Friday, September 17, 2021

Renewal



I had an epiphany this week.

I am not quite sure when I turned the corner on this issue.  It has been within the last two weeks.  And I cannot tell you precisely what contributed to it, but I can tell what seemed to contribute to it.  

But I can tell you the moment it happened.

The "what" seems to have been a series of thoughts and readings over the last two weeks, apparently just overlaying each other:  The Benedict OptionLive Not By LiesTaking time away to train with my coach, The Berserker.  Coming to The Ranch, as I have for over a year now.  Visiting with My Dead.  And lastly - just this week, Claire Wolfe's latest post, Our job, should we choose to accept it...  It is, apparently, dangerous to read things and think about them at length.

The When?  6:30 PM, more or less, on the Wednesday past.

The Why?  Because the writing of the past two weeks reached a crescendo that manifested itself in Claire's post.

Quoting from the post:

"Last week, I wrote that freedomistas had just two jobs to do in our new totalitarian society: live with the ugly reality and plan to outlive it.

The catch, of course, is that neither of the two jobs is simple or easy.

Part of those jobs involves developing parallel systems, or even parallel societies as described in “How to Escape a Sick Society.” We need, as human beings and as a culture, to “route around” the damage of totalitarianism. By routing around, we accomplish multiple good things, from weakening the power of the oligarchy to giving dissidents a way to live and thrive to (potentially) replacing the oligarchy without bloodshed when the day comes.

Really we won’t end up with one, or even two or three, parallel societies, but thousands of them."

All of a sudden I realized what I had been missing, what has been a drag on my thoughts and emotions for months now, maybe even years:  I have been fighting a rearguard action.

It is not, I think, a secret that on the whole I despair of society in its current form and where it seems to be headed - and I am not the only one, not by far.  But what hit me as a bolt of lightning is that both sides of that argument - what society seems to be becoming and those that oppose it - are looking back both back into a past that no longer exists and will not come again and a future that has nothing under it except hopes and wishes and checks that cannot be cashed.

What they are both missing - what I have been missing - in the concept and idea of building something new.

The underlying thoughts that motivated all those posts above as I wrote them were one of two things:  either acknowledging that what is being done is not working and building something - whether societal or in my own life - that will be a way to manage, cope, and thrive under such conditions as well as hopefully endure.

The past?  It matters.  Roots matter.  The great thoughts of the past matter.  History matters.  But trying to build on past systems that have effectively failed of their vision leads nowhere, even if it seems like an point of view or ideology is "winning".  The forward motion that is present is the declining power of inertia; given enough time, "winning" will itself turn into a rearguard action.

Ah, but to build!  To create!  To manufacture systems and ways of connecting and conducting life - preserving all that is good of the past but not hemming our lives in solely by it - this is forward looking, this is taking action.

This is hope.  This is life.

By mostly dumb luck (and their graciousness), I have learned to follow some amazing bloggers.  Go follow Leigh and Dan, or Dawn McHugh, or Rain, or Patrice Lewis, or my friend (and official optimist of The FortyFive), Ed.  They are all in the process of building things (they might not define themselves as totally doing that in the way I am thinking of, but I will go ahead and just define it for them as that is what they are doing...).  They experiment.  They build networks around their experiments.  They share information.  

In some small fashion, they provide hope.

This is not meant to say that there is some sort of naïve optimism at work here - indeed, in some ways things seem  darker than ever.  But rather than curse the darkness, in their own way all of them (as well as Claire) have chosen to light a candle.

Can you remember a time when you became really excited about doing something?  Do you remember the energy and optimism you felt, how you were awake at night thinking about it and up early anticipating it?  Yes, that feeling.  That is what suddenly hit me at 6:30 in the evening on Wednesday night.

There is a life to build.  There is a society or series of societies to build.  In a way, it is like actually getting to play the Old "Now Available for the Macintosh" version of Sid Meier's Civilization or any of the "Build Your Own" cities/zoos/rollercoaster games.  Except this time, it is for real.  What could be more exciting than that?

