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The Human Condition and Spontaneous Order


Continuing Arguments Against EuroModernism

For some three decades, now, I have written/spoken against the ruling ethos of the EM EuroModernist – Paradigm that dominates the Modernist spectrum, Left or Right, East or West, today (I have detailed this phenomenon in several Works, the most recent of which is my Farewell to Modernism, 2017. Suffice it to say here that ‘EM’ is the highly specific form of Modernism that Europe first invented, imposed on itself, and then ‘gifted’ it, under duress, to the rest of the world).
Other than the late Immanuel Wallerstein – from whom nothing was hid !– I doubt if readers really fully understood its meaning or import.
That is just one measure of the insularity of academe, which is a self-serving enterprise well-funded by the powers that shouldn’t be, and charged with ‘managing’ acceptable discourse.
Whilst this malaise is near universal in the modern world , the US academy possibly takes the cake, in this regard, since it operates also within a broader societal milieu of near-barbarism in intellectual matters ( a critical intelligentsia, other than academe-based ,being virtually non-existent).
One might say, where there is uneven opulence, there is its inevitable concomitant – corruption.
I am not the only one who has noticed this: a long time ago, Oscar Wilde noted it with the comment that the US had gone straight from barbarism to decadence, bypassing the stage of civilization.
I doubt he was merely joking.
A century later, Henry Miller devoted passionate pages to the exposition of what he called ‘the air-conditioned nightmare’ (also the title of his book).
The underlying motif of EM is the notion of societal engineering.
Via its prophets and seers, it virtually rewrote the human condition – to suit its corrupt ends.
The ‘Hobbesian world’, which Hobbes understood to be exemplifying the state of nature, it visualised as the normal social condition.
It projected society as atomized, individualized, fragmented, and driven by distrust, competition, and one-upmanship: and most of all by Greed Unbound.
Not merely ‘projected’, ideologically, but institutionalized, concretely.
As the centuries unfolded , from the marker of the so-called ‘enlightenment’ , it turned into a composite, inchoate, mix of often contradictory ideas: from a relatively benign laissez-faire stance (Adam Smith) to virulent Social Darwinism (Malthus, Spencer).
Gone was the antic, mutualist, social compact: in its stead, it posited a bare, cold, social ‘contract’, with all institutions taking on an acquisitive, calculating, bargaining modus as with today’s Neo-Cons, Neo-Libs, and the Nash genre of Game Theorists (tending , eventually, toward the Transhumanist , misanthropic, terminus that looms ahead, in these misguided visions).
Modern ‘Economics’, the crown jewel of this mutant ideology, carries/exhibits all of its scars – to a t.
In sum, it produced a mind-set well captured in J.P. Sartre’s ‘Hell is other people’ epigram.
Under its auspices, we are required to envision and enter a ‘society’ that is a minefield of misanthropy , in dubious struggle against one another : for the reward of a mess of pottage for some, and for virtually nothing at all for the many.
This view of human nature, as I have written elsewhere, is little short of a noxious libel upon the human race.
This was no ‘enlightenment’.
It was a descent into a hellish abyss of a fondly carved dystopia – of which western society , especially its Anglo-Norman hegemons, is now , fatefully, emblematic.
Little wonder the UK has , apparently, created a Minister for ‘loneliness’, echoing both Orwell and Huxley in that one tragic trope.
Life is short – and EM votaries have rendered the life of the planet itself even shorter: serious scientists, like, Guy McPherson , now give us but a decade, or so, before the commencement of human extinction.
So, I will spare us the details, and get to the nub – before doom do us part.
Contra the concoctions of EM pronouncements, we humans of the primate family ( I will drop the self-glorifying ‘homo sapiens’ apothegm) have some rather striking features.
We are primarily convivial, co-operative, and communal creatures, bound to each other by what I have termed a ‘balance of affections’ (not the negatively charged, jaded, ‘balance of interests’ idea of the Contract Theorists).
In that one line, above, we bury all the axioms of the putative discipline of ‘economics’, as it arose , historically, within the ‘brutish isles’ (no exaggeration to this designation: since the history of the elite policy makers, not the people, of that society lives up to that characterization amply).
However, the above sketch is complicated by our instinctual endowments.
Put baldly: Men appear endowed with the immanent instinct for violence, Women with the instinct of nurturance.
Being instincts, they may not be wholly erased, but culture can either accentuate them or abate them, in its dictates, to an extent (nurture can and does ‘control’ behavior, if within limits: as learnt by Skinner and Pavlov).
I term the first ‘cluster of traits’ the POM : paradigm of masculinity.
The second set, I call the POF: paradigm of femininity.
In the first instance, therefore, civilization is no more than a ‘taming’ of the predatory urges of men.
If Civilisation is understood as the pacification of the conditions of human existence , both social and natural, then we can understand where/how that first step fits in.
In effect, women are the very first peacemakers: since they need to build and secure a functioning ‘cordon sanitaire’, in order to raise the infant child, safe from the unpredictable predations of men.
Mother and child , together, constitute the very first social unit: and their relationship, is also the structural provenance of human morality.
Thus, humans have always had two permanent sources of dread: the violence of nature , and the violence of men (both, of course , belonging to ‘nature’).
It is to antic tribal society’s credit that it shackled the second threat, localizing it, and limiting it, within the tribal family, by means of the binding restraints of ties of kinship (‘affections’).
This is still the only workable model we know.

