Us Against Them? Me Against You?
“The only things that matter in the ongoing relationship of the citizen and the government is time and the law. Government has a monopoly on legal violence. Government makes law, from time to time. Legislation created, deleted, or amended is the only meaningful focus for the public conversation.” – Benjamin Disraeli
“They talk a lot about the importance of pronouns like he and she, but they don’t give enough attention to the most evil of pronouns: we. We is deep in our genes. We is the community. We is the home group, the familiar, the trustworthy. We love we. We is belonging. We comforts us. We exalts us. We is the pride in other people’s achievements, while taking them for granted as an entitlement. We is white privilege; and black privilege and brown privilege and any other privilege that includes or excludes people you don’t know. From we, the nebulous idea of the stranger gets defined as everyone out-group, impersonal danger gets imposed on the real world. We is the origin of the Untermensch. We is the complicity with proxy brutality against unseen human beings. We cherry-picks its gods and its devils, to worship or murder with conscience absolved. We is a trick.” – Yevgeny Zamiatin
THE BULLSHIT SPIGOT IS AN UNENDING STREAM…
- The world is full of propaganda and bullshit and self-interest.
- People exploit people for short-term advantage or long-term lineage perpetuation, but rarely anything in between.
- The orthodoxy is mostly inertia. The counter-culture, when it’s targeting the orthodoxy, is mostly a commentariat of rejects, cast-outs and uncompromising honesty. The latter is a genus of narcissists, but doesn’t mean they’re dishonest or wrong.
- But the fundamentals? I don’t know. Harder to see it as entirely one-sided good guys versus bad guys, difficult to cite credible alternative “do it this way, humans” – despite how offensive the propaganda and the bullshit is.
- I can certainly see some winners (in the broadest sense) and a lot of losers (in an everyday opportunity sense). Is that my own ugly pragmatism of birthplace and upbringing?
- So there’s a prevailing inertia (very powerful), a prevalent orthodoxy (very entrenched), and a complex interplay of geo-ethnic-competitive human motivations playing out – across the world – as innumerable cause-and-effect actions and reactions.
- Modern tech gives us access to a far bigger slice of this information stream. More than any human being can take in, parse, categorize and reasonably comprehend – let alone react to.
“I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.” ― Charles Bukowski
- The biggest problem today – in the West at least – is the egomaniac conceit that, individually, we have the capacity (and the obligation) to parse out the entire bullshit spigot of a billion human beings talking/communicating at the same time 24/7.
- The world of information – not to mention the innumerable 24/7 noise-flows of fact, fiction, propaganda, misdirection, etc – is beyond anyone’s capacity.
- Doesn’t matter if you’re a genius historian-data scientist-psychologist-coder or you’re a drunkard in a viking hat: too much information, too many variables, too corrupted by propaganda and counter-factual agenda.
- Does this mean don’t try? No.
- Does this mean education doesn’t matter? No.
- Does it mean it’s impossible to keep up with current affairs? No.
- Does this mean there’s no difference between the idiot and the expert? Not at all.
- What the fuck? It means black or white, red or blue, one side or the other side, right or wrong, Conservative or Liberal, Right Wing or Left Wing, us or them: dichotomy is the purest state of bullshit.
- Fascism is faith in the dogma of dichotomy.
- Fascism is totalitarian because – under direction of the ruling elite – the dichotomy is given an earthly definition (i.e. this group is good, that group is bad, this behaviour is good, those actions are evil) by the ruling elite, whose blessing elevates earthly to sacrosanct, in the dogma.
- Fascism is the weaponization of the dogma, in the minds of the faithful. It answers core questions, like:
- Who’s on your team? Who’re the good guys?
- Who’s next for termination? Who’re the bad guys?
- God versus Satan, Capitalism versus Communism, Holy Warrior versus Infidel Apostate, Nazi Faithful versus Jewish Traitor, American Freedom versus China Oppression, Republican Racist versus Democratic Socialist. All these aforementioned dichotomies are examples of simple fascist dogma.
- What isn’t fascist then? What isn’t a dichotomy? Individual human relationships aren’t fascist. Individual human personality isn’t fascist. Real-world public opinion isn’t a dichotomy.
- Trying to parse the bullshit spigot without allowing the path of least resistance (or self-serving propaganda-conditioning) to seek confirmation bias and binary thinking: this isn’t fascist.
- It’s important not to conflate the objective importance of facts and the primacy of truth with the universality of the human conditions and an empathy for the circumstances of others, into an excuse for moral cowardice.
- What you do based on fascist dogma (dichotomy) is evil; not least because it feels so easy to do, so untroubling to the conscience, so black versus white.
- What you do based on facts, truth, universality of human condition, empathy for others, is not evil precisely because it is more difficult by definition.
- “Guilty or Innocent, members of the jury?” Consider your verdicts.
- In your own mind, if your judgment is 12 to 0 in favour or 0 to 12 against, think it possible you may be mistaken.
- Moral certainty will feel right, but that’s ego misdirecting moral cowardice.
- Conscience is the true voice of justice, and when it’s silent in your mind – because you feel only righteous – it’s likely you’re doing injustice, possibly even evil.
- If your free, well-informed conscience is allowed to make its case for the defence then – whether your personal judgment is for mercy or concludes, regardless, a guilty verdict – the need for moral courage to prosecute whatever you’ve decided to do, in the real-world, is a sign:
- Your actions are humane
- To the best of your ability
- Right or wrong
- Not given in to fascism dichotomy
- Not “just obeying orders” in doing what you do
- That’s about the best we can ask of ourselves and others.
