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Tue, 26 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit


The Internet is a brain with schizophrenia

brain tornado painting
© Alex Rommel
Right and left as neural net

There's been a lot of discussion recently over the principle of NETTR - No Enemies To The Right. This is an idea that has been kicking around in right wing circles for about a decade now, originating with the observation that Western political discourse has for generations been characterized by a fundamental asymmetry: the centre-left typically does not criticize the radical left on moral grounds, framing their excesses as originating from well-meaning enthusiasm, whereas the centre-right actively distances itself from the right's own radical fringe on moral grounds, describing them as a Nazis, fascists, racists, or what have you, and insisting that 'we're not like those bad people.' The result has been the steady left-ward drift of the ship of culture, within which the acceptable bounds of political discourse are, at any given time, bounded by the centre-right and the radical left, with the centre continuously getting pulled towards the left.

Thus, the dissident right reasoned, the right should adopt the same principle: tactical critiques are fine, but never criticize those to your right on moral grounds. In other words, it's legitimate to say 'don't do that, it's stupid', but it is illegitimate to say 'don't believe that, it's too right-wing and that means you're a bad person'.

Better Earth

The 'White Man's Burden': Western liberalism as the new imperialism

© Unknown
The poem "The White Man's Burden" by Rudyard Kipling has always been a subject of intense scrutiny, debate, and criticism. Crafted at the threshold of the twentieth century, it extols the Western man's responsibility to civilize and govern the "new-caught sullen peoples" of the colonized territories. Yet, to understand it within the contours of the present world, one must venture into the heart of Eurasianist thought.

In the twenty-first century, with the West's perpetual quest to promulgate its values, Kipling's call resonates anew — not with the clangor of colonial chains but with the more nuanced and seductive chords of liberalism. From the vantage of Eurasianism, the West's desire to impart its liberal-democratic model to the rest of the world is not merely a benign endeavor. Rather, it is the newest iteration of a deep-rooted and persistent form of racism and imperialism.

At the surface, "The White Man's Burden" was a moral justification for imperialism — a call for the Western powers to take up the duty of civilizing the "savage" nations. Today, instead of direct colonial control, Western liberalism wields influence via soft power. Media, culture, "international law," economic pressure, and even military operations are all used to further the creed of liberalism. But beneath these methods lies the same assumption that was present during the heydays of colonialism: the belief that the West possesses a "better" civilization, morality, and worldview, and it is its duty to bring the "benighted" non-Westerners into this fold.

Red Pill

To err Is human... but not for me

venn diagram cognitive bias
Bringing order to the cognitive biases of the natural worldview

Ponerology is about how human nature goes wrong. As rough categories, Lobaczewski divides humanity into two broad groups: normal (around 90% of the population) and ponerogenic/psychopathological (10%, give or take).1 Of course, the boundaries between the two are fuzzy, the one shading imperceptibly over into the other, until the difference becomes so obvious that we see why we have the categories in the first place.2 This is the realm of the dangerous personality disorders — highly heritable constellations of cognitive-affective-behavioral dysfunction.

But this post will not be on that 10%. Rather it will be on the problems with the 90%: the features of normal humanity that when out of control edge over into psychopathology, and which contribute to ponerogenesis. Lobaczewski lists a few of these problem areas: the "egotism of the natural worldview," conversive/dissociative thinking, and moralizing about psychobiology.3


It's time the West admitted free speech is dead

© Unknown
Finland sunrise
We are making terrible sacrifices in a futile attempt to safeguard every characteristic under the sun...

Christianity is under attack, from China to Pakistan, but I want to consider a case closer to home to emphasise that religious liberty is vulnerable even where we complacently assume it is part of the culture. Let's visit Finland.

Päivi Räsänen is a doctor, longstanding MP and former interior minister. In 2019, police opened an investigation into her for "incitement against a minority". The accusation is based upon a tweet in which she asked why the Lutheran Church sponsored a Pride event; a debate in which she said God intends us to be straight; and a booklet she authored nearly 20 years ago that argued homosexuality is a developmental disorder.

