teeners... Inter alia, education and literature tend to join with such mentality of mindlessness. Education should "join with the direct life-world" of pupils (little abstraction or theoretical schemes, emphasis on practical skills and "learning to learn"). Literature braithes a spirit of direct impressions, incoherence, incidental personal relations as the essence of life, amusement, the commonplace, meaninglessness and the here and now. No values, no purpose, no moral indignation, no human quality. Here too we see death by nihilism and a massive specimen of "non-authoritarian censorship". Not merely the individual "atomizes", but everything does so: into chaos and pointlessness.
We see around us - and from this site - that our point d) corresponds to a type of both people and philosophy.
e) Sexual taboo and repression actually constitute censorship in the domain of instincts and emotional life. For, as free speech means experiment, awakening, mutual exchange, articulation, criticism etc. as to facts and arguments, freedom in the sexual domain means something similar as regards the emotional and instinctive. Free trade in emotions and instinctive wants is as important to freedom at all as are free trade in information and arguments. Freedom, experimenting and many alternatives being available also make people less dependent and less manipulable by ideologies, fashions etc. precisely because of their intellectual and emotional awakening and having more options.
Additionally, sexually repressive (frustrating) morals and situations (irrational market, scarcity of attractive individuals) again make the individual more dependent (on the others, on coincidence or "fate"), just as do primitive technology and uncertainty, coincidence and "the unmakable" as a philosophical climate. [Compare c) above.]
f) More generally, abandoning rational criteria as to values actually removes resistance to taboos, which are irrational bans on free thought about good and evil. Hence we see that politically correct, egalitarian, "man-is-inviolable-and-good-by-nature" taboos block many new ideas about the juridical, education, eugenics, social care, immigration, power, progress,... Thus they shield castes and vested interests of lawyers, bureaucracies, helping professions, leftist parties,...
11. The Inflation of Bureaucracy, Management, Complication, verbiage-producing Intellectuals and Authors producing "well-written" Books about Nothing, as Instances of Institutionalization or subtle censorship
Many among a "new class" of "information mongers" have an interest in complication - of bureaucracy, of procedures, of regulations, of solutions, of ideas,... They will have a propensity for "progressiveness" because it deems complicated interventions more necessary than the right will do. They actualy join with the "troubled-waters" ideology of 8.b) and 10.b): they thrive on bureaucratese, verbiage, "playing with language and ideology", pseudo-substance, "relations between groups", meetings about these and everything and they are very "political". We see here Parkinson's law in the information and communications domain. This joins with much more that inflates, up to and including "nonconformist" protest - "revolutionary" and "shocking" modern art, "rap" and "rock",... - and philosophy. Think of the latter's endless verbiage about "being", "emptiness" "man as an irreducible and unique personality" and downright unreason - Foucault, Merleau-Ponty, Baudrillard, postmodernism,... - that not even aspires to rational models of man and the world.
The class in question can be recognized by its particularly hating "ready-made solutions", "black and white thinking", "simplifying",... "Well-written" literature about nothing, poems without content and (anti-rationalistic) philosophy playing with words and concepts also join with its members' attitude to life and the world. In the whole of anti-red-thread tendencies such bureaucratic class, and the inflation of most modern art and philosophy to "image" and non-substance, join in both counteracting such red thread and creating work for many in an inflated and institutionalised intelligentsia.
In such climate of social games, non-substance, moral relativism, complication and lack of coherent purpose and priorities, waters will be troubled, substantial new ideas will meet utter disinterest and lobbying special interests will thrive.
12. Unconscious "Conspiracy" is Demonstrably With Us
Some may object to our implying "conspiracy" - a (mostly) unconscious one, it is true - in suggesting that socio-philosophical instruments such as 10. a) through f) above are applied by relevant vested interests (components of the establishment) in order to serve such interests. This implied suggestion seems far-fetched to them. We argue that it is not:
a) Language evolved long ago without linguists being around to "organize" the many cases, intricate consistencies etc. Users unconsciously sensed what was consistent and made their language usable and sufficiently subtle. They gradually "conspired it up".
b) The ancient Greeks asserted that the gods lived on top of Mount Olympus, but they did never have a look there in 800 years. In their hearts, the leading Greeks did not take the facts about those gods as seriously as the social impact of the belief in them by the rank and file. If they really had believed in their gods, they would logically have paid a visit, inter alia, for getting indications what to do and how to live, or how to serve their interests. Conclusion: the ancient Greek leaders unconsciously "conspired up" their gods as socially useful (to them), just as people unconsciously constructed language.
c) Medieval clergy sensed unconsciously that pushing guilt feelings could be instrumental in making people even more dependent on the Church and its sacraments. Similarly, rulers of all ages sensed that scapegoats (Jews, witches, "the enemy abroad",...) could be helpful in diverting frustration and aggression from themselves and their failures.
d) Nationalism has been characterized as an instrument "to make the many exert themselves for the benefit of the few". This is in agreement with the phenomenon that governments and leaders used to stimulate the idea of "my country" in order to foster "unity" (that is, people rallying around the leaders).
Well, why (collective, unconscious) "conspiracy" would work in serving interests in the cases of a) through d) and do not with those of 10. and 11. above? For the rest: in the past and with non-Western societies the "orthodoxies", taboos and conventions used to be highly instruments shielding the status quo and in particular the power and privileges of the elites. Why should we, now, be the only exception? The only relevant qualification refers to our being democracies. But about every expert admits that it is very partical. E.g., Robert Michels' "Iron law of oligarchy" (1911) still applies: organizations (in business, political parties, Non-Governmental Organizations, unions, states, "schools" of ideas,...) will be governed or dominated by small in-crowds, "oligarchs".
13. The new Religion: John Doe Deifying Himself; Egalitarian Sacrosanctity
Most people feel we hardly have any religion left after Christianity became less and less orthodox and, as in the US, churches got primarily a social function. I disagree. Nietzsche spoke of "clercs no longer believing in saints". I disagree once more. For, such clercs collectively declared sacred and sacrosanct themselves, or John Doe. Ordinary man became so much inviolable that:
a) Euthanasia, also as to seriously handicapped newborns, is virtually taboo with most people. (Former religions also tabooed euthanasia.)
b) "All men are of equal value" became an unassailable doctrine; comprehensive education fits within this scope.
c) The death penalty in Europe and many experiments with human DNA in the Western countries more generally are virtually taboo too.
d) Above all, eugenics and genetic engineering on man are tabooed to the utmost: they would devalue "man as he is".
e) Subjectivistic philosophy as well as neo-positivism - that puts first and foremost observations by man - fit within the same scope. So do emphasising the social dimension and the cult of the personal in politics and with many kinds of "stars".
f) Softness on crime, anti-socials, addicts and irrational Third-World cultures also largely stems from the same idea of accepting man as he is as sacrosanct rather than our realizing that many are an error of evolution. So does egalitarianism at all. At that, it implies relativism and even nihilism. For if there is no difference in value between hooligans, problem groups, and their moral, intellectual and characterologous counterparts, neither moral values nor intelligence are substantial assets anymore. Human quality simply devalues.
In all: As far as we don't have the religion of "the group" and "the others and relations" as the ultimate source of values and the meaning of life, we have one in which man as he is transcends everything else, as source of values and as value in itself. E.g., he cannot be "improved", say, by genetic science and technology. He is no natural product subject to reason and arguments on values and quality. For the rest, he is defined socially rather than genetically.
14. Relatiocracy rather than Meritocracy and Democracy: the Corrupted Sieves for Elite Selection
Few will deny that, to begin with, our politicians are far from being selected meritocratically, or that networking, not rocking the boat, or having been a member of various students' unions is very helpful in your career. For, of course, it is not a coincidence that our elites - in politics, business or the universities - are less noted for their putting cats among the pigeons than for general adjustment, "correctness" and being well-connected and "political". E.g., they seldom violate a taboo or attack some vested interest.
