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Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Overman’s Enslavement

Man’s debt towards fellow human beings is a profitable enterprise for those with Nietzschean Last Man mentality, who become collectors of the debt and join the ruling class, but for most people, who exist in the twilight between the Last Man and the Overman, the debt is an instrument of enslavement and torture—the Last Man, who owns the master mentality, is fit to rule; the Overman, who owns the slave mentality, is always the payer.

Over-Civilization and Nihilism

Civilization is a good thing but over-civilization is a sign that people are no longer conscious of culture and politics and that a clique of erudite-barbarians has taken charge and is directing the civilization towards nihilism. The road to nihilism is paved with over-civilization.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Truth Never Prevails On Its Own

In the end, the truth will prevail. But when will the end which will witness the enshrinement of the truth come? No one can tell. The expression, “In the end, the truth will prevail,” is a mindless anodyne, a fatalistic banality; it symbolizes the unfulfilled hopes of a defeated people. If it’s the lie that prevails today, then people have two alternatives: either submit to the lie, or fight to expose it. Tomorrow it might be too late; a lie that is not exposed today becomes the established point of view tomorrow; with every passing day the lie gathers more strength, more corruption, more immorality, and one day it has enough power to crush all those who won’t submit to it. The truth never prevails on its on, only when people are willing to fight for it.

Apocalypse: The Timeless Instrument of Power

An apocalypse is the brutal instrument for attaining power. When political movements fail to attain mass support by conventional methods, they use the idea of an apocalypse to frighten people into submission. Almost all civilizations, in the past 2500 years, have resorted to apocalyptic theories to keep their population frightened and in control. When you hear modern intellectuals and politicians thundering from their pulpits (TV studios) that an apocalypse is imminent—that the apocalypse will rip your life apart, that your world is coming to an end, that they are the only ones who can save you and your world, but only if submit to them and make such and such changes to your lifestyle—then you should become aware that a new version of the brutal ancient game of power is now being played, and that, this time, you are the dispensable “pawn” of the power game.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

On The Predictions of the Frankfurt School

The advanced nations are “happily and calmly” committing economic and cultural harakiri in the name of fighting a flu virus—why are they self-destructing? I am revisiting the Frankfurt School’s psychoanalysis of modernity, and I realize that, in the last fifty years, many predictions made by this school have come true. The Frankfurt School theorists (Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer, Fromm, and a few other names) have claimed that capitalism, which is essentially state capitalism, is dedicated to creating a mass society with standardization and social conformity. They were among the first theorists to view Hollywood films, radio, TV, mainstream media, and advertising as instruments for engendering social control and mass culture. The 1947 book by Adorno and Horkheimer, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, is a popular text of the Frankfurt School—while it’s a critique of the Enlightenment, it has something noteworthy to say about capitalism: every capitalist society eventually becomes massified and fascistic, and the new generations often become slavish and cruel. Another useful book of the Frankfurt School is Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom (1941); Fromm makes a distinction between "freedom from” (negative freedom) and “freedom to” (positive freedom). The third book of the Frankfurt School that I will mention is Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization (1955) which combines Marxist and Freudian worldview to propagate (and analyze) the rise of a counterculture of revolt, disobedience, and libertinism in capitalist societies.

The Distortion and Corruption of Values

Every value of modern society has been corrupted and used to breed its opposite: capitalism has been used to breed fascism; democracy to breed mob rule; reason to breed unreason; science to breed adherence to sociological paradigms; liberty to breed a culture of manipulation and dominance; innovation and enterprise to breed conformism in the marketplace; industry to breed massive military machines; digital technologies to breed systems to spy on innocent citizens; academia and mass media to breed an indoctrinated and dumb population; intellectualism to breed a class of erudite barbarians; cure to breed an outcome worse than the disease.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Kuhn’s Theory of “Bandwagon Effects” in Science

The extreme measures that many “expert” scientists and doctors are advocating for dealing with the coronavirus problem makes me remember the “bandwagon effect” that Thomas Kuhn has described in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn says that the view of the scientific community is strongly influenced by a “bandwagon effect”; the scientists are not open-minded; they do not base their views on evidence; they do not conduct proper experiments—and, instead of being objective, they tend to view the world in terms of the prevailing paradigm (by paradigm Kuhn means an overwhelming consensus on what a scientific view ought to be). Over a period of time, the paradigm leads to the accumulation of anomalies, which the scientists address by allowing gradual divergences—this process leads to paradigm breakdown and the rise of a new paradigm. The work of scientists, according to Kuhn, is not fully rational; it’s a sociological enterprise.

The Soviet Union and The USA

Communism was the great destroyer of liberty in the twentieth century, but after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the interest in communism, as an ideology of world dominance, died and the mission for destroying liberty was picked up by a spate of movements which were developed by the intellectuals and politicians based in the nation that often straddles the globe caparisoned as the knight of liberty and capitalism: the USA. The list of American liberty killing movements since the 1990s include: global warming, climate change, war on terror, war on drugs, and currently, the war on a virus. In several respects, after 1991, the USA became like the Soviet Union.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Celebrity Who Believes in Apocalypse

Why are the world’s leading celebrities fervent believers and propagators of apocalyptic theories like Ice Age, Global Warming, Climate Change, Pandemic? I think that a typical celebrity supporter of an apocalyptic theory is a man who at first achieves great worldly success, but failing to understand the reasons for which he is successful, he spends days and nights trying to convince himself that his success is genuine, and when he fails to convince himself, he blames the people whose support has made him what he is and he pines for their downfall and annihilation—the idea of an apocalypse becomes a psychological need for him, because an apocalypse is his final revenge against those who inflicted on him the ignominy of a fake success.

