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08.10.2015

A culture of heroes

Hollywood and our culture is full of proud heroes who overcome anything, proud heroes who always do the right thing, are always superior. Why is it that such a trite and boring caricature appeals to the masses?

Why is it that the masses flock at the feet of narcissists? And why do they hate and throw them down as much as they need them?

Heroes overcome misery. The heroic journey is one of passing hell and reaching the light.

It is a nation of people whose life consists of constant misery without hope. Hope and pride is the one component that they have dissociated from in themselves. Since they are unable to escape their hell, they need the heroes to at least provide them with the feeling of escape. Over and over again.

The narcissists and the masses complete each other, but both are incomplete. The masses lack pride and the narcissists lack humility. The most distinguished heroes attract the most hopelessly lost souls.

Both hate each other, envy each other for the things they lack themselves.

The narcissist, not being able to be humble, despises weakness, for he thinks he cannot have it, so no one else must allow themselves to feel what the narcissist can not allow himself to feel.

The masses, not being able to be truly proud, hate that the narcissist can. They despise the narcissist for his greatness. And yet they follow him, as they still need greatness; and since they do not think themselves able to feel greatness and exaltation, they must feel it through him. Need him to speak the words of greatness to them that they do not dare to speak to themselves, again and again.

Both are incomplete, both are pathetic, both are suffering.

It is a nation that has separated the great from the despicable, a sick nation, a pitiful nation. A nation of one-dimensional people.

It is a culture that invented the distinction between heaven and hell.

It is a culture that has split what should be a whole. The selfish and the altruistic. The good and the bad. The rational and the emotional. The right and the wrong. The wise and the primitive. The sexual and the exalted. The equal and the diverse. The individual and the common. The happy and the sad. The materialistic and the spiritual. The heroic and the miserable. The cruel and the kind. The winners and the losers. The leaders and the followers. The confident and the insecure. The desirable and the pathetic. The strong and the weak. The alpha and the beta. The intellectual and the vapid. The clear and the confused. The male and the female. The left and the right. The everything and the nothing. The almighty and the helpless. The positive and the negative. The needy and the indifferent. The loved and the reject. The respected and the despised. The patient and the agitated. The violent and the peaceful. The victim and the perpetrator. The manipulator and the manipulated. The painful and the comfortable. The cold and the empathic. The truth and the lie.

The dichotomy finds a great expression in these two words: Human and inhuman. Creating a contrast that does not exist.

It is a culture that can see only in black and white. A culture of shame, of fear. A culture of caricatures. Of villains and heroes.

A nation of marionettes.

A nation of people who can not appreciate life’s shades of grey, only extremes. A nation of people who resonate absolutely with one concept, only to reject another just as absolutely.

A nation of people trying to imitate each other to become each other. To become whole.

We borrow our desires from others. Far from being autonomous, our desire for a certain object is always provoked by the desire of another person — the model — for this same object. This means that the relationship between the subject and the object is not direct: there is always a triangular relationship of subject, model, and object. Through the object, one is drawn to the model, whom Girard calls the mediator: it is in fact the model who is sought. Girard calls desire “metaphysical” in the measure that, as soon as a desire is something more than a simple need or appetite, “all desire is a desire to be”, it is an aspiration, the dream of a fullness attributed to the mediator.

[…]

These characters, desiring the being of the mediator, project upon him superhuman virtues while at the same time depreciating themselves, making him a god while making themselves slaves, in the measure that the mediator is an obstacle to them.

– Wikipedia: Mimetic Desire, Source: Deceit, desire and the novel by René Girard

Bateson is undoubtedly correct in believing that the effects of the double bind on the child are particularly devastating. All the grown-up voices around him, beginning with those of the father and mother (voices which, in our society at least, speak for the culture with the force of established authority) exclaim in a variety of accents, “Imitate us!” “Imitate me!” “I bear the secret of life, of true being!” The more attentive the child is to these seductive words, and the more earnestly he responds to the suggestions emanating from all sides, the more devastating will be the eventual conflicts. The child possesses no perspective that will allow him to see things as they are. He has no basis for reasoned judgements, no means of foreseeing the metamorphosis of his model into a rival. This model’s opposition reverberates in his mind like a terrible condemnation; he can only regard it as an act of excommunication.

