Joyous Insurgency & the Long Game?

A Strategy for People Celebrating Life

When Something Snaps
The Sudden Release of Uncoordinated and Uncontrollable Energy


How can you recognize much less adapt to a sea-change when a people or a culture have destroyed their capacity for intelligent, reasonable, and responsible thought? If your utopian visions reduce your horizon to a set of slogans and wish-fulfillments, then anything that happens that falls outside the “normal” will not exist—at least in your mind, your consciousness, your experienced reality of a world mediated by meaning. Pandemics, hot or cold wars, black swans, and other unexpected events place demands on the human mind that cannot be met by biased and blinkered minds. They may try to freeze time in its tracks, but inevitable they will fail to meet the challenges placed before them by a universe far greater than the one they can imagine.


A robust populace can withstand much; an emaciated one fails at the first real challenge. Perhaps we can encourage those small but critical productive and creative members of our culture while protecting them from the ravages of the mundane power-ladened death-embracing mob that would have all descend into chaos. For this we need to grow subjects committed to freedom, reason, and human dignity.


Perhaps there is no better time than this to rise to the challenge.


*   *   *   *   *   *


ROT

Redundant, Obsolete, Trivial(1)


What better description do we have of the alphabet stew of departments and agencies (CDC, DOJ, FBI, and IRS, to name but a few) now exposed as credentialed, meritless, and incompetent organizations that operate through the mist and fog of inaction, misdirection, cover-ups, and protectionisms. This stands in sharp contrast with a 20th century model of people who live and work in an Age of Mobility, Big Data, Transparency, and Open Source and Shared Economy.(2) To live is such a world is to realize that there is no place to hide from the truth. As Sarah A. Hoyt notes: “Tell the truth or at least don’t lie. Remember to build in truth, because there is no hiding from it. We live in the times when the secret of every heart shall be revealed.”(3)


Martin Gurri draws out what is becoming obvious to many:


     So this 20th-century Industrial Age model of democracy, where rulers are at a distant from the public, is gone. Now it’s embarrassingly clear that the rulers, the elites, don’t really know what’s going [on] or what they’re doing. And at the same time, the public has no shared organization, no common leaders, no ideology. Instead, we have a divided populace united only be its distain for the status quo.(4)


Trump may have altered the latter.


The current U.S. elections have brought out the worse of the American ruling class, turning over rocks that once hide a multitude of sins. To those that follow the political arena, as I have since 9/11 redirected my attentions and interests, this credentialled yet somehow incompetent class is engaged in wide-spread censorship that approaches gaslighting in its extreme. But, as Richard Fernandez put it,


     The biggest downside to censorship shadow banning and other methods of distortion and thought control is it destroys information. This is one of the fundamental reasons why the progs do so badly against Black Swans. They can’t conceive them or think out of the box to solve them because they have destroyed the information that might have enable them.
     But it’s worse than this. They have a tendency to throw printed money at problems and since printed money is in a sense, nothing but misinformation, the real amount of reliable data falls even more. One reason why the election polls were so bad was because they were recording self-noise
.(5)


Combine this with Col. Nathan R. Jessep’s explosive reveal, in the movie A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!”(6) and you have the root cause of many of our problems: the lack of sound, reliable, information, i.e., of moments of truth. And this brings us to the importance of faith.


The real crunch comes with the loss of authority, of legitimacy, that comes with the fragmentation of a culture into numerous sub-cultures that have little if anything in common with each other. Each has its own unique appreciative system, its own world view(7), its own accepted set of values and common-sense knowledge which, when taken to its limits, means the loss of any singular universal orientation that would allow for a common way of evaluating the world as well as diagnosing the source of what is a “problem.” But what is a problem to one group may not be a problem to another. Conflict is inevitable, as well as gradual decline as the socio-political order devolves into every more chaotic and dysfunctional schemes of operation.


The problem is one of agency. The incoming administration, in their recent coup, believe they have gained the reins of power to do what they will to whomever they will. They will have the power but will lack the authority and influence to carry that power through into the public realm. These increasingly weaponized government agencies that include Pravda-based media and high tech as a single operative unit will be the only way the new (old) power-players can protect themselves against the shifts among key agents as these same agents come to their own conclusions and act accordingly. But weaponizing everything, including such once a-political sports, will only make matters worse. The problem is that people need to be able to express themselves and when they are denied the right to gripe, they go underground. And when they go underground, the pressure builds until something breaks.(8)


And the first to go is trust. Without trust, everything devolves to essentials. The rule of law is the first to go by the board, soon followed by a lack of property rights and the loss of human dignity. The good of order shrinks down to its most basic elements, namely tribal identity and family trusts. The capacity for production and innovation drop off as few are willing to take on the risks of trying new approaches when all can be taken at the whim of the powerful who are not subject to their own rules and regulations. Industrial development will take a hit, along with the supply chains that keep things going.


