Three Words You Must Remember

entropy

The statement I’ll be making today is simple… very simple. Nonetheless, I think it’s of tremendous importance. It’s the type of thing that, if kept sufficiently in mind, can slowly revise your mental universe.

It’s also the type of thing that makes me want to write, “Repeat this every morning, noon, and night for at least one month, then meditate on it for a few years.” And I’m not entirely unserious about this; I think that would be an immensely valuable thing for you to do.

This concept can not only revamp you, but could revamp humanity. And because I believe the three words to be true, I’m convinced that their effects would be almost entirely beneficial.

So, here are those three words:

Life reverses entropy.

If that sounds too simple or not entirely clear, no problem; I’ll continue. (You can find lengthier discourses in the subscription letter, especially in issues #39 and #79.)

Entropy Versus Life

Entropy (a physics term with sometimes complex definitions) is the nature of all inanimate things: rocks, water, air, and so on. These all wind down and wear out eventually. Given enough millennia, the winds and rains will wear down the mountains. Given a few billion years, the sun itself will wear out and collapse, ending our winds and rains with it.

Entropy breaks up concentrations of things; it spreads them out till they are all dispersed and everything is a huge, neutral, homogeneous mass… a useless mass.

All inanimate things eventually wind down and wear out. By themselves, they remain tied to entropy.

Living things, on the other hand, reverse entropy.

A fruit tree, for example, takes in the gasses from our atmosphere, light from the sun, minerals and water from the ground. Then it organizes, concentrates, and harmonizes them… and produces oranges, apples, etc.

The same can be said for all living things. All of them take material from the entropic, inanimate world and concentrate it, making it useful. This is what life does. And more so than the “characteristics of life” that I was forced to memorize and repeat in school, this is the nature of life. And truth be told, I think it should be taught as the central characteristic of life:

Life itself, whatever it may be, is recognized by its reversing of entropy.

Mere matter does not organize itself((There is the apparent exception of certain crystals that seem to “grow.” Properly, however, they accrete, rather than grow.)). Life, on the other hand, continues itself by concentrating, organizing, and productively using mere matter.

Plants and animals reverse entropy very effectively. Each, however, is able to reverse entropy in certain ways, but not others. Mankind is the great exception; we can reverse entropy willfully. We choose how we will reverse entropy, and we can choose more and newer ways seemingly without end… or we can evade such choices.

In this way the old idea of mankind being superior to the beasts is entirely correct; there is nothing on this planet that is remotely like us. We really are the “crown of creation.”

Back to the Three Words

If all of this is true or even just substantially true, there are huge implications:

  • If life is the thing that lies at the center of usefulness and survival (entropy would eventually erase all usefulness and survival), then the function, growth, and positive evolution of life, especially of human life, is a cardinal value… the cardinal value.

  • And if this is so, the restraint of life must be considered a cardinal offense.

  • The subjugation of life and its actions to mere rules – whether sold as “the wisdom of the ancients,” “the voice of the people,” or whatever – becomes a mass transgression against the functions of life and thus a transgression against both survival and thriving.

If the three words are true – or anywhere close to true – a great many things are opened to being questioned, and thus to improvement.

This is a deep rabbit hole. If we take the unimpeded functioning of life as a central value, our examinations of the world will change.

I think this is a concept worth holding in your mind and worth using as a touchstone for further examinations.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Politics Is Poison

poison

Let’s be honest about something we see nonstop but seldom appreciate: Politics makes life ugly. Politics turns people you disagree with into twisted, cartoon images of what they really are, and it pushes you into degrading and hating them. In short, it’s vile, corrosive, and hate-filled.

These things are not “necessary evils”; they’re just evil.

We’ve been programmed to believe that politics is how we rule ourselves… that politics is what saves us from tyranny… that our political system is the necessary and ultimate end of human civilization.

All of that is false, and future generations will either laugh at such thoughts, shake their heads in disbelief, or perhaps cry. As they should. All of it is propaganda, benefitting an abusive elite. Whether or not we learned it from beloved parents or even taught it to our children, it was false and it led us toward darkness.

