Atavism

Conspiracy theories are far more common than we give them credit for. Everyone harbors some belief that the majority rejects. We live in a world where we only see an incomplete picture of reality. You only have one set of eyes.

For a narrative to be compelling, it must be complex. Everyone has tried to interpret a dream at one point in their life. The best ones are the dreams where you only remember bits and pieces. Meaning comes when you try to formulate a cohesive story out of the dream.

Our worldviews are created in a similar way. Wars spring up on every corner of globe. Genocide is a regular occurrence in history. We hear about another mass shooting every month like clockwork. Some people are so rich that they couldn’t be bankrupted from spending a fortune each a day. Others are so poor they can’t even afford food. All of these are begging to be explained. They must have a reason.

Understanding is the basic purpose of consciousness. It is the interpretation of the past to predict the present. The smaller the system, the easier it is to understand. All scientific knowledge is gained by isolating a phenomenon down to its essentials. This sort of thinking is not universally applicable. Treating life like a science experiment is a recipe for disaster. A person is a infinitesimally minute part of a much larger system.

Despite this, we are still implanted with the desire for understanding. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t smart enough to connect the dots, you are going to anyway. Much like the trope of the obsessed detective scouring through random clues to break a case, we search the world for meaning. You see that shady figure behind the bush in this photograph? That isn’t a smudge on the negative, that’s the real the killer.

Modernity has made the world more complex than most people can handle. People want to know why they can’t find a job. They want to know why their kids are so fat. They want to know why their country seems to get worse with each passing year. Most people have a hard time staying awake in history class. Why should we expect them to understand global politics?

What they end up with is nothing more than patchwork. An ideology based on appearances and intuition rather than reality. Some people put their faith in God for these answers. Some people put their trust in a charismatic politician. Very few are honest enough with themselves to realize that truth isn’t a birthright.

Horror vacui, nature abhors a vacuum. Meaning and purpose have always been a useful mechanism for survival. Even if modernity has made it irrelevant, the urge lives on.

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This is my rifle

I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to buy a gun.

I realize I’ll probably never use it. It’ll sit at the bottom of a drawer in my nightstand. It’ll be covered by miscellaneous junk that inevitably accumulates in drawers. If I ever need to get to it quickly, I’ll probably have trouble finding it. I won’t keep it loaded so I’ll have to scour the junk once more to find the magazine. The ammo will probably get jammed as I load it. The safety will be set on. With any luck, I’ll have a usable weapon about a minute after I needed it. I’d probably be better of defending myself with a 200-year old, single shot musket.

Owning a gun to “defend yourself” is mostly bullshit. Unless you are going to strap a gun to your chest every day, you are probably never going to be in the position to use it. No, I don’t want a gun for defense. I want it for peace of mind.

It puts you in another class of men. In every society, the people with real power have weapons, and they have the best weapons they can get their hands on. For the past 300 years or so, that has meant guns. In most third-world countries, the government is so ineffective that they do not rule most of their own cities. Some towns are ruled by a mayor and others are ruled by a crimelord. Most cities are a mix of both. They each have their own different set of leaders and laws. There is one sure way to see who has the real power. Just look for the people with the most guns, then you’ll know.

The state only regulates things that threaten its power. It should come as no surprise that guns are heavily-regulated world wide. In many countries like Switzerland and South Korea, gun ownership is strictly tied to military service. Compulsory conscription means that citizens will learn about firearms through their government. How to hold them, how to clean them, how to aim them, and when to use them. Subconsciously, it reinforces the state as the arbiter of destiny. If you want power, you’ll have to get it through them.

It’s hard to meet someone who doesn’t have a strong opinion about guns. This opinion operates on an instinctual and visceral level. Are you uncertian of how you feel about guns? I’ve got a surefire way for you to find to out. Simply hold one in your hand, take aim, and squeeze the trigger. You will feel something. If that target was a person, he’d be dead. Don’t knock it until you tried it.

That amount of power can be intoxicating. If you aren’t ready for it, it will frighten you. It is cathartic. There are a lot of uptight people in the world. I bet if there was a gun range on every corner, there would be a lot less stress. It’d certainly be healthier than a bunch of convenience stores. I wonder how many people are dying each day from cheap beer and potato chips that come in hermetically sealed bags.

That’s probably why my father has a cabinet full of guns. It’s probably why his father does too. I bet my great-grandfather had a whole rack of rifles back in his heyday . I doubt any of the guns were ever used. Besides the occasional target practice, they’ll sit down there and rust. There is something very human about just owning a weapon. You’ve got to prepare yourself if the world goes to hell.

Serenades of opposition

We live in an age of untruths. Far too often, we bite our tongues instead of speaking our minds. We have been trained to do so from early youth. There are certain things you can say aloud to anyone, certain things you can say only in confidence with close friends and family, and certain things you must forever carry alone in your own mind. The most well-adapted man to the modern age knows these boundaries well. He knows what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. For this, people think of him as clever, insightful, and witty.

Conversely, a man who does not follow these rules becomes a social pariah. His words become an albatross around his neck. If one is not careful about what he says and to who he says it to, he is branded with labels that forever stain his reputation in the eyes of others.

A man who gains this particular form of infamy is treated poorly by all. Every society has its own strain of ideology. When people group together, they need a protocol for understanding each other. History shows that if a society does not have an ideology from inception, it quickly acquires one. It is required for a sense of group identity. Without a shared ethos, a society crumbles into chaos.

Because of this, those who have the audacity to attack a society’s ideology are seen as the most vile kind of man. They become public enemy number one. Past societies had a multitude of names for this sort of man: heretic, blasphemer, infidel. These words have fallen out of fashion in modern society, but they are very much alive in their spiritual successors. They are needed more than ever.

As a consequence of diving deeper into the recent obsession with globalism and diversity, members of society continue to have less and less common with each other. The chaos this breeds requires a greater force to uphold it. You can see in action all around you today. Any time someone calls another out as a bigot, a chauvinist, or a extremist, it is an attempt to form social cohesion in this brave new world.

The basic concept remains the same today. It is no different than the shaming done in the past. If something goes against the grain of the lies that everyone else has agreed upon, it will be demonized. The primary difference is that you don’t need to kill, rape, or pillage to be considered a barbarian any more. In this form of modern insanity, words speak louder than actions.

The worst kind of punishment comes when the heretic speaks the truth. The weakest of ideas are rooted in lies. People do not castigate an insane man, they feel pity for him. A society is only compelled to utterly destroy a man when he threatens it with truth. Look at any two examples of virulent persecution in history and you will see one overriding commonality between them, they dare to say that the emperor had no clothes.

Persecution is not something that can only be viewed through the obscured lense of history. It is alive and well. It will only grow stronger the farther we dare to plunge further into the ideas that have made the modern world. Look around and you will see witches being burned at the stake. There is much to be learned from their heresy. In a world increasingly ruled by madness, those that we deem insane are the only ones who dare to speak the truth.