Beyond the Cusp

February 23, 2018

The Hole in the Whole Society

 

Friedrich Nietzsche gave us the terms, causes, cures and repairs required when dealing with Nihilism. Nietzsche’s thoughts on nihilism, the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning, were important in the effect that they had on Martin Heidegger, philosopher and Nazi-backer extraordinaire. Heidegger took the idea of nothing, of emptiness, of the null set and produced the framework upon which postmodernism was built. Postmodernism took the nothing from Nietzsche and applied it to every concept and made everything irrelevant, worthless and simply nothing. The followers of postmodernism believe that G0d is dead or never had existed. This takes the postulation that the universe came out of nothing and thus everything within the universe is nothing. The premise behind postmodernist is that there exist no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths. Simply put, everything is relative and open to each individual’s personal definition and no definition is wrong because to claim there is a wrong definition would be to define what something was not. There is no reality other than what you personally believe reality to be but your reality exists no further than your existence. If you do not like your definition which describes your reality, you are free to redefine your reality and there are no limits to how many times you may redefine your reality as it is your reality and does not have any effect on everyone else’s definition of reality. Postmodernism, by its own definitions, removes any basis for religions because religions are all based on certain absolutes, defined morals, specific laws and other items which are defined specifically and as nothing can be absolute and definitions are all relative and must remain undefined, religion has lost its basis. Politics likewise has no real existence nor does nationalism or any other form of organization because any organization would have, by definition, rules which postmodernism portends that there can be no absolutes, no definitions and no rules. Postmodernism has one very dangerous and destructive conclusion, namely, life has no intrinsic value and is thus worthless making whatever one does of no real value, as there can be no real value.

 

This lack of meaning and lack of any intrinsic value of life and the emptiness of society with no rules and nothing such as right and wrong as we define such terms for ourselves has become the basis for what teachers teach in the public schools and throughout most colleges. They tell children that everything is of no worth and value is a figment of each individual’s mind and these values extend no further than their own thoughts. Then they take all of this a step further and teach that laws have no actual meaning and each of us can make up our own laws by which to live under. The laws of our societies are simple contrivances invented to control us and other than control, they are valueless. There is no morality about the societal laws because we each define our own morality and it does not require that it be restrained by the laws. What they leave out of these lessons is that breaking the societal laws has consequences, breaking the moral codes has consequences, breaking the traditions has consequences. The main consequence is that if your definitions, which they are taught are just as righteous and valid as anyone else’s and they need not care about what the rest of the world thinks, vary too broadly from what the majority accept, you will become an outcast with few if any friends and will very soon find your life empty and without other human sharing or contact. When a person with slightly deviant tendencies develops their own set of rules defining their social beliefs and structures and it is also deviant such that the person becomes ostracized, this is a recipe for a destructive personality to develop. These individuals are amongst the most likely to become a mass shooter, including a school shooter. These individuals who end up outside of the norms of the societal norms and has been counseled that there is nothing wrong with their deciding to be outside of the norms in no way makes them wrong and they should not face any real consequence for their beliefs.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger

Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger

 

The problem is there are consequences for having such deviations from norms and telling such a person that they do not need to adjust to attempt to return within societal norms, sets them up for some very rough and hurtful rejection by their peers. Even in postmodernist thought, we know that rejection has effects and they are real. We know that rejection, if left untreated has some very nasty results. Consistently telling a person that the rejection is not their fault nor really the result of their different value system and wayward actions, but it is actually the problem of the rest of their peer group because they are being judgmental, something which is inherently wrong, about the only thing which is defined as wrong. So, the person being rejected will begin to blame their peers for their rejection because their wayward actions and differing beliefs have been validated by the counselors and teachers because of their belief in the absoluteness of their postmodern beliefs. Then, when the rejected person acts on their blaming their peers for acting scornfully against them and decides to punish them for their rejection and wrong and hurtful actions, when the counselors and teachers are asked about the shooter who also usually commits suicide, they claim they saw no reason as he was a quiet and well behaved, there is no such thing as wrongful behavior to these counselors and teachers, and they saw no real problem or any signals that such violence was imminent. They might note that the individual spent a greater amount of time alone off to the side but there was nothing wrong with this situation, despite this was not being a voluntary isolation but caused by peer rejection as this youth did not fit in nor did they act in a way which was acceptable as normal by their peers.

