The Application of Free Thought: Avoiding the Catch-22
In my last post, Free Thinkers and False Allies, I discussed the Catch-22 of thinking for yourself; how the subtle complexities which typify free thought are utterly beyond 95% of the population, rendering whatever solution or insight you’ve achieved as a failed non-starter from the get go. Attempting to spread your idea will only result in a dumbed down, mass-market imitation product which replaces your own, and utterly fails to achieve anything of worth.
In other words: very few men can swallow the Red Pill. Most would prefer GLeeMONEX.
One of the great conceits of the political left is that “raising awareness” is a necessary and useful activity. That merely drawing attention to the social ill du jour is as commendable as actually fixing it, leading to flag-filters on Facebook avatars and rallies to end poverty, that fail to propose any solution at all. As risible as all of this is, it nonetheless serves a function: to organize and indoctrinate the participants into an identity, and to establish the acceptable bounds of speech. It fails to achieve the ends it was ostensibly pursuing, but that was never the true purpose in the first place. The left wing rally is essentially a church service, sans the self-improvement which the latter instills.
Rallies and movements are left-wing and modernist by their very nature; on a fundamental, grammatical level they’re about numbers first, and ideas second. Inherent to them is the belief that if a million people believe something, then it can’t possible be foolish; and since most people aren’t able or willing to correct errors in their worldview, the rally’s causus belli must be something as small and inoffensive as possible. “Muslims hate us for our freedom!” – not because we are degenerating as a culture and attempting to force our depravities on them, while they are following the words of a murderous child rapist. The latter speaks of cause and effect; that if mosquitoes are attacking you, you might be living in a swamp. It calls out the participants of the rally, and suggests an individual course of action, not a massed movement of sound and fury. Rather than pumping the participants full of narcissistic supply, it confronts them with a bracing truth, and sets them on an arduous path of personal development instead of noisy pride.
Contrast today’s rally or mass movement to those of years past: our grandparents might have organized in public, but when they did so it was as part as a pre-established social group. A Christian rally, or a veteran’s march, some sort of functional community which already had ‘Red Pill’ truths built in to the core of it, with standards of behaviour applied and enforced amongst the adherents. The rally wasn’t an attempt at achieving a sense of identity – it came out of a sense of identity. As for the purpose, our grandparents would have marched in pursuit of a specific, actionable item. It would have been something which coalesced with the rest of their worldview (even if the overarching worldview was only fully understood by those in charge) and was realistically achievable.
Such a march isn’t possible in today’s social climate due to the erosion of family and community, the miseducation and transient historicity of your typical Millennial, and the pervasive culture of narcissism. Any attempt at meaningful action will devolve into a cult of personality; simplified slogans shouted out to manufacture an identity, with the entire movement hanging upon the charisma of its figurehead. This is an extremely fragile organization, as the hint of human imperfection in the leader will doom it all to failure. In addition, its goals will be vague, and its accomplishments counterproductive. Instead of trying to achieve an goal to benefit a community, the goal is just an arbitrary point around which a community tries to form.
This is why I finished off my last post by saying:
Rather than trying to distribute the ideas – and handing them over to the Obsessives and Extremists who turn them into a farce – we need to own them. We need to implement them.
We must go out there and create.
It is this which I would like to explore more deeply today: how the fruits of free thinking can be harvested, despite the inability of deep thinkers to explain themselves to society at large.
For the essence of this, consider the Manosphere and the Red Pill: the Manosphere began as nothing more than men comparing notes on women, and realizing that the prevailing wisdom of our era was rooted in falsehood. “Be a nice guy, just be yourself!” was a script for failure; the rugged masculinity which was regularly decried was, in fact, what women actually wanted. A thorough examination of women’s attraction triggers followed, culminating in a theoretical understanding which matched observed reality.
Now: what did we do about this? Did we become street-corner proselytizers, trying to explain to women that their stated beliefs conflicted with their behaviour? That their push for men to act effeminate would only sour relations between the sexes? Or that they should try and realign their attraction triggers to match the feminist political agenda which they were foisting upon the world?
No – or at least, most of us didn’t. What we did was apply this new heuristic to our interactions with women. Some men used it to find women who were sexually available for short-term flings, others used it to screen for women who would make virtuous wives. Either way, we put it into practical application. If women like men who are fit, commanding, confident, and successful – well, become all of those things! Don’t sit around whining about how that’s not what Sesame Street promised you growing up.
Restoring the virtue of our women came not through lectures, but from behaviours; by putting the new heuristic into action, you generate the structures and organizations which have been eroded over the past half-century.
Roosh V took this theory, and put together a series of books which explained it’s application to his audience. He wasn’t lecturing about theory – he was writing about practice. He created something useful and marketable, a solid base which he owned. This expanded into his forum, a community which has taken on a life of its own. It is worth noting that the RVF exists for its own sake, not as a counter-reaction against an ideological opponent. While feminists are frequently ridiculed on its pages, those who comprise the membership would be just as happy if there were no feminists to oppose. RVF members don’t derive their identity from being anti-X – their identity comes from their individual accomplishments, and they frequent the forum for the sake of intellectual debate, entertainment, and networking. Any political actions which derive from this shared identity will be as organic as the community-group that participates in local politics.
Another prominent example of the Red Pill in application is Vox Day’s various endeavours. Of note are Castalia House and InfoGalactic. Upon realizing that the publishing industry and Wikipedia had been taken over by far-left interest groups who eschewed objective truth and good fiction in favour of ideological nepotism, he didn’t go on a quest to ‘raise awareness’ of the problem; instead, he saw an opportunity for action. While both of these projects are still finding their footing, by all accounts InfoGalactic is not only providing unbiased information, it’s providing it at a superior level to the equivalent articles on Wikipedia. Castalia House, meanwhile, is free to pick up the talented authors who are being ignored by the mainstream publishers due to their race or sex.
Then you have writers such as Quintus Curtius, who noted the lack of moral history being provided in today’s climate, and so he took it upon himself to translate some notable works. Or John C. Wright, who saw the lack of catechizing of today’s Catholics, and so he provided an extensive theology series, in addition to his science fiction work. You have Aaron Clarey explaining applied economics to the younger generation, and men like Matt Forney and Mike Cernovich providing alternative political coverage.
And of course you have the thousands of anonymous commenters who take all of this and apply in their family and in their business, to avoid dangerous pitfalls and to raise successful children.
The whole point of thinking for yourself isn’t to create a new mass movement of brainwashed drones; group think is the enemy, not the goal! The point is to create a superior strategy for yourself, and in the process create a product or structure that benefits others. It can be something as humble as a small business which instills a good work ethic in your employees, a how-to guide which eviscerates the assumptions of the predatory financial class, or a large-scale organization which encourages moral excellence in its members.
All of us will continue to have these lofty, idealistic discussions, of course; both for their own sake (intellectuals enjoy intellectualism, after all) as well as for comparing notes and refining our theories. But what ultimately matters isn’t the debate – it’s the action. Not the centrally-planned, coordinated action of a mass movement, but the ongoing implementation of new plans, new endeavours, and new accomplishments – all of which are the domain of individuals. It isn’t the inculcation of ideas which matters; it’s the inculcation of new practices.
I’ll leave you with the words of Hayek from “Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Battle Round Two“:
I don’t wanna do nothing, there’s plenty to do.
The question I ponder is who plans for whom.
Do I plan for myself or I leave it to you?
I want plans by the many, not by the few.