On The New Trojan Horse

Here’s my prediction: The word “coronavirus” will become emblazoned in mankind’s collective memory—the coming generations will never forget this word because it will become associated, in their mind, with the fall of the world order which got established in the twentieth century. Philosophers and historians will state in their books that coronavirus entered the advanced nations like a “Trojan Horse,” enticing their governments to take draconian steps to counter it, but instead of stopping the virus, these steps led to a fatal decline in their culture, economy, and military strength; with the fall of the advanced nations, the existing world order was finished and the quest began for a new order. The game of the new "Trojan Horse" has already been played and now it cannot be reversed or unplayed.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Wars of Twenty-first Century

“There will be wars, as there never have been wars on earth,” says Nietzsche in Will to Power—this statement is not a hyperbole; it’s Nietzsche’s prediction that the wars of the twentieth century would be different from the earlier wars. The wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth century were motivated by dynastic and national concerns, whereas the wars of the twentieth century would be immense—why? because, according to Nietzsche, they would be a clash of ideologies. But what kind of wars will the nations wage in the twenty-first century? The age of ideology ended with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the wars since then have been over control of territory and resources; the same trend will continue and going forward, the new wars will be limited in scope, and will ultimately engender a world order in which there are multiple power centers.

Extinction of the Neo-Dinosaur: Modern Man

The modern man, who is a creation of centuries of philosophical, political, and scientific work, finds himself at a midpoint between a lunatic asylum and a zombie apocalypse. His way of life is finished, but in such an ignominious and pathetic manner—nature bestowed on the dinosaurs the dignity of having the opportunity to become extinct from the impact of a meteor which turned the earth into a fireball for a thousand years; modern man, the neo-dinosaur, on the other hand, is going down with the whimper of a flu virus. Now men face two stark choices: either they can become a lunatic and live in the asylum alongside the stark raving mad, or they can turn into a zombie and join the rampaging cannibalistic hordes. What will your choice be?

Friday, April 24, 2020

On Conservatives and Immigration

Why are the western conservatives still fretting about immigrants? Hey dude, immigrants arrive only in nations which have a large number of high-paying jobs to offer. When your economy is in a state of apocalyptic decline, and the chances of economic recovery in the next five years seem bleak because the politicians, intellectuals, and celebrities in your nation are acting like self-destructive Marxist idiots and paranoid crybabies, and when your domestic unemployment is at an all time high, then the immigrants will not show up. No jobs, no immigrants—it’s that simple. Stop worrying about immigrants, they are not coming—in the next five years, you will see a 95% drop in immigration. If your economy does not recover, then all the border walls that you have built might someday come in handy for stopping conservatives like you from trying to sneak over to the other side. For a change act like real conservatives and focus on the real problem: salvaging whatever is still salvageable in your economy and culture.

Don Quixote—The Last Knight

The modern man is helpless. He is tired of living. He is of fed up of change. His mind is filled with dark apocalyptic thoughts. He feels such contempt and disgust for fellow human beings that he takes social distancing as a great virtue. But Don Quixote is not like the modern man. He still has some life in him. He still loves humanity. Attired in his rusty armor, astride his wretched old horse, Don Quixote is setting out with Sancho Panza, who is on his donkey—they are the world’s last knights, humanity’s last hope; they will defy lockdowns and fight for peoples civil liberties.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Old World Order is Finished

If you keep people sheltered till the virus goes away, then the virus will never go away; it will become a perpetual problem—a year or two years from today, we will still be fearing a catastrophic attack from some form of the virus. In such a climate of fear and uncertainty, the economic woes will keep multiplying and eventually the economic black hole will become so massive that it will swallow several advanced nations and that will lead to a transformation of the world order; instead of a world dominated by one or two superpowers, we might have a multipolar world with several centers of power. At some point in the future the philosophers and historians will be asking such questions: why did the advanced nations destroy themselves so completely? why were they good in technology but lacking in wisdom?

A View from “A Canticle for Leibowitz”

When a civilization is on its last legs, it becomes devoted to minimizing suffering and maximizing security for its people. In his novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr. provides an insight into the apocalyptic consequences of the quest for mitigation of suffering and maximization of security. Here’s a quote from the novel: “To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law—a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security."

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Problem of Zarathustra

The problem of Zarathustra that Nietzsche describes in Thus Spoke Zarathustra is something that the modern societies (which are based on the principles of freedom) tend to face. Nobody wants what Zarathustra has to offer, he is jeered and mocked by all; likewise, nobody wants what a modern society has to offer. People demand a bovine kind of security and contentment, which Zarathustra will not offer, and neither will any modern society, because taking risks is a necessary condition for living in a free environment. All modern societies must ultimately collapse into lethargy and decadence, because, human nature being what it is, the problem of Zarathustra has no solution.