 

What does this tell us about these mass shooters? Well, it tells us that they are a direct product of our postmodern standard which is being foisted on the society by in large by the education systems throughout our society. Postmodernism has even crept into some of our religious institutions who have taken up the popular beliefs of our no rules societies and rejected their own teachings in their texts such as the New Testament, Old Testament, Torah, teaching of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Taoism, Shinto and virtually every religion. This has led to the more Orthodox and traditional institutions central to these religions finding themselves in a war with the more liberated branches of their religions who through postmodernism have decided that the rules need be changed, loosened, liberated and even simply lost. Postmodernism has brought on problems which were probably never anticipated by those who originally took the teachings of Friedrich Nietzsche and applied the expanding of his concepts by Martin Heidegger and the other postmodernist philosophers. Teaching the youth that there are no absolutes have proven dangerous despite many refusing to blame the consequences found on their philosophy. Postmodernism, the way it has been used in many classrooms and universities has led to replacement of religion and traditional societal standards which had served Judeo-Christian and Far Eastern societies for centuries if not millennia with free wheeling variable rules subject to whatever feels good or seems appropriate at the time. These concepts have had consequences which are, more often than not, covered over and explained away often simply because those best qualified to see these results are also those most sold on the validity of postmodernism. They believe that postmodernism is a proven system under which a society will operate with maximum freedoms for every individual as long as each individual takes personal responsibility. This is where the system has not functioned, as the students do not have stressed that they take personal responsibility for their actions, instead they are stressed that each person can develop their own rules and structures in life but not that they need to structure them with some regard for the norms of the societal norms of their group. This is something that most adults understand, as they must cooperate in order to keep their employment, live in their neighborhoods, live with their groups, clubs and other organizations and groupings. Youths have not developed these structures nor do they understand the complications of social interaction and when they hit puberty, they face the strains that their changing physiology places on them and without definite rules and social structures, they can easily develop psychological problems with unfortunate deadly results. What is the repair for this is likely beyond our pay grade. Our only advice is that vulnerable youth require rules, standards of behavior, consistent expectations and structure in their lives upon which they can build purposeful and meaningful lives. Teachers, parents and counselors need to work together as a team to provide these and these requirements leave little room for such an advanced and adult philosophy as postmodernism. But what do we know?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 19, 2018

The Destruction of Civility

 

Some cynics I know whose idea of civility is simply saying, “Who cares,” claim that civility is overrated and not really required in the world today. Our thought when hearing this is that we have a question we silently pass over in our minds of whether civilization is necessary in these people’s world or is that too overrated and not really required in the world today. We believe that civility is a prerequisite for civilization for without the cooperation and polite exchange of ideas, civilization ends up in tatters and will not function. The United States and much of the world are heading for a collapse of their common civilization which in the end will be traced by those who come along to study the failings of Western Civilization will conclude that first there was a breakdown in civility which was instrumental in the downfall of the civilization. There will likely be many theories on what drove the people to such a point that they no longer could find any common ground and to totally dismiss one another leading to total societal dysfunction and dissolution breaking the civilization down. The common theme will likely include the breakdown in communication where the various divisions in the society would refuse to accept any contrary view demanding that only they have the right path and because they know they are correct, they never need to tolerate the idiots on the other side or who hold contrary opinions.

