Posts Tagged ‘Cyclists’

NOTHING IS MORE INHUMAN THAN IDIOCY

August 15, 2018

NOTHING TO FEAR MORE THAN IDIOCY

What characterizes the human species above all others? More intelligence! To be more intelligent is to be more human. Thus, to be more stupid is to be more inhuman. This basic observation about human nature ought to be the foundation of any worthy humanism. Humanization? More intelligence! Dehumanization? More stupidity!

Ah, “dehumanization”. The buzz word of August 2018. Internet monopolies have recently enacted policies to reduce what they call “dehumanization” (whereas, in truth, they were its main enablers, for many years). In practice, Internet monopolies eradicated some posts and, or, posters who engaged in blatant, outrageous, hurtful lies. Boldly, the New York Times wandered “Inside Twitter’s Struggle Over What Gets Banned”: The enormity of what some Twitter executives consider “dehumanizing” is striking. Twitter executives ponder whether tweets that disparaged immigrants could be considered dehumanizing. One executive insisted that it was important for Twitter to enable debate about immigration policy.” Thanks Twitter to enable debate about concepts!

Dehumanization is a great problem over the Internet, indeed… And it starts with having oligarchs in charge of deciding what allowable debate, or even presentation, consists of. Facebook censors some most famous paintings of the Renaissance: they hurt its dearth of culture, basic indecency, and overwhelming stupidity.

Once one realizes that stupidity is most dehumanizing, priorities should change. Of course immigration should be debated, and of course *some*, yes, some, immigrants should be disparaged (for example those who immigrate just to kill people of their host countries: there were several cases in France alone, in the last five years, totalling hundreds of victims. For example the Paris November attacks, or the Nice truck driver massacrer, a Tunisian on a residency permit, who killed more than 80 on July 14th…).

***

If intelligence is what characterizes our species most, why has it been so neglected by leading ideologies? Because of whom they were meant to serve!  

Leading ideologies promote stupidity, not just because the dim witted, and those who have mental pretense (like professional intellectuals) without the brainpower, are afraid of the notion of relative intelligence (which, one must admit, is fraught with the greatest subtleties and difficulties).

The fundamental reason why intelligence was not viewed as the foundation of humanism has been that, ever since the Macedonian tyrant Antipater, executor of the will of Aristotle (!) destroyed Athenian democracy, dictators, naturally enough, have prefered to reward and promote stupid philosophies and religions justifying their evil ways (Kant, Herder, Rousseau, Marx were examples; modern examples are all the philosophers absurdly claiming the Absurd to be the foundation).

One of the royal roads to stupidity, thus inhumanism, is to claim that there is no evil. Indeed evil is smart: evil hides in the details, or in plain obscurity (the proverbial “Dark Side”, 4,000 years old. So one needs smarts to detect evil, and, furthermore, smarts fight evil. (See Note 1 On Internet Companies)

A little, yet tragic tale will illustrate this very well.

***

Nothing To Fear More Than Overwhelming Politically Correct Idiocy

Sob story in the New York Times about the delicious US cyclists who went all around the world, constantly posting their adventures, and their faces, on “social networks”. And they advertized how great, handsome, and PC they were, because they extolled how everybody is good, and the only bad ones were those insinuating that not everybody is good, not everybody is beautiful (by the same token all US corporations and “foundations” are good, beautiful, and not evil whatsoever, as evil doesn’t exist).

