This essay is in progress.
Spiked, an outlet postured as left-leaning and counter-woke (editor Brendan O’Neill is a “libertarian Marxist"), published “A short history of wokeness” tracing the ideology’s origins to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Romantics’
backlash against the Enlightenment—specifically against the enthronement of reason as the supreme virtue . . . rather than being a coherent philosophy, Romanticism was characterised by a ‘dissatisfaction with the contemporary world, a restless anxiety in the face of life, a preference for the strange and the curious, a penchant for reverie and dreaming, a leaning towards mysticism and celebration of the irrational’.
Apart from “dissatisfaction with the contemporary world” none of this is germane, and the patronizing tone is just as obnoxious as anything from the other side. More substantively, Matt Taibbi credits Herbert Marcuse as wokeness’s progenitor:
Often called the “Father of the New Left,” and the inspiration for a generation of furious thought-policing nitwits of the Robin DiAngelo school, Marcuse was a great intellectual. Most Americans have never heard of him—he died in 1979—but his ideas today are as ubiquitous as Edison’s lightbulbs. He gave us everything from “Silence Equals Violence” to “Too Much Democracy” to the “Crisis of Misinformation” to In Defense of Looting to the 1619 Project and Antiracist Baby, and from the grave has cheered countless recent news stories…
However, if we are looking for the origins of virtue signaling, we must go to Machiavelli.
Chapter 18 of The Prince, a scant four paragraphs, contains enough to receive no less than seven chapters of rebuttal in the Anti-Machiavel I edited (see Politics page of this website or here for a PDF). They are as follows:
1. A prince should wish to be esteemed devout, though he be not so. (The Prince, chapter 18) 126
12. A prince ought to follow the nature of the lion and of the fox, not of the one without the other. (The Prince, chapter 18, 19) 273
18. A prince ought not fear to deceive and to dissemble. (Discourses, II.13; The Prince, chapter 18) 299
19. A prince ought to know how to wind and turn men’s minds. (Discourses, I.42; The Prince, chapter 18) 303
22. Faith, clemency, and liberality are virtues damaging to a prince, but it is good that he has some similitude thereof. (The Prince, chapter 18) 330
23. A prince ought to have a turning and winding wit, that he may show himself cruel and unfaithful when there is need. (The Prince, chapter 18) 350
25. A prince ought to have his mind disposed to turn after every variation of fortune, to make use of a vice when needed. (The Prince, chapter 18, 25) 353
Several years before fleeing the U.S. – not in small part due to all the oppressive social engineering – I started seeing yard signs in affluent neighborhoods like this.
That is just exploding with smug, self-righteous contempt disguised as virtue and tolerance, and you can be sure anyone who puts something like this in their front yard is utterly devoid of convictions or any real virtues. Either that or, as another writer has suggested, they are connected with the state in some way. Women are human and they have rights, except the right to their own bathrooms and sports, that’s bigotry. Humans aren’t illegal yet – give it time – but where laws exist they can be broken, and all countries have laws about immigration. If you want to say there should be no laws about immigration, anywhere, that’s another statement. Science is knowledge, it is incomplete and imperfect and always open to debate and revision; when it becomes dogmatic it is no longer science. Love is love – there are different kinds of love, but if you mean to imply that lust or desire is love, that again is another statement. And what does “kindness is everything” even mean? Kindness is important, but is it everything? What if scientists discover a planet with intelligent life that does not subsist on kindness alone? In nature, is kindness everything? Does this mean humans are altogether different to animals? I believe we are, but does that square with current scientific orthodoxy? Have you thought about this?
The wits have had fun with these signs:
I keep banging on about this, but it's happening, get ready. I'm seeing streams of volcanic ash falling in feathery clouds in the mornings here in La Paz. I've seen a lot of real clouds and spraying, this is neither. Pics to come.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
Iceland, March 2021; Philippines January 2020
This is unworthy of notice, but it shows our ruling class is truly beneath contempt. I just heard about the "NXIVM" cult, and went to their Wikipedia page, which even today stands out as absurd. This is what heiresses and actresses get up to, it's a toned-down replay of the Manson hoax and a hundred other such projects, from Salem to Heaven's Gate. For some reason it reminded me of Stanley Kubrick's daughter, who has forfeited her personhood in order to rant on Twitter in service to the hierarchy. This looks like it was put together by the WEF.
While we're on the subject of cults, I would venture to guess all that Scientology "auditing" ended up in the hands of psychological warfare experts. Essentially they subjected a whole lot of people to aggressive psychoanalysis. Hubbard was Naval Intelligence. He coined one of the most interesting words in the English language, Krakajawia, mixing up Sakajawia and Krakatoa, the volcano where Xenu did his dirty work.