Girard’s Double Bind

And yet they hate what they think they can not become. So the best strategy they can come up with is to do and possess what their heroes possess, hoping that they will then feel like they think their heroes do.

The altruist finds an altruistic excuse to be selfish. The selfish person finds a selfish excuse to be altruistic.

And just like the masses can not allow themselves to refuse a suggestion or idea in order to follow their own intuition, the narcissists, the heroes, can not allow themselves to accept a suggestion or idea even if it is superior to their own. Both are miserable, both are incomplete.

A culture of heroes and sheep. A culture of extremes. A culture of absolutes. A culture of melodramatic bullshit. A culture without differentiation, without nuances, without finesse. A nation that swings forth between maddening anguish and overwhelming euphoria, only to keep redefining its own identity every other day.

Wake up. How can you reject the narcissistic and the heroic without acknowledging its existence? How can you reject the pathetic without acknowledging its existence?

Be whole, my friend. Or enemy. Be everything.

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  • thordaddy

    Tom…

    It just struck me that you might be the “hero” that finally has “me” centralize and “let it all hang out.”

    • Micah Geni
      • thordaddy

        No… Not at all… It’s an ideological and spiritual schism.

        • Micah Geni

          Quite a few informative stories from reader in the comment section.

          Yeah ideology and schism. 1 or 0.
          Im no huge fan of all the Realpolitik out there either.

          Things are situational, but that doesn’t mean that the end always justifies the mean either.

          For the sake of temporarily reduction, simplicity and clarity, the binaries can be very useful. As a guide of life though ?

          • thordaddy

            Radical autonomy and white Supremacy are not actually binary guides because within each desired state of being is a conceptual maximization of “free will.”

            On one side are those whose subconscious conception of power is a will to do anything…

            And on the other side are those who consciously define power as the will to do all right.

            Within this latter conception is the inherentlly self-evident necessity of a will as constituted whereas a will to do anything necessitates a perpetual change of the constituted will.

            So one can “see” that the competing wills, one focused on doing anything to gain power and the other disciplined by the idea that being perfect is power, by definition, have a whole universe to play out their principles. Radical autonomy is super dominant and “white supremacy” is merely the rationalization that the the radical autonomists use to “justifiably” cut each others’ throats.

            Many, many “white” males are in a self-annihilating pact with their mothers. I’ll bailed out long ago and things have only nosedived between us.

          • Micah Geni

            I think I see your “idea”.
            I am more into individual “maximalisation”. And I don’t think it is related to neither race nor gender. More of a mental ascension process. It is actually rather non-productive in western term and by our standards, which make it a bit problematic.

            Those old hippies were onto something, I believe :)

            (Avoiding or “handling” negative stuff, like BPD-mothers is part of the process)

          • thordaddy

            Micah,

            The question in the West is what “feels” more like “freedom?”

            Being some particular or “being” nothing particular at all? The masses are “in love” with the latter conception while totally disassociated from its logical consequence.

          • Micah Geni

            I think that is mostly due to their misconception of being “free and strong independt …whoever”..

            How can I be part of group when I cannot even be part of my own family. Not all of them. The very few ?

            I think many have ideas such as that, but unconsciously. Single-mom concept has biased them. Has ruined some good old core value. Not erradicated, but just set them out of sight.

            If I were to split people into groups which one would have to join, it wouldn’t depend on color or race. Maybe for instance MBTI personality type.. “All the INTPs to city X, and the ENTJ goes to infinite minus X, then the ENTPs can join the INTPs in the same city and neighbooring city are for the INFPs”
            But even that would be rather “boring”. I think a better solution, would be a non-feministic approach. Confront my own problems with the ENTJs and figure out a way to avoid them in a civilized manner. Because every 4th year, one of them has a good point on different subjects.

          • Micah Geni

            Whats so wrong with that ?

            Each and every day, your boss and co-workers will surprise and encourage you, by giving you “positive” feedback implying you actually are someone :)

            No. The problem is that people are not what they feel they should be. Entitlement.

            Not having an ego is also an entitlement-free state. It isnt the problem, as you seem to imply. Not in itself.
            It does become a practical problem, when/if other people disrespect you for it. “(S)He’s nothing !”..
            Great ! but how is that phrase actually pronounced… How many will hire yo ? Who wanna date you ? Who wanna bother to find out ?

