“Automata Inconvenienced with a Soul”

The problem with regarding people as “moist robots,” as the Z Man puts it, is not that people aren’t actually moist robots.  Glaring falsehood is a feature, not a bug, of every grand sociological theory this side of Original Sin.  Try it for yourself:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Nope.  Sorry, Tom, but every single substantive claim in that sentence is wrong, and obviously so.  Men aren’t created equal, life obviously isn’t a right, both life and liberty are alienated all the time, calling “the pursuit of Happiness” a “right” is incoherent, etc.  As slogans go, it’s not the worst ever to have rallied troops, but as a statement about the human condition it’s absurd.  For proof, see American history — yeah, ALL of it — 1865 to present.

It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.

Ponderous Teutonic prose keeps this from being as obviously false as Jefferson’s nice plain English, but it’s still bollocks.  It’s an A+ example of the Ishmael Effect.  How did you, Karl Marx, get your consciousness past the limits of your social being, in order to tell us that no one’s consciousness can ever get past his social being?  As an explanation for why Marxist regimes are always police states, it’s aces — nothing changes your social being like a decade or two in the gulag — but as a social theory it’s bunk.

____ is just a social construction.

The parts that aren’t biology, anyway.  So, you know, maybe 25%, tops.

And so on down the line.  The social contract assumes rough equality between individuals in the State of Nature, a falsity inside an absurdity.  Anarchism assumes people naturally cooperate.  Aristotle, who famously defined man as the political animal, also assumed that man was the rational animal.  Spend five minutes on social media and tell me how that holds up.

The danger, then, isn’t the error per se.  It’s that the error becomes fundamental to one’s identity.

Everyone who has “taken the red pill” knows: It hurts.  Those of us who were once “CivNats” never thought of ourselves that way.  We thought we were just Americans — outgoing, generous, trustworthy within limits, maybe a little stuffy, but fundamentally decent.  We thought everyone else was, too.  Our default setting was “give ’em the benefit of the doubt.”  We wanted a nice house on a quite street in the ‘burbs because that’s nice, and we assumed that everyone else wants nice things, too.

It’s one hell of a punch to the gut to discover that lots of people aren’t nice, that they think nice people are suckers, that in fact they hold the very idea of “nice” in the deepest contempt.  That there are lots of people who live by the mobster’s mantra — “fuck you, pay me” — but they think even less of you when you actually pay.  So you build delusions for yourself — “they live like that down in the ghetto,” you tell yourself, “because they just don’t know any better.  More education, in better schools, with more job opportunities…that’ll fix it.”

But it won’t.  They live like that because they want to live like that.  Spend five minutes down there, and you’ll see people going way out of their way to increase their own squalor and misery.  A freshly-painted house will draw vandals from three ‘hoods over.  A kid who does his homework will be beaten by his classmates.  It’s all by choice.  That’s the red pill, and it goes down hard.

Or it doesn’t go down at all.  Sometimes the error is just too fundamental to one’s identity.  The believers in moist robot theory — those who believe men are just “automata inconvenienced with a soul,” as was said about the tsar’s bureaucrats — are, I’m increasingly coming to believe, Irredeemable.  They’ve embraced the error to such an extent that they try to make it truest for themselves.

Think about it:  It takes a certain type of person to be frustrated, intimidated, stressed out by the mere fact of choice.  A person who experiences real emotional distress when forced to choose between Froot Loops and Cap’n Crunch isn’t (just) a namby-pamby sissy.  This is a person who desperately wishes he was a meat robot, so that the programmer could tweak his algorithm and he’d never have to face another decision.

Only a certain type of person could write a book called Escape from Freedom.  It says it’s about Nazis, of course, but it’s actually a perfect portrait of a cultural marxist.  The Sane Society, the same author informs us, shall only be achieved when all those frightening decisions are made for us by a benevolent authority.

So, too, in economics.  Guys like Tyler Cowen write as if people are nothing more than culture-less, deracinated consumer units, because he himself longs to be a culture-less, deracinated consumer unit.  Calling someone like Cowen an “American” is like saying “he has brown hair” — true, but meaningless, as it’s just an accident of birth.  He desperately wants to be a rootless cosmopolitan consumer, so he writes as if we all are.  He’s nominally on the “Right,” but he means the same thing as the nominal “Left” when he pens another paean to “diversity” — isn’t it great that you can get Thai-Bavarian-Eskimo-Cuban fusion cuisine on the Upper West Side?

tl;dr — as the man said, SJWs always project.  They long to be meat robots.  They try desperately to make themselves into meat robots.  And since we the people only matter as stagehands in the all-encompassing show that is their pwecious widdle selves, they try to make us into meat robots, too.

