Something Has Gone Wrong

Spread the love

“The ordinary modes of human thinking are magical, religious, social, and personal. We want our wishes to come true; we want the universe to care about us; we want the approval of those around us; we want to get even with that s.o.b. who insulted us at the last tribal council. For most people, wanting to know the cold truth about the world is way, way down the list.”

–Known Hate Thinker John Derbyshire

I’ve always liked that formulation. The term “magical thinking” is overused, mostly by people prone to it, like feminists and Gaia worshipers. Even so, the whole thought expressed above is a good starting point for understanding the other meat sticks around us. Most people invest their time in the social and personal, but a small number of people spend their time looking at the world, trying to understand it. Many of these people are insane, but highly functional.

The thing is, those modes of thought are manifestations of other features, more primal aspects of humans. These are qualities that can be observed in people everywhere. One of those features is the willingness to believe. We tend to think of belief as religious belief, but 20th century communists were the truest of true believers.The Nazis were pretty much a secular cult organized around a Utopian belief about the Aryan future. The Amish are entirely harmless, but true believers in their brand of Christianity.

The willingness to accept the assertions of others is not the same in all of us and it is not always tied to intelligence. It may be tied to intelligence, but criminals often have low levels of belief, despite having below average intelligence. College professors often fall for nonsense, despite having a very high IQ. Look at the number of physicists who were also communists.The great mathematician Blaise Pascal was a deeply religious Christian, who put his life at risk for his faith. This guy actually write a little paper on the subject.

A related quality is the thirst for perfection. Social justice, broadly defined, is the pursuit of human perfection. You never hear social justice warriors promoting half measures. Theirs is the pursuit of the perfect as they think things like crime, racism and immorality can be abolished. They are not just seeking a perfect society. They think they can make perfect people. The absurd and dangerous habit of policing the space between people’s ears with hate crimes and speech crimes in an obvious example.

Another basic feature of humanity popular in some HBD circles is altruism. The alternative being clannishness. This is one of those individual traits that is best studied in groups. Some people are less trusting of strangers than others and some are more willing to cooperate with others not in their kin group. In order to have a modern economy, you have to have a certain degree of trust between strangers so that people will plan for the future, take risks and so forth. You cannot have a modern economy in a low-trust society.

Despite the best efforts of the people in charge of our countries, it is the actions of millions of anonymous people doing the right thing for millions of anonymous people simply because they believe it is the proper thing to do. It’s not just the willingness to help others but it is the desire to be seen as honest and trustworthy by total strangers that makes a modern economy tick. By modern economy, I mean modern in the post-agricultural era modern. There’s some argument that technology is driving us toward the habits of a pre-modern economy.

Finally, the willingness to embrace the supernatural is defining feature of man. All of us, to a certain degree, believe in ghosts. Like altruism, the embrace of the supernatural is not universal. The women I see at the tarot card reader have a much higher acceptance of the supernatural than someone like me. There are people who are sure voices from the spirit world help guide their decisions. The concept of luck or fortune is basically another name for the supernatural. I’ve known computer programmers to prattle on endlessly about their luck at the casino.

Progressives accept all sorts of supernatural explanations for natural phenomenon. For instance, male college students will take advantage of drunk sleazy coeds because of a mystical force called “rape culture.” Progressives are convinced institutional racism keeps NAM’s down, even though Progressives control all the institutions.”Institutional racism” can be replaced with the word “ghosts” and their protests make more sense. Many people are absolutely sure Hitler will come back at any minute and restart the Third Reich.

The funny thing about all this is a proper human society needs a balance of these things as no one would want to live in a world of transactional, highly skeptical cynics. Vulcan is a nice science fiction construct, but it probably could not exist. We need the desire to improve in order to make society better. We need to trust one another in order to conduct large scale public works and organize for self-defense. Belief in the form of Western Christianity carried humanity forward for a thousand years or more.