I took an evening walk after all of this hit me.  The evening was cooler, cooler than it had been all week, cooler than it has been since April.  And yet, the world seemed on fire like it had not been in years.

Go light a candle.  Go be a raging fire.

21 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:37 AM

    Indeed. We are the Men Among the Ruins. There is Glory among the ruins. I enjoy your blog.
    - Thomas Rosser

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    1. Thomas - Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and I am grateful that it adds something to your life.

      There is glory among ruins. They can remind of us the greatness of what was achieved in the past, and what could be achieved again.

      If of interest - perhaps you have already read it - I actually posted a bit specifically on ruins last year: https://thefortyfive.blogspot.com/2020/11/ruins.html.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. Excellent post. I think there has to be a mourning for what is past, and then you can look forward to the future. Incomplete mourning gets carried further into the future and can taint it. That's my personal experience.

    The last half of 21 has been mourning for me. My plans have changed, life has been a series of turns into areas I'd actively sought to avoid or not contemplated. Coming to terms with that has been harsh and unrelenting....

    But there is light on the horizon, like a sunrise. And a post like this brings a fresh perspective. Thanks TB.

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    1. Thank you STxAR

      Somewhere on the archives, there is a meme that states "Your new life is going to cost you your old one". When I saw that, it suddenly made sense to me - and made me sad. I have always been one who believed you could hold on to both the past and and the future. One can, but not in the way that I thought about it: By letting it go, we hold on to it, either by memory or life lessons or selected activities that carry through. But we cannot carry it forward in its completeness.

      You have had some of the most wracking changes of anyone I know in the past year. As you say, coming to the realization that things are what they are is hard and requires a grace and realism that most do not possess. You have done it with both, and done it well. I am confident, not only in your abilities to handle it, but that He who brought you to this place will bring you through it.

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  3. I've been doing some rethinking of what I write, and for the same reasons (Claire) – your epiphany gave me some clarity, too. Thanks!

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    1. Warren - Thank you so much for the comment, and you are so very welcome! I find that Claire - and good writers like her - give me the ability to wrestle with and think about things in a way that challenges me but does not condemn my thought processes. I find that, for myself, that is key. But it is a long process - those two weeks of writings listed above were preceded by (I think) a year or more of thinking and life changes.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Please provide a ref or link to below. Thanks. - Keith

    “How to Escape a Sick Society.”

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    1. Ah Keith, my apologies for the oversight. I really should have anticipated it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeliRVZ4V00

      It is about 12 minutes, but worth your time.

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  5. At least you’re all beginning to see the threat. That’s something, I suppose.

    But for gawdsakes, don’t go lighting fires. You still have to come to grips with the people against you. You perceive the threat, but most of you (we dissidents call you normies) - don’t understand the people behind it. At all.

    Historically these guys come out of nowhere. When they finally get revved up and rolling - they kill hundreds of thousands, millions, or even tens of millions as in the case of the Chinese. Entire villages, cities and provinces got burned out. They are expert at turning friends into informants and adversaries. And they are absolutely ruthless with people that oppose them. Or with people they suspect are against them. They hate you. The only reason they haven’t tried to kill you and take your stuff is because there are still vestigial remnants of Old America around that will kill them right back if they try. Most of you won’t see this as you are insulated from it by your wealth, or your community or your faith.

    They are building a new Utopia where you don’t matter, where you will be seen as a criminal or a pariah. They are already making a society to run it: point and shriek, accuse and convict, apply the label and cancel. Every single one of you is guilty too: homophobia, sexism and misogyny, racism, bigotry, patriarchy… Christianity…

    Do you think these guys are going to sit around while you try to set the new world order on fire? This kind of thing is coming to your neighborhood and your people. It may already be there.

