Diversity of Thought – The Most Valuable Kind of Diversity

It is rather ironic that “diversity” in our current Progressive era generally means how someone looks.  Or perhaps what hangs between their legs.  Diversity has literally come to mean color, shape, genitalia, outward sexual behavior, appearance, etc. This even spills over into the dating world, which I will get to below …

Or in short, “diversity” is currently defined by Progressives in the shallowest terms possible.

When it comes to what lies inside, opinions or thoughts, there is no heed given to “diversity”.   There is only one “truth”, and any viewpoint that deviates from that acceptable line of thought is deemed politically incorrect, or misogyny, or racism, or Nazism, or whatever shaming language you can throw out there.

Yet is not true diversity embodied by what lies inside us, within our minds, rather than without?  Is not are outward appearance and behavior merely a reflection of what lies beneath?

Ironically, one of the defining features of the Nazis was not their treatment of the Jews, but rather their complete intolerance of beliefs and views other than their own.  Not racial intolerance, but totalitarianism.  It was that mob mentality that enabled all their later actions, and the persecution of the Jews. Indeed, their bigotry towards those who looked different was a manifestation of their hatred toward those who thought differently.

It is ironic then to see modern day “progressives” calling people Nazis for expressing differing opinions than them.  It is literally backwards.

In the Chicago Tribune this week, there is an article arguing that sexual harassment should be considered a hate crime .  You read that correctly.

Apparently, finding a woman sexually desirable is now another form of “hating a woman”.  Someone should buy that woman a dictionary cause I am not sure she knows the meaning of words!

But all kidding aside, her main point is that we should outlaw certain types of thoughts.  By labeling them as “hate crimes”.  We can see here a very clear example of how Progressives and feminists are opposed to any sort of thinking that violates their dominant cultural narrative – that men are evil, particularly white men, and as such their behavior and thoughts underlying it must also be evil.

All of this being a simple extension of their shallow definition of diversity.  You can see them working backwards here.  By identifying a group based on their appearance, then working in reverse to condemn their behavior and thoughts.  The ultimate goal being to enforce their worldview.

Why? Because there is power in being able to control the dominant cultural narrative. The power of myths, the power of controlling how others see the world.  How other behave.  It is something organized religion first figured out thousands of years ago.

The casualty, of course, is diversity of thought.

I was out on a date last week with a girl here in Chicago.  Like many “city girls” who live here, she was vehemently “liberal” (at least by her skewed definition of the term), and has a hard time conceiving how anyone could think differently.  It literally causes massive amounts of cognitive dissonance and even anger in them.

I generally avoid discussing politics in dating situations (and in life in general), but she brought up the fact that her grandfather had voted for Trump, and seeing as I wasn’t really super attracted to her, I kind of went with it.  Asking questions, poking, prodding. Slowly teasing her past out of her.

Turns out the girl had been in a sorority, then spent her mid-twenties in New York City going out 4 or 5 times a week.  Numerous “friends-with-benefits” situations and other casual dating encounters.  You know the drill.  Typical millennial woman about to turn 30.

I, of course, started, hinting at things subtly in line with traditional gender roles and other social mores. A politically incorrect comment here or there.  A few raised eyebrows at her stories.  I tend to be a pretty open-minded guy in reality, but it was interesting to watch her get flustered.  And later a little salty.  All while I gave nothing more than a smirk.  I wasn’t following the progressive/feminist “you go girl” script.

In short, I dared to think differently.  Not sure what it is about these ultra-progressive city girl types, but they definitely don’t seem used to that.  It makes me wonder if the human female tendency towards “herd behavior” in order to increase group social cohesion plays some role?  But either way, one thing is clear: there is no room for diversity of thought in the modern feminist/progressive dogma. Or perhaps in any female centric society, who knows.

Yet, to maintain a liberal society, it is diversity of thought that should be our most treasured diversity.  Indeed, free thought – and the vibrant discourse that goes with it – are the lifeblood of a free society.

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A Monopoly on Violence: The 2nd Amendment and Guns

Anywhere a monopoly on violence exists, free thought will perish.