Even the belief in ghosts has some value. It keeps people from violating social taboos, the logic of which is too complicated for most people to understand. The supernatural was a useful tool in public safety. Telling people that the bog was full of monsters kept people, especially kids, from going into the bog and getting lost. Many people live moral lives because they truly believe God is watching their every deed and taking notes so they can be judged in the after life. the excuse of bad luck helps sooth the effects of failure.

The trouble is that all over the West we see that these qualities have swung well into the range of dangerous. The willingness of the EU to fling open the doors to Muslim hordes is what HBD’ers call pathological altruism. Everything we can observe about people from these lands tells us that they cannot make it in a modern Western society. Yet, an overwhelming desire to help strangers is driving the mothers of Europe to sacrifice the inheritance of their sons to help the Muslims.

The American college campus is under the control of ideological fanatics, who believe in their causes so deeply they are willing to ruin friends and family on behalf of their cause. Thought crimes have become so common, we take them for granted. Readers of this blog take steps to make sure their employers are unaware that they read sites like this one, for fear the morality police will come calling. Supporting a candidate like Trump has become a private act of rebellion.

The only thing missing from this toxic stew is an excessive believe in the supernatural, but the hunt for hate thinkers is really just a modern form of witch hunting. Everywhere you look, the dials are all turned to eleven. The best qualities, at least the best mix of qualities, that allowed the West to rocket past the world are now in abundance and threatening the whole enterprise. Whatever governor or brake that was in place in the past has been lost and the engine is revving into the red zone.

Something has gone wrong.

This post has already been read 13595 times!

Leave a Reply

50 Comments on "Something Has Gone Wrong"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
AlexC
Guest

A bit morose this morning Z. I believe in mean reversion. The more and longer we stray from the non-stationary mean, the faster and violently we correct. The trick here is to discern whether what you describe is 10 standard deviations from the mean or the correction to the mean.

Member
Small scale anecdotal example of “the desire to be seen as honest and trustworthy by total strangers”. The local shop in our little hamlet had a credit account policy during all the years I’ve lived here.The owner decided to lease the place to Chinese who have invaded the nearby market town. No more credit policy: no cashee… The cash register girl, six months out of Fukien, barely speaks Spanish. Within days of her appearance, the long-time customer base disappeared. Yesterday I needed a small item and didn’t want to drive to get it, so I went. Four other customers and… Read more »
Member

I sold my small company in the South to a “southern” Jew. He killed the business in 6 months by alienating both his customers and suppliers. There was some regret on my part, but I had already decided it was time to move on and the money from the sale was an effective balm.
We have our tribal associations for a reason, Survival; Economic and otherwise. CYA, this USSA cannot be held together by bailing wire from DC employees, whether sElected or appointed or bureaucrats hired for lifetimes of “service”.

三水的洋人
Guest

太可笑啊!才了解支那鬼子是何垃圾。

Member
I went to a small town pro Rodeo in Wycliffe, BC, Canada on Sunday. All white crowd of about 1500 with maybe two dozen orientals and a dozen north American Indians. Half of the orientals were tourists, the other were long time local Japanese ranchers, as were the Indians. A few competitors up from the USA. No litter. Not one piece. Not in the bleachers, not in the parking area, nowhere at all. Two year olds throwing garbage into bins they could barely reach. Everything orderly, neat, clean. No loud voices, no profanity. Four year olds and up running around… Read more »
Old Codger
Guest

See any description of “TEA Party rallies” for exposition of this kind of society. Then compare and contrast with the rallies held by ANY Progressive group, the vast majority of whom simply trash the places they use. Its the producers versus the freeloaders; the Cloud People versus the dirt people writ very large!

DanT
Guest

I went to a Buffalo Bills pro football game several years ago. The profanity screeched at the top of the fans’ lungs, the ignorance expressed, caused my wife and I to leave at half-time. Walking to our car we saw the parking lot/tailgate parking strewn with trash and debris so badly it appeared a tornado had devastated the area.

Never again would I say anything good about the behavior of my fellow Americans. Scum. Swine at best.

