How Aristotelian Thought has Decimated the West…and We Never Knew It.

Student to Plato, whom was student to Socrates, a man who one could say was neither optimistic nor pessimistic. He just was.

This is not the case of Aristotle. For a little background, Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived in the 4th century B.C.E. He is known to have carried on, and to some degree denied, the teachings of Plato (much like another man he was said to have had contact with- Dismus). He would also be the man to personally tutor Alexandr the Great, arguably the most powerful man on planet Earth in his time.

With the background concluded, here’s a personal critique on Aristotle. He was one of the first thinkers to apply metaphysical (thoughts basically, which concern the nature of all things) discourse to a concept of time. Aristotle saw time as here and now, later, before, all the things that define existence. This may have been something he discussed in deep contemplation, but it isn’t anything new. However, in this is a dangerous line of thought we are trapped in here in the West: time is everything. We are slaves to it, and Being is something we associate to our time. Our past defines us today, our now is just a moment to be seized, and our future is something we will eventually arrive at. This is inaccurate. There is no future until we are there. The past is no more, either. Our emphasis on time and its events are leading us down a spiral of curious behaviors.

What may those be? Rising disdain for peoples of German nationality in leftist political circles can be one, mostly in retaliation to current political life. We also may see past aggressions as needing major reprimandation in this day, despite not a one person actually being present for such events. This isn’t unique to us, either. The Abrahamic religions and their traditions arguably possess the same issues. No doubt because all had a similar pagan history that also taught a kind of existential shame in our own humanity. The only major difference being that pagans, unlike the modern “civilized” man, reveled and accepted that fate to be a “sinful” creature worthy of very little.

If this sounds pessimistic, it’s because it is. The West is deeply locked in a kind of existential dread that piles up more and more, and the reasons behind it lie in both how we have allowed society to reach this point in terms of material reality and how internally we have developed a culture which has a fundamentally eschewed sense of time. One good read of virtually any German philosopher will quickly reveal just how uneasy we as Westerners are about existing. We need a higher purpose. It possesses us. We must have meaning.

To the East, Hindu traditions and the splinter faith of Buddhism traveled much of Asia. In China, both civic morality and personal ethics unfolded with Confucian and Daoist teachings. These of course, also possesses their own set of issues (filial piety robs humans of their natural life in favor of social harmony, to name one). One issue that the East doesn’t have, however, is our same level of existential dread.

We are deeply afraid of death here in the West. We won’t even admit it.

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What’s the Point? Authenticity of the Human

I have been lost in deep thought lately. The kind of philosophical inquiry that leaves men dry, confused and a little hopeless. If it weren’t for my own faith and natural curiosity, I feel this could have equaled another intense bout of depression.

Instead, I had a realization I wanted to share.

Heidegger was more or less spot on about a few things. What makes a person authentic? What makes us “an individual”, in essence? I feel, as one living in the United States, that this is the greatest lie we have ever been spoonfed- we can be ourselves here.

Such laughable ideas freedom contains. We talk about Democrats and Republicans as if one is trying to take away “freedoms” and the other is trying to guarantee them. Let me say this now: all humans are born free.

Freedom is not something a state guarantees you, first of all. You and other individuals, each of variable walks of life, guarantee freedom: a right to live. Our natural state of being isn’t free. Society decided what you get to call freedom long before your parents even thought to have you. You never got a choice. Culture made you accept what is intrinsic to your life experience. Your small quirks like your “brash, tough attitude” or your “unique intelligence” are really not all that special. Neither are you. You’re just trying to fit into a box that you designed based on facets of society you found appealing. The worst is that you may not have even fostered that much on your own. Parents often are first to begin indoctrination, so you have no real personality all your own.

So how do we regain and learn true freedom? Some in the primalist movements suggest you must let go of all social existence and teachings. You have to destroy your television. Your video games. Your books. You have to reject the current working world in favor of working the land to YOUR boon. Only then can we cultivate a truly unique individual independent of peer influence.

….that is not reality. The reality are that we are moving in herds. Cattle that moo when our stablemates moo. Chickens that cluck when the roosters caw. Pigs that push and shove for the same slop.

We’re a disgusting creature that cries freedom without ever questioning that we always had it.

We should know better. We sit in the West and East laughing at those who would throw their lives away for a cause. I say these men and women are the last true humans left. They are willing to savor life, all its joy and all its suffering, and push forward.

