Though its not his stated intention, Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History” shows how primitive mythology was secularized for the modern era in the ideology of Declinism. The idea of decline (i.e. life declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending) has become the most dominant and influential theme in the modern world. Life declining is a central feature of apocalyptic.
This is among the most primitive, irrational, and distorting of mythology manufactured by ancient minds.
Richard Landes’ Preface to Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”.
Note- Landes uses the term “millennialism” but that term should be extended more comprehensively to “apocalyptic millennialism” as that better expresses the narrative that incites to mass-death outcomes with its mix of elements that play on both fear and hope. Or even better- “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” as the summary of the larger complex of primitive themes that have been so destructive to humanity across history. Hence, my little bracketed edits to Landes’ term.
“Historian Norman Cohn sought the origins of the two most devastating millennial movements of his day- Communism and Nazism- in the millennial impulse most medieval historians had generally ignored…
“(Apocalyptic millennialism) is not marginal, it is a widespread belief system shared by many people, especially in the monotheistic cultures, but also quite notable in Buddhism and Taosm (I would add it is also notable in Hinduism with its great cycles of rise and then decline to apocalyptic ending, WK)… episodically bursting forth in the characteristic dynamics of an apocalyptic episode…
“(Apocalyptic millennial) phenomena survive all forms of secularization… not only undiminished but intensified…
“(Apocalyptic millennial) movements play a far greater role in the dynamics of modernity than most historians have imagined…” (end of Landes’ Preface).
Then Mendel: “It was through Christianity that the Apocalypse became part of our culture”. He notes that apocalyptic has had a long and violent history. “The apocalypse is a self-fulfilling prophesy. It promotes the suffering it predicts”.
My conclusion: Apocalyptic is God executing a final destruction and extermination of God’s enemies. It is no wonder that across history, believers in this myth have tried to replicate the same exterminating violence against their enemies, validated by God’s own example of violence. See Harold Ellens/Zenon Lotufo quotes below on the long-term human practise of validating behavior with appeal to beliefs in divinity, basing ethics on theology. People trying to model their lives according to what they believe God is like.
A most dangerous idea, better alternatives, Wendell Krossa
This site, with its own arguments, tries to provide warnings about what is happening today in terms of destructive outcomes from alarmist narratives, what are the foundational themes behind alarmism crusades, the contributing factors (notably, the persistence of the themes of primitive mythology in contemporary narratives), and then offer better alternatives to plug into the role of prominently influencing ideas in narratives.
The ideas that we embrace to shape our worldviews subsequently influence how we perceive reality and life, how we feel about things, what motivates us, and how we will then respond and act. And there is no more dangerous idea that people embrace than apocalyptic. Apocalyptic alarms us and, with our survival impulse aroused, it incites us to embrace policies to “save the purportedly threatened world”, policies generating outcomes that harm people (i.e. destroy life to “save the world”).
How to escape the crowd madness that apocalyptic generates?
Step one, recognize that apocalyptic is a profound lie. It distorts life entirely. Yet it still dominates narratives today in world religions, contemporary story-telling (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_films), and in “secular/ideological” belief systems like climate alarmism, and it even shapes so-termed “scientific” narratives.
Apocalyptic is the essential theme in a related complex of bad religious ideas- i.e. myths of original paradise, paradise ruined by selfish, greedy people, life now declining toward a worsening condition, toward collapse and even ending.
Apocalyptic prophets claim that we need to “save” life and their salvation schemes include the demand for sacrifice/suffering. Today this salvation demand centers on the de-carbonization crusade with the goal of “de-development/de-industrialization”, as in the return to more primitive, low-consumption lifestyles.
Apocalyptic salvation also demands the purging of the evil thing that the prophets falsely claim threatens life. Today apocalyptic prophets have lasered in on CO2 as the marker of human greed/evil- i.e. the marker of too many people consuming too much of Earth’s resources. If these salvationist demands are met, then prophets offer “hope” in the promise of a restored paradise, or a new utopia installed.
These ideas distort life entirely, deform human narratives and consciousness, and the results are inevitably destructive- as in destroying life to “save the world” (note the Xhosa cattle slaughter of 1856-57, and the 2022 Sri Lanka devastation of their agriculture sector in response to climate apocalyptic narratives, among other examples). The consequences of the climate alarmism crusade are producing horrifically damaging outcomes that will only get worse, just as the outcomes were unimaginably destructive last century when Marxism and Nazism embraced apocalyptic millennial narratives to then murder 150 million people (100 million from Marxism/Socialism alone. See Chang and Halliday’s estimates of Mao’s collectivist disasters, along with estimates of Stalin’s collectivist crimes).
We all have to take responsibility for the ideas that we embrace to shape our narratives and thinking. We are all under the obligation to take responsibility for the outcomes of our worldviews. Holding good intentions does not spare us from the horrifically destructive consequences of our narratives and related salvation schemes.
It is inexcusable, irresponsible, irrational, blind denial, and even madness, to engage apocalyptic crusades like Climate alarmism when we have so much good evidence that there is no such “climate crisis”. https://co2coalition.org/news/nobel-laureate-dr-john-clauser-i-dont-believe-there-is-a-climate-crisis/
Credible scientists have done endless reports such as noted in the links in this article:
Why then such blind refusal to confront truth and then to persistently lie to the public? It’s the power of the narratives that we embrace. As Bob Brinsmead says, “It’s the narrative, stupid”. And nothing produces more blindness and crowd madness then the life-distorting myth of apocalyptic.
How to counter apocalyptic?
Consider the evidence on the cornerstone myth of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex, evidence that there was never any original paradise and that no such mythical reality has ever been “ruined by corrupt people”, despite the long history of the prominence of this myth in human narratives- from ancient mythology to world religions to “secular/ideological” versions of the modern age.
See for example, the true state of the early earth as told by Robert Hazen in “The Story of Earth: The first 4.5 billion years, from stardust to living planet”. Many other histories of our world present the same factual evidence that there was no original paradise or golden ancient golden age. Add here the evidence that there was never any original state of humanity as “noble savages” followed by subsequent corruption and decline in civilization (see, for example, “Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage”, Steven Le Blanc, Katherine Register).
Further, life is not declining toward something worse but is rising, improving toward something ever better, till we are today in the best time to be alive in history.
Consequently, there is no need to make some sacrifice, to suffer as “redemptive” payment for “sin”. And there no evil enemy threatening to end the world, an enemy that we need to coercively purge. All we need to do is to keep doing just what we have successfully done over past centuries- i.e. creating, inventing, working hard to solve problems and improve human well being, as well as care for nature. We have been doing so well, so good, that as Julian Simon says, we should hold a party to outdo all parties to celebrate how well we have done.
Sources of amassed evidence that affirm Simon’s argument on how well we have done and the consequent long-term improving trajectory of life:
His own “Ultimate Resource”, Greg Easterbrook’s “A Moment On The Earth”, Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist”, Indur Goklany’s “The Improving State of the World”, Ronald Bailey’s “The End of Doom”, Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed” (great update of Simon’s work), Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, Tupy and Bailey’s “Ten Global Trends”, and so much more. Include the good evidence on the improvement of humanity- James Payne’s “History of Force”, Stephen Pinker’s “Better Angels of Our Nature”, etc.
Our hope is best located in the fact that our history affirms that we can continue to gradually improve this world, without end. That is the only “salvation” project that we need to engage.
And for better alternatives to archetypal themes in narratives, notably ideas that contribute to the “spiritual” or meaning realm, we have the great insights from across history that are repeatedly posted on this site. (http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=9533).
