The Coming Collapse; or, how I learned to love my inner Barbarian - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14977238
Notification for @VictoribusSpolia and @Political Interest


A huge central aspect of my inner political compass has always been the support and defense of the modern State, either as a Reactionary or in my more recent Socialist phase.

As I have come to believe that this is not called for and is in fact wrong (although I am not any kind of anarchist or libertarian or Anarcho-Capitalist), I have built my personal ideology on something that I had previously come to fear;

Barbarism. As Orestes Brownson and other political thinkers might put it, a political mindset of personal rights and personal obligations to others over any artificial Enlightenment ideas of the ''common good'' which are merely abstractions. Private rights and a web of mutual hierarchical obligations between men, and men and women. There is no ''man'', there are ''men''. There is no ''common good'', but everyone has a personal good which in some cases differs from others-although as a Christian the primary personal good is of course one's salvation. However on the other end of the spectrum, I reject individualism totally. The Individual is a lone isolated Unit, in relation to other Units, not a Person. The ''Freedom'' of the Libertarian does not and cannot exist without the modern state's help either, paradoxically enough. Real Freedom is something else. The is a whole world of suppressed personalist and privatized life that is making a comeback everywhere if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Some of it is rude and coarse, but much of it is vital and youthful and true.

Collectively all men in reality are organized by family, clan, tribe, and culture, unless cast adrift by modern life into total individualist atomism and anomie. But, as per the thread title, modern life is collapsing, which will be discussed hopefully by myself and others in this thread. Nobody exists truly otherwise than via these organizational elements, although we have fooled ourselves otherwise, many of us.

If Collapse of modern civilization and the modern nation state which has protected it is inevitable, will the rise of political barbarism lead to technological ''decline'' and the end of ''Progress''?

God, I surely hope so. I'll discuss that further too, musings on civilization and the tension between it and culture, the cycle where one leads to another or ceases to exist altogether. I will not use words like ''Primitive'' to describe people who live a more natural and organic existence, less dependent and contrived than the life of the cities and suburbs of today. I want to talk with others about the signs of breakdown, how the personal interactions of today trump any notion of modern abstract myths like; ''We, the People...''

It will lead to conclusions that will seem shocking; ''there is no government corruption''... ''there is no such thing as the 'gangster state' in development'', at first glance.

But anyway, to wrap up my first post, I have now managed to apply to politics the way I have lived most of my life. For me a handshake is better than a contract, and personal agreement is the only possible true agreement or there is no real agreement at all, things like that. I held to my previous political beliefs out of fear and false notions of a ''progress'' that had to be maintained and even expanded. I do not any more, fear and false notions do not conform with reality.

And Reality is what I hope to discuss on this thread, the frank and unvarnished truth.
#14980340
Note to @Victoribus Spolia and @ Political Interest for possible replies...


The first post on this thread left these comments and questions unanswered or carried further;


If Collapse of modern civilization and the modern nation state which has protected it is inevitable, will the rise of political barbarism lead to technological ''decline'' and the end of ''Progress''?

God, I surely hope so. I'll discuss that further too, musings on civilization and the tension between it and culture, the cycle where one leads to another or ceases to exist altogether. I will not use words like ''Primitive'' to describe people who live a more natural and organic existence, less dependent and contrived than the life of the cities and suburbs of today. I want to talk with others about the signs of breakdown, how the personal interactions of today trump any notion of modern abstract myths like; ''We, the People...''

It will lead to conclusions that will seem shocking; ''there is no government corruption''... ''there is no such thing as the 'gangster state' in development'', at first glance.



So I will begin with what remains to be proven (or at least given enough substance to make others question along similar lines);

''There is no government corruption''

Recall that I am at core, always have been, a Personalist.

Governments are nothing more than an aggregate of persons more or less united by a common aim of administration of a people and a territory held that more or less defines said people. Individual persons lie and cheat and steal and kill, Government is a tool that enables persons to do these things.

