No Agency

The reason the Internet is filled with endless debates over what people should eat, is because it’s the only thing most people have any degree of control over. You control what goes into your mouth, but for most people that’s where it ends.

Most people spend their days doing jobs where they have zero ability to meaningfully influence the course of the world. When I go to donate blood, the phlebotomists there will have received a decent training, but they decide exactly nothing. They don’t even decide which arm to puncture, they ask you which one you want. Even someone as educated as a surgeon doesn’t decide anything. If he meaningfully influences the course of your life we call it a medical error, it means he did his job wrong.

In theory a human being has tremendous power to influence the world. If you live in Sudan and really don’t like Egypt, you could divert the course of the Nile. You could gather a bunch of people together, start digging a canal to the Red Sea, you could dump a bunch of concrete rubble into the Nile and you would turn Egypt into a barren lifeless desert like Libya in the process.

But in practice, you control nothing. You live your life, you die and you haven’t changed the world for better or worse. There is no city named after you, no dam, no street, even your grave takes up so much space that your remains will probably be dug up after a few years. You live in a concrete block, on top of another concrete block. That concrete block has the bare essentials you need as an individual to survive. You probably can’t even afford to have a plot of land behind your door to call your own, where you can determine the vegetation.

A beaver has the drive, the desire, to change the course of events in his environment in a particular manner. He wants to build a dam. He sees water flowing somewhere, he wants to intervene in it. He starts chewing through trees until they collapse, then he drags them towards the river, where he pushes them together, until dirt accumulates. It’s what he wants to do from the core of his essence and he can go about it with no significant disturbance.

I on the other hand, would be stopped the moment I start chewing on a tree. And yet, as a human being, my desire to intervene in world events extends far beyond a stream flowing somewhere in the woods. Human beings see things happening elsewhere in the world and want to influence them. They see Israel dropping bombs on Gaza and they want to change this. They’re emotionally invested in this, so they cover the city in stickers that say “Free Palestine”.

They have this inner drive, to meaningfully influence the imagery they see on their TV. But they have zero influence on it. This is perhaps the biggest problem with democracy, how it leaves everyone under the impression that we have some genuine ability to change the course of events. In reality, we have no such power. This lack of power is a profound source of distress, especially because it is contradicted by our culture, which constantly suggests that we do have the ability to decide things.

But it’s even stranger than that. The politicians don’t really decide things either. Consider the invasion of Ukraine. We treat Putin as this powerful tyrant who decides things. But if you read carefully about what happened, it’s clear that essentially the whole circle around Putin wanted this invasion. So what meaningful ability did Putin have, to decide whether or not to invade Ukraine?

In the past, your mind was mainly occupied by things you had some degree of influence on. What happened in Palestine, was a subject of vague rumors. Today you can follow every single rocket as it flies through the air. And yet you’re completely powerless to influence it.

It’s this powerlessness to meaningfully influence anything outside ourselves, that makes us obsessed about ourselves. Powerful men tend to grow fat and bald, because they have other things to control than their body. But powerlessness makes the narcissistic impulse move inwards. You can endlessly try to improve yourself, or try to stave off aging. And the less control you have over your outside world, the more attractive it becomes to micromanage your own world, from every pore on your nose you can cleanse of dirt, to every muscle in your body that you can improve.

In the past, aging was more acceptable to people, because your sense of self expanded to include other people. If you live in a town full of people genetically related to you, then as your hair falls out and your prostate balloons, you can take comfort in the idea that you can still help them thrive. But in today’s society, there isn’t really such a sense of community anymore, so your sense of self can’t properly expand anymore either.

There’s this peculiar observation made throughout the ages, that during wartime, people’s mental health improves:

War breaks out and suddenly people feel as if their lives have meaning. If I look at the Netherlands today, the sad truth is really that I’m just looking at a society overdue for a civil war. There are more people here than there is physical space for them.

War allows you to shake things up. During a war, you suddenly decide things. Don’t like a building? Have fun complaining to the municipal council, where a skinnyfat balding guy with glasses will ignore your complaints. Don’t like a building during wartime? Blow it up. After the second world war was over, the Dutch government essentially just stole a whole island from a German aristocrat, because they could.

Men grow addicted to war. Almost all the problems we experience today can be traced to this lack of conflict we have experienced in the nuclear era. If the Cuban missile crisis had resulted in a nuclear exchange, our world would have recovered by now from the environmental impact. But our brief era of exponential growth and relative peace, culminated in global warming that will last for at least a hundred thousand years to come.