Politics functions on the fearful, the dangerous, and the negative. When it says, “We’re great,” it means, “We’re above everyone else.” Everything is win-lose, everything is dominance and submission, everything revolves around base instincts. Politics erodes our character.

I’m here to tell you that we can do better… much better.

Turning Away from the Good

I was hard struck by these lines from G.K. Chesterton when I first read them, and I’m convinced there’s something very important in them:

Every one of the great revolutionists, from Isaiah to Shelley, have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness.

“Yeah, yeah,” go the responses to such thoughts. “Nice sentiments, but I’m looking at a cold, dangerous world.”

No… you’re looking at the world through politically colored glasses. All you can see through them are dark, ominous, and threatening things. A thousand decent and peaceful people cross your field of view every day. But you don’t see them; you see only the handful who act stupidly.

Chesterton was right; Isaiah was right; Shelley was right: Life can be so much better than it is now. And getting there would involve an easier path than the one we’re currently trudging. But we have to look for it.

Understand, please: We never think of building life around good things. Rather, modern life – political life – is built entirely around cultivated fears. The Russians might bomb us, terrorists might blow up the Sears Tower, China may overtake us, the roads are crumbling, and so on… with never an end.

Not only is this degrading, but it drags us away from what’s good and beautiful. We have limited time, after all.

We crawl out of bed in the morning and most of us will very shortly turn on a TV (where the worst things that happened overnight will be displayed), turn on a radio (where the other side’s political stupidity will be examined at length), or run to Facebook (where our friends will be making fun of the degenerates who disagree with us).

And so begin our days. When we’re not busy with work, we’ll worry about our kids (after all, there are a hundred million predators out there), or we’ll worry about money (everyone else seems to have more), or we’ll worry about getting sick (a terrifying new disease is promoted each year). And we’ll finish our day with more of the same.

All is dark, all is frightful, all is threat… because that’s what works to squeeze more out of us… every day until we die. It keeps our minds ever focused on evil, spending almost no time on the good. In fact, good things are to be avoided. They might pull us away from the obligatory stream of threats… and whether real or imaginary makes no difference.

Life Can Be Beautiful

The vast majority of people don’t think life can be beautiful or at least can’t be beautiful unless they have a huge pile of money to go along with it. And so, they never expect life to be wonderful and never even try to see it. But if they did ever try, they’d find out that life can be beautiful.

Perfectly beautiful? No, of course not. But being less than 100% doesn’t make it zero… unless you’re fixated on making it zero.

And why wouldn’t we want life to be beautiful? Is hanging on to our dismal mindscape really that important?

People have lived non-political, peaceful, and happy lives; we have it, clearly, in the archaeological record. Were they all supermen? Were they all saints? No, of course not. But they weren’t fixated on the dreadful, the ugly, and the hateful.

We could do the same – and certainly much more – if we stopped drinking the poison of politics.

Is it entirely that simple? No, it’s not, but that accounts for a whole lot of it… and we’ll never get to the rest if we can’t put down the bottle.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Hustled Through Life

Hustled

Most people, sad to say, are too rushed, frightened, and confused to think about what they really want out of life. They are hustled through school, forced into long-term decisions before they’re ready to face them, then held to those decisions by fear and shame. They choose from a limited set of options, and they know that change will be punished.

Eventually they get old and find time to think, but by then they can’t bear to question too deeply; that would jeopardize their self-worth, and they haven’t time to rebuild it.

For an intelligent, creative, and expansive species like ours, this rush to nowhere is among the greatest of evils. And yet it continues, mostly unquestioned. At no point in the usual Western life do we stop, take some serious time for ourselves, and think about the overall:

  • What’s life about anyway? What’s the point of what we do?

  • What’s the purpose of a career? Why should I care about it above everything else?

  • Why should I glorify the existing system? Why should I agree to support it?

  • Who paid for everything I learned in school?

  • Should I have a family? If so, why? If not, why not?

  • What do I think is fun? Does it really coincide with the beer ads on TV?

