the descent into madness: an idea for libertarians


the descent into madness: an idea for libertarians

if you don’t recognize that US culture is descending rapidly into madness, stop reading. if you’re on the left or the right, stop reading. this isn’t for you and you won’t be capable of understanding it.

i’ve been thinking about the cultural decline of the US and what’s causing it. the recent uproar over the latest school shooting in florida has finally kicked me into gear to formalize some thoughts. one, the gun debate is absurd. no matter what your position is on guns, the issue is clear: there is no correlation between gun ownership and gun deaths. if you want guns banned, you can point to australia, britain and japan (and their opposites, mexico, honduras and venezuela). if you support gun ownership you can point to switzerland and serbia (and their opposites, alabama and mississippi).

the problem isn’t guns. it isn’t too many guns and it isn’t too few. people commit mass murder with guns, knives, pressure cookers, trucks and whatever they can get their hands on. in fact, more people are murdered in the US every year with knives than they are with assault rifles (or any other kind of rifle).

i don’t buy the narrative that things are getting worse on the violence front. in fact, things are getting better almost all the time. crime rates are at or near their lowest levels in 50 years. though outrage is is at a hysterical level, the fact is that school shootings are less common now than at any time in the last few decades.

crime doesn’t indicate, to me, that US culture is in decline. it’s the inability of people to think clearly and suspend or control emotion on any subject, like the gun debate.

it’s the desire to control others through the state. for example, in a recent conversation, my counterpart assumed that when i said i support the option for teachers to carry guns, that i meant that all teachers should be forced to carry guns.

it’s the twisting of reality to support fantastical ideologies, like the recent myriad genders movement.

it’s the deferral of logical thought to “authorities”. so many support “science”, yet take completely unscientific and often anti-scientific positions if that’s what’s dictated to them by “scientists”. there’s no thought, only deferral to authority.

i’ve posed a theory on one of the contributing factors of this decline previously. another, equally important, is the increasingly authoritarian nature of the culture. humans are not meant to be corralled, controlled and regimented. that’s not what we are as a species. when we’re rounded up at an early age, separated from our families and forced into artificial social arrangements every day for the most important years of our lives, psychological pathologies will emerge. i’ve expounded before on why schooling is bad for children, so there’s no need for that detail here. taking control of a person’s life away from them in this manner tends to force them to seek control over their circumstances in whatever way they can, manifesting itself in the attempt to control others. people try to control their own lives naturally as a survival mechanism. when children are controlled in school by adults while they are subjected to the idea that the only way to control your own circumstances is to control the circumstances of others, they are fed into an authoritarian loop from which most can’t escape. they begin to see the world as a struggle to control others, since they have no control over their own lives and this idea is fostered in adulthood by a ubiquitous government regulating virtually every aspect of its victim’s lives.

since schools don’t teach critical thought (the vast majority of teachers aren’t capable of this, so how could they ever teach it), a logical approach to dealing with issues is not possible. the only thing people have to go on is emotion. since their reaction is to seek to control others (the obvious way to achieve this is through government action), and they lack the ability to reason their way out of this way of thinking, they unwittingly further strengthen the authoritarianism that strangles society by continually empowering the very government that creates the problem in the first place, creating a cultural death spiral.

there’s a condition among llamas called “berserk llama syndrome” where male llamas, separated from their mothers at an early age, imprint with their human caretakers and come to see them as fellow llamas. because males are highly territorial and aggressive with each other, they become aggressive with humans as well, since they can’t differentiate humans from llamas. this is the same type of psychological pathology that is exhibited in US culture when people are forced into unnatural and restrictive social arrangements from an early age. of course, some are affected more than others. because the problem is so universal, it’s hard to tell the depth to which it exists. for example, there are memes about spanking (a method of corporal discipline for children) that say something like, “my parents spanked me and i turned out well, therefore children should be spanked”. in the mind of a person holding this belief, they see that they are able to function in the world, therefore, they were helped by this type of discipline. what they can’t see is what could have been. are they able to function? sure. but there’s no way to tell what this type of discipline may have cost them in their development. in short, they have no way to determine if this style of discipline has a positive or negative impact, in general. similarly, there’s no way to tell what kind of impact authoritarianism is having on society overall, but i suggest that such a radical departure from the natural order can only have a negative impact. maybe that’s the cause, or contributes to the cause of high rates of depression and other psychological maladies that have a significant portion of the populace medicated. this may compound the problems for some who are the most susceptible to psychological pathology sending them, like llamas, over the edge by the overbearing authoritarianism, seeking ultimate control over others by taking their lives with violence.

the US has a strong and deep culture of authoritarianism arising from multiple sources. it’s difficult to see from the inside, but becomes clear when viewed from other cultures. the way in which this culture feeds on itself leads me to believe that there is no hope for addressing this in a constructive manner in its current, advanced state. most cannot be persuaded by reason, since they haven’t developed the tools by which to recognize reason. the only thing that can be done is for those capable of recognizing authoritarianism is to help their children navigate it and to address it in their own lives to the extent to which they’re capable of changing themselves.

Conceptual logician, libertarian philosopher, musician, economist, almost-ran businessman and other stuff.
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