Saturday, 5 March 2016

Descending Narratives


If the number of dystopian metaphors in circulation is any indication, we live in troubled times. Apparently, the Western world is asleep, absent minded, on the path to national suicide, and a dying superpower. We've turned into an alien nation where all the grown ups have died, been replaced by submissive Eloi, who act like sheep and are raped at will. And we've invited a new leadership class to come in and replace us.

Our only political choices are varying speeds of driving over the cliff. All our clocks have stopped somewhere around midnight, at which point we're saying Adios America and wondering what comes After America. And in the process, somebody renamed our towns Londonistan, Dearbornistan, AbsurdistanMexifornia, Beijing Point, and made Dale Hurd a very busy man. And if your quiet town has not yet been touched by utopia, well they've got a plan for you too.

We now live in an age of disinformation, where reality is turned upside down and filled with head-spinning propaganda such as: diversity is strength, Islam is a religion of peace, there are no biological differences between genders or races, all cultures are equal, free trade is always a win-win and will lead to world peace, China will rise peacefully, we can democratise Muslim nations if we just topple another dictator and support the "moderate" rebels, etc. On and on the madness goes, where it stops nobody knows. Ideology and agenda has trumped reality.

Islamic terrorists are deemed not Islamic by the same authorities that refuse to do any scholarly research into Islam. Islamic jihad is renamed workplace violence. Many other inconvenient topics are stonewalled such as ethnic violence, and rape epidemics. And topics too big to ignore, such as rioting (from Paris, to London, to Ferguson, and elsewhere) and now regularly blamed on police. We now have be-headings in Western streets and workplaces, creeping Sharia law, Muslim patrols, and no-go zones for police.

And if you speak up on about of these forbidden topics, you risk your career, safety and freedom.

Our bureaucracy may be shutdown and turned against us at a whim. The leader of the free world is the very embodiment of the undocumented and unafraid movement. And the mayor of the mother-country has ties to extremists. And if you should find yourself attacked in a foreign embassy, such leaders will not rescue you, but to stand down our troops and leave you at the mercy of terrorists.

We're on the road to hell, paved with good intentions.  We've got a rising debt clock, a permanent trade deficit, an unsustainable financial system, a rising foreign ownership level, and a working class trapped at the bottom. Our military is in relative decline, and being purged of patriots. Our technological and military secrets are either stolen, hacked or given away ad nauseum. And a growing number of asymmetric threats are eroding US military superiority.

And amidst all this chaos we keep asking ourself: Who Are We? Who Are We? Something is clearly amiss.

We're committing economic suicide by trading with a hostile adversary. We're in a 100-year marathon that nobody told us about. And if that's not enough, apparently we're in a brave new type of warfare, that is secret, undeclared, unrestricted, and possibly even geophysical.

And if you live on the fringe of American influence, you may have noticed little green men, or little blue men, steadily encroaching on your territory, or quietly infiltrating your media, academia and political spheres. Meanwhile, war-weary America is reluctant to defend its allies, and is buzzed and told to go away. You can debate whether America should be involved in these regions, but it's becoming a moot point because America increasingly lacks the leadership and ability to defend its allies.

And if you think your courts, police, or constitution will protect you, think again. All institutions will be turned against you, including the final stage of the demographic revolution, the takeover of the military.

I'm sure there are other signs of decline (e.g. flag wars, comic wars), and gloomy metaphors that I may have missed. You could add more to the depressive list. On and on it goes. At some point, you start to understand the phrase "don't mention the war". Not that I'm advocating a war mindset, but we're in a similar psychological state of being constantly bombarded by decline and losing, that makes you want to turn away to some mindless escapism, and start humming the words "I can't bear to witness".

And although this decline is rapidly gathering speed, the problem is not actually new. For a long while we've been heaping up funeral pyres, worried about rivers of blood, rising tides, and wondering which way Western man should go.