Such phenomenon joins with current religion, "solidarity" and "orthodoxy" (see 13. above), just as former establishments were closely connected with the then orthodoxies and conventions. Our one can be characterized as the "social" religion: you should "like people", have "social skills", and many "friends". You should humour them and - most important - their interests. This is vital to your career, and, in turn, your career and whether people appreciate you and quote you and give you media attention - in short, your social dimension - is the focus of your life at all. All of this is the elite variant of Riesman's other-directedness. Hence networking (favouritism), conformism, collusion, not violating taboos, and being flexible regarding truth, good and evil, seeing them as "relative"; not as all-important in any case.
Of course, the relevant elites, who owe their position to "the others", their being cooperative, and social games, and only in the second place to their merit, feel highly dependent on the appreciation by their peers and public opinion. Hence their conformism in vital matters: as to whistle-blowing, vested interests, taboo-violation, political correctness, and everything "controversial"... Their God is the network of vested interests we call establishment, and what "the others" feel about them. That's what defines their career, status, income, publicity and happiness. Truth, justice, progress,... are at best secondary. They "like people" and the social dimension, as the priests "liked God and convention" and the kings and the generals "liked the fatherland".
All in all, applying reason to this problem (and the others of this website) is so devastating for fraudulent interests and pseudo-elites that it is no wonder that most of our ideology, philosophy, "modern" art, sexual value system, political correctness and other taboos are mainly attuned to counteract it, and enlightenment in general, in vital domains. To those considering all of these phenomena as separate "coincidences" I answer: "How could the mere absence of criticism, even as to the extremes of irrationality among them - see elsewhere on this site - ever be `coincidental'; how could prolonged nonsense have no purpose?"
Finally, it becomes very understandable that the above kind of people don't like lie-detectors, DNA fingerprints, "nature" having priority to "nurture", rational love markets, "makability", violations of "privacy" to enforce integrity, genetic engineering on man, and the latter's demystification in general. They like "people as they are", and "uncertainty", and social games, and "unstraightforward ways". That is, similar troubled waters as dominated all history and most of its establishments...
15. Modern Taboos as Shields of Unconsciously Fostered Ideology that Counteracts Reason and the Red Thread on Behalf of Vested Interests, just as the Value System of Nobility and the Clergy did with Respect to the Enlightenment
In 12. we referred to the unconscious conspirational nature of the socio-cultural phenomena of both 10. and 12. Arguing for such nature is the remarkable circumstance that various relevant ideological tenets and attitudes are vigorously shielded by taboos and repressions which anyhow are modern successors of censorship. We discuss some below.
a) The taboos in the sexual domain (much reduced lately) are a well-known specimen. It is rather obvious that they shield(ed) - or rather, implemented - the instrument of censorship (referring to emotion) indicated in 10.e) above. Also, it is remarkable that sociology refrains from any research into the motives and interests at the background of so radical a censorship on human expression, even now it is largely history (in the West). The only explanation in sight for such reticence is that an exposure of sexual repressive ethics would violate a powerful taboo in itself.
b) Viz. the prohibition of doubting the good faith of society or its establishment as a whole. For note that the sexual taboos were (are) a hidden, disguised, instrument of power (emotional manipulation) in most cultures and societies, in contrast with violence and "intellectual" censorship that were far more open instruments that simply cannot be excused in retrospect. But exposure of sexual repression would imply that establishments are (were) massively guilty of subtle, (unconscious) deceit and manipulation up to and including in our modern "democratic" era. Admitting this would undermine "solidarity" and the authority of "the group" rather radically: even modern establishments are in bad faith, more than a little bit, even "systematically".
c) Another modern taboo is that of ridiculing "modern art" in public (or to do so with massive philosophical incoherence, verbiage and emptiness such as produced by Heidegger, Foucault, Merleau-Ponty, Lévy-Strauss, Baudrillard, Lyotard etc. etc.). Particularly the fact that many do so in private but hardly one does it in public strongly suggests a taboo here. As we saw the "troubled-waters ideology" to be a vital disguised instrument of power and against reason, this taboo can be understood too.
d) One more taboo refers to eugenics and other "violations" of human inviolability. It is explained as we realize that it shields the ideology of egalitarianism. This sustains current solidarity myth and, therewith, not only the vested interests of the "deprivileged industry" and political correctness, but also relativism and the group (that is, the establishment) as the exclusive source of values and purpose.
We can generally say that, just as with religion and nationalism, ideology and taboo will serve both vital interests of establishments (power and privilege) and various ones of the masses (solidarity, hope,...). Some instances of such compromise:
- Abstract art and "deep" or even absurd philosophy (Heidegger, Foucault,...) on the one side undermine enlightened thinking (on behalf of the establishment) and make on the other snobs, and those speaking without having anything to say, feel happy.
- All those humouring the "original sin" (manipulation, fraud, privilege) - in both the establishment and the general public - have an interest in anti-red thread instruments, in troubled waters as associated with "fundamental uncertainty", coincidence, incoherence, relativism, and anti-scientism.
- The religion of man or "the group" serves the established by fostering conformism, and is liked by the masses by furthering "solidarity" and the idea of being inviolable and belonging to a race above genetic improvement ("Herrenvolk"). Both don't like the myth of man and the group being good to be burst, as in exposing major taboos, social groups, or ideologies.
- Current cult of easygoingness, superficiality, the here and now and the incidental in many respects continues censorship (by discouraging thought), fosters consumption and is agreeable to the happy-go-lucky or anti-bourgeois type (no delayed gratification, not much responsibility,...).
16. "Left" and "Right" both became Institutionalized Parts of the Establishment, and rather Inconsistently too
Institutionalization, various taboos against consistent thinking and ad hoc interests virtually made a mess of the traditional antithesis of left and right. Originally, leftism essentially meant pro-red thread or enlightened: man should take his destiny in his own hands, led by reason and rational values, and fight all interests that obstructed. This clarity is now obscured by a radical institutionalization of the left and the phenomenon that the right (as traditional friend of the rich and powerful) is on the side of entrepreneurs, who in many respects constitute the most dynamic class in society, representing Silicon Valley as well as performance ethic, delayed gratification, rational planning and the Promethean in general.
The left largely institutionalized because many of its votes as well as most clients of sympathising "helping bureaucracies" come from intellectual or performance rearguards. This undermined the ideas of progress, dynamics and high-quality education, and smothered the Promethean idea as well as moral purity in egalitarian relativism. ("Individuals do not inherently differ as to genetic quality; the talented or honest have no more value than hooligans or chronical problem groups.")
Hence we see "progressives" sympathize with anti-rationalistic and "group-minded" rearguard cultures and rearguard individuals (and their values), lapse to softness on crime, addicted and unruly students, and devalue individual performance, IQ and intellectually oriented education. Everywhere the "social" dimension is pushed, and egalitarianism, political correctness and John Doe are so versus ("elitist") quality. Genetic engineering, eugenics and typically Western values and leads are far from popular with the left. Comprehensive education, affirmative action, and intense taboos as to making groups, mentalities or individuals responsible for social or moral arrears, and for social evils in general, became especially characteristic of "progressiveness".
For the rest, though rightism may be (slightly) better on these points, its "moral values" are seldom applied to cartels, lavish option distributions or any other abuse relevant to castes as farmers, doctors, lawyers and other professions, and the rich in general. Many rightists still do not like the Enlightenment.
In essence, the rightist component of the establishment said to the left one: "If you continue to allow us to make much money, we will leave you most power in the public domain". (I.e., the media, education, non-governmental organizations [NGO's], the ideology,...). And the left agreed... Hence both the right and the left components of the establishment became vested-interest-friendly and compete in ignoring or tabooing ideas, social theories and explanations that openly declare in moral default major social actors or interests in the establishment, such as anti-socials, unions, inefficient work rules and job restrictions, professions, farmers or established ideas. Hence a penetrating conformism. Social institutions, political parties and current ideas busy themselves with distributing power and privilege among the well-organized rather than with giving priority to the public interest and, therefore, to the values of the red thread. The moral dimension, and that of progress, are "out". One of the consequences is the standstill of both social science and a philosophy without great, rational and objective values.