Consider, for example, the narrative-transforming theological breakthrough of Historical Jesus, a person entirely opposite to Paul’s Christ myth. Historical Jesus presented a “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (“Q Wisdom Sayings gospel” researcher James Robinson). The insight of H. Jesus, that God was a stunningly inexpressible “unconditional love”, overturns religious theology and narratives entirely. It is narrative-, mind-, and life-transforming as nothing ever presented or experienced before.
Apocalyptic madness and its outcomes- Destroying the world to “save it”.
The central narrative theme in apocalyptic mythology is that of a violent divine purging of the evil corrupted world (“coercive purification”) in order to restore an imagined lost paradise or introduce a new utopian kingdom. If this is the archetypal “problem-solving” behavior of God, then you have strong validation for people to replicate the same behavior in their lives and societies.
As Harold Ellens said (quoted in “Cruel God, Kind God” by Zenon Lotufo),
“There is in Western culture a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God (see Romans, Revelation)….
“Such a metaphor of an angry God, who (uses violence)…. has been ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence’.
“’With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we possibly hold, in the deep structure of our unconscious motivations, any other notion of ultimate solutions to ultimate questions or crises than violence- human solutions that are equivalent to God’s kind of violence’…
“Hence, in our culture we have a powerful element that impels us to violence, a Cruel God Image…
“If your God uses force, then so may you, to get your way against your ‘enemies’”.
Human story- the hero’s quest, Wendell Krossa
The hero’s quest that we all engage is fundamentally the quest to become truly human, to “tower in stature as maturely human”. The monster/enemy that we all must conquer to succeed in the quest is our animal inheritance- notably, a complex of drives that include the impulses to tribalism (favoring some, excluding others), domination of the weaker, and punitive destruction of differing others.
The hero’s quest is about an intensely inner battle, not one that is primarily against other humans. We can win great public battles and still abysmally lose the inner battle.
What then is real human success, real heroism in life? (More below)
This from Marc Morano, Edward Ring, “Climate Data Refutes Crisis Narrative: ‘If you concede the science and only challenge the policies… you’re going to lose’’, Climate Depot, Nov. 13, 2023
Edward Ring: “If you concede the science, and only challenge the policies that a biased and politicized scientific narrative is being used to justify, you’re already playing defense in your own red zone. You’re going to lose the game. Who cares if we have to enslave humanity? Our alternative is certain death from global boiling! You can’t win that argument. You must challenge the science…”
And the “science” is?
There is no better science on climate than that of atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, Javier Vinos, and many others that affirms the evidence that CO2 is not the main influence on climate change as other natural factors show stronger correlations to the climate change we have observed over past decades and centuries. And the warming influence of CO2 has become “saturated”, meaning that even doubling CO2 levels to 800 ppm will add very little to any possible further warming.
The outcomes of more warming would be net beneficial in saving more lives in our cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warming. Also, more basic plant food (i.e. CO2) would continue to add more green vegetation to the already amazing increase of 15% more green vegetation on earth since 1980, meaning more food for animals and increased crop production to feed humanity.
More warming, more CO2- all beneficial. Conclusion- there is no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
Brilliant speech by new Argentine Prime Minister Javier Mileis to the World Economic Forum… (see quotes from speech further below)
As Mileis notes, the Western system of freedom is under attack today from varied forms of collectivism, notably from the collectivism of climate alarmism, DEI, ESG, Woke Racism, Woke Progressivism, and general resurging Marxism, etc.
Collectivists/socialists are attacking the Western system of freedom that has lifted most of humanity out of poverty since the early 1800s. This is the system of freedom that has enabled people to produce incredible wealth over the past two centuries and amazingly improve the human condition. Our wealth-creating freedom has also enabled us to care for nature as never before. Consequent to the spread of this system of protected freedom, we live in the best time ever to be alive on Earth.
Affirming the system that protects and promotes individual freedom requires belief and trust in the essential goodness of average people and their creative ability to solve problems and improve life. The evidence of the past few centuries affirms this trust in ordinary citizens.
Where power-seeking elites refuse to trust average people, then we get elite intervention and control of populations via state mechanisms and institutions. That is busybody meddling in other’s lives by those arrogantly believing that they know what is best for all others (enlightened vanguard elites) and hence they will coercively intervene to force their “salvation” plans on others.
These busybody elites are often people deluded by zealous devotion to Declinism ideology (a modern “secularized” version of apocalyptic mythology). They sincerely(?) believe that life is always declining toward some existential crisis, and they alone have been tasked with the noble cause of “saving the world”. They are the most dangerous people in our societies because they validate their totalitarian crusades as “righteous battles against evil forces” (i.e. any who disagree with them). There is no one more dangerous than the person believing that they are on God’s side fighting God’s war against evil.
Collectivists do not trust free individuals and demand people be subordinated to a collective run by themselves as “enlightened elites”, and governed by elite central planning.
Add to the pathology of elites seeking power and control over others- the personality-deforming characteristics of a tendency to moralize, virtue-signal, etc. Collectivist elites view themselves as more compassionate and caring than “selfish” individuals. This is collectivist blindness that led to the murder of 100 million people last century. Today this same collectivist mentality is ruining societies with decarbonization that is impoverishing the poorest and most vulnerable.
Note also these helpful sources on the psychopathology of authoritarianism…
Further, socialist leaning elites have framed their narrative with the distortion that collectivism is morally superior because it is about “greater or common good” whereas the system of protecting individual rights and freedoms is about selfishness and greed (“self-interest”). A simple-minded and extremist polarization that distorts the differences between the two systems entirely.
Look at the historical outcomes of both approaches to organizing human societies. Collectivist approaches have inevitably ruined greater good and impoverished populations (see Kristian Niemietz’ “Socialism: The failed idea that never dies”, and Joshua Muravchik’s “Heaven On Earth: The rise, fall, and afterlife of socialism”). Whereas, the approach that protects individual freedom and rights has consistently improved and advanced the “most good for the most people”, meaning greater or common good.
Don’t discount the deluding power of a narrative that validates to people that they are heroically engaging a righteous battle against threatening evil enemies that purportedly will destroy the world and hence must be coercively purged in order to “save the world” and restore a lost paradise. Add the same old myths that salvation demands sacrifice and suffering (i.e. “de-development”, a retreat to primitivism) to be truly redemptive.
C. S. Lewis’s warning in relation to the moralizing busybodies who believe that they alone know what is right and best for all others and will seek to coerce and control others:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to heaven yet at the same time make a Hell of earth.
“This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals”. (end of quote)
The personal safeguard to the self-delusion of believing one is solely right… Hold fast to Classic Liberal/Libertarian principles re the protection of individual rights and freedoms, as against the ever-creeping totalitarianism of collectivist approaches that subject individuals to some claimed “greater good or common good” that has to be managed by “enlightened elites” who believe that they alone know what is best for all others and will use coercion (state mechanisms/institutions) to deprive common people of property (via taxation) and, along with ever-increasing regulations, thereby undermine their freedom.
A thought-provoker from a friend: “There are no really bad people. Just bad ideas that make people do bad things”.
Another from a wise friend: “We all become just like the God that we believe in”. Including materialist/atheists. What we embrace as our highest ideals and authorities, those are our gods.
How early gods became human, in the worst possible way- a general point, Wendell Krossa
Early humans, responded to the impulse for meaning that emerged with their early consciousness. Feeling that impulse to understand and to explain reality, the world, and life to themselves and others, they then projected the features of their primitive existence onto their early gods.
They were intuitively and rightly aware that mysterious, invisible realities were responsible for creating the material world and they believed those invisible realities/forces were behind all elements of the world- i.e. behind storms, floods, lightning and thunder, behind all natural disasters, drought, accidents, and even behind the physical elements such as rocks, trees, streams, and so on. And that meant the gods must be nasty beings because the natural world produced so many nasty outcomes.
