Science and Philosophy for Unbroken Minds
Relativism and dogma about values have in common that both withdraw such values from the domain of rational argument, so that they can be adjusted to vested interests and egoism. This explains why dogma and relativism were or are so popular.
(1) Values and Purposes; the Scientifization of Utopia, Religion and Messianism
1. Science, technology and the values of the Enlightenment are unrivalled in having sound credentials with respect to solving our problems of life, on the understanding that there is much similarity between the Enlightenment and the Sermon on the Mount.
2. Earlier I wrote: “Happiness is a question of information and genes”. This holds because genes and information define both our longings and the means to fulfil them.
3. Point 2. implies 1. to be irrefutable because all our problems of life are associated with (fostering) happiness (compare 4. below) whereas, on the other hand, science, technology and enlightened values (i. e., such ones that can be rationally legitimised) are indeed unrivalled as to produce more information and – in the future – better genes.
4. Within this scope, enlightened or rational values are precisely those tending to optimise happiness (and reduce unhappiness). This can easily be demonstrated:
a) I feel it to be undesirable to be killed, robbed, sick,… and according to my best information others are in a similar position.
b) Then it is rational if the others and I agree that we will try to optimise our joint happiness, inter alia, by trying to reduce killings, robbery etc. and by fostering well-being in general. For instance, if, by sacrificing some happiness (and compensate in feelings to have done well), I can cause my fellow-man to experience more happiness, ethic should prescribe me to do so.
c) No other standards or guideline can be rationally argued to be objectively desirable but the relevant optimisation of happiness. Think of the honour of homelands, chastity or convention. Their possible desirability is pure dogma or assumption.
d) An important conclusion is that in all cases in which a number of alternatives appear as to our course of action, while, at the same time, it cannot be rationally argued or reasonably surmised which among such alternatives will optimise total happiness, our relevant choice is morally indifferent (as regards the only thing that matters: happiness).
e) The above does not exclude that, say, religious intuitions such as in the New Testament may (in the long run) sometimes be “wiser than our calculations about optimising happiness”. In actual fact, we humans still know little about many “deep laws”, whereas in various questions other than ethics intuition also led the way as compared with reason. Still, optimising happiness overwhelms convention, myth and dogma as to moral credentials…
5. In all, ethics is the economics of well-being, simply because nothing else but the latter (including the reduction of unhappiness) can rationally or by experience be found to be objectively desirable. This amounts to a rational basis of values, purposes and Utopia.
Former theory on this from Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was not quite consistent in two respects. First, the principle of optimisation was not extended to mankind as a whole (and animals) but only applied to individuals and the social associations they belong to. Second, Bentham and his followers did not turn against Victorian morals, aggressive wars and many stifling conventions that brought much unhappiness.
6. The preceding five points are so cogent and relatively simple to understand that it can only be influences beyond reason – i.e., big interests, repression and taboos – that prevented their being understood much earlier. This would have implied the substitution of major parts of conventional philosophy, social policy and our priorities.
In this context note that during most of history and in about all civilizations the happiness of the people was far from getting any precedence. Not even integrity was used to be taken very serious.
What science, technology and rational values can concretely do as to the problems of life such as anxiety, uncertainty, sex, competition, evil, the survival enigma and the meaning of existence
7. On a general level, they can do much by improving both genes and information, which has important consequences for health, human faculties, virtues and sexual attractiveness and by fostering efficient markets in information, love partners, jobs etc., in connection with which measuring an individual’s qualities is also vital. Inter alia, think here of internet and “gene passports”.
8. They can also fight lying (lie-detectors, brain-wave research, speech analysis,…) and make research into near-death experiences and out-of-the-body phenomena, which is relevant to the questions of survival and the meaning of life.
As human preferences and intentions can be better measured eventually, much can be done against evil. This is an aspect of continuing the Enlightenment into the intimate and the unconscious rather than “accept man as he is”. The idea of progress gets real body this way… It actually amounts to bringing destiny to an increasing degree under rational and moral control.
9. The meaning of life is not a question of subjective ideas but of (information about) an objective model of the world that allows for
a) plausible substantial progress as to happiness and, hence, as to solving man’s problems of life;
b) an ultimate prevalence of good on evil;
c) information about a possible survival after death and its relevance to the meaning of existence.
The best hope for the righteous is not myth or sorcery but the laws of nature appearing to be so much coherent and subtle – also on a more-than-local scale – that destiny, including survival after death, will reflect and answer to the qualities and deepest longings of our psyche and actions.
Further realize that for a true scientifization of religion – up to and including the emotional domain – various primary emotions, such as about beauty, integrity, sex, music and overcoming evil, should be associated with the elevated and an “ultimate harmony of things”.
On the contrary – compare traditional clergies –, most current intellectuals will waste their time on secularised theology about “being”, “nothingness”, “alienation”, “philosophy of language”, “the limits of language”, “abstract” art, egalitarian ideology (political correctness) etc., that has nothing to do with any coherent model of facts and their relations, that is, of the world. Finding such coherence – i.e., science – is also the best weapon against evil, such as troubled waters and malevolence.
10. In the West, “sacred” theology has indeed been succeeded by a secularised variant. Partly parallel with this is a tendency of very down-to-earth attitudes characterised by much interest in every-day matters, even in literature, and a complete absence of the elevated, in connection with intense emotions or in general. Savouring the ordinary became the dominating way of life, apart from the directly practical.
Actually, formerly one used to associate the elevated with the wrong things – such as the mother of God or the Eucharist – and currently one will not experience it in connection with anything more-than-subjective at all. One does not think of whatever elevated as an aspect of the universe. Such “irreligious” attitude will not generate much inspiration with respect to either a Utopia or even progress, apart from the practical short term… Often the only thing sacred which remains will be man as he is himself.
A vital point: the scientifization of religion
11. Most modern believers do not see an unbridgeable gap between the Bible (Genesis) and evolution: add long-term coherence to the latter – to the complex of natural laws – and you see an inspired rather than coincidental development, according to a conception.
Our position is that a similar “scientifization” of a religious tenet or model may be applied to the essence of religion more generally, in the sense that
a) “God” is the mind and soul of the universe as a whole similarly to how man’s mind is so of his biological organism. That is, without such mind violating any natural law; only coordinating such laws, or rather: reflecting their coherence. No miracles, and no sorcery;
b) Natural law is indeed much more coherent than was hitherto assumed, also to the effect that the world – human destiny included – is considerably less coincidental, and somehow “organic”, as compared with current conceptions. The latter start with locally operative causal laws as the only rigorously operative ordering principle in the universe. Meanwhile, physics discovered non-locally operative phenomena, such as in the famous paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen. They may reflect hitherto unknown coherence. (See the two pages on physics on this website.)
(2) The Moral Level of our Establishment
So many instances of moral inadequacy of those in power appear that righteous and educated people cannot anyhow respect them as a group (i.e., the establishment). They produced, or acquiesced in, too many non-coincidental abuses for too long. We enumerate some unforgivable specimens, too serious and too protracted for being compatible with the idea of our establishment(s) to be in good faith.
1. Whistle-blowers are often fired or frustrated without the authorities doing much.
2. In the juridical domain finding the truth is systematically prejudiced by many technicalities, “privacy”, the right to non-cooperation and the concept of “unlawfully obtained evidence”.
3. In most countries multi-offenders are not interned for good, this only giving more work and income to lawyers.
4. Many taboos – an unofficial variant of censorship – continue to exist, such as about “nature” and “nurture” and in connection with political correctness in general, about euthanasia (also with respect to seriously handicapped newborns), about the IQ-level of various categories of immigrants, and about eugenics.
