Saturday 27 May 2023

Societal demotivation - how far can it go?

I have been asserting for many years that motivation - the lack of it, its weakness - is the overwhelming problem in modern Western societies; and that its root is the deletion of (real) religion - which was, through recorded history, the strongest motivator of Men.

The fact that fashions and fanaticisms change so often and so fast, is a consequence; that almost nobody resists anything pushed at them; that public discourse is so reactive to top-down formation. 

That organizations no longer pursue distinctive goals; the feeble and dwindling attention span; the near-immediate memory-holing of major life experiences... all are evidences of this motivational deficit and its worsening. 

Most attempts to recover motivation, have themselves sought to create or develop external-motivators; to try and rebuild the by-now themselves externally-manipulated, corrupted and converged institutions and nations which used to be associated with a more motivated past. 

But the (supposedly) stronger external institutional motivators of the past were themselves generated and sustained by more-motivated individual Men. Modern institutions, however, are merely bureaucratic - and bureaucracy is prime evidence of our demotivated state. 

Bureaucracies are circular, self-parasitizing systems that only work when Men are significantly demotivated; and bureaucracies need to provide more and more, ever more arbitrary, micro-motivations - in order simply to continue. 

So; the desire to re-motivate Men by a resurgence of strong, self-confident, and inspiring institutions - especially churches, or The Church (i.e. 'The' for a particular person) is itself doomed to fail; since such churches will necessarily need to be made and operated by Demotivated Modern Men. 

But how far can this go? The dominant globalist totalitarian agenda is exactly calculated to demotivate the world population - in order that it be docile and manageable. 

But, at some point; won't people Just Give Up? 

...Lose motivation to live, and - with their last glimmer of motivation - yearn for, and feebly seek, only a quick and comfortable death? 

Some such dynamic would seem to underlie the rise of state-administered programs of 'assisted suicide'/ euthanasia; all of which seem readily justified to the modern mind by their promise to reduce human suffering - which seems to the modern mind the highest and noblest goal of morality.

(Not noticing the logical conclusion: when life entails suffering - then no-life seems preferable to life: and we arrive at the 'moral' justification for massive population sterilization and ('humane') annihilation.)       

Those of us who disagree-with and are resistant-to the down-spiral of demotivation are - understandably - casting-about for something to motivate them. 

But there are plenty of pitfalls if motivation becomes the proximate and this-worldly goal. 

Although we must-have something to motivate us; this does not mean that anything will suffice to do the job. 

Among the most-motivated individuals are those being progressively consumed with prideful self-love; psychopaths whose rewards come from the manipulation and harming of others; and those who embrace a kind of mania of self-stimulation and hyperactivity. 

Too many any of those who offer to lead 'us' into sunny uplands of meaningful and purposeful lives betray such or similar gross personal pathologies: in effect their own craving need for motivation fuels their crazed and unbalanced attempts at crusades. 

This includes self-identified - and indeed sincere - Christians; who lack the insight that that their own zealous and burning motivational state is using Christianity as a mere vehicle for the self-aggrandizement - a self-reinforcing process upon-which they depend like an addictive drug; a drug required in increasing doses in order to retain the (here and now, this-worldly) motivational state that they absolutely need - and without-which they would rapidly collapse into oblivion-seeking despair.  

The problem of demotivation is therefore extremely serious, central to our times, and getting worse; yet the proposed solutions often make things even-worse-still by displacing self-help into fantasies of external saving; or delivering people into the mercies of sadists, maniacs or the pathologically-driven.

As usual, any genuine solution to such deep problems will begin with acknowledging and understanding that there is a problem, and its nature. 

The right answer must, usually, come from-within - and will certainly not be imposed from without, from a dominant culture which has made and worsened the demotivated world. 

And the right answer will - surely? - be other-worldly in its primary basis and frame: will overleap the corruptions and deceptions of immediate gratification and 'success' and look beyond to life everlasting. 

From that next-worldly perspective, we may then look-back on our actual mortal life - and sufficiently recognize, understand, and be motivated to do... 

To do that which needs-to and should be done; by us, by Me: specifically and personally, starting Now. 


Francis Berger said...

"using Christianity as a mere vehicle for the self-aggrandizement - a self-reinforcing process upon-which they depend like an addictive drug; a drug required in increasing doses in order to retain the (here and now, this-worldly) motivational state that they absolutely need - and without-which they would rapidly collapse into oblivion-seeking despair."

This is key. It is also something that concerns me deeply. Everywhere I look, I see Christians driven exclusively by external, this-worldly motivations like fixing the System, building traditional Christian communities, saving the economy, combating political/social/economic leftism, rehabilitating institutions, rounding up the bad guys, etc.

To make matters worse, these same Christians lash out -- quite vitriolically -- at any who suggest that such external worldly motivations must be emanate from and be rooted in something beyond-this-world.

More precisely, they claim their motivations do emanate from and are rooted in something beyond-this-world -- but I don't see it or hear it.

I believe these sorts of self-aggrandizing Christians would have surely rejected Christ had they lived during Jesus's time. They simply could not have swallowed the reality that Jesus did not "live up" to his promised messianic role of delivering the nation from the Romans and founding God's kingdom on earth.

Jesus's motivations would have been incomprehensible to them. Jesus's motivations remain incomprehensible to them.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - As I know from clinical experience as well as life, there are people who (whether from some degree of psychosis, or a personality disorder) lack insight, self-awareness, capacity for (or interest in) self-evaluation.

Nothing rational can be done about them, no engagement is possible; and it only makes them worse if you try. It is therefore valuable to be able to recognize what is going-on, what one is dealing-with.

One example is the 'gamma' type which Vox Day talks about - such people certainly exist, and need to be dealt with as he says - but (unlike Vox) I would regard the gamma as an innate personality disorder rather than a psycho-sexual category.

wrt Jesus and the Messiah role; I found WmJas's thoughts very clarifying:

David Earle said...

Thanks for reminding me of that post, Bruce. A series definitely worth re-visiting. That was one of the posts that introduced me to William's blog.

Bruce Charlton said...

@cecil - That's true, in a way - although perhaps rather exclusively material in perspective. I think there always *is* a reaction, but it may not be evident - and it may be negative. Lack of reaction and then we don't die straightway, tends to lead to more of the same, as a kind of learning.