The ancients then began to anthropomorphize the previously understood “forces of nature” as spirits very much like themselves. They projected the main features of their primitive existence and behavior onto their gods, features like tribalism (favoring/blessing some, hating/cursing others), domination (alpha control of the weaker), and punitive destruction of differing others- i.e. threatening “enemies”.
The gods subsequently embodied what would be viewed as ultimate human ideals. The gods then, in turn, were appealed to as ultimate authorities that validated the same primitive features in human lives- tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of differing others. Such circular feedback loops were common right from the beginning.
Moving right along to another topic…
Beware despair: Wendell Krossa
This site repeatedly presents the evidence that, overall, life has been improving on all the main indicators. This is not an exercise in “whistling in the dark against evidence to the contrary”. It is a project to counter the obsessive and excessive orientation to what is wrong today, in so many areas of life, with good and abundant evidence of what is going right today.
An excessive and thereby distorting focus on the negatives of life can lead to despair over our situations, to resignation, fatalism, and even nihilism as in abandoning meaning and purpose. Obsession with and exaggeration of the negative distorts the true state of life and can produce a weakening of the human intention to work to improve life. It leads to giving up on our common desire to ensure that life does get better. Too much public negativity (the obsession of news media) can then become self-fulfilling as in inciting survival-aroused people to give way to their worst impulses to defensive tribalism, and to retaliatory vengeance and violence.
This is what Arthur Mendel meant when he defined the prominent narrative of despair- i.e. apocalyptic- as “the most violent and destructive idea in history”.
Just a brief rehearsal of the patterns in societies that are incited by narratives of despair:
Apocalyptic narratives, as in climate alarmism, incite the survival fear in populations, and that leads to desperation for salvation, and that then renders people susceptible to the irrational and destructive salvation schemes of alarmists, notably decarbonization, the latest version of “save the world” by destroying it.
Apocalyptic hysteria also orients frightened people to deformed versions of the hero’s quest where people feel virtuous by engaging “righteous battles against evil enemies”, enemies that they demonize as threats to life and hence they must be purged, even with violence. Add the features of demanded sacrifice/suffering as redemptive (think “de-development” as in a return to the “moral superiority” of primitivism and the suffering generated by that). Ah, such a mess of deforming ideas and outcomes that flow from primitive apocalyptic mythology.
Maintaining awareness of the bigger background picture on the true state of life, i.e. that life has been improving, can help caution against such narratives of despair and help sustain our intention to contribute to solving problems and improving negative situations.
Now some theology in relation to meaning…
Understanding the mystery of evil. Why evil exists. Why does God, as Ultimate Good, not intervene to prevent evil? Where was God during the Holocaust? Why has the world been created imperfect, reduced to such a hellhole at times? Wendell Krossa
Here is one helpful(?) insight related to theodicy (as in the defense of ultimate good): Where there is no authentic freedom, there is no love. Authentic love will not overrule human freedom of choice, for varied reasons presented by philosophies of evil- i.e. true moral good can only come from true freedom of choice, good only exists in contrast with its opposite, etc.
Add another suggestion (from a friend)- There are no really bad people, just bad ideas that incite people to do bad things. Think “bad religious ideas” in this regard.
That same friend comments: “Men never do worse evil than when they do it in the name of God”. That all-too-common appeal to deity, as ultimate ideal and authority, grants the sense of divine approval of the evil that is committed. Again, the recent example- those Hamas terrorists screaming “Allahu Akbar” as they raped, tortured, burned, and murdered innocent people. Other religions have produced the same horrifically evil outcomes.
You get my drift. Horrifically inhumane features were projected onto early mythical gods to then be used as the ultimate ideal, authority, and validation for human life. Those same features in deity were then later embraced by world religions. Notably the features of (1) God as tribal (favoring true believers, excluding, judging, and punishing unbelievers), (2) God as dominating Lord, King (validating human relationships of domination/submission), and (3) God executing punitive, destructive justice on enemies (whether this-world justice, end-of-world justice as in apocalypse, or after-life justice as in hell)…. and so on.
Add here the fact that humans have, from the beginning, developed the relationship of responding to their meaning impulse by basing their behavior on similar beliefs in ultimate realities/deities that function to guide and validate their behavior. With their gods, early people created ultimate ideals and authorities. They created a relationship with their manufactured gods of basing ethics on theology.
The above noted features still dominate human belief systems today, both religious and now also the “secular” systems of belief common to our contemporary world.
Consequently, bad ideas, particularly bad religious ideas, continue to incite and validate bad behavior. Just watch as the climate apocalypse crusade (shaped by the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of ideas) continues to push its salvation scheme of decarbonization and the widespread suffering that is the outcome of that “profoundly religious movement”.
Hence, evil continues to exist in its worst forms.
This site, as a sort of “Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy” project (change your mind, change your life) offers alternatives to bad ideas in human meta-narratives. Alternatives to inspire the better angels of our nature and orient consciousness toward more humane outcomes.
This site believes that going to ultimate root causal or contributing factors is critical to solving problems.
Getting right to the point: The unique focus and projects of this site…
Human life, growth, and development is primarily about the adventure of leaving an animal past to become more human (“socialization in civilization”). This adventure to become truly human is the real battle, struggle, war, or quest of human life. And this is principally an inner battle though experienced and lived through all sorts of public issues and projects- whether in politics, economics/business, workplace, family, entertainment/sports, or other social arenas/issues. All areas to live out human story.
But the core point: I would argue that the meaning and purpose of life can be understood as- How do I become more human, or humane? What does it mean to be truly human/humane? What features have the human family discovered over the millennia that point us toward authentically human behavior and existence? Notable in this regard is the ultimate human ideal- love. What is that, really?
The answers to such questions are fundamental to our stories.
Our primary human impulse- the impulse to meaning, Wendell Krossa
We all struggle with this meaning impulse even if we may not fully acknowledge its often subtly energizing presence permeating our consciousness and spirit. And we fulfil it in the hero’s quest, going out into life to engage life, often clueless as to what our lives should be about, what heroic adventure we are meant to engage. Many of us stumble along figuring out the meaning of our life on the fly.
Commonly, people feel drawn to something, and this unique interest in something emerges even in childhood, an interest in some particular thing. People become aware of this at varying ages, some later in life after decades of struggle with the point or purpose of their lives. You hear many later in life state the conclusion- “This is why I am here, what I was meant to do”.
Features of all human stories…
In our personal experience of the hero’s quest, we all encounter a “monster or enemy”. Something that introduces us to the element of suffering, something to struggle with or against. It may be physical disability, or mental and emotional issues from life experiences, or some social issue that we fight for or against. Something that captures our interest and passion, or something simply unavoidable. Our “fate”.
Most critical to grasp is that there is a common monster that all of us must face- i.e. our inherited animal drives and impulses, notably the impulses to tribalism, domination of others, and punitive response to failing others, the animal triad at the root of so much “evil” in life. Add here the monstrous deformity that things like the sexual drive can become if not socialized properly. None of us escapes these fundamental features of human life.
This inner battle is “the real battle against the real enemy in life”. Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke well on this- “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either- but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts”.
The real battle of life should not be viewed as something executed against others in the human family but should be against this inside dwelling monster that we all have to engage and conquer in order to live as truly human, to be what we truly are. This is a battle for our true identity as human.
The struggle with our inner monster is essential to fulfilling the hero’s quest and understanding the meaning and purpose of life. It is about understanding, confronting, and rejecting the animal inside us (“the animal passions”- Joseph Campbell) and then freely choosing to live as maturely human.
Success in this quest involves embracing humane ideas and practises that include (1) the universal inclusion of all others as full equals, (2) respecting the freedom and self-determination of all others as equals (protecting and celebrating human diversity), and (3) embracing the restorative treatment of the failures of imperfect others around us. These are common discoveries, notably across the past few centuries, as to what it means to be authentically human. Most of the human family intuitively understand, if not yet fully embrace, these features.
