The democratic delusion of individual agency

So, for the past few days I’ve had a pretty nasty cold. There was exactly one night when it hurt to swallow, but afterwards I’ve mostly just had a persistent annoying cough.

In my experience, there is exactly one thing that works. Take some eucalyptus oil or pine tree oil, pour some in a bowl with some boiling water, then take a towel, sit down over the bowl and inhale the air with the towel covering you. This is very good at clearing your lungs. Get some eucalyptus or pine tree oil in your house now, don’t wait until you get the pneumonia.

Other than that, I just don’t really have much new to say I’m afraid. Almost all the stuff I’ve written about over the years is pretty mainstream by now. The Unabomber is a meme, the anti-immigration PVV has a quarter of the votes in my country, the COVID vaccination rate is now about half of people who take the flu shot, andsoforth.

The most important thing to remember is probably that the problems we’re dealing with right now can’t be fixed. It’s not just that politicians don’t have the mandate to fix them, it isn’t even that politicians can’t fix them, it’s that they’re no longer fixable.

Most people are now in the bargaining stage. For over twenty years now, Dutch tokkies have complained there are too many brown people in their country. But most Dutch people did not want to be associated with “those people”, so they didn’t vote for any of the tokkie parties. Their concerns generally went ignored. By now 25% of the population has voted for the main tokkie party, with others voting for minor ones (example: FVD), now that people really feel as if they’re with their backs against the wall.

But there isn’t really much to salvage by now, is there? The government isn’t going to shut down labor migration, because we have massive labor shortages for almost every economic sector. EU migrants can’t be kept out without leaving the EU. The population of this country grows by 220,000 people every year. Total number of homes homes built next year, will be 65,000.

In 2022, a total of 15,000 asylum seekers received permission to stay in this country. If you abandon all treaties, you could theoretically bring that number down to zero. That’s going to make no noticeable difference in the foreseeable future. Unless we have a sudden massive spike in mortality among the elderly, the housing shortage is a problem you’ll be dealing with for decades to come.

The whole system had to reach breaking point, before we had a paradigm change. Now the majority of elected representatives want to bring the number of asylum seekers to zero. It required an entire generation just being unable to live on their own and start a family, to achieve this paradigm change. But again, it will take decades to resolve the shortage.

In the meantime, we’ll develop South Korea syndrome: A society where only the rich and upper middle class can afford to reproduce, while the very poor continue reproducing regardless. It’s the working poor who stop. Those upper middle class people tend to seek out bullshit jobs as “managers”, “coaches” and “consultants”, so then you’re stuck importing migrants for decades to come, as otherwise you simply end up with nobody to fix your roof, treat the ill or ride a bus.

These are problem our society brought upon itself. For years the bureaucrats hammered on the idea that 50% of the population needs to be “highly educated”. It’s not hard to see how they arrived at that idea. High IQ people contribute more to society and cause less problems. This is taboo so it can’t be discussed, but highly intelligent people tend to end up highly educated too, so over time “highly educated” became a useful euphemism for highly intelligent.

Policymakers look at this and come to the idiotic conclusion that simply sending more people off to college will improve society, apparently assuming that dumb people will somehow be alchemically transformed through education and start displaying the behavioral patterns of the highly educated intelligent people. This doesn’t happen of course. What does happen is that someone with a degree in video game design will no longer be content to drive a bus and instead feel entitled to a job as a video game designer.

There are plenty of other problems of course. Frankly, there are too many to list. More and more Dutch children are functionally illiterate. Dutch children can’t swim either, because they’re in too poor health.

We can’t build new houses, because the electricity grid can’t handle connecting the houses to the grid. They just sit there, finished, with nobody able to move in. We can’t send people to prison, because we don’t have enough people to staff the prisons. Again, if you studied anthropology in university, you don’t want to guard a prison, because ACAB. But we need prison guards more than anthropologists.

People convicted of prison sentences now just sit at home, waiting to go to prison. This isn’t entirely fair to the prisoners either, if you have a four month sentence and you’re looking for a job, you can’t just go work somewhere for two months and then go to prison for four months, it means your life is on hold until you can start your sentence.

