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Unity Of Opposites

Draft Publication Date: Jun 01, 2022
(I'm focusing on real life and am not sure when I will be able to complete this essay)
Author: Joshua Liu

§1 Work & Play

Monet Painting

1.0 ‘The Power Process’ is a modification of the idea of the ‘will to power’ ― that the primary motivator for people is exerting influence ― by Kaczynski that he justifies by psychological observations. His claim is that the ability to exercise power (I would add the ability to make a creative mark) does not seem give satisfaction in itself, but the struggle or work towards goal attainment does. It's mostly not about the destination ― it's mostly about the struggle of the journey.

1.1 Kaczynski points to the observation that "leisured, secure aristocracies that have no need to exert their power ―that don't face resistance ― usually become bored, hedonistic and demoralized" and that those that have to fight to maintain power generally don't. He points to the observation that those that are concerned with physical survival (food, water, shelter) are not the ones falling into demoralization and nihilism. They have clear goals to fight towards. Those that fall into demoralization ― perhaps Nietzsche's ‘last man’ ― have their basic needs provided to them. Those that are working all day to put food on the table for their kids don't question why they have to get up every morning.

1.2 He makes the observations that when struggle is lacking in some people's lives then they will create struggle just to avoid nihilism. He calls these artificial struggles suriget activities.

1.2 I've been following some of Jordan Peterson's content. Recently he's critiqued the ‘will to power’ as a primary motivator by pointing to the act of playing and how reciprocal the ritual is with participates not wanting to overexert their influence. No one wants to lose their play partners and will choose to accept a loss if it's the choice of that or not playing further. He points to the fact that people accepting a loss doesn't make sense from the framework that everything is done out of will to power.

1.3 He states that this ‘drive to play’ is universal: That only people that do overexert their influence and get kicked out of the games would be those on the anti-social spectrum that do seem to be more motivated by a will to power.

§2 Maternalism & Patriarchy

Monet Painting
"And the LORD said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him"

― Genesis 2:18

2.0 Some patriarchies are overextended. Letting some guys believe that they were born as ‘blank slates’ ― that everyone has unlimited agency to be whoever they want ― leads them feeling no obligation to keep their behavior in check. Many libertarians don't feel an obligation to care for those under them ― or to treat girls well ― as they (libertarians) think that anyone else could have been in their position if they just tried. Those at the top not fulfilling their obligation to care for those lower on the hierarchy causes civil unrest but if they participate in dehumanizing behavior ― to themselves or to others ― it also causes our entire imitation-based ethical system to collapse (those below them have no one to look up too).

2.1 But maternalism can be overextended also. Saying that no one has any agency of who we can become ― and so should be given things regardless of what they accomplish ― leads to people being disempowered to improve their own position. It leads people to belive that they have no say on what they can accomplish in life or that they can make a mark on the world. Those that diagnose themselves with psychological hard-wire problems often feel that they have an opt-out of doing things.

2.2 The amount of free will that we say we have ― the ability to climb hierarchies unencumbered ― dictates the divide between maternalism and patriarchy. Those that that say that we have more control of where we are placed think that hierarchies are more justified and those that say we have less control think that hierarchies are less justified.

2.3 Without hierarchies many also have a hard time finding competent individuals to trust (leaders) or which figures they should aspire to become (heroes). Promoting removing hierarchies entirely ― promoting an unrestrained universality of Man ― always leads to chaos where people go in bad directions that no one as the authority to tell or show them to avoid.

2.4 I think that functional hierarchies can be created that can balance both the maternal respect off all and the patriarchal need order: Good hierarchies have been put into place in the past that put competent people where they need to be ― giving different responsibilities to different individuals ― while still retaining human respect and dignity. Think of how a teacher has more authority than their students, doctors more than their patients, or parents more than their children. Students, patients, or children often don't think about how their teachers, doctors or parents have more power over them than the reverse. When they do complain that doesn't mean that it's beneficial to give in and give them equal power or responsibility in the relationship.

2.5 Christianity is a patriarchal tradition. The story of Christinaity starts with Adam, moves through the line of David, and climaxes climaxing at the Crucifixion. But it also has a philosophically revolutionary (deeply maternal) idea imbeded into it that that all humans has a high baseline of inherent and universal worth independent of what they accomplish.

2.6 This universality is I see an acknowledgement in Christianity that each person is born special and different from each other and so each person has a different and special roles to play in the grand story of the cosmos. There is still the acknowledgement that some were born closer ― or further away ― to some roles than to others and that no one is entitled to the same role or ‘equal power’ compared to anyone else.

2.7 Full access to merit patriarchies was extended to others not weakened in liberalism; became the ‘Overton window’. This extension I think was mostly positive ― including all classes and ethnicities increased the amount of those self-actualized and the talent pool ― but it may have been overextended. Getting the entire female population involved in the patriarchy ― although economically beneficial ― trended towards making their own gender more masculine.

2.8 The outcome of increased integration of females into the patriarchy ― the increased pushing of masculine female heroes ― is the fading of the female gender as a meaningful distinct identity with its own thing going on. Parts of feminism has turned into a project to turn females in men: I understand that in the past females had limited options on what they could they could do in their life, but if nothing practically excludes females from male roles and institutions and men from female roles and institutions then the genders fade away. Will Adam become alone again?

2.9 I've met a lot of girls my age that want to have kids but feel that they need to establish a career ― or at least to work full time in the economic world ― to properly care for them. It's hard for some couples to scrape by without two sources of income. Maybe females feel bad for not wanting to participate in patriarchal institutions because of media only pushing figures of imitation that do.

2.11 A better strategy I think than to say that the successful were born with equal chances ― or that they should be ashamed of being born with good cards ― is to say that they a responsibility to inspire those around them with their actions. From one of my earlier posts: "It's not fair that some of us have been given much more than others ― we can't control who we are born to, in what time, in what condition― but we must learn to accept the responsibility and the load of what has been given to us for our fortune cannot be transferred. Should we not reach for the stars ― to burn as bright as we can?"

Copyright © 2022 Joshua Liu.

Donations appreciated.

Images (top to bottom): 1. Philippe de Champaigne ― Saint Augustine, 1645 . 2. Painting of Immanuel Kant, (unidentified painter). 3. Monet ― The Luncheon, 1868. 4. Abraham Bosse ― The frontispiece of the book "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes. .