(Qualifier: Embracing human freedom, self-determination, and diversity as in projects like multiculturalism does not mean “being tolerant of intolerance”. Some values are simply true and right- i.e. humane- and others not. Western liberal democracies have got most values right.)
The above triad of inclusion, self-determination, and restorative justice are summed in the highest human ideal- love. And more specifically, the most authentic form of love- unconditional. Again, most people get this authentic nature of love intuitively from experience with family and friends.
Classic Liberalism/Libertarianism is another way of viewing what mature humanity means and involves at societal scale- with its institutions and laws that (1) protect the individual rights and freedoms of all equally (private property and private contract rights), that (2) protect and promote freedom for human diversity, creativity and achievement, freedom for unique individual expression and lifestyles, even if repugnant to others (again, not meaning the toleration of intolerance). Its about “Live and let live” at societal scale. Classic liberal protection of individual freedom is the best approach that we have discovered for maintaining love at societal scale, because where there is no such freedom (for individual diversity, self-determination, equality, etc.) there is no love.
I will emphasize it again because love and freedom are inseparable- “Where there is no authentic freedom there is no authentic love”. That responds to the nonsense of people like dogmatic materialist Sam Harris who argue there is such thing “free will”. That would then mean a reality/world where there is no possibility for love to exist. Nonsense. The basic premise in his reasoning is wrong.
More on Classic Liberal love at institutional or societal scale:
Optimally, the only intervention in the lives of differing others would be to prevent or restrain actual violence. This refers to the early Classic Liberal/Libertarian principle that the fundamental role of the state should be to “protect citizens from assault both foreign and domestic”. Aside from that minimal responsibility, we ought to be warily cautious about all further increases in government interventions and control, notably via ever-growing systems of regulations and taxation that takes free individual choice away from citizens. State bureaucrats and their organizations tend to extend government control and power without restraints. One good mechanism introduced, for example, by the Trump administration was a law that for every new regulation, two old ones had to be eliminated.
Government, if properly functioning “to serve the people” (government of, by, and for the people) should operate to protect and promote the freedom and rights of all individuals equally. (See some interesting discussion in William Bernstein’s “The Birth of Plenty” on the optimal size of government to promote the most good for the most people. Milton Freidman also spoke to this issue of optimal size of government.)
Further, in our struggle with our monster, we will be wounded. Again, this wounding could be something emotional, mental, physical, or other.
But through our struggles with our monster, we learn to figure things out. We learn valuable life lessons. We gain insights that can then benefit others. Out of our struggle and what we learn, we can offer benefits to others to help them in their struggles and suffering. And that is empathy at work.
Further to the basic features of most human stories- a wise person will give us a sword/weapon to help us conquer and slay our monster (i.e. conquer our animal impulses in order to live as maturely human). A wise person will give us insights from their experience, personal development, and research. “Mentors”, if you will.
Now some personal illustration of a “monster” to struggle with and overcome….
A qualifier: I recognize that many people have learned to focus on the better features of their religious traditions and to live accordingly. As ‘New Joisy’ guys say (e.g. Chris Weidman)- “Props to them”. But my repeated assertion is that the better features of religious traditions are often distorted by the larger context of nastier features in all religion, even buried by such features.
Good features in the religious mix- i.e. forgiveness, love- cannot liberate people to the full reach of the ideals that they point to. Example: Religious versions of love often give priority loyalty and affection to fellow true believers. Not so much to “unbelievers” or outsiders. That is then limiting “tribal love”, not authentic universal love.
Central to my personal monster was my fateful birth into a family that was affiliated with a fundamentalist religion- Evangelical Christianity. From my earliest years I was subjected to the threat theology of that religion- i.e. parental threats of a God that was out to get me, to execute payback for my sins, a God that was constantly watching and keeping account of my imperfections and threatening me with this-life, as well as after-life judgment and punishment.
Without the mental tools to push back against such metaphysical threat, I took that religious belief seriously for a few years and experienced its monstrously deforming influence (psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo on “monster God” theology in “Cruel God, Kind God”). It eventually broke my spirit, crushed me with fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, nihilism, and depression. (I will spare you the gory details. Men don’t like to cry.)
My monster was epitomized in the Christian God and Christ.
And it took a subsequently decades-long process to find freedom from the monstrous features of that religious narrative. That included a side detour for several years in a secular version of the same threat theology (i.e. environmental apocalyptic) till a wise man pointed out to me that, in supposedly leaving my religion, my core beliefs had just shifted from a religious version to a similar secular version of same core themes. The environmental alarmism that I had embraced under Bill Rees (father of the “Ecological Footprint” model) was just another “secular” version of the same old “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” beliefs of my religious past.
The wise friend (Bob Brinsmead) then recommended that I read Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource” and that “best book ever” played a significant role in finally and fully liberating my understanding from the consciousness-deforming myth of apocalyptic. That was the best of “Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy” that then led to a complete re-evaluation and radical transformation of my worldview/narrative. It was a project of going to the most foundational levels of human thinking and consciousness to make the most fundamental of changes.
Julian Simon’s book was the product of his own research to discover for himself “the true state of life on Earth”. And his discoveries freed him from his “clinical depression” that he said never again returned.
For me, the transformation of personal narrative/worldview included the discovery of a stunningly unconditional theology (with help from “Q Wisdom Sayings gospel” research- James Robinson, John Kloppenberg, and others). And that was the final reach in my mental liberation, notably to discover the profound insight of Historical Jesus that God was an unconditional reality, a God entirely different from the God of all conditional religions. That “light” penetrated to the very core of my consciousness liberating me entirely from the fallacy of threat theology. And it led to the eventual complete overhaul of my personal narrative/worldview/perspective (see the results of this overhaul in “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” below).
What I had been taught in Christianity about Paul’s Christ myth had distorted and buried entirely the profound insight of Historical Jesus that God was an unconditional reality, not demanding sacrifice or payment for human imperfection, and not tribally excluding, punishing, and destroying unbelievers, a non-dominating reality that embodied and epitomized the inseparable relationship of love and freedom.
The Jesus insight overturned all religious conditions. It overturns all religion… entirely.
The discovery of that unconditional ultimate reality helped me to grasp the true nature of authentic love. To recognize that no conditions love is central to the meaning of being human. That we exist on this planet primarily to learn, experience, and express such love. Unconditional is what love- our ultimate human ideal and primary identity marker- is really all about. Unconditional love is most essentially what we are as human.
So, to emphasize again: Critical to getting love clear was to understand that the real nature of love is unconditional, not just as in love your family or neighbors- i.e. tribal love, but also extending the meaning of love to “love your enemy”. Universal love. Non-discriminating love. Non-excluding love. The love that is God.
If the Creating Source of all is most essentially this unconditional love, then that speaks volumes as to why this cosmos and world were created. It points to a fundamental reason for conscious human experience on this planet.
Historical Jesus summed it best in stating- “Love your enemy because God does”. Become just like God. Love unconditionally and you will be just like God who loves unconditionally.
I would argue that this singularly profound discovery of deity as unconditional finally gets us to the true nature of Ultimate Reality, the nature of the God that created this cosmos and world.
The feature of unconditional then takes us magnitudes of order further in clarifying the main questions that people have always contemplated and speculated about regarding reality and life. Unconditional informs the hugely important question of why this material reality was created. If the creating Source of all is unconditional love, then that argues this world was created as an arena in which to learn what love is, to experience love, and to express love to others, especially to the most undeserving- to “love enemies”.