While we in the U.S. elect demagogues and idolize them. We form groups and want to be around others like us, thinking we SOMEHOW gained a following. We didnt gain anything. We found something and latched onto it.

Humanity is like the lemming. We are rushing towards this cliff. Together. All because a few thought it was a good idea.

Liberate yourself by rejecting the absolute stupidity of the majority, because they are destroying the world.

337 A.D. – The Year that Changed the West Forever: Plea for Reason

Time and time again we see our Western history shaped and redefined. I would like to talk about the events of 337 A.D., the year Constantine I, Emperor of Rome, was baptized into the Christian faith.

Rome had a pagan tradition for some 1,000 years, beginning in the times of the Roman Monarchy and stretching well through the Republican years and even into the Imperium.

Constantine would break this line of oppression in the Roman world. He created a new empire led by the Christian faith, which would set the stage for the peace in Europe (relative) we see today. It is because of this dissemination that all Europe, no matter how different, shares at least one commonality that allows them some kind of social discourse. It would be turbulent, of course- with the rise of protestantism in Germania in the 16th century, the crowning of Charlemagne in 800 and then rise of the Western Roman Church, the schism of 1054, the many crusades led in the name of looting more than religious oppression (little information exists to suggest the Caliphates led by muslims in the centuries following Mohammed’s time on Earth were anti-Christian) would rattle West-East relations.

At the end of the day, the sun sets on a Christian West, and even self-proclaimed atheists have thoughts and social relations inspired by the Christian faith. It defines us, and it will continue to.

So why is history important? The West has forgotten our history. Daemonic peoples in power want to rewrite our history. They want us to listen and want us to believe “this is what happened, and we must protect ourselves”. Preposterous.

Constantine I is, in Catholic and Orthodox faith, a man who is a Saint that had fundamentally held the west on his shoulders and gave us civilization- from barbarian to citizenry. This is rarely taught in American schools anymore, where any mention of any Christianity from the East is scorned- even the more conservative Catholic Church was vilified in the times of JFK.

I’ll digress, as I get too passionate when rambling about the fakeness of Western Christianity.

We have become lost. We don’t honor that tradition that Constantine upheld. Was he perfect? Absolutely not- he was man. Was he a figure we should know more about in our schools? Absolutely. Martin Luther did little more than challenge a corrupt church and mediate. He etched out his own interests as well with his theses, and while this is all good and well, can we really say we know everything about our own history?

When we don’t even know why it is we arent bowing in praise to the moon and totems to this day?

Let’s not let our history be tarnished. Ours is a tragedy, a drama, a comedy and a romantic poetry all in one. It is a story of empires, of love, of hate, and of noble obligations.

Why has it degraded into this false imperialistic war society? Why have we allowed ourselves to become more alike the barbarians we once saw who did not have reason or faith, and reveled in grotesque fetishism?

We should read the book that shaped our tradition. Not listen to demagogues in the pues, but voluntarily sit down, open this book, and learn of the past: literally and metaphorically.

We need more men like Constantine. Less like those we elect today.

“One cannot serve two masters”, and if the West is going to claim it serves God, then it needs to put money where its mouth is.

Things Brits Think About That Americans Should Consider Thinking About

Brexit is like Britain’s Donald Trump. It’s obnoxious at times, populist at times, blaming everything but itself…but at its core it has good intentions. Except it is ignoring the collateral.

In case most Americans didn’t know, a certain agreement exists between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It’s called the Good Friday Agreement, which established a kind of open border and gave (relative) peace to Ireland.

Well, a “hard border”, which is in violation of the conditions outlined in this aforementioned agreement, could spark a rising revolt by IRA forces.

Now, the reason I think Americans should be aware of our allies’ politics is because we ourselves can be put in an awkward spot.

The Irish are a favorite among American corporations. One of the lowest tax rates in the world are very attractive to potential investors in the Irish economy. The U.K. is also an ally, economically and militarily. The U.K. military is far superior to Ireland.

So what does this mean? American companies will hurt from this deal just as much as Brits. In a time where a trade war is in effect with a global superpower, the economic implications are massive. Not to mention that Americans might not know how to react to another IRA-UK scuffle. Presumably with apathy like in the Troubles.

We need to remember we are a globalized world. Our economic overlords chose this to expand profits. Our nation opting out of this world order at this point will result in poverty in the future. Like the U.K., we need to consider stability. If we forget the current order and go back to national politics, it is likely the U.S. will see a new Depression that will affect the bottom line with absolute certainty.