Making a mess of the antithesis of left (enlightened) and right (status-quo- and vested-interest-minded) standpoints joins with a similar immobilizing muddle of values beyond the political domain. Think of an artificial contrast constructed by conventional culture between lust and the elevated (Freud's Id and super-Ego), between optimizing happiness and performance ethic, or between reason and emotion. Both specimens of confusion - in politics and in the individual mind - contribute to the troubled waters essential in the anti-enlightened way of thinking. (Also compare 7. above.)
17. Special Interests and the "Original Sin" Attitude as Main Sources of Social Inadequacy
In practice, probably the two main sources of social abuse - of anti-enlightened situations and mentality - are
a) Special interests prejudicing the common good. Neo-corporatism is essential here. Polls show that most people feel such interests and their collusion to prevail on voters and rational policies. We will discuss concrete instances below and already did so throughout this website.
b) A widespread mentality among the general public that reverts to its "jungle instincts and faculties" - that is, it wants latitude for its "original sin". This amounts to the phenomenon that very many are not much interested in more happiness and progress in general, for society, but all the more in their personal success, status, income,... as compared to others. There is not much interest in the common good at all, and, therefore, not much interest in enlightenment. There is individual and group egoism. This also induces distrust of "too much" rationality and transparency, and "too radical" an enforcement of the values of both the red thread and the Sermon on the Mount, such as integrity. Many want the latitude and the obscurity to go their own sweet ways to strengthen their own position as compared with others, without much interference of morals, reason and the public good. (It would be a nightmare for them if everybody's genes, qualities and faculties could be measured and social positions and status would be distributed among us accordingly.) This is precisely the "jungle complex" and the "original sin". Such attitude actually joins with that of those who sense that too much transparency, reason and integrity would menace their power and privilege. Hence all of them fear lie-detectors, a crackdown on vested interests, law enforcement without many "rights" and technicalities (that is only interested in truth and fighting injustice), and most of all they hate "simplifying" problems. For they like waters not to be too transparent. Most people compromised with the status quo regarding their own failings and those of others, and became attached to this. It gives them safety, just as conservatism at all.
To my ideas they will answer: "People are not like that". No, indeed Louis XIV, the Kaiser, Chamberlain, Mao, John Doe and leading representatives "were/are not like that". The point is whether we will aquiesce in this even so much that we don't prick the mass myths and taboos they keep up. Not even as social scientists or philosophers...
As to myself personally: I sublimated my "jungle instinct" and "original sin" into being one of the very few who served the public interest by the high-quality performance of not only pricking the myths and taboos, but also integrating all of the results into a coherent theory. "Let me get my hands on my enemies" I share with the jungle and Louis XIV, but mine is more productive a calling in of the relevant instincts. In short, I do not aquiesce, like John Doe and the academics in the crowd.
Especially b) corresponds to the state of mind of traditional rightism. As to a), the modern left is hardly less associated with many vested interests than the right: unions, the "disadvantaged industry", the ideology of egalitarianism and political correctness,...
The foregoing explains why left and right will instinctively fear red-thread values and attitudes, and humour interest groups, impenetrable bureaucracy, convoluted philosophy, and incoherent art, while distrusting the ideas of progress and the world's makability, or even the Enlightenment itself.
For the rest: the enlightened solution for the problem of the struggle for status and career is (future) optimum techno-scientific measurement of man: his genes, IQ, mentality, emotional subtlety, integrity,... As already indicated above, this will create a natural, honest and most efficient social hierarchy without any role for manipulation, myth, being pushy, "games people play", etc. Precisely the dishonest will not be enthousiastic...
18. Some Popular Anti-Enlightened Attitudes, as Part of the "Orthodoxy"
The left, the right and, not seldom, human nature "collude" in fostering some popular attitudes and ideological means counteracting the red thread:
a) Promote the idea that science and technology are fundamentally incapable of solving the problems of life: reducing uncertainty and coincidence, improving man (inter alia, his intelligence and sexual attractiveness), finding out whether some survival after death appears and what is our role in the world,... Such idea will make many - also inclined by nature to the "mysterious" - flock to either God and tradition or "the group", "the others". For these are the only mainstays remaining if science and a coherent model of man and the world are powerless or dubious. Hence the modern world of ideas resounds of "fundamental uncertainty", "chaos", "indeterminacy", "unmakable", the poly-interpretable, the absurd, alienation,...
b) Stimulate an attitude to life in which the here and now and the incidental are central, that is, stimulate superficiality. This at the same time discourages serious thought, enhances manipulability and stimulates consumption: leftist and rightist vested interests are safer and the consumption industry sells more. Most Western individuals no longer experience any substantial purpose or meaning in life, the interest in sports and amusement became overwhelming, and still very few feel any motive to think seriously on society.
c) Fitting within this scope is non-"intellectualist", egalitarian, "socially" oriented education in which (Riesman's) other-directedness is an inevitable concomitant. General knowledge, systematic explanation, coherent textbooks and insight are largely substituted by more practical skills, social and others, project learning and "discover it by yourself". No grammar with foreign languages, no rigorous deduction in mathematics, no line in history, no coherent laws in physics,...
d) Vested interests and the status quo are particularly served by the idea that social problems are "difficult" to solve. The incorrectness of such idea is demonstrated by the simple fact that most problems will have been solved already in one country or other. The first thing governments fighting some abuse or struggling with some other problem should do, therefore, is calling colleagues abroad to ask how they solved the problem. Actually, study groups returning from abroad are seldom enthousiastic about what they saw - New York major Giuliani's performance in reducing crime, Denmark's in reducing Third-World immigration or Sweden's in re-employing the unemployed. Mostly, one is not willing to prejudice vested interests and, therefore, shuns radical changes in addressing relevant problems.
e) In our page on Association Complexes we extensively discuss the role of associations as a means of manipulating people. Both the right and the left primarily use them in a general climate of superficiality in which direct impressions prevail on well-argumented coherent thinking. In both advertising and politics, this "method" of influencing is practically unchallenged.
In the five examples above circumstance and unconscious ideological manipulation vie with each other in being prime mover. Regarding the aspect of unconscious conspiracy remind points 10. and 12. above: If the ancient Greeks could unconsciously "conspire" to frame up their gods and to refrain from having a look on the Olympus, and many peoples did so to shape their language consistently, why then object to the idea of ideologists - nationalists, communists, egalitarians, the "chaotists" of 8.b), the politically correct - unconsciously serving powerful interests too, up to and including the creation of various spiritual and emotional climates?!
19. Though less than in the Past, our Establishment highly Consists of Colluding Interests
It is a major implication of our socio-cultural theory that, in humouring vested interests that often prejudice the common good - and red-thread evolution -, our Western establishments in many respects are not precisely in good faith. Of historical establishments and most Third-World ones this need not even be argued in view of human-rights situations, corruption and disinterest in both progress and abuses. One might assume that in democracies the situation is much better - as far as democracy is real, which is only partially the case. In the next two points we will substantiate the thesis that major parts of Western establishments still fail in vital moral aspects, up to being in bad faith more than incidentally.
20. Concrete Specimens of Moral Corruption in our Establishment, and "techniques" of masking it
1) For many decades the leaders and the law did little to help whistle-blowers who were fired, also by civil services. The powers that be were even against them.
2) They tolerated or even fostered cartels and regulations favouring well-organized groups at the cost of the general public. Think of farmers, doctors and other professions, the educational establishment, many import duties and restrictive practices and work rules in industry, trade etc. which reduce efficiency or productivity but benefit particular groups. As mentioned elsewhere on this site, no questions about unofficial cartels were asked in Dutch parliament for 30 years, though they cost the public billions a year.
3) Decade after decade the establishment tolerates the law, procedures and most civil cases to be so complicated, time-consuming and costly that justice is often beyond the reach of anybody but the rich and the subsidized poor. (The UK is a notorious extreme.) This in spite of the very simple proposals for solving this problem by Dutch expert Brenninckmeier in his inaugural in 1993.
4) It is also responsible for setting multi-offenders at their fellow-men time and again rather than isolating them for good, and mostly does not compel addicts to kick the habit on pain of isolation. There is softness on crime more generally by giving defendants many rights that do not contribute to finding the truth about their innocence ("privacy", right to silence, "unlawfully obtained evidence", release on a technicality,...).