I am arguing that the central statement in the teaching of Historical Jesus to “Love your enemies because God does… to be unconditionally merciful just as God is unconditionally merciful”, clearly points to the meaning and purpose for this world and life. Deity, as the ultimate reality and the embodiment of ultimate meaning as unconditional, points to what “meaning and purpose” are ultimately about. Unconditional resolves and clarifies things that are foundational to the human meaning impulse.
The discovery of unconditional love as the core nature of ultimate reality suggests a lot of things.
Personally, the insight on the unconditional nature of Ultimate Reality led to a shamanic-like transformation. A complete disintegration and then a re-integration around an entirely new narrative to build an entirely new identity. Hence, the name of this site- “The unconditional human spirit”.
As historical sages have offered- We die to something old and are reborn into something new.
Hopefully, we come out having died to something subhuman, inhuman, and reborn to something new and truly human, to the beginning of an authentically new life.
Deity is critical to this mix of things because “We all become just like the God that we believe in”, meaning that whatever we view as our highest ideal and authority is our God, whether religious/spiritual or secular/materialist.
Added note: More on my personal monster…
The monster God of religion became my personal monster and incited the worst of animal drives that I had never experienced so intensely before, during my pagan unchurched teen years. Example: My religion incited the impulse to tribalism. I had not previously been aware of a profound difference between myself and others as different in any fundamental way. But then during a few years residency in a more intensely religious situation, we were taught that we were “the true children of God” positioned in cosmic enmity against all unbelievers as “the children of Satan”. Our religion and our tribal God then incited an intense awareness of tribal identity and that resulted in consequent tribal behaviors (i.e. the “children of light” were not permitted to have any close association- i.e. close friendship, marriage- with the “children of darkness”. Note 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”).
Further, we were taught that we would “reign with Christ forever”. We would dominate the unbelievers who would be eternally excluded from our heaven, destroyed with punitive justice taken to the ultimate extreme in an eternal hell.
Note the following examples that epitomize the pathology of domination…
The monstrous God and Christ of my religion affirmed these “bad religious ideas” that have long incited the related base impulses.
As a friend in the same religion once said, “My religion does not let me be fully/truly human”.
Some will dismiss the above life experience with- “Ah, you were caught up in a fundamentalist version of an otherwise good religion”. I would acknowledge that, contrary to my personal experience of Christianity, many Christians have learned to embrace moderated versions of this religion. However, I would argue that the basic beliefs of the religion still cause deformity of varied severity across a spectrum from lesser to worst. The basic beliefs inevitably incite the same deformity of human values and behavior, whether in lesser or worse forms (i.e. as in milder or worse expressions of tribalism).
The highly conditional nature of my religion played a significant role in its deforming and wounding impact. We were burdened with endless conditions of orthodox beliefs (the “true” religion), demanded sacrifice and payment, necessary faith for salvation faith in the tightly proscribed set of beliefs as “orthodox”, as well as faith in painstakingly precise definitions of true “Savior”, requirement to live a religious lifestyle in onerous detail as the identity marker of having the true saving faith in the “true religion”, etc. Add the terrifying threats of eternal consequences for failing to meet all these conditions. All a crushing psychic burden that no person should ever have to bear.
So, I give a strong affirmation to psychologist Harold Ellens and psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s point that “Monster God” theology deforms human personality and life. And from that personal level, there is deformity to scale with societal-level harm. Again, note the example of the Hamas eruption of violence.
A revised reposting as a resolution to a current severe problem
Tribalism is a critical element in the evil triad that ruins life. It is a fundamental impulse to conquer if we are ever to live as truly human and to have peace at scale in society. So understand what it is, where it comes from, how to conquer it, how to liberate ourselves from its destructive impacts.
It has resurged to new intensity today and the outcomes don’t look good, whether in social disruption or outright war.
How to solve the endless cycles of eye for eye tribal violence? (a quickie summary for those just running by- revised and updated), Wendell Krossa
Critical to solving eye for eye tribal violence- Go to the root causal, contributing factors. Understand the foundational ideas in human narratives and the impulses that they incite and validate- notably, the inherited animal impulses as in the impulses to tribalism, domination, and destruction of differing others.
These are the issues this site tackles repeatedly.
And there is nothing more critical in the mix of contributing factors than the monster gods that we have inherited from the primitive mythology of our ancestors, gods viewed as the highest embodiment of ideals, and the ultimate authorities that incite, guide, and validate human behavior and lives.
The most destructive features that were projected onto the early deities- i.e. gods as tribal, dominating, punitively destructive (a threesome that summarizes larger complexes of mythology)- these features were passed down through history to be embraced in the theologies of the world religions, then further passed down into 19th Century Declinism ideology that has shaped the secular ideologies and belief systems of the modern world, notably Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism. (See Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline In Western History”. The idea of decline being “the most dominant and influential theme in the modern world”, Arthur Mendel in “Vision and Violence”.)
The above belief systems have all embraced the same basic themes of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex and the deity that glues these complexes together, the deity that incites the “evil triad” of impulses to tribalism, domination, and destruction of differing others. (My ‘triads’ are just to simplify as memory aids that summarize larger complexes of themes.)
Problem-solving: The problem of endless and often intensifying eruptions of tribalism, Wendell Krossa
Many have voiced the concern that tribalism has intensified to a record severity in US society today, even surging dangerously out of control. Some speculate that it now poses a serious threat to US social peace and democracy. Public commentators wonder if we can pull back from the extreme nature of the divisiveness today, even suggesting that it portends civil violence. The tribal divisiveness is not just a US problem but is worldwide as evident in the Israeli/Palestinian problem and many other situations.
We have effective counters to this problem. But as with any issue we need to first understand all the factors involved in creating and exacerbating the problem, the main root causal or contributing factors. As with any problem-solving project it is wise to go the real core of the problem, the most critical of contributing factors.
I would argue that, with divisiveness between groups in a society, we are observing, at a most fundamental level, at an inherited animal impulse and the affirming ideas that incite and validate the impulse. Subconscious ‘archetypes’, if you will.
The impulse of tribalism arises from our mammalian origins in animal reality- i.e. the millions of years of small-band existence, whether in families, extended clans, or small groups that struggled to survive against competitors and predators, the threats from other small bands.
Worsening the problem, W. Krossa
The eventual emergence of conscious minds in humanity was accompanied by the impulse for meaning. And that became our primary human impulse. People then created ideas and composed narratives to explain and validate their lives. They created themes in belief systems that would then, in feedback loop fashion, incite, guide, and validate their natural impulses to such things as tribalism. This all became subconscious-level stuff, meaning deeply embedded in human psyches.
Most critical, in regard to the exercise of their meaning impulse, is that our ancestors projected their ideas onto what they viewed as the highest embodiment of ideals and authorities- their gods. They projected some of their basest features onto their deities. The result were gods as tribal deities that favored their followers and advocated destructive violence toward outsiders as “enemies”.
Additionally, those early Gods were also defined as dominating lords validating the human response to dominate or lord over others. Further, Gods were also defined as punitively destructive, validating “justice” as the destruction of differing others, outsiders. All features (the “evil triad”) of what we understand as “monster Gods”.
Later, with the ongoing refining of God theories across history, with increasing sophistication of ideas, people added the myth of “cosmic dualism”- i.e. good Gods existing in eternal conflict with evil powers/spirits (Zoroastrian theology). That would further validate tribalism among groups on earth, as people have always sought to model their lives and societies according to what they believe is the divine model or ideal (i.e. people basing their behavior on similar beliefs that affirm the behavior). Cosmic dualism mythology led people to believe that, by affiliating with a “true” religion, they could be on the side of good in the battle against evil. Such thinking further validated their destruction of the “evil other or enemy” that was threatening them as righteous “justice”.
These primitive mythical themes deformed the hero’s quest by orienting people to view differing others as enemies and to forget that the true enemy of humanity was inside each person- i.e. the dark impulses of the animal inheritance.
