Monthly Archives: October 2019

Why an Opposite is Not a Corollary, and Vice Versa: Seek truth in proper definitions

Though I have touched upon this topic previously on this blog, it never hurts to revisit it. It never ceases to surprise me how even the most intelligent thinkers among us tragically confuse and conflate the concepts of “opposite” and “corollary”. To me, it is the intellectual equivalent of the common conflation of “literally” and “figuratively”. Understand that in this article I am speaking of the philosophical use of these terms…that is, how they conceptually relate to general and overall Truth, as it were. I understand that in common parlance, we read the nuances of people and language…we can easily discern that “literally” really means  “figuratively” when our neighbor declares that they “literally died” when they heard the news that the new bathroom would cost twenty thousand dollars; likewise we understand that “corollary” really means “opposite” when we hear someone explain that the corollary to things going up is that they must come down…we understand what is being said here is merely an iteration of the  common maxim that “what goes up must come down”, which we accept as such and go on with our day.

But when grand truths about existence and humanity and nature are couched in a false assumption about what is corollary, the confusion becomes very dangerous, and obviously misleading. If we believe that the “corollary” to life is death, when in fact “death” and “life” are diametrically opposed, then we have utterly misinterpreted reality and formed an idea about our existence which is about as wrong as it could possibly be. And it is the smuggling in of the false synonymic relationship  of “corollary” and “opposite” with respect to greater and profound meaning that I take issue with, and wish to set straight in order that we may stop leading ourselves astray by committing one of the most obvious and avoidable mistakes of all time: ignorance of the  basic linguistic—conceptual definitions we have set for ourselves.

I offer this article as a primer on the subject…in my customary discursive fashion.


The conflation of “opposite” and “corollary” is not unlike the falsely presumed interchangeability of, say, “ironic” and “coincidental”, or “ironic” and “misfortune”, in addition to the aforementioned “literally’ and “figuratively”. One can’t help but wonder how long it will take the English language to contradict itself altogether and lose all practical utility entirely.

A summary of the following article can be stated this way: Opposites do not imply each other as equally existing or occurring simultaneously, and possessing equal and shared relevance and importance in all contexts at all times. Corollaries do.

Corollaries are a single conceptual essence, broken into purely semantic distinctions, mostly for linguistic efficiency. Opposites are utterly antipodal, mutually exclusive concepts. The presence of one does not demand the simultaneous equal representation of the other; in fact, by definition, and apropos, quite the opposite is true. The presence of one implies the utter absence of the other in a given context. If X is going up, for example, X is not going down. Now, I understand that it is the inexorable inverse linguistic-semantic relationship between opposites which gives them a veneer of corollary relationship…of symbiosis. But in any practical application, this relationship is simply not so. If X goes up, X is not also going down; if X goes left, X is not also going right. To imply otherwise gives us neither opposite nor corollary, but a contradiction.

The other day a friend of mine on Facebook posted a quote attributed to Carl Jung…though I’d never stake my life on the claim that facebook memes are entirely beyond suspicion when it comes to correctly assigning quotes to speakers or authors. For all I know the quote actually came from Daffy Duck…I’m just not that familiar with Jung. But we will give my friend the benefit of the doubt and assume that she knows that these words are in fact his words:

”Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

With all due respect, that assertion is at best misleading, and at worst the utterance of a man who has but a tenuous grasp of important conceptual distinctions, and thus has little business making aphorisms of any kind dialoging on existential truth. Because what is being committed here is the rational crime of confusing and conflating corollaries with opposites. Happiness is not “balanced by” sadness/darkness; happiness doesn’t demand that sadness have anything to do with it at all. In fact, by definition, the complete opposite is true.

While it is not necessarily irrational to claim that a concept implies its direct opposite, as I mentioned earlier when noting the inexorable inverse relationship of opposites, the nature of a corollary is not actually that a thing implies another thing, but that a thing is simultaneously and equally that other thing. In this context, I am not of course speaking of contradictions as being actual…I am simply explaining what is being stated when one speaks in corollaries. Corollaries are wholes which are commonly parsed—wholes considered in parts (as opposed to parts which are commonly considered in wholes (e.g. any concrete noun, and even some abstract or pseudo-abstract nouns like “collection”, “bunch”, “chaos”, “government”.)