So if there is corruption, it is corrupt people, not something which has a reality independent of the collectivity of individual persons which make up the organized whole.

Someone comes into my home and steal from me, they are going to have a problem, but I begrudgingly submit to a ''government'' taking taxes from me. No... Persons received tribute money from other persons, and they then distributed it to themselves or other persons to buy their loyalty.

See how Barbarism gets to the core of what all this is really about?


And this;

''There is no 'Gangster State' in development''


All a Gangster, that is an organized criminal and their organization, is is a group of persons who attempt to do privately what a Government of a Modern State does or gives license to do.

Think a Government of persons doesn't ''off'' it's competitors and rivals within other Governments or private entities? Think again.

But remember, I see things personally, through a lens that sees a complex web of interpersonal hierarchical relationships, duties, and obligations of honor-trust-loyalty, I don't see Governments or other legal fictions of the Modern era. At least, I no longer pretend that I do. People order henchmen to kill or kidnap people they don't like, who do things they don't want done, or wish to compel others to do things, and the henchmen go out and attempt to enforce one man or group of men's personal collective wills.

Somewhere tonight, a group of persons (a ''government'') is enforcing it's will by beating someone up or killing them. Also tonight, a group of persons that isn't a government is doing the same thing. A modern nation state/government attempts in it's purest forms to have the monopoly on this violence, and renders it's citizens (persons who submit totally to this arrangement) docile and compliant.

I am here to tell you that era is coming to an end, and another era is beginning. Modernity renders mankind docile and compliant through a real magick of artifice and hypocrisy, and the more hypocritical and artificial, the more it renders Moderns idiotic and confused domesticated animals, less and less as real men and women.

Barbarism will end all this nonsense.
#14980358
C.P. Cavafy wrote:What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are due here today.


Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?

Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.


Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.


Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.


Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.


Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.


And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

Waiting for the Barbarians :)
#14980639
Potemkin wrote:Waiting for the Barbarians :)


@Potemkin

Thank you Potemkin my friend!

Yes, Civilization requires the Other, against which It strives in vain because in my opinion, the Other is merely It's younger and more vital Self, at the stage of ''Culture'' rather than ''Civilization'' to make a Spenglerian distinction.

As a Marxist, you might call them the Proletariat. And of the Proletariat, the British historian Arnold Toynbee wrote that they are those who are ''in'' but not ''of'' a Civilization, when that Civilization's Elites inevitably turn against the original Culture. Toynbee also wrote that there is an ''external Proletariat'' of semi-civilized Barbarians along the frontiers of a Civilization, and an ''Internal Proletariat'' which likewise is somewhat alienated from the dictated regimentation of life from the Elite.

So the Barbarian does exist, we need only look into the mirror of our own personal alienation to see why for most of us this is so.
#14981151
So, if it's true that at my core i've always been a personalist deep down, that abhors the modern nation state, it may be objected that one should say that I should just become some kind of libertarian or even anarchist...

So why not then?

A libertarian is burdened by the ''social contract'' and ''non-aggression principle'', whereas I am not. The anarchist in most iterations of that political philosophy is opposed to power and rule.

So if i'm not opposed to power, to rule, why am I opposed to the modern state, again?

Because of it's fictions and artificial constraints on personal rule, on power, to allow a faceless aggregate of persons collect together and impose their will on the rest of society. By this fiction there is a lack of personal responsibility and accountability, personal honor and rectitude, which allows cowards and psychopaths to flourish in such conditions, among other degenerate people;

''I did not drop the bomb on those people from foreign lands, I received orders from my superiors in the government to press a button which accomplished the deed''....
#14981460
@VictoribusSpolia, @Political Interest ;

So, I now come to the ''collapse'' part, the most difficult section of this thread for me. Most of the time I was on this forum I was what would be considered a ''reactionary'', almost to the point of Fascism, but not quite. Even in my Communist/Socialist period, I was of the most Authoritarian sort, and there was no ''withering away of the state'' in my conception of things, Dictatorship was permanent considering human nature and the threat to Civilization. If any progress is ever made, I thought, it would have to come about by force. I saw the Modern State, and I believed it had always existed in some form, so I projected back into the past my belief in the State to produce miracles, whether in sustaining what should always be, or by revolution in creating what should be, for the betterment of my fellow man of course. Civilization as I saw it, was that betterment.