But so too will the military, already tasked with the need for new recruits as senior NCOs retire yet faced with a populace that in many ways fails to meet the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of a high-tech war machine. How will the rank and file react to an incoming Commander and Chief that does not have their back? How will the (Dis)United States fare when it comes to maintaining open sea lanes across the globe? The old global order based on the Bretton Woods agreement is already breaking down as new powerful agents emerge on the global stage. And all are not nice players in a global economic system where oriental despots such as Xi Jinping gain the fruits of modernization without changing their oppressive regimes, or the Islamic dar al-Islam (Ummah: the House of Islam) that cannot escape primitive tribal bonds and a permanent state of war with the dar al-Harb (all non-Muslims: the House of War) that leaves such a culture in dire poverty whose “citizens” are unable to use in any meaningful way the very technology they have acquired from the West.


Then we have the mass appeal of the Devil’s Pleasure Palace(9) that is the hard Left, a subversive ideology grounded in the death-embracing generative principle. They promise a glittering life of ease and luxury free of all strife, knowing full well such promises are nothing but lies. They promise full care and protection for all under the umbrella of the State while at the same time destroying the means of production that provide safety and security.  It is a strange paradox.


All this becomes personal when the lack of trust foreshortens any plans or policies, any expectations of what can or cannot be achieved. Isolated from each other, blocked from any meaningful engagement, and increasingly vulnerable to an “elite” class, the loss of free associations combined with the downgrading of a middle class that provides common law and the production of wealth effectively disenfranchises those who create the wealth all others enjoy.


This means the loss of wealth not counted in money but in the capacity to produce and distribute goods and services. Fiat money is infinite, production and distribution finite. And when the capacity to make things happen, to be agents in the world, is degraded so too we return to a pre-industrial life that is at best short and nasty, constrained by a lack of opportunity that will leave many lives devoid of meaning and purpose. The loss of modernity has already begun to affect the lives of people all around the world.(10)


Now we are not talking about religious beliefs nor cult dogmas, but about how we come to know what is or is not so. The fact is that extraordinarily little of what we know as being true cannot be verified through personal experience; most of what we believe comes to us by second-hand routes—we know something is true because someone else affirms it is true. In other words, the key variable is faith. Galen, from the TV series Babylon V, reduces this down to two questions: “Who do you serve, and who do you trust?”(11) These are the two most important questions that you will ever face, for your answer—your decision—will set the foundational horizon and intentions that will start your movement through life.


Note that fundamental changes in one’s horizon and intentions can and do occur as new experiences accrue, a better understanding emerges, the ability to exercise reasonable judgment expands, and the capacity for responsibility grows over time. There are two basic types of fundamental changes: horizonal, through the expansion of an existing horizon, or vertical, through a radical shift to a higher perspective. The latter involves intellectual, moral, and religious conversion accompanied by a well-differentiated mind capable not only of understanding different realms of meaning but of knowing when and how such realms can easily contaminate each other.(12)


This leads us into questions of authenticity, honor, and/or capability of the person to answer Galen’s questions. The brute fact is that all of us know what we know not through direct experience, which is fleeting and elusive, but by relying on the judgments and decisions of others. If you have never been to China, how do you know the country exist? A world Atlas may provide a detailed map, but how do you know if the geographer was correct? A mob may storm the capital building, but how do you know it happened? Or the meaning of such an event? We live in a complex world mediated by meaning. If that mental world is corrupt due to mistakes in deciding whom to trust and whom to give one’s allegiance, then we live in a make-believe world that may have little to do with reality.


People of good character whose lives are built around wisdom rather than intelligence may seem few and far between. Yet they are the ones upon which society rests. As C.S. Lewis wrote:


We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.(13)


To reiterate an earlier conversation, Lonergan writes about the existence of a radical shift(14) in perspective that results in the subject leading a new life quite different from the old. This is a radical shift toward value rather than personal interests, toward what is true rather than illusion, and toward a power greater than that of humanity. Without such a vertical shift in being, individuals—indeed whole societies—can fall into decline and eventual collapse as the plans and policies created by limited, truncated, and unconsciously biased minds fail to meet the demands of an ever-changing reality.