5) Its attitude with respect to the red thread can be judged from the mere circumstance that it will object to genetic engineering improving intelligence or beauty ("supermen"), but does not object to the massive procreation of multi-offenders, retarded and various (other) genetically subnormal people. In the same vein, there is fierce opposition to eugenics. Many like inferiority.
6) Within a similar scope, the ideology of the "inviolability" of man as he is (the "religion of man") induces by far most establishments to cause much suffering by their objections to euthanasia, also in the case of its being applied to seriously handicapped newborns.
The attitude of 5) and 6) is prototypical of siding with the (biological) status quo against the reduction of suffering and improving quality.
7) Our establishment and its constituting in-crowds and vested interests are fully responsible for the appearance and continuing of taboos: against discussing eugenics, against substantial opposition to a "multi-cultural society", against the genetic interpretation of differences between social groups and races, against many harmless expressions of sex up to quite recently, and against publicly ridiculing "modern" art. And, further, against radically simplifying the juridical system so that only a direct discussion about truth and justice remains and such system is a mere weapon of good against evil, without technicalities or whatever else being in a position to frustrate this. (Lawyers and especially many rich and white-collar criminals thrive on the current situation.)
Tabooing and hushing up various ideas as indicated amount to informal censorship and, therefore, to bad faith.
8) Probably because they are not well organized, the authorities will leave victims of crime, of anti-socials and of noise pollution largely to their own devices, rather than really cracking down on the culprits. (The latter inaction partly stems from an egalitarian ideology.)
Of course, nobody openly says that he often sides with unreason or moral corruption, as the establishment does:
a) He says that reason, good and evil are relative;
b) Or he extensively reviews Barnett Newman or books on "Being", or non-information posing as "modern" poems;
c) No one says he hates the intellectual dimension: he favours "progressive" education (no grammar, no systematics, little selection,...);
d) Neither will he openly defend conformism, but he will say and keep saying on and on that we should be social and like to get along with "other people";
e) Those wanting superficiality will not say so but cultivate everyday things and books on the commonplace and on everyday people interested in other everyday people...;
f) Those liking censorship and evil in general cultivate taboo and political correctness; they hate the "controversial" and finding concrete faults with concrete groups ("discrimination", "racism",...);
g) If you like manipulable John Doe more than high-minded people you say that all of us have equal value, human quality is relative and largely of a "social origin".
21. Further Specific Instances of the Establishment humouring Evil
We give an enumeration:
1) Repression of the dimension of evil and inferior human quality at all via relativism and egalitarianism.
2) Tolerating lavish option programs and other remunerations in business, and also that labour markets are so little flexible that in various countries many unemployed see hardly a net increase of income by accepting a job.
3) Many countries opposed toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003.
4) No opposition to massive Third-World immigration of low-IQ and unskilled problem groups which give many troubles as to crime, education, welfare, etc.
5) Doing nothing in spite of the fact that much foreign aid is wasted and, moreover, the benefits of the rest are annulled by the mere consequences of the European Agricultural Policy (dumping).
6) Not using lie-detectors in order to find preliminary truth among groups of people who know about corruption, political misleading,... E.g., important conclusions can be drawn if, say, 15 among 20 senior managers of some organization, or among representatives of a political party, are found lying, while the detector has a margin of error of 15%.
7) Doing little to restore discipline in education, to crack down on noise and other nuisance, to help those victimized by defaulters,...
In cases as discussed here and in 20. the conscience of authorities is not equal to the influence of special interests - lawyers, the deprivileged industry, organizations hating whistle-blowers, dishonest politicians, those thriving on restrictive practices in industry, trade or agriculture,...
The state of dominating ethics can also be judged by the fact that many in-crowds will not even see the moral dimension of various items among those enumerated in 20. and 21.
22. Repressing the Crux of Problems as a Variant of Censorship
It is clear from the foregoing that inner censorship, repression, is a major successor of former open censorship and superstition. Let us give a number of examples of cases in which this goes as far as the crux of major problems being repressed or taboo.
1) Sociology did not hit upon the red thread as an idea. As such idea is a priori very obvious, its non-emergence, moreover, evokes much suspicion as being due to ideological repression.
2) It is generally repressed that the two main problems of sexuality are the lacking of an efficient large-scale love market and the "biological scarcity" of attractive men and women.
3) The genetic factor in crime, anti-social behaviour, addiction, personality disorders and problem groups - such as with education - will generally be hushed up. Inter alia, one feigns that differences in educational success come from "social environment" factors rather than genes.
4) More generally, the genetic quality of man is at all repressed or even tabooed as the most important of all.
5) As to the immigration of Third-World people the "liberal" position of the left is seldom or never explained by the fact that leftist parties and the "disadvantaged industry" have a direct interest in the votes or clientele of massively immigrating "deprivileged" (who have the generally low IQ's nearly endemic in backward regions, as found by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen).
6) In law enforcement one represses that executing or removing for good from society dangerous or multi-offenders would radically reduce crime.
23. Why major Abuses and Ideological Tenets and Tendencies are indeed no "Coincidence", but parts of an Unconscious Conspiracy, just as Nationalism or the Medieval Exploitation of Guilt Feelings, and as the Ancients not taking a look on the Olympus
We give an argument:
The studiedly anti-enlightened thesis of 8.b) (about incoherence and relativism) is pushed or implied in many different ways (and countries) at the same time, as a tendency, This makes "coincidence" utterly implausible. We see a striking parallelism of:
1) Incoherent "modern" art;
2) Anti-rationalistic philosophy, from Heidegger and Foucault to postmodernism (Foucault's irrationalism and absurdism go even as far as his stating that insanity is not inferior to reason and criminals are not bad but merely "criminalised".);
3) The cult of "uncertainty", coincidence, chaos, unmakability and the here-and-now;
4) The "desintellectualization" and non-targeted climate in education (little grammar, hardly any rigorous derivations in mathematics, no system in physics and history,...);
5) Pushing relativism, egalitarianism, superficiality and the commonplace;
6) Sexual repression and irrational sexual mores, and the lacking of a rational, large-scale and transparent love market;
7) Anti-eugenics and objections to genetic engineering applied to man; the concept of human genetic quality and hierarchy (order) is repressed;
8) Political correctness and sympathy for rearguards and anti-rationalistic and anti-individualistic Third-World cultures.
Indeed all of these phenomena point in the same direction opposite to that of the red thread, and harmonize with the thesis of 8.b. This cannot be a coincidence but corresponds with a comprehensive mentality precisely antipodal to enlightenment and to coherent intelligence, values and emotional life. That is, it amounts to troubled waters. For the rest, the circumstance that not even Foucault has been laughed out of the room on account of his standpoints indicated, shows the extremism of current anti-enlightenment. The influence of postmodernism does the same thing. (Further, massive superficiality may stem more from the masses than the establishment, but the latter does little to stem it, in the media, education,...)
Also note that egalitarianism and anti-eugenics point in a similar direction as relativism: inferior people "do not exist". Further realize that relativism implies: the status quo and the powers that be can never be criticized from a moral point of view!
Summing up, one cannot maintain that educationalists, art critics, anti-rationalistic philosophers, relativistic sociologists,... all hate the red thread by coincidence. (Note that even "rationalistic" neo-positivism is highly relativistic in excluding values from science and rational argument, whereas it is anti-rationalistic in not being interested in coherent models of reality, inter alia, in microphysics.) Also realize that the sympathy for anti-rationalistic and anti-individualisic (anti-enlightened) Third-World cultures in particular appears with our intellectual and "progressive" elites. Is all of this a "coincidence"? This is already impossible by the mere circumstance that criticizing the above anti-red-thread attitudes is well-nigh taboo - from modern art and "unmakability" to the Third-World cult and anti-eugenics.
Further, is this website about hushed up by mere coincidence? And why such "coincidences" continue for so long and in all Western countries at the same time? The inner consistency of both joint points 1) through 8) above and this website also appears from the cicumstance that by far most people are for or against one of the relevant two positions as a whole.