- Fascist rule tries to define, in earthly us-against-them terms, the dichotomy. Fascism is a dogma of division. Fascist demagogues monopolize the power to bless these earthly definitions. The blessings elevate mere earthly us-and-them into holy scripture.
- The distinction is a potent enough force to drive Jihad and Holocaust and Partisan Extremism and Racist Imperialism and a zillion more examples of Good versus Evil weaponized into purity tests (for loyal/disloyal, friend/enemy, ingroup/outgroup) to drive unthinking followers in violent prosecution of some sociopath cunt’s personal self-interest.
- Twat on a brick, fuckstick!
“The impulse to resolve the ambivalence of good and evil and jump over one’s shadow into absolute positivity is an unthinking Utopia. Liberation from ambivalence is to be free of uncertainty; to be absolutely free is to be absolutely sure of one’s rightness; which is a surrender of free will, which is to be a slave by any other name?” – Jean Beaudrillard (The Intelligence of Evil)
COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT BUT…
- Fine words, however well-spoken, are worthless.
- Tribalism is bullshit.
- Symbols are a fascist shorthand.
- Opinion is not proof. Opinion about fact is Bullshit Spigot.
- Opinion points the way to evidence.
- Expert opinion points the way to better evidence less time to assess.
- Evidence is the only currency of proof. All else is Bullshit Spigot: gossip, rhetoric, media, propaganda, snake oil selling, lies, misinformation repeated, etc.
- Compelling the conformity of strangers – when the behaviour does no direct harm to you – is fascism.
- Doesn’t matter if the compelled conformity is forcing religious dogma (anti-abortion) or ideology (woke identity politics); it’s two cheeks of the same fascist butt.
- Virtue signaling is a lie.
- Virtue signaling is virtue without risk.
- Virtue signallers are usually corrupt.
- Virtue signaling is an implicit submission to power.
- Identity politics and religious fundamentalism are covers for compelled conformity, and therefore ciphers for fascism.
- Fascism is a dog-eat-dog world where dogs divided by breed compete ruthlessly for dominance. In the fascist worldview:
- Mercy is weakness
- Forgiveness is a weakness
- Different breeds are Untermensch
- Untermensch individuals don’t matter
- Ingroup individuals are kin by dint of being the same breed
- Cross-breeding is an anathema
- Never drink from the bullshit spigot without mutliple filters. No filters? Don’t drink. It’s sewage. Even if it’s not bullshit, it’s poison unless filtered.
- News media business is about profit and power. Profit comes from clickbait. Power comes from influence deals with the powerful.
- Corporate news media is not a trustworthy source.
- Fantasy is simpler than reality. Certainty is the path of least resistance in a world of complexity and unknowns.
- Media curates stories to feed the fantasy with what looks like familiar reality. This the expertise of modern journalism.
- Passive but supportive citizens are the ideal servants of political power.
- Authority achieves passivity by conditioning how people think; because nothing is more comfortable than path of least resistance certainty.
- Political passivity is weaponized by fascism – teams and us/them uniformity – into support (votes).
- Uniformity becomes purity in the devil’s blend of path of least resistance (for the electorater) and path to power (for the ruling elite). F-that!
- Binary explanations feel so good. But like any absolute certainty, binary ends up requiring a dehumanizing conflation.
- Good and evil applied to reality quickly becomes a dogma of egocentric bullshit.
- Binaries – like good and evil – are reductions cloaked as idealism, excusing more evil than encouraging good in the world.
“LIFE IS LIKE A POKER GAME AND ANY TIME YOU LOOK AROUND THE TABLE AND CAN’T TELL WHO THE SUCKER IS, IT’S YOU.” – Paul Newman
DUOPOLY – BINARY SCAM <insert number here>
The problem with falling into line with the duopoly paradigm (e.g. Democratic v Republican) is it’s designed to force people into a self-regulating (and group-signaling) repetition of factional loyalty affirmations, and since the real world isn’t represented by either ‘faction’ of mostly grasping, corrupt political orthodoxies, the people end up having to misrepresent a distorted version of the world to fit the needs of the loyalty affirmation. This distortion ends up calcifying into a divergence, fed by fake news and false prejudice.
Want some examples? #defundthepolice doesn’t mean no police, Alex Jones doesn’t support school shooters, Rogan doesn’t hate trans people, Black Lives Matter isn’t trying to destroy the family, Trump isn’t the next Hitler, Boris isn’t the champion of the patriotic Briton, Cummings isn’t trying to set up a fascist database, Biden isn’t going to tax the corporate oligarchs, Russia didn’t impact the 2016 US election, wearing masks on public transport isn’t an affront to your freedom, locking down whole cities is an affront to your freedom, Putin isn’t an evil modern Stalin, Putin isn’t the everyman savior of the Russian people, Xi Jinping isn’t a socioeconomic mastermind, Xi Jinping isn’t a communist dictator. Etc.
In America, for instance, Democrats think everyone else is a homophobic gun-toting Nazi looking for ways to deny climate change, force rape victims to have babies and lock immigrants in cages. Republicans think everyone else is a pedophile enabler who wants to take away guns, censor free speech, kill babies, raise taxes and destroy their way of life.
Identity politics is encouraged, as a way to atomize, by forcing collisions: purity statements, condemnation of perceived ‘other team’ untermensch, then the disgruntled target of the condemnation reacting by getting sucked into joining the opposite team. And the cycle perpetuates.
The whole game of team factions is banal and stupefying. It tears the potential for popular unity apart; not because of any real ideological differences between citizens but because it degrades everyday debate into a contest of petulant proletarian monkeys throwing their own excrement at the sound of foghorns.