If we are a democratic society, our West, then we need to educate ourselves to know when we are being made fools. Watch the world. Not your TV.

Anti-BDS Laws, Christianity and History’s Odd Developments

Recently in the U.S. we had a massive passing of anti-boycott laws. Workers had to profess their allegiance to Israel in writing. Many people have been fired for rejecting this massive, nation-wide piece of state legislation. It also clearly violates the First Amendment, but makes plenty of Evangelical Christians rather happy. This got me thinking…

“Why do they do this? Where did this ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition in the West come from?”

Well, that answer has two parts. Many in the West came to see Israel as the final solution to The Jewish Question. Jews have been culturally insular for millennia, oftentimes electing to be apart from the societies they settled in their wandering. The Holocaust was one such event where Jews and their place in the world was finally taken seriously. The Palestinian Mandate would be the ultimate solution, the price the West pays to keep Jews in their own state and out of Western countries.

The second is the protestant reformation in the 16th century. The dynamics of this can be found in Jews who joined the Christians who were sick of the Church and their corruption. Other possibilities, this one only my opinion, it could also have roots in the practice peasants of Europe had. Many were very spiritual, but in a lot of ways they were partial to the heretical doctrines that reformers had (even neo-Gnostic beliefs). Paired with the political reality of Europe under the thumb of the Roman Church, it was a recipe for making friends in dark places and reciprocal works.

It could just be modern propaganda, convincing us that since the Old Testament says only Jews are chosen, we should provide dogmatic support.

Well, Orthodox Christians don’t get that. Israel as a state is largely secular. The Jewish people hung Christ. Our basis for a relationship with Israel is religious in the West. If that’s the case, why would we support a people who killed God.

So herein is the irony. Islam believes Jesus was divine. Maybe not God in the flesh, but a prophet or central figure. In Islam, Jesus will return as well to rule the Earth.

Jews have no idea what they’re waiting for. They’re sitting in front of a prophetic checklist waiting for a prophet that the West believes came already, some 2,000 years ago.

That all said, Christians in the West, especially the U.S., need to take a good, hard look at Israel and ask themselves if this is right. Should we give up constitutional rights…just because some figure claiming to be next in power to some grand bishop says they are a key friend?

Be cautious, because this Zionism is not a likely friend.

Christianity: Protestant Gnosticism?

A peculiar trend I have noticed living in the U.S. is the peculiar emphasis on religion as entirely spiritual with a rejection of materialism. Like there is a kind of magic poser imbued with the invocation and acceptance of a word- Jesus.

Now, I have been around many religions in my life. Some I was born into, forced into or sought to understand. Never have I understood American Protestants. They take the belief to a level where it almost seems like it is important to hate the world and love Jesus. That is the path.

A certain element found in the Orthodoxy and Catholic faith is the extreme disdain for gnosticism, calling it a grand heresy. Gnostics believe something non-physical existed in Jesus’s life and it was some esoteric knowledge to “sever spirit from body” to get to Heaven. These kinds of thoughts were similar to pagan and shamanic rites. Curious, given the methods employed by the Roman Church in their evangelism in Europe. So it made me think…isn’t the concept of a “Rapture” (rejected by Catholics and Orthodox) something of a gnostic belief itself? Magically pulling your body up to the sky and leaving a pile of cloth on the ground seems pretty shaky.

So why is gnosticism so bad? Well, if you haven’t read some apocrypha, some exist stating Jesus killed a young boy for bumping into him and blinded his mother for voicing her discontent (Infancy Gospel of Thomas), only to revive the child and restore her vision upon apology. Another case is where Jesus solicited a certain woman for services and another even suggests Jesus asked Judas to betray him, which kind of degrades the whole “divine” claim. Needless to say, these books are non-canonical and the works of the Gnostics who existed for a short time after the Crucifixion.

When you really put a lens over the state of Western Christianity, you see quickly the revisions and rituals have taken just about all meaning from it and replaced it with lazy worship, song, freedom from guilt of sinning without any penitent acts (fasting, prayer, acts of mercy) and apparently, possibly, maybe gnosticism. I can’t say for certain, but I can say the state of Christianity in the West looks more like a business than it does a lifestyle. Perhaps that is why Islam, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and Judaism are growing while church attendance is down for the majority faith. Perhaps the issue is people just don’t feel it or they believe science has given us all the answers we need. Or perhaps we just like our greedy lives just how they are.

