Feeling Free is Not Freedom: The size of the cage doesn’t matter

It doesn’t matter how the State makes you feel, it only matters what the State MAKES you. There is no difference in terms of real, actual repression between the citizen of a free republic and the citizen of an autocracy.  Indeed, for the one who desires to be truly, rationally free, freedom is infinitely out of reach in both contexts.  I find it failed reason and false hope to suggest or assert that one is closer to freedom simply because he is in larger cage.

And further, a premise is a premise.  And by that I mean that if we presume that man, by his very nature, needs governing in order to act in ways that are efficacious to his prosperity—which means that absent governing he will not prosper, which means inevitably he shall die unless he is COMPELLED to moral behavior—then we are saying that man, by nature, cannot efficaciously exercise his own will.  Which means that he simply cannot be free…at all.  ALL his actions MUST only occur under the umbrella of legal governing Authority. His very existential, not to mention social, context must be FORCED upon him, and within these boundaries are all his choices confined, which limits and constrains them ENTIRELY to the will of the Authority.  The size of the cage is irrelevant.  A cage is a cage; and since the cage implies absolute ownership and control of what is inside, there can be no freedom whatsoever within its dimensions. Though the edge stretch to the the sun, one’s every step is utterly defined by its boundaries. And they aren’t boundaries of human identity, but of Authority.  There is a world of difference between not being able to flap your arms and fly to the moon because your natural identity as a human being precludes it, and because the Authority forbids it.  And there is a world of difference between flying to New York because your natural identity as a human being enables it, and because the Authority allows it.

Both the republic and the autocracy, by their very existence, concede the premise that man MUST be governed.  For to say that he need not necessarily be governed begs the question “Is government a better choice?” But by its nature government cannot understand such a question. Government, being Authority, and absolutely so, (as there is no efficacy to Legality, the root of all association under government, absent the force of the State) has no frame of reference for its own absence. Add to that the fact that the question, once government is given legitimacy by simply asking it, is entirely irrelevant.

Government and choice, you see, are mutually exclusive ideas. To entertain government at all, even as a mere abstraction, they would HAVE to be. From the frame of reference of government, if the individual possessed the ability to discern between good and evil and act accordingly (exercise choice), he wouldn’t NEED government in the first place. That is, the very existence of government implies that man needs it; and if man needs it then the question of whether or not it’s better for him is moot.

So, both the republic and the autocracy organize individuals according to the premise that individuals require governing. The mere aesthetic differences in how that premise is observed is of no value to freedom qua freedom (freedom that is ACTUAL, and rationally consistent).  For both approaches are specifically designed to affirm, not contradict, the premise.  Men MUST be ruled.  And if that is the primary epistemological and ethical root from which society is spawned then there is simply nowhere for freedom to exist.  Freedom qua freedom is an impossibility therein.  Freedom cannot give rise to what it is not; and Authority—the State—cannot recognize, let alone accommodate, that which denies its very existence. In other words, you don’t get freedom from government, and you don’t get government from freedom.

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Reason, Not Physics: Why miracles are possible

Say we have a medical issue…an injury, for example. If we accept the Laws of Physics as the arbiter of what is possible or impossible, and accept that these laws are the determinative mechanisms which govern all of reality (which is implicit in the laws themselves), then we must concede that we can only correct our injury according to the same rules which caused it.

So far so good…ostensibly.

The problem, however, is that in such a case, while it may seem a perfectly natural, logical, and efficacious assumption—intuitive even—we cannot make an OBJECTIVE moral value judgement between the injury and its remediation. Since they are both created, caused, and manifest by the exact same determinative rules, which, due to their necessary corollary relationship are at root a singularity, the only value judgement which can be rendered is entirely subjective—arbitrary—and therefore fundamentally meaningless.  For it is not possible to claim that one manifestation of the absolute governing mechanisms which define and compose reality is better or worse than another. Different manifestations of natural law observed by the individual are, fundamentally, morally indistinguishable, and thus any value judgements are completely subjective.  And if value judgements are subjective, then any epistemological (meaning/definitions) judgements are irrelevant, because morality and truth are corollary…for if one cannot morally value distinctions, then the definitions of those distinctions are ultimately useless to the individual. And this being the case, no actual distinctions—like “injury” or “healing”—can really be said to exist at all.

To summarize: Once moral distinctions can no longer be made, because all events are products of the same absolute, determinative natural laws, then no distinctions of any kind can be made. And if no distinctions of any kind can be made, then nothing can be said to exist, because it has become impossible to tell the difference between what something is and what something is not.  Natural law, thus, is entirely inadquate as an apologetic for objective existence, and thus it cannot rationally be said to serve as the plumbline for determining what is truly possible or impossible.

You see, once the perspective of the individaul has been rendered moot by subordinating his powers of perception and conceptualization to the absolute determinative forces of natural law, then the very thing which gives natural law any meaning and relevance at all—the observer—is pointless. And without the observer, there is no one to claim that natural law is actually true, or actually exists in the first place.  Natural law, itself, serves no purpose, because it wrecks the observer, who is the ONLY reference—the only constant—by which natural law can be said to have meaning and thus have value.  Purpose, value, and meaning are not a function of natural law, they’re a function of the observer.  That means MAN.  And that means you and me.  And that means we are NOT products of natural law…because the observer cannot be a function of what he observes.  This is a contradiction in terms, and is objectively impossible.  An observer who is a function of what he is observing is by definition NOT OBSERVING.