And even stranger, Germany has recovered from the rapist Bolshevik horde, Eastern Europe has recovered from the hunger plan. There is once again an independent Polish nation between Russia and Germany. But for London, seventy years of peace proved fatal. After seventy years of peace, Brussels no longer looks like Brussels. Seventy years of peace did to Paris, what five years of German occupation could not.

People often ask themselves, what the British troops in world war II ever fought for. But it’s the wrong question to ask. We know what they fought for. It’s the same thing the British have been fighting the Germans, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Italians, the Turks and the Russians over for generations. They didn’t fight for democracy, for freedom, or for human rights. The British fought for Britain. These wars made us what we became. The much more important question to ask ourselves is: What did we stop fighting for?

19 Comments

  1. Fighting in modern wars doesn’t give you any power to change anything either. You’re a munition that exists to be micromanaged and spent at the leisure of bureaucratic officers who are fundamentally no different from any other sociopathic normie power climber. (Some of whom have never even held a rifle in their lives, I’m not joking.) I think you already know this however, which is why you haven’t volunteered for the French Foreign Legion or a PMC. If you wanted to be slave soldier, a janissary, there’s plenty of opportunities out there for you.

    No, what you want is the type of war Low Status White Males across the world salivate over; what William Luther Pierce and Bronze Age Pervert write about. You want a societal collapse followed by civil war, and I don’t blame you. Honestly, it’d probably be a net karmic good. The world needs such things to bring it back into balance, there’s far too many people and all of our societies are built on torture and rape. I want that kind of war too I think.

    • If we do get that war, it will be important that we channel Shiva rather than Yahweh or Hitler. Our war should not be built on resentment or self-interest; rather, we should wage war on Asura and Demons purely for the propagation of good. Hitler’s mistake was punishing the innocent with the guilty, which is why he failed. (And why William Luther Pierce was an idiot, for all his brilliance) Innocents will surely suffer in our war, as they do in all wars. But I think if the war is waged for a good cause, the net good it will bring will outweigh the suffering.

      Advanced life on Earth will go extinct if nothing changes.

  2. Similarly (maybe) “social justice WARRIORS”.
    I always thought that SJW’s in Greece, or activists, pick whatever cause happens to shine at the moment, in order to avoid their depression.
    Very often they just torture the rest of us, but they don’t seem to care. They care about their companions though, and the rest can be their enemies.
    Also, many or most politicians. They know they don’t serve the general good. But they would have to face their own depression if they step back from politics.
    Also, sports fans.
    +++
    However, the sense of community (esp. between members of poor struggling classes) is very beneficial to one’s health. And working with your hands.

  3. Who needs war to improve the population’s mental health when we have niacin?

    Niacin (vitamin B3) cures schizophrenia. Proven through double-blind placebo-controlled studies carried out in the early 1950’s by Abram Hoffer:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01DAWM9SA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&dib_tag=se&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.6Wk8WDljtj3dtTR-B10UtCsdXIjRWBHUTUCdRsUcCpdei5SnuYcsN1IVajHtPwuOI5wjpkCWBg2wS5LAuxT1EfBQwpJIGuwik8uJdmDbjMS5GwvTKaBKj6R_7x2xqCgqI2qI35zlpF7YPDBCPQZnug.NZxLIi2T2FW99nra28mIx0JqCGAdwFbVwUxY-joWwUE&qid=1705103419&sr=8-2

    “Niacin: The Real Story: Learn about the Wonderful Healing Properties of Niacin” by Abram Hoffer.

    Not just schizophrenia, but many other ailments as well. But unfortunately the research was buried to allow the Big Pharma cartels to push their horrific antipsychotic drugs with a myriad of nasty side effects.

  4. Now I wonder if the Swiss are differently wired. If you face annihilation each winter because of snow or each spring because of mudslides, you have an innate, deep thankfulsness just to be alive. I noticed that second generationers, while very successful, are widely depressed. They all say money is not everything. Hm. Those who really are Swiss never say that. They hatch plans. Even if in total disarray, they have an ideal to strive for. Somebody coming from a real desert has the same grit. Makes me think.

    Terrain > Genetics > Feelings > Culture > Law.