5. On the one side most people feel that, inter alia, in politics, lying abounds but, on the other, nobody in the establishment suggests to introduce lie-detection-controlled interviewing of whole groups of politicians, officials and others. Think of interviewing Dutch Representatives about a question like: “Did you feel relief after the murder of Pim Fortuyn (a dissident Dutch politician) in 2002?”. Also examine relevant Belgian officials, lawyers etc. about cover-ups in the Marc-Dutroux case. Or interrogate all New-York officials and trade-union figures who play any part in harbour policy about any possible role of the Mafia. Lie-detectors having a margin of error of about 15 %, the relevant interviews of whole groups would produce much interesting material.
6. The establishment appears to be indifferent to the fact that highly educated women statistically will have (considerably) less offspring than lowly educated women. This shows that human genetic quality is far from being a priority for our leaders…The same thing appears from objections to the compulsory sterilisation of multi-recidivists, chronic anti-socials and mentally retarded people.
7. Our authorities did little against highly cartelised professional groups who ask artificially high fees. E.g., in April 2004 it appeared that Dutch orthodontists had an average net income of 365,000 euro. The authorities only obliged them to reduce their fees by 10 %… Also, US authorities tolerate that 25,000 cotton farmers receive a yearly subsidy of $ 2.3 billion from development organization Oxfam (NRC Hb., 4/27/2004).
8. In The Netherlands government for decades tolerated the squatting of buildings and houses, as well as that people were forced to move because of their being inconvenienced systematically by problem youths or neighbours. In the latter case too the authorities did practically nothing.
The above also shows that the gap between, on the one side, the mentality of the establishment appearing from it, and my work on the other side, is unbridgeable. I “innerly emigrated”, whereas the other party refused to discuss with me (which does not give evidence of moral strength). Still, from a scientific point of view I have the advantage of not sharing the repressions of those who adjusted themselves.
(3) On the Essential Dogmas and Errors in our Culture (and an Enumeration of Some)
1. Error: Paradox and incoherence have their legitimate places in the universe and human life. One should not consider the world and human existence from the standpoint of a consistent and in principle understandable model M of everything that exists or happens. Also, one should restrict oneself to arguing about human experience and impressions. Note here that in microphysics by far most experts no longer try to construct imaginable models of reality.
2. Dogma: Both the individual and the community have a “primary inviolability and independence” in the sense that on the one side reason and coherence in a scientific meaning, and on the other side values, valuation and purpose are mutually independent so that such individual and community to a high degree have the right to freely choose values etc. In some respects man, values and culture escape from scientific research and valuation. (Compare this standpoint with Section (1) points 4. and 5., which show it to be logically untenable.)
3. Two among current (Western and other) “free choices” are
a) One should not consider specific individuals to be genetically inferior (fundamental egalitarianism, anti-eugenics);
b) In consequence of (1), points 4. and 5., also many other values, conventions and taboos cannot be uphold by rational argument, that is, by calling on their positive function in optimising total happiness – but they still prevail. Think of various “solidarities” with ethnic or other groups that have no relevance to rational values, of political correctness and, e.g., of taboos with respect to lie-detection and radical reform of law enforcement to the detriment of wrongdoers.
Finally note that both a) and b) have relevance to the relation of individual and group, and to our standpoint about evolution.
4. Dogma: Our leaders are roughly in good faith. Social evils are merely temporary errors or unintended results of good intentions rather than – just as ideology – subtle and rather unconscious means (or concomitants thereof) that serve group interests as contrasted with the common good and objective morality. Good intentions will also generally underlie taboos such as about sex, immigration, eugenics, and as to a radical reform of law enforcement so as to make finding the truth prevail on technicalities, privacy and rights of the defendant.
5. Philosophical thought will be so confused and superficial that it is not even realised that prevalent relativism implies that the Holocaust and torturing children for amusement are not objectively wrong and might legitimately be chosen by a culture as part and parcel of it.
Two more inconsistencies ensuing from such confusion are:
a) Positing a contrast of reason and emotion, though in actual fact emotion is a natural phenomenon just as the eruption of a volcano, about which reason and science can argue and experiment like with respect to other phenomena;
b) There is some discrepancy between the pleasure principle and performance ethic. Actually, performance is a driving force of progress which, in turn, is a condition for the increase of happiness.
(4) Current Religion: Worshipping Man As He Is
1. Many of the dogmas and errors indicated above are implications of the “religion of man”, which contains man as he is to be the ultimate measure of everything. A God so much inviolable that even euthanasia, using DNA material for solving crimes, eugenics and applying lie-detectors will constitute serious problems for true believers.
2. God in heaven becoming less and less plausible – by both modern science and the extreme sufferings on this planet –, most people “withdrew the projection of God to the Earth”, to themselves and the visible such as their social environment, which became their ultimate basis and mainstay. This did not only happen because of the above “macro-philosophical” reasons but also consequent on more down-to-earth developments such as democratisation and commercials taking everybody serious (“the consumer is king”), and because of the mentality in business in which our image (the opinion and judgment of others) is the ultimate thing that matters. (Also think of Riesman’s other-directed personality.) In all, man’s preferences, prejudices and beliefs became something deserving the greatest respect, which contributed much to his becoming a kind of secularised God.
(5) As Many New Explanations and Theories Would Violate Current Religion and Taboos, They Are Repressed, Stagnation in Socio-Cultural Thought Being a Result
1. In the times of Marx, Pareto, Veblen, Weber and Mannheim democracy and free speech were less developed than now. But, on the other hand, an educated individual used to be more an individual indeed. For the barrage of media levelling, the other-directed attitude, fashion, hype and image, teamwork, bureaucracy and massive peer pressure, and a flood of information that prevents many to see the wood for the trees, still were in their infancy.
The net result could be – and very probably is – that the “institutionalisation” of the intelligentsia, the socialization of thinking and Ortega y Gasset’s man-in-the-crowd phenomenon, also with respect to the educated classes, prevailed on what we gained as to freedom of thought, so that, on balance, conformism increased. In this context also think of a massive interweaving of interests, and a deliberation and meeting culture.
2. In actual fact, we indeed saw socio-cultural theory-building and substantial explanation almost shrink out of existence during about the last three-quarters of a century. Hardly any socio-cultural idea bringing something from its place turned up… Exposure is out. Current sociology concedes that Machiavelli’s thesis to the effect that political actors will mislead us is largely correct, and that Marx’s, Mannheim’s, Schelsky’s and Gouldner’s arguing that ideologies will disguisedly make special interests pass for the common good, is correct too. But social science emanates that, of course, all of this does not refer to our own concrete political parties, vested interests, political correctness and humouring taboos and the powers that be. Our own establishments, leftists and rightists have only the best intentions, and ideology is a thing of the past.
3. Major current dogmas that repressed many new insights are relativism, egalitarianism, and an associated position of emphasizing “nurture” as against “nature”. These, inter alia, prevented sociology from seeing that
a) The massive increase of crime in the past half-century resulted from inferior genes being confronted with permissiveness rather than an uncompromising horror of evil;
b) Most social problems, in Western and other societies, resulted from bad genes and inferior values rather than from many being “socially disadvantaged” or “discriminated”. The experimentally evident circumstance that individuals, races and social classes will have genes and values of different (average) quality (e.g., as to IQ, delayed gratification and integrity) is repressed by relativism, egalitarianism and political interests.
