During my short stint on this Earth, I’ve come to realize that people really aren’t that complicated. While we all have free will, hardly everything — or even the majority of the things we do — is of this divine spark. Rather, even the best of us probably spend most of their time living on some form of autopilot. We need not think deeply when making scrambled eggs or taking a shower.
This level of free will varies among the populace. The geniuses are on the high end, while the NPCs (non-player characters) are on the lower end, and many others fall somewhere in the middle. I am of the opinion that very few, if any, people are literally NPCs possessing zero free will, but that a vast majority of people have so little free will and are so dominated by their lizard brain that they might as well be extras on a Hollywood set.
Even if humans are made in the image of God, we are mostly animals at the end of the day. We share 99% of our DNA with animals, and we are made of the same flesh, blood, and even brain (to an extent) as animals — and yet we are high and mighty on this Earth. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the field of psychology first became a true methodology and science, these uncomfortable facts became more and more glaring. Behavioral psychologists like Ivan Pavlov showed that there could potentially be a science behind training animals, while Edward Bernays demonstrated that this could easily be applied to human populations as well. Humans, no different than animals, respond chiefly to incentives, plain and simple.
This revelation concerning the importance of incentives is, I believe, among the most serious realizations I have made in my years of study. It seems simple, and yet the gravity of such an idea creates ripples in every aspect of how we as reactionaries view political science and strategy if we are to adopt (wisely) the view of realism as a guiding light. It is necessary not to see the world as we wish it to be, but how it actually is, if our intention is to have any effect on society.
If one asks, “Why do people do so and so?”, the answer is inevitably some sort of incentive structure, with certain unusual individuals as exceptions. In yesteryear, the incentive to having many kids was, other than simple godliness, that children were actually a net positive in terms of labor. Children could be utilized to do certain chores around the farm, and even in early industrial times they could work and bring money to the household. In contrast, today’s children are a net negative on the family economically, with estimates ranging at around $200,000 per child. And this does not even count the thousands per citizen in taxes each year that children incur in the form of public education.
Another example is marriage. In the past, women needed men to survive. There was no worse fate than to end up as an old maid. Without children, women were aimless and purposeless. Today, as a result of contraception and the idea that freedom means being able to do everything that men can, there is little incentive to settle down. And as for men, why would a man marry while the government is disincentivizing the institution by turning the marriage contract into a potential get-rich-quick scheme for women? It is becoming more and more obvious that marriage today is simply an agreement which the woman is incentivized to breach. At this point, the main reason to get married for a man is for the sake of children — but, as already discussed, this is also being disincentivized.
Why do people follow the law? Why do other people break the law? Why do so many virtue-signaling people go along with “the current thing?” Why is society behaving in such and such way? In the end, most of these questions boil down to incentives. This revelation produces a further problem: How do we change incentives? Unfortunately, the Right has been trying to do this for decades to no avail. Cthulhu swims slowly, but always to the left.
The same pattern has existed in all societies and has always come to an end, eventually. However, the idea of some sudden swing of the pendulum is a misnomer at best and a cope at worst. There are rightward swings, but they are always momentary and incapable of actually creating a proper, meaningful rightward swerve for all of society. Perhaps the reason why so many people have a seemingly primordial predilection towards a societal collapse or “without rule of law” scenario is because they sense that only a temporary return to the state of nature can restore natural order to society.
This view goes hand-in-hand with the idea I have proposed of incentive primacy. There is simply no way to properly legislate morality if the people have already had the taste of the forbidden fruit that is the modern conception of freedom. Even among our own ranks, I question how socially well-adjusted we could possibly hope to be if we were hypothetically to be transported back in time 200 years, let alone 2,000 years ago. I am therefore pessimistic about this; people must simply learn the hard way the consequences of their actions.
These consequences would then be codified as a mythic, titanic past which would guide future generations in morality and in terms of what to be wary of. In the Bible there is the story of Eve’s womanly nature, as well as that of the child-sacrificing or otherwise degenerate nations of Canaan, Sodom, and Gomorra. The Romans contrasted themselves with the child-sacrificing Carthaginians. The Greeks’ mythology also contains some hints concerning a degenerated time under the Titans, which was characterized by parents murdering children, as seen in Kronos devouring his children and King Lycaon attempting to fool Zeus into eating a slaughtered child. It would not take much imagination to predict that our descendants will create similar legends of how the once-great but fallen West, which had once able to travel among the stars and construct buildings which scraped the sky, degenerated and cannibalized itself.
If the incentive structures remain — which they will due to the high time preference nature of a late-stage civilization, which is itself borne out of an incentive structure –, we can little hope for any “great awakening.” The people simply don’t want it enough. They have to be forced to accept a wholly new incentive structure amounting to “Do this or you will literally starve to death or be killed by wastelanders.” This prospective incentive structure is inherently outside the scope of a civilization of our magnitude. Those who harp on about the “return to tradition,” I fear, would themselves cry to their mothers if they were forced to live in such an apocalyptic age. And yet, it is probably only out of such an age that the natural order can be reforged once again. It must be forced by nature organically, not artificially imposed by the state.
As to when this will occur — and indeed it will –, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen; not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.
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