Other problems? No public transport company wants to operate the busses in remote provinces from 2025 onwards. If you live there and can’t drive a car for whatever reason, you’re just stuck. Schools are moving from five days of education to four. Rotterdam had three explosions in one night, as criminals blow up each other’s homes as a threat.

I could go on like this, but the point is that this country has significant problems, whereas the outside world still treats it as if it were some sort of laid back valhallah. And most of these problems aren’t going to be solved. The generation that’s now retired, the boomers, officially had to work until 65 to receive a pension, but generally quit earlier, in their 50’s or 60’s. Many of the women didn’t work at all.

But young people are expected to work until they’re 72, to support an inverting demographic pyramid. If killing old people is not an option, then there’s nothing you can do to fix that inverting demographic pyramid. As I already documented, they couldn’t even import more people into this country if they wanted, for the simple reason that we don’t have houses for them to live in. And importantly, we don’t even have physical space to build those houses, if we wanted to.

I’m not alone in realizing this stuff of course, it’s dawning on more people. The general response is for people to become cynical and self-absorbed. And to some degree I think that’s a healthy normal response. Societal breakdown is beginning and you shouldn’t fool yourself into thinking it could still be stopped.

There isn’t some combination of words someone can say or type, that’s somehow going to make a difference. And equally important, if you were to enter politics and tried to fix this mess, what’s going to happen is that you’re going to carry the blame. People will blame you, because the time bomb everyone was throwing back and forth exploded in your lap.

The better solution is to just stop pretending that things can be solved. I would instead suggest just living with the knowledge that society is breaking down. This means dropping the idea that you’ll retire. It also means not having children.

You live during a pretty interesting era, in which you can enjoy a whole bunch of different stuff. You can simulate World War II on your computer, you can travel to any country on the planet. You could go to Abkhazia today and descend hundreds of meters deep into a cave.

But what you don’t have, is the ability to meaningfully influence the course of events. And yet, the problem is that this is exactly what people desire. Consider all those hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets, imagining that they’re going to stop Israel from bombing Gaza.

They’re completely emotionally invested, in something that’s inevitably not going to go the way they want it to go. This is a recipe for profound misery. The same is ultimately true for climate change activism, the difference being that it affects all of humanity, for centuries to come.

But the more important thing to note is that our entire culture creates a situation where we have the sensation and conviction that we can meaningfully influence the course of global events, without actually having that ability.

The irony is that the system will naturally gravitate towards making everyone feel as if they have control. But in reality, that produces a situation in which nobody has control, thus causing the outcome to become a product of abstract deterministic forces.

This helps stabilize the system, as humans will tend to demand whatever makes them feel in control. Any sort of societal mechanism that doesn’t make people feel in control, will be decried as “undemocratic”. This ultimately leads to systems that make people feel in control, even though they’re still left with no meaningful ability to change events as individuals.

Let me give an example of what I mean. In the 2010 German love parade in Duisberg, 21 people died, when hundreds of thousands had to go through a narrow tunnel. When such a thing happens, the human impulse is to search for a “perpetrator”, someone who did something wrong, that led to this disaster. But the frustrating thing, is that you’re not going to find such a person. Everything that happened is ultimately a logical consequence of the mechanics of crowd behavior.

At first, the blame fell on the idea that people “panicked”. At first the idea was that people were falling off a staircase, trying to escape the crowd. That implies a sense of agency, on the victims: They made a wrong choice in a bad situation. But that turned out not to be the case. The victims died because their ribcages were crushed. They were literally crushed to death.

So then your anger shifts to the people who crushed them. But those people had no choice either. They were being pushed by the people behind them. And those people were being crushed by those behind them. And those people had no idea, people all the way in the front were being crushed to death.

Scientists study this phenomenon in an attempt to stop it from happening. They find that under the densities responsible for this disaster, humans no longer have agency as individuals, but start behaving more like individual particles in a dense fluid. Their behavior becomes physically predictable and their agency as individuals becomes effectively negligible.

The narrative people settled on originally was that of a “mass stampede”, or a “crowd panic”. Both of these terms imply a sense of agency. But there wasn’t really any such true sense of agency. The term for what happened is “crowd turbulence”. It’s human beings turning into a fluid, at sufficient densities, with particles in the back pushing those in front of them forward, until those all the way up front are physically crushed to death.