4. Relativism and egalitarianism also obscured or repressed the insight that laws and procedures only trouble many waters if they are not mere instruments to support good against evil and efficiency and progress against stagnation.
As regards immigration policy, relativistic and egalitarian dogma or ideology repressed the single most relevant aspect of it: how valuable is an immigrant, as to IQ and other largely genetic qualities, as to education and as to value system? From this standpoint, e.g., Jews should be more welcome than many others. Both leftists and rightists ignore this.
In the same vein, both egalitarianism and current “religion of man” frustrate insights about eugenics and euthanasia applied to the incurably demented or insane, and to seriously handicapped newborns.
5. Relativism and egalitarianism, jointly with commercialisation, are also co-responsible for a massive dulling and degradation – as to the media and education – because John Doe and the lowest common denominator became the standard, and are taken very seriously, not only in elections but also as regards psychological level. Think here of Ortega y Gasset and his “man-in-the-crowd”.
6. Relativism and egalitarianism undermine both the idea of progress and that of human genetic quality. This not only repressed many sociological explanations (about crime, underclasses, educational results,…) but also the contrast of left and right. Largely abandoning the idea of progress, the modern “liberal” left became the pressure-group of “the disadvantaged”, that is, largely, genetic rearguards. This had indeed much influence on the policies as to crime, social relations and education. Rather than concentrating on the support of the victims of evil, “solidarity” tended to extend to society (and its order) as a whole. This both benefited the status quo and repressed much moral indignation about social abuses and the fate of victims, from those of crime and anti-socials to whistle-blowers.
Within this scope, underclasses, problem youth, addicts and the like should not evoke solidarity but indignation.
7. Abandoning the ideas of progress, objective evil and the variation of genetic quality – among individuals, social groups and regions on the Earth – detracts much of any coherent model of the world. For example, many social inequalities and conflicts get “a coincidence”, most prejudices, taboos and ideology become unintentional rather than unconsciously fostering interests, and social evils are no longer objective evil at all.
Quite a few problems becoming unsolvable this way (e.g., from the starting point of genetic egalitarianism leading to softness on crime, massive redistribution, endless educational reforms, positive discrimination etc.), many bureaucracies and “problem solvers” keep on being busy. This, too, of course, is a mere coincidence according to the relevant egalitarian ideology. (Note that in redistribution and the helping bureaucracy much more money is at stake than in the military-industrial complex!)
8. There is one more important psychological consequence of current relativism, other-directedness and commercialisation. That is, they will tend to induce social and other non-beta scientists and authors to give priority to wide circulation, and approval by the media and peers, rather than the inner conviction of having produced important new ideas. Generally, social relations and success get precedence on truth and objective values in the relevant frame of mind…
9. We can see particularly clearly how much, inter alia, the erosion of the idea of progress and the “institutionalisation” of the left (and its association with rearguards) confused the antithesis between “left” and “right”, by establishing that chasing Saddam Hussein and the ayatollah regime is much more opposed by the left than by the right. On the other hand, “progressives” will feel even more sympathy than the right for downright unreason like Dada, Cobra, Finnegan’s Wake and absurdist theatre like Pinter’s. It has even been observed that since the sixties left and right changed places (viz. by the prominent Dutch publicist Hendrik-Jan Schoo).
10. A pre-eminent instrument of power was and is “solidarity” – national, religious, ethnic, class and other (think of political correctness and other-directedness). All kinds work like nationalism, which has been called “an instrument to make the many exert themselves for the benefit of the few”. In essence they are operative by making everybody actually rally around the leaders, the in-crowds, common ideologies (that foster interests),… Controversy, criticism of particular groups, accusations and deeming others to be in bad faith simply do not fit in such “sociability”; they also undermine authority. More often than not, solidarity will be kindred with conformism, also in “members” tending not to violate common taboos etc.
About all solidarities except those around rational values and purposes – integrity, optimum happiness,… – have serious drawbacks.
Currently dominating solidarity is that of other-directedness, group-mindedness, political correctness and “the religion of man” [compare (4)]. It has similar conforming effects as former ones and, therefore, contributes much to the stagnation of socio-cultural thought we also discuss here.
11. Friedrich von Hayek wrote that intellectuals tend to be very dependent on the opinion of their peers because most among them have not many original things to say and merely pass on second-hand knowledge and ideas, so that they will not have much of themselves to rely on. We can add that businessmen, farmers, doctors and workers will produce more concrete products, visible services or make money as a source of self-esteem. The products of most intellectuals mostly are very dependent on subjective factors such as opinion or fashion.
In agreement with this, most intellectuals indeed produce mainly “fashionable products” and “imponderables in the nth dimension” (the expression is Veblen’s, who referred to religion). Compare here lengthy discussions of concepts like “being”, “alienation”, “emptiness”, “the Unknowable” and “language” apart from what emotion or thought it expresses. And, of course, think of “imponderables” about incoherent art and myriads of paraphrases of what other intellectuals produced. Evidently, this leads to much mutual dependence and conformism, especially in an atmosphere of relativism, subjectivism and other-directedness. That is, we see one more cause of current stagnation of socio-cultural thought being explained.
(6) What Mechanisms Keep the Establishment in Power and Frustrate Rational Values and Action?
1. We already extensively discussed this subject elsewhere. In this section, we mainly summarize this and add some points.
The essential instrument of all power not intended to serve the common good – the well-being of the public – is anyhow to frustrate reason, rational values and/or awakened, free and coherent emotions. Vital specimens of such frustration are violence, censorship, obscure bureaucracy and troubled waters in general, an underdeveloped public, and ideological manipulation. By rational values we understand such values that can be legitimised by reason, which means that they are attuned to optimising well-being [compare Sect. (1)]. In other words, they fit in the “red thread of enlightenment” that constitutes the core of socio-cultural evolution and a central conception in my work.
2. From about World War II on the pre-eminent anti-enlightened ideological power instrument was and is the idea that “the world is incoherent, man is irrational, values or even truth are relative or subjective, and (therefore) progress and a coherent scientific model of reality are impossible”.
Existentialism, postmodernism, emphasizing “fundamental uncertainty”, modern incoherent art, the conviction that “the world is not makable”, anti-intellectualistic educational reforms, relativistic sociology and the thesis that values are a matter of subjective choice are current manifestations of the above core idea. The latter actually amounts to a counter-revolution against reason by troubling intellectual waters fundamentally.
It works in a similar direction that such barrage of information and opinions will overflow us that anyone’s failure to answer an argument will remain unobserved by about everybody, which highly means the end of serious discourse. It became a mere option to go into arguments and, moreover, hardly anyone still sees the wood for the trees.
3. The spirit of my work is the utmost opposite of the “studiedly troubling waters” described in 2. This very logically is a major cause of its being opposed or hushed up. For, not being to the point is an essential “tactic” of the orthodoxy, i.e., an implementation of taboo and repression that my work explains to be an unconsciously applied ideological instruments of irrational power. Censorship, sexual or other taboos, unwillingness of putting any cat among the pigeons and loathing “abdominal sentiments” all have an aspect of intentionally not being to the point.
4. Keeping waters troubled, and everything very “complicated”, obscure or confused, is indeed an effective instrument of power. For example, it appears in opinion polls that most people find the status quo to be so complicated and power so anonymous that they actually feel powerless.
Also realize that relativism works in favour of the status quo: nothing else is objectively better, and criticizing the establishment is a mere question of subjective opinion.