The very fact that the laws of physics can be defined at all is proof that they are not the root of objective reality.  They are a tool that man, the individual, the observer, uses to organize the distinction(s) between himself qua himself, and his environment (which also includes his body…but man’s body is not himself qua himself, but is ultimately and rationally a part of his environment…but this is quite a complex subject and is best left to its own article). The very fact that man can and MUST make a moral distinction between injury and healing is proof that the laws of physics cannot be the true arbiter of reality and thus are not the arbiter of possibility and impossibility.

I submit then that only that which violates the identity of the individual (the self qua the self) is impossible.  And since identity is a matter of reason—where reason is defined as rational consistency…the non-contradictory combination of concepts (X cannot simultaneously be Y, for example)—we can generalize this assertion to say that a violation of reason is the only impossibility, because contradiction cannot be made rational; and what cannot be made rational cannot ACTUALLY be defined, which means it cannot actually  exist.

So…you want proof that miracles are possible?

I give you the apologetics of reason.

 

Ideals, Government, and a Perpetual State of War

I subimit that the presence of government presumes a state of war, either explicit or implicit.  The implicit state of war presumed by government is naturally the least obvious and the least intuitive.  Government, by its very foundational philosophical premises, cannot in any rationally consistent way limit its authority to force all which exists outside of it to be absolutely subordinate to the collective Ideal which it specifically and singularly exists to enforce. (There is no such thing as a government which does not assume that man is a collective AT HIS METAPHYSICAL ROOT.) Incidentally, “absolute subordination” is a redundancy.  There is no such thing as “limited subordination”.  To own a part of another is to own all of him, because man is metaphysically ONE, not a collection of parts.  His consciousness is singular; his existential frame of reference singular, and therefore him SELF, the very thing which makes any aspect of reason or reality relevant and meaningful, is likewise entirely singular.  Extrapolating logically, then, we can see that absolute subordination is really absolute sacrifice.  And sacrifice means death.  To attempt to own and control what is ONE, of itself and to itself, is to murder it.

Since the collective Ideal is in reality purely an abstraction, it, itself, can have no empirical, material maifestation.  This abstract nature makes the Ideal infinite, for abstractions have no boundaries which the Observer, man, can perceive.  In other words, the collective—the People, the Nation, the Culture, the Workers, the Poor, the Marginalized, even the Laws of Nature/Physics which GOVERN all things etc., etc.—exists purely in the minds of men.  It’s not a thing.  However, you will notice that collectivists, and apologists for the efficacy of government of all stripes, either explicitly or implicitly deny this.  Underlying all their arguments is this premise:  The Ideal has both transcendence (has an existence that cannot be directly observed because it is “beyond man”, so to speak), AND it has legitimate, completely objective, practical actuality, which is to say that it can be manifest in the material universe, which is to claim that it IS, itself, material.  That which can be synthesized with the material must possess an inherent property of materiality…or at the very least the essences of the Ideal and material reality are not mutually exclusive, which means, for all practical purposes the same thing.  So what they are saying is that the Ideal is and is not something which can be materially apprehended.  This is pure doublespeak…but as the underlying arguments are at root entirely contradictory, its the best that can be done.  Unfortunately, the best that can be done, rationally speaking, when tried in reality, makes for hell on earth.

So the Ideal, you see, is not merely an IDEA.  It is an actual, but INFINITE, thing, which is beyond the RATIONAL capabilities and perception of any individual…well, any individual who has not received special enlightenment from the great beyond, so to speak.  And this is the root contradiction which demands war.  The Authority cannot rationalize THE COLLECTIVE IDEAL to you or me because reason is a function of man, and therefore is utterly insufficient to discern truth, which belongs WHOLLY to the transcendent Ideal. Reason is of man; but Truth is of the Ideal.  And just like that, Truth becomes something which is no longer up for debate.  It is what it is, and any questions from men are merely proof that by his very nature man is incapable of understanding. Reason is of man, and therefore debates, questions, objections, discussion, suspicion, doubt are all irrelevant and forbidden. Truth lay ONLY in the absolute and absolutely perfect and infinite Ideal, removed from man’s cognitive and perceptual powers.

Of course it’s really the other way around…man is the arbiter of truth.  Specifically, reason (rational/conceptual consistency), a root property of man, is the plumb line.  But an ideologue cannot be debated by definition.  You obey an ideaologue or you die.  And since government is an Ideal, so very many people die.  The Holocaust was a government program, friends.  And it could only have EVER been a government program.  And the contradiction of an “EFFICACIOUS transcendent Ideal” is precisely why.

The ACTUAL subjectivity of ideals is not, by definition, tethered to the rational/objective world, and therefore the Collective Ideal always morphs into a sort of all-powerful, inexplicable, causal, and determinative force.  Its inability to be falsified by its very absolute, reasonless nature means that it becomes a sort of “infinite Truth”—truth which serves as its own reference (a logical fallacy)—which can never be disproven because it is beyond question…because it is beyond man.  No matter how high the bodies stack up, there is no truth but THE Truth, and therefore nothing changes until everyone is either dead or there is no more infrastructure left to transmit the power of the authority (government) to the masses.  Usually it’s a combination of both—dead bodies and impotent authority.

The infinite and transcendent nature of the Ideal means that it can literally take on whatever definition(s) the Authority chooses, up to and including blatant contradiction.  If the Authority says that there are five lights, then there are five lights.  The fact that you SEE four is irrelevant.  The truth is not up to you.  It’s outside of you.  The Authority…those men specifically enlightened (somehow) by the transcendent Ideal TELL you what you see, they don’t ask.