Let’s take for example the corollary love/value. It could properly be rendered as:

It is love, therefore it is value.

There is a corollary relationship between “love” and “value”, but the corollary—the whole which is considered in parts—is love/value. Love and value are, philosophically, when speaking of corollaries, an “it” not a “them”. The corollary is properly described as “it is”, not “there is”. It is improper to render the corollary as “There is love, therefore there is value”, because the phrase “there is” implies a distinction between love and value; yet when considering the actual corollary relationship between love and value there is no distinction. Fundamentally, love is value and vice versa. Always. In all contexts and at all times. That’s why love/value is a corollary. And having said that, we can see why opposites cannot be corollaries. It is rank nonsense to claim that “it is left, therefore it is right”, or “it is up, therefore it is down”. Clearly that cannot possibly be the case, in any context, at any time. And again it’s not about implication. A corollary does not mean X implies Y. Love doesn’t imply value, it is value at the same time. Left may imply right, up may imply down, but this does not make these concepts corollary. At least not when we are speaking of root, philosophical principles. The concept of “corollary” in such a context needs to be carefully understood and properly utilized in order to avoid utterly careening offcourse and crashing disasterously into conclusions which are entirely opposite of truth.

Now, from this we can approach the distinction between opposites and corollaries from another important angle. Opposites like “happiness” and “sadness” are not corollary because, unlike true corollaries, they are always contextual, and thus always subjective. In other words, opposite concepts are not axiomatic, they are merely practical. They are always subject to a particular frame of reference. They do not apply equally to all people at all times, even given that opposites share an inverse relationship when taken purely abstractly. “Happiness” in a given individual context does not necessarily imply “sadness” at all, like “up” does not necessarily imply “down”, or “left” imply “right”. If I point to the top shelf in the pantry and say to someone “the cereal is up there”, I am not giving any value, and certainly not an equal, corollary amount, to “down there”. To assume otherwise simply confuses the issue and muddies the context of the statement. Certainly, we might make the basic, obvious semantic claim that “up there”, generally speaking, implies a “down there” generally speaking; but with opposites, unless we are in a grammar or linguistics class we are never speaking generally when using concepts like “up”, “down”, “left, “right”, etcetera. In other words, the notions of “up there” and “down there” never really come up nonspecifically. There is always a  particular “who” or a “what” to provide context. There is nothing fundamentally meaningful about “down”  relative to “up” when I am speaking of the cereal being “up there [on the top pantry shelf]”. Likewise, with respect to Jung’s quote, to say that a given individual’s life is happy does not necessarily imply that it is or has ever been to any degree sad. It is simply irrational and incorrect to claim that if one is happy he must also be or have been sad, as though it is through sadness that an individual’s happiness is manifest (and vice versa) rather than through the specific experience of whatever happy things he may have done and been a part of in his life (e,g. Having children, getting married, earning a college degree).  To claim that for one to be happy he must have the personal frame of reference of sadness is an arrant contradiction. For even if one who is happy had in the past been sad doesn’t mean that his happiness is known to actually be happiness because he has also been sad…as if sadness is the frame of reference for happiness. This is to imply that one actually means the other, which of course contradicts their very definitions, which nullifies the concept of “opposites” at root. “Happiness is sadness; sadness is happiness” is a tautological form of rational folderol. Happiness cannot also mean sadness, like up cannot also mean down. The assertion that one cannot experience happiness unless they’ve experienced sadness is, for one, not true or logical, but more egregiously, subjugates man’s existence to rational error.

True corollaries are not contextual, they are objective, universal, symbiotic, and utterly equivalent and inclusive of one another, at all times, absolutely and infinitely so. One means the other; one is the other. A corollary which is true for me is also true for you; unlike oppoites, which are subjective and contextual—what is happiness for me may be sadness for you and vice versa. But things like love and value, labor and property, ruling authority and force, truth and morality, action and ability…these are true corollaries. As they apply to me they also apply to you. If I am loving then I am valuing; likewise if you are loving then you are valuing. If I am acting then I am able to act; likewise you. If I make a truth claim then I make a morality claim; likewise you. If I am laboring then I am owning (that which with I labor—my body); likewise you. If I am a ruling authority over others then I am forcing others; likewise you.