5. The “elites” preach “solidarity” [for similar reasons why they often use(d) national solidarity for rallying people around them], but their main inadequacy is that they themselves will be far from solidary with the victims of social abuse and of the inferior, not even with whistle-blowers and the victims of special interests or nuisance. This, and indeed many cases of benefiting special interests, and of leaving alone profiteers of abuses, amount to serious moral failure, causing the establishment not to deserve moral authority or even respect. It lacks the strength and/or the will to radically enforce integrity, efficiency and justice.
(7) On the Contribution of Individual Psychology to Major Power Mechanisms
1. All orthodoxy, ideology and manipulation of the masses are a compromise of interests of the ruling classes and those of the (often manipulated) “rank and file” individuals, such as the latter’s need of safety, status, self-respect etc.
2. In recent decades we see a new (unintentional) variant of “the counter-revolution against reason” in the shape of the masses (and elites) being flooded with impressions, amusement, opinions, contradictory interests calling on individuals, and mutually jarring roles to be played. The result is incoherence, uncertainty and a tendency to confusion and relativism. Such inner “chaos” badly fits in with an enlightened transparency and order of emotions, values and intellectual activity and, therefore, amounts to an anti-enlightened social factor.
3. Apart from practical reasons, an individual essentially needs the community and its culture to reduce aggression, anxiety and jungle competition, and further for appreciation. It is obvious that such individual needs also contribute(d) much to phenomena like religion, nationalism, egalitarianism and various other kinds of solidarity and group-mindedness such as other-directedness and conformism.
Also, individuals will need “something greater than themselves” – charismatic leaders, a “movement”, an ideology, an ethnic group, an integrating belief, etc. – to confer personal risk and responsibility to, and to derive an identity and mainstay from. They need “solidarity” with the group just as they (formerly) sought it via religion and, in a sense, worship the community to a considerable degree, more often than not repressing its negative features such as, e.g., discussed on these pages.
Now compare this with the interests the establishment, too, has in emphasizing solidarity and the group. I.e., remind our earlier quotation about nationalism and the exertions of the many. From this an unconscious compromise between the interests of the rulers and the masses becomes obvious. This argument also contains that, where I criticise the establishment and an associated “orthodoxy” – from the old rightism and sexual taboos to political correctness and modern art – I actually attack a (secularised) religion, which makes many unhappy.
By unconscious instinct, the powers that be will not seldom foster uncertainty, anxiety, guilt feelings or aggression in order to stimulate the above mechanisms tending to cement solidarity and stimulate group integration. History abounds of examples about foreign enemies, witches, Jews, a clergy pushing guilt feelings, persecutions of “public enemies”,…
4. In actual fact, solidarity and community-building are positive as far as their leading values and purposes are rational rather than a compromise of the ruling oligarchy of vested interests (establishment) and the masses, as discussed above. That is, solidarity and community-building should primarily serve the union of forces in the service of progress, efficiency, justice and mutual support rather than anxiety, uncertainty, confusion and ideological manipulation playing a part.
We partly derive the above insights from Eric Hoffer (The True believer, 1989) who emphasizes that, especially in religion and totalitarian ideologies, individuals tend to transfer much of their responsibilities, risks, failures and (therefore) freedom to “a greater whole” in order to feel safer and (re)gain self-esteem (that can now be derived from such whole).
5. All wars, persecutions, exploitation, oppression and other social abuses in modern society did result from fateful cooperation of establishments and the masses as discussed above. (Earlier, the part played by the masses was often more modest.)
6. In current society as well as in previous ones most people live in an emotional, moral and intellectual “uniform” that goes with the “greater whole” they want to belong to. They will not really think about, say, a politically correct or other “orthodox” standpoint that is part of the “complex” into which they integrate. People recognise each other by such “uniform”. Also in such way “collusions” of individuals or interests comes into being. In this context, also think of old-boys networks, networking in general, students’ unions, bureaucracies, political parties, and also of various “sub-cultures” as to speech, clothing etc. In all of them, conformism is a common feature.
Most successful people owe their careers to a considerable extent to these kinds of “adjustment”, which makes them dependent on and solidary with the relevant ambiance. They realize that if their career would not have been “helped” by various contacts, and by “joining in the game”, it could very well have turned out less positive… For example, very many academics do not owe their position to original thinking and concomitant new discoveries. Paraphrasing the right peers, consistently dropping the right names and having the right friends will help at least as much. Massive conformism is an obvious result.
In the business community selling oneself, one’s image and one’s product plays a similar part. Other-directness did not come from the mere blue sky…
7. No ideologist or whomever openly chooses for evil. Actually, those wanting to shield the powerful or social abuses does not say so but, for example, asserts that good and evil are quite relative.
Those hating reason do not say so either, but extensively review Merleau-Ponty, postmodernists, absurd theatre and “modern art”. Similarly, those wanting to keep people underdeveloped and to conform them do not explicitly advertise this but opt for egalitarian education, shifting priority from the intellectual to the “social” dimension. Education should “join with the world of experience of the pupil”. More generally, those liking conformism say that people should be more “social”. (In actual fact, the truly “social” means “moral in a rational sense” rather than group-orientation.)
Those not liking discussion about substance turn against the “controversial”; we should not criticise sub-groups in society or major actors in it, for they belong too. And if, say, the powers that be want superficiality and here-and-now-primitiveness, even “quality papers” seriously discuss “rappers”, “hip-hop” and literature focusing on banal things experienced by banal people.
The above social phenomena are specimens of how compromises as referred to earlier come about; that is, compromises between interests of the establishment and propensities of the rank and file. Ideological manipulation will often play an essential part here. For example, relativism helps the public in not feeling very responsible, inter alia, about social evils. Further, anti-intellectualistic education is easier and prevents “a dichotomy in society” from appearing. Avoiding “the controversial” puts the majority more at ease. Joining in cheap amusement speaks for itself…
8. Within the scope of 7. also the compromise the counter culture embodies is very relevant: on the one side we see a prevalence of here-and-now superficiality, the occasional and incoherence (fine for the establishment), on the other side self-indulgence and an aversion to delayed gratification and “performance ethics” appear and, therefore, ultimately a consumers’ mentality (fine for both the consumption industry and the “indulgers”). Small wonder that the relevant “nonconformists” and “revolutionaries” travelled from one interview to the next television appearance…
In the same vein, a general softness towards rearguards – who pass for victims of their environment: the “nurture” position, the “nature” one being well-nigh taboo here – does not only serve lawyers and the helping bureaucracies very well but also has a tendency of freeing the general public from responsibility and guilt feelings: their own shortcomings, indolence or non-performance are excused too. Also think of relativism and egalitarianism in this context.
9. In one more important respect not only the establishment but also the general public has an interest in the “counter-revolution against reason”. Think of many illusions, empty status symbols (from cars to branded clothes), habits of thought, self-deceit,… That is, if reason would be consistently applied, what would rest of the self-respect of those busying themselves with “abstract art”, social games, royalty, manipulation, irrational philosophy, fashions of many kind or other things only resting on convention? Also think of bureaucrats producing ever more complicated regulations or who busy themselves with “questions of competence” (which will absorb 20 % of their working week in The Netherlands). What would rest of their self-image as soon as rational values and purposes, integrity and efficiency would become what God and convention were in the past?! Further think of lawyers who are not attuned to truth and justice but to technicalities, loopholes and myriads of “rights”, and of those many involved in “games people play”…
All such institutionalised inveracities and hypocrisy would be in danger by any continuation of the enlightenment to the unconscious and the intimate, which will ultimately also result in “everything being measured of everybody”. Small wonder that the gist of these pages – a gradual pushing back of deceit and troubled waters, and their substitution by science and transparent coherence – is unpopular with both the establishment and many among the public.