Now I've been around the world much more since the temporary hiatus of my membership here, experienced life and talked to many more people, many different perspectives on the important questions. Seems to me then that this Civilization is in decline, ossified into a mold of hubristic imperialism, spiritual and cultural decay, and material challenges brought about from unsustainable material development.

''Collapse'' usually takes centuries. In fact, most people in a collapse era have little awareness that they really are, perhaps vague ideas that maybe things were better in their parents or grandparents days, if that. But the periods of decline and disintegration in the historical past show that events proceed downward regardless of this awareness or not.

Collapse then is the reason why I was a political and socio-economic pessimist. I say ''was'', because now I see things from an amplfied light, my inner conviction of life, my constant bedrock belief that all life is really personal, person to person. And that the basis of a person's ''self-ness'', their haecceity, their quiddity or hypokeimenon, lies in their resemblance to God, being made in His Image.

He is free. We can be free as well, within the constraints of conscience and interpersonal duties and obligations, those to self, those to one's family and extended family (known as clan and tribe and ''Ethnos''), and those involving our relationship to Our Creator Himself. Such a man does not know of any ''Common Good'', but only of particular and heirarchical goods, in plural. In times of crisis (and collapse, when crisis cannot be overcome or averted) people revert to this thinking if they wish to have any sort of decent existence.

So anyway, a collapse... it's not a bad thing, only to the parasites and degenerates. Even the loss of technological development which isn't sustainable, is a positive boon when looked at from the perspective of free individual persons. A collapse, which is already happening, will serve to remove the artificially obscuring and stultifying nature of civilization from us.

Sometimes the free man appears cruel, rough, ignorant. The free man, the ''barbarian'', really is not so in general. I will discuss that more later.
#14982396
Is the Collapse i've been talking about the end of politics, as such?

No, in reality the issues worth discussing in politics are as ''old'' as Aristotle, there is ''nothing new under the sun'' as Scripture states.

The economy is the management of a Household, large or small.

There is no real ''corruption'' or nepotism in government because people either own the government and thus it is their Household's management, or if they do not they find a good personal sinecure to benefit from off of other people's money (if they work through a fiction called the modern state), which the people approve of by their tacit assent. And people approve by their tacit assent if these positions and sinecures benefit their own personal Tribe or Clan or Family.

And... There's nothing necessarily wrong with that in and of itself, as long as one can withdraw from subordination to this arrangement personally, one way or another.

Edit; so really, one might say that there will be no ''collapse'' as such, but a re-adjustment back to reality, after an artificial balloon of what I might also call the ''Copernican Era''.

Think of today's world as being the equivalent of an event which really did occur in the early modern era, the insanity known as ''Tulipmania'' ;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

And that this occurred when the modern age was just beginning is no coincidence, either.

People can go far on imagination and opinion to a point, but only to a point...

Businesses have to make money, or they go out of business. People stop having children, and a society runs out of people. People who can't or won't protect themselves get attacked, surprisingly enough. Governments that take in less money than they spend run out of money. People get taxed and they wind up not making enough money to be taxed. Enough people stop working, and people will be found or rounded up to do the work needed, by force. Slavery cannot be eliminated. Banditry cannot be eliminated. Violence solves problems because it gets rid of people who cause other people problems, or forces compliance.

''Welcome to the Desert of the Real'', as Jean Baudrillaud once said.
#14982433
Think of today's world as being the equivalent of an event which really did occur in the early modern era, the insanity known as ''Tulipmania'' ;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

And that this occurred when the modern age was just beginning is no coincidence, either.