The Truth is OF the Ideal, and by extension its Authority (governement).  But the “outside” material world, especially the individual, must be subdued and sacrificed because this “Infinite Truth” isn’t actually infinite as long as there is an “outside” of it.  But by the same token there is no such thing as an “outside of” the Ideal precisely BECAUSE it is infinite. Of course this contradiction never causes governments to reconsider their assumptions, but instead becomes just the excuse needed to either openly or tacitly exert totalitarian control over everything and everyone.  The contradiction is not reconciled by better ideas, but “reconciled” by destroying all that government deems as an imposter to Truth…which is anything “outside” of it.  Which is everything NOT it.  My existence, and yours, you see, is illegitimate. Your very consciousness is a lie.  The lie which necessarily and unforgivably offends the Truth that is the Ideal.  The only solution to the affront of your individual existence and your awareness of your singular self is death, ultimately.  The goal then, of every enforcer of the Ideal—of every government—its to manifest its “legitimate” and “Infinite Truth” upon all, INFINITLY (absolutely…totally…totalitarianism).  Which can only happen when all the liars—all who by nature utter the pronoun “I”—are dead.  Individual consciousness is an aberration; an illusion; an alternate reality which is really a non-reality.  The Ideal will wake up; and the You of your consciousness will fade like a vague dream come morning.  At least that’s the plan.  Hint:  It never really happens.  But not for lack of trying, as is evidenced by SO MUCH WAR.

Which finally brings me to the initital point of this article.  ALL governements represent collectives. It doesn’t really matter the specific pedigree—racial, national, religious, cultural, economic, etc.. All collectives are Ideals.  All Ideals are absolute and transcendent because all Ideals are abstract.  All Ideals then are incompatible with anything outside of them, and by extension anything outside of the Authority (government),which exists to enforce the right of the Ideal to subdue all things as illegitimate, untrue, and irrelevant according to the infinity of ITS Truth.  No Ideal then can accept the right of anything outside itself—which means outside of the Authority—to EXIST.  Compromise then, if seen at all, is ALWAYS a feint; always a means to an end, and the end is ITSELF.  All governments then, being THE Authority of THE Ideal, have only one objective when all is said and done:

World domination.

Government, then, implies absolute control, and this implies war, whether overtly or through the ideological reprogramming of the “unenlightened masses”.  Whether or not world domination can ever be practically achieved by a given government is a separate issue.  The root philosophy points inevitably to total control.  Total rule.  Period.  All Ideals are infinite; and all Ideals then will infinitely seek to destroy whatever they deem not of themselves. And they will do this through the power of government, because government is the REAL Ideal. It’s what actually has the visceral power to destroy. Government is not a figment. It’s real. and so are its guns.

Finally, keep in mind that this article is not dealing with the morality of GOVERNORS, per se, but merely government’s philosophical premises and the natural, inevitable conclusions. The goal of my work here is to merely enlighten as to the natural consequences of ideas through a rational and academic explication of premises and conclusions, not to condemn rulers as evil men. Most rulers are just people, like you and I. They truly desire freedom. My job is to simply explain why freedom and government are not compatible.

Christian Appeals to Divine Determinism and Mystery are Nothing More Than Intellectual Laziness

I ran across this quote today by erstwhile Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia:

“God assumes from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and he has not been disappointed. If I have brought any message today it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

Hmm…

Okay, well…I’m just going to get right down to it.

Here’s the translation of this vapid nothingburger of pointless, gnostichristian, doublespeak:

A Christian tells me the world thinks him a fool.

My first question is: Are you?

Indeed, this question is really the first thing that should come to mind when accused of being a fool by WISE and SOPHISTICATED people.

Am I?

Because THAT? Is the surest way to know that you are not, in fact, a fool. As opposed to, say, clumsily lobbing forth some thinly-thinly veiled, narcissistic nonsense about how “the world” can’t begin to understand the depths of your inspired “truth” and the limitless degrees of your moral superiority (with humility, though!), and your poor, poor put-upon sensibilities as you sooooo selflessly strap on the shield of faith and give sooooo tirelessly to the thankless barbarian masses. Which is what usually happens when Christians are justifiably derided for their utterly senseless doctrine.

Friends, I have met many, MANY fools who call themselves Christians. I promise you, being “divinely gifted with the grace to perceive” and possessing the status of one of Christ’s “elect” is no inoculation against the ravages of rank stupidity and the inherent narcissism and mendacity of UNEARNED and UNFOUNDED moral virtue. Spend ten minutes discussing doctrine with the nearest available neo-Calvinist pastor and you will see exactly what I mean. I promise.

Here’s an idea we Christians might want to adopt: If the world calls us fools, let’s not shrug. Maybe…just maybe… we should try RATIONALLY explaining why we’re not.

But the unpleasant fact of course is that most Christians CAN’T. And this being the case, Scalia’s quote is simply another boring excuse to retreat into the narrow-minded shelter of baseless moral superiority and downright senseless ideological arrogance. Quite frankly, it’s disgusting, and it reminds me why I can’t darken the doorway of a church today without feeling the almost irresistible urge to cover my ears and collapse into the fetal position. My constitution simply cannot handle the abject presumption of so many rationally bankrupt, sub-par thinkers telling me that they have the right AND the OBLIGATION to hope and pray that the world adopt their folly…because GOD SAID SO!

????

Yes, Scalia’s quote is merely another example of the the long, ignoble Christian tradition of intellectual sloth.

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God telling us that “the world will call us fools” translates into “this is the way it MUST always be”. Trust me, I know the metaphysics of protestant orthodoxy like the back of my hand. Of course, this is precisely the conclusion you’d expect from the intellectually indolent.

