Wednesday, 24 September 2014

No resistance to anything anymore - This is not adaptive: this is pathology

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It strikes me that one problem is that the West is sick.

I don't mean 'sick' as a metaphor but really diseased, suffering from diseases - perhaps especially Britain which is the most advanced modern society because it was the first. Here there is no resistance to anything anymore. But other places are little better and on the same road.

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This is the only adequate explanation for how little resistance there is to lies, nonsense, and the crude inversion of good and evil. People have always spouted lying, meaningless evil rubbish; but in the past they weren't believed, they were not cooperated with, they were resisted and fought

Here in the UK, the majority of young beautiful women choose to vandalize themselves with tattoos; half the population are drunk or drugged half the time (and most of the rest wish they were); the population is almost sterile, by choice, and are being replaced by random others - centuries of culture is being dismantled before our eyes, and the destruction is celebrated.

Multiple millions of people do no work or insignificant amounts of work - ever. The people who are productive and do something useful are despised and harassed and demoralized by armies of politicians, manager, administrators and regulators who are professional saboteurs - actively and unceasingly trying to stop them doing anything useful. The highest aspiration is retirement (not working but getting plenty of money to do what you want) and travel (high status serial distraction with the hope of cheap drunkenness and sexual adventures).

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We have been hit by major disasters: the London race riots locked down the city for days but the cause was concealed and nothing was done; Sir Jimmy Savile - the most praised celebrity of all time - was revealed as a sexual abuser of epic proportions whose depradations were widely known but nothing was done; slavery and trafficking slaves has been reintroduced to the nation which first abolished it and nothing is done; organized systematic rape gangs were known about for more than a decade but nothing was done.

There is nothing, nowadays, big enough or bad enough to galvanize the British to deal with it - or even to remember it.

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Why? Why have people given-up - en masse?

In the past people were often in scary, dangerous, fatal situations - much worse than now - but they didn't give up. Modern people give up in the face of microscopic pressures; they don't even have enough energy and motivation and integrity to complain! Anything and everything is met with mumbling, grumbling acceptance.

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Part of it is that the UK is nominally Christian but there are hardly any Christians, and hardly any of the self-identified Christians are real, and hardly any of them are solid.

But even among real and solid Christians there is very little/ no resistance. There are too few in any one place, with too little interaction between them; they cannot support each other enough to make a real difference.

Nobody among the British will just say NO, and stick by it.

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Yes there is 24/7 propaganda for mostly bad things. yes there is soft power - vilifying, shaming, fines, sackings. But why are we so vulnerable to this stuff? People in teh past faced prison, torture, executions without yielding. Why does almost-everybody consent to the system and the vile, destructive fashions?

Why do we despair and do nothing about it.

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What this increasingly looks like is a sick society of sick people. An old society, a society of millions on invalidity benefit, tens of millions dependent on drugs - whether they need them or not, of chronic diseases - mental and physical. 

I am not making a Nietzschian point here, I am not yearning for a nation of vigorous blond beasts; I am not despising or hating the sickness of old sick people (after all, I am one of them!). (Modern society is already filled to overflowing with resentment and hatred - it is just that the resentment is feeble, futile, evanescent - hence deniable.)

I am simply stating that there are strong indications that the population of the oldest industrialized society in the world is maladaptive; as individuals and at a group level.

Why? Well all the above is consistent with widespread, near universal, genetic damage; mutation accumulation due fact such as the child mortality rate has fallen from about half to about one percent, and that for six to eight generations the people with the least mutations have had the least children, and those with heavy mutations loads have had the most - also that for several decades the average fertility is well below two children per woman for all classes, and the population of British is shrinking. This is a recipe for eventual mutational meltdown, but on the way to that increasing pathology is inevitable.

So we in Britain, we in the West and East Asia, are a sick society of sick people; and there is nothing that we can realistically do to prevent it; not least because it is caused by what was probably the greatest boon of the industrial revolution - the near abolition of child mortality - which throughout human history has been a major cause of human misery. 

However, it makes a vast difference; it makes all the difference in this world (and the next) how we respond to the facts.