It's mind-boggling, the amount of deliberate nonsense generated by intelligent human beings.
Maybe the basic problem we face is the old one of idolatry, worshiping the work of our hands. Last year I asked a scientist who worked on jet engines for Rolls Royce, if you could go back in time and witness one day in history, what would it be? She tried to dodge the question but I persisted and she said "The fist steam-powered railway journey." I thought that was pretty boring, but telling. It wasn't Archimedes shouting Eureka, nor Newton and his prism, but the group effort of the locomotive. I marvel at the sight of a big locomotive or ship, but the first railroad journey was probably pretty slow. She also said she'd like to see Paganini play, that was a little more interesting, but first on the list was the railroad. Probably if she'd been American she'd have said the Wright brothers' flight.
It's an interesting question. A single yeast cell has about the same number of parts, six million, as a Boeing 747. So worshiping the work of our hands seems pretty silly.
Over the past three weeks Iceland has been hit with 40,000 earthquakes. It sits on the boundary of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, which are pulling apart, and is soon likely to see volcanic eruptions. This may be because we are in a solar minimum and the earth's crust is cooling and contracting. With all due respect to the sagacity of Greta et al., if you really want to play with fire, talk about cooling right now. See entry "Volcanoes and Solar Minima" below.
I've been listening to JJ Cale a lot recently, good for anxiety
But there’s a separation, then, between you as a performer and your songwriting income.
Oh, my songwriting pays for the whole “J.J. Cale coming to your town and playing Joe’s Bar” deal.
This is the new thing, a Filmosound film projector amp converted into a guitar amp. Monster tone and a monster player.
The Guardian 31 Dec 2020: Caribbean volcanoes rumble to life as scientists study activity not seen in years
Etna, Sicily 18 Jan 2021
It's counterintuitive that the relationship between solar activity and volcanic activity is inverse; solar minima, with less kinetic energy, are accompanied by more, not less, volcanic eruptions. "Volcanic Eruptions and Solar Activity," Richard B. Stothers, Solid Earth Journal of Geophysical Research 10 December 1989:
[Volcanic] cycles appear to correlate with well‐known cycles of solar activity; the phasing is such that the frequency of volcanic eruptions increases (decreases) slightly around the times of solar minimum (maximum). . . Mechanisms to explain the Sun‐volcano link probably involve induced changes in the basic state of the atmosphere. Solar flares are believed to cause changes in atmospheric circulation patterns that abruptly alter the Earth's spin. The resulting jolt probably triggers small earthquakes which may temporarily relieve some of the stress in volcanic magma chambers, thereby weakening, postponing, or even aborting imminent large eruptions. In addition, decreased atmospheric precipitation around the years of solar maximum may cause a relative deficit of phreatomagmatic eruptions at those times.
"Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale" Střeštik, J., International Solar Cycle Studies (ISCS) Symposium, 23 - 28 June 2003:
Volcanic activity is usually higher in periods of prolonged minima of solar activity and vice versa. However, the mechanism of this forcing is not known. Perhaps geomagnetic activity mediates solar influences (unfortunately, series of these data are too short).
Taal, Philippines Jan 2020
Without exhaustively searching, it doesn't look like anyone has suggested a model whereby less solar activity causes the earth's crust to cool and contract, resulting in pressure release. This seems at least as plausible as anything proposed so far, but perhaps the reason it hasn't been floated is that it conflicts with the climate change narrative. After all, if cooling results in volcanic activity, it probably presents a greater existential threat than warming.
Sinabung, Indonesia 23 Feb 2021
I'm wondering, is this the reason for the frantic pace of the agenda rollouts? They seem to be working against a deadline, and they keep saying we have a narrow window of opportunity to remake the world. What's the rush?
Less solar activity causes more volcanic eruptions, presumably because the earth's crust cools and contracts a bit, necessitating pressure release. We are in a solar minimum, volcanoes are going crazy around the world, and pretty soon a big one or two might pop. Months ago we were pelted with the phrase 'dark winter,' and it hasn't really played out, but we might see a dark winter next year, followed by a dark spring and summer, etc. The last time this happened, the Dalton Minimum of the early 1800s, witnessed the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, which led to the 'Year Without a Summer' in 1816.
Stanley Featherstonehaugh (pronounced FAN-shaw) Ukridge. Some of the best stories aren't in this collection, such as "Success Story," where his rich aunt leaves town and he turns her place into a casino. Ukridge by P.G. Wodehouse - http://www.gutenberg.org/files/61507/61507-h/61507-h.htm
Excellent compilation, 34MB PDF
Francis Bacon, the founder of modern science and inventor of binary code, said in his essay "Of Atheism" that "none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketh that there were no God." Aldous Huxley confessed to this inclination in Ends and Means (1937):
I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning - the Christian meaning, they insisted - of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever.