The “cyclists” of doom, beaming with positivity. We are the world, we are the success, we are the good, look at us, world, just like the world, that world we rule, we gentle and beautiful. Plus or minus a few dozens of millions of determined killers out there… And the evil empire we work for. Mr. Austin was working for the Department of Housing and Urban Development when he decided to make the trip. The country where this picture is taken from crawls with millions of fanatical Muslim Fundamentalists determined to kill “disbelievers”. Obama says that’s beautiful (but then droned them in Yemen, Pakistan). I say it’s not smart to say this is all about goodness…

A mutual admiration society, throughout “social networks”… which can be very profitable for those who partake in them professionally: brainless, ignorant, thus splendid and familiar “Youtubers” can make fortunes, spilling all over the world their inanities. All for the best in the best of possible worlds, led by the best humanity which ever was (some of the major Internet monopolies are now taking affirmative action against authors who claim this is not the best of possible worlds, and censoring loud and clear; yours truly was censored and banned from many Internet places and search engines, more than a decade ago; when I said so, even leftists told me I was hallucinating). How wonderful, great, kind, awesome, well-meaning humanity is. Let’s quote the New York Times about that self-admiration society in A Dream Ended on a Mountain Road: The Cyclists and the ISIS Militants:

“Still, by the time they reached that bend in the road in Tajikistan just over a week ago, they had embraced the notion that the world was overwhelmingly good, the dozens of annotated photographs and the thousands of words they left behind show.

“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Mr. Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.

“I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own … By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind… No greater revelation has come from our journey than this,” [Mr. Austin] wrote.” .

The (relatively) wealthy cyclists from the disant imperial superpower joined with other cyclists.

“Days turned to weeks, and then into months. Their bodies began to break. An ear infection landed Ms. Geoghegan in the emergency room in France. They both contracted pinkeye. They shouldered on through upset stomachs and sore throats.

It was winter by the time they reached Europe last December. Torrential rain soaked through their waterproof gloves. “Utterly hopeless, wet and cold,” they posted from Spain.”

At that point, they were saved by generous French and, or Spanish inhabitants, who dried them, sheltered them, and let them live with them until recovered. The amazing thing is that Mr. Austin was exposed to wanton acts of cruelty on the part of other human beings. Still, he persisted in broadcasting his “no evil” theory of humanity… Was he so deeply inculcated by Google, which pretended, for a decade, that its credo was “Don’t be evil”? (At least Google admitted the possibility of evil…)

The will to claim there is no evil, even after having been exposed to plenty of it, means that one is not authentic. Authenticity enables to reach deeper truth more easily. Truth is not just pretty, and a higher calling. Truth saves. And for those who refuse the truth, in the worst cases, death awaits, which could have been otherwise avoided. New York Times:

“But in the course of their travels, their blog posts also noted flashes of cruelty.

On one mountain pass, a group of men blocked their path and tried to shove the couple off their bikes.

And just 50 yards from the Spanish border in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mr. Austin signaled to a driver that he wanted to cut into his lane. The driver let him enter and then — slowly and deliberately — began to run him over, trapping Mr. Austin’s bike between the advancing car and the vehicle ahead of them.

Still, by the time they reached that bend in the road in Tajikistan just over a week ago, they had embraced the notion that the world was overwhelmingly good, the dozens of annotated photographs and the thousands of words they left behind show.”

***

What happened in that bend of road is that those who self-promote through naivety to the point of hypocrisy met those who apply the lethal, vengeful, deliberately anti-Western ideology of Islam literally. Deliberately anti-Western? Muhammad himself said so. His followers followed the irate “men in black” Christian monks of the Fourth and Fifth century. Let’s not forget that, when Imperial Rome was at its peak, women bathed in what would be called 2,000 years later, bikinis.

***

What your “friends” call goodness, your enemies call evil:

New York Times:

…”over a week ago,came Day 369, when the couple was biking in formation with a group of other tourists on a panoramic stretch of road in southwestern Tajikistan. It was there, on July 29, that a carload of men who are believed to have recorded a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State spotted them.

A grainy cellphone clip recorded by a driver shows what happened next: The men’s Daewoo sedan passes the cyclists and then makes a sharp U-turn. It doubles back, and aims directly for the bikers, ramming into them and lurching over their fallen forms. In all, four people were killed: Mr. Austin, Ms. Geoghegan and cyclists from Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Two days later, the Islamic State released a video showing five men it identified as the attackers, sitting before the ISIS flag. They face the camera and make a vow: to kill “disbelievers.”