It’s an often misunderstood principle.  Indeed, one thing many Progressives these days don’t understand is that the Second Amendment in the American Constitution is not really about guns … no, it is about limiting the government’s monopoly on violence.

The recent church shooting in Texas is an intriguing, though tragic, example of this.  A mentally ill man stormed into a church in a rural area that housed some of his former in-laws.  Apparently, it was a domestic situation related to his ex.  Now let’s be clear, he should not have been able to buy guns in the first place due to dishonorable discharge, commitment to a mental institution, violent attacks on his ex-wife and children that left his infant son with a fractured skill, and making physical threats against his military superiors.  Unfortunately the Air Force who discharged him because of those things failed to notify the FBI’s background check database, as they were legally required to.

The interesting aspect of the case though were the two good Samaritans – armed Samaritans – who confronted him, wounded him during an exchange of gunfire, and then chased him down when he tried to flee in his truck.  Arguably, they probably saved lives.

Now some would argue that the police response would have been forthcoming.  And while such a response may have occurred in 5 minutes in an urban area (like Chicago where I live now), in more rural areas – like where I grew up in the South – the closest law enforcement officer may have been 30 minutes away.

But those points aside, the real argument such people are making, wittingly or not, is that in order to stifle violent crime, the government should have a monopoly on violence

They fail to see the irony in that position.  It is, in fact, the polar opposite of why the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in the American Constitution in the first place, or why political revolutions occurred across Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.  How quickly we forget our past …

We often forget in modern times why the founding fathers put these rights into place.  You see, in old world Europe, kings and monarchies held a monopoly on violence … do something or even just say something they don’t like, and they could cut your head off.  Literally.  Or forcibly take all your land, property, or whatever else they saw fit.  Those in power could force you to believe things, or stifle what you were allowed to say, at the point of a sword or gun.

Over time of course in Feudal Europe, the nobility was able to mitigate that monopoly to some degree, but generally only for the noble class.  The common man had little recourse when faced with the full brunt of that monopoly.  No way to defend himself.  And like all absolute forms of power, this led to corruption and tyranny.

The framers of the constitution knew this, and enlightened as they were by the classical liberal ideals of Voltaire and Locke and Hume, they knew that the only real way to prevent such tyranny to limit the government’s Monopoly on ViolenceThey knew there was a trade-off, that of permitting more violence in society in general by making it more accessible and less centralized. But they viewed the possibility of tyranny as a much greater threat to a liberal society.

You have to remember that these people were still coming out of the era of Old Europe and kings and feudalism.  Tyranny was a very real thing, not some word bandied about during rallies and trigger warnings and safe spaces.  People could shut down your speech, your thoughts, your views… and if you complained about it, they could legally cut your head off.

And in a democratic system, such tyranny may come not only from the central government, but also the Tyranny of the Majority.  A perfect example of the latter is the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.  Ensuring that neither the government nor any single group could monopolize violence as their “sole right” was a backstop against such dangers.

Now obviously a few farmers with guns, even if organized as a militia, is not going to stand much of chance against modern military tanks and the like.  But that is not the point.  The point lies in maintaining the principle that all people, the governed, still retain the right to possess the tools of violence, regardless of who might hold political power at the time.

Such a principle ensures that the potential exists, however unlikely, that if the government supersedes its authority or descends into tyranny in some way, that a violent resistance is a very real possibility.

And it is that principle that is the point.

We can see this line of reasoning in the Federalists papers, particularly in Federalist paper No.10 written by James Madison discussing the Tyranny of the Majority.  The second amendment and the guns that come along with it are really about ensuring a system of checks and balances in the distribution of the means of violence.

Because anywhere a monopoly on violence exists, free thought will perish.

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Is Hollywood so “Progressive” out of Guilt?

Power and fame among men have always conveyed a certain sex appeal for women.  It’s hard, I would imagine, in such a position as Hollywood or politics to avoid temptation to take advantage of it.  And how fine the line between “taking advantage of an opportunity” and “abuse” can be.  Sometimes it is simply a matter of perspective on which side of that line behavior falls.