We do not need to be - we ought not to be - what we are now; which is a society of death wishers, a society of time-servers, a passive society of unmotivated hedonists. That we have just given up is because we have as a nation and as a society turned away from God, forgotten God, hate God - and this puts us into a position of weakness unprecedented in human history.

We know in our bones that we are dying, personally and socially - because genetically. We know too that disaster looms. But it is unacceptable to respond by simply trying to get through the intervening time with as as much fun and as little unpleasantness as possible. This attitude doesn't work, it makes everything worse; and it is evil because it not only acquiesces in the destruction of all good things (marriage, family, beauty, honesty etc.) but actively (albeit feebly) promotes evil (sexual hedonism, the marring of beauty and imposition of ugliness, hype and lies and fake denial).

In such circumstances it is not hard to imagine a suicide cult taking hold - even a cult of humane murder on a massive scale; spun as being the only reliable way to avoid future suffering for yourself and those you care about. Because modern secular people regard death as a full stop, an oblivion, and they like the sound of that better than a world of suffering, fear, starvation, disease and violence (which is the world they are working hard to enable).

Therefore, if it is not to become a cult of death, a culture that is dying needs to look beyond death. There is no alternative. Only by looking beyond death can we put a life of disease and decline into a meaningful and purposeful context.

We can only live well in a sick society in the time that remains us (indiviually and collectively) when our mortal lives are seen in context; and context means as not-the-whole thing but a part and a preparation for the whole thing.

No matter how bad things become, and the quantitative scale of a modern collapse would dwarf anything humans have experienced so far, from the individual perspective there can be no suffering or loss that Men of the past have not already experienced - and which some of them have transcended by their faith in God.

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Where does it begin?

It can only begin with individuals, individual choice, by opening-ourselves to God. We are not going to be rescued; we are not going to have God forced-upon-us and the future mapped-out and ourselves carried-passively-along. 

It all begins with a change of fundamental attitude. Anybody can do it. You don't need to be young, healthy, high status. You can be old, sick and despised.

No matter how sick you are, you can open you mind, you can say yes. You can repent the evils of our time and in yourself. You can recognize the side of Good and join it.

It makes all the difference: the difference between living the cult of death, and living in expectation of eternal life.


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A note on the concept of 'adaptive'.

The idea here is that modern men have lost some of the most basic and significant adaptive behaviours due to mutant accumulation, due to substantial relaxation of natural selection against mutations. In biology, adaptation is (roughly) that a stimulus leads to behaviour which is (on average) beneficial to survival and reproductive success. Thus, pathology/ disease is pretty-much behaviour that is not adaptive - behaviour that does not contribute to survival or reproductive success.

Adaptations are not natural nor are they spontaneous, but they evolved. Therefore random damage will nearly-always destroy adaptations. What is left when adaptations have been destroyed (partly or wholly) is not another form of adaptation, but is disease - it is (biologically speaking) no good for anything - just as cancer (which is precisely a loss of adaptation) is good for nothing (not even for the cancer itself, in the long run).

Mass maladaptation, mass disease, is possible because of the society of growth in peace, prosperity and plenty. But mass and increasing maladaptation is incompatible with a society of growth in peace, prosperity and plenty; because p,p&p are an achievement, unusual in the history of the world (not the default!) - and because mutation accumulation (maladaptation) cannot even sustain p,p&p but will instead destroy it.

For a while, society has been living off the inertia from the major achievements of the past - but the achievements dried up, and have been first parasitized then actively destroyed.

I am suggesting that in the vast majority of modern humans in Britain - and other developed countries - with respect to many, many of their attitudes and actions, people en masse violate adaptive, evolved behavioural rules which could have been taken for granted at any previous point in history; and this is evidence of multi-system disease; and the situation is getting worse. And that understanding the basic cause of this implies matters will continue getting worse until the basic current form of society (modern society, based on growth I productivity of necessaries) will come to an end.
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10 comments:

Nicholas Fulford said...

The modern age is characterized by the present having a greater weight than the future.

In other words - functionally - people behave as though the greatest personal good is to enhance the feel good state of the moment, rather than to defer immediate pleasure for a longer term good. It is the disease of the wealthy spread down and across society.