Democracy Fails, Time and Time Again

Without outright advocating for modern political methods such as totalitarianism, I say we should outright reject and question democracy as a guide to governance.

(Note: far-aligned ideologies, Marxism or Fascism, can be democratic on the left and totalitarian on the right. Left ideological tenants can be fo the people or for a state head (much like totalitarianism).

The reason I conclude this, is our human history. My first example is the glorious state of Rome, the Roman Republic. While ruled by aristocratic patricians (this is curiously where democracy starts to waiver), it primarily held some 10,000 square kilometers of land in its claim in roughly 500 B.C. The aristocracy worked to some degree in the interests of the local regions and the central figure of the Republic was not a de facto dictator.

In 27 B.C., Gaius Octavius is named Augustus and the period of the Empire is officially made. He gained his power when his adopted father Julius was assassinated in 44 B.C. As the only son and heir apparent to a nation where Senate power was actively wavering due to internal conflicts between aristocrats, militant leaders were always in the running.

So began a period where Rome would create impressive roads and infrastructure across Europe, since the past few hundred years saw aggressive expansion pushing their borders to nearly 2,000,000 square kilometers. This militarism had a massive impact on the state of Rome. Conscripts from tributary states were even taken into Roman ranks (Auxilia) to fill the expansion. It doesnt take much to see the similarities to the Western “Republics” of today. A byzantine economy, military and social structure, as well as dictation led to the downfall of Rome as a Republic. It was Octavian that had changed the face of Rome, and all Europe. Albeit with little props given by those who were oppressed during the Empire.

Looking to the founders of democracy we see a peculiar case for democracy. Men like Socrates found democracy to be tasteless and unrealistic, citing that certain people fill certain roles. The analogy of the sweet vendor and the physician is one such case. The sweet vendor is selling treats made of honey you could easily enjoy all day. The physician will tell you to forget about ingesting things you shouldn’t, or may recommend something disgusting to improve your health.

No one wants to feel discomfort, so they take comfort in things they do like. This is a flaw with democracy, as our leaders we think to elect may be the candy maker because he is known and loved for his sweets; meanwhile, our physician is known to have to perform tasks that may harm or be unfavorable to the individual, so some reject him.

So how has Greece done with democracy? Simply put, Greece has seen theocracies, monarchies, republics and empires since then. The modern state of Greece is democratic and a parliamentary republic on paper. Greeks disagree, seeing Greece as a collection of pĆ³leis that have unique histories and culture. Thessaloniki was a place of classical revolution against ruling classes. Athens is the art and intellectual Capitol of the West. Sparta is the land where men of men and more pragmatic governance once existed (Info on The Peloponnesian War will tell you how divided Greece has been- it’s intriguing stuff). One entire province within Greece is dedicated entirely to men for religious purposes (Athos) and other unique tales are found everywhere in Greece. Democracy never really took hold, as we can see. However, among their respective city groups democracy had some relative successes. By reducing the size of influence democratic processes proved rather effective at a city level. This kind of city engagement is still common in Greece. Most Greeks would agree you can’t trust federalism with a state, but you can trust a community.

So what do I derive from these opposed stories? That democracy works only when the culture is in unison. In many ways, the U.S. founders were likely conmen, not as bright as they thought, or utopians that believed somehow you can build in equal state in a society where slavery was acceptable. I also deduce that the smaller the population the better it may function. I also hold a belief that technology also plays a role in the limits of governance, suggesting that we shouldn’t “grow too big” – as we see with globalization trends. Cultural and material inequalities will eventually bring systemic collapse in the form of mass social division, down to the family unit.

While it sounds like I am echoing conservative arguments of “downsizing government”, I am rather suggesting that any federalist policymaking is detrimental to a system. American “intervention” is a threat to democracy. Government decisions to limit social programs in favor of letting private sector take up the burden is a threat to democracy. Laws that have no purpose (spitting on sidewalks – $80 fine?) are a threat. Lack of oversight to private banks is a threat to democracy. Many things a “make government small” party suggest actually are still just federal abuse of power that will eventually contradict the pursuit of democracy in favor of less due process.

This was relatively functional as a system back in the early 20th century, when states made most of the decisions and the U.S. didn’t spend a majority of tax revenue for military. Granted, it was still an unequal society full of segregation and no voting rights for everyone.

Today we are reaching a point where whatever increases GDP values is what is done. One has to wonder what democracy even is if what we have in the West is considered one.