As a thought experiment, imagine if God decided to appear to humanity, but didn't want to cause panic by surprising us, so he first arranged a meeting with the world's top scientists. (I'm sticking with pre-woke pronouns but not capitalizing 'he.') He says "Good news! I have a plan, we're going to turn swords into ploughshares. There's only one catch. Some of you will be out of work, the armaments people, the GMOs, the transhumanism stuff, geoengineering, many of the cutting-edge fields are not compatible, but I have a plan for those people too. They can learn to code, and we will give them some UBI. Talk it over and we'll meet again in three days."
What do you think The Science would say? Would the New York Times scramble up something like "Divine Presence Linked to Q-Anon Neo-Nazis, Experts Warn"? It's reasonable to guess that any such intervention would be met with hostility on the part of the scientific community. Actually, I think something like this has been going on for half a century with the crop circles, centered in England, our financial and intellectual capital. I don't believe in wormholes, at least not the traversable sort, so I don't believe in aliens here on earth, and I don't think we have the technology to pull these off. Not only that, some crop circles have advanced our knowledge of mathematics.
When this 300-foot design appeared in 2011, The Science determined that it was an approximate rendering of "Euler’s Identity (e ^ ( i * Pi ) + 1 = 0), widely thought be the most beautiful and profound mathematical equation in the world." (As an aside, I'm glad I'm not a scientist so I don't have to pretend Euler's Identity is beautiful or profound. It's clever at best, this is obviously science assuming the mantle of art and philosophy and religion, the humanities.) The UK's Independent reported of the Identity image:
Dr John Talbot, a maths research fellow at University College London, [gave] his take on the matter. He said: “Looking at the crop circle, the link with Euler’s most famous identity seems to make perfect sense. However, the way the formula has been executed is partially incorrect. One of the discrepancies is that one part of the formula translates as ‘hi’ rather than ‘i’, which could be somebody’s idea of a joke.”
Exactly as I thought, God is toying with these people, and they know it, but they dare not admit it because for many of them, it spells their end. Even without the God question, science has many serious ethical problems that are ignored because of money and ambition.
David Benetar is an eccentric philosophy professor at the University of Cape Town. Wikipedia tells us that from an early age he has espoused the philosophy of "antinatalism," which means that we're better off dead, it's better never to have been born, because according to Benetar's pre-teen calculus, suffering exceeds pleasure. He is firm on this point. Interestingly, Wikipedia tells us that his father is Solomon Benetar, "a global-health expert who founded the Bioethics Centre at the University of Cape Town." So it's good to get more confirmation that bioethics is about killing people. Also noteworthy, for those with some scrap of knowledge of the Bible, is that Solomon was the guy who wrote Ecclesiastes, which sort of encapsulates David Benetar's philosophy. Why was Solomon so forlorn? Well, like an absolute idiot, he let the Phoenician black magic infect Israel, after God had appeared to him twice. I've commented about this before.
At any rate, professor Benetar tells a story. He was asked to contribute a chapter for a book about experimentation on primates, specifically about the ethical considerations of such research. I don't know what the editors were expecting from a guy who says we're better off dead, but they didn't approve his chapter and the book was issued without any significant commentary about ethics. I have been ribbing Benetar but his comments here are apposite:
It is not surprising that many scientists (like many nonscientists) lack a deep commitment to the ethical evaluation of their work. Because current orthodoxies about what is ethical in science are probably not all correct, a thoroughgoing ethical evaluation of scientific practice would at least sometimes be critical—and sometimes extremely critical. Naturally, scientists involved in widely accepted but ethically problematic practices would be deeply threatened. Their options would be (a) to abandon the problematic practices, (b) to abandon ethics, or (c) to select an alternative ethical evaluation that endorses the practices. The first choice would threaten their livelihood or professional development; the second, their sense of themselves as scientists of integrity. The upshot is that the third option is psychologically easiest, especially given the human capacity for self-deception.
The problem, however, is that selective ethics is bad ethics for just the same reason that selective science is bad science. In ethics, as in science, the evidence must precede the conclusion. In other words, those interested in truth, whether scientific or ethical, cannot first accept a view and then selectively muster evidence in support of it.
"The Great Reset represents the best rubric we might find for grasping much of what’s going on in the world today: the prevalence of woke ideology and cancel culture; the draconian COVID responses; the seemingly endless Antifa/BLM riots; the supposed Biden presidential victory; Big Tech censorship; and the endless stream of propaganda, double think, and gaslighting propagated by mainstream and social media."