So then you start looking for agency elsewhere. Well, no justice system is perfect, but after ten years, the court settled on not criminally prosecuting anyone. The conclusion was that “no individual did such a great wrong that ten years of trial were not already enough punishment”.

This is essentially how democracies function. There was exactly nobody in Germany in 2010 who had so much power, that he could be held responsible for this disaster.

Do you blame the organizer? Well, people who set up festivals have experience with hosting parties and playing music. They’re not physicists with an understanding of crowd dynamics that begin to behave like fluids.

Do you blame the police? Well the police warned people to go back through loudspeakers, as the exit was closed off. But people continued moving in. So do you blame those people who were moving in? No, because they had people behind them who were trying to get in. Do you blame the city officials? Well the parade was free, so nobody has any clue how many people will show up.

The more you distribute power, the more likely you’re going to end up with a situation where nobody has any real ability left to steer the course of events. That’s how democracies function. It’s why we constantly end up stumbling into disasters anyone should have been able to anticipate.

It’s not that we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s that there’s nobody out there with the power to pull the emergency break. The catastrophe now first needs to happen, people need to have their ribs crushed, before the consensus changes and the crowd changes its direction.

This is essentially what you see around Western societies today. I can give you a list of some of the problems we’re dealing with:

-Genetic deterioration of the population, as intelligent ethnic groups have fewer children than less intelligent ethnic groups.

-Deterioration of our atmosphere.

-Depletion of natural resources.

-Growth of the global population.

-Credentialism forcing people to go into debt for useless degrees

-Migration of people away from small towns towards overpopulated cities.

-Graying of the population.

-Poor diets leading to an explosion of chronic illness.

Almost everyone is aware of these problems and we know the causes of them. Most of these are theoretically solvable. But no single individual has the sort of concentrated power that allows him to change the outcome of the equation.

And in many cases, democracy just becomes a case of people arguing over which of these problems deserves priority. Is it a bigger problem that we’re changing the atmosphere, or is it a bigger problem that we’re changing the demographic makeup of our country?

To be left with any real feeling of agency, it tends to be inevitable that you just discount about half of the problems I mentioned above. If leftists suddenly accepted that a degree in women’s studies isn’t going to make someone with a 90IQ behave like someone with an IQ of 120, they would end up feeling powerless as a result.

Similarly, if right wingers suddenly accepted that our growing poverty is largely a consequence of geological and material factors we don’t control, like the simple fact that we once had oil spew up from geysers in Texas, but now have to build massive platforms out on the ocean that descend thousands of meters deep, they would be left with the conclusion that there are no easy solutions and thus would feel powerless too.

Instead, people generally tend to arrive at a vision of the world that leaves them convinced they can meaningfully change the course of global events. But what I’m recommending is to just abandon that cognitive framework. There is no substack post, no tweet, no political party you can vote for, there is effectively nothing, that is going to meaningfully change anything. Your better option is to understand how your own mind works and to teach it not to feel attached to any of these problems.

15 Comments

    • Old people can work, and a lot of them would like to work. When my grandmother was about 80 she asked my mom if she could get some sort of job. She didn’t need the money but of course it is nice to have more money. She had only completed 5th grade since she was born to Slavs who had just moved to the U.S., but she was perfectly smart and could have done something like the office job she’d retired from at age 55. But no-one wants to hire an 80 year old.

      I’ve skipped paid employment despite having an advanced degree since it would screw up the health insurance I get through my husband’s job. Every time I’d get any health treatment, there would be a legal battle between his employer and mine concerning which would have to pay, and the delay in paying the bill would send it into collections; that is how it goes here. Plus almost all of the money would go to taxes. To hell with that.

      So there is no shortage of workers even in societies of old people. Of course old people are not the same as young people as workers, but they can do most things reasonably well if accommodations are made. After she broke her arm, my mom hired an aide from “Seniors Helping Seniors”, an agency which specializes in hiring old people to help their fellow old people in their homes.

  1. I’ve also been sick recently with back to back colds, it sucks. According to Dr. Greger, mushrooms can help boost IgA and berries can boost NK cells.