These mythical themes continued to shape human narratives down into the world religions where they still dominate today- i.e. with themes of favored true believers versus excluded unbelievers. And this tribalism infects everyone. It is evident even among non-religious people who also view their primary identity in terms of a fundamental opposition to differing others, whether based on ideology, political party, ethnicity/race, or membership in a nation state.
We have all just observed the worst of a tribalism eruption in the Hamas/Israel conflict. And we watch the same tribalism at lesser scales in all sorts of ugly separations and oppositions between groups of differing people in our societies.
Tribalism continues to break forth in our contemporary world and has been endlessly re-enforced by people giving primary emphasis to peripheral identity markers, superficial differences (i.e. superficial on the human genome and other factors). Note this in the common affirmation of tribal identity in terms of skin color. How petty is that?
How to counter the tribalism impulse? W. Krossa
With the emergence of consciousness, and the accompanying meaning impulse in humanity, we were given a way to liberate ourselves from our base tribal impulse. But it has taken multiple millennia to discover the better alternatives to the ideas that our ancestors gave us.
We embrace our primary meaning impulse, and a historically developing sense of the humane, and use these to motivate us to seek alternative narratives, new ideas that counter tribalism and inspire our better impulses to include all as family.
Primarily, to counter the tribal impulse, we recognize and embrace the most critical and fundamental feature to our identity as humans- i.e. our shared human spirit and consciousness. This is the most fundamental element to being human. Human mind and spirit constitute the primary element in what makes us authentically human. We all share the same human spirit and consciousness, or mind, as the primary common denominator of every person in the one human family.
And then we emphasize the fact of “fundamental oneness” in the human family as basic to our identity. Oneness as based, for example, on our shared origin from an East African Eve, i.e. “Mitochondrial Eve”. Every human being on Earth today has descended from that mother of us all. Meaning- the human family is one family of equals. One great tribe or race.
Then we further add other facts that affirm our oneness, facts like “quantum entanglement” that point to an even more fundamental oneness of all at the most basic level of reality (Ignore the dogmatic quantum purists who dismiss such conclusions as “Woowoo” stuff. Suck it up, philosophical materialists. Its insight into fundamental reality.).
Further include the Near-Death Experience insights that we are all united in an ultimate oneness in deity. This metaphysical oneness is also affirmed by other spiritual traditions. And it presents a new metaphysical basis for human equality. Every human being has the same immediate oneness and access to God as every other person. There are no “elite” insiders here. We are all equally incarnated by the creating God that is inseparable from our human spirit. We are all one with the divine in regard to these things.
This oneness factor, in all its facets, is one of the most basic features related to human identity and it overturns the many other more peripheral factors that we elevate to deny and distort our common oneness and common humanity.
Additional comments re tribalism:
Note, for example, the scientist who said that skin color is such a minor feature on the human genome that “it amounts to nothing of any more importance than a sunburn”. It’s the difference between active melanocytes and inactive melanocytes. We all have the same amount of melanocytes in our skin (the little cell thingies that release melanin to darken color in skin as protection against UV).
Depending on the past millennia of exposure to differing environments, some out-of-Africa descendants continued to live in high sunlight areas (migrating to Asia and elsewhere in the tropics) whereas others migrated to low sunlight areas (northern hemisphere). Hence, melanocyte activity adapted to these environmental differences over the millennia. In low sunlight areas such as northern Europe, human melanocytes became inactive. The result- “crackers”.
Yet, many still today grant skin color differences a dominant place as a human identity marker. Such a nothingburger to divide and fight over, to validate tribalism. Active versus inactive melanocytes (“sunburn”) is not a biological basis for “race” as some fundamentally different species of human.
And then, most potent to fighting and overcoming tribalism, embrace the one feature above all that identifies us as human- love. Not just love as in love of family and neighbor (the “easy-peasy” version of love, anyone can do that). But go for the highest reach of love- unconditional love as in “love of enemy”. Love of enemy eviscerates tribalism and urges us to treat all as family, intimate family, not as outside “others” (the offensive- “You people” or “Those people”).
This goes to the heart of the tribal enmity problem to offer a way of freedom from the animal and a route to heroic status in our story- to exhibit a universal love that enables us to tower in stature as maturely human. Like Nelson Mandela.
We reframe our narratives with such information and insight and that orients us to entirely new perspectives that enable us to recognize our basest impulses for what they really are- animal, not human. A new narrative, based on insights like human oneness, enables us to conquer our worst impulses and move toward the better future that we all want.
As pointed out in a section below, we also see tribalism advocated in the simple-minded dualism of Marxist collectivism- where you are categorized as either a member of the oppressor class, or the oppressed class, victimizer class or victimized class. DEI takes up this same simple-minded tribalism.
Here again is the singularly best advice on how to end tribalism and its inevitable cycles of retaliatory violence…
Here is the full context of Jesus’ statement to “love your enemies”… A reposting
How to end cycles of retaliatory violence and achieve long-term peace in societies….
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full.
“But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36 or Matthew 5:38-48.)
This can be summarized in this single statement: “Love your enemy because God does”.
Example of non-retaliatory, unconditional love: The Prodigal Father story in Luke 15:11-31. The Father illustrates what God is like. The Father (representing God) did not demand a sacrifice, restitution, payment, apology, or anything else before forgiving, fully accepting, and loving the wasteful son.
Again, qualifier- this is not to deny the importance of offenders being held responsible for crimes, to make restitution to victims. Such is critical to human learning, growth and development. To grow up and act as human. It is solely up to victims what approach they choose to take toward their offenders.
The above statements and illustration by Jesus overturn the highly conditional Christian religion and Paul’s Christ mythology. Paul, along with the rest of the New Testament, preached a retaliatory God who demanded full payment and punishment of all sin in a blood sacrifice of atonement before he would forgive, accept, and ultimately love anyone. Paul re-enforced eye for eye justice.
See essay below on the larger historical context of “From Retaliation To Unconditional Love: The Narrative of Human Exodus from Animal Existence”
Note: Some may self-righteously feel that they live above the infantile impulse of others to engage retaliatory cycles. But what about personal relationships, say in a family? What about the “passive aggressive” retaliation that kicks in when one spouse feels neglected (not shown affection) by the other and so similarly “cools off”, declining to exhibit affection toward the other “offending” spouse as a form of retaliatory payback?
Here is the Milei speech (see full speech at link below)
“The West has turned to socialism: Argentina’s Javier Milei warns Davos leaders of looming disaster” Jan. 18, 2024
Other good sources on the Western Classic Liberal or Libertarian approach: “Inventing Freedom” by Daniel Hannan, “Birth of Plenty” by William Bernstein, “Libertarianism: A Primer” by David Boaz, etc.
Some quotes from Milei’s speech to the socialists at WEF:
“Today I’m here to tell you that the Western world is in danger. And it is in danger because those who are supposed to have to defend the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism and thereby to poverty.
“Unfortunately, in recent decades, the main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism. Some have been motivated by well-meaning individuals who are willing to help others, and others have been motivated by the wish to belong to a privileged caste.
“We’re here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world. Rather, they are the root cause….
“It would first be important for us to take a look at the data that demonstrate why free enterprise capitalism is not just the only possible system to end world poverty, but also that it’s the only morally desirable system to achieve this.
“If we look at the history of economic progress, we can see how between the year zero and the year 1800 approximately, world per capita GDP practically remained constant throughout the whole reference period. (Meaning no GDP growth across most history)….