On the Apartheid Between Asian Nations and Reality

There exists a cartesian apartheid between most Asian nations and reality—having convinced themselves that they are incapable of dealing with reality on their own, these Asian nations have entrusted the world’s only superpower to serve as broker between them and reality. But by using a superpower to cut a deal with reality, these Asian nations have become out of touch with the truth; they have become blind and dumb followers of the superpower; if the superpower is doing something truly horrifying, like wrecking its own economy and imposing draconian restrictions on its own people, these Asian nations will also do it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Socialism and the Seven Dwarfs

The political movements in the last 100 years seem to be modeled after the Grimm fairy tale, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Socialism has won the pole position of Snow White while all other political movements have been relegated to the lowly position of dwarfs. Surprising, isn’t it, that the conservatives, and even the tiny movement of libertarians, have been dwarfed and subverted by socialist thought.

Moore’s Refutation of Idealism

In his essay, “The Refutation of Idealism,” G. E. Moore notes that the claim esse is percipi is essential to the idealist view of the world. He does not attack the idealist notion that reality is spiritual (or to be is to be perceived)—instead, he shows that the arguments that the idealists use to support the claim esse is percipi lead to a contradiction and hence are flawed. He comes to the conclusion that idealism violates the law of non-contradiction. But Moore’s essay is not a defense of realism—the positions of both the realist and the idealist can be challenged by two central claims of skepticism: first, it is possible for appearances to differ from reality; second, the veridical experiences can be indistinguishable from the non-veridical experiences.

Gods and Monsters

Can there be a great monster that does not possess the attributes of a god? It’s hard to categorize Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein, since he possesses the attributes of both, a monster and a god. The greatest of all demons, monsters, and devils that we discover in ancient legends and religious stories exhibit, in some situations, godlike qualities. The phenomena of godly qualities and monstrousness coexisting in the same entity, when taken in context of human beings, leads to the inference that man cannot be perfect—if he has godlike qualities, then, in the same measure, he will have monstrous qualities too. Only the naive will expect their idols to be wholly godlike.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Monsters of Pseudoscience

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is outdone by the large inventory of monstrous entities and events, each capable of annihilating the world, that science (“pseudoscience”) has invented: ice age; global warming; climate change; ozone layer depletion; acid rain; hackers precipitating a global nuclear war; artificial intelligence capturing human brains, turning people into zombified slaves; tyrannical supercomputer leading an army of killer cyborgs; and the newest in the long list of apocalyptic monsters is the virus. Science is the fountainhead of inventions and discoveries, but when science gets corrupted by the misguided power elites, there is a rise of pseudoscience which is the producer of fictional monsters.

On Atheism

Strange that the atheists complain about the worship of the gods of religion, while they encourage the worship of the earthly devils because of whom the world has been a madhouse for too long, who operate in the guise of intellectuals and politicians and work to destroy reason, faith, and feeling of freedom, the values which have been purchased dearly after centuries of struggle. Atheism is enamored by the devils and loathes the gods because the atheists know that to build a new materialistic heaven they need to harness the resources of the devil.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Awareness and Language

Is anyone aware that he was ever sensorily aware of anything for which he does not have the words to describe? Such awareness is not possible; a man cannot be aware of being aware in the past of seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, or imagining anything which he cannot describe to himself in words. Man’s capacity for being aware of past awarenesses, or of consciously recollecting the past experiences with ideas and events, is wholly dependent on his ability to use language. A creature without language will not have the ability of being aware of past sensory awarenesses.

Are We the Ultimate Form of Life?

The idea that man is the ultimate form of life, that he is the most important creature, the only creature that has the possibility of progress and redemption, has come down to us from legends conceived 3000 to 4000 years ago, and has been, in all ages, believed by most human beings, including the important thinkers who have philosophized on man’s uniqueness, his faith and spirituality, and his ability to use reason and science—but what if the belief in man’s supremacy is not right and, instead of progressing linearly, life moves in a circle? That is, if the theory of evolution is true, then life on this planet began as single-celled bacteria, but is man the ultimate form of life or is it the bacteria?—from bacteria we evolved and to the bacteria we might return.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

In Defense of Naive Realism

Naive realism is a bizarre name for a philosophical position; the name creates the impression that the position is innocent, infantile, and ignorant—it’s, after all, naive. A person new to philosophy, when he encounters the term “naive realism,” might become disenchanted—why should he waste time on a philosophical position which is naive? But naive realism is not naive; it’s a sophisticated, and probably the most interesting position in philosophy of mind—it holds that the world of physical objects exists irrespective of whether or not anyone is observing them and that our senses present us a view of the world as it is. Every realist theory of perception makes use of the tenets of naive realism—direct realism, I think, is a much better, more honest, name for this position.

On Fake Truths

The truth is divine; it will set you free. But what if the truth becomes fake? What if it’s no longer divine, it no longer sets you free, it binds in blindness, malice, and fear? What if the world’s intellectuals, politicians, and experts turn out be the propagators of lies? The truth needs a justification; it needs to prove its divinity—but that can never be achieved.