General conclusion: The world would see a protracted “massacre of St. Bartholomew of privileges, irrational power, deceit, hypocrisy and falseness” if the enlightened tendencies discussed here would indeed gradually prevail on the “varnished jungle” and its profiteers we now witness for quite a long time. Note that such prevalence simply amounts to a continuation of the process of progress we already saw for more than a millennium – progress as to reason , the rationalization of values and emotional awakening and coherence –, so that it is actually not very bold to predict it. (In fact, it arises suspicion that so few predict it; a lot of people probably do not like it.) It will also continue to work to the detriment of myriads of wanglers and fiddlers of all kinds, precisely as in the past.
The historic Enlightenment was a mere episode in a more comprehensive process. Currently, the latter’s essence – apart from progress in techno-science – is our realization that, just as winning the war had precedence on about everything else in 1943, truth, justice, integrity, efficiency and progress – rational values – should be our priorities now, prevailing on bureaucracy, vested interests, ideology etc.
(8) Most “Political” People prefer an Uncertain and Ambiguous World to Rational Values and Coherent Determinism
are the source of most evil; myth belongs to them. What gives society any
right of forcing individuals to make sacrifices for a myth, or for whatever
purpose or value that cannot be legitimised by sound rational argument?!
1. Power elites as well as John Doe will find their mainstay in social networks or games rather than rational values and the hypothesis of a rational, just and coherent world. For the short run and every-day practice they even seem to be right. Our position essentially is that in the long run – such as referring to our individual destinies and that of mankind – such values, justice and coherence will prevail, by deep coherence in natural law. This, actually, is what the scientifization of religion ultimately amounts to.
2. Conservatism (the right) indeed stands for order and absolute values, but these are those of dogma and conventions of the past rather than the ones that can be based on reason and science, as indicated in Sect. (1). Rightist values correspond to old books, traditional hierarchies, power relations and ignorance, whereas post-sixties’ leftists actually will be believers of the religion of Sect. (4), and worship man as he is and the group (the “social dimension”). They will abandon genetic or even moral hierarchies (relativism). Both current left and right start from social rather than rational facts, relations and values. Consistent reason (rationalism) and openness (no taboos, no repressions) are correctly felt as menacing to many vested interests, myths, prejudices an manipulated states of mind. This, in fact, is the essential point with all progress within the scope of social evolution. Inter alia, the executions of Socrates and Jesus of Nazareth, and what happened to Galileo Galilei, have everything to do with this.
The purely instrumental or ad hoc way of thinking brings considerably less from its place than consistent reason and openness, including those referring to values and emotions. Hence it will be preferred… Inconsistency and incoherence are a condition of most evil, such as troubled waters, humouring vested interests and the “political” way of life. Accordingly, relativism, postmodernism and other-directedness abound. Far from starting from a consistent and coherent network of truths and values, one does so from a network of powerful interests that so often prevails on the common good. Particularly the right puts first and foremost a historical order which, it is true, has something to do with “survival of the fittest”, but mainly with respect to the fittest power mechanisms. These used to and will be violence, (un)official censorship, ideological manipulation, superstition and political games such as networking leading to relatiocracy. Of course, the relevant profiteers do not like the world to be brought under rational and moral control, as is implied by our foregoing argument.
3. It fits in this context that in vital domains the essential factors are repressed, neglected or taboo, as we discussed in other pages of this website. We give some examples here:
a) With respect to immigration, the low average IQ of Third-world immigrants in the West (see Richard Lynn & Tatu Vanhanen, IQ and the Wealth of Nations), and the left’s electoral interest in such “disadvantaged”, are taboo subjects;
b) The issue of genetic quality differences between individuals is at all taboo;
c) One more almost completely repressed subject is any radical reform in the juridical domain, to the effect that all technicalities, rights of the defendant and privacy considerations that make finding the truth more difficult, are abolished (such repression benefits lawyers and others in the “crime business”);
d) Neo-positivism in theoretical physics amounts to a virtual taboo for more than a half century. It contains that thinking about details of micro-processes that would fit in an understandable model (i.e., they would contribute to an imaginable picture of what really happens, or guarantee conservation of momentum), but cannot actually be observed, is “meaningless”. Only experimental results and formulas that can predict them would be relevant. This is a typical way of turning against the very core of science, which is insight, that is, understandable coherent models of what actually happens. Still, neo-positivism passes for “rigorousness” and “abandoning presuppositions”. It will react to paradoxical and unimaginable results by merely saying that “coherent models are impossible” rather than: “we should change something in our concepts in order to make them possible, or approach the relevant problems in a different way”. In the shape of relativity theory and quantum mechanics one did so in the past.
Within this scope it fits that, if on Internet I look for “microphysics” in combination with “realistic models” (or understandable, or imaginable models) I get 3 or 4 hits. With “string theory” I got 536,000 hits. (Also compare this with more than 50,000 and 1,500,000 hits with “Michel Foucault” and “James Joyce”, respectively.)
e) In by far most modern philosophy, art and social science we see “institutionalisation” into massive industries of nonsense, irrelevance and details-mongering, simply because talking about substance [concrete ideology, social evils, problems like those of a) through d),…] is virtually taboo or repressed. Hence we see indeed massive philosophical verbiage about “being”, “the unknowable”, “emptiness” and “alienation”, and slogans about “a new way of looking at reality”, “revolutionary”, “shocking” and the “innovative” that disguise the utmost absence of substance in “modern art”. At the same time, social science “guided” educational, crime and underclass policies from egalitarian and “nurture” dogmatics, which led to as many disasters in most Western countries… Actually, most of our academic intellectuals became in the domain of the mind what bureaucrats will be on the practical organisational level.
Of course, their strong inclination to humour vested interests, taboo and repressions constitutes one more reason why many prefer the “socio-relational” approach of touchy problem fields to a rational one.
The relevant climate is characterised by the circumstance that most scholars and scientists are pre-eminently interested in how others validate their work: other-directedness in science.
4. The ultimate cause of situations as described above is that establishments and people in general feel too little compassion with victims of evil and inefficiency of all kinds. This, in turn, is also a question of genes.
Further realise that postmodernism, relativism, subjectivism, uncertainty, chaos,…, in their having an aspect of troubled waters, essentially have strained relations with integrity. This implies a moral reproach to the forces that made them popular. Note within this scope that those having most interest in relativizing ethics are those who are wrong.
(9) More about the Opposition to Transparency, Coherence, and these Pages. On the Adherents of Taboo, Uncertainty and Man-As-He-Is
1. A priori, it is obvious that consistent enlightenment will be radically incompatible with a culture and society in which reason and rational values are so much perverted that
a) One did not hit upon the idea of the massive sexual frustration generated by the scarcity of attractive people and the primitiveness and opacity of the sexual market;
b) Rational values are violated so radically that in the juridical domain various factors are allowed to frustrate finding the truth (privacy, technicalities, the right to non-cooperation,…);
c) Not even Bentham’s followers (“The greatest happiness for the greatest number”) realized that their (correct) idea is and was incompatible with the nationalistic wars and the sexual morality of Bentham’s time (about 1800 A.D.) and one and a half century beyond it;
d) The idea of human quality is so much undermined by egalitarianism that, inter alia, low-IQ members of youth gangs and chronic anti-socials are considered to be genetically “of equal value” as compared with the average people on “the other side of the Bell curve”, whereas eugenics is taboo.
e) In spite of the circumstance that more than half of Westerners feel that there is some life after death, no multi-billion dollar research is made into such matter. On the other hand, billions are spent to keep alive demented elderly.