    This post reminds me a lot of this guy’s YouTube channel I used to watch religiously back during my MGTOW phase. His channel name is “AaronClarey” and he’s written great books available on Amazon such as “Enjoy the Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States”, “The Curse of the High IQ” and “Bachelor Pad Economics: The Financial Advice Bible for Men”. So he discusses a lot of the same topics and problems that you post about here, like why having children is probably a bad idea for many people. I’d post links but I don’t want my comment blocked by your website spam filters.

    Also, since we’re approaching Christmas, just thought I’d share an interesting comment I read on Zerohedge:

    “Also interesting to look up mushroom and Christmas. There is a red with white dot mushroom you will now notice in Christmas displays. The area where this link comes from (sounds insane) but they had a seasonal time where reindeer piss was drank (the reindeer eat and process the shrooms). The local shamen would enter the homes on visits and due to the snow the entrance is … on the roof AKA a chimney with the smoke exiting. Check it out online, it’s wild.”

    So the whole phenomenon of Santa Claus and flying Reindeer may have been inspired by Amanita muscaria. Mind = blown.

    Also while on the topic of Xmas here is one of my famous festive songs. The Darkness (along with Green Day) was the first rock band I got into as a kid:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lrVg1toMzuo&pp=ygUbdGhlIGRhcmtuZXNzIGNocmlzdG1hcyB0aW1l

    • > If I were 20 years old today, I would have happily driven that bus or truck instead of trying to pursue some ridiculous academic career.

      As someone who spent nearly 17 years as a telecommunications lineman, doing installation and repair of copper landlines and fiber optic splicing, I can tell you the grass is always greener on the other side. While there are certain perks in so-called “tradesmen” fields of work, there are also many downsides, particularly if working for a corporation, as I did. I eventually longed to work indoors, using my mind, instead of grinding my knees and spine down climbing telephone poles in my old age. But…some certain male types seemed to love it. It just wasn’t for me though.

      > We need more people like this man

      Apropos of nothing but you reminded me of these recent tweet:

      https://twitter.com/thechosenberg/status/1732877590535512561?s=46

  2. Human beings are nought but swirling bubbles in the river of life, and you can quote me on that. Those little bubbles are ephemeral and sometimes they get stomped out of existence. Que sera, sera.

    But I have to say, it’s very puzzling to me that I have never been so healthy as during this “pandemic.”
    I mean, nothing. Not a single germ or strand of RNA has dared to propagate within my body. I’m still surprised because i used to always get something. One year I caught pneumonia twice. It’s nice being bulletproof during a “pandemic.” I must be doing something right. Cigarettes and alcohol? I lift a glass to you. 😁

  3. Pretty good post. Excellent in some ways too. What the world needs, and has needed, and is slowly getting, is more people who listen to those guys with signs that say “The End Is Near” and see the truth of it: that the end is right here.

    Personally, it is incredible to me that people are still bringing children into this world. How can you be more retarded? If you’re going to obey a mechanical instinct to make more things that look like you, won’t you have the fucking common courtesy to wait until our lives have any semblance of goodness, or meaning?

    I get to thinking like this, but I give people too much credit. I put them on my level, assuming they’ve got some active crumb of consciousness somewhere that guides them to see the plainest truths. Hell, I was a zombie too, for a while. And, I’m glad to know, it ultimately had to happen like this: everything rising together so that it could fall together, ensuring no one would ever again doubt in God’s absolute authority, or develop the conceit of self-sufficiency.

    • Ram, perhaps the progeny are the ones to restore goodness and meaning. Maybe you discount their potential. They should have their opportunity to impact the course of events.

  4. The West is controlled by a tiny, tightly networked group of people with overwhelming power, as you yourself observed during covid.

    Their power is limited by their mental retardation sometimes butting heads with the native will to live of the cattle they otherwise effortlessly manipulate, but generally speaking the disasters we actually face (not fake “disasters” like Climate that have been imminent for 30+ years) are designed.

    • >not fake “disasters” like Climate that have been imminent for 30+ years

      Lol. Tell this to farmers in Argentine, where harvests have dropped by 50% from one year to the next.

      Climate change is already collapsing economies worldwide. If you think it’s fake, that merely illustrates how isolated you live from physical reality.

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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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