William Faulkner’s 1288-Word Sentence

William Faulkner was a master of long sentences; his longest sentence, in his novel Absalom, Absalom!, is a 1288-word marathon:

"Just exactly like Father if Father had known as much about it the night before I went out there as he did the day after I came back thinking Mad impotent old man who realized at last that there must be some limit even to the capabilities of a demon for doing harm, who must have seen his situation as that of the show girl, the pony, who realizes that the principal tune she prances to comes not from horn and fiddle and drum but from a clock and calendar, must have seen himself as the old wornout cannon which realizes that it can deliver just one more fierce shot and crumble to dust in its own furious blast and recoil, who looked about upon the scene which was still within his scope and compass and saw son gone, vanished, more insuperable to him now than if the son were dead since now (if the son still lived) his name would be different and those to call him by it strangers and whatever dragon’s outcropping of Sutpen blood the son might sow on the body of whatever strange woman would therefore carry on the tradition, accomplish the hereditary evil and harm under another name and upon and among people who will never have heard the right one; daughter doomed to spinsterhood who had chosen spinsterhood already before there was anyone named Charles Bon since the aunt who came to succor her in bereavement and sorrow found neither but instead that calm absolutely impenetrable face between a homespun dress and sunbonnet seen before a closed door and again in a cloudy swirl of chickens while Jones was building the coffin and which she wore during the next year while the aunt lived there and the three women wove their own garments and raised their own food and cut the wood they cooked it with (excusing what help they had from Jones who lived with his granddaughter in the abandoned fishing camp with its collapsing roof and rotting porch against which the rusty scythe which Sutpen was to lend him, make him borrow to cut away the weeds from the door-and at last forced him to use though not to cut weeds, at least not vegetable weeds -would lean for two years) and wore still after the aunt’s indignation had swept her back to town to live on stolen garden truck and out o f anonymous baskets left on her front steps at night, the three of them, the two daughters negro and white and the aunt twelve miles away watching from her distance as the two daughters watched from theirs the old demon, the ancient varicose and despairing Faustus fling his final main now with the Creditor’s hand already on his shoulder, running his little country store now for his bread and meat, haggling tediously over nickels and dimes with rapacious and poverty-stricken whites and negroes, who at one time could have galloped for ten miles in any direction without crossing his own boundary, using out of his meagre stock the cheap ribbons and beads and the stale violently-colored candy with which even an old man can seduce a fifteen-year-old country girl, to ruin the granddaughter o f his partner, this Jones-this gangling malaria-ridden white man whom he had given permission fourteen years ago to squat in the abandoned fishing camp with the year-old grandchild-Jones, partner porter and clerk who at the demon’s command removed with his own hand (and maybe delivered too) from the showcase the candy beads and ribbons, measured the very cloth from which Judith (who had not been bereaved and did not mourn) helped the granddaughter to fashion a dress to walk past the lounging men in, the side-looking and the tongues, until her increasing belly taught her embarrassment-or perhaps fear;-Jones who before ’61 had not even been allowed to approach the front of the house and who during the next four years got no nearer than the kitchen door and that only when he brought the game and fish and vegetables on which the seducer-to-be’s wife and daughter (and Clytie too, the one remaining servant, negro, the one who would forbid him to pass the kitchen door with what he brought) depended on to keep life in them, but who now entered the house itself on the (quite frequent now) afternoons when the demon would suddenly curse the store empty of customers and lock the door and repair to the rear and in the same tone in which he used to address his orderly or even his house servants when he had them (and in which he doubtless ordered Jones to fetch from the showcase the ribbons and beads and candy) direct Jones to fetch the jug, the two of them (and Jones even sitting now who in the old days, the old dead Sunday afternoons of monotonous peace which they spent beneath the scuppernong arbor in the back yard, the demon lying in the hammock while Jones squatted against a post, rising from time to time to pour for the demon from the demijohn and the bucket of spring water which he had fetched from the spring more than a mile away then squatting again, chortling and chuckling and saying `Sho, Mister Tawm’ each time the demon paused)-the two of them drinking turn and turn about from the jug and the demon not lying down now nor even sitting but reaching after the third or second drink that old man’s state of impotent and furious undefeat in which he would rise, swaying and plunging and shouting for his horse and pistols to ride single-handed into Washington and shoot Lincoln (a year or so too late here) and Sherman both, shouting, ‘Kill them! Shoot them down like the dogs they are!’ and Jones: ‘Sho, Kernel; sho now’ and catching him as he fell and commandeering the first passing wagon to take him to the house and carry him up the front steps and through the paintless formal door beneath its fanlight imported pane by pane from Europe which Judith held open for him to enter with no change, no alteration in that calm frozen face which she had worn for four years now, and on up the stairs and into the bedroom and put him to bed like a baby and then lie down himself on the floor beside the bed though not to sleep since before dawn the man on the bed would stir and groan and Jones would say, ‘flyer I am, Kernel. Hit’s all right. They ain't whupped us yit, air they?’ this Jones who after the demon rode away with the regiment when the granddaughter was only eight years old would tell people that he ‘was lookin after Major’s place and niggers’ even before they had time to ask him why he was not with the troops and perhaps in time came to believe the lie himself, who was among the first to greet the demon when he returned, to meet him at the gate and say, ‘Well, Kernel, they kilt us but they ain't whupped us yit, air they?’ who even worked, labored, sweat at the demon’s behest during that first furious period while the demon believed he could restore by sheer indomitable willing the Sutpen’s Hundred which he remembered and had lost, labored with no hope of pay or reward who must have seen long before the demon did (or would admit it) that the task was hopeless-blind Jones who apparently saw still in that furious lecherous wreck the old fine figure of the man who once galloped on the black thoroughbred about that domain two boundaries of which the eye could not see from any point."