The Finnish police concluded that no crime had been committed, but the prosecutor-general decided to charge her anyway. In 2022, Räsänen went to court: three judges, no jury, no witnesses and not even a victim to say they took offence. The judges decided in Räsänen's favour; the prosecutor, who won't take no for an answer, simply brought the case back via appeal. The second trial wrapped up last week, and if Räsänen is found guilty, she could technically face jail, though the prosecutor has opted for a fine.

According to Paul Coleman, the executive director of ADF International, a religious advocacy group that threw its weight behind Räsänen, the prosecutor opened by insisting that this case is not about theology: you can quote the Bible as much as you like, the issue is how you interpret it, and Räsänen had done so in such a way that caused harm.

Life Preserver

Cancel culture is losing to small-town values

Cancel Culture
© Greg Groesch/ The Washington Times
Cancel Culture
Growing up in LaSalle, Colorado, I learned lessons that seem to be universally taught to those raised in America's small towns.

My tough single mom made sure I knew the commonsense concepts of decency, courtesy and respect. Mind your manners, be a gentleman, be slow to anger, seek the truth, and stand up to bullies.

In the fight against cancel culture, conservatives have finally found their voice against the bullies. For too long, we sat back as the radical left found any excuse to cancel anyone who remotely supported or adopted conservative ideals. In the wake of Bud Light and Jason Aldean, it seems we have turned the corner.

Now, conservatives are boycotting beer and tanking stock prices, they're driving country music ratings up on the billboard charts, they're propelling the careers of local musicians who highlight their values, and now Elon Musk is attempting to give those who have been penalized by the Democrats' war on conservative values an opportunity to fight back.

Yet at the heart of this change we've seen in society this summer, I have recognized why the shift feels so familiar to me. It's not only because conservatives are driving the change; it's the folks in the small towns.

Comment: That is why they call it 'the heartland'.


I've studied more than 5,000 near death experiences. My research has convinced me without a doubt that there's life after death

Churchill Hospital operation
© Reuters
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Jeffrey Long. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Thirty-seven years ago I was an oncologist resident, learning about how best to treat cancer using radiation. These were the pre-internet days, so I did my research in the library. One day, I was flipping through a large volume of the Journal of the American Medical Association when I came across an article describing near-death experiences.

It stopped me in my tracks. All my medical training told me you were either alive or dead. There was no in-between. But suddenly, I was reading from a cardiologist describing patients who had died and then came back to life, reporting very distinct, almost unbelievable experiences.

From that moment, I was fascinated with near-death experiences or NDEs. I define a near-death experience as someone who is either comatose or clinically dead, without a heartbeat, having a lucid experience where they see, hear, feel emotions, and interact with other beings. Learning more about these experiences has fundamentally changed my view of the universe.


My Journey From Illness And Despair Towards Truth And God

man peace summit
© Reed Geiger / unsplash.com
An awakening

Whether religious or not, I think many readers here will relate to some of these experiences.

In 2014 I was working for a UK organization which adjudicates financial disputes. The work was interesting, but the organization was going through a structural change which made no sense. Our work began to be micro-managed and woke ideology started creeping into the office.

That same year, I collapsed and was very ill from a major bleed due to a duodenal ulcer. It wasn't really what is known as a near-death experience (NDA) but during my recovery I felt different spiritually and used the time to reflect on life. Before I hadn't embraced any one religion but was always open-minded.

In 2017, under a new tyrannical manager, for the first time I pushed back. I documented the bullying and told the organization to leave me alone to do my job. They agreed and, overnight, my stress disappeared and a confidence I'd never had helped me to become a trade union representative, join the organization's Christian Fellowship and even the Muslim Book Club.

