Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Well-Fair Philosopher


Should a biography ever be written about my largely insignificant and unaccomplished life, a possible title could be:
"Tom Romer, the Well-Fair Philosopher." 

Road to Hell


"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Needless to say that it is also paved with bad intentions. Duh.

Does the Liberation of Money Liberate?


Following an observation by my girlfriend about 'anarcho-capitalism', according to which she claimed that anarcho-capitalists want to liberate money, not people, and to which I replied that anarcho-capitalists would argue that the liberation of money leads to the liberation of people, an observation which could be applied to all agendas to liberate financial markets, such as in Thatcherism and in the philosophies of Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek, an operative question that people on different sides of the political spectrum give different answers to is whether the liberation of money leads to the liberation of human beings or, to the contrary, leads to their enslavement?

In other words the million dollar question is: does the liberation of money, e.g. through a free market of monetary currencies or simply laissez-faire capitalism, liberate or enslave people?

I touched on this issue in my writing Position on the Money Issue but more from the angle of money as such. Is money a liberating force or an enslaving force? Surely it depends on whether you have it or not and whether in order to get it you need to sell your labour 24/7. As with almost all questions under the sun, the answer is context-sensitive.

Ditto, does money come to rule the minds of only 'unbalanced' individuals as someone I had a discussion with claimed, saying as he did that money was a neutral entity with no consciousness, or is it more that money, at bottom, only exists in consciousness and that we could perfectly function, if we were evolved and moral enough as a species, without it?

Does the answer to the question not also depend on how and why money is used and made, keeping to the insight I've expressed before that the worthiness of any system, be it capitalism, socialism, voluntarism, or indeed, monarchy, democracy, anarchy depends entirely on its level of morality (France and the Collective, The Problem of Taxation - Importance of Morality)?

This is where looking at factual reality, how things manifest in practice, comes to take importance although of course, as I wrote recently, getting to grips with the facts themselves not to mention their interpretation is a matter of much contention owing to epistemological reasons of the limitations of knowledge acquisition (mentioned in The More You Know The Less You Think You Know and famously analysed by the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant and later epistemologists and scientific philosophers) as well to the diversity of people's life contexts and sensibilities (Knowledge and Sensibility) and the role played by such psychological phenomena as cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.

All this to say, many I think are in error in feeling that such and such a thing, e.g. technology, socialism or government, is intrinsically immoral if they fail to grasp that a high level of morality in any system or activity is conducive to the common good as opposed to a high level of immorality - which is conducive to general suffering. 

People will be quick to point out that what constitutes morality is itself contentious and historically changing but, as I have said before (Freedom & Morality), victimless deeds or deeds where only 'society' is the victim as opposed to living, breathing human beings are not prima facie immoral because no tangible harm or violation of Natural Law has been manifested.

Literalist Understanding in Many Conspiracy Theories


Readers of my thoughts will know that I am not completely averse to conspiracy theories since I view some of them as often being fact-based critical research of events in the interests of truth and public disclosure, undertook with the insight that the powerful do not, as a rule, have the best interests of the masses at heart (Evaluating Conspiratorial Angles, We're All Conspiracy Theorists, Conspiracy Theorist, Conspiracy Theorising, One Eyed Man and The Minions). 

As I've written before, a conspiracy means a group of two or more people secretly colluding together to do harm for selfish gain. 

This post however to say that I've picked up on a tendency to literalist understanding in some quarters of the truth movement.

An example that immediately comes to mind is David Icke's reptilian-hyprid theory, according to which many of the world's elite are not in fact human or that the moon is some form of alien spacecraft instrumental in keeping the earth under control. 

The reason this strikes me as literalist is that it may well be true that many of the world's leaders are based in the R complex of the brain, i.e. the reptilian brain stem, or that our perception of the moon is simplistic but to go from there to a full-blown position that the aforementioned leaders are lizard aliens or that the moon is a spacecraft, both angles being incredibly particular to our time with its science-fiction tradition as opposed to earlier times which had no concept of spacecrafts or indeed outer space populated by alien beings, is somewhat lacking in metaphorical subtlety. 

This is evident in interpretations of Ancient Mesopotamian Creation stories which do mention what some would take to be as extra-terrestrial beings: some see them as literally signifying alien intervention in the course of human development while others take a more metaphorical view of these alien 'gods' myths, being more sensitive to the mythologically-minded worldview of Ancient Cultures, μῦθος in Greek meaning speech or tale. 

