Friday, July 31, 2020

Knowledge, Intelligence, Creativity, Wisdom

Knowledge is effort. Intelligence is focus. Creativity is instinct. Wisdom is character.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Nietzsche on Liberalism

In his book Twilight of the Idols (1888), Nietzsche makes a comment on liberalism: “Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic — every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization." Nietzsche is right. Once liberal institutions attain power, they start undermining the good ideas in politics, culture, and morality, and they lead to a decline in the intellectual standards.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Kant on Achieving Wisdom

In Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View (1798), Immanuel Kant says that the guideline for achieving wisdom is contrived from three maxims: first, think for yourself; second, (in communication with other people) put yourself in the place of the other person; third, always think by remaining faithful to your own self.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

In Defense of Barbarism

Barbarism is not a bad thing. It is the lifeblood of a civilization. It enables a civilization to defend itself and conquer. It fuels a civilization’s creativity and cruelty. Both culture and carnage are the hallmark of barbaric people. Every civilization of the past has been founded by the barbarians. In his book The Hour of Decision, Oswald Spengler writes: “Barbarism is that which I call strong race*, the eternal warlike in the type of the beast-of-prey man. It often seems to have ceased to exist, but it is crouching in the soul ready to spring. Given a big challenge—and it is on top of the enemy. It is dead only when Late urban pacifism, with its weary desire for peace at any price, short of that of its own life, has rolled its mud over the generations. That is the spiritual self-disarmament, following on the physical, which comes of unfruitfulness.”

"*I repeat: race that one has, not a race to which one belongs. The one is ethos, the other—zoology."

On Illiberalism of the Liberals

The political method of the liberals is most illiberal. They conceive a social theory first and then they try to find the evidence that might substantiate it. When no evidence is found to back the claims on which the theory is founded then, instead of rejecting their theory and admitting their mistake, they try to save their reputation by blaming their political opponents and forcing society to transform itself.

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Young Marx Versus the Mature Marx

The young Marx was a philosopher, but the mature Marx was a political activist and a revolutionary. Communism is based on the work of the mature Marx, the political activist and revolutionary. The communists ignore the work of the young Marx. They are not interested in philosophy. They never try to win the philosophical argument; they are focused on annihilating their opponents in a revolutionary war.

The Old Dreamers and the Young Utopians

The old men see dreams; the young men see visions. The longest dream doesn’t last for more than a few hours and then the person wakes up, but a vision can last for years and even decades. That is why many young men become enamored by socialism, communism, liberalism, and other utopian ideologies.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Roman Thinking on “Equality”

The idea of equality was not part of Roman thinking. Pliny the Younger, the lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome, has said in one of his letters that “nothing is more unequal than equality itself.” He holds that the people who deserve respect and don’t get it are being treated unfairly.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Age of Anxiety

The principate system, Augustus’s solution to the problems of the Roman Republic, brought stability and good governance, and led to the rise of the Roman Empire. For the Roman people, the principate system was a vast improvement. They prospered under Augustus’s long reign (27 BC–AD 14) and for two centuries after his demise. But the principate system had one flaw—the problem of succession. After the death of every emperor a war between the various claimants to the throne became inevitable. The Roman Empire started unravelling between the second and the third centuries. These two centuries are known as the “Age of Anxiety”. Romans started looking for ways of finding solace in a world in which life was becoming increasingly difficult. Many turned towards Gods and oracles, and some discovered Christianity which in another century became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. The year 2020, I believe, is turning out to be an “Year of Anxiety”—and it might drive people into the arms of religion.

Groups That Are Doomed To Suffer

There are some groups that are doomed to suffer and to make others suffer. Their thinking is mired in nihilism, hatred, and negativism. They go against the ebb-tide of history. Such groups must never be pampered and supported. They are like parasites which feed on the body of the society in which they live. Even when they march towards political victory, they reach a tragic dead-end. Once they acquire political power, they drive their nation towards decline and fall.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Utopian Philosophers Versus Normal Philosophers

Between the utopian philosophers and the normal philosophers there is a fundamental difference. The utopians cannot perceive ordinary human beings. They see only the idealized man who is fit to inhabit their utopia. The normal philosophers see the world as it is and with a certain simplicity of heart they reflect upon the life of people in their society. The utopian philosopher’s vision is abstract and idealized, while the normal philosopher’s vision is historical and real.

Free Speech For Whom?