Member
Dan T- I’ve seen more and more of that kind of slovenliness myself here in Canada, despite ever more hysterical environmentalism in the press and in everyday life. I have to watch myself making reference to my childhood when we were taught to clean up after ourselves, though, lest some snotty millennial comment on how pervasive litter was a generation or so before me. And I kind of see their point. I was born 1970, and was a kid when those commercials with the weeping Indian were still on. SO I can only assume there was a significant litter problem.… Read more »
Pierre
Guest
We never discarded trash except in a receptacle and I grew up in America 1960 on. No one where we lived littered. You analogies are untrue from my perspective (just from what i saw and lived). We were all living in the “Father knows best/leave it to Beaver” neighborhoods but I would venture to say that if you tried to litter in an ethnic neighborhood in NYC (Italian, Irish, Jewish etc) you would have your butt whipped first by the neighbor that saw you do it, then by your dad when you got home (whom the neighbor would have called… Read more »
Chuck Dolci
Guest

Excellent observation, and very likely accurate. Being a seasoned citizen I recognize a lot if truth in what you say. However, I believe there is a difference today. In the past, it was brought to our attention that we were messing up the place and our response was “oh yeah, sorry about that. Let me clean it up.” And we did. Today if you say that to someone he or she will tell you to commit a physically impossible act on yourself.

Severian
Guest
A few quick thoughts: “The term “magical thinking” is overused, mostly by people prone to it, like feminists and Gaia worshipers.” Nicely put. It’s like “Dunning-Kruger” — I assume anyone who uses the phrase “Dunning-Kruger” is suffering from it until proven otherwise. “Yet, an overwhelming desire to help strangers is driving the mothers of Europe to sacrifice the inheritance of their sons to help the Muslims.” That’s why I don’t like the phrase “pathological altruism.” None of the people who advocate it have to live with the results. I lived in a college town for many years, and the funniest… Read more »
Adama
Guest

“Altruism has nothing to do with it…”

Spot on. I feel much the same about “white guilt,”which is a term that gets bandied about far too much. Genuine guilt is a truly rare quality among the self-flagellating whites of America, no matter how much they appear to suffer for the sins of their fathers. They’re far too narcissistic for that. What they suffer from is an insatiable desire to somehow leverage anything and everything into social capital. And that’s precisely what white guilt is: moral and intellectual superiority gained through feigned culpability.

Piffle4Me
Guest

I’ll put another post, but spot on again. I get why the alt-right is using pathological altruism. However, by personal observation, a critical mass of the Boomer generation and some of mine suffer from narcissism. It has some similar outcomes.

Heck, The Anonymous Conservative blog details narcissism traits within far leftist views in great depth. My only disagreement with him is the fact that it’s possible to be narcissistic and vote GOP for all the wrong reasons.

Member

The reason I tend to use “Dunning-Kruger” as often as possible is because I can never remember the names associated with the phenomenon. It’s my way of remembering. And I am about the most mistrustful person you ever met regarding what I read. Especially research papers.

Uncola
Guest
When Dear Abby was once asked what every letter ever written to her had in common, she replied: “Someone was afraid of something.” Consider how programming such as “The Twilight Zone” has entered into our national psyche. We all know we have crossed the Rubicon but no one wants to dial it back or give up any hard-won ground. What we have left then is a ubiquitous and everlasting game of Whac-a-Mole. The world is shrinking and fire and ice cannot coexist in tightly defined spaces. And, when you mix together clouds with dirt, what remains is mud and fog;… Read more »
Uncola
Guest

I neglected to write my last sentence in my above comment (which was my whole point). Here it is:

In other words, our worst fears have come true.

