Sunday, December 23, 2018

A transforming moment

Stefan Molyneux experiences the national life of the Poles and realises how much has been lost in the West. Well worth watching:

As an added note to this video, it seems to me that we have lost the ability to conceive of ourselves as existing both on the individual plane (a single body) and also as part of a larger body of people, and that a complete life must encompass ourselves as a member of this larger body.

From this larger body we derive parts of our identity, our loves and attachments, our participation in a larger, transcendent tradition, our sense of pride and achievement, our social commitments, our attachments to place, whether to nature, landscape or urban environment, our connection to a particular cultural tradition, our commitments to maintaining moral and cultural standards, our sense of connectedness to both the history of our own people - to generations past - as well as our commitment to future generations.

So, yes, it is a grievous loss when we no longer have this membership of an historic people, an ethny. It is difficult to live a complete life as a person when this is the case. So I do understand why Stefan Molyneux gets emotional when he finally realises what has been taken from him by the globalising tendencies within the modern West.


  1. As with Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged; no one shreds collectivism better than Rand, yet in the end of her very long story, her heroic men and women go beyond the strike of all strikes (a purely collective act), and collectively abandon society and collect in a hidden valley away from the evil collectivists running society. The contradiction is so profound that it is almost laughable. Rand is a theoretical communist (the only actual kind) turned inside out. Radical individualism with no state.

    Molyneux does the same thing. He's a small-Galt brushing back tears revealing his excruciating joy/pain shattering him into pieces experienced in this Polish Freedom Parade. He begins this video by describing himself as an empiricist. In one "freedom bar" scene a Pole describes himself as a rationalist.

    Molyneux steps to the side during the parade, apparently overcome with emotion. He describes himself as a "staunch individualist... hostile to collectivism. As you see here we have people all marching in the same direction, with the same flag, with the same pride".

    He goes on: "The last few days here in Poland have just sort of shattered something within me (choking back tears) in that the sense of collective unity, the sense of collective pride, the sense of having a tribe, the sense of having a culture that you can be proud of, has risen within me, and I've never been to Poland before..."

    He goes on like that. I quit at 20:11 of the 1:03:23.

    What I see is a muddle of confused, conflicting messages. Like Rand's profound contradiction - being that if all of those men, lead to the valley by the god-like Galt, never met and never knew of each other, but had acted as "staunch individuals", all at the same time, individually and independently creating Rand's collective shrug, does the central anti-collectivist theme of her ponderous 1100 pages makes sense.

    Molyneux seems just as contradictory. A "staunch individualist", gathered with his ancestral tribe, "marching in the same direction, with the same flag, with the same pride".

    What am I missing? I see this same thing nearly everywhere. More often from those who seem to be thriving on their public intellectualism.

    Flurries of intellectual rhetoric and emotional displays of simultaneous rationalism and empiricism, is all to often, what I see. Molyneux is more showman than serious thinker.

    How am I supposed to make heads or tails of this kind of public intellectualism, this so-called dark web, money making carnival?

    That "freedom bar" was arranged on social media by Molyneux himself. He says so right up front. The parade was sanctioned and controlled by the state after a legal battle and negotiations with multiple state forces. All that is made clear. Once a year a coalition of "conservatives, libertarians, monarchs..., etc.," are allowed by the police, the military, the security forces, the mayor, the courts... to march a set distance on one specific day a year? And this is breaking Molyneux in two?

    Again, what am I missing? Is Molyneux going back home to create "freedom pubs" and to organize British freedom parades?

    You might say: but, Buck that's the point. You can eventually get permission to parade in Poland, but you can't get permission in Britain? No protests or marches or parades in Britain? Does no one want to?

    If true, what is Molyeux's confused point? If not true, what is his point?

  2. If I can make a few points. Probably M. is a great actor. And he's probably able to use his emotions to create a segment of drama. But, art is the lie that can illuminate the truth. Techies are not capable of understanding this. It's something I've been very much aware of for at least eight years. So, there are people who are so robotic and "scientific" that no emotion can be trusted, only data points.

  3. I don't see a muddled Rand pronouncing absurdity as fact. I saw a man genuinely conflicted (with a little added drama perhaps) who found a life changing experience.

    His Twitter feed since then would seem to confirm that.

    1. Lucas, I agree that he appears to be genuinely conflicted. I'd expect that his twitter feed would confirm that. Contradictions are as unavoidable as are unprincipled exceptions. Non-non-human animals can't get through the day without them. They can't be denied, so we have to own them and work hard to get to the truth.

      I don't see Rand's thinking as muddled. AS was at times ponderous and repetitive, but far from confused, Rand was relentless. She may well have rationalized the risky plot contradiction as a necessary trade-off, that maybe no one would notice as an unprincipled exception to her otherwise powerful destruction of collectivism. She had to make a story out of it. She was a public intellectual, after all. I doubt that she was lost in the weeds. More like she shrugged and thought that few would notice, and even if they did, they lasted for nearly 1100 pages for some reason.

  4. Libertarians are nice people, but they have a foolish idea in their heads, where human liberty is the primary value. Liberty in moderation is a good thing, but there are other values that they often forget about. Glad to see the old guy learn something thanks to the brave Poles.