Free speech for whom?—Free speech is a value only for those who have the will, passion, and knowledge to speak against the cultural, political, and economic centers of power. The ordinary man is not concerned about freedom of speech. He is focused on things like his source of income, security of his property, the wellbeing of his family, and the welfare of his neighborhood. When you fight for free speech, you are not fighting for the masses. You are fighting for a small coterie of intellectuals, politicians, and activists who have political and cultural agendas, and it is not necessary that all of these intellectuals and politicians care for the masses. Often the worst elements of society are the beneficiaries of free speech culture: nihilists, immoralists, anarchists, nazis, communists, and fascists.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Hegel’s World-Historical Man: Julius Caesar

Hegel says that the world-historical man is firm, decisive, and blessed with a sense of history, and through his words and deeds, he gets recognized as the great hero of his epoch. He holds Julius Caesar as an exemplar of a world-historical man. Caesar fought and conquered his rivals, and destroyed the constitution of Rome to gain a position of supremacy in Roman politics—and with such actions, Hegel says, Caesar became the world-historical man. He says that Caesar’s autocratic and violent political methods were necessary for unifying the Roman Empire and driving history in the right direction.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Liberal Problem

You can win national elections by smiling, waving, and shaking hands, but to safeguard the interests of your nation in the international arena, you need to use political and economic power, and if need arises, military strength. But the liberal politicians in the democratic countries are doing the opposite—they try to win their national political battles by using coercive and even violent methods, while in the international arena, they smile, wave, shake hands, and cut deals with their nation’s enemies.

Motivations Behind the Roman Empire

Why did the Romans create an empire? The Romans were too down to earth to try to find a philosophical justification for their empire. The Roman Empire was something that just came to them through a natural process—they had the power and will to have an empire, and so they had an empire. A few Roman leaders have claimed that fortune favored them because the Roman State was devoted to the Gods (the Pagan Gods). Others have vaguely surmised that their success in building a great Empire was the result of the Roman values of morality, justice, hard work, courage, frugality, and industriousness.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Roman Empire

The intellectuals see Ancient Greece as the fountainhead of the western civilization, but, in my opinion, the real fountainhead of the western civilization is the Roman Empire, which, at its height, stretched from Syria to Scotland, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, and endured for almost five hundred years (the Eastern Roman Empire lasted for fifteen hundred years). To conquer and rule such a large area is a towering achievement, unparalleled in history; so grand was the Roman influence that many so-called barbarians kingdoms, which ravaged the Roman Empire, gave up their own culture, and started calling themselves Romans—some historians suggest that the Roman Empire didn’t “fall” at all, it merely changed the character of its political leadership. Rulers from Charlemagne to Napoleon, from the British, Spanish, and Portuguese monarchs in the age of imperialism to Hitler and Stalin in the twentieth century were, to some extent, inspired by the Roman Achievement. Till this day, the idea or Roman Empire continues to play a role in politics and culture. The intellectuals, politicians, and journalists often rely on the parallels between our own time and the Roman history to defend or decry the existence of common defense initiatives like NATO, the herding of the European nations into a unified European Union, and the American wars in Middle East and other parts of the world. The influence of Roman Empire on modern world in the spheres of art, architecture, language, legal system, and trade is inestimable.

Men of Straw

Once upon a time, the scarecrows made out of straw would scare the birds, but today the democratic nations are being led by men of straw who are scaring the people.

Monday, July 20, 2020

On Values

Values are not natural, they are manmade. Values do not exist in nature but inside the mind of the thinking man. Values are an appeal for a certain kind of standard. Only a thinking man can have values.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Marx’s Eleventh “Theses on Feuerbach”

When Karl Marx said, in his eleventh “Theses on Feuerbach,” that “Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it,” he was not rejecting philosophy. He was articulating his ambitions for his own philosophical work. He was saying that the goal of his philosophy is to change the world. 

Marx’s real obsession was practical politics, not philosophy. He was disinterested in the theories, discussions, and arguments that traditional philosophy is known for. His focus was on using philosophy to provide intellectual and moral support to the trade unionists, activists, and revolutionaries who were fighting for the socialist cause.

Are Progressives Better Writers?

In his book Studies in European Realism, the Marxist philosopher George Lukacs says that progressivism comes naturally to the writer because he is sensitive to the situation of the most suffering class. When I look at the world around me, I realize that several good writers are progressives (though a few of them are conservatives). I think Lukacs is right. The progressives know how to write books that are highly influential.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

On Freedom and Slavery

If you are living alone on a remote island, untouched by anyone, then you are free. But you are free for nothing; your freedom is meaningless. Freedom is a concept that belongs to a world that is full of human beings where there exists a threat of slavery. People realize the value of freedom when they face the threat of slavery. In any place where there is no possibility of slavery, there will be no need for freedom.