Note that such radical shifts cannot be willed, for it is a deliberate decision to be responsible that is a high achievement indeed often provoked by a free encounter with another human being whose capacity for freedom exceeds our own. Furthermore, although it is intensely personal, it is not private. Often, it means joining a different community. Or if the community is the same, one belongs to it in a different way.(15)


Take the question of what is or is not true. To most human beings, truth is what can be seen “out there” quite independent of the person doing the viewing. How often do you hear the comment, “You only have to look to see what is real”? Yet looking—or experiencing—is incomplete without not only understanding what it is that one is experiencing (an insight) but failing to ask the follow-up question of judgement: “Is it so?” This is what Lonergan calls a radical shift away from an epistemology of naïve realism to a far more accurate one of critical realism by following the compound cognitive operations of experiencing, understanding, and deciding. And there are transcendental precepts associated with each: be open to experience, be intelligent in understanding, reasonable when judging what is or is not true, and responsible when deciding what to do or not do.


Then we have the reality that, born as animals, we have an intense very selfish interest in our own well-being. Who among us would put our own well-being aside when threatened? Perhaps most of us would “play along to get along.” But there are those that will take a stand for what they believe, even if it may cost them their lives. Whistle-blowers, for example, or people who fight for the truth about repressive regimes, or those who decide to fight against evil and promote the good in the face of daunting odds. This willingness to place value over personal satisfactions is the second component (moral conversion) in this radical shift.


The third, which really drives the first two, involves a shift toward the transcendent in the human condition (religious conversion). There must be a morality grounded in something deeper than then of human interests if a person is to undertake intellectual and moral forms of radical change. Following a natural law grounded in the divine deprives humans of all the satisfactions that come from attaining godhood, from becoming the general managers of the universe—lords of all we survey. Without such an external compass, truth becomes relative (if not non-existent) and value ceases to constrain the naked drive for power over others. The societal good of order is itself downgraded to levels where trust grows absent, wealth is not created but seized, economies degraded to the point where little can be built or sustained, and life reverts to the short and nasty lifespans of pre-industrial civilizations.


Let me put it this way. Would you trust any person or organization that lacks sound judgment when it comes to determining what is or is not real, that will defend its own interests and well-being over that of anyone else, or that refuses to acknowledge the existence of any power greater than their own?


More than such radical changes are needed if we are to achieve a satisfactory relationship with others—indeed the world at large. Over thousands of years, mankind has brought into being different realms of meaning that are quite distinct from each other, each with their own methodologies, intentions, and boundaries. The primary ones are common sense (a knowledge of how to get things done in one’s own unique time-and-space-specific situation), theory (the hard sciences dedicated to understanding reality through reason and experimentation, revealing a world quite different from that of common sense), transcendental (the Divine in particular, but in general anything considered greater that human well-being, e.g., Marxist), interiority (the self-knowledge of our coming to know and be), and scholarship (recovering the common sense of other times, other places). There are others of course, notable the arts, but these form the bases of our complex world mediated by meaning.(16)


The thing is that any true understanding of ourselves and the world around us now requires a fully differentiated mind capable of not only clearly and distinctly recognizing each differentiated realm with the different modes of intelligence associated with them but exercise extreme caution to prevent cross-contamination. The most common area of confusion lies with undifferentiated minds who can only understand other realms through their own common-sense modes of thought, for example by bringing scientific models of quantum mechanics into the realm of common sense leading to the birth of New Age practices and beliefs. Or chaining the unrestricted desire to know of the practicing scientist to the interests and concerns of the bureaucracies that fund their research, thereby elevating anthropomorphic climate change to unchallengeable levels of doctrine more suited to political ideologies and Utopian thought (and religious fundamentalism) than the task of teasing out the basic structure of reality.


Keep in mind that it is only Western modernity, ground as it is in Christianity, that has undertaken the exploration of all that there is.(17) Non-western civilizations such as those organized around oriental despots (Xi), Islamic tribalism, or pagan rituals, all of which consider the universe as cyclic, not created, and as a given, rather than something to come to know through the application of both reason and faith (faith being the belief that the universe can be understood through the application of reason, as well as the belief that the universe was created and is unfolding through time in a positive direction toward the good).


