A Mandate for President-Elect Trump

The protection of the US Constitution and human rights.

The restoration of American borders and the rule of law.

The establishment of close ties with the former members of the British Empire and the current members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and the economic reactivation of the commonwealth with the inclusion of the American economy.

The cultivation of close cultural ties with the Commonwealth of Nations, and all other English-speaking countries.

Decisive and continuous support for like-minded political movements in the West, and in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan in particular.

Continued engagement with the EU system and the European people.

The exploration and exploitation of “high-flying assets” as well as alternative sources of energy generation in addition to the currently-existing fossil fuel industry. I.E. forming a new financial framework without ceding world energy markets to Russia.

The breakup of the media conglomerate and the restoration of the Fourth Estate.

A restrengthening of the military.

The destruction of ISIS and other Jihadis, and the return of the US as the primary guarantor of security for the world.

Nietzsche, Relativism, and the Death of Truth

When the individual is incapable of holding an objective thought, only the result of a collaborative effort between many is deemed to be based in reality and truth.

After dealing with the concept of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch in the first blog on this topic, we are now left to examine his concept of Perspectivism, and the wider umbrella term of Relativism under which it falls. Many have come to view our “postmodern” society as an opaque dystopia. Politics are heavily polarized and scandalous, the people are growing more divided along race and gender lines, popular culture is marginalizing the individual thinker into the lunatic fringe, and the impression left on us by the mainstream media is that we live in a mean, mean world along with our fellow psychotics. This is all the result of the divorce of society from the concept of universal truth, and the rejection of the notion that the individual has the ability to hold an objective thought. By doing away with the truth, the search for truth is done away with as well. So what happened? Where did it all go wrong? A more appropriate question to ask is “How did it all go wrong again?” as humanity has already observed and dealt with this issue in the past. It was Nietzsche who sent us back into the Bronze Age.

Before Nietzsche, there were the Sophists. These were ancient Greek teachers who peddled their lessons to the progeny of wealthy clients, claiming to be able to pass on their own virtues and wisdom to their lucky students. Rather than teaching actual knowledge (this was a time before modern science) they taught their own experiences and philosophy, and their teachings were often at odds with each other. Socrates noticed all of this, and saw how focusing on truth would often be compromised by touting popular belief to garner more students and collect more fees. Rather than collaborating to discover reality, the Sophists were competing against each other and the knowledge, and their students, suffered for it. Through his protege, Plato, the two would go on to condemn the Sophists and point out the first recorded instance of their expounding of Relativism. This is the concept that individual viewpoints are devoid of any type of objective, absolute truth, and the only value said viewpoints have is relative to the thought process and perspective of the individual. As the Sophists needed a means to defend their corrupted industry, they used Relativism to obscure the issue. Rather than having to answer the dichotomy of true and false, teaching knowledge or being a fraud, the entire search for truth was sidestepped, and their businesses could continue as “it’s all relative” and all viewpoints had value. Plato and Socrates were completely opposed to this thinking, and Plato would later use math and geometry to develop Platonic Realism and the concept of universal forms. By offering logic, reasoning, and math rather than pure rhetoric, Plato and Socrates would form the foundations of Western philosophy while the Sophists were later relegated to teaching speech craft in the Roman Empire.

Nietzsche was well-read and well aware of Plato’s criticisms of the Sophists, yet he considered Plato to be “boring” and claimed that the championing of reason would kill the passion needed for creativity and art. Nietzsche saw the decline of religious faith and the”death of God” as the primary factor for a coming fracture of society. Without one biblical narrative for all to believe in, he was convinced that the Western world would descend into nihilism and chaos. Nietzsche’s proposed remedy for this was his Perspectivism, which is essentially the same as Relativism but excludes the notion that all other viewpoints (and Sophists) are valued equally. By making this very small tweak to Relativism, Nietzsche gave himself sufficient leeway to suggest that scientists and science, intellectuals, and the political class be the new source for society’s values in his Ubermensch concept. God was on His way out, scientists and politicians were in. With one fell swoop, science and its thrall, pop culture, supplanted God and stood in opposition to the religious worldview.

So by Perspectivism and Relativism, we are cursed with the abandonment of the search for truth, the rejection of the ability to hold an objective thought, the leveling of value for all perspectives, and the modern science vs. religion culture war. Rather than encouraging the individual to discover the truth, we are now expected to listen to “experts,” refer to an authority, and seek a consensus among our peers to validate what is merely a perspective. We live in an age of “popular truth.”