EM society was far better at taming external nature: but found male violence highly serviceable to its predatory ends, using it to suppress revolt, keeping the classes divided, and keeping workers and women under effective domination.
One could call this strategy ‘management by fear’: who says (wo)man does not live by dread alone?
Contemporary US, the most violent society in earth, may well be the text-book model of this EM configuration..
EM organised us to accept a state of permanent war, economic and political, as the rulers accumulated wealth , by dint of various extortions : ( leastways, today) one billionaire at a time.
Most of us take this imposed reality as ‘life’: and concoct rationalising philosophies to endure it, as may be inevitable.
Is there no way out of this matrix?
Yes, there is: and has always been.
This is where this idea of ‘spontaneous order’ fits in.
We are communal beings, led in the first instance, to create sustainable kindred with one other.
Far from being ‘light seeking’, we are, as mammals, ‘heat seeking’: and our greatest ‘need’ is simply : to huddle.
This is how original human societies were formed, universally.
That is how they can be re-formed, again, any time, any where.
So, we needn’t agonise over the ‘how’ of it, via pedantic debate and discussion: it takes care of itself.
Norms arise spontaneously in the crucible of shared human affections, and then ‘evolve’.
This ‘evolution’ is nothing other than an extension of the kinship paradigm, but within Gemeinschaft limits.
Gemeinschaft societies are the original, ‘natural’ societies.
Gessellschaft entities, most common in – but not unique to – EM formations, are , always, contrived, artificial, imposed entities, wherein our real, anthropic endowments are permanently crippled and thwarted.
‘Paradise Lost’ (with a degree of obvious hyperbole) is when/where the former give way to the latter, generally under the impulse of the adventurist drives inherent in the POM (paradigm of masculinity), no longer containable within the ‘balance of affections’ of simple domesticity.
It is how tribal societies, often, break up into empires.
So, it is as simple as that.
There is no way of ‘reforming’ the adversarial society as legitimised by EM: it is, inherently, irreconcilable.
Which is why all well-meaning efforts to manufacture a ‘socialist’ society ( as invented in radical EM theorising) fail – and will fail.
In fact, such structures can only be built on affections: not charters, rules, and regulations.
Goodwill, charity, care, and compassion , may not be legislated to form the bonding cement of society, in some ‘rational-legal’ sense.
It would be akin to King Canute ordering the ocean waves to halt.
Instead, it is love that binds: not self-interest , nor even a disinterested fealty to an abstract altruism.
The human family , embodying the values I am referencing, is both a natural and social entity simultaneously.
It stands in all societies and cultures, and at all times , a reminder of our real, instinctual roots (which, owing to operative EM norms we have all but forgotten.
In fact, instincts, were not permitted to rule ‘humans’, under the strictures of Biblical ideas, where humans were presumed carved in the ‘image of god’.
So, despite Darwin, en generale, we deploy instincts in the study of animal behavior, but not in analysing human , social , behavior.
Even more importantly, nurture had to be assumed as trumping nature: since the entire thrust of the EM Project is societal engineering, which would be quite impossible otherwise).
Impressively, and instructively, the human family obeys not one single EM Diktat from the Holy Catechism that we have all internalised: equality, democracy, individualism, ‘freedom’, et. al.
It is a moral, not a political, nor economic, entity.
Bears thinking.
Order is spontaneous, both in nature and society.
Why we don’t see evidence of that in EM societies – and more so in this Late Modernist stage of human devolution – is because these are profoundly “unnatural” entities, from their very inception.
They are a house of cards, in one sense: castles in the air, in another, held together by force and fraud in the main.
Even more , are they existential traps in which the human spirit chokes and suffocates.