This assertion is not a boon to courage! Far from it! It’s emotional bromide, nothing more! Designed to swaddle the the poooor misunderstood Christian in a warm snuggly and rock him back to sleep. A state, by the way, eminently suitable for those so ill-prepared to discuss grown up ideas in the real world.

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”The SMART people can’t inderstand you”, is a statement that, if intended as an encouragement to share our Christian beliefs, is the worst effing one I’ve ever heard. You see, once again the intellectually gifted—the diligent thinkers—the smart people—get the shaft. Sheesh…first the State trips over itself to tax the living hell out of their productivity, then the schools dumb down the curriculum to make the intellectually inferior feel equal, and now God’s chosen ones snub them as being divinely ordained idiots in disguise! I tell you they can’t catch a break.

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I understand that we as Christians cannot necessarily control what people think of us. But this doesn’t mean that we should be complacent about it. Particularly when being called fools says as much about our own intellectual failures as it does about the “world”. Believe me, the primary reason the world thinks us fools is that we spend more time appealing to and retreating into the rationally barren non sequitur of “God’s mystery/will/determinism” than we do actually explaining what we believe with rationally consistent apologetics.

When we Christians make the claim that God has ordained that the world will call us fools, they are asserting nothing more than yet another all-too-typical Christian excuse to avoid having to actually figure out just what the hell it is we really believe at the most fundamental of levels. Inevitably, whether explicitly or implicitly, we shrug our shoulders and tell ourselves “Oh well. They’re going to call us fools no matter what, because God said so [He didn’t], so what’s the point in engaging people in any real way?” And by “real” I mean at the level of ACTUAL ideas, not merely the usual fare of moral condemnation and self-serving, ego-stroking, doctrinal haranguing. We preach at them and let God sort out their salvation à la “divine election”.  (“Divine election” has been utterly misinterpreted as “divine salvific determinism”, which is merely the salvation of man according to God’s subjective whim, which is as stupid as it is false.) And when faced with our detractors’ legitimate criticism we blithely chalk it up to the fact that God simply hasn’t elected and enlightened them yet. Notice how a rational argument isn’t within a thousand miles of this tactic.

We Christians punt the truth into the cosmic abyss of God’s mystery and then cry foul at the world, wallowing in feigned innocence and the passive aggression of baseless self-pity, as if WE are ITS victims, when the reality is that it’s been the other way around for hundreds of years.

No, we need not worry that our spiritual witness is hindered by the fear of being called fools. It is hindered because deep down we know that we don’t really understand what we claim to believe. And our ignorance is embarrassingly revealed by even the most cursory and amateurish objections to the transparent (to everyone else) dogma which passes, shockingly, for reasoned orthodoxy. And that certainly DOES make one look foolish…for looking like a the fool is the natural consequence of preaching foolish ideas. Christians aren’t girding their loins against an onslaught of injustice directed at their evangelical mission by declaring that being called fools is a PERFUNCTORY aspect of sharing the faith. They are, rather, seeking shelter from the natural consequence of professing an ideology utterly steeped in rank intellectual error. Proclaiming the INEVITABILITY of insult because of God’s determinative will and the natural depravity of the vulgar masses is in reality nothing more than a palliative; and does little more than help Christians avoid the character-building ridicule which the sharing of dreadfully irrational ideas must naturally produce. And the church is clearly weaker for it.  The church’s rational impotence is so transparent that everyone not immersed in the dogma can see that it is the obvious root of the ever-widening popularity of authoritarian polity amongst church leadership. When “calling” and “truth”, though they be entirely bereft of reason, are emitted directly from the Divine, church leadership is GOING to be more about coercion than convincing. It’s a simple logical progression: Revealed truth is truth beyond question. Which is truth that is by definition fundamentally incompatible with discussion. Which renders man’s will—the exercise of one’s free CHOICE to believe what he wants—entirely irrelevant. And this makes obedience, not reason, man’s only real moral obligation.

Friends, this evil needs to end. Let’s stop making excuses and go out there and make an ARGUMENT for a change. And I mean a real one. If we cannot even do that, then we simply cannot know God. Period. And thus we have a duty to stop talking about Him. Speaking of a God you cannot know because your knowledge has become a bed of pure divine mystery and a bog of muddy, abstruse determinism is to make a liar out of both you and the Holy One. And THAT is a very, very foolish thing to do.

Why Metaphysics Cannot Get Away From Ability as Metaphysical Primary

Let’s use “chair” as an example for this explication of the metaphysics of Ability vs. Existence.

We don’t say that the chair IS existence, we say that the chair HAS existence.

But “having” implies action, which implies the ABILITY to act. In this case, the chair’s ability to have existence is the root WHY of itself. That is, existence is not why the chair HAS (action) existence, the chair’s ABILITY (to exist you could even say) is why the chair HAS (action) existence .

Now, I understand that the chair cannot have ability unless it IS, in fact, the chair. I get it, chair implies ability and ability implies chair…you don’t get ability without someTHING having it; and you don’t get an it without the ABILITY to BE . But that’s precisely my point. When dealing in metaphysics it is all about corollaries.  The trick is finding the REAL and rationally perfect corollary, not a contradiction masquerading as one.

What this shows us is that not only is the chair, itself (or specifically its ability), why it “has existence”, or why it is (being) the chair, but that the chair is entirely DISTINCT from existence. Meaning that “existence” is NOT a natural corollary to “chair” at all. The chair and existence, though they may have some conceptual relationship, are not in essence one and the same. Chair and the existence of the chair are not essential corollaries. The chair must be able to be the chair BEFORE it can possess existence…its singular (to itself qua itself) ABILITY TO BE the chair is why it is also ABLE TO HAVE existence. The CHAIR is; and the CHAIR has. Existence here really has nothing to do with it. Existence only enters the picture (at the epistemological level) AFTER the chair has already been made manifest by its ABILITY to be (its ability to be and its being are of course corollary, as I explained above). This seems quite a contradiction to the commonly understood notion of “existence”…that is, existence at the metaphysical level.