In order to uphold unreason as the above – whatever may be its sources – society has no alternative but confining reason and rational values within narrow bounds of taboo, repression and unofficial censorship. My work is among the violators of these… The orthodoxy and “correctness” take refuge in intellectual, moral and emotional troubled waters and manipulations of many kinds, like politicians and commercials will so often do, and as has massively been done throughout history. What you see here is a study into how it happens now, with us.
2. Further, we start from four irrefutable facts:
a) Beneath a veneer of civilization man and his inner features in many respects remind of his jungle state;
b) Most people do not like the idea that all such (and other) features would be identified, measured and explained by the best available science and technology, as to all of us personally;
c) Neither they would welcome all their preferences, passions and (un)conscious actions to be registered, also with the aid of sophisticated lie-detection, not even if no errors of the apparatuses need to be feared;
d) History shows us to how large a degree egoism and the evil aspects of such preferences, passions and actions co-define them. Would this suddenly have ended to hold?
3. Such kind of circumstances are responsible for the difficulty of continuing the Enlightenment into the intimate and the unconscious – that is, into hidden intentions, ideology and subtle manipulation – with all its unhappy consequences.
It may be forgiven that mankind still did not succeed in such continuation, but it is unforgivable that most people actually oppose it by cultivating myth and fundamental uncertainty, and by not fighting any lack of integrity and social evils by all means available, as well as by not even in theory applauding my work. The latter gives many details of situations and evils such as indicated above, and that are relevant to our present time. This also undermines the authority of the community and any solidarity with it, which subversion has always been taboo.
Not liking whistle-blowers and, on the other hand, positively appreciating philosophies and world views which reject a coherent and transparent model of the world and of man, raise serious doubts as to relevant people’s integrity: do they acquiesce in evil often coming away unscathed? There is much relationship with the objections to a “comprehensive measurement of man” referred to above.
4. Relativism, egalitarianism and political correctness are more specifically attuned to man not being accountable with regard to his dark sides. Within this scope, anti-eugenics is especially attuned to repressing the idea of inherent inferiority. Everything inferior (morally or genetically) – be it an individual, a way of life or a mentality – demands to be accepted as it is, and so does the community as a whole. Hence no debunking, please, by rational argument or values. Neither a rational sex market, nor gene passports, nor the “measurement of man” fits in such state of mind.
In the last resort, most people prefer trusting on the old jungle ways of self-preservation: power, the “political” way, misleading and hence troubled waters. Especially those in powerful or privileged positions (the establishment) prefer the status quo, power play, being well-connected, manipulation and the “political” way of being – as validated by the ages – to consistent intelligence and (enforcing) integrity. We see the results around us.
Hence, again, they prefer Heideggerian verbiage, incoherent art, bureaucracy and political correctness to consistent enlightenment, lie-detection, gene passports and a rational sex market, and they hate the unhappy whistle-blowers.
5. In the best case, the establishment does not loathe evil, such as crime, so much as to abandon “privacy”, “the right to silence”, and many other rights of defendants that often obstruct finding the truth. Such failure appears under the thin pretext that such abandonment would endanger the “constitutional state” (defined in a sense that it more helps the criminal than his potential victims and, e.g., does not put the truth first and foremost).
We generally see confirmed the adage: “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. These pages, inter alia, investigate how this also holds to a considerable degree on the level of ideology and important sectors of culture, that has been called “the crystallized politics of the ages”.
A particular instance is that the churches and other sectors of the establishment unconsciously prefer people to be uncertain and powerless – that is, dependent – in questions of life and death, and therefore instinctively are not in a hurry to foster massive research into near-death experiences, reincarnation and the like. Because they also want to retain the domain of life and death to themselves, especially churches will turn against abortion, euthanasia (also as to seriously handicapped newborns), eugenics and the like. They and many other manipulators prefer man to be seen as “a Mystery” and “inviolable”, and as being above the scientific way of thinking.
For the rest myth, such as about status, is one more irrational instrument from which many derive their self-esteem and illusions, via a host of empty symbols and social agreements, from art preference and membership of certain clubs to clothes, speech and cars. All of this would be undermined by the “scientifization of life” that is a consequence of the spirit of these pages.
6. There is also a widespread attitude to sexuality that fits in with the above scope of many preferring incoherence to transparency. That is, an attitude thinking and feeling about it in terms of “dark and obscure desires”, aggression, ambiguity, anxiety, guilt and sin rather than beauty, optimum quality of body and soul, and optimum information as to where partners are to be found who best correspond with you as to what produces sympathy and lust. This, again, means optimum information and genes.
In actual fact, constructing associations between lust (intense happiness) and darkness or sin, and, on the other hand, contrasting lust and sympathy with clarity (that is, reason and information) rather than associating them with high quality and good genes, is the mother of all perversions. That is, also, a basic source of a dichotomy of desire and reason, and hence of troubled waters.
7. Partly summarizing, the established ideas (paradigm and orthodoxy, centered around relativism, egalitarianism, anti-rationalism and the rejection of consistent coherence, and often – a rightist variant – the attribution of authority to convention and the group as such) reject my work for reasons such as
a) It undermines the moral authority of the community, also as a source of “solidarity”, because of its criticising many social evils amounting to its moral default as judged by rational values;
b) It sees through many myths, ideology, illusions and status symbols that cannot rationally be based, therewith undermining the identity and self-esteem of many;
c) By standing for “transparency, measurement and the idea of coherence” as to everything it does not only menace such self-esteem but also will eventually lead to showing the moral-ideological corruption and inconsistency of many;
d) Additionally, via a), b) and c) it also undermines about all irrational psychological means of power, from ideology, non-scientific utopias, myth, convention and “image” to uncertainty and relativism. The most important of these is irrational solidarity;
e) It undermines every possible moral value not attuned to optimum (long-term) well-being. Therewith, it also finds worthless all sacrifices that do not arguably increase happiness or reduce unhappiness (many conventions, sexual and other taboos, group loyalties such as national and ethnic ones,…);
f) Most people have something to hide or manipulate something. They fear the spirit of transparency and coherence, of consistent enlightenment;
g) He who is emotional about truth and rational values – as the present author is – is a danger to the establishment by such very fact. For in some vital questions he will give precedence to these values which may contrast with convention, vested interests and compromise.
h) In our relativistic and “nurture”-oriented era, in which everything is “social”, most intellectuals are not at all primarily in search of “the truth” – they will often indeed put it in parentheses – but participate in a social game, seeking status, publicity and career. Hence they are not much interested in, say, refuting my arguments, but prefer paraphrasing the great names, joining in the hypes, and serving their images and the respect of their peers.
(10) Some Major Concrete New Policies in Agreement with the Foregoing
In our page Jesus, Voltaire and Prometheus: the Essence of Sociology, point 26 of Part I, we already proposed a number of policies which, in our opinion, should characterize what our leaders do. We now add some other fundamental points to these.