I don’t think it’s curable, comrades.  Sadly, I think the only way to “help” folks who feel themselves to be “automata inconvenienced with a soul” is to “convenience” them.  I hope I’m wrong, but I guarantee you that thanks to “people” like them, we’re going to learn the answer soon enough.

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8 thoughts on ““Automata Inconvenienced with a Soul”

  1. Publius

    Yes, but as Aesop’s Old Mouse asked: “Who Will Bell the Cat?”

    It’s one thing to talk abou Civil War. Hell, we’ve been doing nothing else for a number of years now. We’re positive the damn thing is just over the next hill.

    But as you yourself wrote, it took a whole lot of squeezing by a number of determined politicos to get one started the last time. And even then most people would have preferred not to bother.

    We seem to act under the idea that One Fine Day the Spark will ignite, and like Europe in 1914 we’ll all be off to the trenches before we can get our second boot on. Which obviously isn’t a categorical impossibility, as thing like that tend to happen amongst us moist robots every now and again. But I wonder if we’re laying too much faith in just the right kind of Black Swan, y’dig?

    1. Pickle Rick

      The kindling is there, the sparks are flying with every single outrage the Left perpetrates, but the vital ingredient is missing. There’s no accelerant, in the form of a leadership willing to finally embrace dissolution. The South didn’t need much “squeezing” from politicians to decide that they wanted out- John Brown let them know quite clearly what was in store for them, and it was the state legislatures, not the Representatives and the Senators who provided the local leadership to make it happen. They knew very well that if they took the step to secession, that men like Major Thomas Jackson and Colonel Robert E. Lee we’re ready to lead the armies. Do we have that today? Not one damn bit.
      The Bolsheviks took leadership of millions of pissed off peasants and workers because they knew that homegrown leadership of the people didn’t exist, and they filled that vacuum. That’s why the left, Trump notwithstanding, marches from victory to victory. They’ve got leaders, and we don’t.

      1. Severian Post author

        I don’t see an actual Civil War coming, for the reasons y’all describe. I see America ending up as a much larger, messier Northern Ireland, held down by the mercenary troops of La Caudilla Ocasio-Cortez and the Vibrant Coalition and troubled, but in no danger of being overthrown, by various “freedom fighter” groups largely indistinguishable from street gangs.

        1. Pickle Rick

          I go to a public range on the state game lands once in a while when I meet my hunting buddy after work. It’s located near your typical white suburban upper middle class neighborhoods near the city. I see far more ARs being shot by well dressed types that are not your stereotypical redneck deplorable than bolt actions being shot by guys in RealTree overalls. You ain’t hunting deer with an AR.

          1. Publius

            I think ZMan has the answer:


            The numbers will be built in the shadows. I had a thought to look there because a few posts back he made a mention of making a flight to visit a dissident group, without going into too many identifying details. Given the nature of the Panopticon, this would appear to be the only way.

  2. contrariandutchman

    I think the continental US is far too large for something like the troubles, it would take tens of millions of soldiers to run a manpower intensive counter insurgency campaign across all of it.

    In addition, something like the toubles requires a very great deal of restraint on the part of the government and army. Do you really think presidente eterno Vissarionovich-Cortez will insist on such restraint against deplorables? And harshly maintain discipline in an army that will likely consist mostly of hired sicarios and rabble from the big cities drawn by the promise of rape and plunder?

    I’ve said it before, look to Syria if you want to know what US civil war 2.0 will look like. (and yes, a much more brutal version of the troubles may play out in the coastal cities, as it did in Syria initially)

  3. MBlanc46

    You might have added “No such thing as a bad boy” to your list of howlers. It’s not a major social theory, but it’s the mantra of the monumentally ill-conceived Leftist criminal justice project. There are some truly bad boys, and most of us have encountered a few. But most people are, all things considered, on the decent end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, most people universalize that fact. It’s largely women who refuse to acknowledge that there are just some people so nasty that they should just be put down. (I’m not denying that there are a lot of namby-pamby men who have bought into it; see your local Protestant minister for an example.) Women just want to “make it all better”, which, after all, is their principal social function, and thank goodness for it. But it’s an impulse that, if it gets let out of its proper domain, can bring the entire edifice down. On the question of hot civil war, in current conditions, it just won’t happen. Too much sugar and fats, Alexa to do everything for you, and sportsball will keep the normies sunk in their recliners. But current conditions might not last forever. Our current prosperity is built on free money and oceans (is there something larger than oceans?) of debt. I’m not much of a believer in economic laws, but I’d wager that, say, seven times out of nine, free money and oceans of debt do not end well.

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