Granted, pessimism is not unique to our generation. You'd think every generation has its prophets of doom. But even the casual observer would surely notice that something is terribly wrong with the Western world. With refugees flooding into Europe, and old powers rising to fill the power vacuum left by a retreating America, even people of dubious mental quality are asking: "Don’t we see what is happening? ... The world order that we built ... is coming apart".

So, it's indisputable that the Western world is in decline and retreat. The only question is how far the decline will go, and how hard the fall will be. The further it goes, the more insecure and vulnerable we become. Internally we face a demographic revolution, and externally we face resurgent old foes. And those foes are not psychologically frozen with post WW2 guilt, but are quite prepared to goose step where others fear to tread.

All of which begs the questions: Why are we so slow to mount much credible opposition? And what's it going to take to spark our people into action? What will get people off the sidelines, and out of their apathy, to get involved with organised movements?

True, there are growing movements in the Alt-Right, Identitarian, and political spheres. These are all great, but they're still somewhat reactive and often lacking in a clear positive narrative.

That is the void into which this website seeks to speak, the lack of positive narrative.

My own personal metaphor-of-choice is the "circling the drain" one. But for this discussion, we're going to use the aeronautical death spiral.


Imagine, if you will, that we're in an airplane that has suddenly lost power and is descending into a death spiral. Our only hope is to restart the engines. We're pushing every button, and pulling every lever, but nothing is happening, the death spiral continues, and our demise seems imminent.

The question follows: what's it going to take to restart the engines? What lever are we going to pull? And why have we known about this descent for so long, for decades, but have been powerless to stop it?

There are many aspects to answering that question, but one key aspect is to find a clear and compelling narrative that inspires and directs us into action.

Central to the problem of narrative is a lack of attachment. In times past, we were a people united by a time and place i.e. attached to a particular peace of land, a culture, religion, tradition, a tribe. But these days our attachments are mostly all broken, and we're left floating in a time or rapid change without being anchored to anything solid and secure, beyond our family and friends. Our culture is fractured and changing, and we are a highly mobile and individualistic people.

And when a malleable group meets a confident group, it's usually the confident group that wins.

But it goes deeper than that. In times past, we could appeal to a stable or traditional culture as a unifying framework. We could easily express who we are, as a people, by such a unifying culture. But today our eyes have been opened so wide to the variability of culture, and the malleability of human nature, that we're struggling to recommit to any particular culture as an ideal. We're at a point of cultural confusion, not cultural confidence. As a result, we're in a cultural free-fall. We're falling and can't reach out to anything secure.

And the heart of the problem is that culture, to a large degree, is subjective i.e. it's a matter of taste and opinion. And with subjectivity, comes a lack of consensus, and it becomes difficult to pin down one particular culture and say confidently which is the best one.

So, our eyes have been opened to the nebulous, shifting, murky, foggy, and unstable world of subjective culture. The minute you try to pin down our culture, it often transforms and slips away. And this is a key reason why we're struggling to re-make attachments to a particular culture.

And as we're stuck in this moment of cultural confusion, it doesn't seem like solutions are going to arrive quickly. It's a long-term problem. True, some people are confident about their cultural ideals, and that's great for them. But for a lot of people, particularly the younger generation, there's just a state of cultural confusion and ambivalence. Should they stick with traditional culture? Or try something else?

So, in the face of this long-term cultural confusion, which won't achieve much consensus anytime soon, perhaps the solution is to step back from the details, and put the emphasis on a guiding framework that can provide a general direction, without getting bogged down in cultural specifics.

And that's the purpose of this website, to provide a narrative that transcends cultural specifics (as far as possible) and instead puts the emphasis on structure and form, rather than content.

In technical terms, this narrative is a structural, meta-ethical, and relational framework. It will be light on detail. You can fill in the details to suit your preferences.


So, where to begin with such a structure? Well, we need to base it on beliefs and values that are universally intelligible, as far as possible. And that means the starting point is a naturalistic worldview and human-centered values. We can't start with speculative religious beliefs, or with assumptions of tradition or ideology. We have to start with human concerns in the natural (observable) world.