People can go far on imagination and opinion to a point, but only to a point...

Businesses have to make money, or they go out of business. People stop having children, and a society runs out of people. People who can't or won't protect themselves get attacked, surprisingly enough. Governments that take in less money than they spend run out of money. People get taxed and they wind up not making enough money to be taxed. Enough people stop working, and people will be found or rounded up to do the work needed, by force. Slavery cannot be eliminated. Banditry cannot be eliminated. Violence solves problems because it gets rid of people who cause other people problems, or forces compliance.

''Welcome to the Desert of the Real'', as Jean Baudrillaud once said.

Precisely right. Modern industrial society is clearly unsustainable in the long term. It is, as you say, merely a bubble, inflated by imagination, wishful thinking and the tremendous expansive power of the capitalist mode of production. In other words, it's Tulip Mania. The Earth simply cannot sustain it over the long term. And we have seen several cases already in human history where a civilisation has collapsed because of the over-exploitation of its natural environment - Easter Island, the Maya, Mesopotamia, and many others. To imagine that the same fate could never befall us is absurd wishful thinking. It's likely that the whole period from about 1800 to the near future will, in retrospect, be seen as merely a blip on the radar screen, a short-lived anomaly in the long course of human history.
#14982466
Potemkin wrote:Precisely right. Modern industrial society is clearly unsustainable in the long term. It is, as you say, merely a bubble, inflated by imagination, wishful thinking and the tremendous expansive power of the capitalist mode of production. In other words, it's Tulip Mania. The Earth simply cannot sustain it over the long term. And we have seen several cases already in human history where a civilisation has collapsed because of the over-exploitation of its natural environment - Easter Island, the Maya, Mesopotamia, and many others. To imagine that the same fate could never befall us is absurd wishful thinking. It's likely that the whole period from about 1800 to the near future will, in retrospect, be seen as merely a blip on the radar screen, a short-lived anomaly in the long course of human history.


@Potemkin , (with a nod to @Victoribus Spolia)

Well my friend, it certainly does recall in my mind Rosa Luxemburg's ''Socialism or Barbarism'' turn of phrase...

It may be that some of my reflections recently are due to a pessimism about the future prospects, to be sure, but as my subtitle suggests, I've also learned to ''love my inner Barbarian''... That is, Personalist freedom may console me in the absence of seeing a socialist future in the near term for mankind. If you detect some attempted humorous sarcasm (and even a slight nod to Kubrick and his ''Dr. Strangeglove''), then you know more about my true inner feeling with this than maybe most would.

This is why at least with this thread, i've gone back to first principles and I might also add that my reflections on the modern state are nothing really that a Vladimir Lenin or Friedrich Engels might not agree with concerning the State. So far, I have tried not to make moral judgements about what I am describing too much, because it's hard to do so if history takes this turn, one still has to live and survive and i'm at least optimistic that one can even thrive in such situations.

Do you not agree Potemkin that the new Barbarians of today offer at least a clarity in seeing them exactly as they are, without pretense or hypocrisy?

Now, the next step for me as i've planned this thread of reflections out is talking about Slavery and Socialism, because the new Barbarian Age would not be without it's own contradictions and challenges. Not everybody is a self-starter, and even Socialists as you know (real ones anyway) realize that most people have to be compelled to work even to provide for their own daily and long term needs in this fallen world, and hardly worth mentioning, the ''needs'' of others...
#14982505
Potemkin wrote:Precisely right. Modern industrial society is clearly unsustainable in the long term. It is, as you say, merely a bubble, inflated by imagination, wishful thinking and the tremendous expansive power of the capitalist mode of production. In other words, it's Tulip Mania. The Earth simply cannot sustain it over the long term. And we have seen several cases already in human history where a civilisation has collapsed because of the over-exploitation of its natural environment - Easter Island, the Maya, Mesopotamia, and many others.