          • Micah Geni

            If we cut all the BS. Isn’t “ideology”, your current, basically down to this type of process:

            I dont wanna die -> I dont wanna be annihilated -> Im scared and need to do something about it -> Ideology and action

            Tom is more here:

            I dont wanna die -> Dont wanna be annihilated (by mom) -> I give a shit about and do nothing but see it for what it is

            Then you have others,mental hospital candidates:

            I dont wanna die -> So I might as well get it over with
            I wanna die

          • Micah Geni

            If we cut all the BS. Isn’t “ideology”, your current, basically down to this type of process:

            I dont wanna die -> I dont wanna be annihilated -> Im scared and need to do something about it -> Ideology and action

            Tom is more here:

            I dont wanna die -> Dont wanna be annihilated (by mom) -> I’m not scares and action mostly involve seeing things for what they are

            Then you have others,mental hospital candidates:

            I dont wanna die -> So I might as well get it over with
            I wanna die

          • thordaddy

            Ideology is that illusory “glue” REQUIRED by those who lack origin and destination in their lives. This “lack of” is very acute into high IQ “white” male. He neither know where he is from nor understands where he is going. White Supremacy is a particular solution to a general self-annihilation of the high IQ “white” male. And then when one brings these concepts comfortably together then it seems self-evident that white Supremacists WOULD NATURALLY be high IQ white men. White men secure in origin and destination, ie., not radically autonomous… Not self-annihilating.

          • What is the connection between high IQ and supremacy?

          • thordaddy

            The secular ideal is that the smartest people should rule… They are supreme… But “they” are anti-Supremacists… So “they” cannot then be the smartest… Yet, “they” rule. The self-annihilators rule. “We” just try to avoid be collateral damage.

          • Who decides who the smartest people are?

          • thordaddy

            The secularist would probably use the IQ test. But I think an additional given is that the smart people are already thinking about the smart people to manage society.

          • Who creates the IQ test? Who convinces the masses that they should be ruled? It is nonsensical. In the end, power is seized by those who are most able to seize it, not by those who think themselves most able to wield it.

            In other words: Even if you are convinced that something should be, who will actually enforce it?

    • I do not want to be anybody’s hero. But if you profit from my writing, I am glad.

      • thordaddy

        Is that always your sole decision?

        • As long as I am wounded, yes. I can not afford to care about anyone but myself now. Maybe never. I do not think that it is meant to be that way, to be each other’s heros. I think that each is to ultimately be his own.

          • thordaddy

            Who needs you to care when you are unconsciously inspiring? Heroes rarely choose themselves. True heroes are largely a creation of the masses. But certainly a great man COULD make heroes out of those who helped him to greatness. In fact, it seems clear this is the properly ordered thing to do.

          • I see. I may hesitate because my definition of a hero differs from yours. From my life experience – being momma’s hero – I can only see heroism as slavery. From the one moment you define me your hero and I accept pride for being that, I automatically enter into a contract where I have to keep being your hero, trying to read your mind, trying to do something for you, figuring out what you want. That is what I will avoid at any cost, that kind of slavery.

            On the other hand, if my self-interested heroic journey happens to benefit others as well coincidentally, so be it.

          • Micah Geni

            Hi there Momma’s Hero :)

            This one was familiar and interesting. Well said:
            ” I can only see heroism as slavery. From the one moment you define me
            your hero and I accept pride for being that, I automatically enter into a
            contract where I have to keep being your hero, trying to read your
            mind, trying to do something for you, figuring out what you want. That
            is what I will avoid at any cost, that kind of slavery.”

  • thordaddy

    https://eradica.wordpress.com

    Tom… You should join us at Eradica ESPECIALLY because eradication is on your mind. They think I’m “nuts” there, too! Crazy like a fox is more like it.

    • Not interested.

      • thordaddy

        Not interested in eradicating individuals or not interested in writing about eradicating individuals at a domain dubbed Eradica?

        Just because you seek to gain back your humanity does not mean that those who could care less about doing the same don’t then need to be put down with extreme prejudice.

        • Frankly, I sorta stopped to care. I think I have processed my trauma and suddenly all that shit stopped to matter. If someone is intolerant, I can still tolerate that person in the sense that I can have compassion with the pain that makes them intolerant. Of course I will defend myself if need be, but I do not see any need to attack those who are still on their way. Let the kids play and make their mistakes, so to speak.