  • What’s the purpose of being like everyone else? Why am I so afraid to be different?

We don’t address such questions. Rather, we’re pushed past them. Even in a church or synagogue – places where larger questions are supposed to be addressed – the person in the pulpit wants us to become and/or remain a member of the congregation; their job depends upon it. There are true ministers and rabbis, but for most it’s all too easy to push their audience into what’s convenient.

As a result, we see little motivation in the modern West, save for the basest of motivators: things that match a line from the Bible that says, “Whose god is their belly.”

Mind you, I’m not against wealth, good food, or sex. I think those are fine things. They are not, however, the whole of life. We are much bigger than that. We ought not be limited to belly-level aspirations. But when we’re rushed, that’s all we’re able to see.

Status and Fear

The two big motivators we face in this rush through life – fear and status – are both negative.

Fear is a manipulation technology; people who make you afraid are hacking your mind. They want you to ignore reason and obey them fast. (I wish I could cover this in depth here, but we haven’t space. Please see issue #54 of my subscription newsletter.)

When we’re afraid, we make our worst choices. Put plainly, fear makes us stupid. But we encounter it on a daily basis… and it destroys us by inches.

Status is the compulsion to compare ourselves with others, and whether we’re looking for the ways we’re better than others or looking for our shortcomings, it is deeply destructive. It’s also irrational, but the advertising business would crash without it and advertisers currently own the collective eyeballs of humanity.

Fear and status are, in a broad sense, drugs, and if you had a choice between smoking pot every day or being on fear and status every day, I’d definitely recommend the pot.

Confusion

Let’s be clear on something: Nearly every adult in the West will agree that politicians are liars and thieves… and yet they obey them without question. Is there any possibility we’d do such things if we weren’t harried and confused?

When we are confused, we pass over our own minds and their deliberations. There’s an old joke: “Who are you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?” But that’s precisely what confusion does to us, and under the pressures of confusion and authority, most people will ignore their own eyes.

Such things do not happen to people who are calm and confident. But the existing hierarchies of the West couldn’t function with a calm and confident populace; their operations require people to be frightened, confused, and blindly chasing status.

As a Result…

As a result, most of us hurry through life, never knowing why. We live as others do, simply because that path is streamlined for us, exposing us to a minimal level of fear and shame. But that path does something else: It keeps us from experiencing ourselves.

Seldom has this problem been put more succinctly than in this quote from Albert Einstein:

Small is the number of them who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

Stop following the crowd. Turn your back on the popular script. Stop feeding at the same trough as everyone else. Break away and learn to see with your own eyes, to feel with your own heart.

Don’t conform. Let people criticize you. Decide for yourself what your life will be about. Make it matter.

* * * * *

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It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

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* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

A Saturday Night at Starbucks

StarbucksAn unusual set of family events found me sitting in a Starbucks last Saturday night. It had been a reasonably decent day, but there are, as we all know, plenty of things in this world to be depressed about. And those things, as we also know, are massively amplified by the attention-seeking class. (Bad news sells.) Somehow, the parade of negativity had its effect on me.

Sitting in the Starbucks cured me.

What I Saw

It was a very average Starbucks in a very average location. And the very average people sitting with me were a near-perfect cross-section of the American demographic.

To my left was a middle-aged black man, doing something on his laptop. Just past him was a middle-aged white woman doing the same. Past her, in the corner, were three teenage girls – one black, one white, one Latin – studying something together.

Behind me was another black man with a laptop and piles of papers, and past him was a young couple falling in love over lattes.

At the big center table was a 25ish woman, with multiple piles of paper upon which she was working very hard. After a while, her boyfriend showed up. She hugged him, laid her head on his shoulder, and they kissed. It was sweet. Then he got to work with her.

There were also people coming and going. They were more of the same: A cross-sectional American parade of people behaving quietly and well.

This is the larger part of human life – the life that you don’t see on the news. And they reminded me that all is not dark, no matter how much darkness we see on television and streaming across the Internet.