Which makes one wonder: Is Hollywood so “progressive” out of guilt?  All the power, fame, and riches they accrue, for acting.  Though many of them may be talented at that, they are not exactly curing cancer.  They are entertainment.  Not to mention, the debaucherous behavior some of them exhibit, the lurid parties we hear about, even the sordid sexual plunders of many of the men (underage women, casting couches, etc.)

Which makes the contrast between the modern day travails of people like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and the golden era exploits of Errol Flynn all that much more interesting.

Men will always do what men are programmed to do by evolution – to spread our seed far and wide as practically possible.  And famous and powerful men have more means to do so, more opportunity.  But it is how society reacts to that which tells us much about the age within which we live.

Errol Flynn was a Hollywood movie star in the 1930’s and 1940’s, originally from Australia. Known for playing pirates and soldiers and cowboys, he was one of the earliest prototypes of the galivanting action star.  He was also an international sex symbol.  Some even attribute the idiom “in like Flynn” – which means to quickly seduce someone – to him.

What you may not know about him was his darker side – a raging alcoholic who liked to party hard.  He was refused entry into the United States Army during WWII (after becoming a naturalized citizen in 1942) for among other things having a host of venereal diseases.  In fact, when he died, his penis was covered with several genital warts so large that they were considered a medical curiosity – to the point that one of the medical examiners at his autopsy wanted to remove them to show future medical students.

Flynn was also accused at several points of harassing women, even being put on trial for raping two underage teen women (though he was acquitted).  His Hollywood mansion was outfitted with various one-way mirrors, trapdoors overlooking bedrooms, and audio equipment for listening in on women’s bathrooms … all for Flynn’s voyeuristic entertainment.  His final girlfriend at the time of his death he met and started a relationship with when she was a 15-year-old auditioning as a dancer. Flynn was 48 at the time.

All of this highlights the simple fact: women are attracted to men with status.  Men with fame and power.  Apparently even if they have giant warts on their dick.

And Flynn, well he was just doing what men have been programmed to do since our days as primates living in the jungle like gorillas and chimpanzees: accumulate status, then leverage that for sexual access.  You can be morally outraged about that, or realize it is a tale as old as time.

This of course brings us to the sordid modern day tales of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, amongst many, many other recently accused from powerful politicians to famous actors and rock musicians.  We could name names, but that is not the point here.

I am not going to defend any of their actions, nor really even comment on them or the witch hunt nature of some of the accusations or the broader #MeToo movement (such as Dustin Hoffman being accused of making a woman “uncomfortable” 32 years ago), other than pointing out as I did above that leveraging status and power for sexual access is a very basic male behavior in primates.  No, the simple conjecture I make here is that a lot of Hollywood and their ilk aligning with progressive and feminist political movements is likely due to their guilt over such behavior.

 You see, many of those actors and producers and what not come from a more whimsical “creative” place, where the realities of evolution and power and sex are seen as “brutish” or uncivilized.  They are beyond that, in their minds.  In contrast, a businessman or politician who claws his way to the top of course has often accepted that evolutionary reality – the tooth vs. tooth scramble for ascendency that is natural selection (both in nature or business).

But for those male creative types, when they finally “make it” and instantly have status and fame and power, they are suddenly able to do something very similar to those politicians and businessmen – leverage that status for sexual access.  Even to the point of exploiting those who are weaker if they are so tempted.  In short, their very primal male behaviors come out, as they have been honed by evolution to do for millions of years.  An uncomfortable, or should we say “inconvenient truth”, rears its head. The cognitive dissonance is surely stifling.

So it’s no surprise their visceral reaction to that is guilt.  Nor should it be a surprise that due to that guilt that they align themselves with those political/social movements they see as supporting the “weak”.  It is a way to absolve themselves.  Beware sheep who become wolves condemning the behavior of other wolves.

I would be remiss to not mention that publicly hating what you really are out of shame is a major plotline of the movie American Beauty (where a secretly gay man hates homosexuals), which ironically Kevin Spacey starred in.