Friday, April 17, 2020

Travails of the Hiding Man

Man has fled from civilization, he is in hiding, crouching in fear, writing his last will and testament, dedicating his life, whatever is left of it, to nothingness, to nihilism. What does he really want?—safety, which he will never achieve because his civilization has mutated into a leviathan, a far more ferocious, hungry, and merciless predator than the thing from which he has fled.

No More Butterflies

You can’t find any butterflies—because of the pandemic and lockdown, the butterflies have discarded their wings and retreated into their homes by changing into caterpillar and pupa.

On Nietzsche’s View of Redeemer

Solitude is not a flight from reality, rather it’s a flight from the banal ways of looking at reality, and the discovery of a unique perspective on reality. Nietzsche talks about the redeemer, who is filled with love and contempt, who gives up his solitude to redeem humanity. Here’s a line from Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals: “This man of the future will redeem us, not just from the ideal held up till now, but also from those things which had to arise from it, from the great nausea, the will to nothingness, from nihilism, that stroke of midday and of great decision that makes the will free again, which gives earth its purpose and man his hope again, this Antichrist and anti-nihilist, this conqueror of God and of nothingness—he must come one day…”

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Ayn Rand was the Antithesis of Her Characters

Ayn Rand created Howard Roark and John Galt, but she was not like them. Writers seldom create characters with personality identical to their own. Margaret Mitchell created Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, but she was not like them; between Nietzsche and his creation Zarathustra, there was nothing in common; Victor Hugo was far from his creations Marquis de Lantenac and Jean Valjean; Goethe was an antithesis of his creation Heinrich Faust; Homer, unlike his creations, the agile warriors Hector and Achilles, was a frail blind man. It’s a mistake to see Rand as an equal of her creations; she was an immoralist and a control freak, an antithesis of Roark and Galt; her system of philosophy is an embodiment of her true-self—it’s cultish and serves as a magnet for mediocrities who are easy to control.

The Weaklings Versus the Powerful

The weaklings want one thing—to be powerful one day. All the thinking that they do for devising strategies for attaining power catalyzes an improvement in the quality of their brain and they become more intelligent. But the powerful, who have cornered a surfeit of power, are devoted to self-preservation and pleasure; they don’t indulge in deep thinking and over a period of time their brain becomes dull. A stage is reached when the weaklings can outthink the powerful and then they usurp power, but the rise of the weaklings marks the beginning of a fresh cycle—yesterday’s powerful is today’s weakling; it’s his turn to realize the importance of power.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

On The Crisis

When a nation faces a crisis, the first reaction of its intellectuals and politicians is to launch some grand scheme involving brutality, idiocy, and incompetence—instead of saving their society from the crisis, they destroy livelihoods, create horror and desperation, and unleash a new crisis much bigger than the original crisis. The people, however, never complain because they are in awe of grand schemes, which they view as festivals in which reality and truth are violated and mocked; all devastation is justified if people take pleasure in it, so runs the logic of democracy.

On the Religiousness of Solitude

The idea that you can save yourself from a virus by living in solitude is the outcome of a debased sense of religiosity which lingers in the atheistic minds. The atheists have turned the religious belief that one can save oneself from sin by praying in solitude on its head and are now preaching that one can save oneself from virus by watching Netflix in solitude.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

What will Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov do in a pandemic?

In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg, decides to murder a pawnbroker and steal her money. He rationalizes that the pawnbroker deserves to die because she is cruel and unscrupulous, and that she would die of natural causes sooner or later because she is already quite old. He is convinced that the money that he steals will enable  him to help those, who, unlike the pawnbroker, are moral and honest, and, therefore, in the eyes of god, deserve the money.

Is it right to kill one cruel and unscrupulous person to give better chances to several moral and honest people? Whose interests have a primacy—that of one individual or that of many?—that of one million or that of 100 million? Such questions are appearing in my mind because of the havoc that the pandemic has caused in the lives of millions of people in several nations. Lives can be destroyed by all sorts of reasons: psychological problems, starvation, all kinds of preexisting health conditions, accidents, crime, scarcity of essential commodities, and much else. Which problem should we address first?

What will Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov do in a pandemic? Which people will he try to save; which will he sacrifice?

The Consequences of Liberalism

When the liberal politicians and their “experts” take control of a nation they give rise to evil enemies: statists, mafia, oligarchs, terrorists, corrupt lobbyists—but why? Because the liberals are weak, immoral, and lacking in the will to use political power for implementing justice. They say “yes” to evil and “no” to life; they encourage evil enemies, grant them opportunities for accumulating wealth and power, and attack the productive folks by branding such activities dangerous: industry, farming, constructing, driving, flying, using plastic products and electricity, and now even stepping out of the house—the insight from the liberal crystal ball is clear, all these activities have bad consequences and must be forbidden.