In fact, the West, to the extent it ‘lives’ by such pernicious EM norms, is no more than a dying cantonment of a decaying citizenry : of masses of robotized, idiotised, individuals poised on the brink of a post-human, transhuman, disfigurement.
Indeed, the Lead Anglo-Norman formation has already crossed a red line: it is the world’s first Amoral Society (an obvious oxymoron), with – the usual exceptions apart- a populace desensitized to the point of accepting war, violence , struggle, deceit, and conflict, as routine , incorrigible , aspects of social existence.
The astonishing passivity in the face of the continuing spate of mass shootings domestically, and murderous wars abroad, are a telling index of this remarkable Devolution.
But none of this is inevitable, nor necessary.
A human society can be re-created, via detachment, delinking, opting-out , from the dominant EM Project.
No charter is needed, nor manifestos, nor constitutions; no ’pre-requisites’, no ‘resources’.
Any set of humans can found it, any where, anytime , in near-endless replication.
It is limited only by our inventiveness, the cultural genius inherent in our species-given creativity.
Its permanent locus will always be the family unit – real or ersatz- based on caring, love, warmth, and affection: transcendent human values virtually debased, distorted , and /or destroyed, by EM postures and stances.
In its essence, it embodies , within itself, that very overarching transvaluation of values that stands as eloquent , if humble, critique and rebuke to the pernicious, toxic, nostrums of EuroModernism.
So what is/was the secret of tribal empathy?
The rearing of children in common.
In essence, the tribe is merely an extended family, and the ‘familial’ principle relates all adults to all children , really or virtually, as potential or actual care-givers.
This unyielding bond of kinship is stronger than galvanized steel: enabling tribal formation, like Australian Aboriginals , to exist and thrive for millenia, undaunted by altering environs.
Can we recreate that bonding?
I think so.
By focusing, ever, on the domain of affective ties and relationships, and minimizing contact with, and participation in, the alien, ‘public’, Gessellschaft world , organised from above, for their own purposes, by the ruling/governing elites.
Ideals, idylls, and utopias have nothing to do with such a reconstitution of societal life.
Indeed, constructs, of that nature, are no more than specious EM snares, enticing us into a permanent hallucinatory state that , like much of organised religion, promise a shining tomorrow (that never comes) as canny bait to accept (whilst struggling against it permanently) present-day oppressions with a degree of equanimity.
Life is not a matter of realization of ideals: it is about living within the bounteous promise of our species-being.
As animals, we have all manner of traits that are far from congenial and foolhardy to ignore: yet , even within our mammalian cast, lie hidden salves that can yet make life on earth more bearable.
EM ideology, on the other hand, is unmistakably reptilian in its geist, and leads inexorably only to irreparable angst and inconsolable despair.
It can offer, in this late era of impending doom, only more such sordid ‘Ministeries of Loneliness’ to repair the mortal blow it has delivered to the very possibility of human existence.
And this is, perforce, the Age of Reparation.
The invading EM adventurers, e.g., on the North American continent, annihilated, without the slightest compunction, thousands of native tribes: it were only fitting if, in late expiation, thousands of novel ‘tribal’ entities could be commenced, to re-seed/re-generate that ill-fated land, much as the world at large, and restore antic balances rudely ruptured by the accumulationist ravages of these reckless ‘civilisation-mongers’ that have brought the entire planet crumbling, today, to the very brink of a wholly gratuitous , self-inflicted, and entirely avoidable, extinction.
We have strayed far from our roots, whose redemptive rediscovery is on the cards, now, in these tumultous times.
It is no more than our birthright.

Kanth, R. Breaking with the Enlightenment, NJ: Humanities Press, 1997
_______ Farewell to Modernism, NY: Peter Lang, 2017
[©R.Kanth 2018]

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda, A Day in the Life, and Expiations

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