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Captured Conquerors of History

Commenting on the Hellenization of Rome, Horace, the historian in the age of Augustus, said, “Captured Greece has captured her savage conqueror.” The trend of the conquering nation being culturally captured by the nation that it has conquered can be found in all periods of history. For instance, the culture of the most successful conqueror of our time, the USA, has been influenced by the ideologies of Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East where it fought wars and attained political and economic dominance. Today’s American culture contains elements of nazism, fascism, communism, and islamism.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Philosophical Theory and Practice

To preach a philosophy is human; to live by the teachings of a philosophy is divine. The world is full of preachers of philosophy, but there has never been a man who lives by the teachings of a philosophy. All philosophers have sinned and have fallen short of their own teachings.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Consequences of the End of Capitalism

The liberals are bragging about the imminent end of capitalism as if the end is a great achievement, but they are concealing an important fact: capitalism is being abandoned by the children of capitalism, who don’t know how to survive without the products of capitalism. The end of capitalism means the end of liberalism.

The Wolves of 2020

The political and intellectual establishment speaks in one voice; they are the pack, the pack of wolves. They howl together. A line in Rudyard Kipling’s poem applies to them: “the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” In 2020, the political agenda is being set by the howling of the pack of wolves. The politicians and their crony intellectuals are the wolves (the predators), and the masses are the prey.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Brave New World of Microchip Implants

The future? There is no future except a brave new world of humans implanted with a microchip, which detects their geolocation and health related information, and communicates the data in real time to a central grid. 

In two years, we will see a campaign to create a public opinion in favor of microchip implants—we will be told that the microchip will save society from crime, by making it easier to track people with criminal background, and from pandemics, by identifying individuals who show symptoms of communicable diseases. And people will accept that the microchip implant is a good thing and they will eagerly line up to have it surgically implanted in their body. 

My prediction is that in ten years, close to twenty-five percent of the population in advanced countries will have the microchip implant, and in twenty years, ninety percent will have the implant. 

People will choose to have the implant not only because they will be convinced that it will make society safer but because they will find that without an implant they cannot work in government organizations or big corporations; they cannot fly, take a train ride, or even hire a cab; they cannot go to areas where people gather in large numbers—schools, malls, theaters, beaches, hospitals. 

The few people who refuse to have the implant will be forced to exist in the fringes of society, like the “proles” that Orwell has described in his novel 1984.

On Optimism and Pessimism

I view “optimism” and “pessimism” as “isms” or philosophies. Optimism is the philosophy of the feeble-brained Pollyanna who believes that all problems, big or small, are mere blips and that in the long run things will turn out to be just fine. Pessimism is the philosophy of men with practical experience who understand that the world is a hard place and that if they do not conduct themselves with wisdom and care, they will make bad choices and their life will be ruined. Optimism turns a man towards utopianism and liberalism; pessimism turns a man towards conservatism and republicanism.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Mystery is Vital for a Platonic Atlantis

Plato says that the republic of the children of the mind lies “beyond the last peaks and all the seas of the world.” To the republic of the children of the mind, Plato gives the name “Atlantis,” which is not modeled after any existing society and represents a new spirit of humanity, a venturing into a higher level of civilization. An Atlantis cannot be founded in a known continent which is filled with the madding crowd of humanity—it needs a new place, which, as Plato puts it, lies “beyond the last peaks and all the seas of the world.” Atlantis implies a place that is surrounded in mystery.

The First Twenty Years

The first twenty years of the twenty-first century can be summed up in these words: terrorism, leftism, religious fundamentalism, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, climate change-ism, nihilism, fascism, minority-ism, sexism, neo-racism, revisionism, pandemic-ism. The world has not made any major scientific, technological, industrial, or political advancement in the first twenty years of this century.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

2020: The Year of Frankenstein

The history of the year 2020 will be a long history; long will be its months, long its days, and long its hours. After five or ten years, when historians start writing the history of 2020, they will analyze this year, hour by hour, and day by day, instead of having an overview of all the 366 days. The historians might call 2020, the year of Frankenstein. Underneath the complexities related to healthcare, politics, and economy, 2020 is breeding an enormous mob of Frankensteins. I believe that in one or two years, the Frankensteins bred by 2020 will flood the streets and extort an immense political price.

When Marx Shaves his Beard

Question: What happens when Karl Marx shaves his beard?

Answer: The smiling face of Comrade Josef Stalin is revealed.