I was always interested in geopolitics and history and attended some outside work events discussing the war on Syria and the part played by the Western media in distorting the truth in successive wars. After my first event, I sensed a cloud lift and a feeling of vindication of my views. I felt destined to write about it all. I published many articles in independent media about Syria, religion, the mainstream media and mental health.

Meanwhile, at work the toxicity increased and while I was coping better, I was relieved to be offered voluntary redundancy to pursue my further research and writing.

After a year's 'honeymoon period' of feeling liberated from the control freaks, the 'pandemic' landed. I could see instantly the lockdowns and other measures made no sense, so I researched hard, particularly around the globalists, their secret societies and malign influence on world events. To my horror I realized the world was in the grip of a coup.


Religious liberty in the United States: An inalienable right

relig symbols
© Unknown
World religious symbols
Religious liberty is among the very foundations of American freedom, and our government must not target or discriminate against religious faiths or those who practice them.

No freedom may be more central or important to the human spirit and condition than freedom of religion and conscience — and none may be more dangerous to limit. Religious liberty is the ability to believe and practice one's religious faith, or to practice none at all, free from governmental interference.

As former FIRE president David French writes in FIRE's Guide to Religious Liberty on Campus: "America is a nation, that, from its founding, has proclaimed the rights of religious liberty and religious diversity." As David emphasizes, for James Madison and his fellow Founders, "religious liberty was an inalienable right."

The first sixteen words of the Bill of Rights contain the two religious liberty clauses of the First Amendment: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. The first 10 words of the First Amendment collectively comprise the Establishment Clause — "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The next six words — "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" — comprise the Free Exercise Clause.

Heart - Black

The cruelty of Canada's euthanasia policy

eye contact
© unherd.com
Its liberal Maid programme has been turned into a political weapon...

With uncharacteristic humility, I would concede that a few positions I've argued fiercely in print might be viable on paper, but in practice are a disaster. The "war on drugs" being a fiasco, years ago I advocated the legalisation of recreational pharmaceuticals. But given the dirty, dangerous, dismal tent cities full of addicts in LA, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland — which have all effectively decriminalised drug possession — it may be fortunate that glib journalists like me don't control public policy.

I've likewise argued for legalised assisted dying. After all, nobody asked us if we wanted to be here (a favourite headline: "Woman Sues for Being Born"); the least we might expect is help leaving the building. Why should living be an obligation? While the strongest candidates for a gentle, legal assisted death are patients with agonising terminal illnesses, any respectable libertarian would maintain that outfits such as Dignitas in Switzerland simply provide a service, of which consumers in any medical condition should be free to avail themselves. And for lack of a better word, I'm a libertarian.

I gained an appreciation for how being alive could simply fail a clinical cost-benefit analysis in the summer of 2020. For five days, I was in such blinding pain from a nerve in my spine that I awoke each morning screaming at my poor husband: "I would rather be dead!" I wasn't being histrionic. Well, okay, I was — but I was also brutally sincere. Had remaining alive been conditioned on such intense and unrelenting suffering forever more, for the first time I could see a persuasive case for calling it quits. During the blackest periods of those days, on which I took half an hour to descend a single flight of stairs, I was incapable of pleasure, humour, or love. The sole thought in my head was that I would do anything to get the pain to stop.


The collapse will be mental

grandfather clock collection antique radios
And so will be our way out

When looking at history to understand its lessons and discern where we are coming from, there are, broadly speaking, two competing schools of thought: one sees history as the product of mind, that is, what people thought and were up to. This is called idealism, and it is decisively out of fashion.

The other sees history as the result of material pressures, such as economic developments or natural and other external conditions. It is called materialism, and it is what we are all conditioned to believe in these days.

To claim that material conditions play no role in human affairs — and therefore history — would be absurd, obviously. But ever since sociology, Marx, and the so-called "social sciences" came on the scene in the 19th century, we have forgotten that at the end of the day, humans do stuff because, well, they think about doing it first; they find reasons to do so based on their world views, priorities, and ways of thinking.