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Nietzsche, Liberalism, and the Paradox of Choice

What Nietzche got wrong was that freedom is a thing the derives from boundaries.

One of Nietzsche’s core principles was based on the parable of the Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit: Camel-Lion-Child.  The basic idea was that an individual lives duty-bound (the camel), only to come to question the purpose of duty forcing him to tear down the traditions that bound him to those duties (the lion), which opens up the possibility of seeking their full potential in a world without any traditions or boundaries (the child).

However, modern psychological research has shown repeatedly that the Paradox of Choice is a very real phenomenon in humans, which counterintuitively makes us less happy.  When we have too many choices, we merely become confused and stressed, and more prone to making poor decisions.  The key to reaching our full potential is knowing where the lines are, the boundaries.  Filtering and screening out bad options, leaving less to choose from, but higher quality.

Thus it is not the lion that should follow the camel, but the fox. Clever and cunning, a fox’s approach.  It is not recklessly tearing down all the boundaries and traditions (or “slaying the dragon” in Nietzsche’s terms), but carefully evaluating those boundaries based upon their own merit.  Not all that is old is wrong.

Indeed, there is a reason traditions came about in the first place … they had utility.

And most of that utility was about establishing boundaries.  For when we are free to do anything, we lack the focus, safety, and security to excel.  Boundaries prevent other people from murdering us.  They permit us to enjoy the fruits of our labor, without someone else later stealing them.  To build communities and cities, without fear that later immigrants will move in and exploit our efforts.  To focus on our strengths and opportunities, without being paralyzed by the Paradox of Choice.

All of these things give us the incentive, the freedom, to invest in ourselves and our communities.  A freedom which derives from boundaries.  That freedom, and the boundaries they derive from, are a hallmark of classic liberalism and liberal societies.

Recklessly tearing down boundaries and tradition, as Nietzsche argued (e.g. God is dead) is an affront to liberal principles.  It ignores the realities of human nature, and the boundaries necessary to allow individuals to flourish in a liberal society.  Boundaries which are often rooted in traditions.

It is not the Camel-Lion-Child paradox, but the Camel-Fox-Child, that is necessary to preserve the liberal ideal.

That is not to say traditions should never change or be discarded.  Rather, that those changes should be the result of careful consideration of the consequences.  Wise choices, over reckless deconstructionism.

It is no surprise that later post-Modernists like Sarte as well as a whole range of “rebels” from Fascists to Feminists, Progressives, and other cultural Marxists seized upon Nietzsche’s ideas.  Nietzsche was a popular figure among those in the 20th and 21st century who would seek to tear down the old with little consideration for the consequences, or with perhaps unfettered optimism in their own utopian ideas.

Their problem, much like Nietzsche’s, was a poor understanding of where freedom comes from, the purpose of traditions, the Paradox of Choice, and the basic human nature behind individual endeavor.  They were all the “lion” in various forms from Nietzsche’s paradigm.  They destroyed, or at least sought to.  And much like Nietzsche went crazy in the end (suffering a mental breakdown in 1889 and spending the last decade of his life insane), the result has arguably been a sort of “societal madness” … the ever-present growth of Outrage Culture.

It could be contended that Nietzsche tried to mitigate that reckless deconstructionism, in a way, with his concept of Ubermensch (a.k.a. the Nietzsche “superman” or overman). The idea was that only certain individuals would be able to transcend the normal rules of human behavior and society.  Of course, Nietzsche failed to foresee the rise of rampant Narcissism and Egotism in Western society in the latter half of the 20th century and 21st century.  In essence, we ALL now think we are UbermenschSpecial snowflakes, who feel entitled to cross any line.  One might also suggest it was Nietzsche’s ideas themselves, through modern Feminists and Progressives and cultural Marxists, that actually brought about the narcissistic phenomena … unintended consequences perhaps, the seeds we sow.

Too many lions, not enough foxes.  It is knowing where the line is, that sets us free as individuals to reach our highest potential.  Freedom is a thing that derives from boundaries.