“And throughout the whole period between the year zero and the year 1800, the per capita GDP growth rate remains stable at around 0.02 per cent annually. So almost no growth. Starting in the 19th century with the Industrial Revolution, the compound annual growth rate was 0.66 per cent…
“Now, if you look at the period between the year 1900 and the year 1950, the growth rate accelerated to 1.66 per cent a year. So you no longer need 107 years to double per capita GDP — but 66. And if you take the period between 1950 and the year 2000, you will see that the growth rate was 2.1 per cent, which would mean that in only 33 years we could double the world’s per capita GDP.
“This trend, far from stopping, remains well alive today. If we take the period between the years 2000 and 2023, the growth rate again accelerated to three per cent a year, which means that we could double world per capita GDP in just 23 years.
“That said, when you look at per capita GDP since the year 1800 until today, what you will see is that after the Industrial Revolution, global per capita GDP multiplied by over 15 times, which meant a boom in growth that lifted 90 per cent of the global population out of poverty.
“We should remember that by the year 1800, about 95 per cent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. And that figure dropped to five per cent by the year 2020, prior to the pandemic. The conclusion is obvious.
“Far from being the cause of our problems, free trade capitalism as an economic system is the only instrument we have to end hunger, poverty and extreme poverty across our planet. The empirical evidence is unquestionable….
“The left-wing doxa has attacked capitalism, alleging matters of morality, saying — that’s what the detractors claim — that it’s unjust. They say that capitalism is evil because it’s individualistic and that collectivism is good because it’s altruistic. Of course, with the money of others.
“So they therefore advocate for social justice. But this concept, which in the developed world became fashionable in recent times, in my country has been a constant in political discourse for over 80 years. The problem is that social justice is not just, and it doesn’t contribute to general well-being.
“Quite on the contrary, it’s an intrinsically unfair idea because it’s violent. It’s unjust because the state is financed through tax and taxes are collected coercively…. This means that the state is financed through coercion and that the higher the tax burden, the higher the coercion and the lower the freedom….
“So how come academia, international organizations, economic theorists and politicians demonize an economic system that has not only lifted 90 per cent of the world’s population out of extreme poverty but has continued to do this faster and faster?
“Thanks to free trade capitalism, the world is now living its best moment. Never in all of mankind or humanity’s history has there been a time of more prosperity than today. This is true for all. The world of today has more freedom, is rich, more peaceful and prosperous. This is particularly true for countries that have more economic freedom and respect the property rights of individuals.
“Countries that have more freedom are 12 times richer than those that are repressed. The lowest percentile in free countries is better off than 90 per cent of the population in repressed countries. Poverty is 25 times lower and extreme poverty is 50 times lower. And citizens in free countries live 25 per cent longer than citizens in repressed countries.
“Now what is it that we mean when we talk about libertarianism?…
“Its fundamental institutions are private property, markets free from state intervention, free competition, and the division of labour and social cooperation, in which success is achieved only by serving others with goods of better quality or at a better price.
“In other words, capitalist successful business people are social benefactors who, far from appropriating the wealth of others, contribute to the general well-being. Ultimately, a successful entrepreneur is a hero….
“It is worth asking why I say that the West is in danger.
“And I say this precisely because in countries that should defend the values of the free market, private property and the other institutions of libertarianism, sectors of the political and economic establishment are undermining the foundations of libertarianism, opening up the doors to socialism and potentially condemning us to poverty, misery and stagnation.
“It should never be forgotten that socialism is always and everywhere an impoverishing phenomenon that has failed in all countries where it’s been tried out. It’s been a failure economically, socially, culturally and it also murdered over 100 million human beings.
“The essential problem of the West today is not just that we need to come to grips with those who, even after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the overwhelming empirical evidence, continue to advocate for impoverishing socialism….
“Under the pretext of a supposed market failure, regulations are introduced. These regulations create distortions in the price system, prevent economic calculus, and therefore also prevent saving, investment and growth….
“The market is not a mere graph describing a curve of supply and demand. The market is a mechanism for social cooperation, where you voluntarily exchange ownership rights. Therefore, based on this definition, talking about a market failure is an oxymoron. There are no market failures.
“If transactions are voluntary, the only context in which there can be market failure is if there is coercion and the only one that is able to coerce generally is the state, which holds a monopoly on violence.
“Consequently, if someone considers that there is a market failure, I would suggest that they check to see if there is state intervention involved. And if they find that that’s not the case, I would suggest that they check again, because obviously there’s a mistake. Market failures do not exist….
“Faced with the theoretical demonstration that state intervention is harmful — and the empirical evidence that it has failed couldn’t have been otherwise — the solution proposed by collectivists is not greater freedom but rather greater regulation, which creates a downward spiral of regulations until we are all poorer and our lives depend on a bureaucrat sitting in a luxury office.
“Given the dismal failure of collectivist models and the undeniable advances in the free world, socialists were forced to change their agenda: they left behind the class struggle based on the economic system and replaced this with other supposed social conflicts, which are just as harmful to life and to economic growth.
“The first of these new battles was the ridiculous and unnatural fight between man and woman. Libertarianism already provides for equality of the sexes. The cornerstone of our creed is that all humans are created equal and that we all have the same inalienable rights granted by the Creator, including life, freedom and ownership….
“Another conflict presented by socialists is that of humans against nature, claiming that we human beings damage a planet which should be protected at all costs, even going as far as advocating for population control mechanisms or the abortion agenda….
“Fortunately, there’s more and more of us who are daring to make our voices heard, because we see that if we don’t truly and decisively fight against these ideas, the only possible fate is for us to have increasing levels of state regulation, socialism, poverty and less freedom, and therefore, worse standards of living.
“The West has unfortunately already started to go along this path. I know, to many it may sound ridiculous to suggest that the West has turned to socialism, but it’s only ridiculous if you only limit yourself to the traditional economic definition of socialism, which says that it’s an economic system where the state owns the means of production. This definition in my view, should be updated in the light of current circumstances.
“Today, states don’t need to directly control the means of production to control every aspect of the lives of individuals. With tools such as printing money, debt, subsidies, controlling the interest rate, price controls, and regulations to correct so-called market failures, they can control the lives and fates of millions of individuals.
“This is how we come to the point where, by using different names or guises, a good deal of the generally accepted ideologies in most Western countries are collectivist variants, whether they proclaim to be openly communist, fascist, socialist, social democrats, national socialists, Christian democrats, neo-Keynesians, progressives, populists, nationalists or globalists.
“Ultimately, there are no major differences. They all say that the state should steer all aspects of the lives of individuals. They all defend a model contrary to the one that led humanity to the most spectacular progress in its history….
“The case of Argentina is an empirical demonstration that no matter how rich you may be, how much you may have in terms of natural resources, how skilled your population may be, how educated, or how many bars of gold you may have in the central bank — if measures are adopted that hinder the free functioning of markets, competition, price systems, trade and ownership of private property, the only possible fate is poverty….
“Do not surrender to the advance of the state. The state is not the solution. The state is the problem itself….
“Thank you very much and long live freedom!” (end of speech)
Comment from the always excellent atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, “What is Climate?”, Jan.18, 2024
Lindzen presents several graphs of climate measurements…
“Global average temperature anomaly.
“Actually, we are not looking at ‘average temperature’. Averaging Mt. Everest and the Dead Sea makes no sense. Instead, we average what is called the temperature anomaly. We average the deviations from a 30-year mean. The figure shows an increase of a bit more than 1°C over 175 years.
“We are told by international bureaucrats that when this reaches 1.5°C, we are doomed. In all fairness, even the science report of the UN’s IPCC (i.e. the WG1 report) and the US National Assessments never make this claim. The political claims are simply meant to frighten the public into compliance with absurd policies. It remains a puzzle to me why the public should be frightened of a warming that is smaller than the temperature change we normally experience between breakfast and lunch…..”
He then presents a graph showing that many temperature measuring stations around the world show cooling, not warming…
“Figure 2 Temperature anomalies at individual stations as well as the mean….
