Friday 17 February 2023

All Institutional Systems - and Intellectual Systems - are having the Life drained from them

It seems to me that all Systems - whether they are intellectual systems such as mainstream-ideology, religions and theology, church doctrines, philosophies, or the ever-multiplying New Age spiritual systems that purport to replace these - are continually being drained of Life

The fact that there is a now a single interconnected nearly-global system (The System) of the international, national; and also the functional (mass media, law, health, education, science, military etc) institutional bureaucracies - actually confirms my contention that the life has been drained from systems. 

Because The System is not merely life-less, but life-consuming

The System - and indeed all systems - subordinate and consume not just humans, but animals, plants and mineral planet/ weather/ climate itself - assimilating Life to System requirements and imperatives. 

And, strictly, The System is not even a true system; because it is parasitic rather than self-regenerating.

(Systems, like organisms, are defined as being substantially autonomous, self-perpetuating, self-reproducing. Whereas some parasites are not, since they depend to various degrees on a host. They would be defined as either sub-systemic parts-of other true-systems, as with symbiosis; or else destructive of true-systems.) 

In other words The System as a whole, predates upon its constituent systems; destroying their autonomy (i.e. their very nature as systems) and extracting their energies. 

Thus The System is consuming itself; and actually shrinking - which is why the trend globally has been to destroy nations, agricultural and industrial productivity, and - increasingly - human/ animal/ plant life and the actual structures of 'the environment'. 

Consider how 'the environment' - which is a top-down defined and actively-managed abstract concept; has replaced the freedom, self-sustenance, and independence of real 'nature' - such that theoretical-'environmentalism' - in all its major manifestations - is in practice always destructive of actual-nature.  

As Christians; we can experience for ourselves how the System aspects of our religion (doctrines and dogmas, rituals and practices, symbolism and structures...) are continually-collapsing: continually losing their power and effectiveness - and it has, so far, been impossible to stop (let alone reverse) this trend. 

Traditions are subject to this trend of collapse, but so are all attempts to re-found and innovate new systems of Christianity.

Any apparent success turns out to be at the expense of Christianity as a whole - and short-lived.

This is happening, I believe, because of changes in human nature - especially of human consciousness; because of a divinely-driven development which is a part of God's plan of salvation and theosis.

Systems that worked well with earlier, and different - kinds of people, now don't work as well - or don't work at all. 

(This seems to apply to all types of Christianity, in the West.)

In so far as Christian systems remain - they are increasingly material and mundane - and less and less spiritual. Thus the power of systems positively to transform Man has now all-but gone (and where it remains is, as I said, continually ebbing). 

Consequently, those who remain inside the Christian (or other religious) systems, and who are actively committed to the systems, have become indistinguishable from the secular in those fundamental respects that matter to The System.   

Whether we like it or not (and many Christians do not like it at all, and resist as strongly as they can) positive support from systems is continually disappearing. One may think he has found a supportive niche - but the chances are high that this niche is already dwindling, will not last for long - and will become assimilated to the general pattern of collapse.

Sooner or later, and in the end;  I believe all Christians will have system-help stripped-away - and be thrown-back onto an individual relationship with the divine and creation. 

He will then need to discover how best to survive, and thrive, on such a basis - or else become drawn onto the non-Christian - which is in practice anti-Christian -  side, in the spiritual war of this mortal world. 

The choice is between joining the self-destroying ideology of The System; or developing for oneself a faith rooted out-with that System.

Note added: One whose faith is rooted out-with The System and its sub-manifestations (including System-linked churches) - can safely make good use of the remnant Good within the waning niches of once-real Christian churches. But if he has rooted his faith within any institutional manifestation of Christianity; then I predict that - sooner or later - his faith will be in-trouble: either becoming Christian-in-name-only and dishonestly corrupted to the side of System evil while in denial; or having faith lost altogether and by disillusion and despair coming to a direct affirmation of System ideology.  


The Anti-Gnostic said...

Bruce - I don't know if you read Tyler Cowen's and Alex Tabarrok's blog,, but I find it the most reliable barometer of elite thought out there.

Cowen has been raving about LLM/AGI for at least three weeks. These are computer programs that amalgamate writings on topics by human content-generators in accordance with their programming (by humans) but are being deemed "artificial general intelligence." They are nothing of the sort. It's as if users believed that search engines work by having sentient gnomes at the molecular level look through tiny, molecular level card catalogues instead of just matching up keywords and keyphrases. Thus, as I commented there, the danger of LLM/AGI is not that it "goes rogue" a la the movies War Games and the Terminator. It can't "go rogue!" As another commenter wrote, "It doesn't know what it doesn't know: since it doesn't 'know' anything in the way that most people think of the term 'know.' It implicitly embeds certain knowledge due to the data its been trained on: but it doesn't reason about it."

The danger, therefore, is that AGI will be ascribed a Wizard-Of-Oz status it does not merit.

To tie this in with your theme here, it is the perfect tool of the bureaucrat. He can input questions confident in the pre-programmed algorithms of the "AGI" to generate the desired result. Then he can render a "decision" with a complete lack of personal responsibility and blame (which is, everywhere and always, the prime bureaucratic directive). Thus, within our lifetimes, members of our increasingly deranged and evil elite will insist on totalitarian policy measures "because the AGI says so." The scary part is the elite and most of the populi will actually believe in this phony deus ex machina.

I remain cautiously optimistic. I can foresee a future, literal Butlerian jihad where the machinery and the bureaucracies it supports (the bureaucrats themselves having long become retarded and incompetent) are smashed into bits, and God's Creation is renewed.

Otherwise we're looking at catastrophic war followed by devolution into feral packs of half-mad humans, hunting rats in the ruins of skyscrapers and slowly going extinct.

Bruce Charlton said...

@A-G - I used to read, and comment at, MR during the early 2000s; and it was after its appalling response to the 2008 'economic crisis' and when I became a Christian, that I realized the self-gratifying and self-serving nature of the libertarian-lite perspective from which the blog is produced.

The authors are ultimately nothing more than smugly-devious explainers of why "whatever the establishment currently wants" is always a Necessary (and - at root - well-motivated) Thing.