Member
The Amish are not harmless, they are productive. Equating the belief of the destructive with the belief of the productive really bothers me. Good and evil are real. They exist, they are not equal, they are opposite and good is stronger. Something has gone wrong you say. Well, believe this good sir, you can’t kill 55 million babies and get away with. God won’t allow that. We will be made to know the consequences of our actions. God sets nations up and God sets nations down. Yes, something is wrong. America is dying, er, being killed. Cold truth. And you… Read more »
RedFred
Guest
Fred’s point goes to the heart of the matter. Not only do Good and Evil exist, but also Beauty, and Valor, and Honor, and Courage. These qualities used to be known as Virtues, along with Rectitude, Integrity, Decency, and others, As Fred says, these things are *real*. If we don’t see that, we become corrupt. Our founding fathers (John Adams?) warned us that our government would work only for a virtuous and religious people. And yet, as C.S. Lewis points out in his sterling book “The Abolition of Man”, we are raising up Men Without Chests. Men who have no… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
The brake that’s missing is accountability. Not to anyone or to anything. And that is exactly what we have today at all levels of leadership from politicians to corporate CEOs to high ranking military officers. Leaders in the past could be and were held accountable for their actions. Those that failed were stabbed to death on senate floors, guillotined in city squares or offered a pistol to politely remove themselves in gentlemanly fashion. Today, there are no heads on spikes, not even a hint of social shaming because we lack the means to inflict such a thing – and they… Read more »
Member
The kinds of accountability you described were symptoms of already failed societies. I’m sitting here thinking about how accountability could keep societies from failing, and for the life of me I’m having trouble coming up with anything. Perhaps someone else can do it. The problem of civilizational failure is one that I don’t think anyone has solved. Men have tried to abstract solutions out of what they presume to be true since before Christ, without any luck. Many forms of government and culture have existed and managed to thrive for varying amounts of time, but all have come up short… Read more »
Member

Absolutes are unobtainable. Perfection is a personal goal never to be arrived at, especially a folly on a group level. Some leaders are more sentient, and hence better than others, most leaders are reflective of their majorities, at least in the beginning of their reigns. Then societies and their leaders “evolve” for better or worse. Divorces of a society are usually bloody, brutal occurrences.
A democracy is the final stage of a government-society prior to dictatorship. No democracy has ever returned to a Republic. The USSA is in transition from demoncracy to dictatorship since Lincoln the “Unifier”.

PJ123
Guest
I’m a bit doubtful. Yes, accountability in the past may have been as you describe it, but it was accountability within the ruling class only. The “leaders” never have been accountable to the proles. I notice Anthony Weiner was thinking of running for mayor of New York City. I can’t think of a better man for that role. Perhaps he gets away with it, because all the other members of the ruling class are morally no better, and they know it. Nor do they care what we think of them. In fact it might be a game among the rulers,… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
@ PJ123 – To your comment “The “leaders” never have been accountable to the proles”: – .maybe not in America, but European has history books filled with rulers who have found their heads on pikes and generals who fell on their own swords. In Germany towards the end of WW2, we had mass suicides of regular Army generals (not just the Nazis) and their entire families. Not out of fear towards being captured by the Allies, but because they felt accountable for failing their country. Holding oneself accountable for ones actions requires both honor and courage – and we no… Read more »
Member

All well-said, exactly so. One effect I believe we tend to disregard is the fact of Plenty- food, clothing, gadgets, personal safety and opportunity… the fear of real, mortal danger or the need to plan for one’s safety and future well-being is not found in quantity, in the Social world. Ambition, yes, but fear of loss of a source of living, no.

LetsPlay
Member
Interesting post. Two comments. 1. The mental instability of liberals never ends, is never sated. The bounce around from one issue to another with the force of tornadoes demanding that everyone share their zeal for the achievement of the impossible. Impossible goals beyond those you state, including ending hunger, poverty, inequality of wealth, intelligence, and even things like water. As if there are not enough “real” problems to deal with, the left has to create them. Take water for example. America is so bad because of our water wealth and the amount of water each person has to use, or… Read more »
Fuel Filter
Guest

“…San Fernando Valley into a dust bowl…”

You’ve got the SFV mixed up with the Central Valley, and yes, the Delta Smelt is that 3″- long baitfish that’s the “endangered species”.

As much as a snob as he is, VD Hanson has some great articles about this in City Jounal.

Want to know what happened the the SFV? Watch “Chinatown”.