1. By getting one’s priorities right, much more transparency, simplicity and coherence can be attained in the bureaucracy, in laws, procedures and the juridical domain, and in government at all. Some major principles should prevail:
a) Enforcing integrity by all means available and also fostering efficiency and progress according to rational values. For example, restrictive regulation and practices in industry, trade and agriculture should generally be forbidden. (Think of many work rules and classifications, “unlawfully obtained evidence”,…)
b) Radical subordination of all special interests to such priorities, including contracts and acquired rights, which at least may not be allowed to frustrate democratic policies. The three priorities – integrity, efficiency and progress – should be as important as traditionally was victory in a war.
Inter alia, eliminate all special influence of farmers on agricultural policy, of lawyers on crime-fighting and of labour unions (and strikes) on social policy: none of them will put integrity and efficiency first and foremost.
c) Abolish about all subsidies and reduce taxes to income tax and sales taxes on a number of harmful and luxury products (tobacco, alcohol, cars, status products).
d) Political campaigns should no longer co-depend on gifts and the possession of money at all; relevant laws should be adjusted.
e) Reduce welfare to negative income taxes for the poor and further roughly adopt the Danish system: easy dismissal, rather high benefits, and stringent obligations and practices as to the acceptance of a new job, medical examinations for sickness leave, etc. No “free” negotiations between labour and business, or whatever special interest, should be allowed to interfere.
As to social policy, much can be derived from Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore, with the exception of complete freedom of speech and integrity of the courts, etc.
2. The mere circumstance that, in spite of much havoc, wars used to accelerate both technological and social developments, and recent economic growth in Japan (up to 1990) and China, demonstrate that an “orthodox” free economy is not optimum as to economic progress, though socialism appeared not to be the best solution either. For a concrete alternative policy see our reference above.
One more demonstration that “free” economies are not optimum is the fact that, e.g., in the US, the “best and the brightest” can earn more in law or financial sectors than in beta science and fundamental research. This in spite of the circumstance that, according to (Nobel laureate) Robert Solow’s research, techno-science is the ultimate engine of economic growth. In this context, short-term thinking is often inherent to free markets. This also reflects itself in the inaction as regards the protracted US trade imbalance and as to the “emigration” of much material production from such country. Also think of an over-estimation of the relevance of “instant liquidity”, which needlessly caused many businesses to go broke, inter alia, in the Depression, in Japan of the ninety’s and in Russia after communism.
Conclusion: growth and an efficient long-term use of resources should have more precedence. In particular think of vigorously stimulating fundamental research.
3. I propose a political experiment, to be performed in a small country such as The Netherlands, under the auspices of the EU, to the effect that
a) Voting is restricted to those with an IQ > 130;
b) A referendum is organized as soon as 60 % of adults prefer it as to some item, as should appear from opinion polls; in the referenda, all adults have the right to vote; A “High Court” defines the precise formulation of the relevant question. Nobody is allowed to influence the outcome by donations.
c) Lie-detector interviewing is applied to anyone seeking election as a Representative, also various questions being asked as to the candidate’s propensity of giving priority to integrity and the common good as compared with special interests. As the relevant instruments have a margin of error of 15 %, 85 % of the “successful” candidates can reasonably be assumed to be righteous people. (For the rest, candidates should not be excluded by their possible appearing to be “pro-special-interest”, but the voters now are well-informed.)
The total experiment should last, say, 8 years.
4. Also, it could be revealing to apply lie-detector-controlled interviewing to current Representatives with respect to touchy questions such as about terrorism, crime, immigration, education, or “genetic equality”. For example, Dutch representatives could be confronted with the question: “Did you feel relief after the murder of Pim Fortuyn in 2002?”
5. We should correct a fundamental flaw in orthodox economic thought:
If the US would print dollars and gave them to Indian Farmers to allow them to get out of debt, this would be good for India and could hardly contribute to inflation in the US. Hence it should be done, contrary to orthodoxy. Many comparable situations can be imagined.
6. Within the scope of crime-fighting implant a chip in everybody so that alibi’s would become much less of a problem. This fits in the context of abolishing privacy, technicalities and rights such as that of non-cooperation because only truth and justice are relevant in a rational value system.
7. We should also correct a basic flaw in democracy that amounts to the following:
Practical politics shows that if government wants to reduce, say, some benefit for 10 % of the voters, it will reckon more with the reaction of such minority than with that of the other 90 % who can only gain by such measure (lower taxes). Within this scope special interests tend to prevail, the more so because they will collude and majorities are usually indolent. As a part of a solution it should be prescribed by law that, with any benefit, subsidy or other expenditure by which special groups are benefited – from EU agricultural policy to import duties –, the authorities would be obliged to explicitly, eye-catching and transparently publish what are the corresponding yearly costs to the average household.
(11) Various Additions
1. From theoretical physics and art to the juridical domain and bureaucracy, formalism far too much substituted substance and primary common sense. This will harm transparency and, therefore, facilitates manipulation and beating about the bush.
2. As a major emotional outlet, sports should be substituted by local, national and international matches of the mind rather than the body: competitions in argumentation on substantial issues in every domain. Possible shifts of opinion with the audience, effected by the contests, could be used as part of the refereeing.
3. I am not embittered by the hushing-up of my work: in corroborating much of what I say about moral levels and taboo it gives me a pleasant self-assurance. I never felt tempted to conclude from it that eugenics is wrong and that the admirers of Beuys and Lyotard are no snobs, or do not cultivate unreason.
4. My opponents were very good to me: they allowed me to produce many new results by their mere looking away from the many treasures hidden behind taboo or to be found by no longer adjusting to collective repression.
5. Of course, discrimination with respect to those who are equal is wrong. But why discrimination as to people who are unequal is wrong too?
6. Many don’t like arguments in points – 1, 2, 3a, 3b,… –, finding it “wearisome”. Small wonder: they are accustomed to thinking by association rather than logically, and a new point will not be preceded by an association but fits in a logical whole or model.
7. A country in which squatters will not be evicted within a day, and those more than incidentally causing nuisance within a few weeks, is not a constitutional state. The latter amounts to making the position of criminals, anti-socials and the like as difficult as possible, because the law and all procedures – without any formalistic loophole, technicality or complication – are squarely against them.
8. Our “quality” papers devote more attention to “rap”, “hip-hop” and “absurdist theatre” than to the problems discussed here.
9. The level of mankind and of our culture shouts from our TV-screens and from the number of hours a day people will watch the pulp.
10. Primary (r)evolutions will be techno-scientific ones. Internet is an example, inter alia, in the domain of ideas and politics (freedom of speech) and as to sex (a much better market). Another major instance is genetics (among other things, thinking about man in terms of quality and manipulation, which approach it will promote).
11. We should not seek the certainty, identity and a mainstay that conservatism and the right offer to us via convention, religion and solidarity which cannot rationally be explained and legitimised. On the contrary, we should seek them in a rational value system, and in facts, phenomena, coherence and hope connected with scientific research. Also, we should find them in our preliminary intuitions about these, which join our instincts about beauty, goodness and the elevated.
12. One cannot deny that “the laws of he jungle” still are abundantly reflected in our genes and behaviour. Now, it is conspicuous that most people seem to feel that such representation, of course, can be massively recognised on the practical and every-day level but that, on the level of “the grand design of our culture and society”, it is untraceable! That is, such laws are purported to be absent in the philosophical, cultural and social preferences of our elites, and in the ways dissidents are dealt with, or power instruments in general are used. On the contrary, the above “abundant reflection” should induce us not to expect too much of the level of culture.
For the rest, not even God can bring about anything without power. Within this scope one asks oneself: as on the one hand God guided evolution also by means of the laws of the jungle, how, on the other hand, could He confront us with the Sermon on the Mount?