          • thordaddy

            You are not an island unto yourself. You have duties that go beyond healing thyself. Tolerant and intolerant have no bearing where good and evil cannot be delineated. You have a will to do anything or you have a will to do all right… Which one feels like “power” to you? The consequences of this battle of wills cannot be avoided or escaped from ESPECIALLY if one is a high IQ “white” male.

          • I am not sure where you are going with this. I have no duties, no. And if I have any, I will choose them on my own or god will propose them to me.

            You are fighting an ideological battle that I do not give two shits about.

          • thordaddy

            Yes… But your LIFE IS A TESTAMENT to the notion that the “ideological battle” gives way more than two shits about you… YOU and your kind are the very target of the zeitgeist. How could it be otherwise unless you attempt to declare yourself something less than you really are… And in fact, that is the zeitgeist… To have you constantly and ideologically cast yourself as always something less than… The PULL of “equality” then comes at you from a different place with a multiplier effect.

            You are more deeply immersed than those who came before you. You must accept this reality. You are more COMFORTABLY immersed in anti-white Supremacy. This is pathological. The evidence. is everywhere in the West.

          • I agree with your first paragraph. But I am no longer forced to be around that toxic person that destroyed me. People on the internet I can ignore.

  • thordaddy

    Have you ever pondered a “virtual father…” Or a “cyber father?” Could I be both and not be the same kind of father to *you?*

    Have you thought about the father that was a father for so long, but now no longer feels fatherly, but still wants that feeling again?

    • Your language is a bit obscure.

      You can not be a father to me, because I know nothing of you but your words. I no longer trust purely words.

      Besides, my wish to have a father is the wish of a baby. It is a wish of the past. It no longer feels appropriate. Grief is more suitable now, over the father that chose not to father me.

      • thordaddy

        I grew up having to hear that I had “two dads,” ie., biological and adoptive, but 41 years later, I have neither one of those. At the very same moment is a separation from my own four children. So in many ways, “we” are in a equal current state with the critical difference being how much more degenerate your relationship with your mother was as compared to mine. So here “we” are…

        • I see. Well, I do not have children, neither was I ever in a real relationship, so I unfortunately cannot empathize with your situation as a father.

          I will say, though, that one should not be a father because one needs to be a father, but because someone else needs and asks you to be theirs.

          It was basically the mistake of my mother. She just needed to have that feeling that she is a good mother. A mythical status symbol. It was not really about what I needed.

          In my eyes, a mother and a father should just be the two people that help you get into this life, without claiming any sort of status for themselves. You know, like a teacher teaches you something they are good at. They may be a bit annoyed that they have to explain it all over again, but that is the deal.

          • thordaddy

            Yes… I agree 100%… Having four children for me was never about gaining staitus symbols. I’m not sure I could put into words what it really means to me to be a father to my four particular children. But the larger point was that over time, having done this for nearly two decades, a primary role of the father becomes equal to the role of Truth-teller. Provide, protect AND tell Truth. It is doing the latter that has become for me an additional self-evident duty that can subsequently reach beyond my children JUST BECAUSE it can.

          • I understand. You told me a few things that helped and I thanked you for that. I rejected others. You will have to live with that fact. A part of wanting a father frankly was just what you say, a truth teller. But I am coming to realize that it is an infantile wish. Nobody is perfect. The wish was basically only the lazy wish to give up my own thinking and be spoon-fed truth.

  • Apathia

    This post opened up a new perspective to me. Have you ever heard of Atlas Shrugged? This book seems to be the epitome of the culture of heroes that you talk about. Yet, I still value it even after reading and agreeing with your post. I guess a significant difference is that the heroes in Atlas Shrugged never wanted approval from the masses, though they did relish it from the other heroes. Do you have any thoughts on it?

    • Ah, yes. Atlas Shrugged (and Fountainhead) I was quite obsessed with for a while. Eventually, I started to have growing doubts about this ‘absolute certainty’ thing and found her philosophy too simplistic – although not ‘wrong’. These days, I just have a distaste for moral systems in general. Saying what’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There are many facets and perspectives to life. The one of the hero is one of them, but not the only one, and not inherently better than others. We are all here to experience a different kind of life.