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Left Think, Me Think: Bias and the Failure of Modern Higher Education

The failure of modern higher education is that it wants to teach people what to think, not how to think.

**Note: Full disclosure here: I taught for several years at a major American university.

Outside of technical courses like computer science and mathematics and biology, the focus of university content should be based on teaching rational thought.  Simple things like the Three Laws of Classical Thought, logical fallacies, and how to avoid engaging in things like equivocation that are the basis of having meaningful discourse.

These things used to be taught as part of logic and rhetoric courses … indeed they formed the backbone of a liberal arts education.  Nowadays this has been lost.  And this is trickling down into lower levels of education, as well.  Hell, now we even now have progressive schools here in Chicago (e.g. Catherine Cook School) trying to teach kindergarteners about “oppression” by denying access to playground equipment or their cubbies to certain groups of kids … teachers clearly more concerned about pushing their own views onto six-year-olds then teaching them how to think for themselves.

The result is that you have feminists and progressives redefining words like “violence”, engaging in blatant acts of equivocation that undermine serious conversations that members of a free liberal society need to have in order to sustain that society.  Indeed, free thought, and the vibrant discourse that goes with it, are the lifeblood of a free society.  You can call this leftism or cultural Marxism or progressivism or feminism or whatever you want to point the finger at … but the real point here is that there are clearly some basic tenets of logic and rational thought that are not being taught to college-educated people anymore.

This is a very real threat to the continued sustenance of Western society.  It is a moral failing of the profession of higher education.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on further issues related to the economics of academic journal publication and tenure, and how those create perverse incentives for scientists and scholars to behave in ethically questionable ways.  But we will leave those issues for another post …

History has a tendency to repeat itself.  During the 1600’s, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes railed against the university system in England for fomenting rebellion by teaching “subversive” doctrine, which led to social upheaval and the English Civil War  of the 1640’s.

Hobbes solution to this was to have university curriculum dictated by the sovereign authority, which at the time in England was Oliver Cromwell who effectively ruled as a military dictator in England (and after the Restoration in 1660, the new King Charles II).  The sovereignty would have the ability to approve, in essence, what was taught and how.  For Hobbes, the goal was to provide a civic education for the public, in order to maintain a healthy social contract between the government and the governed.

Now I can’t necessarily agree with Hobbes argument that the government should directly dictate what is taught at the university, or how that message should be shaped.  That seems a slippery slope to Totalitarianism (a point many later scholars have criticized Hobbes for).  But I would agree with him that the university system has a responsibility to teach people how to think critically, rationally.  Or in other words, how to think for themselves.

I would hope that the university system in the West could self-regulate in this regard, as an aspect of some sort of professional ethics, the same that doctors in medicine or other fields do.  But this is not happening, and instead we have too many professors who feel entitled to teach kids what to think.

Hobbes may have been over-zealous in his approach to a solution to this.  But the fact that this very same issue existed in the past, and led to such social upheaval and actual civil war, should be a lesson for us today.  We are all part of a social contract, whether we realize it or not.  Whether we like it or not.  It is the price we pay for living in a civil society, lest we descend into a war against all, bellum omnium contra omnes. University professors are no exception to this rule.

When any of us abdicate our responsibilities to these social contracts, we jeopardize the very things that enabled the construction of the society that fostered us in the first place.  Now whether doing so is right or wrong is a matter that could be debated.  But to do so without deep thought or consideration, is pure naivety.

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How to Compete with Women as a Man in a Feminist World

Let’s be clear about one thing: when men and women compete with each other, we all lose.

Unfortunately, in the modern Feminist/Progressive world of identity politics and androgynous ideology, men and women now often work side by side, sometimes even doing the same job. Thus avoiding competing with women is almost impossible for many men.

The problem, as Jordan Peterson so eloquently pointed out, is that the ways that men compete with each other are forbidden when men compete with women.

In short, the boundaries of male competition and discourse are maintained through the constant possibility of escalation to physical violence. But men cannot do that with women … any conflict cannot be escalated as such. And thus men in the modern world don’t know how to compete with women, short of simply walking away.