Dinosaurs and Civilizations

Nature bestows its tolerance on the feeble and meek creatures but it shows no mercy to the burly dinosaurs. Whatever becomes a dinosaur is made extinct—this law of nature applies to the civilizations as well; when a civilization has reached the stage of peak development, it’s like a dinosaur, a creature that does not have any further evolutionary potential and is devoted merely to feeding and protecting itself, and that is when nature’s infinite sword falls on the civilization’s neck, making it extinct. The end of potential for further evolution or progress marks the end of a civilization.

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Seduction of Safety

The desire for safety is a great seduction; it seduces us to give up every value, avoid every risk, and turn our back on life. For being safe we are frantically digging ourself into a deeper and deeper hole—soon we will be so deep inside the earth that we can never crawl out; perhaps that point has already been reached and henceforth we will live underground, alongside the rats.

A Civilization’s Moral Code

Every civilization is founded by people who scrupulously follow a moral code and it survives till the moral code is allowed to determine its politics and culture. Acquainting the new generations with the moral code of their ancestors is a problem that has bedeviled the civilizations in every age and this problem is hard to solve because man is a dull creature with a propensity to ignore the lessons of history and forget his own experiences. One would have thought that the contemporary emphasis on higher education will enhance the moral code’s appeal, but that is not happening—those with higher education are often as ignorant and forgetful as those with limited education.

Nietzsche on Napoleon

Nietzsche describes Napoleon as a synthesis of Unmensch (brute) and Übermensch (overman)—several political leaders in our time, I suppose, would fit this description. Here’s the line from Nietzsche’s book On the Genealogy of Morals: “Like a last signpost to the other path, Napoleon appeared as a man more unique and late-born for his times than ever a man had been before, and in him, the problem of the noble ideal itself was made flesh – just think what a problem that is: Napoleon, this synthesis of Unmensch and Übermensch…”

American Elections and the Global Pandemonium

The livelihood and peace of mind of no human being on this planet is safe till the 2020 American elections are over. If you think that the global pandemic is the worst that can happen in this year, think again; an array of insane events can smite you: the alien empires in the far side of the Milky Way galaxy might launch a devastating attack; Zeus might hit us with his thunderbolts; Hades might release the Kraken from the underworld; Thor might send his hammer flying in our direction; there might be a worldwide zombie outbreak; Godzilla might arise, Predator might arrive. Be safe till November 8, 2020—after that things might stabilize.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

On Opening a Locked Economy

A government has the power to lockdown the economy; it doesn’t have the power to open it. The businessmen, farmers, investors, professionals, and workers are the movers of the economy—theirs is the power to keep an economy open by participating in voluntary economic activity. When the world governments rescind their lockdown orders, they will discover that the movers of the economy are unwilling to wholeheartedly participate in the marketplace because they have become distrustful, demoralized, and risk-averse. The lockdown may extend far beyond the government mandated period; there might be four to five years of tepid economic activity.

On The Tamed Man’s Great Victory

Capitalism created unprecedented prosperity, but this prosperity had an unexpected consequence: it tamed man. The tamed man has no passion for original thinking and adventure; like a dog, he wants to be put on a leash and fed regularly; he wants to fulfill his every need, every whim, every fancy by the click of the computer mouse and the tap of the mobile app; he abhors capitalism which demands personal responsibility and is constantly doing battle with it. But the tamed man is now victorious; he has killed capitalism. The death of capitalism is a positive for man; it has destroyed the prosperity and the crippling mouse-app culture; the world of brick and mortar is back, and man’s tameness has become unviable; henceforth, man, if he wants to survive, must make a desperate struggle in the real world.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Terrible Solitude

The terrible solitude of the man who still believes in liberty, who still uses his own brain to find the difference between a lie and the truth, and who still doesn't need the “experts,” on the payroll of the nanny-state, to tell him what to think and how to live.

Jacobins, Bolsheviks, and Contemporary Liberals

The jacobins were moralists; the bolsheviks were materialists; the contemporary liberals are mystics with blind faith in their “experts”. The three groups—jacobins, bolsheviks, and contemporary liberals with their experts—have something in common: their supreme contempt and hatred for the plebs (much of mankind) and lust for total control of society.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Nietzsche’s Top Fifteen Thinkers

Nietzsche, a remarkably well-read man, had done an extensive study of several thinkers, from ancients Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides, and Plato, to the moderns Martin Luther, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, and Emerson, and his own contemporaries Schopenhauer and Mill. A part of Nietzsche’s private library, which has been preserved, contains several books with his annotations. Through influenced by several thinkers, he didn’t see himself as anyone’s protege—he had a kind of love-hate relationship with his favorite thinkers.

Here’s a list of fifteen thinkers whom Nietzsche loved as well as hated (in order of importance to him):

1. Richard Wagner
2. Socrates
3. Arthur Schopenhauer
4. Immanuel Kant
5. Zarathustra (Zoroaster)
6. Benedict Spinoza
7. Ralph Waldo Emerson
8. Martin Luther
9. Sophocles
10. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
11. Plato
12. Euripides
13. John Stuart Mill
14. Descartes
15. St. Paul

Why did GE Moore disappear from history?