Sexually repressive morals throughout history join with the above as an emotional variant of censorship. Also by mere "coincidence"?
Hence the conclusion: current ideas and ways of reducing the influence of reason, of rational values and of counteracting the awakening and openness of emotional life simply are in line with former anti-enlightened ones such as censorship, convention and the power of the Church, though the modern ones will be more hiddenly and unconsciously applied - just as the unconscious "conspiracies" of nationalism or about the Greek gods on the Olympus. And all such anti-red-thread forces help in making society repress or relativize reason etc. to some degree in order to shield vested interests (and "the original sin") from rational criticism. Just as censorship, superstition and bayonets did before.
In short: our society cultivates a value system and attitudes that serve the in-crowds, the vested interests and their privileges well, just as happened throughout history, when "orthodoxies" continuously turned against enlightened thinking. They are a compromise with the old laws of the jungle which many recall longingly and whose enemy is reason, enlightenment and rational, humane values. Small wonder that many hate such reason etc.
We summarize much if we conclude: Reason, rational values and emotional coherence and openness are the pre-eminent enemies of all abuses, myth and deceit. That is precisely the reason why all interests thriving on something negative concentrate on undermining or devaluing such enlightenment. I.e., they concentrate on humouring incoherent art and "philosophical" uncertainty up to and including the cultivation of taboos and complicated bureaucracy. Also, on the one side old orthodox dogma and convention, and on the other modern relativism and chaos - as to both facts and values - effect the same thing: "reason and enlightened values are no option as alternatives to the status quo and vested interests".
As to those doubting whether an unconscious conspiracy is at stake: Why didn't they feel both distrust and disgust when the authorities did not fly to the help of whistle blowers, and their newspaper paid more attention to poems without an understandable meaning than to such victims of crooks?
How can you do without conspiracy fed by interests if practically everybody accepts injustice and unreason?
24. More on the Conspiracy Theme
I. Consider five points:
1) Many admit it to be hardly possible to implement solutions of whatever social problem against powerful vested interests (veto groups);
2) Only 12 % of US voters feel voting to make sense anymore because things are not decided by votes;
3) More specifically, 58 % of US public has the opinion that their country is governed for the benefit of a few big interests.
4) 68 % of Americans felt to be "systematically being lied to by their leaders". (For references about 2., 3 and 4. see my The Scientifization of Culture, p. 380.)
5) As mentioned elsewhere on this site, between 1962 and 1992 there has not been asked a single question in Dutch Parliament about informal cartels, though these cost the Dutch public billions a year.
Now the ominous fact is that neither sociology, nor our opinion leaders, nor oppositional political parties in the West did even notice. Let alone their seriously studying the major social evils at stake here, at the background of 1) through 5). That is, they are simply joining in the game, radically conformed. They continue busying themselves with details, technicalities, "method" and the like... Could all of this too be "a coincidence"?
II. Why does not even a part of the establishment propose to act as follows:
Democracy not only should force veto-groups to comply with its decisions (rather than their co-defining the latter), but more generally the law should be revised so as to subordinate all special interests to the common good in the sense of efficiency, truth and progress, without any juridical obstruction being possible. (One not even revises the law so as to make it impossible that ten years elapse before there is clarity about all appeals, say, of one on death row.)
The common good, efficiency and progress should prevail on bureaucracy, technicalities, vested interests and complicated laws just as the desire to win it will prevail on them in times of war. What "conspiracy of inaction" now frustrates the first-mentioned priority? The answer is that our establishment simply is not motivated, the academics who should study these problems included. Its mentality causes it to side with the vested interests rather than the rational values at stake. This is the kind of unconscious conspiracy we are confronted with. I.e. the circumstance that our establishment does little to put an end to abuses on which veto groups and vested interests thrive, whereas even the social scientists and the intelligentsia in general are little interested because their value system is corrupted by their joining in the game of "socially and culturally defined" values. It is also the complication and interwovenness of interests and relations, and man's tendency to "sell himself" in this ambiance, which contribute much to the conformation in question, that implies even intellectuals joining in the game. The game the rules of which embody the unconscious conspiracy we discuss.
If the red thread were first and foremost with them, our intellectuals would see through the above and many things more, and they would no longer be institutionalized as a "new class" that is part and parcel of the establishment, so that there is hardly any "thinking opposition" anymore, as there was in the 18th and 19th centuries. The struggle between pro- and anti-enlightened interests became too much complicated and veiled for most brains in the inflated academic class.
Also note in this context that society becoming more and more complicated and the general public less and less interested - because of anti-intellectualistic educational "reforms" and the massive cult of amusement and the here and now - work in favour of increasing in-crowd influence.
III. The relevant conspiracy is continued in our collectively repressing the vital fact that about everything which is deplorable in society - developed or developing - is due to moral failings, stupidity or emotional primitiveness. E.g., Third-World leaders tolerating that founding a new business will cost an average of eight years of bureacratic struggle, are crooks who do not deserve any help or cooperation. Actually, not even our intellectuals think of this in terms of good and evil (or are much interested at all).
Such repression is caused to a very high degree by our own Western moral corruption that almost abolished the moral dimension via relativism, egalitarianism, thinking in terms of "social groups" (rather than individual responsibility), and our modern religion deifying man.
Let's summarize 23. and 24.: The unconscious conspiracy at stake is instinctively sensing what to do, what to sympathize with, and what to hate in order to give precedence to major colluding interests and the "original sin" over reason and rational value. This is equivalent to the very mentality of relativism, "modern" art, anti-rationalistic philosophy, political correctness and other attitudes discussed in the foregoing.
25. Ordering our Theory Around the Concept of Power (of the Collective)
Much insight is acquired if we present some vital facts and phenomena in the light of the control of the individual by the collective, that is, by the powerful - again as an unconsciously conspiratorial socio-cultural process. For jointly consider:
1) Our intellectuals - and sociologists in particular - did not hit upon the idea of the red thread in the first place, in spite of its obvious simplicity and coherent explaining power. Only a taboo can explain such blind spot. For realize that putting objective reason, rational values and natural emotions - the red thread - first and foremost makes the individual substantially less innerly dependent on the collective, at the cost of convention, fatherlands, other-directedness and the powerful.
2) The "socio-cultural correct" emphasis on nurture as against nature. This has a similar purport as blindness to the red thread.
3) (Former) sexual taboos and current primitiveness of the sex market make individuals dependent on the social ambiance as to an important need.
4) My very concrete socio-cultural criticism is not particularly welcome. It devalues and undermines the reliability and moral authority of the collective, our basic "solidarity". Note that I even cast doubt on the good faith of the establishment and the group, inter alia, by the idea of unconscious conspiracy. You are allowed to hold liable parts of the establishment on practical points, but not to declare it in fundamental moral default on account of many points discussed on this website.
5) Also note here that, just as in the past we should be solidary with Church, King and convention, we currently should be so with the group (other-directedness). Therefore, we should no more blemish "the core of current community" (the establishment) than we formerly affected King or convention.
The above can partly be summarized by saying that opposition to and the hushing up of my work simply stem from its assailing current "religion" that, just as former ones, concentrates on holding in esteem the establishment at the core of a "solidary" community or collective. I also propose to substitute conventional instruments of power based on myth, manipulation and relatiocracy by the authority of enlightened values and science.
26. What our Leaders should Do
1) The economy
a. In large monetary zones (US, EU, Japan,...) experiencing a recession the authorities should act as follows:
Print additional money in order to increase demand to a similar level as in the preceding expansion period. Since inflation was tolerable then, why should it become intolerable if demand is kept up artificially whereas production capacity and supply are not cut back?
b. Further reduce inflation by:
- Wage controls, abolishing the right to strike and resolving labour disputes by arbitration, with which optimum growth (the common good) is the guide rather than the interests of management or unions. Also ban option distributions among directors and salaries exceeding the average income, say, tenfold.
- Increase competition by radicaly fighting relevant restrictive practices, regulations and work rules in industry, trade etc. Introduce price controls where necessary (if competition still fails). Ban all corporatism from society. The market and the voters should govern the economy, not other social actors such as cartels, Non-Governmental Organizations, unions or organized professions.