It was a worldview as diametrically opposed as imaginable to the one Mr. Austin and Ms. Geoghegan were trying to live by. Throughout their travels, the couple wrote a blog together and shared Instagram postsabout the openheartedness they wanted to embody and the acts of kindness reciprocated by strangers.”

Mr. Austin and his pseudo-benevolent, pseudo-benign ilk, those holier-than thou types who insist that there is no evil, except in our presumably evil and obdurately perverse, all too critical minds, have human nature between blindfolds.

The world is a big, scary place, indeed. Some people are not to be trusted. Some people are bad. Some people are evil.

I don’t buy it.” said the one who got assassinated, in a revealing semantic slip: the assassinated victim speaks as if he believed everything was for sale, even ideas… Maybe he believed indeed all was a question of buying and selling. That is exactly the sort of mercantile mentality, the mentality that everything is for sale, that everything can be bought, many of those who are angry against the established order want to destroy (thus the appeal of Islamism). (Some will pontificate that “I buy it”is just a way of expressing oneself, that it means nothing, that it does nothing. Yes it does: it infeodates, emotionally speaking, the realm of ideas to the realm of buy and sell, Wall Street.)

Evil is not a make-believe concept we’ve invented to “deal” with the “complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own”…

Evil is not a question of making “deals”, as the naive smashed victim believed, in another semantic slip into emotional mercantilism. There are values and perspectives that are incompatible: an example is literal Islam, as found in Qur’an and Hadith… which is deeply incompatible with human ethology! Human ethology makes female and male humans quite similar. Islam says females are a fraction of men, at least judicially. The most common, wealthiest, most powerful versions of Islam says females are to be covered up. So it’s Islam against humanity, and only extreme violence can hope to succeed in this hopeless struggle. Hopeless: because how could humanity defeat itself?

Any ideology incompatible with humanity as deeply as Islam is, can be depicted as evil, as it generates a war with humanity: Nazism is another example. So are nearly all existing superstitious religions, for example Islam’s forerunner, Christianity… simply because they are war or slave religions which view women as warrior producing machines…

***

Evil is not just hidden in ideologies, more or less. Evil also has a neurological side, with its own rewards and its own inertia:

Hormones and neurohormones leading to destruction, cruelty, sadism, viciousness, fighting, do exist. Some will scoff, because, in their colossal ignorance and lack of the most basic imagination, they don’t realize humanity stand on the corpses of hundreds of millions of lions. Among other beasts vanquished, and prime among them, other human beings. Beasts and men alike learned their lesson: they were deliberately hunted.

Indeed after all these lions had been disposed of, it remained to dispose of those who disposed of the lions (and the tigers, and the panthers, and the saber tooth cats, and all sorts of man eating bears, etc.). War hormones are made to take command, and kill. War hormones can take command of an individual, or, much more dangerously, a crowd (some forms of lethal viciousness such as anti-Judaism have persisted for 17 centuries). By and large, humans are kind, deep down inside. However, not all the time, and not everybody. How many lunatics with a finger on a nuclear holocaust does it take to ruin the planet? Answer: just one. So the question of the evil of the one is paramount.

***

Stupidity is the main enabler of oppression, subjugation, thus evil (ideological, or physical):

Consider for example the banking system: money (for “everybody”) is created by lending to the wealthiest. Unacceptable in democracy, but accepted, because most people don’t know! Stupidity rules! (How the banking system works is not something taught as very important to MBAs…)

With the power we have today, a few self-interested plutocrats can own most of everything, and thus can have most of the power. And how many myopic leaders can we take? Even if the majority is kind, generous, and wonderful, it takes just one, or a few myopic ones, to kill us all.