 

In the United States, the lack of civility is so obvious that it has caused people to actually unfriend people on Facebook and other social networks banning receiving any posts from these former online friends. Europe has suffered from varying degrees of political poisoned discourse where political differences would lead to uncivil behavior between groups. What is even more worth noting is that some of this behavior can occur between groups whose politics appear to be of the same ilk, either left or right, nationalist or universalist, libertarian or authoritarianism or other definitions of political thought where two parties fall into the same general definition yet go after one another as if they were opposing adversaries having disagreements over near everything, not over slight differences. The levels of incivility in politics has reached levels not seen since probably the 1860’s and the slavery abolition movement. According to Wikipedia, covering political incivility, “Eight out of 10 Americans believe that the lack of civil discourse in the political system is a serious problem. Eighty-two percent of American respondents to a 2011 survey felt that political advertisements were too “nasty” and 72 percent believed that political commercials that attacked the opponent were “inappropriate”.” The levels and amount of political and public incivility have become even more overblown and in some ways appear to be cracking the very fabric of the society. When marriages have broken up over the spouses having voted for opposing candidates in the last Presidential elections, business partners have dissolved their businesses in order to go their separate ways after their disagreements in the last election, and family members have declared other members of their families dead to them over their votes in the last election are all signs of excessive dysfunction and an excessively high level of incivility to points where it could easily become harmful to the society itself. Such fracturing in a society has to be something very dangerous and destructive which could lead to a societal breakdown or a breakdown of the political system.

 

Either societal or political fractures are of such destructive capabilities that either can lead to the destruction of any nation no matter its size or presumed sophistication. The United States is one nation to have survived the ultimate fracturing of their nation which resulted in their Civil War. The recovery from that division and war took a great deal of effort and time but was facilitated by an eventual forgiveness between the two sides and the coming industrial revolution which massively altered the face of the society and the need for slaves to work on the plantation farms. They were replaced by tractors and harvesting machinery which replaced manpower. America had entered the age of machines and she never looked back. Now their society is facing new threats where the two sides in the political front have drifted so far apart that there appears to be no common ground. Politics is dependent upon there existing neutral ground where the two opposing parties can meet when designing and passing legislation and keeping the government functioning. When the two separate sides, be they a ruling coalition and the opposition as in much of Europe or the two main parties as in the United States, there need be some area where the opposing sides can meet finding common ground for the common good of the nation. But when the two sides feel that they must oppose everything from the other side no matter what because their voters refuse to admit there can be any agreements, then the attitude is poisonous enough to cause a complete breakdown of function by the government. All which would be required to bring such a government into collapse or bring a coalition to calling for a new set of election is for a few members of the majority to fall out of line and join the opposing side ending any majority.

 

Civility

Civility

 

This is partially what President Trump has been facing with the ‘Never Trump’ Republicans throwing the Senate completely beyond any ability to accomplish anything meaningful. When one political party is voting as a block against every effort and a sector of the majority party have decided to support the minority party, such a situation easily would lead to what appears to be a virtual coup. But the problems in Washington D.C. are a small part of the problem which could be resolved by the midterm elections, especially if President Trump can gain support in the Senate against historic records. But the political split which is so severe in the United States is also echoed in the public. The split in the United States is easily defined, the people on the coasts and living in the major cities and the more rural citizens and those in smaller cities and towns. The split also is between those who are religious attending church or synagogue and those who are secularists. This might be another reason why the two sides are so far apart and cannot find anything in common. One can only guess whether the split will heal or if one side of the political split will become preeminent and eclipse the other side. We anticipate that the arguments currently invigorating the United States may subside once one side prevails. The one thing we can likely guarantee is this conflict will continue throughout the entire Presidency of Donald Trump and possibly beyond should President Trump be reelected and Vice President Pence follow him into office. We can see the eventuality of the Republican moving even further to the left while their base moves further to the right which will destroy the party. Once such becomes apparent, then the Democrats will begin to win every election as why vote for the Republican if they represent pretend Democrats when you can elect a real Democrat. Eventually the former and now disgruntled Republicans and the remnants who remain truly conservative establish a new party, the Republicans will merge with the Democrats and a new split will appear, but this may be too late to prevent the United States becoming exactly the same as the European nations which will be the end of the Western World as they will no longer have any military to protect them. Without the United States military, the West will collapse and fall to whoever decides to take them over and that will be the death of democratic governance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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