The hideous fruit borne from the twisted tree that Nietzsche and the Sophists planted and nurtured is plain to see for all. The postmodern world has its own contemporary form of the Sophists in the form of the mass media, talking heads, and pundits. Instead of investigating and reporting the truth, yellow journalism, gossip, and two-party kool aid is pushed for ratings and the mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads.” Just like their ancient Greek counterparts, these sophists have corrupted themselves and their product for the sake of greed and short term gain. The audience on the receiving end of this dribble becomes polarized and begins to pick and choose their own reality in the absence of the possibility of truth. Identity politics is intensified, rhetoric becomes more divisive and blunt, and the echo chambers and circle jerks of the internet are filled with those who have given into group think and group values.

Society and culture itself is the primary victim of this Bronze age charlatanism. When the individual is incapable of holding an objective thought, only the result of a collaborative effort between many is deemed to be based in reality and truth. Queue the rise of rule by committee, political correctness, and so-called microaggressions, where everybody’s sensibilities must be catered to. The devaluing of the individual gives pop culture and popular belief more gravitas, allowing it to lord over the individual. The leveling of value for all perspectives is the groundwork for multiculturalism, and the delusional apologists for Islam. Group-thinkers like Ben Affleck ignore the scholarship from actual Muslims and researchers who have, for centuries, denounced certain precepts such as the outlawing of criticism and free speech and an aversion for innovation. Criticizing those apologists is met with accusations of racism, and further shaming for disagreeing. When an edict is passed down from our Ubermensch, the troops snap to and await their marching orders. The Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX, and the stress on gender equality, was the societal value that was given to the people. The result is a militant movement of Social Justice Warriors and the third wave Feminist Supremacists who, eerily similar to the Maoist Red Guards, began to vociferously and viciously attack, silence, and demand the exile of teachers and fellow students who question or fail to toe the Title IX line. Even false accusations and staged events are not below these unfortunately brainwashed people.

The only benefactor in this postmodern misery seems to be our dear leaders, the Ubermensch. As they establish our values and are above morality, who are we to question their political scandals and criminal conduct? With the deep divisions in the two party system, one only needs to discredit and dismiss their opponents as lacking virtue and playing political games in order to free themselves of accountability. This process repeated on both sides has degraded the legitimacy of the democratic system as a whole. Endless warmongering is enabled by the ambiguous, broadly-defined term of “terrorist.” The Ubermensch will decide who is a terrorist and who is a “moderate Syrian rebel” or freedom fighter, and the American people are not excluded from being classified a boogeyman enemy of the state. When Western leaders need to make their case, they have the option of doctoring up a study or some statistics and presenting a junk science argument to the public. Even science, when it is divorced from natural philosophy, cause and correlation, will be politicized and spun to build a consensus from supporters or intellectually bully an opposing perspective with academic pettifogging and appeals to their own qualifications. Nothing has been left untouched.

This is the current, sad state of affairs in our society. Group-thinking, polarization, and the disenfranchisement and devaluing of individual thought and creativity have reverted us back into the Bronze age with all of its mob mentality barbarism and sophism. I suppose 2,500 years ago, one could excuse the Sophists since Socrates, Plato, logic and science were still embryonic. But today, the kaleidoscopic refraction of reality, culture, and societal values must be recognized and shown as a wholly unnecessary evil that serves only to divide and weaken. The shaming, accusations of racism, and puppeteering of science and popular culture has made a mockery of Western civilization, and has condemned its citizens to a vile, discordant purgatory.

But that’s just my perspective.

Chinese Setback in South China Sea Tribunal Incites Protests Against KFC

“While the state news media has denounced the tribunal’s decision, it has also poured cold water on calls to protest.”

Following last week’s decision from the Hague ruling in favor of the Philippines and against China’s claims over the resource-rich South China Sea, Chinese citizens are protesting American KFC franchises across their country.

KFC Targeted in Protests Over South China Sea

Despite being a comparatively small boycott, the Chinese government has begun censoring the phrases “KFC” and “South China Sea” in social media as part of a larger effort to prevent wide-spread protests and unrest in general.