It is the chair and its ABILITY which are metaphysical corollaries, not the chair and its existence. Existence, however, we are told is supposed to be the metaphysical synonym for “chair”…the general primary of “existence” supposedly implying the specific ( in this case chair). But as I have explained it actually does not because we don’t say the chair IS existence, we say the chair HAS existence. Which again, contrary to existence, implies ABILITY at root…of the chair to act…to be…to have. Ability is the root essence which implies chair, not existence. Ability = action = a specific thing which acts.

The metaphysical corollary is like this: Ability implies chair (in this case), and chair implies Ability. “Chair has Ability and Ability has chair” is also a logical way to render it; chair does Ability and Ability does chair. Ability manifests chair, manifests ability. It’s a perfect corollary.

In summary:

We cannot say that the chair has existence WITHOUT IMPLYING ABILITY, thus undercutting existence as the metaphysical primary. However we CAN say that the chair has ability—is able to act as (be)—without implying existence. For “being” is an act, not an is. DOING/ACTION cannot be divorced from chair. AT ALL. Metaphysics is active, not passive. Ability, not existence, implies a PLURALITY of objects which all share the same exact, absolute root. Ability ALONE reconciles the paradox of a metaphysical singularity which not only allows for but NECESSITATES a rational, efficacious plurality.

A Concise Explication of the Insufficiency of Existence as the Metaphysical Primary

Existence absent existing—absent the DOING of itself—does not actually exist.  So the idea of passive Existence is irrational.

So Existence is active. Existence exists. Existence is EXISTING. Which must mean that it is rooted in ABILITY.  Existence must be empowered by its ability to actually DO itself; for nothing can act that is unable to act.

But if Existence is a function the ability to act, then does Existence itself have any real metaphysical value?

Here is a metaphysical corollary I have devised:

Ability = being (the active manifestation of ability) = an IS (the specific thing epistemologically defined as being—that which is being what it IS).

E.g. Ability = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

(Note: We could even substitute “Being” with “Existing”; but we must understand that in this case, Existence itself is NOT implied by “Existing”. “Existing” in this case is simply a synonym for “Being”.)

Or, even more concisely: Ability implies action, implies a thing which acts.

This is in contrast to the brand of metaphysics which puts existence in the place of Ability, where the corollary would look something like this:

Existence = an IS (a specific thing defined) = Being (the manifestation of existence)

E.g. Existence = Apple IS (being an apple) = Being

The first problem here is that the apple is BEING the apple BEFORE “Being” as a root and general metaphysical parameter is implied.

But notice the second problem. Since existence doesn’t imply Ability (to act) there can be no such thing as the action of existence—there can be no such thing as existING; there can be no BEING…or the DOING of Existence. And in that case, there can be no manifestation of existence, and thus, there can be no IS…no specific thing defined (as existing). Nothing EXISTS because Existence is entirely passive.

Perhaps to correct this problem we could reverse “IS” and “Being” and render the corollary as:

Existence = Being = an IS

E.g. Existence = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

This technically corrects the first problem, but the problem of Existence not inherently implying action remains. There is no BEING (again the DOING of Existence) without action and there is no action without ability. And there is no ability anywhere in the metaphysics of Existence. Because if there was then ABILITY would be the metaphysical primary, and thus there would BE no metaphysics of Existence.

Okay. Perhaps then we might render the corollary this way to correct the problem:

Ability = Existence = Being = an IS

But notice here how Existence becomes both irrelevant and irrational. Ability ALONE implies Being, because Being is a manifestation of Ability, while Existence is not. There is nothing needed or even rational mediating the relationship Ability and Being. Existence, properly stated, is an IS—a distinct thing itself..albeit an abstract one (we are speaking philosophically here, not really grammatically; I understand that Ability is an abstract THING in the grammatical sense, but metaphysically it rationally serves as a universal root essence, thereby making it NON-specific, which is not the case with Existence, as I’ve demonstrated). And therefore Existence qua Existence belongs to the epistemological category of philosophy, not to the category dealing with metaphysics.

 

What Exists? What is Able?: Why the first question is meaningless and the second is not

1. There is no such thing as a “not”, or “nothing”. “Not” or “nothing” cannot exist. Because if it IS, then it is SOMETHING. And if nothing is something then…well, you get the idea. The absence of things cannot itself be a thing

2. Existence, if not a function of the ability to act–to do–means that Existence can do nothing (is at root UNABLE), which means that Existence cannot actually exist. Logically and practically speaking, however, existing IS the SAME thing as Existence…hence the common metaphysical claim “Existence exists”. The two are functionally identical; they are corollary. Existence, then, implying EXISTING, must possess an underlying ability to act–an ability to exist. Therefore, the metaphysical claim, “Existence exists” is in fact proof that Existence is not the metaphycial primary. The primary is Ability.

I could end this article here, for the point has been made and proven. But I wish to belabor it a bit; and I still am obliged to explain why Ability does not fall into the same trap of rational fallacy as Existence.

3. Existence cannot precede the action of existence–existing–because that would imply that Existence at its root does NOT exist. This would be in effect the synthesis of Existence with its own contradiction: Existence which does not exist. But the fact is, as I said, they are corollary. There cannot be one without the other.

