Western Misunderstandings of ‘Individual Choice’

Builds Upon: Driving Lessons For the Vehicle of Consciousness

Western Enlightenment culture idolizes the conscious human will.

Our entire culture is based on the assumption that every human is a conscious rational decision maker.

This is a deeply flawed understanding of what people really are.

The conscious is a junior partner to the subconscious and traditional peoples have always known this.
Most things people do are determined through instinct as it relates to survival and reproduction. Most conscious things we do are mere reactions to forces over which we have no control. Mystics such as Gurdjieff have repeatedly pointed out:

We don’t really do anything at all!

The naïve Western understanding of human nature creates a social environment in which advertisers have little responsibility for the memes they spread. Corporations can run rampant while following the letter of literal-minded laws.

Social movements driven by well-meaning idealism set up those they ‘help’ for even worse disaster because they don’t understand what people are. If only people are given the chance to exercise ‘free choice’ they tell themselves, the world can change!

They do not understand that human will is a weak and delicate thing that must be carefully cultivated and protected. Without special effort and training, we are just monkeys fighting over sex and bananas.
There is nothing self evident about will or rights. For the most part, these are unique, radical ideas that sprouted from Western Christianity.
If we go back and read the Bible, it doesn’t take long to figure out that Jesus’ ideas are totally new and confusing to nearly everyone he meets. If we examine the vast majority of people on Earth today, they have far more in common with typical Judeans of Jesus’ time than with naive educated Westerners.

Any traditional culture has mechanisms to protect their people from predatory influences whether through religion or animistic magical practices.
Without these mechanisms, Western civilizations malfunction on a massive scale.

We choose what to do, but we don’t choose what we want to do. “Attraction is not a choice” as it is formulated by pick up artists or anyone selling anything.

A strong society grounded in right ideas protects its people from those who would ‘hack’ their wills and parasitize them. Especially proles or women, most of whom are at best marginally capable of thinking for themselves.

Societies like our own that refuse to understand what people are inevitably stumble and falter.

The champions of capitalism relentlessly criticize communists for misunderstanding the basics of human nature, but barely 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the victors at the end of history find themselves little better off.
They too failed to understand what humans are.

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21 responses to “Western Misunderstandings of ‘Individual Choice’

  1. “Especially proles or women, most of whom are at best marginally capable of thinking for themselves.”

    Ha! In my personal experience, the same could also be said for most men, actually! Honestly, I cannot fathom where so many men get the idea that they’re somehow superior to women. Being a male doesn’t mean shit. Humans are all pretty much deeply flawed and terminally stupid.

    • The vast majority of humans, regardless of gender, are proles or prole equivalent. Only in a handful of relatively prosperous nations can we begin to pretend otherwise.

      On average, men are better at reasoning things out.
      Obviously a Rosalind Franklin is far more logically astute than your average man, but there is a much greater number of men at her level or above.
      Furthermore, even intelligent women are far more prone to groupthink and far less prone to the creativity and risk-taking behavior that leads to discoveries.

      As to whether men’s superior logic means that men are superior beings… I leave that up to you. 🙂

  2. I think women are largely socialized to be the way you described. I noticed in my own life that I had been socialized to ‘be nice’ and ‘don’t rock the boat’, and that being a ‘mommy’ was to be my main purpose in life. Plus, being forced into a sexist religion I never believed in certainly didn’t help. If men and women were raised to be equals, you would most likely see a rise in intelligent women. Fortunately, I was smart enough to eventually see I had been molded to think and act a certain way, and it took me several years to break free. So, when I see comments such as the one you made, it tends to really irritate me, because believe me, I am fully capable of thinking for myself.

    …One gender is not superior over the other, no matter how bad most men want it to be. 🙂

    • In English speaking countries, Western Europe, women have been raised alongside men without restrictions for the last 40 years.

      There’s now more women in universities than men.

      However, logic intensive disciplines remain overwhelmingly male…even though there are multiple female organizations offering women extra support and financial incentives. Hiring laws in the West virtually guarantee that the rare woman in one of these fields will have an easy time getting hired and will be nearly impossible to fire.

      The simple fact is that evolutionary pressures have pushed men in a different direction than women.
      In all of history we’ve never seen a couple hundred women get on a ship and risk their lives sailing around the world.
      The reason for this is simple: women are able to have the same number of kids whether they take risks or not.
      Males on the other hand can get huge Darwinian rewards if a risk yields results.