For our purposes, the most import realm of meaning is that of Interiority. It is in this realm of meaning that the subject begins to appropriate their own rationality, in the sense that he or she becomes aware of the various cognitive operations at play and the transcendental precepts that guide them. Here that we delve into Lonergan’s transcendental method(18) (individual operations) and functional specialties(19) (communal operations) that enable us to create the highly symbolic worlds-mediated-by-meaning that we use to live in the sensate world. For if there is one primary ability of human beings, it is our capacity to create and manipulate extraordinarily complex and interactive symbols at all levels of being.


And this leads us to the central core of this work, one that promises a way of being in the world as productive citizens holding such citizenship dear—and it is one that is not restricted to mere political practices but a way of living that transcends individual concerns and lays bare a level of being that unites rather than divides, builds rather than destroys. And for this we turn to the words of Frederick E. Crowe:


At certain momentous points in history, the term “organon” has been used to designate an instrument of mind: not an instrument of the hand, like a hammer or nutmeg grater, or even so precious an instrument as a Stradivarius violin, but rather a developed talent of an incarnate subject, a way of structuring our conscious activities, that has been of immense importance for the human race.(20)


It is in the hope that this little project may turn out to be a step in the right direction. In either case, we need to “Embrace the Suck.” For the coming days will certainly suck and only the search for truth, taken with a good dose of moral courage combined with a belief in the Divine Mystery, will get us through the progressively dysfunctional world that will define our immediate future.


Russell C. Baker
Montreal, Canada
January 10, 2021



Postscript


All of the above rests on years of inquiry into professional practice, a true transdisciplinary framework, an invariant structure of the human good, the core development of a human being from conception to post-death, a general theory of history grounded in the world process of emergent probability, the importance of adhering to the transcendental precepts when it comes to the authenticity of the person, and the general processes of functional specialties that relies on a method to determine truth and justice rather than rely on normative cultures or scientific knowledge. The whole point of this journey is to be able to work out, in a confused and confusing world dominated by “narrative”, what is or not reliable. I may be wrong. But before you can make that claim, you would have to understand the grounds upon which my own judgments and decisions rest. Otherwise, you are just spinning your own wheels.


rcb



References


(1) James Ottar Grundvig, Master Manipulator: The Explosive True Story of Fraud, Embezzlement, and Government Betrayal at the CDC (New York, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2016), p. 228.
(2) Ibid., pp. 251-2.
(3) Sarah Hoyt, “Once the Trust is Gone” (According to Hoyt, September 24, 2019), https://accordingtohoyt.com/2019/09/24/once-the-trust-is-gone/
(4) Martin Gurri, “A Decade of Revolt” (Vox: Book Review), https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/12/26/21004797/2010s-review-a-decade-of-revolt-martin-gurri
(5) Richard Fernandez, “Belmont Journal” (PJ Media: November 6, 2020), https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2020/11/06/belmont-journal-n1127961
(6) Rob Reiner, director, A Few Good Men (Columbia Pictures: 1992), Jack Nicholson’s playing Col. Nathan R. Jessep.
(7) Cf. Ronald H. Nash, Life’s Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999), Chapter 1: “Worldview Thinking”, pp. 13-33.
(8) Dennis Prager, “Thoughts on the Current State of Our Nation” (PragerU: Fireside Chat Episode 168, January 8, 2021), starting at 13:40.
(9) Michael Walsh, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West (New York: Encounter Books, 2015).
(10) Cf. Rodney Stark, How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity (Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2014).
(11) Galen, a Techno Mage in the Babylon 5 spin-off Crusade by J. Michael Straczynski, released in 1999 by TNT (American TV network).
(12) Cf. Bernard J.F. Lonergan, S.J., Chapter 11 on “Foundations”, in Method in Theology (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Volume 14 of the Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, edited by Robert M. Doran and John D. Dadosky, 2017, originally published in 1972).
(13) C. S. Lewis, Abolition of Man: Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools (San Francisco/New York: The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics, HarperSanFrancisco, 2002).
(14) For a description of different conversions and breakdowns, see Lonergan, Method, pp. 223-230.
(15) Ibid., pp. 251-252.
(16) Ibid., pp. 254-258.
(17) Cf. Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York: Random House, 2005).
(18) Lonergan, Method, pp. 17-22.
(19) Ibid., pp. 121-138.
(20) Frederick E. Crowe, Method in Theology: An Organon for Our Time (Milwaukee, Wis.: Marquette University Press, 1980).