“What exactly does this say about climate? In point of fact, the Earth has dozens of different climate regimes. This is shown in Figure 3 showing the Koppen climate classification for the period 1901-2010. Each of these represents different interactions with their environments. Are we really supposed to think that each of these regimes responds in lock-step with the global mean temperature anomaly? On the contrary, Figure 2 tells us that at any given time, there are almost as many stations cooling as are warming.”
Point- There is no one global climate but many regional climates doing differing things as in some warming, some cooling.
Irresponsible panic-mongering by scientists, celebrities, politicians, apocalyptic prophets like Al Gore, John Kerry, along with many others, and always hysteria-oriented news media are causing harmful trauma to people.
Good one from Linnea Lueken, “Wrong Harvard, Alarmists’ Media Stories, Not Climate Change, Are to Blame for Mental Trauma”, Jan. 19, 2024
“A recent news post at the Harvard School of Public Health “Understanding the mental health consequences of chronic climate change,” claims that climate change, which researchers dub “chronic,” is leading to negative mental health consequences for people around the world. Researchers claim that long-term, gradual changes to the environment are also traumatic. This is false. While natural disasters can traumatize those who survive them, individual weather events can’t be causally linked to climate change, and since environmental changes have always occurred throughout human history, Harvard’s new hypothesis is worthless or empty. In reality, and especially in the Western world, it is frantic and alarmist media coverage that leads to self-reporting of climate change related anxiety….
“Indeed, Climate Realism has on several occasions…. for instance, refuted claims that suggest climate change itself, through the impact of natural disasters, is causing anxiety and other mental health problems. The reality in those cases is that while suffering through an extreme weather event, during which lives and property may be lost, definitely can be traumatic, no one would blame that trauma on “climate change” had the media not told them the weather event was caused by it.
“In one particularly egregious example, several news outlets back in 2023 reported on a study that analyzed individuals who survived the 2018 wildfire in Paradise, California, and found widespread diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The researchers blamed those mental health problems on climate change. However, climate change did not cause the fire in Paradise, poor maintenance of power lines did. Nor has the modest warming of the past century or so caused any statistically significant change in the number or severity of wildfires on Earth. In fact, data from NASA suggests that the amount of land lost to wildfires each year has declined substantially.
“The same goes for hurricanes– there is no statistically significant trend in the number or severity of tropical cyclones and hurricanes….
“Denckla seems to suggest that modern warming is a novel situation that uniquely impacts human mental health, however history clearly demonstrates that human civilizations have always suffered from natural disasters and slowly changing ecosystems and landscapes. Nature is never in stasis.
“What is certain, however, is that climate change alarmism is the overwhelming narrative consensus pushed by mainstream media and activists. Climate Realism responds to disinformation every day from the media, and despite occasionally acknowledging that the “catastrophe” angle taken on climate-related issues is going too far, they continue to double down. It would be surprising if the constant battering by false and inflammatory climate news did not negatively impact the mental health of media besotted adults and children, alike. The ratcheting up of hysterical coverage, misleadingly linking damage from natural disasters to climate change, while harping on the fact no major climate policies are being passed, is leading to depression and anxiety about the future.
“It would serve the mental health of the general public better if Harvard devoted some resources to an alternative study, about how fearmongering by the media leads to mental health issues, and better still if its scholars began following and promoting the data which shows that no climate crisis is in the offing.”
This site has long argued that natural factors show stronger correlation to the climate change that we have seen over past decades and longer. Further, we don’t even know how much human emissions actually contribute to rising CO2 levels. And we know better now that CO2 is not a main driver of climate change but plays a very minor role.
And we know that the CO2 influence on climate is now “saturated” (a physics term) and more CO2 will contribute very little to any possible further warming. And we know the warming over the past century has been a very mild 1 degree C that has been part of the recovery from the descent into the coldest period of our Holocene interglacial- the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715, a dangerously cold time on Earth. Even with the mild warming, 10 times more people still die every year from cold than die from warming. We could use a lot more warming.
Conclusion: There is no “climate crisis” and no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
Here is a report on another natural factor that shows correlations to the warming we have seen over past decades. From “The Week That Was: Jan 20, 2024, The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).”
“Scope: Topics to be discussed include Earth’s Multiple Climates and Geothermal Impacts on Climate….
“Geothermal Impacts on Climate: Earth’s surface land masses do not store energy well. They are bombarded by massive solar energy in the day and give it off quickly at night. The greenhouse effect keeps the land masses at night warm enough to support complex life. “Similarly, energy from geothermal fissures, volcanoes, etc., on land are not important in considering planetary heat balance.
“However, oceans store energy well. As discussed in previous TWTWs, below, Professor Yim of the University of Hong Kong has made the case that submarine volcanoes must be considered when evaluating the causes of climate change. Usually, these changes are regional, not global, however they may have global influences such as changing precipitation patterns as seen with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In a Tom Nelson podcast Yim is joined by geologists Arthur Viterito and James Kamis and physicist Brian Catt in discussing the influences that submarine geothermal activity may have on climate….
“These two distinct patterns of warming are remarkable. Viterito then shows the Monthly Average Carbon Dioxide Concentration taken at Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii and the South Pole as presented by the Scripps CO2 program. The observations are virtually identical. Changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations cannot begin to explain the steps in warming or the different regions of the warming….
“Viterito then asserts that the vast majority of geothermal heat is emitted by volcanoes and hydrothermal vents in the middle of the world’s ocean basins and there may be as many as 30,000 vent fields in the mid-ocean ridge system. There is very little direct measurement of the geothermal flux in these ridges, but a good proxy may be the number of seismic events in these areas.
““Interestingly, the earth’s mid-ocean seismic activity/geothermal flux, as reported in the GCMT catalogue, has a very similar ‘stair-step’ pattern as the global temperatures. Additionally, there appears to be a two-year lag, in that the changes in global temperatures lag the change in mid-ocean seismic activity by two years.”
“Viterito goes through several statistical tests to show a correlation between a 2-year lag in geothermal flux and global temperatures of 0.74. More importantly he shows a minuscule probability that they occur by chance. He then gives references showing direct evidence that bottom waters of the oceans have warmed since the mid-1990s.
“He then cites papers demonstrating the geothermal heating significantly strengthens the thermohaline circulation. The greater the geothermal flux, the greater the strength of the circulation. It is the thermohaline circulation that drives the Gulf Stream and brings warmth to Europe. To Viterito it is the principal mechanism for heat transfer, not wind-driven circulation….
“Variations in Arctic sea ice were observed long before major emissions of carbon dioxide, which cannot possibly explain them. Submarine geothermal activity is a plausible explanation.]
“Viterito then goes to the issues in the Pacific Ocean. In discussing the North and South Equatorial Currents he asserts:
““Enhanced thermohaline flow will also cause more warm water to accumulate in the Western Pacific. The physiographic/bathymetric features of that region restrict the flow of the Equatorial Current, creating a vast reservoir of warm water, the driving force behind El Nino events.”
““The Western Pacific Warm Pool, also termed the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, represents a massive store of heat that can be redistributed across the entire Pacific Basin when pressure and wind conditions switch from a “neutral” phase to an El Nino phase.”…
“He then gives a diagram in which he asserts the greater the mid-ocean ridge seismic activity, the greater the mid-ocean geothermal flux. For the Atlantic, increased mid-ocean geothermal flux results in increased thermohaline circulations; and that results in increased heat transport into the North Atlantic and Arctic, less ice, reduced cloud cover, lower albedo, and higher North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean temperatures. For the Pacific, increased thermohaline circulation results in increased heat transport into the Western Pacific. that causes amplified El Nino…”
Full report at address at top.