    I no longer care, I’ve resigned myself to what’s coming. I was raised by those people, I know how they think, I know what they can do. It would really be better for everyone to grab some courage stand up to them now and get it over with, delaying will only make them stronger and raise the inevitable body counts. But I know how this works. There are none so blind as those that refuse to see. I say that last from experience.

    But whadda I know? Our fates are up to Darwin and Murphy now, and I strongly doubt God is going to be involved in what’s coming.

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    1. "In the grim darkness of the Far Future, there is only War" - Warhammer 40K

      Glen, I do not unnecessarily disagree with your assessment of the people that want to remake society. But what I think your assessment leaves out is a lot of people in the middle, whom are neither for one side or for another, but are just trying to make a living and get by in the world. They are not intensely political or religious in all cases. What does the future of "with us or with them" offer them?

      Listen to the rhetoric put out by people (not arguing you are one of them) in the "This is it" camp: Mountains of Blood and Rivers of Skulls (yes, I know I reversed them). Great pain and suffering. Victory or Doom.

      If one was on the edge, is that the sort of thing that is going to attract and build a coalition? Or the sort of thing that will guarantee that people choose sides?

      Society is intensely complex and interwoven now, and even if - through economic malaise or governmental management or just plain war - we somehow hold on to shreds of a functional society, we will not be able to do it alone or even in small isolated groups. Yes, one can survive that way but one cannot rebuild that way.

      My fear - my genuine fear - is that people will try and "take action" and by taking that action, will bring down upon everyone's heads the very thing that they fear. And then, there truly will be no options.

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    2. I absolutely understand the guy in the middle TB. In better times I was one myself. And I would ask you to be patient and not write me off as a reactionary hot head; there is a cultural gap between us at the least, I have had exposure to these people that you have not (and I pray you never will). In addition, you have focused your studies inward along with your peers hoping to make yourselves stronger and wiser for the coming times. I have focused mine on them - what are their weaknesses? What are their strengths? What makes them tick? Is there room to compromise any more or anywhere with them? For me to start prattling about dissident conservatism and traditionalism would be impossible because you don’t have the foundation to appreciate it - and then we’d probably still disagree on minutiae and details as even friends do.

      Claire is wise and clear headed and is a valuable resource. I offer up The Z Man in return, and maybe (with a few reservations) Mencius Moldbug. As a matter of fact, Z has a timely podcast up at his site about how your virtues are being used against you. Now that I think of it, I maybe should balance my studies of the human animal from a more introverted level as you have - in the interests of balance.

      Then there is the difference between us on how to meet our fate and our enemies. If you want to keep your heads down, resist as little as possible and hope it blows over, I can respect that. Historically though, that’s not the way these things work. If they come to power unopposed as you advocate they will deal with guys like me first. I am good with that, I only ask my Maker to let me take a few with me and to die well. When we are out of the way… they will come after guys like you. In the modern age when these genocides ramp up - the vast majority of victims are innocents. Women, kids, the elderly. I would hate to fall from this world without raising a hand against the people destroying it.

      The good news is once they’re done that… they turn on each other. History seldom repeats but it often rhymes. Best of luck to ya, TB. The future at this point, is a crapshoot.

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    3. The actions taken to get the ball rolling were taken long ago. If it's any consolation - the vast majority of them were not taken by guys like us.

      I would ask that you not write me off as a hotheaded reactionary, TB. I have been exposed to these guys in ways you have not (and I pray you never will). There is a culture gap between those that get mugged by reality and those that stub their toe on it. I used to be the guy in the middle - puttering round the house, in the garden or in the shop. I strive to be that man again, where the world can go straight to hell because I am happy and intend to stay that way. But... you know my story. I am not going to start anything, nor will I probably end anything. But by God Almighty, I will not shirk or waver. I will do what is right, as much as I can.