The first sign of the KFC campaign was a banner unfurled on Sunday outside an outlet in the northern province of Hebei. “Boycott the U.S., Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. Love the Chinese people,” the banner read. “What you eat is KFC. What is lost is the face of our ancestors.”

The Chinese government has acted wisely in this situation since the nationalistic fervor of prior boycotts have often led to serious property damage and even deaths. My question is will the Chinese boycott their Starbucks franchises as well? Will they protest the fake Apple stores? Or the knockoff Nike factories and the Ford F150 clones? How about the “Polystation” game console or the “X-Boy.” China need not be worried about losing the face of their ancestors, every fake iPhone comes with a camera these days.

Old Lady Mistakenly Fills in Crossword Art Exhibit, Becomes Art

This is completely logical when art itself lacks beauty and has no intrinsic value or affect outside of its original context.

An $89,000 piece of avant garde artwork was mistaken for a real crossword puzzle and filled in by a 91 year-old retiree in a Nuremburg art museum.

Crossword artwork filled in by German woman in museum

Gerlinde Knopp, who was leading the excursion, said the museum was also full of interactive art, making it easy to lose sight of what one could and could not do there…

The woman had no malicious intent and the art piece was restored, but something else very interesting has happened here. As art becomes more abstract and ugly, it begins to look less like a product of effort, skill, and inspiration and more like a self-conscious expression within a society. This artist was trying to be ironic by deliberately choosing to create, sell, and display, in a museum, an image that is actually printed millions of times a day in newspapers around the world and probably already exists in every living room or driveway, but the whole thing is ironic only within this context. People going to a museum to look at something so mundane and common is only ironic when they expected to see art.

When the context was changed and the crossword art was displayed among many other interactive exhibits, it reverted back to its original purpose- a crossword puzzle to be marked up rather than preserved and admired. This is completely logical when art itself lacks beauty and has no intrinsic value or affect outside of its original context. Playing off of preexisting social conditions and expectations is an easier way to evoke thought or emotion from a public already overstimulated by Michael Bay CG explosions and Avatar in 3D.

When a piece of art represents a reaction to society, the choices made and the decision process of the artist become the subject. That means making art that still has an impact doesn’t necessarily require great skill, discipline, or creativity. This is how art has continued to exist alongside the much more visually impressive creations of computer graphics and other forms of media. The style and intent of the artist can replace substance, so the work itself is allowed to be, and often is, unimpressive. Take for example, the prankster who left a pair of glasses on the floor of a San Francisco museum to be mistaken for a genuine art exhibit, drawing a crowd and photographs. The prank itself stirs more emotion than a lost pair of glasses and the same is true for this scenario. I am amused by the fact that an elderly woman mistook an art exhibit for what it literally is, but I was even more amused that the modern art “experts” working at the museum failed to foresee this level of irony.

What am I doing here?

What is this “blog?”

 

If the process of expressing oneself may be therapeutic or stress-relieving, then I am due for some therapy. The polarization of this age is tiresome, and I have decided to permanently check out of the echo chambers I once lurked in. So I’m hoping this blog will be my new outlet, as I believe there is so much to talk about.

There is little doubt that the world has become a bizarre place. Possibilities that were once scoffed and snorted at have become reality, people are exposed, and the caricature of mankind grows more grotesque and abstract. We live in inverted times. News media is run by gore hounds, TV has been dumbed down, and music consists of celebrities rather than musicians. In art, the objectification of a great thought or emotion has given way to the subjectification of the act of expression itself. Hence all of the abstract, shock art that has no beauty. Civil discourse and dialogue is very nearly impossible now. Rather than taking in information, forming an opinion, and arguing it with facts and logic, the aim is to ingest analysis from some authority, determine if it supports a preferred world view, and then zealously confront those who are “incorrect” and won’t toe the line. What was once a tool for understanding and finding the truth has become a mechanism for individuals to prove their loyalty to an ideology and go to battle with non-believers.

So why is all of this happening? I believe it’s the fear taking over. It’s the age of terror, Ebola, doomsday asteroids, salmonella, climate change, active shooters, World War III  and the knock-out game. The only way to move forward is to look into the abyss and try and figure it out. So if you are prepared to witness the strangeness, the brilliance, the power, the intrigue, the cunning, and the ensuing revulsion that follows all of that, then subscribe to this blog because I intend to explore every crevice, read between every line, and turn over every rock to see what strange things crawl around out of the light of day.

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