François Mauriac's Vipers' Tangle

If you are feeling miserable for any reason (the lockdowns or something else), read François Mauriac Vipers' Tangle, which is the story of Monsieur Louis, whose great misery will make you forget your own. Monsieur Louis, an embittered aging lawyer, is fabulously wealthy and is dying, and he is being driven to wretchedness by his estranged family who are waiting for him to die so that they can seize his property. He writes a journal to make his family realize why his heart is a tangle of poisonous vipers. But the book has a sort of blissful climax—during a hailstorm, by the blessing of god, the realization dawns on Monsieur Louis that his torment is due to his preoccupation with profit and property, and he detects in a corner of heart the semblance of something that he identifies as love. “How strange it is that when life is just beginning for us, and when a little happiness comes our way, no warning voice is heard.”

Friday, July 10, 2020

Healthy Society Versus Unhealthy Society

In a healthy civilization the weeds disappear while the useful plants and trees remain, but in an unhealthy civilization the law of reverse-evolution operates: the useful plants and trees disappear while the weeds remain. Civilization in the year 2020 is in an extreme state of unhealthiness: our politics, academia, mainstream media, and big business are swamped with weeds, and the useful plants and trees are nowhere to be found. Mankind is doomed.

On Environmentalism

Environmentalism taking centerstage in politics is a sign of a nation’s decline. When a nation is on the rise, its politics is oblivious to the environment; its people are filled with lust for defying the environment. They build roads, factories, megacities, train lines, airports, dams, power plants, ports, oil refineries, and try to break through the sky to reach the moon and planets. The spirit of defying the environment is a necessary condition for a nation’s progress, but environmentalism weakens this spirit by depicting human activity as a threat of nature.

On Flattening the Curve

The leaders who are trying to “flatten the virus’s curve” have failed to flatten their own curve—they display a grander potbelly, chubbier face, and fleshier hands. The big initiatives for “flattening the curve” are being taken in North America, Europe, and Asia—in the nations in these three continents most politicians have gained weight in the last four months.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Mistakes of the Libertarian Philosophers

The philosophers of libertarianism have caused great harm to capitalism by their endless argumentation on the subjects of liberty, free markets, and minimum government. Their writing is dry as dust. Their arguments are soulless logic-chopping. Their books and papers fuel the suspicion that the conceptions of liberty, free markets, and minimum government are the abstractions of a utopian mind which cannot or does not want to comprehend the real world. Instead of making people enthusiastic about libertarian ideas, the libertarian philosophers drive them into the opposite direction—away from liberty, away from free markets, away from minimum government, and into the arms of socialism and neoliberalism.

Thomas Aquinas on Patriotism

Thomas Aquinas preaches that patriotism is a moral virtue and its absence is moral vice. Here’s an excerpt from Summa Theologiae (translation by Alfred J. Freddoso)

"A man becomes a debtor to others in diverse ways in accord with the diverse types of their excellence and the diverse benefits that he receives from them.  In both these regards, God occupies the highest place, since He is the most excellent of all and the first principle of both our being and our governance.  But in second place, the principles of our being and governance are our parents and our country, by whom and in which we are born and governed.  And so, after God, a man is especially indebted to his parents and to his country.  Hence, just as [the virtue of] religion involves venerating God, so, at the second level, [the virtue of] piety involves venerating one’s parents and country.  Now the veneration of one’s parents includes venerating all of one’s blood relatives... On the other hand, the veneration of one’s country includes the veneration of one’s fellow citizens and of all the friends of one’s country."

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Oracle of Delphi on America-China Conflict

When Croesus, the King of Lydia, went to the Oracle of Delphi and asked if he could win a war against Persia, the Delphic priestess replied that when he went to war, he would destroy an empire. By the Oracle words, Croesus became convinced that it was written in the stars that he would destroy the Persian empire. He went to war, but his army was vanquished at the battlefield and the empire that was destroyed was his own. Coming to our own time, the Oracle of Delphi has predicted that an empire will be destroyed if there is a military conflict between America and China. But which empire will be destroyed: the American empire or the Chinese?

Animosity Inspires Imitation

The animosity between civilizations runs hand in hand with imitation. The civilizations which hate each other often try to learn from each other. They imitate each other and develop similar moral, intellectual, political, and militaristic standards—this usually implies a lowering in the standards of the civilization whose way of life is more advanced.

On National Character

Nations, like individuals, have such a thing as a character. The world is home to several types of national characters. There are instances where the difference in national character is drastic, almost antithetical, but in other instances, the difference in national character is relatively minor. How is a nation’s character formed—is it linked to the history of its civilization, the race and religion of its dominant population, its geographical features, its intellectual and scientific achievements, its political and economic system, its art and culture? Does national character determine a nation’s culture, politics, and economy, or is it the other way round? Can a nation’s character be transformed or subverted, or does it last till the nation is in existence?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Paradox of Human Nature

It’s a paradox of human nature that the youngsters who have an easy and prosperous upbringing, on becoming adults, turn their face to immoralism, nihilism, and apocalyptic cults, while those who are born without sufficient resources and, from their early years, have to work hard to get their daily bread, on attaining adulthood, turn their full-face to good life, morality, and the idea of human progress through intellectualism, good culture, liberty, and innovation.