Who was GE Moore and why is there such a gap between his reputation now and his reputation in the first decades of the 20th century? And what does his fall from such exalted heights tell us about the sorts of intellects that do—and do not—shine brightly for posterity?

Ray Monk, the author of a biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein, answers these two questions in this highly informative Prospect magazine article: “He was the most revered philosopher of his era. So why did GE Moore disappear from history?

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Why Libertarians Can’t Cooperate?

The libertarians want to transform the world, but you can’t transform the world if you identify yourself with others; a unique vision is a necessary condition for transforming the world. A libertarian, therefore, cannot identify with others, not even with other libertarians—his virtue consists of being incapable of understanding other points of view; his motivation to act comes from the notion that his unique vision makes him fully competent to transform the world.

On the Meaning of Evil

In Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward, a character visits the zoo and finds an empty cage with a notice saying that the monkey that used to live in this cage was blinded by an evil man who threw tobacco in its eyes. The character is shocked because in communist ideology, the word “evil” is generally associated with the traitors and the agents of American imperialism who plot against the Soviet Union. That an evil man would do something as immoral and meaninglessly cruel as throwing tobacco into a monkey’s eyes fills the character with disbelief.

Independence & Interdependence

A political community is a kind of dialectic between independence (the capacity to determine one’s own course) and interdependence (the voluntary or coercive union of the people)—this implies that a political movement that intends to organize a good political community must operate by developing a golden mean between independence, which seeks to throw people apart, and interdependence, which seeks to herd them together.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

On Nietzsche's Last Man

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.”— Nietzsche's famous aphorism is irrelevant in our time because becoming stronger is not a priority for the modern man; a personification of the hateful idea of “the last man,” which Nietzsche introduces in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the modern man is a complacent, unthinking, and effete bourgeois, a perfectly happy couch potato, who aspires to be pampered and protected; he takes no risks and has no passion to grapple with life’s problems; he stands at the end of the continual cycle of regeneration.

On Man’s Dignity

The dignity of man consists in his liberty to choose the lifestyle that he needs to follow for safeguarding his health—if he is being coerced by another entity to take any kind of measures to protect himself from contracting a disease, then he does not have any dignity, because a man without the responsibility for preserving his own body is incapable of respecting himself and others.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Where Are The Conservatives?

The irony is that the global lockdown has been imposed when the major democracies are under conservative rule: the USA, the UK, Japan, India, Brazil, and a few others. I wonder what the conservative reaction would be if the lockdown was imposed when these democracies were under liberal control—I can imagine the conservatives criticizing the liberals in TV interviews and newspaper articles, accusing them of grossly overreacting to a mere flu virus, decrying the lockdown orders, leading protest marches on the streets, and doing all they can to drive into the mind of the voters that they stand with the common folks whose right to make a living has been taken away. There is, I suppose, some truth in the saying that the conservatives act like conservatives only when they are out of power.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Successful And The Damned

A community that is moving towards material and spiritual success is not afraid of what the future might bring; they eagerly seek out the truth, and hold realistic set of beliefs, because reality makes them confident about the future; they are too hearty to be the blind followers of the politicians, intellectuals, and experts who wield ideology and data to subdue society—but a community that is doomed, that is made of people who think that they are destined to perish and an apocalypse is unavoidable, will be deaf and blind to what is really going on in the world, because reality for them is too painful to face; their negative attitude convinces them that the only way that they can survive is through total subservience to the wielders of ideology and data.

On Self-Destructive Barbarians

A barbarian is a man lacking in a sense of history, and if a flawed sense of history is taught in the universities, the students (the new generation) can be indoctrinated into thinking and acting like barbarians—perhaps this has already happened, which is why we are witnessing a barbarian-like response to a mere flu virus. If a fly sits on a barbarian’s head, he may react by using a stone to hit the fly and while doing so he may crack his own skull—but is this any different from the way that the advanced democracies are trying to deal with the flu virus; in the name of fighting the flu virus, they have done extensive longterm damage to their economy and culture. The world’s advanced democracies are acting like barbarians.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Modern Man’s War On Dark Forces

The modern man has lost his fear of the demons from the underworld, but he continues to dream about the cataclysmic dark forces which are out to steal his happiness, his life, his prospect of attaining salvation, and, in extreme cases, unleash an apocalypse which will bring civilization to an end—the better his material condition becomes, the more weak and helpless the modern man feels. He no longer pines for liberty, justice, free markets, better infrastructure—having always had these things, he takes them for granted; he wants to devote his resources to saving the world from the next cataclysm. In the last seventy years, the advanced nations have squandered trillions of dollars in fighting the dark forces which are a figment of their own imagination—Worldwide Famine, Ice Age, the Y2K Bug, Global Warming, Hole in the Ozone Layer, Acid Rain—and in the last one month we have been furiously fighting a new dark force: a mere flu virus.

