Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Blip: Blip's treatise on every opinion that ever was



If anyone has read more than just a handful of our posts, they might notice a certain marked difference between some of our views. I don’t mean between Blip and Pop (although that exists too); I mean that some of the views and thoughts we’ve expressed on this blog seem not to complement each other due to their origins being grounded often in the far left or far right of opinion. We try to not directly contradict ourselves and to deal with every issue in a somewhat non-committal sense so as to further information about the subject without driving a stake into the ground and declaring our stance. Nonetheless, an overview of our posts up until this point, as well as any political, social or philosophical conversations we’ve had with anyone and each other would paint an image of us (yes, for the sake of literary ease I’m referring to us as a singular entity here) as some kind of right-wing fascist hippy humanist who detests, above all, humanists.

Now I’m going to confide in you all and explain the truth. The truth behind why our opinions, while well thought through, are all soft and forgiving and based more in the analysis and validation of other people’s views and contradictions. But first, allow me to have a crack at explaining the entire breadth of human effort and endeavour over the past 802,000 years or so.

From the days of hunter-gathering from caves (roughly speaking, of course) and the genesis of structured and ordered thought, through the formation of literary ideas and political ideals, leading through all the various periods of renaissance across the world, the spreading of industrialisation and modern infrastructure to as much as the globe as we have our grasp on and all the way up to modern day where we stalk around the earth with a swagger unknown to our ancient ancestors because we believe we’re finally in the possession of the earth and the knowledge of life, death and everything in between, humanity has always concerned itself with one fundamental thing, one thing that occupies everybody in that space between cradle and grave and the one thing that has brought all human endeavour together, inspired every introspective musing, every physical exertion and every intelligent motion on the planet: Survival.  

This need to survive, as most people will be aware, is present in all forms of life. The very function of life is to live. Life can be extended through nutrition, health and reproduction and most animals spend most of their time tending to one of these. Social creatures and intelligent creatures have more complicated and in-depth methods of ensuring survival, although they break down to the same fundamental desire. I spoke recently about conflicting views between people such as Hobbes and Locke about human nature and whether it is ultimately destructive or not. All of these theories share the premise that man (used in the classical sense to mean ‘human’ that only stupid, etymologically ignorant feminists seek to change) wishes to survive and to ensure prolonged survival. The social contract theories are based around why and how we form the basis of society, which is a communal construct designed purely to sustain human life. Thus, no matter how multi-faceted a society gets, it is always just a further extension of the basic principle of survival.

Another predicative side note: Evolution is a non-elective process. No animal decides to evolve or is in any way complicit in evolution’s path. Evolution secures survival and Natural Selection is what allows it to function without effort on the animals’ parts. Effort is made, of course, for a predator to eat a prey and for a prey to escape a predator and this seemingly unrelated process is the very process that allows and fuels evolution. You could say that evolution, while it is, as I said, non-elective, contains elements of complicity.

Human society, including our social advancements and technological feats, is our evolution. Anybody who has thought about it for a significant amount of time tends to come to that conclusion. Only idiots who know nothing of evolution think that humans will eventually (or suddenly) sprout wings or gills. It’s the basic example of the flawed imagination of children; a child puts a rhino horn on a picture of a duck with tank-tracks for feet and we call them imaginative despite the fact that it is clearly just a recombination of ideas in their dissected form rather than an intelligent and directed blending of the principles involved. The point is that human evolution is now focussed around the furthering of our kind in different ways. We have no natural predators; we have no Natural Selection to keep us on any one path. Instead, those tiny genetic variations are allowed to flourish and simply add to the diversity of the human race.

The reason I offer a rough explanation of evolution and human society is that the previous couple of paragraphs can be combined to the rather sensible deduction that society contains both elective and non-elective elements. Furthermore, no matter how hard we try and no matter how many decisions we make that we think will ‘change the course of human history’, the majority of the workings of society are automatic; they are non-elective and natural. It seems obvious that the reply to this would be to say, how would such a detailed system come about, let alone work, if it were governed at random? Well the answer, or the analogy, is simple: The detailed system that keeps a myriad of different animals in a variable environment alive and in a state of balance is equally complicated and yet it still works. It is random but due to the sheer scale of the numbers involved, it is, in fact, inevitable. The very idea of evolution rests on such a principle that it is bound to happen. The same could be said for society.