  5. Yeah, the being controlling this reality, has intentionally made it a place that robs its inhabitants of agency. It’s to corral people into certain paradigms of behavior like what you’ve described, where a destructive impulse is seen as the only outlet for such things. Murder isn’t something people naturally want to do unless they’re psychopaths – when we’re little children, we like to dream and play and imagine, but we’re programmed by this place into certain modes of behavior that benefit the beings seeking our spiritual destruction. Yes, we’re spiritual beings, and no – our origin is not this world we presently inhabit or its architect. People who return from wars suffer from PTSD, they’re often plagued with feelings of remorse and scarred for life, they have trouble reintegrating into a life that is not war-oriented, and that’s for the ones that make it out alive. I believe I’ve said it before, but looking to the natural world, the history of society, or the other cycles that exist in this reality for cues to how things ‘should’ be is a mistake. Just because the way aspects of modernity work is bad, doesn’t make the way this type of problem is usually resolved ‘good’.

    • A neighbor of mine told me proudly that a couple of her relatives had fought in the Korean war. I asked her what the Korean war had been about, since I had no idea. Neither did she. But she sure was proud that her relatives had killed some people over something that the next generation had no memory of.

      Actually I have in the past read what the Korean war was about. But then I promptly forgot, since it was not interesting. I guess that is even worse for people who find their immortality in fighting in wars.

      The early Quakers did not choose to have headstones for their graves. They understood that our time here is limited and we must seek to live as Christ did. But then Friends are pacifists. It is far harder to be a pacifist than to be a warmonger; warmongers are a dime a dozen. If you really want pushback and to be hated for your beliefs be a pacifist.

      Shalom.

      • Hi, Karen! This is irrelevant to the current post, but I place it here so you don’t miss it: For the red-lentil sauce, you need some walnuts, 1-2 onions, some garlic, tomato paste, some canned or fresh tomatoes. I don’t know exactly how much and how they cook it, because my American wife makes it! She also uses some red wine. She cooks it for maybe half hour, and then she puts it in a thermo cooker (a “Billyboil” from Australia). She gave me this to share with you: https://rainbowplantlife.com/10-ingredient-vegan-red-lentil-bolognese/

        • Please thank your wife for me for that recipe!!! I will try it, or a simplified version of it.

          I cook things with retained heat by putting the pot of heated food (with its lid on) on a potholder on the table, and covering it with a folded thick cotton blanket; it can cook for hours that way. You can also make a retained heat cooker by filling a cardboard box with crumpled paper and making a hole in the center for the pot. The Billyboil does look nicer but with my system you can just use whatever pot you cooked the food in no matter how big the pot.

      • I have been an admirer of the Friends for their antiwar work. Their theology and practice were attractive also, though it has been a long time since I looked into it. I am curious if their pacifism has changed greatly over the decades. It seems now to be part of a general context of leftism, which i am much less enamored of.

        • The Society of Friends has many branches. The branch best known in the U.S. is Liberal Friends; they seek attention and are politically active and politically liberal; many of them are agnostic or even atheist. On the other hand, the greatest number of Friends in the world are in Kenya, and they are Evangelical Christians. The branch of Quakers that most closely resembles the original Friends of the 1600s is Ohio Yearly Meeting, and it is not a politically leftwing group; politics is a taboo subject among its members. All of these Quakers are pacifists.

          • Thanks. I would never have guessed Kenya. I was reading a bit of Hannah Whitall Smith recently, and found out later that she was a Quaker.

  6. The alpha-male goat herders in Yemen appear to be players, influencing the outcome of things. Even lowly uneducated goat herders can influence the course of the world.

  7. We stopped fighting?

    Well, maybe western (or perhaps I should say technologically advanced) countries stopped directly fighting each other at least, perhaps because with the invention of nuclear weapons etc., etc.

    But what about control? The ability of a mere individual to influence events. . .

    It’s true that in the modern world the individual tends to have very little control. Uncle Ted, a genius, had much to say on this and I tend to agree with him. However, I have found that with personal sacrifice, that it is possible to exert some degree of influence on events.

    With a big caveat: any results that might be obtained are likely to be wound back, unless they comport with the direction that the self-organizing system is walking.

    And with another, bigger, caveat: if you want to try to control/influence where it’s headed, then you will have to sacrifice.

    How much do you have? How much can you take?

    Any attempt to lessen evil as we step forward into the future takes sacrifice.

    It’s a sort of war.

    A relentless, ongoing war.

    A relentless, ongoing war that has casualties.

    A relentless, ongoing war, with casualties, of which you will be one, if you try to control/influence events.

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The patients in the mental ward have had their daily dose of xanax and calmed down it seems, so most of your comments should be automatically posted again. Try not to annoy me with your low IQ low status white male theories about the Nazi gas chambers being fake or CO2 being harmless plant food and we can all get along. Have fun!

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