1) An Erroneous Paradigm that Reduces Sociology to a Stick-in-the-Mud State
There are some common flaws in about all leading philosophies and ideologies, which jointly amount to an erroneous paradigm: “There is a fundamental gap between science (such as referring to coherence) and values (such as the elevated)” [compare (6), point 2.]. It is near to denying man and, therefore, his values, to be subjects of science, and also denies any reference of reason and science to “objectively undesirable phenomena” like tragedy on the one side, and the elevated on the other. It does not see any connection between (scientific) coherence and “human” beauty and elevation. Further, it simply denies that the Holocaust was objectively wrong.
Directly associated with these philosophical flaws we see on the practical level a virtual absence of moral indignation and of seeking causes and culprits as to concrete instances of social and other evils, such as lack of integrity and quality. We see this commonly reflected in the thinking of
Burke-conservatism (that does not reject myth, even if it costs many lives),
the political right as associated with big business (that actually is a special-interest ideology),
modern leftist liberalism (which puts man-as-he-is as well as “nurture” first and foremost),
neo-Marxism (which, though purporting to be scientific, is again a special-interest ideology), and
the counter culture, existentialism, Wittgenstein’s philosophy, postmodernism, neo-positivism, and analytic philosophy (which tries to purify language from “nonsense”), which are all morally relativistic.
They are simply not at war with evil, and banish it to the subjective domain. With this they give full scope to the power of vested interests, and to the well-connected, and also repress much social theory and coherence in which such evil and irrational power play a part (as causes, hidden motives, integrating factors,…).
2) On the Scientifization of Religion and Utopia
It is essential in such (preliminary) scientifization – and, hence, in that of major problems of life – that our psyche experiences a coherent integration of the emotions of elevation and alliance which, in the best cases, we go through in response to, say, beauty (of nature, or of art), fundamental new insights (the Aha-Erlebnis), sexuality, and righteousness. For such integration amounts to our sensing something very positive at the background of various phenomena, which, by such very coherence, has also something to do with science. Why would science not be in a position of gradually finding more details as to both the relevant coherence and possible deep laws in our destinies? Why would these problems constitute an exception as to the power of scientific knowledge, that may allow us to approach the ideal of bringing such destinies under rational and moral control, thus realising Utopia (or the Kingdom of God), in line with what historic progress shows us?
Further, isn’t it strange that many feel “indoctrinated” experiences of elevation – such as about “Immaculate Conception” or “Our Country” – to be normal, whereas natural ones about beauty, sex or integrity are far less often mentioned? Why is the pope more charismatic than the starry sky? My hypothesis is that interest-driven manipulation is the explanation. Religion should be a major factor in the general cultural fight against evil, anxiety and troubled waters. Too often it became their ally…
3) Transparency, Coherence and Rational Values versus Troubled Waters, Coincidence, Subjectivism and Relativism
Why is it that so much which contrasts with my work – political correctness, egalitarianism, conformism, anti-rationalistic philosophy, incoherent art, the cherishing of uncertainty and coincidence,… – is in great demand? If we answer this question, we also answer the one why my work is practically taboo. Let’s try to find the solution. Such work, inter alia, contains three core elements:
1. Rationalism in the sense of aiming at both optimum cogent obviousness and optimum coherence (with respect to any argument and subject), as contrasted with subjective preference, myth, ideology, uncertainty and obscurity in the broadest sense.
2. In the same vein, transparency is also pursued within the scope of rational values which find evil to be synonymous with the undesirable: unhappiness, which is in principle an observable condition that should be minimised. This argument bridges the gap between facts and values, also as to their objective nature.
3. (Social) evil in
the above sense – far from, as a rule, depending on coincidence – is found to
often show a large degree of coherence and purposefulness as to causes, effects
and means of implementation. Such more-than-incidental abuse is also found to
very often stem from vested interests and the establishment. It appears that
explaining society, culture and their evolution becomes far more simple and
coherent by elaborating the contrast mentioned in the title of this point 3) and by
putting first and foremost the present points 1. – 3.
Hence my work and, more generally, coherence implied by transparency, directly tend to undermine the moral authority of our establishment and that of the collective (the group) in general. Throughout history, this has been taboo to the utmost because conforming the individual and his reason (intelligence) used to be the core purpose of all socio-cultural systems.
Precisely within this scope, current “orthodoxy” cultivates or humours a complete “nonsense industry” of irrationalism, and also tries to keep people psychologically dependent. In this context, incoherent modern art and the assumption that life is unmakable are specimens of ideological manipulation. We see again an opposition of the powerful to the core of enlightenment, which tends to bring the world under rational and moral control. This contrast embodies a broad generalisation of Schelsky’s idea that ideologists tend to distrust technology because it makes people less dependent and thus reduces demand for the ideologists’ product [compare 4) below]. Both “the rightist and the leftist churches” oppose consistent reason, transparency and enlightenment within the scope of the above. They do so, for example, by cultivating “the social dimension”, from convention to egalitarianism and from royalty to political correctness. Independent thinking is their common enemy because it is dangerous to both their irrational values and their manipulative methods. All of this explains both the “great demand” mentioned at the start of this point 3) and negative attitudes towards my work. The latter, characterised by points 1. – 3., also undermines the national, egalitarian and other solidarity myths and “socio-political games” popular with many men in the crowd too, and is instinctively hated for it. Note here that many in the rank-and-file derive illusions, consolation or the feeling of greatness from various religious, national or social myths, conventions or prejudices. In the same vein, many among genetic rearguards and their leaders will not be fond of the idea of “man being measurable”…
4) Some Elaborations on Schelsky’s Idea
1. The part played by the ideologists in Schelsky’s idea can be extended to manipulators in general, censorship, taboo and repression, superstition and convention, political correctness, the principle of chaos and unmakability, dogma, irrational philosophy, modern art, the cultivation of uncertainty, coincidence and incoherence, relativism, subjectivism and the thesis that man is “above science”. Also think of Riesman’s other-directedness. On the other hand, the role Schelsky attributes to technology can be extended to that of rationalism, science, the idea of progress, determinism and coherence in general, Riesman’s autonomous personality, rational values and the exposure of everything in society that tends to produce frustration or anxiety.
2. An important specific example is that – though very many in West and East are interested in a possible hereafter –, the general mentality is not conducive to massive scientific research into the problem, which is purportedly “not suitable for scientific research”. Explanation: the churches and many others are not in a hurry to reduce human dependence and anxiety related to our ignorance about death…
3. In case of an actual reality of paranormal phenomena we may add a bold hypothesis. That is, if paranormal communication would indeed really appear it would be rather obvious that the earlier discussed psychological mechanisms of manipulation and power may continue on a collective-unconscious level. This could mean that dissidents and nonconformists find themselves confronted with telepathic and other super-individual tendencies against their independence, similar to those operative on the “normal” social level.
Note here that parapsychological research claims to have found that a militant inner attitude against an inimical social environment tends to improve positive results of parapsychological experiments. Well, may we be so bold as to extrapolate this to our point by imagining that, first, a collective unconscious will try to conform us and, second, we could militantly fend this off? Inter alia, we may do so by the intense self-confidence and inner strength derived from our “debunking” such collective unconscious and its “voodoo” by our clearly realising the immense cruelties and chutzpahs the collective committed or acquiesced in, therewith forfeiting all moral authority, as our establishments did too. Consider such attitude as a vital part of your contribution to the fight between good and evil.
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