4. To say “Existence exists” objectively and clearly implies that Existence ACTS, which necessarily means that it possesses the Ability to act. To say otherwise is to claim that it is either UNable to exist at root, or that it simply doesn’t DO, at root; that action is itself incompatible with Existence. But if this is the case then you cannot define anything according to Existence. You cannot claim that the chair exists (as the chair) vs the ball which exists (as the ball). You could say that the ball is Existence, and the chair is Existence, but that wrecks any distinction. If everything is Existence as opposed to EXISTING, then there is no such thing as a ball or a chair. Again, Existence and Existing are arrant corollaries. If the chair and ball are EXISTING then Existence itself is active, not passive. Which means that it is empowered by Ability. And if they are not existing then they obviously cannot be what they are claimed to be (ball and chair)…because how exactly do you define (or even conceptualize) that which doesn’t exist? Nothing cannot be called something. See point number one.

5. Absent the underlying Ability to act, and absent then the corollary between Existence and Existing, “Existence exists” is a rationally impossible claim. It would need to be rendered instead “Existence”, period. Which neither implies nor allows anything beyond the meaningless tautology, “Existence is”…which rendered another way becomes “Existence is Existence”…an idea which serves no rational or practical purpose whatsoever.

6. “Ability is able” is not a contradiction as a primary metaphysical premise, like “Existence exists”, because Ability, by definition, and obviously endemic to its root self, is not UNABLE to act. Unlike Existence, which alone, absent Ability, cannot be said to be compatible with doing. “Existence exists” clearly means that Existence is DOING ITSELF; but doing, without the underlying Ability to do, is impossible. “Ability is able” likewise means that Ability is doing itself. But this of course is entirely rational because the ability to do is EXPLICIT in Ability. Again, this is simply not the case with Existence.

7. Since “Existence exists” as a root metaphysical claim is a contradiction, the question “What exists?” becomes meaningless. It’s not a question which has an answer at the ROOT metaphysical level because it’s NOT a question which has anything to do with root metaphysics. Existence is an epistemological sub-category, not a metaphysical primary. On the other hand “Ability is able” is not a metaphysical contradiction, and therefore the question “What is able?” is perfectly legitimate. The answer, of course, is elementary:

“What is able?”

Answer:

“What is able.”

Meaning that whatever man declares to BE via the perception/conceptualization corollary, including himself, is at root ABLE to be whatever what he declares it to be. It is ABLE to BE, relative to himself. And that–meaning Ability–is why it can be said to exist AS it is defined and given meaning by man, who is the Observer.

Authority, by Assuming Man Can Obey, Destroys Him: the State as an Example

One of the worst feelings in the world is the dread you feel in the pit of your stomach when you hear about some new political candidate who thinks  the State is the righteous track to some ethereal and impossible utopia.

Immediately the anxious waves of “what ifs” crowd my brain. ‘Oh my god,’ I think. ‘The hellscape we can expect if THAT person gets elected.’ And on I go, understanding all too well how my literal life could be in the hands of a person who holds objectively false ideas and philosophical premises, the error of which guarantees that I will in some measure, always more, never less, be sacrificed to those ideas. And it really doesn’t matter the political affiliation, though I understand that some candidates hold ideas more ostensibly rational than others.

Why doesn’t it matter?

Because merely the belief that ruling other human beings is a rational and noble enterprise to be pursued is proof that the ideas which they would like to lay upon their fellow man, when applied, always increase both dependency and misery, and death.

In fact, come to think of it, it’s pretty much a daily occurrence where some number of the governed die at the hands of government policy/action, be it war, or law enforcenent, or willful negligence such as we see in the arenas of immigration, foreign policy, healthcare or other social services; political propagand…heck, abortion funding alone could fill a thousand cemeteries.

Death, you see, is a corollary to rule. It simply must be. In fact, we all at least tacitly accept this as a necessary and perfunctory function of the State–to dole out death in the interest of social cohesion. After all, what is the practical root of the rule of law? To force compliance to the collective moral standard….choice is irrelevant. Authority commands, it does not ask. And to force the life of man is to presume to own it. That is, man’s life is not really his own. This we understand, all of us, on some level.

To sacrifice men to a specific external moral standard (the Law) and ultimately to a given collectivist ideology (all governments are metaphysically collectivist by nature) is what WE demand of government…lest we are tempted to ignore the log in our own eyes, so to speak. To rule is to force. And to force is to kill, fundamentally. So killing is always a necessary and unavoidable part of ruling. If the government is not killing (under the auspices of the Law, we hope, but sometimes not), then we understand it’s not doing its job. Individuals are by definition self-willed. Otherwise they aren’t individuals, they are just things. Their obedience then must always be compelled, because WILLFUL compliance is choice, not obedience.

But can’t we choose to obey?

There is no such thing as freely choosing to obey. Choice is simply not obedience, period. I understand that this is unfortunately not intuitive in a culture that is driven ultimately by fear of punishment mixed with the political artifices of “rights”, and not the wisdom of true morality. I know we, particularly as Americans, love to think of ourselves as self-governing, and therefore willfully, autonomously obeying our authorities, but the fact is that a greater oxymoron than “self-governing” does not exist. To govern self BY self is a contradiction in terms. You are either convinced by reason to freely act in a certain way or you are compelled by threats of punishment to act in a certain way. One is choice and the other is obedience. And government can only recognize the latter.