Another example that comes to mind is the Disney subliminal messages conspiracy - do these subliminal messages really point to a purposeful agenda to corrupt the young by the satanic freemason Walt Disney and his successors or are they the fruit of disgruntled and naughty Disney artists having a bit of Tyler-Durden-esque fun at the expense of the Disney-watching masses, which has been proven to be the case in one of the most glaring of examples (Tyler Durden being an anarchist character in the novel Fight Club)?

In the first video I linked, the speaker interprets the Disney animated movie Beauty and the Beast as really glorifying a form of pagan bestiality, Belle falling in love with a kind of animal/dog man, when more traditional, metaphorical understandings interpret Beast as pointing to the beast within all of us, all the more so that the reason he became a physical beast was due to un-Christian pride and arrogance. 

Independent journalist James Corbett from corbettreport.com often amusingly makes slight adjustments to more extravagant conspiratorial angles by saying, for example, that recurrent media lies and cover ups are not so much due to all the journalists in question selling their souls to the illuminati but to sociological phenomena whereby journalists follow the lead of editors themselves answerable to the corporate interests of their organisation which, after all, is out to make money (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NuLWCHvkc8). 

He also makes fun of the 'conspiracy' that all US presidents are distant family relatives, again pointing to an illuminati dynasty angle, because scientifically everyone you meet is likely to be at least your sixteenth cousin. Nor will a document signed in Rothschild's blood about the evil intent of the Federal Reserve ever come to public awareness as opposed to dry, technical documents that few if any will bother to read.

Paul is Dead conspiracies according to which Paul McCartney from the Beatles died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-alike have a certain charm for those who feel the singer has lost the songwriting power and charisma of his youth and do seem to take a very literalist understanding of hints in some Beatles songs and album covers that Paul indeed was dead.

As John Lennon sang during his post-Beatles period
"Those freaks were right when they said you was dead."
I am not saying literalism as opposed to more metaphorical understanding is necessarily wrong or at fault but it is reflective of a conscious or subconscious interpretative choice in evaluating information and data.

As such there may indeed be a 'global conspiracy' to bring the earth under a one-world government of tyrannical proportions but is that due to a millennia-long drive of certain 'bloodlines' informed by the occult arts or to the tendency of those in power to want more power because power that ceases to grow is no longer power, at least according to philosopher Martin Heidegger (Nietzsche I & II)?

My Ergophobia


Ergophobia, which is Greek for fear of work, is perhaps the maladaptive condition I suffer from the most in my persistent if diminishing dread of jobholding and finding employment.

I have had jobs in the past, largely in catering, and plenty more voluntary roles for charities and so forth but the world of gainful employment terrifies me, not least because it exacerbated if not caused a great deal of mental health distress in my youth.

The fact is, this 'fact' of course being an opinion, that I am more gentle and sensitive than average which can of course be a drawback in the largely cut-throat, competitive labour market replete, in my opinion, with nagging and narcissistic employers, and certainly in the world of business which, it seems to me, requires a great deal of rude self-assertion and, depending on your position on the career ladder, bossing people around or being bossed around. 

It is my sensitivity - though some, to be sure, think me insensitive - that makes me philosophise and turn to creative modes of expression as ways to fulfil myself but the thought of having to earn a living through, say, teaching, catering, shop-keeping, caring, cleaning, even translating sends cold shivers down my spine. 

It is my ergophobia that has made me take issue with money, money-making, ‘economics’, the jobs system, right-wing and libertarian ideals of economic enterprise and so forth and that ultimately make me a misfit non-conformist. 

While I am someone of some creative ability, job-holding and making money are not one of my talents and I am very much at the mercy of the ever-dwindling Welfare State for my livelihood.

The point of this writing is that employment and making money, which so many see as the material purpose of life, because these activities are instrumental in being able to operate and survive in a monetary system such as ours, are not for everyone, and this is the case usually not because of lazy-ness and ‘taking the piss’, whatever that means, but because of having a personality that suffers from and is therefore averse to the social, sociological and psychological reality of the modern workplace.

In other words it is not that I’m work-shy (see post What is Work?), if work is defined as an activity of disciplined self-application in areas that need attending to, but employment and business-shy because these involve engaging with and labouring under other people in typically hierarchical and insensitive ways.