When we put men and women together in the same working environment, but provide no way for them to compete and/or escalate conflict to full resolution, we do them a disservice. Moreover, if the only possible resolution comes from “communication” using feminine modes of communication, then is it any wonder why most men feel lost at how to compete with women? Or that men in the West either adopt more feminine traits or simply avoid women altogether (i.e. MGTOW)?

These issues lay at the heart of a lot of the growing dysfunction in the West, and contribute to things like the rapidly declining male college enrollment (females are now making up nearly 60% of freshman undergraduates) and spiking middle-age male suicide rates.

So in this era of “toxic masculinity”, what is a man to do?

In my mind, there are a few key tactics the Modern Man can adopt:

  1. Avoiding career paths dominated by women – this is becoming exceedingly difficult. Still there are certain technical fields where men dominate given their innate preferences to things of technical/logical/mathematical nature. Programming and computer-related fields are obvious here. But any sort of field that requires that schematic sort of thinking is not a natural draw for many women, despite what feminists and progressives might say. Also fields that require certain physical attributes, like the military or the trades, lack a similar draw.
    The other possibility is to take on more of a lone-wolf mentality, even when working with others. For me, this means I cooperate and coordinate with others as a team. But when it comes to completing specific tasks (particularly technical ones) I often prefer to work alone. If I delegate certain tasks, I am very judicious about who and what gets delegated. I, for instance, will limit the scope of any delegated task, to make sure that if it does not get completed in time, it does not delay the rest of the project (e.g. I can just leave a placeholder in the main programming code till it gets done).

  2. Exercising Law of Power #38: Think as you like, but behave as others do – From Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, you can read more about this law here or here. The basic premise here is that, when in a working environment with a lot of women, you must learn to placate to their tendencies of doing things in certain ways. For instance, in my experience, women will want to spend a lot more time talking about things, discussing, etc. rather than actually doing. So you need to be supportive of their need to “communicate”. Women are trying to create group cohesion as part of how they normally function socially. They also might start forming cliques or sniping at each other in larger group settings, but best to stay out of that.
    Obviously, that may or may not really be helpful depending on the task, but that is not the point. The point is allow women to act like women, even to the point of encouraging them, so as to not let them get in the way of you accomplishing things in your normal masculine way (e.g. goal-oriented, mission focused, less more efficient communication, visually focused, etc.). Think of it as sort of taking on a paternal role, see the women as little girls, who deep down inside they all are in a way.
    And that does not mean women cannot contribute to a project, even a technical one, in meaningful ways. They are great at organizing things, creating cohesive groups quickly, and communicating. I have observed this myself working on various technical projects. Just realize they are not men, and don’t function as men. Appreciate women for what they are.
    **Note: Don’t get me wrong, there are women who can do computer programming. I’ve trained many of them, including ones that work at big companies like Google and Amazon. But women who have that same innate talent or desire for computers and technical thinking are just not as common as men, in my experience.

  3. Develop independent income streams, or the ability to work as a contractor – one of the biggest threats to most working men in the West these days are HR (human resources) departments, and the ease at which complaints of sexual harassment or other general female nagginess can quickly jeopardize a man’s source of income. Moreover, many of these HR departments are dominated by women, often with liberal arts backgrounds (e.g. sociology), who have in recent years been heavily brain-washed with third wave feminism and other modern SJW rhetoric during college. This is a very real threat to most modern men.
    The only real solution is thus to position yourself as best as possible to mitigate the chance that such people won’t have your balls in a noose. Blackdragon talks a lot about this issue, and I agree with him. It is important to develop independent and multiple income streams that are not directly tied to one organization or company. Cultivate flexibility and outcome independence. This may be by developing the ability to work for yourself as a contractor, starting a small business (or multiple ones) on the side, and/or developing technical skills that put you in-demand in the job market.
    Think of it like investing in the stock market vs. having all your savings in company stock (that you work for). Diversification is key to providing stable income even in a volatile market. It also provides freedom when you come under threat from fanatics in the SJW or Progressive groups, or HR threats for that matter. You must assume formlessness, lest they pin you down.
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