      We are not fully capable of thinking for ourselves. This is what my article is mainly about!
      There’s plenty of other sites in this area of the internet that focus on feminism if that’s what you want to discuss. But I have to warn you that you’d do best to lurk before posting. They get tired of re-explaining points they made months or years ago to every single person who comes along.

      As usual, I fail to understand why an emphasis on childbearing/rearing is bad or ‘sexist.’ As a man, society uses me for my labor. I could do high work or lowly work, but I’m still a relatively expendable cog.

      As a woman, you are a Darwinian gatekeeper with the ability to form the next generation. This gives you far more power than does entering the workplace and breaking your back alongside the men. You get the opportunity to influence people from the moment they’re born, precisely when they are most impressionable. Advertisers and corporations would love to have the enormous power that is your birthright!

      • I still had a good laugh at your response, despite it being rather depressing, as well…I read and understood your original post, but I still feel that I’m capable of thinking for myself. You may not believe that, but oh well, that’s your problem. Judging by what you’ve written to me, I understand why you feel that way, since you’re merely parroting a bunch of woman-hating, MRA-type bullshit that I’ve heard from several other automatons before you. *Sigh*…ok, I think this is my cue to stop bothering with the rest of the human race; since you’re also an introvert, I think you can
        understand that, at least. Beam me up, Scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here! (LOL, I had to blow a few layers of dust off of that one!)
        —-
        Oh well. I suppose a heretic isn’t supposed to please everyone. Belka. I advised you to lurk moar regarding feminism because you just repeated the standard rhetoric verbatim as I feared you might. You are obviously familiar with only a single perspective that you have never challenged.
        You do not argue, you make accusations. You do not bother to explain why I or others are “woman hating” or why certain views are “bullshit.” You are not thinking, but emoting and screaming out insults.

        You feel that you are capable of thinking for yourself? Your word choice is unfortunate if you are trying to challenge common stereotypes about females.

        If you have understood my article, you have chosen not to comment about it. You’ve seized one word from one sentence and run with it. I’ve tried to nicely point out that this is not a feminism thread. I will not indulge additional off-topic escapades.
        In general:
        -What you think.
        Reasons why you think it.
        -and/or links to relevant content.

        Your post tries to be very emotionally manipulative and contains some textbook examples. I will give into temptation and break some of these down for the benefit of others and for fun.

        -Laughing at my words = ridicule, shaming rather than counter-argument.
        -My views are depressing – Not consistent with what I said being funny. Obviously intended as a follow up punch rather than an honest account of your reaction. You express disappointment with a clear idea that it should matter: You are using your(female) disapproval as a weapon.
        -“You may not believe that” – Manipulatively trying to imply to others just what I believe. Frame control. (You don’t know/don’t understand what I actually believe and you don’t seem to care.)
        -“I understand why you feel that way, since you’re merely parroting…” Sentence seems to begin with empathy ends with insult. GLADOS.
        -“since you’re also an introvert…” – Probing for emotional vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
        -“I had to blow layers of dust off…”- After attempt to ridicule geekness… strategically distancing oneself from geekness. Further attempting to put down people you perceive as geeks by the very fact you’re trying to distance yourself.

        Overall, this catty behavior is more appropriate when trying to put down other girls. This isn’t how you deal with guys. But what counts is that you are trying to hurt me, no holds barred. Your unfettered malice has been duly noted.

      • I trust this fruitful exchange with a woman reminded you of the quickly forgotten rule, never engage the eternal solipsism of the female mind in a debate on the internet, where her female will to power has free reign to rewrite reality.

  3. We had a shift in culture, from being concerned with success, power and control, masculine concepts, to being concerned with inherently feminine ones like affection, bonding and cooperation.

    Those religious and animistic societies cannot compete with Western culture. What kinds of movies are being pirated in the streets of Moscow and Saigon? People don’t want to spend hours a day praying and reading the Koran, they want to crack open a six pack and watch some TV. You’ve traveled around; ask the locals if they know about Rambo, The Terminator or Clint Eastwood. These are archetypal stories spun from a Western view and they have global staying power even today. People seek out these dominant cultural memes, they want to align with them.