This is the part of human life that we should be giving our attention to. Watching them, I decided that it would be far better to spend time helping these people than to obsess on all the bad things in the world. These people deserve our efforts.

What Would Help the Bright Side of Humanity?

That, of course, brought me to the question of how to help the bright side of humanity, and I decided that a great start would be to make one point very clearly:

Fear is a brain hack, a malicious and effective brain hack.

When people want to get their hands on your time and money – and don’t want to be bothered with that pesky ‘reason’ thing – fear is how they do it… over and over and over. Fear works.

So, if we want to move the brighter side of humanity forward, the first thing we need to do is to inform them that fear is their greatest enemy. They need to understand – and remember – that when someone tries to make them afraid, they are being hacked.

Second, we need to assure the brighter side of humanity that their way is right… that they have every right to live their way and not abandon their values to screaming political hucksters.

Power-seekers have always been with us, and they can succeed only by getting frightened people to line up behind them. But in order to line up with the fright-sellers, you have to absorb their slogans, respond to their fears, and take their rationalizations into your mind. And that is a mistake.

The problem is that the fright-seller’s ideas are nearly all inferior ideas. They serve dominance, power, and the inertia of archaic models of lordship. They do not serve human advancement.

The people I saw in the Starbucks held a different and better set of ideals. They believed that all people should be treated with respect and politeness; that coercion, theft, and fraud are wrong; and that everyone should be left alone to do what they want, so long as they don’t intrude upon others.

This decent side of humanity needs to know that their ideals should never be pushed aside for the sake of some political cause, no matter how Earth-shakingly urgent it is made to seem.

Let me make this very, very clear:

The people I saw in the Starbucks were morally superior to the powerful and the fear-peddlers.

Such people should understand that they are right to hold to their own values, to hold to their own lines of reason, to believe in their own virtues.

And Once They Do?

Once people of the type I saw in the Starbucks start believing in themselves, the world changes, and massively.

These people, you see – and there are untold millions of them – are productive and cooperative. Their problem is that they’ve been laying aside their virtues at the insistence of a fear-peddling overlord class. We are, as I seem to be saying frequently, living under bronze-age rulership. It no longer suits us, if indeed it ever did. And it is holding us back.

The people in the Starbucks don’t need edicts from an emperor or a priest-king… and they don’t need politicians doing the same thing under the guise of “the will of the people.”

Once the millions of “Starbucks people” decide that all the fear and overlordship were contrary to life itself, they will move into a better age. Any such transition is difficult, of course, but once these people truly believe in their own ways, the ways of the fear-peddlers will pass away.

May it be soon.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

There Will Never Be Enough Good Jobs Again

goodjobIt’s over. Except for a short moment or a wild and self-exhausting governmental mandate (both of which are doubtful), there will never again be enough “good jobs” to go around. That model is gone and we need to root it out of our imaginations.

Sure, there will be some good jobs, but nowhere near enough.

About half of the Western world is already on the dole in one form or another. 93 million Americans lack a decent job and have no real hope of getting one. And so long as the current hierarchies remain, things won’t get substantially better.

I’m sorry to dump that on you, but it’s better to face it directly.

But please bear in mind that I’m a confirmed optimist. Just because there are no “good jobs” doesn’t mean that we’ll all languish in a meaningless existence. Far from it. Once we get over our addictions to status, hierarchy, and dominance, a glorious future awaits us.

Why It Won’t Get Better

The standard response to what I’ve noted above is to call it “the Luddite fallacy.” That line of argument says that in the past, innovation has not wiped out jobs, that new types of jobs were created and filled the gaps fairly well.

And that statement is true. Individual jobs were wiped out, but new jobs came along and (more or less) picked up the slack.

However, that is not happening this time, and for a very simple reason: Adaptation is now against the law. Previous rises in technology occurred while adaptation was still semi-legal.

Please take a look at this graph and remember a simple truth: Regulation forbids adaptation.

The US government is currently spending $60 billion, every year, to restrain business activity. (And the EU is worse.) On top of that, reasonable estimates show that US government regulations cost businesses nearly $2 trillion per year.