Choice acts utterly in service to the Self; obedience disregards Self and concedes an outside moral and epistemological standard, like the Law. Since individuals cannot BY the Self disregard the Self…cannot BY the Self truncate or limit or end the Self, because the Self is absolute (I’m speaking metaphysically here–foundationally, not figuratively as in “self-control”, or “self-discipline”), then the Self must on some level accept death in the service of Its obligation to obey the Law; which really means to obey the State. And if you think that death does not manifest literally and frequently, as a function of man being ruled, then you are either asleep, incapacitated, or mad. The government must kill men in order to rule them, because men–and this is the real kicker–CANNOT REALLY obey, and I mean literally, at any level. Obedience is an abstract idea. It does not exist empirically.

And yes, all obedience of which you are thinking right now in objection to my claim I promise you is entirely figurative.

Men are entirely moved by their own will, you see, as conscious, self-aware moral agents. Since their actions are FROM themselves, absolutely, then they can only be ultimately TO themselves, absolutely. Every action is by the Self and thus is in service to the Self. And this makes literal self-sacrifice impossible because one cannot by his Self destroy his Self. And since obedience is at root the sacrifice of the Self to authority–the limiting or ending of the Self–it contradicts man at the level of his root nature.

The point of the State, though, is to compel obedience. But since man cannot ever truly obey, calls for obedience are really calls for death. Therefore, practical, normal, daily application of government ends up manifesting a matter of working out which men will die at any given moment in order to maintain and maximize State rule without eliminating all men and thus contradicting governement by leaving the State with no one to govern. That is, government cannot sacrifice all men because then it doesn’t RULE anyone. And a government which doesn’t rule isn’t government (though, the death of all men is the inexorable march, which Government at root cannot halt because death is a LAW unto itself in this paradigm; so it either destroys everyone eventually or some pointless revolution where death is resisted with more death happens and resets the whole process ala the Matrix). But it cannot destroy NO men because to rule men necessarily means to kill them, since ruling is compelling obedience and man, being utterly self-willed, is incapable of obedience in any way that can satisfy the Law, which is THE collectivist moral standard, and exists wholly outside of man, which is why he must ultimately be forced to it. Since the Law is wholly moral, man, then, is wholly immoral. Thus, they are incompatible, and the result is that man must die. Therefore, the whole of government is really the destruction of man, which manifests itself usually in a drawn out process where the inevitability and necessity of the death of all mankind is mitigated by various contradictory policies about “rights” and “freedom” and “elections” and “representation” implemented in the ironical interest of keeping government from self-destructing due to the inherent irrationality of its root ideological premises. But make no mistake, a government which is killing is a government which is doing its job. It’s simply an unfortunate fact of the underlying philosophical principles.

Please understand that this is not a blame game; I’m not pointing fingers at “bad guys”. I’m not calling for any action beyond the acceptance of the simple, de facto rational processes to which thinking creatures are obliged. I have no interest in offering “practical” solutions, quite frankly. I have no ambition to solve the problems bad ideas cause in societies en masse. It’s not my bag. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Plus, I’m way too cynical. Reason is the beginning and end of what motivates me. My only point is that ideological and philosophical root premises WILL see themselves through to their logical conclusions. Death and rule are corollaries. This is simply the objective case, period; illustration of this truth is the only objective to which I am dedicated.

The Difference Between Representative Government and Autocracy is Experiental, not Fundamental

The difference between an autocracy and a representative democracy is like the difference between a slave master who lets you do nothing you want to do, and one who lets you do something or things you want to do.

So, which one is better?

Hmm…

The answer may not be so obvious as you might think. We’d want to say the latter, but is it really? Well, yes and no.

Of course being allowed to do some things which please you is technically, and even practically, tangibly, and viscerally preferable to being allowed to do nothing which pleases you. But the point on which I want to focus is that whatever it is you do, when you’re doing it because someone else is letting you do it, you are of course acting entirely under the auspices of someone else’s authority to command you to act. You fundamentally act as a function of the will of another. Period. When you are governed (or ruled…the difference is semantic, not fundamental) all you do is in essence at the pleasure of someone else. And the hard, unpleasant truth of this then is of course that you aren’t really doing what you want to do, but what they want to do, as your behavior is ipso facto a necessary extension of their Authority, which is inexorably corollary to their will. And this means that you’re behavior is fundamentally an expression of them, not you.

Ouch.

Think about it. It’s perhaps not immediately accessible, but it’s a point worth grasping.

Now, to the individual, an agent of himself, who by nature expresses himself according to his own will, this is practical death.  It is the rejection of the Self (e.g. You qua You), which means the metaphysical erasure of the individual human being. And this results in an inevitable social psychosis, where the sacrifice of the individual to the State, whether overt or tacit, via the ostensible morality of social justice (common good, necessarily subjectively defined), results in the fundamental inability of individual denizens to see themselves as the natural, rational root and reference of what is both true and good. This is brought about by the perfunctory collectivization of the individual which happens when the individual is governed along with a number of others (that is, ANY State; ANY government); and it’s worth pointing out that this collectivization is fundamentally the subordination of the rational and the objective (the individual) to the fundamentally irrational and the subjective (the collective–the Nation, the Common Good, the Workers, the Volk, the Zeitgeist, the Ideal, etc.). In tandem with collectivization is the ipso facto moving of the moral (or ethical–we can interchange them here) standard away from the Individual to the Law (and they are mutually exclusive). One’s moral obligation becomes obedience to the Law rather than the choice to act in service to the sanctity of the Individual (obedience precludes choice by definition). Consequence for moral violation becomes punishment (an irrational consequence) by the State rather than the Self-defense of free people (a rational consequence).