Philosophy and Play; Individualism and Collectivism

A community will not have good philosophy until it has good sports. The Ancient Greeks were the world’s first philosophers and they were the world’s first people to organize global sporting events. The first Olympic Games was organized in Ancient Greece and is traditionally dated to 776 BC. 

A community will not have individualism, unless it has collectivist institutions. The Ancient Greeks were the first to philosophize on individualism, and they were the first to train their soldiers (hoplites) to parade with full disciple, wear common uniform which included metal body armor, and fight shoulder to shoulder in a military formation (phalanx).

Monday, July 6, 2020

Liberals and The Great Dumbing Down

If people learn to think for themselves, the surest prop of liberal political power gets demolished. This is why the control of the mainstream media, academia, and entertainment industry is of critical importance to the liberals—in the last hundred years, they have been using these three sectors to ensure that people become incapable of critical thinking, especially on politics and culture. In countries with powerful liberal political movements, the  population gets dumbed down through the years, and there eventually comes a stage where most people become so dumb that they cannot notice that they and those around them have been dumbed down, and that their culture is in the hands of yahoos.

On Faith

The knowledge that we get through the faculties of reason or intellect is partial. This knowledge will tell us about the material aspects (how much, from what, from where, when, and how), but it will not tell us about the values (moral or immoral; sublime or corporeal; artistic or vulgar; certain or doubtful). We cannot have full understanding of existence through the use of reason or intellect. We have to look at another resource to fulfill our need for understanding the values, and that resource is faith. Faith is not opinion. It is not the conclusions that we reach by rigorous application of reason or intellect—it’s something different, something quite unique.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Duel Between Physics and Biology

At a cosmic level there is a conflict between physics (matter) and biology (life)—physics, as we understand it, says that the universe had a beginning (Big Bang) and it will come to an end when all its energy gets exhausted (Big Crunch). But biology wants to know that if the universe, with all life in it, will one day end, then why did life evolve? The question is: Should the considerations of physics be allowed to override the interests of biology? Physics (matter) is concerned with the mathematical and scientific aspects, but biology (life) aspires to transcend the mathematical and scientific so that it might exist forever.

Do I Read The Newspaper?

Someone asked me: “Do you even read the newspaper?”
My answer: “No, I only look at it.”

The USA Versus China

If there is a serious military confrontation between the USA and China, the USA will ultimately win, but in a peaceful or “cold” confrontation between the two nations, China has a clear advantage. In the last thirty years, China has made several inroads into American society. The Chinese control a chunk of American art, movies, academia, media, big business, and politics. In a cold confrontation, the Americans will not be united, as they will be in a serious military confrontation, and so they will be fighting not only the China that exists outside their borders but also the pro-China elements who hold commanding positions in their own society.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Experience of the Sacred

Religion is not about god. It is about the experience of the sacred, which is the driver of intellectualism and morality. When the atheists deny religion, they are suppressing and desecrating the sacred. This makes them alienated from the intellectual and moral roots of their society. The communities in which atheism takes root are unintellectual and immoral.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The New Terra Incognita

The planet earth is fast becoming terra incognita. In name of battling the pandemic, most nations have barricaded themselves against the truth. Only the politically connected voices are being heard. Every dissenting voice has been silenced.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A Bit Of Machiavellian Wisdom

Machiavelli says in The Prince that whoever becomes the cause of another becoming powerful, ensures his own ruin. This Machiavellian wisdom implies that when a community sacrifices its intellectual, political, and financial achievements to raise the standards of a backward community, then it will, at some point of time, itself become backward.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Who is in Belly of the Trojan Horse?

The moral defenders of good culture are hiding in the belly of the Trojan Horse; the nihilist destroyers of culture are in control of the fortress.

The Conservative Way Versus The Liberal Way

The conservatives are preoccupied with traditions and morals. Their preachers are traditionalists first and humanists next. Their insistent preaching is directed towards building of character. They exhort their youth to strive to be as good as their ancestors. 

The liberals are preoccupied with proving that the norms of traditions and morality are anti-freedom. Their preachers are alienated individualists first and nihilists next. Their insistent preaching is directed towards creating individuals who are alienated and nihilistic.