The Revolution of The Virus

The factor that, above all others, shaped the history of the twentieth century was something that happened in the century’s second decade: The Russian Revolution. In the twenty-first century too, the second decade is turning out to be eventful—this time, it’s a pandemic that has brought the world economy to a standstill for a period of, what may eventually be, several months, and it’s bound to have massive political consequences, especially in the advanced democracies. Perhaps, it will turn out to be the outstanding characteristic of this century—one that will merit a lot of explanation and analysis, and will be labeled by the historians as: the Coronavirus Revolution.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Religious Philosophers of Atheism

Religiosity is not rooted in the teachings of institutionalized religions but in man’s need to lead a spiritual life by being moral and having a sense of oneness with the universe—this implies that a man who rejects his religion for political and scientific reasons, and identifies as an atheist, might be religious. The modern age has produced several atheist thinkers who were religious (in the spiritual sense): Montesquieu, Voltaire, Hume, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Freud. Not all atheist thinkers, however, are spiritual; many are nihilists—example, Feuerbach and Marx—who denied religion because they believed that civilization is diseased.

Nietzsche—On Living Dangerously

“Living dangerously” is the very thing for which modern civilization has lost its appetite—which is why a mere flu virus now enjoys the power to put the world under total lockdown. Here’s Nietzsche on the ideal of living dangerously: “For believe me, the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously!  Build your cities on the slope of Vesuvius!  Send your ships into unexplored seas!  Live in war with your equals and with yourselves!  Be robbers and spoilers, you knowing ones, as long as you cannot be rulers and possessors!  The time will soon pass when you can be satisfied to live like timorous deer concealed in the forests.  Knowledge will finally stretch out her hand for that which belongs to her: she means to rule and possess, and you with her!”

Friday, April 3, 2020

On Introspection: Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand admired Friedrich Nietzsche, but in terms of psychology they were poles apart: Nietzsche, an obsessively introspective thinker, was prone to ruthlessly dissecting every pretension that he had about his own virtues and talents; he would examine his own flaws and weaknesses, and then be distressed by his failure to equal the vision of the ideal man that he held in his mind—Rand, however, having convinced herself of being perfect in every possible way, was incapable of introspection; her sharp intellect was pointed outwards and the flaws and weaknesses that she noticed were always in others, never in herself; she viewed her own existence as a testament to the possibility of human perfection and would often feel distressed because the world in which she found herself fell far short of her idealistic expectations.

Religion, Morality, and the Problem of Nihilism

I agree with Thomas Hobbes’s statement that “religion is not philosophy, but law.” (1) The purpose of religion is to provide people with a law (moral law) that they have to follow. Mankind’s sense of morality has always been derived from the moral law preached by various religions. The decline of religious sensibility, in the modern times, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to make people accept a moral law. Nietzsche has linked nihilism with the “death of god.” When people doubt the power of god, they deny themselves the absolute basis of morality, and then they have little incentive to remain moral. Therefore, nihilism is a modern problem created by the “death of god.”

(1. The statement by Thomas Hobbes is in The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, by Thomas Hobbes, Volume VII, edited by William Molesworth)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

How Nominalist is Individualism?

The individualism of Max Stirner, Ayn Rand, and Murray Rothbard is rooted in the nominalist doctrine, which, developed by William of Ockham in the 14th century, became a powerful trend in the philosophy of the late middle ages. According to nominalism, universals do not correspond to reality because they are mere names and the existence of a name does not imply the existence of a particular thing that it names—but this point of view is relatable to the modern individualist doctrine which asserts that man must be viewed as the “I,” or the particular individual, and not as the “we,” or the group to which he belongs. The irony is that the modern individualist thinkers reject nominalism in their epistemology, while in the area of human affairs they are rigid nominalists.

On God and Rationality

When the atheists say that belief in god is irrational, they are themselves guilty of making an irrational statement. Between 2300 and 3500 years ago, mankind developed the notion that god is the prime mover or the ultimate creator of the universe, and to this day, this notion of god continues to motivate the theistic mind; but if god is the ultimate creator, then he is the creator of all the laws of the universe—this means that whatever god does is rational; he is what it means to be rational; he can, if he desires, rewrite all the laws of science and mathematics and these new laws would automatically become the new rational and the structure of the universe would transform so that everything accords with the new laws. Since god is the fountainhead of rationality, a belief in god can never be irrational. I can understand an outright denial of god and an outright disbelief in god, but the notion that a belief in god is irrational makes no sense.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Three Reasons for Becoming a Philosopher

There are three reasons which may motivate a man to become a philosopher: first is curiosity, second is faith, and third is doubt.

Brutus: The Nemesis of the Virus

Like Julius Caesar, more than two millennia ago, the coronavirus has crossed the Rubicon and attained total domination of the world. With the political system being mired in inefficiency and corruption, and the people being demoralized and confused, it seems there is no one left to tackle the coronavirus, but all hope is not lost, because Brutus and his band of idealistic revolutionaries are there to pick up arms and slay the virus that has put mankind in lockdown. When they strike at the coronavirus with their spears and swords, Brutus will say, “Sic semper tyrannis!" and the words that coronavirus will utter before dying will be, “Et tu, Brute?” Brutus will once again be the tyrant’s nemesis; history will repeat itself.