      You have introverted your efforts on meeting the future whereas I have extroverted mine. Claire is thoughtful and clear headed. I offer up the Z Man and (with possibly some reservations) Mencius Moldbug. Z has a timely podcast up right now about how our virtues are turned against us - and I think I see elements of that with both you and Claire. Not only are they inside our churches, worse, they are inside our decision loop. By the time we start reacting to what they've done - they are already attacking from another angle with different methods. In the interests of balance, folks like Claire are welcome sources.

      Then there are philosophical differences too. When these guys ramp up and the genocides start - historically the vast majority of victims are innocents. Women, kids, and elderly that were in the wrong place at the wrong time, killed because they were there and a handy way to make a political point. they kept their heads down, didn't want to get involved, and just wanted to be around once it blew over. I would hate to fall from this earth like that, not having raised a hand or voice against those destroying it.

      I liked the wisdom of Warhammer so I will throw one geekly nugget back at ya: "Innocence Is No Excuse".

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    4. Glen - I would never write you off. These interactions are how we - and the larger blogosphere - discuss things and learn and hopefully, unlike those that practice totalitarianism, can exchange ideas and think. Because we can talk about things.

      I have read Z-Man from time to time and have been recommended Mencius Moldbug. I have listened to a few Z-man podcasts and find that they are well put together and logical (and will take the recommendation).

      I suppose the difference is how to meet our fate.

      What I, at least, am trying to avoid, is something like what happened it what benignly became referred to as The Highland Clearances, where after going out in a blaze of glory, the Highland Gaelic Culture was essentially almost erased to ground. The cultural extermination was almost complete - as were the lives of thousands of men (primarily) who could have been engaged in preserving and building the culture. Instead, their actions in The Jacobite Wars gave the English crown all the reason and justification to extirpate them and all they stood for.

      You can see this even now. If one recalls correctly, there was supposed to be some kind of protest today that everyone has raised fears of earlier events of this year. Arguably from what I have seen, virtually every reputable personage and even some disreputable ones are suggesting people stay away. Why? Because it will solve nothing and only justify further actions (as in the case of re-fortifying the Capitol).

      I would submit two items. The first, is that they are already turning on each other. Witness the ongoing budget negotiations. Every day something is not resolved, it becomes less likely it will resolved in its current form and fashion. Witness the "ideological purity" tests now given to their own ranks.

      The other thing is that frankly, the system is starting to collapse. I think is fair to say between economic disruptions due to The Plague, people deciding they want a different life, people rejecting medical pre-conditions to keep their jobs, and the ongoing poor handling of the economy by The Current Occupant, the center is already not holding. Yes, totalitarianism thrives in chaos - but it also marches on its feet with food and medical care and provisions. The US Dollar, at any rate, is already toast. The whole thing is in some ways - at least where I sit - starting to come apart at the seams.

      The interesting thing, I suppose, is no matter how the crap shoot ends, it will be an interesting ride.

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    5. Sorry for that double post! I have an Ipad that is drivin me. Delete one of them if you wish, they are a double post.

      You are taking certain liberties with your history as well. The Highlanders were done the second their patriarchs abandoned their responsibilities to their clans and thought of themselves instead as commercial landowners. As I recall, a clansman had inalienable rights to rent land anywhere in clan territory - and when that right was abandoned - it set the stage for all the abuses to follow. We are seeing ever more assaults on our "inalienable" rights today - perpetrated by a collection of queers, vibrants, and degenerates backed by money. People starved and were run off their property - how do you propose to coexist with the modern day descendants of those scoundrels?

      I agree that the current crop of scoundrels will self-destruct... after how many historical monuments and landmarks are torn down? After how many rights and freedoms are allowed to fall by the wayside? After how many churches are pozzed and fail? After how many kids are indoctrinated? After how much of our history has been 'revised'?

      I agree there is a power vacuum going on. Our leaders on both sides are corrupt, weak, perverted and degenerate. Inevitably a strong man will rise and sweep them aside for the trash and dross they are. We might want to take an active role in having a say on who that is and start moving in that direction now. It's just my opinion, but I think it is the height of foolishness to assume things will get better and that they will work out that way of their own accord.