- Abolish agricultural policies benefitting rich or inefficient farmers. (Also see our page Candidly, on Economics.)
- Facilitate to the utmost the creation of new businesses, also via flexibilization of the labour market.
c. The economy should also be radically transformed in the sense of transferring effort from the luxury and amusement sectors to that of fundamentally addressing "the great things" such as the problems of life. Therefore:
- Stiff sales taxes on luxury clothings, travel, automobiles, amusement products, and luxury consumption products at all.
- Transfer, say, 15 % of the national product "freed" by this to research, development and people in sectors like genetics, artificial intelligence, brain research, fundamental physics, atomic fusion, nanotechnology, parapsychology, near-death and out-of-the-body experiences, biochemics, space research etc.
This and other policies also should effect that "the best and the brightest" will no longer be drained into the legal and financial sectors but will work in research and development.
Within the above scope, advertising should be reduced to dependable factual information. At the moment, Western man is brainwashed into a way of (superficial) life best typified by the mere word "lifestyle".
a. Largely emulate Danish restrictive policy (only 9,000 immigrants a year, illegals cannot hold their own because one needs identity cards for about everything).
b. From safe countries only admit those who are clearly an asset for the admitting country as to skills, IQ, welfare-independence,...
c. Internment of those unwanted immigrants who are unwanted in their home country too. Make circumstances so that they themselves will prefer to leave.
"Back to basics": intellectual or practical-technical performance, selection, discipline. Clear, coherent, conveniently arranged textbooks that directly correspond with nationwide uniform examinations attuned to, say, four levels of talent. No project learning; all subjects should be teached deductively, coherently and systematicly.
4) Law enforcement
- Isolate multi-repeaters for good, or execute them.
- Abolish the concepts "privacy", "unlawfully obtained evidence" and relevant technicalities from law enforcement; make it a transparent instrument to enforce integrity by all means available. Anybody, including lawyers, should be completely open to judges or juries, under oath, also as regards negative data about their clients.
5) Social policy
- The expansionist policy of 1) will increase money available to public services like health care, education etc. Still, problems with such services more often stem from mismanagement and bureaucracy than from lack of money. In order to improve this, acquired rights, contracts (e.g., about golden handshakes), veto-group positions, and other "corporatistic" rights and practices should be revocable without much complication. Parliaments and democratic governments should always have the legitimate power to prevail on bureaucratic or special-interest obstruction of efficiency, transparency and fair play.
- Radical simplification of welfare, taxes and subsidies. E.g., no more than about five variants of each of them should exist. (Also think of the negative income tax proposed by some.)
The Swiss kind of referenda should be introduced with respect to many subjects about which moral judgment rather than expertise is crucial. It should never be possible that 70% of the public favours euthanasia whereas the entire establishment opposes and frustrates new laws, such as in Germany. This is one more way to lessen the grip of vested interests. In the preparation of a referendum, both sides should receive equal amounts of money from the authorities, while others are prohibited from contributing.
7) Development aid
Double it, but only spend it in countries respecting human rights and agreeing with donor supervision on the suitability of its use.
8) Reversion of the "litigious tendency"
Generally, ban all obscure and complicated regulations, contracts, and rights that may frustrate efficiency, clarity, democratic control or justice. Introduce the right of parliaments to simply annul the legality of everything against this spirit. By far most lawyers should become superfluous, also because about all civil cases should be decided in oral arguments of the parties, judges and lawyers. (This has already been proposed by Dutch jurist Brenninckmeier in his inaugural speech in 1993.)
9) General Remark
Just as in times of war winning it has precedence over everything else, in times of peace techno-scientific progress and enforcing enlightened values should have precedence. Over technicalities, vested interests, etc.
27. Roughly, Things Move in the Right Direction
I. An opponent once said to me: "It is true that your work is largely hushed up, but at the same time society precisely evolves in the directions you support". He was largely right, which makes me an optimist. Some instances, also of things I advocated long ago and that are now in the process of being realized, follow below:
1) Social evils meet with more and more opposition, and whistle-blowers are starting to be seen more positively.
2) Sexual liberty improved much, and Internet gradually creates a rational and large-scale love market.
3) There is a tendency to lessen softness on crime and to allow more means to find the truth to the police: DNA-tests, the exchange and use of information (less "privacy"),.... Of course this ensues from crime becoming worse and worse - that is, from the "onslaught of circumstance".
4) More and more it appears how much "progressive", egalitarian and comprehensive education is a mess.
5) Lie-detection slowly gets better and better... The temptation to use it increases...
6) Genetic research ever more endorses "nature" as against "nurture" (talents, crime, addiction, anti-social behaviour, personality, health,...).
7) This is not a good time for ideology; orthodox religion, political correctness (inter alia with respect to Third-World immigration), convention, communism, and even the "non-pragmatic" components of socialism are all on the retreat.
And last but not least:
8) Discoveries about genes more and more demystify man. Eugenics comes nearer; e.g., compare top expert Lee Silver in his book Remaking Eden. Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World (1997).
Further, despite fierce opposition by the establishment, 54 % of the Dutch agreed with my proposal to give parents the right to opt for euthanasia at having a seriously handicapped newborn (30 % opposed).
II. Still, also some things deteriorated:
1) By far most intellectuals got more interested in people and their preferences than in truth and rational values. That is, they too became other-directed (and relativistic) in Riesman's sense. As former priests, they even became the main prop of the orthodoxy.
2) As a "new class", they also became the core of Parkinsonian inflation of bureaucracy and management, and are highly responsible of the "generation of problems" in education, welfare, and law enforcement, and of inflating rights versus duties.
3) Actually, the academic class became social relation mongers, who are interested in their careers rather than truth and values.
Selling oneself, also for academics, pushed conformism and superficiality.
4) Increase of the phenomenon of a relativistic (nihilistic) man in the crowd who is focused on consumption. (Remind Ortega y Gasset.)
5) Very concretely, both education and law enforcement deteriorated much in most of the Western world during the past half century.
28. Needed: a Metamorphosis of Human "Messianism" from Social and Romantic into a Beta one
Some, objecting to my ideas, observe that past revolutions became disappointments because human nature simply betrayed the aims and ideals of relevant Utopias. I.e., ambition for power and hidden agendas in general highly "spoiled" even Christianity and the Enlightenment. Let alone, say, communism.
The reaction is that
a) The very concentration of my work on unconscious motives - especially referring to power, privilege and ideological manipulation - precisely addresses this point. As soon as you and the speechmaking community follow suit, becoming highly critical as to the good faith of major social actors, the "spoiling factor" can in principle be deactivated. However, enforcing integrity is not a priority with my opponents, as it is in my work.
b) What is championed by me is accelerating the already ongoing "beta" (r)evolution, which contrasts with the religious or social ones of the past. Actually, such (r)evolution is massively progressing around us. One of its aspects is increasing knowledge of man. Within this scope, better lie-detection, and future measuring of brain waves, genes, preferences and the like, will make man and our rulers much more "open books". In short: it is precisely a rationalization of thinking (including that about values), of our model of man, and of society, combined with precise knowledge (also of man) and openness, that will imply that less and less troubled waters can spoil lofty ideals.
Realise that it is also precisely the "transparency of man, life and society" ultimately implied by the "scientifization of culture" and my ideas, which causes many troubled-waters-loving people to instinctively oppose them, and the techno-scientific (beta) revolution at all. They need myth, "image", uncertainty, elbow-room for "games people play", and the obscure in general.
Actually, if the intelligentsia will go on rejecting the spirit of this website, things will indeed fail to improve, or go wrong, precisely as most among its leaders now seem to expect. In particular, if one continues to reject all theories about (unconscious) conspiracies, one cannot explain why former social and "romantic" revolutions used to fail, and will remain powerless as to the relevant hidden agendas and ideological manipulation.
However, "the onslaught of circumstance" will probably gradually transform our ways of thinking in an enlightened direction, as happened in the past...