In such a context individuals will see themselves as decidedly indistinct and ultimately superfluous products of intangible abstractions, like as I said the Nation, or the People, or even–and this may surprise you– the Laws of Nature, which have no practical, tangible, empirical essence, or any relevance distinct from those objects they are said to govern (control; which means create, though this fact is never admitted), or the Divine Will…it could be just about anything really, because these are merely semantic variations of the root collectivist metaphysical premise which perpetually and inexorably defines and rules the subconscious mind of a governed (ruled) people. Once people accept that they are not fundamerally of themselves and do not fundamentally exist to themselves, they, under the artifice of “freedom” in, say, a representative democracy, will naturally gravitate towards whatever collectivist flavor they happen to find appealing. And this suits the ruling classes just fine, whether they know it consciously or not, because for whatever else it might mean, it necessitates that the people never question the foundational premise of all governed peoples: they have no root Self, and therefore their existence is only possible via the control of some outside authoritative force. And what’s more obviously authoritative  than Government? Government, we are led to understand, is the natural social and political effect of the infinite determining Cause…be it God or be it Nature, etc. etc.. And now you know why there are so depressingly and embarrassingly few sociopolitical Voluntarists (“anarchists” you might say, though I despise that label). Because collectivism has so many shiny and fetching and complex and colorful varieties, and individualism only has, well…you. Lol.

Once the collectivist metaphysical premise has been conceded (and entirely synthesized) people wake up every day willingly accepting that life is in every way and in every context the inexorable march of Death…of the inevitable nullification and eradication of their minds and independent persons. Which they are told are illusions, but don’t really feel like it; and this is why Death is so terrifying and why people never talk about it. It just is and must be, we are told, like the State, and so the terror and emotional anguish that its felt contradiction wreaks are perfunctory aspects of its “truth”.  So the thinking goes: why compound this with debates which challenge assumptions? Why compound anguish with uncertainty? And this is another reason why there are so very few Voluntarists. They must reject the assumptions undergirding…well, everything. Of Being itself. To get there is a hard and naturally lonely road, filled with those of all ideological pedigrees who will hate you and wish you’d just shut up, and those who claim fealty to ancient insufficient philosophies who will call you everything from a fool to a commie to a pantheist to a peddler of solipsism. And who really wants to walk that road? Not. Many.

At any rate, what happens as a consequence of this broad social Stockholm Syndrome (to the collectivist metaphysical primary) is a boiling and fetid cauldron of collective mendacity, idolatry, psychopathy, narcissism, suspicion, ignorance, hate, fear, and violence, which necessitates from the ruling classes ever increasing control and deception. But I must add that I do not fault the ruling classes directly for this; for they, too, are human, and have been suckled on the Ideal by which they govern. I do not hate them, and I do not loathe them, and I do not ascribe to them  any necessary overt evil intentions. For as they say ’round Buenos Aries, it takes two to tango. Remember, it was the Jewish people that demanded God give them a King. So, in some sense ironically, I admit that we are all in this together. Even the rulers are ruled by their ideas.

 

Illusion and Existence as Ersatz, Postmodern Philosophical Primaries

If anything is said to be an illusion, the following two questions are begged:

An illusion of what?

An illusion for whom?

Both “what” and “whom” must be actual things, and must be distinct. They are, in fact, a prerequisite to illusion. Unless some actual one is experiencing an illusion of some actual thing (that is, unless a real person is experiencing an illusion of a thing or things derived from, and apprehended via the reference of, reality) then there can be no illusion. Therefore, illusion itself cannot be a (philosophical) primary; and I know that this statement may seem obvious, but when you hear the scientific determinists–the post modern priest class as I like to call them–implicitly or explicitly refer to the illusion of human choice and by extension the illusion of consciousness, it seems that obvious statements are no longer so obvious. When leading neurological scientists like Sam Harris and Nobel Prize winning astrophysicists like Stephen Hawking can’t seem to follow basic rational consistency or utter a single coherent philosophical statement, one is forced to explicate the obvious, unfortunately. (As good as these guys are at science is as bad as they are at philosophy, is what I mean to say.)

Interestingly–and this will annoy the Objectivists and others who nod to Aristotle–“Existence”, as a metaphysical primary, is like “Illusion” as postmodern philosophy’s (e.g. scientific determinism) epistemological primary. It begs the same two questions:

Existence of what?

Existence for whom?

As with illusion, both what and whom must be actual things and they must be distinct. Which means they must have a root that precedes existence. If what and whom are both metaphysically identical (both absolute) products of Existence–which Existence as a metaphysical primary implies–then there is no root distinction between what exists and who observes it to exist (“who” being the rational frame of reference for that which is). And therefore there is no one to define what exists. And if what exists cannot be defined then who exists cannot either. Which renders Existence as a metaphycial primary entirely absent meaning. Which it is.

(Side note: You see, all definitions of what exists are products of man’s consciousness, which by the boundaries placed upon truth by Existence can have no fundamental, objective bearing upon reality, which is entirely ALL of Existence, including consciousness itself. Existence doesn’t just subordinate consciousness, it makes it entirely irrelevant and redundant…that is, impossible, and…that’s a problem.)

My point here is that postmodern determinism such as averred by atheistic and scientifically rooted philosophers proffers the idea of Existence and Illusion as metaphycial and epistemological primaries, respectively. And in both cases these primaries beg two questions which must be answered and then when answered undermine those primaries entirely. “Whom” and “What” cannot at root be products of Existence or Illusion. It’s actually the other way around.

Or you might say that if “Of what?” and “For whom?” have no answer then Existence and Illusion as anything but subjective assumptions are nullified. And if they have an answer then Illusion and Existence as anything but subjective assumptions are nullified.