With that in mind, consider what is needed to keep a human society stable. Or rather, what it is that humans need that a stable society should provide. As animals, we need food and water as well as shelter and warmth. We also need viable conditions under which to procreate and herd offspring. I won’t go into detail as to how society provides these things. It’s fairly clear that our food largely comes from farms in one way or another and that these farms serve the needs of whole sections of countries that can’t farm for themselves. That’s the beauty of economy: Because those places that can’t produce food have currency, they have something to offer to the people who can produce food. There are also houses, aqueducts, sewer systems, electrical grids, road networks etc. This is how we take care of our physical needs. As for our psychological needs, we have therapy and counselling but that is a small part of it.

Everyone’s psychological balance is maintained by an ebb and flow. Just as the population of foxes and rabbits in a given area fluctuates, so does every system of life. Our emotions and moods rise and fall because there is no true stability in remaining stationary. If you try to balance a plate on a thin pole, you’ll have a great deal of trouble, but spin the plate and you provide it with a gentle back and forth that averages out as stability. The same seems to follow of people and their emotions. We sometimes wake up inexplicably happy or miserable. If everything is fine and things are going well, we can still find ourselves feeling unfulfilled for a time and despite our best efforts to discover the cause, oftentimes the cause is simply that things are going very well and the human psyche needs balance. Once again, this miniature treatise on balance ties into the point I’m moving towards about society.

Organised society removes the need for consistent effort just to maintain the basics of sustenance and ideal conditions for life. We have excessive free time and with that, our minds wander. This freedom is what originally led to all thoughts of philosophy and social change. We busy ourselves with social changes because it keeps us going. Social changes are, by and large, nothing but a distraction system designed specifically (primarily through the non-elective means I described earlier) to keep us all busy and not damaging the race with truly revolutionary thought. Surely you must have noticed that revolutionary thoughts move in cycles. 

That the news seems to predict perfectly what social issues will become central to general thought next is testament to how engrained it’s become to put trust in our constructs. Along with the simple cycles of everybody believing that sugar is hideously bad for you one moment and vital for life the next, and other similar stupidities, go the more deceptive fluctuations of opinions and formation of binary perceptions of far more complicated issues. The most complicated of issues are reduced into pointless binary forms. Black or white. Straight or gay. Good or bad. Just or unjust. Right or wrong. There can be no middle ground, no mediation, no elements of both, no possibility that the truth (if such a flawed concept can apply) could lie in the vagaries of subjectivity and the inability of language to ever fully describe the concepts in question.

Through this reduction, society manages balance. By having a strong left and right to the argument, the mix of people taking sides, the fluctuations of families and generations switching sides, the empty and misconstrued arguments supporting and opposing each side, the average of the balance is maintained and, indeed, guaranteed. When we are at once bothered and disturbed by our ‘enemies’, we are next abhorred by the advent of war to suppress. With one breath we can lift ourselves up and with the next, drop back down to where we started. This system is not implemented; it is not held in place by an entity of oppression. There is no brood of cackling lizard-men behind the scenes pulling all the strings. The system is inevitable and perfect. It gives us the balance we need to ensure our prolonged survival and at that purpose, it is peerless.

When the world is, and always has been, gripped by the dimming down of concepts and disagreements, opinions are dead currency. If ‘truth’ (again, to use the flawed term) is immaterial and impossible, if all perception and derivation is subjective, then every debate is flawed as an intellectual source and serves only as a stabilising social concept.

Thus we have reached the crux of my lengthy explanation: We do not have opinions because opinions are nothing more than arbitrary stances in one side or another of a binary debate, made possible thanks to an inescapable, impersonal and inherent system of social balance that serve only to keep us sane until we die.

The slightly sad and arresting truth here is that we aren’t actually supporters of equality, we aren’t anti-humanists or anti-capitalists, we aren’t (as much as this pains me to utter) anti-feminists. These stances simply provide the most interesting research and debates and we seek that because the true value in these flawed issues is ignoring the divisions and taking the entirety of reality as one central, fascinating and subjective issue. We are benefitting from the system and we refuse, wherever possible, to get caught up in it. Naturally, we fail as much as most other people and get dragged down into the muddy bog of opinion (it is, after all, inevitable) but the truth, if there ever was one, is simply this:

Humanity and everything it has ever cared about is a cosmic joke sitting as a mere footnote to a picture in a book that doesn’t exist.  

 Blip

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