Joining with our earlier antithesis of on the one side vested interests and "jungle egoism", and on the other side the enlightened values of the red thread, we see a fundamental gap between two attitudes to life too. Idealists and social reformers should be more conscious of it. It actually boils down to a contrast between "realists" putting special interests and egoism first and foremost, and those whose mainstay is the public good and general, rational moral values. Relativism and thinking in terms of the here-and-now and the incidental, and of "direct impressions", are definitely tending to the former position. This pervades society, from the bureaucracy (the influence of special interests rather than priorities defined by efficiency, progress and other rational values) to modern art (incoherence). Even in education we see the relevant contrast: skills and other-directedness versus coherent theory and intellectual and moral structure.
As to the antithetical attitudes indicated above, business does not always play a very positive part: "selling oneself" and other-directedness, "adjustment to circumstances and your environment", the tendency to image rather than substance in the commercial, and in personal relations,...
Part II: Relevant Completions
1. By putting first and foremost social groups, their interests and relations rather than general and objective rational values such as happiness, progress, integrity and justice, modern sociology contributed to the devaluation of individual conscience and to ignoring moral failings as a primary cause of social evils.
If relativism and the "mere-social-agreements"-idea substitute rational values, society will slowly degrade. Serious moral failing such as anti-sociality also should make one be considered genetically inferior rather than evoking discussion about "social causes". The main contributing social factor in "problem behaviour" is permissiveness. Small wonder that problems with "disadvantaged" proliferated since the permissive era of the sixties, in spite of much more welfare and subsidies. (How can the politically correct explain this?)
2. Never so much energy has been wasted on something so irrelevant as sporting achievements. Probably, stimulating people's interest in sport is one more hidden instrument for making them more group-minded and extraverted; that is, more conformist and superficial.
3. Most people want to keep things companiable and don't like the controversial. Queens, popes and convention help them as to this. And it constitutes a major cause of their disliking this website.
4. Even our "opposition" and "revolutionaries" have been institutionalized: the "adversary culture", hippies, rappers, existentialists, "modern" artists, "neo-marxists", Greens, postmodernists,... simply have nothing to say. That is, nothing apart from professing an even more radical variant of current dominating religion of "man as he is, egalitarian relativism, the group and the social dimension". They vaguely turn againt "the system" or sympathise with the "deprivileged"... Often they like the Bohemian variant of the consumption mentality. Why would they be the favourites of the media?
5. Decadence (or inanity): being more interested in Andy Warhol or sports than in the fate of whistle-blowers.
6. At the background of any taboo is bad faith: shunning sound arguments.
7. Two more specimens of Western decadence or nihilism are appeasing Arafat and demonstrating against toppling Saddam Hussein.
8. Social abuse and evil in general is everything obstructing that who is right is put in the right too. (E.g., by suggesting that things are "very complicated".)
9. Rejecting also unconsciously operative conspiracy virtually implies seeing history as a set of coincidences. For why only the advancement of interests would be chaotic?
10. Even the wild hair, sloppy clothes, tortuous movements and unmelodious sounds produced by many pop musicians emanate the spirit of chaos, postmodernism and what became of institutionalised "progessiveness".
11. Advocating moral relativism is a respectable way of not condemning the Inquisition, Auschwitz and the law of the jungle.
12. To a high degree, progress is the substitution of social games and convention by the spirit of techno-science, that also favours rational values. Especially the manipulators don't like this.
13. I will start feeling very solidary with the community as soon as our speechmakers, representatives and thinkers start showing more interest in fighting abuses, in progress and in the background of taboos than in being politically correct, in votes or in paraphrasing current paradigms. That is, as soon as they show rational values to be the essence of their lives.
14. The emptiness and vanity of about all "modern art" is already demonstrated by the circumstance that both makers and reviewers consistently fail in explaining it more soundly than in terms of bromides like "looking at reality in a new way", "self-willed", "revolutionary", "shocking", "original", "alienation". It is all comparable with being occupied with "being", "the nothing", "existential uncertainty", "the void",... in philosophy. All we see is non-substance.
What a jewel modern art would be if it outshined understandable poems and moving paintings in awakening, focusing and articulating emotions!
15. One word summarizes current decadence: "lifestyle".
16. If you devalue or expose "the group" you devalue the core mainstay even of our elites.
17. What's your incentive to jump over a wall if you don't want to go anywhere? If your psyche is dominated by playing games, irony, relativation, paradox, the incidental, amusement,..?
18. Most people prefer repression as their way to address problems they deem insoluble. I despice them as traitors as to the most vital in life.
19. One mere point answers Edmund Burke and his conservatism. Viz. that tradition and historically evolved values defended by him as resulting from a "survival of the fittest" as to cultural lore and convention, in his time led to hanging homosexuals in England and doing so with soldiers slapping an officer in Russia and the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. But killing men for mercy - euthanasia - is even taboo two centuries later in all countries except Holland... Therefore, I feel Burke's "survival" refers to a survival of the fittest instruments of power and conformism, and of making people feel dependent on nature, God and fate. (Enlightenment made much progress, so that the instruments of power and conformism could only survive by becoming subtler and subtler.)
20. The most important power instruments of current establishment and in-crowds are ideological, political and bureaucratic manipulation. Small wonder that they are less than enthousiastic as to continuing the Enlightenment into the unconscious and the intimate, as we advance here, and like troubled waters, from Finnegan's Wake to Heidegger to Joseph Beuys, from "uncertainty" to the subjective.
21. In the lacking of a rational, large-scale and transparent love market, and most people's not even feeling any need for one, we see a concentration of all unenlightenedness and stupidity which through the ages caused man to abstain from rationally and well-consideratedly taking his destiny in his own hands, and to accept mores, culture, convention, chance and his social environment as they were or are.
22. Who violates a taboo actually undermines the authority of those who "instituted" it. That is, "the group" - which is not amused.
Exposing a major social actor as responsible for an abuse means at the same time an exposure of all allies of such actor within the establishment, who acquiesced in such abuse. In this context, "the group" is not very amused with the "whistle-blower" who, say, exposingly explains from vested interests sexual and other taboos, or why lawyers will advocate many rights of the accused and much complication.
23. Moral level
On 22 March 2004 Israel killed sheik Yassin, the leader of Hamas;
Hamas claimed many bombings in Israel;
The EU and many countries protested against Israel about the killing.
On 25 March 2004 only the US voted against a resolution in the Security Council that condemned Israel but did not condemn Hamas.
24. Even some current leftist radicals can say very clever things. Listen to Noam Chomsky:
"Everywhere there is only one message being implanted: the highest thing to be offered by life is passively consuming. Especially don't think for yourself, don't ask questions on how your life and the world are all about, and don't bother on the fate of others. ... You should eat, drink, buy, and further you may be engaged in sports, personal relations, sex. And it works, all of it is very effective altogether." (See the monthly M, published by NRC Handelsblad, Dec. 2003, p. 42.)
25. Governments should ban option remunerations of managers and fix the upper limit of all salaries to about 250.000 euro by law, adjusting sub-top wages. If managers would emigrate, then we should content ourselves with those aquiescing in such income. Perhaps they may even have the advantage of being more interested in the public good. For the rest, many companies already do without stock option plans. This strongly suggests that their remuneration may not be decisive for many managers in accepting a position.
According to Standard and Poor's, stock option plans for top functionaries in the US corresponded to 20 % of reported profits in the 12 months up to June 2002.. (See NRC Handelsblad, 6/13/2003.)
26. Some moral perversions are so studiedly nihilistic that one suspects that they are also unconsciously attuned to destabilize conscience and the notion of values, or to make the public feel helpless:
- refusing to hand over terrorists if they risk the death penalty;
- releasing a defendant on a technicality;
- not sterilizing mentally retarded and multi-repeaters.
27. It is rather clear why most current academics and practitioners of the "manipulatory disciplines" will tend to the "left": Who nourishes most "experts" busy with advisory boards, subsidies, complicated redistribution programs, "helping" bureaucracy, educational reforms, Sisyphean labour to emancipate the genetically disadvantaged by social means,...?