All pleasures pass from the moment and become memory - that dulls over time. But what accrues as the result of extended life spent extending pleasure? Addiction to a cycle of pleasure seeking becomes the norm, and few do very much for which they have to make a sacrifice of their present pleasures. This, and our unwillingness to allow Natural Selection to cull the unfit, leads to conditions that favour a crash at some point.

We have our bread and our circuses, and all the while it is like Poe's, "Mask of the Red Death". Our party will end abruptly as the unwelcome visitor makes its presence felt.

Bruce Charlton said...

@NF - There are many reasons for this, but giving weight to the future is substantially an evolved adaptions - destroyed by genetic damage.

On the other hand when "our unwillingness to allow Natural Selection to cull the unfit," is a rather horrible euphemism when you are talking about the death of our own children - for some people the death of six, eight, ten of their own children; for the 'lucky' ones only one or two of children their perhaps.

This is not the kind of thing that anybody but a moral monster could contemplate with equanimity - so it deserves to be expressed with some sense of that reality.

As I have said, near-abolition of child mortality was THE great achievement of the industrial revolution. However, it also had adverse long term consequences - the severity of which have yet to be seen fully.

Brett Stevens said...

I wonder if this can be explained in physical terms alone. I think the West ran into despair when it conquered its Gods as well as nature, and needed to find a new goal. That brought up class warfare, and from that all bad things flow, as the Gita reminds us.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Brett - It is just so extreme! And so near-universal. I don't doubt these factors have something to do with it, but people seem to need very little persuading.

Bruce B. said...

Looking at personal, family records, I have gotten the impression that most children died from infectious disease not starvation or genetic defects.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BB - That would be true for many places - Europe, Africa for instance - not China or Japan. But parasites are always a problem!

Boethius said...

Regarding the high child mortality rate before the modern era,it is worth pondering that for a child before the age of reason to be saved all that is necessary is a valid baptism.

So the death of a child wasn't such a sad event;at least for Christians.

Dahlia said...

Are you saying that sickness and physical impairment, coming from advanced age and less fit individuals surviving leads to spiritual sickness? I'm not sure about this and tend to believe the opposite if anything.

I was trying to locate the verses where St. Paul discussed how some people physically cannot commit some sins which can be a salvation of sorts: I had written them down for my aunt when her husband died at the age of 52 due to a condition he had suffered from since the age of 17. Without going into detail, Paul's words were *so* true of him!

My favorite writing that touched on profanation, and which has some relevancy here, was done by Agnostic when looking at burials and cremation.

That all being said, I believe as you that the cutting in the rate of child mortality isn't appreciated when we look at "diseases of modernity".
Simply put, I believe that most of the people suffering from these diseases are not very "fit" and are only alive today because of modern medicine. Seeing a graph once of how our population took off, once we stopped "dying like flies" as the scientists put it, it's apparent that the vast majority of us wouldn't be here, frankly.

Dennis Mangan had a post once about a finding that established a strong and robust link between immune system response and fatness. They weren't looking for it, but were curious to see what would stand out if you averaged the faces of an x number of the healthiest young men of a group as well as the same number of the unhealthiest *as judged by immune system response*. Nothing, not "masculinity" or anything else was different except for adiposity.
And obesity is the signal "disease of modernity" and characteristic of people today.

I don't think all is lost. This perspective allows me to see the obese, diabetic, etc. as simply physically disabled with their lives even seeming very similar to traditionally handicapped people: they lead full lives, but can suffer anguish for not being fully-abled, good looking, etc.

Second, we can do things to mitigate against this. Namely learn more about and fight against advanced-aged parenthood. Make it such a priority that when, say, people bring up legalizing polygamy we respond absolutely not because of the problem of older fathers.

Finally, there is a blessing. Large populations are capable of bringing about beneficial mutations and spreading them quickly.

Pathogens are another long, but germane topic.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Dahlia - "Are you saying that sickness and physical impairment, coming from advanced age and less fit individuals surviving leads to spiritual sickness?"

No I don't believe that. Also, I don't believe the process can be stopped - I think it is inevitable, and we need to think about coping with it rather than stopping it.

Ugh said...

Powerful article. So few people even recognize it, beyond shrugging their shoulders with a what'ya gonna do rise of the eyebrows. No one even talks politics at the water cooler anymore.