The Conflicting Realites of State and Individual Citizen: The ethics difference

All governments by nature and implicit definition are founded upon collectivist, not individualist, metaphysics; and I have discussed the differences between these two metaphysical constructs many times on this blog. Government represents an Ideal, which is simply an abstract archetype for Reality, itself…a superstructure, or meta-structure, if you like, but it is completely subjective. Government is is tasked with organizing the existence of both humanity and its environment into this grand, overarching ideal, which, being subjective, could be anything at all: a Worker’s Utopia; We the People; the Aryan Nation; Society of Social Justice (i.e. Marxist Communism); God’s Chosen People; the Diversity Paradise; the King’s Land…you get the idea. In order to do this, government must first interpret Reality in a collective sense…that is, it must assume that all that is seen is a direct and absolute function of the Ideal, and government’s job is to subdue the ostensibly disparate components of Reality, including humanity, and organize them into a cooperative system which works collectively to singularly serve the interest of the Ideal…which functionally means serving the governemnt—the State—which is the material incarnation of the Ideal, containing the sum and substance of the Ideal’s entitled power of practical utility. To the individual citizen, this power, as it inevitably becomes more and more overt and comprehensive, looks like tyranny; he sees soaring tax rates and expanding government interference in commerce and free market value exchange as theft; he sees the subterfuge, doublespeak, hypocrisy, artifice, racketeering, and general political corruption as bearing false witness; he sees the warmongering, empire building, law-enforcement excess and brutality, the facilitation or outright commission of foreign and domestic political coups, false flag crises, and the insatiable military industrial complex as murder. In other words, the individual, particularly one living in a western reprentative democracy, which is founded upon the illusionary and completely contradictory-to-government notions of individual right to life and liberty…yes, the individual is operating on a different set of ethics, and this is because he is, even subconsciously, operating likewise from a different metaphysical interpretation of reality (usually…I’m speaking in general terms). You see, the individual assumes that he exists as himself, a singular agent and agency, a Self qua Self, with a singular and efficacious and actual Volition, which exists of and for and to HImself, and therefore possesses a innate and inherent right to own himself. And this means that the role of the State—though impossible, representing the very denial of government entirely—is to protect and promote his body, which he owns, and thus the product of his body’s labor, and thus to promote free association and uncoerced value exchange as a means of social, politcal, and economic association. From this Individualist principle the Individual thus assumes that coercive State policy (threats of punishment to achieve political ends) constitutes implicit (and often explicit) murder; contradiction, hypocrisy, pandering, doublespeak, subterfuge, exagerration, and propaganda is lying; taxes (at least in some forms…in reality, however, all forms), debt, economic meddling, coporate and special interest bribery, and subsidization (at least in some forms…in reality, all forms) is theft. The individual feels this way because the ethics to which he subscribes—the ethics of morality, as opposed to legality—demand that he do so. Moral ethics establish the Individual as the Standard of Universal Good and Truth. And since the Individual is defined according to the metaphysics as Singualar, Conscious, Conceptualizing, and therefore fully Volitional/Willfull, then uncoerced value exchange (i.e. trade/contract in all of its various forms, both formal and informal) represents the only ethical means by which the metaphysics can be applied rationally to Reality. The forced removal of ones property, or theft, becomes evil; violations of one’s body become murder; interpreting or rendering reality in ways which violate the Individual’s ability to properly ascertain and thus organize it (hypocrisy, false witness, deception, etc.) becomes lying. Murder, theft, lying…these are all evil according to the ethics of morality; and morality is entirely and only a function of Individualist metaphysics. And morality is NOT legality, and thus, it has nothing to do with the State. And what’s more, murder, theft, and lying only exist as a function of moral ethics. They are not and cannot be meaningful to  legal ethics. In other words, as far as the State is concerned, the lying to, and the murder and theft of the individual do not exist. And this is because the Indivdual, from the frame of reference of the collectivist metaphysics from which the State operates, does not exist. You cannot take from one who does not own himself; cannot lie to one who does not know himself; cannot murder he who is not himself.