    Inoculation theory works in the same way, an individual will be warned of an attack on their beliefs, given a weak argument in favor of the opposition, then a strong counter-argument will be presented which will off-set this. All you need to do is step it down so that average people can understand it. You must be able to trick them into thinking deeper about their position in order to defend it, and then have them verbalize the counter attack themselves. Any culture which can provide real benefits (in the heart, not the head) will have a significant advantage over the others when the method is properly applied.

    One of my most curious discoveries, after reading between the lines of the histories of most of the famous female mystics is that they almost always mention an intense bonding a male deity, spirit guide, guardian angel, ect… Male mystics will wax on about the ideological implications of their spiritual journeys, but women will inevitably revert to telling of what they learned by their connection to a masculine entity (and this connection will usually have sexual undertones of submission) or relate the experience in emotional terms. The individual receiving the input matters as much as the input itself.

  4. To extend it a little further, any attempts of using inoculation theory are met with instant hostility and resistance from a niche group within society.

    Anyone not agreeing with cultural diversity is attacking our ability to bond, therefore it is wrong. That a lack of cohesion affects our ability to function “successfully” is not considered to be a major problem. The feelings of others real or imagined are placed on a higher importance than metrics of success like technological innovation or a low crime rate.

    It’s a question of feminine union versus masculine unity.

    However, the majority of proles have reaped no benefits from this culture. The culture vacuum will be filled with something.

  5. So then, questions:

    1. Which cultures in particular do you think have adapted immunity to the Western mind virus?

    2. Do you think there is a correlation between diversity and authoritarianism? I’m not speaking necessarily of racial diversity, religion has united many different gene pools in the past with some success.

    3. Technology is already giving us ways of enhancing our brains, in time genetics will give way to our will. When you alter the brain’s impulse control, problem solving and pattern recognition ability you completely change the abilities of advertisers, media and politicians to manipulate the population’s weakest links. What happens then?

    http://theweek.com/article/index/226196/how-electrical-brain-stimulation-can-change-the-way-we-think/1
    http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=18814

    • 1. Those traditional cultures that live in the West already and have maintained group integrity. We can reason that they have developed a tolerance and that the most vulnerable among them have been pruned away. Because these traditional people already live in the West, Westerners face direct consequences for every demographic stumble they make.

      2. We see a lot of authoritarian tendencies in homogeneous societies. I suspect rules are ‘stricter’ because more similar people want to do more of the same things anyway: there’s more rules because more people can agree about them. What comes naturally to a homogeneous population becomes codified.
      We might contrast this to secularism: a lowest common denominator of rules tolerable to all groups. Or a typical imperial rule, a lowest common denominator of obedience to the throne and tribute delivered on time.

      3. An arms race between citizens and advertisers just as we see between hackers and IT? Corporations won’t miss the potential of additional methods to influence mental state. Imagine how they’ll jump on a method that is not yet regulated by laws.

      You were insightful to point out that the mass of people try to associate with any meme they perceive as dominant.
      This makes sense, because adopting dominant memes helps us fit into society and expand our pool of potential mates.

      So one might inoculate people by destroying the perception of dominance: To win a frame war and systematically AMOG corporate image in plain view of the masses.
      Warning labels on cigarettes don’t work because they are a laughably weak attempt at domination. A challenger who miserably fails only makes the incumbent look stronger.

      On electricity and the brain: Nikola Tesla regularly exposed himself to electric currents and swore by its usefulness in aiding focus and reducing fatigue.

      As for a prole vacuum:
      Does the West still offer memes that inspire no nonsense salt of the Earth folk?
      Hollywood’s international blockbusters that make most of their money are tailored to be mindless entertainment compatible with as many cultures as possible.
      When even mega-cinema focuses on racial guilt fantasies(Avatar) do ordinary people in other countries get this subtext meant for North Americans or do they flock to the theaters to enjoy the world’s most elaborate special effects?
      All the rest appeals mainly to SWPL sensibilities.
      When you go to other countries, you quickly learn that locals only know actors who’ve starred in the blockbusters(they know Tom Cruise but not Edward Norton) and generally think these films are representative of all Hollywood(and life in America).

      And let’s keep in mind some of the world’s favorite heroes such as John Wayne, Billy the Kid, Clint Eastwood, and Zorro are products of a US culture that existed 50 years ago.
      The world also loves superheroes, especially those from 50-60 years ago. But look what happened when they made Superman: 2 1/2 Hours of SWPL Handwringing Edition.

