Friday, March 8, 2013

Pushing Back the Darkness

“A woman’s place is in the home; and out of it whenever she is called to guard those she loves and to improve conditions for them.” - Nellie McClung.

Long ago I used to wonder what the purpose of life was. Then I thought: why does there have to be only one purpose? Can't there be more than one?

Aristotle said the purpose of life was to be happy. That's a little vague but in a general way it's true. The Greeks used the word eudaimonia or "well-being" or "flourishing" to mean what we call "happiness," and to them you achieve it by arete or excellence, which is achieved by being the best you can at what you like to do, which in many ways is inborn.And that is why true education is developing your inborn talents.

So that's one purpose of life: to express yourself to your fullest potential, to achieve your greatest flourishing and therefore your greatest well-being. You get that through three interrelated things: freedom, mastery (which is excellence at what you are good at) and meaning, i.e., it must be important to you.

In my opinion another purpose to life is pushing back the darkness. As Carl Sagan put it, lighting a candle in the dark. It's when science and technology and various forms of philosophy (such as good economics and political science) are used to improve life and push back that which imperils us, i.e., disease, starvation, murder, theft, war, etc.

Incidentally, the late James P. Hogan (who was a friend of mine) wrote that science ceases to be science when it's turned into technology. That is the purpose of science: to turn it into useful technology that improves people's lives.

Now here's the rub: it's overwhelmingly men who dominate in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). It's men who overwhelming engage in exploration and discovery. It's men who created science, technology, the philosophies and culture (Carl Jung referred to men as the culture makers and women as the relationship makers).

These differences between men and women are not due to some non-existent leftist "patriarchy" and "oppression" for the past several thousand years, but due to the differences between men and women's brains.

That brings me to education. This will never happen in a public school, which is why public schools should be closed down, but boys should be told that in order to achieve well-being, they must achieve excellence at what they are good at, and it's up to them, in varying degrees and to whatever ability they have, to do the best they can and therefore advance themselves and society. In other words, to push back that darkness.

As the philosopher Brand Blanshard put it: "I'm inclined to think the person does the most for the world by being his own self in the fullest measure."

Spinoza noticed the same thing Blanshard did a long time ago: "Men, I repeat, can wish for nothing more excellent for preserving their own being than that they should all be in such harmony in all respects that their minds and bodies should compose, as it were, one mind and one body, and that all together should endeavor as best they can to preserve their own being, and that all together they should aim at the common advantage of all."

When you think from a young age that what you are doing is important (and you are benefiting both yourself and society), that it has meaning, and gives you community, and are given the freedom to achieve it, then you can achieve excellence and well-being. Both that individual and society will flourish.

I've read that society exists to serve people and not the other way around, but that's a false split. In reality is a cybernetic feedback system: people exist to make society, and society exists to allow people to live the best lives possible. This is only done through freedom.

As an aside, the words "freedom" and "liberty" have only existed in the West. "Liberty" is a Greek/Roman concept and "freedom" a northern European one.

When it comes to the difference between men and women, my experience has been most women ultimately want husband, home and children. Our society is unfortunately set up to deny women these things through lies about how they should get degrees, work until 30, then get married and children at the age of 30. Then they are shocked when it does not go according to plan.

Women in the past understood it was better - and more fulfilling for them - to raise children who could be the best they could be. To achieve well-being and flourishing. That way they also achieved their own well-being and flourishing.

Raising children to be these things is not achieved by parents farming their children out to public schools and poorly-paid brown-skinned women to raise them. It also doesn't come about through single mothers.

This doesn't mean women shouldn't go to college, but it doesn't help at all when they get worthless degrees in "Human Resources" or business or management or Women's Studies, then are given make-work jobs because of Affirmative Action. Women got more useful degrees in the past; I for one knew a 75-year-old woman who got a degree in Chemistry back in the '40s.

Men ultimately are supposed to achieve a safe place, and expand it, to make it safer inside for other men, women and children. Women who don't understand this are fools, since women can't do this on their own, contrary to their delusions. Women are completely dependent on men, on the much-maligned "patriarchy." It's just today they have transferred their allegiance from individual men being "patriarchal" to the government as patriarch.

Of course women deny this and if in some way they know it they rationalize it as a good thing. I have heard this rationalization named as women's hamster, madly spinning its wheel as it makes excuse after excuse after excuse.

Unfortunately women still expect the protection and provisions and pushing back the darkness from men, without giving much in return - no respect, no appreciation, no gratitude. Just whining about a non-existent oppression and engaging in women's greatest flaw - blaming all their problems on men. They expect men to keep their side of the bargain while not living up to theirs. Many of them want all the advantages of men and women with none of the responsibilities of either.

It's obvious, for those who want to see it, that society is currently set up to damage both men and women, and therefore to make society and culture do backwards.

In other words, the darkness closes in (which I've heard referred to as the Endarkment - the opposite of the Enlightenment). Just look around to see proof of the shrinking of civilization and the coming darkness.

"Human liberation [is] the mother of all progress, order, and higher civilization." - Jeffrey Tucker

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