LetsPlay
Member
Yep, you are right there, Mr. Fuel Filter! Central Valley it is. But you know exactly what I mean. I used to live in Vegas. They have cyclical flash floods about every ten years. To avert flood damage and to collect water in a desert location, the put a ten year plan together to build water ways to channel flood waters away from down town and residential areas to prevent damage; and they built reservoirs and the means to pump the water into Lake Mead. Planning, investment, action rather than complaining is what it takes. Where I currently live, outside… Read more »
Member

My gut instincts and my intellect are both saying that we are headed for a lot of killing. I pray that I’m wrong.

Maybe if I survive this thing I’ll be able to write about why I think this happened.

Mark Matis
Guest
You say: “Yet, an overwhelming desire to help strangers is driving the mothers of Europe to sacrifice the inheritance of their sons to help the Muslims.” I say that is not their intent whatsoever. The Muslim invasion is being encouraged by the “leaders” of Europe. And like the “leaders” of the United States, their vision of utopia is One World Government under the rule of institutions that do not need to answer to Mere Citizens. What’s the best way to get there? Destroy national identity. Hence Europe encourages the invasion of the Muslim hordes – note how few of the… Read more »
Chalkasian
Guest

“The willingness of the EU to fling open the doors to Muslim hordes is what HBD’ers call pathological altruism”

Well, for the idiotic voter it is. For the governing class, it is a desperate attempt at righting a sinking fertility rate in an economy that relies on ever – expanding population growth.

james wilson
Guest

No it’s not. It’s pure malice. Suicidal malice. Hence the “pathological”. If it’s bodies that were wanted, they could import ten million peaceful Filipinos in six months, and they would all be working, or 100 million South Asians if you prefer. The people they are importing will destroy them. It’s too obvious.

Member

Jewish stranglehold over European governments is the cause of this mass migration.

trackback

[…] Something Has Gone Wrong | The Z Blog […]

Member
Excellent commentary as usual, zman! Recently I’ve had a… distressing incident, where my son’s wife Sara (my son and daughter are both Australian) posted an “I Support Muslim Australians” poster on FB; I saw it on my timeline, as the only reason I have FB is to keep track of my family. The poster concludes, “Because I’m Not An Ignorant Racist Asshole.” Implying, of course, that I am those things, and that anyone who disagrees must also be. (For those interested, the poster is here: http://tinyurl.com/gpm8d8f ) This to me is a perfect example of “pathological altruism.” Sara is an… Read more »
Member

Nobody has taught her that team mo is islamism. It is the same as all the other stateisms. Ignore the religion, all stateists have their religion. Theirs like the rest seek to control every aspect of everything. Start there.

DiogenesLamp
Guest

I fear it will right itself, and it won’t be pleasant.

james wilson
Guest

You might want to inform her that Islam is not a race, except the one to the bottom.

John Carter
Guest
“In order to have a modern economy, you have to have a certain degree of trust between strangers so that people will plan for the future, take risks and so forth. You cannot have a modern economy in a low-trust society.” -Agreed, however we don’t have a lack of trust we have an abuse of trust, a betrayal by the very institutions that were created by people we once trusted. These institutions, such as marriage, the army, etc. have been infiltrated and subverted by people who have learned to play the game better than we did. Who counted on our… Read more »
DiogenesLamp
Guest

“Despite the best efforts of the people in charge of our countries, it is the actions of millions of anonymous people doing the right thing for millions of anonymous people simply because they believe it is the proper thing to do.”

Which used to be called “Christianity.”