      I am not saying we should get on our horses and ride down to Washington or Ottawa and burn the place down... but we seriously need to start affirming our rights and standing together on them or we will hang separately. We are seeing that nowadays too.

      None of this is to slag you, TB, I respect your philosophy and if it works for you so be it. I am not afraid to hang first, so if you'll be so kind? Age before beauty...!

      Hope you're having a great weekend.

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    6. Glen - Agreed my version is a simplification, but without the effective wholesale destruction of the Highland Culture and the wholesale incorporation of it into the English System - including its land tenure system - the Lairds would have perhaps had less incentive to lend out their land to sheep instead of people. The rent culture you refer to was enabled by that system, until the "enlightened" helped to change it (not to argue it was a good system by any means, but just because something is not a good system does not necessarily argue for razing it to the ground).

      And I do not disagree with you that we should take an active role, as Nature (and politics) abhors a vacuum. Where we seem to be viewing things is where that active role should be taken. You see it as strengthening and improving the system that exists (I am in no wise argue you are saying this is "the best" we can do). I am questioning if that system is done and at some point irredeemable.

      I am not - or at least I do not intend that suggest - that things will work out better of their own accord. I am trying, perhaps poorly, to argue that things will never work out on their own accord given what things are now, and we are best off it we figure out new ways to build them.

      No slagging suggested or intended! And thanks ever so much for your kind offer, although sadly the only beauty to be found around here is not me.

      I know you have written how Autumn is coming. Still burning hot here.

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  6. My build progress seems to go in stages. I get pumped up with an idea and whip through the planning stage. Then comes a period of procrastination where I just put it off knowing how consuming of a project it will be. Eventually I start and get an immediate burst of energy seeing my designs take form off of paper. That will eventually ebb until I reach of state of wondering why the hell I bit off such a big bite that I now have to slowly chew up and swallow. Eventually though I get to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and finish things followed by a tremendous sense of accomplishment and then a week or so of shear idleness to recuperate before the next big idea comes along. These things happen as surely as seasons and tides do.

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    1. Ed - That sounds a great deal like how I tend to do things.

      I am trying to improve my overall addressing of and management of my "project cycles" by applying some of my recent gained project management skills (Thanks, unexpected career change!). I am certainly nowhere near "there" yet, but am reaching the point that I am starting to writing down something of a plan but then do more of a "work breakdown structure" and task check off list.

      One thing I have not yet mastered is keeping that enthusiasm going. For me at least, the key seems to be finding ways to stay engaged that are not the original reason I got engaged in the activity so I continue to find other ways to do and/or apply it.

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  7. Anonymous5:32 PM

    Thank you for another thoughtful post. I am in a similar place.

    KA

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    1. KA - You are so very welcome.

      I wonder - and it is only idle speculation - if a great many people are going through a similar sort of thought exercise due to the fact that we find ourselves in a situation overall which is nothing like what we have experienced in our lifetimes. I supposed that all civilizations hit this point sometime, where the old systems and manners of thinking do not quite work and the new ones are not quite developed because we do not know what they will be. But there is just this overwhelming sense that things are not working, and that one needs to find a way to work through them - even if that means building something completely new.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Anonymous5:50 AM

    TB: "Ah, but to build! To create! To manufacture systems and ways of connecting and conducting life ..."

    I read this, and saw Jesus jumping and waving and saying: "Here I am!"

    -Keith

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    1. Keith - The Ultimate Creator, of course. Among the many things I think that the modern Church should be decried for, it is the fact that we have de-emphasized this creative nature of God and Christ. We (humans) are the great creators now, figuring out how to do things better and faster (and in some cases, determining what modes and methods are okay to "create" in, and what are to be discouraged).

      God, who invented the Galaxy and therefore understands everything about physics, biology, chemistry, and literally anything else, must often wonder about our conceit.

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