To imagine collapse is inevitable is also pure folly, as every failed Malthusian prediction to date has demonstrated. We're nowhere near exhausting our technological potential and there's a massive solar system for us to expand out to. If modern industrial society collapses it won't be due to any inevitability, it'll only happen because of stupidity and corruption.
#14982511
Sivad wrote:To imagine collapse is inevitable is also pure folly, as every failed Malthusian prediction to date has demonstrated. We're nowhere near exhausting our technological potential and there's a massive solar system for us to expand out to. If modern industrial society collapses it won't be due to any inevitability, it'll only happen because of stupidity and corruption.

...in other words, it's inevitable. Lol. ;)
#14982564
@Sivad

Sivad wrote: If modern industrial society collapses it won't be due to any inevitability, it'll only happen because of stupidity and corruption.


Indeed, as Potemkin said, it's inevitable, and precisely due to the factors you mention; stupidity and ''corruption''.

But recall, I had earlier said that in reality, in my opinion governmental ''corruption'' doesn't exist. Seems strange that I should say that's it's a factor in collapse and yet say that there isn't anything wrong in itself to aggrandize the tribute from the people for oneself, or for the benefit of one's tribe or clan, etc.. That's what it is really for.

But it is doom for the secular multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional modern nation state. And stupidity? Well, we need only look around us every day to see if that is a growing phenomenon too.
#14982589
annatar1914 wrote:@Sivad
Indeed, as Potemkin said, it's inevitable, and precisely due to the factors you mention; stupidity and ''corruption''.


Right, but that's not due to a lack of resources. If managed properly there are more than enough terrestrial resources to sustain the current population of the globe at a very high standard of living indefinitely. The problem isn't resource scarcity or a lack of technological development, the problem is psycho-socio-cultural in nature. Basically we're a bunch of greedy, wasteful, shortsighted, superficial, complacent assholes that have trapped ourselves in defective social structures that generate massive dysfunction and tremendous systemic inertia.
#14982642
Sivad wrote:To imagine collapse is inevitable is also pure folly, as every failed Malthusian prediction to date has demonstrated. We're nowhere near exhausting our technological potential and there's a massive solar system for us to expand out to.


Right, advanced civilization is sustainable, with "green" technology and by shifting much industry to space, as G.K. O'Neal proposed.

If modern industrial society collapses it won't be due to any inevitability, it'll only happen because of stupidity and corruption.


What's needed is stronger government, able to suppress stupidity (overconsumption and wastefulness) instead of being forced to cater to it. Collapse is inevitable, yes, but it'll be a collapse of democracy not civilization.
#14982742
Sivad wrote:Basically we're a bunch of greedy, wasteful, shortsighted, superficial, complacent assholes that have trapped ourselves in defective social structures that generate massive dysfunction and tremendous systemic inertia.

The history of human civilisation summed up in one sentence. :up:
#14982765
Potemkin wrote:The history of human civilisation summed up in one sentence. :up:



I think technology is going to break that pattern, it's going to radically reconfigure human nature from the molecular level up. It's dangerous, but it has the potential to drastically improve the situation. So that which now is an immediate peril for us(industrial society) is ultimately going to be what liberates us.
#14982766
Sivad wrote:

I think technology is going to break that pattern, it's going to radically reconfigure human nature from the molecular level up. It's dangerous, but it has the potential to drastically improve the situation. So that which now is an immediate peril for us(industrial society) is ultimately going to be what liberates us.


Personally, I hope we can download our consciousness into the internet. Then we can be spirits that float around the net.
#14982768
Rancid wrote:Personally, I hope we can download our consciousness into the internet. Then we can be spirits that float around the net.



That would be great but the problem is how would you ever know the virtual you was actually sentient? I don't doubt that eventually we'll be able to create pseudo-conscious algorithms that perfectly mimic us, but it's pretty horrifying to think that someday the world might be nothing but a dead lump of computronium running a sterile simulation for nothing and nobody till the end of time.
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