No greater revelation came out of the naive victims’ sacrifices  than this: one gets killed only once, and, nowadays, thanks to cars, SUVs, rockets, the atom, one lunatic can kill a village, a city, even a country.

Human beings can be all the kindness they want to project. I am sure the five Islamist murderers can be kind, generous, wonderful… in particular circumstances which suits them. But they also believed in a murderous ideology. Murderous ideologies have to be killed, and were always killed. This is generosity, kindness, and wonderfulness at their best. By killing murderous ideologies humanity progresses and civilization reconciles itself with necessary technological advances, reconciling our new found powers and what our ethos needs to be to enable the genus homo to survive.

That intelligence is central to humanity has long been obvious: after all, the name of the species is Homo SAPIENS (Swede Carl von Linné in 1758). Sapere comes in part from to taste, to perceive, being wise, all things pretty much synonymous with intelligence.

We live in strangely mentally degenerating times (take the notion that fearing Islam is racist, as if fearing Christianity, something most intellectuals were affected by, for 17 centuries, was racist… Or, more basically consider the (“snowflake“) notion that debate itself is something one should fear). Actually it’s not so strange: the degeneracy is symbiotic with plutocracy itself: it originates with it, and also makes it possible.

Small superficial thinkers play the same role in the army of plutocracy as light skirmishers played in ancient armies. They are also the junction between the most common masses and the sophisticated intellectuals from the top universities, experts of the collaboration with the established order.

Nietzsche attacked Christianity as a “slave religion”. Most superstitious religions are slave religions: that’s why they have been invented. They all rest on the sentiment that the common person is culprit, a sinner, because that person didn’t believe in the goodness of the powers that be, which, lo and behold, pretty much identify with the oppressors.

The world cyclists, everybody-is-good, everybody-is-beautiful reflected this, as they denied that there were bad ideologies, or bad people. Instead, they brandished as culprit the attitude of suspicion, and what underlays it, simple objectivity.

They paid the price. A sad story. Let’s make it a worthy lesson.

So would we, as individuals, or as humanity, if we didn’t stay sharp and suspicious. Critique, intelligence, a propensity to detect evil, are no way to sell one’s products, but they are the way to stay alive. And they are also the foundations of morality. Anything short of that is effective nihilism.

Patrice Ayme

***

***

Note 1: Don’t be evil, we have the monopoly of that. Internet companies ask their subscribers and victims to sign long contracts in subtle legalese; that’s intrinsically evil: next thing you know all and any of your activities will be transmitted to various centers of powers, including para-governmental banks.

***

Note 2: New philosophers and philosophies coming out of them have to be smarter, logically or emotionally, than what came before. For example, Kant could be very smart. However, on most important subjects, racism and slavery, he was most dumb. His position would have necessitated to prove that enslaved races were inferior, objectively. Worse among towering German philosophers: Marx was an outright racist against Africans (and Jews, although he was one of them… one feels tempted to say: because he was one of them…)

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/marx-as-vituperating-racist-proto-nazi/

One see here that the followers of Kant and Marx, among them the Nazis (who said so themselves! Even Hitler!), have been self-selecting for dumbness (because they believe strongly, on a most important subjects, and all the “proofs” they have, are insults…)

***

Note 3: The rise of anti-PC psycho-philosophers such as Jordan Peterson (“12 rules”…) exploit the dumbness of the pseudo-left, by pointing out, implicitly, that it is more human to be smart.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/why-the-left-is-so-afraid-of-jordan-peterson/567110/

***

Note 4: I was banned from sites in the past, for unknown reason, including the NYT, which has recently reinstated me… The only site which banned me, around a decade ago, the “European Tribune”, for an explicit cause, explained to me that some of its members viewed me as a crazy conspiracy theorist, as I pretended that there were relationships between US plutocrats and Nazism, or between some well-known bankers and Nazism. The proof of my madness was that, according to them, Internet searches seem to show only me had such weird ideas…