28. Many assert that the world is unmakable. Never heard of spectacles and toothbrushes?
29. The near-standstill of social science and (cultural) philosophy is best demonstrated by the circumstance that - as alternative to this website - hardly any modern coherent general socio-cultural theory is around. Let alone one putting first and foremost happiness, progress, human quality, and rational values at all. Virtually no intellectual anymore sees coherence in the vital things that happen around us. Their thinking relapsed to chaos.
30. Without people's noticing, we drifted to a situation in which arguments are far from decisive and will even remain unanswered: image, tactics, associations, commercials, networking, horse trading and being politically correct became much more important.
31. What we saw in 29. and 30. above is corroborated by our Discussion Page: hardly anyone is even interested - pro or contra - in our arguments about the most vital. I even suspect that inane disinterest is even more responsible for the relevant silence than my work's being taboo... Our institutionalised intellectuals are not interested in discussing the meaning of incoherent art, assertions of Foucault on reason and insanity, or why "unlawfully obtained evidence" needs being a category in law enforcement. They don't see any urgency as to eugenics or knowledge of the backgrounds of political correctness or sexual repressive morals...
The intelligentsia has been socialized: even science highly became a matter of relations with people rather than truth and arguments: if your peers turn away, well, then change your position...
32. Most of conformism starts with the idea that the social and mutual relations precede(d) or prevail on individual thinking and the genetic. Objections to Chomsky's ideas about language - i.e. that our faculty to use language is in our brain and genes - fit in this context. (Note: why our mathematical intelligence would be innate and our liguistic skill would be not?) Expert on consciousness Daniel Dennett - in Consciousness Explained - even coined the theory that consciousness is a "cultural construction"...
33. Political correctness is not to be blamed for its contrasting with traditional rightist values and purposes, but for its doing so with respect to leftist ones. It is to be blamed for its disinterest in human quality, for its not liking performance ethic and for its relativism undermining the idea of progress. The more so since such relativism also refers to cultures and low-IQ groups, criminals and anti-socials.
34. It is endlessly repeated that "modern" or abstract art is "revolutionary" or "innovative". My main objection is its very status-quo purport by its lacking any tendency of reference to a purpose or clear idea. It's going nowhere, also by its mere being poly-interpretable. In its non-directedness it is the very opposite of impressively, movingly being on its way to something important. That is, the opposite of both art and the revolutionary.
35. Giving precedence to technicalities (and privacy) over truth and justice in law enforcement contains a hidden message: it means an implicit vow that social agreements (and our religion of the "inviolability" of man) have priority over integrity, or have more substance. Such attitude is vital in fighting substantial criticism of vested interests and of traditional values.
Compare here the censure with respect to whistle-blowers: "You should be solidary with your social context, not with truth and good as against evil". Also compare the taboo against a "new-clothes-of-the-emperor" position as to "abstract" art.
36. In NRC Handelsblad of 11/10/2003 I hit upon a passage by Anil Ramdas: "Just as colored people perhaps have the genetic deficiency that there are no moral notions in their bloodstreams. Colored people have sickle cells, no moral notions".
In my modest opinion, this is about the most racist and discriminating remark one can imagine. Why any uproar failed to occur? I feel such failure to have a revealing background: Hardly anyone still deems "moral notions" really important anymore. If Ramdas had written: "Coloured people have sickle cells, no intellectual notions", the world would have been too small. This is where relativism brought us...
37. Various telling things:
a) In The Netherlands the membership of a terrorist organization is not punishable by law. (NOS news, 11/11/2002.)
b) In the EU, yearly 120 billion euro is transferred to farmers within the scope of the Common Agricultural Policy. But every attempt to reform founders on the political interplay of forces. (Intermediair, 10/31/2002.) Even the cultivation of tobacco is subsidized; one billion euro per year goes to the growers...
c) A Gallup poll in 60 countries among 57,000 people shows that only one in ten adults feels that governments listen to the wishes of the people. (NRC Handelsblad, 12/11/2002.)
d) A quarter of all bancruptcies in Dutch small and medium-sized businesses is the direct result of the non-payment by debtors. (NRC Handelsblad, 5/5/2003.) What did the government do?
e) In ten years, the Academic Hospital in Utrecht expanded its workforce from 3,000 to 8,000. At the same time, the number of beds was reduced and waiting lists got longer. The expansion mainly referred to managers and their administrative staffs. (Prof. B. Smalhout, De Telegraaf, 9/6/2003.)
38. Anti-rationalism is a philosophical way of saying that arguments need not have the last word in various domains.
39. Our "academics in the crowd" prefer much publicity about their minor ideas to no attention to the major ones they seldom invent.
40. Well-written literature about virtually nothing is even more pernicious than bad-written literature about nothing: the former cultivates the inane.
41. The only thing by which the conflict between good and evil may seem complicated is that evil will disguise itself.
42. The successors of religion and convention, alas, have not been rational values such as progress, and massive scientific research into life after death (inter alia, via near-death and out-of-the-body experiences), but here-and-now hedonism, sports, group-mindedness and making man God in many respects (think of his inviolability, and of egalitarianism).
43. Crime, addiction, and anti-social or problem behaviour increased from the sixties on - in spite of much more money spent on them - simply because more freedom "to be yourself" and more permissiveness mean that also genetically weak or inferior people will more often indeed wind up "becoming themselves".
44. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about territory, it is about values. Enlightened people and countries should side with Israel for the mere reason that, among the Palestinians, men who murder their daughter or sister because of "the honour of the family" are only lightly punished.
45. The report on Jesus of Nazareth and the Pharisees strikingly exemplifies how dissidents of substance will be approached by the cultural establishment: without a bit of integrity or compassion.
46. I read (De Telegraaf, 15 April 2004) that a Dutch widow lost 30,000 euro to swindlers. However, law enforcement officials did about nothing in 4½ years and, after this happened, one was of the opinion that, after such period, it was "not reasonable" to still prosecute the swindlers.
In my opinion, anybody who, after reading this, still does not hate and disdain our establishment, which did nothing to change relevant law and practice, is immoral to a substantial degree. Everyone still feeling so solidary with "society" that he cheers the queen is so too.
47. Socio-cultural criticism is as good as dead with us. On the one side, we see neo-Marxists, Greens and hippies vaguely accuse "the system" for the benefit of "the disadvantaged", and on the other side columnists or politicians criticize individuals, specific organizations or other parties for carelessness, technicalities or doing too little for "deprivileged" groups.
Both loathing "the system" and being concrete is simply not done. Doubting the good faith of the establishment or vital interests in it as to concrete substance is even taboo. Where are the Voltaires, even minor ones?
Even socio-cultural criticism institutionalized, jointly with the intelligentsia.
48. If people would accept my explanations and theories, putting first and foremost reason and consistently rational values, they would no longer be able to repress their anxieties of an evil world, and vague intuitions as to their own moral inadequacy. Also, their current idol - the group (the community) and solidarity with it - would be exposed: it would appear to be infested with deceit, manipulation, double agendas and myth.
That's why "the thinkers", the intelligentsia, take refuge in institutionalized sterility, in what goes nowhere. In "being", "alienation", the subjective and personal, "mystery", the here and now and the incidental, incoherence, "language" as a kind of game, "the absurd" or "abstract" art. In the well-known names and verbiage. In everything contrasting with Taine's pronunciation we started with. That is, in everything attuned to helping people's relevant repressions, blinkers and prejudices.
Let the bastards study fundamental physics, the brain and out-of-the-body experiences! For the rest, they should derive hope, values and energy from Jesus, Voltaire and Prometheus.
49. One fundamental choice constitutes the core of your being pro or contra my work: the question whether your mainstay is either reason, rational values and rejecting censorship in all forms, or the community, convention and social games.
Because the contrast is based on so simple a criterion, most people either reject or applaud my work as a whole. It's a question of science (rational coherence and values) or "my country" (human bonds and relationships, cultural lore, associations,...).
For me personally, all of it started with one fundamental decision: should we accept unhappiness for the sake of values and social agreements which cannot be substantiated by reason? My answer was no.
50. If my opponents had sound arguments, and alternative explanations, theories and solutions, why didn't they produce them?
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