  6. Yeah, our cultural reach hit the bell curve a long time ago. The production/direction skills and technology are superior to the older movies, but no synthesis is created.

    Sort of like NASA 😛

    • Corporate memes, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks still enjoy God-like status internationally. They still exercise the real dominance that people like.

      The synthesis part is what matters. They did more even though they had much less because they had a much clearer sense of social purpose and identity.

      NASA is just another example of how numbers of people and amounts of resources do not have a linear relationship with cultural output.

  7. NASA suffers from a lot of the typical problems we see in bureuacracy: people using political logic to solve science/engineering questions. Like giving contracts for launch vehicles to private contractors, and acting surprised when it comes up late, shoddy and twice over the budget. No-bid backdoor contracts don’t work well for innovation. Even some of the fuck-ups, like the Challenger disaster, were more because of the lack of technical training of the civilian officials. They know how to make decisions, and develop models for this, but are too insulated to learn and react to new information. Whatever intellectual capital they enter with is what they will leave with, the substance is never seriously changed.

    We have gotten a lot more out of it than most government programs though. It’s a sad waste of potential.

    http://www.fotuva.org/feynman/challenger-appendix.html

    I’m sure the corporations will do well in the mental arms race, but they have never been agile. Even when they can see effects half-decade ahead it takes them at least twice that long to adjust to it. In a lot of cases smaller firms can retool almost overnight, and it’s not hard to pouch talent to get them to work on projects that they feel will change the world.

    I suspect the push for SOPA/CISPA is an attempt to get a grip on the internet before 3d printing develops any further. Disable local functioning and storage, shift to cloud computing in centralized warehouses. Much easier to manage and restrict information, or to at least log it. Regardless, the technology and a significant minority are strongly polarized against them.

    • In previous posts I’ve made an analogy between ordinary mapping of a coastline compared to fractal mapping in order to describe modern trends.

      Conventional militaries and corporations have gotten what they wanted by having more more brute force than other human organizations, but the price of their advantage of mass is loss flexibility and efficiency.
      Agricultural society itself is a sloppy and inefficient group structure compared to a hunter gatherer tribe or a small village where everyone knows each other.

      What mass communication really changes: It allows small/efficient organizations that would ordinarily be crushed by overwhelming zerg rushes to collaborate en masse without being orchestrated by a clumsy bureaucracy.
      We see this in the way loosely connected ‘insurgents’ with little equipment or training run circles around modern forces.
      We’ve seen it in the way the rioters in the Middle East and London reacted as single intelligent entities to the authorities.
      We see it when an upstart wikipedia edited by non-bureaucratized, non-credentialized amateurs outperforms Encyclopedia Britannica by every metric, even accuracy.

      If we look at trees, root systems, our blood vessels, our lungs, we can see that nature likes fractal systems and abhors the geometric systems that have been typical of civilization thus far.

  8. @Belka

    You’re a dumbass. You simply repeat what is currently cool to repeat. By the way, biology made you to be a mommy, not society. Please take it up with nature. I for one don’t want you to be a mommy, ever. Tie you tubes.

    • There’s no need to be that harsh and spiteful to make your point especially considering I already got on her case.
      Besides, she already left the thread like a week ago.

      If she’s subscribed to the thread or comes back and sees your comment: I’ll tell you both pre-emptively, I’m not going to stand by and allow a pointless flame war.

      That said, I’m glad you’ve stepped forward to comment. I was wondering about your views regarding the non-troll parts of the discussion.

  9. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Week of April 15, 2012

  10. If you examine human living arrangements throughout the ages and across the globe, the model could not be any clearer.

    The default human living arrangement is some kind of extended family, say between 10 and 50 or so people (of varying levels of relatedness) in a household(s) or compound. The relationships are hierarchical and roles within the group are normative in terms of age, sex and relatedness.

    Individual opinions (except on trival matters internal to the family) do not exist and the single, most overriding value is group loyalty. If your actions benefit the group that’s okay and if they don’t then they’re wrong – intentions don’t matter.

    Religion is a question of group tradition and marriage, occupation and education of individual members are all group decisions aimed at fortifying the group’s material position.

    And, crucially, “society” doesn’t exist. There’s “us” (good people) and “them” (the enemy) and not a single thought expended on see things from “their” point of view.

    That’s our socio-biological heritage and a good approximation of “human nature” and helps explain why libertarian (for example) philosophies flounder so badly in the real world.

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