And let’s be honest about this: The primary purpose of regulation is to give the friends of congressmen a business advantage. Why else would they pay millions of dollars to lobbyists?

So, the new jobs that should be spawned, will not be. Mega-corps own Congress and they get the laws they pay for. And mega-corps do not like competition.

Furthermore, the political-corporate-bureaucratic complex will bite and claw to retain every scrap of power they have, and small businesses will be their first victims. (They already are.)

Trapped Between Hammer and Anvil

So, the people who are hoping and waiting for a “good job” to pop up are trapped between hammer and anvil. Robots are starting to roll into the workplace while the job creators (small entrepreneurs) are in regulatory and economic chains. They can’t come to the rescue.

In the 19th century, all sorts of possibilities were open to entrepreneurs. This remained at least partly true, even into the 1970s, when I watched the business heroes of my youth having a gas while making piles of money.

It used to be that a clever person could get ahead, independently, and have a ball doing so.

Those days, alas, are over.

These days, to get rich, one needs to take government as a partner. If one does not, regulation and legislation are likely to destroy your business. At this point, many of us (myself included) have had businesses – good businesses that benefited everyone involved – crushed by legislation.

To avoid being crushed these days, you have to be smarter and fleeter of foot than everyone else. Not many of us can survive in that situation, and as regulations continue to rise, even that number grows smaller and smaller.

For the generation before of mine, independent success required ambition, but it was reachable. For my generation, only those of us blessed with unusual talent had a chance at controlling our economic destinies. For the young generation of today, it’s nearly impossible. These days, if you want to jump ahead, you need to be part of something big… and you need to start as a sycophant.

So…

So, if you’re looking for the proverbial good job, stop waiting for “The Hierarchy That Is” to sort things out and get everything back to normal. Good jobs get fewer and fewer every year, and those that are lost won’t be coming back.

But… if and when you’re ready to change your thinking – to seriously change your thinking – this is good news too: You can reclaim the parts of yourself that you were ready to sacrifice to the “good job.”

You see, the “good job” was nearly as much a curse as it was a blessing. Yes, I know, steady wages and benefits are a very comfortable thing, but they also play right into a ridiculous, predatory script.

You know the one: where you struggle to display your status to all the other worker-bees. You feel like you have to do what the ads tell you: Get the new car, the bigger truck, the video player in the back seat, the gigantic TV, the most “amazing” holiday parties, the expensive shoes, the designer bags, the organic veggies, etc., etc., etc.

I would like you, please, to consider this quote from the boss of Lehman Brothers, just as the World War I production surge was failing:

We must shift America from a needs, to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old had been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

Would you agree that their plan worked?

As long as you follow their script, you’ll remain in a permanent deficit mentality. No matter how much you have, you’ll always feel like you need more. It’s life on a shiny gerbil wheel. The “good job” kept us from knowing ourselves; it allowed us to sleep-walk through life. We got a “good job” and never developed ourselves any further. Work, retire, die, ho hum.

Then What?

So, if we forget about having a “good job,” what happens?

Well, it might very well mean that you do what you’re already doing, but you stop feeling bad about it. It means that you get over the endless grasping after status… of letting ridiculous ads define what “success” looks like… of letting other people define your self-opinion.

Letting go of the “good job” delusion means that you stop pining for the days when you could blow a third of your money on status crap. It means that you start taking pleasure in growing your own food, developing new ventures, and improving yourself.

It means that rather than begging politicians to ride in on a white horse and fix your world, you ignore them and start paying attention to your actual life.

Fundamentally, this means that we start using our own initiative, without seeking permission, and start building better things.

Rather than going on, I’ll leave you with two quotes, both from Erich Fromm. I think they are worth close consideration:

Our society is run by a managerial bureaucracy, by professional politicians; people are motivated by mass suggestion, their aim is producing more and consuming more, as purposes in themselves. All activities are subordinated to economic goals, means have become ends; man is an automaton – well fed, well clad, but without any ultimate concern for that which is his peculiarly human quality and function.

The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com