That doesn't mean this framework is anti-religion, or anti-tradition. The framework can accommodate various beliefs and cultures, to some degree. The point is that a unifying framework has to start on stable, secure and universally intelligble foundations.

True, there will be some hardcore religious types who will reject such a human-centered approach, believing anything human-centered to be inherently flawed. But in practice, the framework is not very prescriptive about cultural specifics. So while such hardcore traditionalists might object in principle, they shouldn't have much practical objections.

So, the framework is about (a) setting some common goals, to feel like we're headed in the same general direction (b) laying out a group-fitness structure in which to pursue those goals in a hostile world and (c) fostering good relations between our various subgroups and trying to accommodate our differences as far as possible. Those are the meta-ethical, structural, and relational aspects to the framework.

Hopefully such a guiding framework will provide a stable foundation that transcends the messy and murky business of group specifics.

We do need to build specific groups. But that is such a turbulent and nebulous process that we need some stable framework to fall back on at times.

I'm not saying we abandon specific cultural ideals. Far from it. If you're a culturally confident person, then keep arguing your case. But it's a long-term process, and a lot of people will remain confused or ambivalent for a long time to come. And maybe the only way to resolve the cultural confusion is to observe different cultures running side-by-side, over a long period, each one a different petri dish experiment.

The point is, we need both cultural specifics, and a framework that transcends those unstable specifics. Hopefully, when the two are combined, then we will be headed in the right direction. Groups are messy and temporary and changing, they come and go. The framework will help to acknowledge and deal with this turbulence.

By itself, the framework is not much use. Think of it as a stepping stone, or crutch, to help us reform attachment to specific groups, at a time when people are culturally confused and hesitant to commit. It's a narrative for our time and place, a place of confusion.

The average person is not going to see much value in this narrative. It will be too vague for them. But hopefully group leaders can see the value in this unifying framework, and use it to foster co-operation between our various subgroups.

So, that's the void of narrative into which this website seeks to speak. As I said, it will be light on detail. It's just about setting a broad framework, and you can fill in the details as you see fit. There are many aspects to turning around our death spiral, and I will barely scratch the surface of them there. I'm hoping just to make a small step in the direction of a unifying narrative, that can help to point us all in a common direction. Smarter people than me can fill in the details, and do the messy work of building up our groups.

(Sorry if some of the pictures on this website seem flippant, but the topic is so heavy and depressing, that I'd rather lighten the tone than bring it down with realistic and deflating pictures of our decline).


  1. Michael R, I applaud your efforts here. It is very positive!

    So, I would posit that we already have our framework and you missed it due to one requirement. You want, "values that are universally intelligible." By being universal, they will undermine the particular. Furthermore, they will never be universal.

    Meaning? We see many of our values as universal, and that is our problem. Freedom of speech, democracy, individual rights are not Islamic nor are they Asian values. By seeing them as such, we make ourselves neither special nor distinct. But we are.

    If the West falls, none of these 'universal' ideals will be supported by Islam or China. So, we must claim these values as particularly western and rally around them as a unifying ethos for WESTERN people.

    Where to find the particulars? The narrative? Look in any public school textbook written prior to 1960. There you have it. The march of freedom!

    And, spreading the word 'culturism,' to undermine the siren song of multiculturalism, is a good technique for starting this revolution back to our traditional understanding .

    Thanks! John

  2. John, you've misunderstood me. This website is mainly concerned with meta-ethics, and my use of the world "value" is in a philosophical/scientific sense, not in the general everyday use of the word. Nowhere on this website do I talk about values (in the general sense of the word) as if they are universal.

    In terms of meta-ethics, the pursuit of happiness is the foundation I argue for (most of the time). I barely get beyond the meta-ethical level on this website, so there is not much here that is prescriptive about culture. This is a structural narrative, it's not culturally specific.