And here we begin to see the conflict…the mutually exclusive frames of reference between the Individual Citizen and the State Official is the singular foundation of all social choas, in all forms both public and private I submit, and is implied and necessarily animated and catalyzed by the State, with increasingly authoritarian consequences. The establishment of the State creates a society where individualist and collectivist metaphysics collide. The implicit and natural awareness of the moral right of the individual to own himself is disasterously combined with the implicit legal right of the State to coerce by force the indivdual into a collective reality. The friction begins as a small festering sore which is aggravated by ever increasing government despotism against which the individual rebels in whatever way he can that will not run him afoul of the law, to no avail, as he is hopelessly outgunned by the money and violent power of the State, and marginalized and demagoged by powerful and powerfully dogmatic explicit and implicit collectivist institutions and philosophies which overtly and inadvertently promote collectivist metaphysics, like the media and the scientific and religious determinists. Thus, as more and more individuals wallow in the misery of a marginalized and meaningless existence in an ever-increasing insane asylum of collectivist disciples run by an almost unfathomably powerful and rich ruling class, and as more collectivist polices are inacted to “help” those who suffer from polices designed to destroy them by denying their existence altogether, the moral and psychological foundations crumble. The ruling class implements more and more draconian strategies to deliever on the collectivist “Eden” promised to “the People”, many of the ruling class unaware that they are the only ones who can ever possibly live in it because they are it.  All of these strategies fail, of course, because they necessarily must, because the logical presumption of collectivist metaphysics, whether a given politician knows it or not, is that the eradication of individuals is the ethical Good, and the arrant achievement of the Good is the whole damn point of of the metaphysics in the first place. Through the socialization of just about everything—from healthcare to food to education to transportation to employment to childcare to leisure—indolence is affirmed, promoted, and perpetuated. This subsidized indolence leads necessarily to the irrelevance and forsaking of one’s mind, which leads to the forsaking—implicit or explicit— of one’s Self. Eventually, no longer able to extract any more meat or leather from the tax cattle, and no longer able to pay its foreign and domestic creditors, and collapsing under the weight of debt and infighting and external pressures and threats, and thus with no one left to functionally rule and thus no one left to compel into the Collective Ideal, the ruling class collapses or dissipates or scatters or infiltrates other societies/social networks and so goes the nation. This unavoidable end is often bloody and ferocious and apocalyptic, but sometimes it fizzles with a whimper. Either way, end it shall, and there are always mass graves of some sort or another left behind to remind us of the failure of collectivist metaphysics. Not that anyone really notices because, like the Matrix, it always starts all over again eventually.