Dutch
Guest
I have seen it written that a significant number of people will cheat others if the cheating has benefits for the cheater, and the cheater thinks he can get away with it. The governments cheat on us because the people in the government think they can get away with it. Separately, there is something else very important going on. I believe the female political leadership, along with the womanish male leadership (insert Obama, Hollande, Cameron, Trudeau, etc. here) all are scared to death of fighting and war, so they totally reject the traditional white masculine ideals (those held by the… Read more »
Member
I think what’s gone wrong is that the bad guys are winning. The Dirt People may not be a dying breed but whatever voices they have are drowned out by the media, Hollywood, academia, and the left in general. They are all the things they accuse us of being: racists, sexists, bullies, etc. When we fight back we are set upon as if by hounds from hell, which is what they very well could be. Cher performs half naked and calls conservatives immoral. Even the pope is against the little guy, the prole who is uncomfortable with Muslims invading his… Read more »
Member
Just a couple of speculations about the “something” that has gone wrong… 1) Many years ago when my folks got their first computer and ventured online via AOL, my kinda-sorta-but-not-really religious dad told my proper southern Baptist lady mom that if she was looking for the Beast of Revelation, the internet was it. 2) Multiculturalism is pushed by people wholly ignorant of the the story of the Tower of Babel. 3) The apple from which Eve, then Adam, ate was from the Tree of Knowledge. Even if you don’t believe the Bible or think it’s merely myths and/or allegory, it’s… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member

Call it God’s original “Do Not” Commandment. This came way before the Ten Commandments and long after his commandment of “Live Long and Prosper!” Ok, I meant to say “Go forth and multiply.” I do not believe I have read anywhere in the Scripture that the Internet was forbidden. If that was the case, it is no different from the printing press.

ApoloDoc
Guest
As I read this essay and the comments it is apparent that there is a widespread belief that TRUE EVIL does exist. This is objective morality, that there are moral qualities that reside in the act itself rather than merely you or I giving our subjective opinion. Such a stance REQUIRES the supernatural. Let me explain: The natural world consists of matter, energy, space, and time. Physical / material / “natural” things only have material properties. Morality is immaterial. It is about an obligation to act in a certain manner OR to refrain from certain actions. Obligations only entail with… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member
It seems like you confuse actions and materials but forget that actions are the effect of a cause-effect relationship. Man has free will. If he chooses to use materials in the conduct of something that results in the harm to others or their property or their liberty, then most people would agree that such effects are evil and hence the perpetrator is evil. Using materials to promote well-being and advancement of people is pretty much agreed upon as a “good” except for those of course who blame the “have’s” for every problem of the “have not’s.” I guess how you… Read more »
Piffle4Me
Guest
First, as also mentioned in these comments, I think the alt-right is on the wrong track with pathological altruism. It sounds plausible. However, narcissism also requires a great deal of virtue signaling and giving away of stuff that isn’t yours. Pathological altruists would worry about their son’s futures along with everyone else. Narcissists, from personal experience, expect their children to live their lives for their parents and are genuinely shocked at any rebellion at that notion from the kids themselves. We live in an age of Pharisees where the appearance of goodness trumps any actual goodness. The kids are expected… Read more »
meema
Member
And Evil looked at the progress, smiled and said, “It is good. I am good.” Welcome to our brave new world. Where depravity, addiction, perfectionism, sexual deviations, religious legalism, oppression, bondage, greed, persecution, subjugation, domination, and general godlessness prevails. So, what does the new face of evil look like if it can’t be a blood-sucking vampire? Does it have grotesque features and pointy teeth dripping with blood? It is repugnant and revulsive? Does it growl and roar? Not hardly, that’s the stuff of fiction. True evil whispers and coos. Evil is a shape-shifter that knows how to dress itself in… Read more »
GoneWithTheWind
Guest

“something has gone wrong” again. It seems to repeat in history during good times. A majority of people forget or never learn what got them to good times and/or simply are so busy enjoying good times that they are unaware of what is happening or how what is happening will affect them.

JayMan
Guest

The willingness of the EU to fling open the doors to Muslim hordes is what HBD’ers call pathological altruism.

Oh no, “HBD’ers” (myself, HBD Chick) have been aggressively decrying the use of that term:

Features and Bugs – The Unz Review

Yet, of course, it is not a disorder. “Pathological altruism,” at least when used to refer to this aspect of Northwestern European behavior, is a silly term.

Clearly an inherited phenotype can’t be a pathology when it is possessed by sizable fractions of the populations under consideration.

wpDiscuz