You will never convince the State that it is tyrannical, no matter how egregious its excesses or atrocious and self-serving its transgressions, because it simply possesses no frame of reference for its own tyranny. It certainly sees itself as the Authority of the land, but you must understand that it holds to a fundamentally different interpretation of the concept. To the individual citizen (and to the individualist it is explicit and obvious), State authority is simply force—government coercing via violence and threats of violence its citizens out of their life and property. In other words, though they perhaps expect the State to act morally, they comply with the State’s legality. That is, they understand that the way the State operates is to take from the individual against his will, considering will as irrelvant with respect to legal obligation, in the interest of the “greater”, or “common good”. The individual operates from a place of uncomfortable cognitive dissonance for much of the lifespan of the nation, accepting a weird and ultimately unworkable amalgamation of legal ethics and moral ethics. Eventually the people begin to notice the stark shift of social norms in the direction of the legal end of the ethical “spectrum”; this is inevitable, as the whole point of the State is to eventually subsume all vestiges of individualism into collectivist “reality”. There is greater reliance on government violence and coercion to “solve” problems, compromise or cooperation become more and more unlikely as the polarization between individualist and collectivist ideology becomes a “cold civil war”; voters are bribed with government promises to subsidize their concerns away, which inevitably requires higher taxes and even higher national debt, polarizing the nation even more as concerns about the solvency of the economy and the legitimacy of the system on the whole begin to send waves of anxiety and anger throughout the populace. Citizens are distracted from the obvious political corruption and mendacity through the bromide of political circuses, vapid entertainment heavily submerged in socialist ideology, and the corporate and political encouragement to engaged in all forms of hedonism, specifically gluttony and sexual promiscuity, with the destruction of the nuclear family and the epidemc of abortion and single motherhood further destroying social cohesion and trust, promoting even more anger and fear, all of which is naturally exploited by the ruling class towards the achievement of even more power and wealth. The citizenry is also distracted by the wanton and widespread legal double standards which excuse the political and celebrity and corporate classes from everything from child sex trafficking to open murder, whilst the middle class is terrorized by threats of being ostracized, or worse, and called insane conspiracy wackos  for merely pointing this out; and accused of all forms of bigotry for not accepting its “responsibility” to “pay its fair share”, which is simply code for accepting and embracing neo-Marxist ideology and in particular socialist economics. The lower class, whilst being imprisoned in massive numbers for the slightest and most anodyne of infractions, and imprisoned in general in ghettos of institutionalized poverty and nihilism, is used to threaten the middle class…the ruling class will have no choice, you see, but to unleash the hordes of lower/working class “victims” who are just itching to exact revenge upon their middle class slavemasters—the middle class being the bourgeoisie root of all “evil” in the world according to the Marxist collectivists who increasingly own the narrative, and this as the media becomes little more than a State Ministry of Propaganda . Borders are purposefully left porous, as a tacit lower class invasion is permitted by the State, terrorizing the middle class into greater submission. The celebrity, corporate, and political classes are of course safe and sound behind the thick, high walls, bristling with guns, of their ivory towers, so such threats and invasions against the middle class come often and easy, as those who wield power rest imminently secure. After all, worst case scenario, they can always flee to Costa Rica or some other foreign haven, and access their tax-free offshore accounts to finance their lavish lifestyles until kingdom come.

But understand, again, that because the State functions entirely from the ethics of legality and not morality, it does not acknowledge that tyranny is possible for it; it does not accept that its Authority can ever be authoritarian. For the State, theft, murder, and false witness do not exist. It cannot steal from, kill, or lie to that which it owns according to the metaphysical principles upon which it established. Remember, according to the State’s collectivist metaphysics, all of Reality is to be brought into accordance with the Collective Ideal, which is the absolute source of Reality, and the means of doing this and thus the practical (material) incarnation of this Ideal is the State. In other words, the collective Ideal is Reality, and the State’s job is to organize it so that it reflects this Ideal aesthetically. And the “perfect” aesthetics are achieved by making a “perfect” Reality, epistemologically, ethically, and politcally, all beginning with the metaphysics.

The State machinations of this undertaking may to us look like murder, theft, deception, incompetence, and corruption…and in fact they are (for the metaphysics of individualism are perfectly rational, and never contradict, which makes them True and Good; Collectivist metaphysics are thus necessarily False and Evil…and their near infinite rational inconsistency on every level bears this out). But to the State—the ruling class and their corporate/celebrity bedfellows—murder, theft, et al is merely the necessary discharging of its collectivist obligation; the perfunctory disposing of its own naturally-entitled property. Why do you think Eichmann was so blasé about his complicity in the mass extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany? Because as far as he was concerned, it was merely an administrative task…like filing records, date entry, and keeping the books. He said as much himself.  And, to be frank, he was being entirely consistent with the metaphysics which he accepted as absolute and irreducibly true. The State technically owned the Jews and everyone else, in his mind…and therefore it can’t be murder then. After all, the State has a right to do what it wants with what it rightly owns.

And by the by, all of this is true for the Church, which defines God implicitly as a Collective Ideal which it exists to discharge upon the earth by force and threats of hell and torment and excommunication. God cannot sin, you see, not fundametally becaue he is wholly rational and considers all men to be their own agents, entitled to their own lives and property and choice…in other words, not because He is moral. But because He is the Collective Ideal…He IS everything, and therefore owns everything. Thus, there is no such thing as murder, theft, et al for God. It’s all His legal right to exercise the legal ownership of His property. And the Church is His Presence on earth. So to those of you who think they shall find refuge in a some kind of “moral theocracy”, think again. “Moral theocracy” is a contradiction in terms.