Glossary


World mediated by meaning: Our lives play out in a sensate world of objects and processes, a world seemingly out there to be seen as something external to ourselves. Our contact with the sensate world is mediated through a complex highly symbolic world view of our own creation, a world the gives significance and meaning to our sensate experiences. Thus, a thin rectangular piece of colored paper becomes known as a dollar bill, a promissory note that has meaning only within a given economic system. Both the sensate and mediated worlds are real, in the sense that there are real world consequences to our actions: stub your toe on a rock and you will experience pain; fail to meet mortgage payments and you will lose your house. The difference is that the former exists independently of human interests while the latter is a creation of human minds. If such humanly created worlds mediated by meaning stray from the reality of the sensate world, then the mediating world will mislead its users: one might fall off a cliff because the cliff cannot be seen, or one might run headlong into a brick wall of one’s own creation—a wall that does not exist. Creating sound and reliable symbolic worlds is the primary function of our human species, where success leads to progress while failure decline.


Transcendental Method: In a world full of competing agendas and conflicting world views, the study of metaphysics becomes an important component in discerning the difference between progress and decline. In a world of conflicting metaphysical positions, the only way to resolve such issues is to appeal to the epistemological positions that support them. But we run into the same problem. Naïve realism, conceptualization, empiricism, etc. are all epistemologies with different often conflicting visions of reality, different understanding of such common terms as history or myths. Lonergan’s solution is to appeal to the underlying cognitive operations that lead to each epistemology, and in turn each metaphysical position such that a sound understanding of human cognitive operations open the door to a sound epistemology that in turn grounds a proper metaphysics. The result is the formation of a transcendental method that has all the potential gains of the hard sciences without the truncation embedded in such sciences. No more do we have to rely on normative cultures or scientific beliefs to guide our collective plans and policies. Cf. Chapter 1 of Lonergan’s Method in Theology.


Functional Specialization: Our civilization has reached the point where no one mind can encapsulate all that there is to be known. We need a strategy to cope with complex non-linear systems, one grounded in a firm understanding of human understanding. The latter is Lonergan’s transcendental method; the former is his application of this method to theological investigations in particular but all human communities in general. These functional specialties break down into two primary groups, with the first four dealing with capturing past and present world views while the last four concentrate on building sound world views. Each specialty takes the conclusions of the prior set of investigations and works with this material to provide the data set for the next specialty in a cyclic process of progressive refinement and relaxation. Each specialty is isomorphic with its cognitive operations, e.g., Research (Experiencing), Interpretation (Understanding), History (Judging), and Dialectics (Deciding) that completes the recover stage, and Foundations (Deciding), Doctrines (Judging), Systematics (Understanding), and Communications (Experiencing), before the cycle starts all over again. Cf. Chapter 5, Method in Theology.


Dialectical Generative Principles: given the transcendental precepts and the authenticity of conversion, we can affirm that there can be only two fundamental generative principles at play in the dialectic between positions and counter-position at the foundational level. These two positions reflect the difference between those who seek intellectual, moral, and religious conversion and those that do not. It is a division between those who escape the bonds of a naïve realism epistemology and adopt a critical realism grounded in the cognitive operations of the human mind, those who prefer to give their allegiance to true values rather than personal satisfactions, and finally those who accept the reality of a transcendental power in the universe over those who prefer human agency alone. Both the life-affirming and death-embracing principles refer to two fundamentally different recurring schemes of operation, the former engaged with the Divine Mystery while the latter negates its reality in favor of becoming like their own ultimate authority, i.e., elevating themselves to godhood. Between these two poles lies a continuum, as no human person nor human community fully completes their journey to one or the other of the “strange attractors.”

Well, something broke; something snapped. And in the same way that investigations of plane crashes reveal a stream of errors that by themselves mean nothing yet together result in disaster, our investigations of events reveal a series of seemingly small errors about to end in a global catastrophe. The Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, the dumbing down of our educational system, the loss of rationality amid a sea of feelings, the globalist's threat of global warming, the secular attacks on religion, all these and more combined to make a toxic brew that can no longer support the kind of world to which recent generations have been accustomed. I wish this was not so, but there it is. Life will never be the same. Perhaps in the long term this may prove a blessing; perhaps not. But at least we can hope and do what we can to reverse the decline we are about to face.

Russell C. Baker

January 31, 2021

Quotes

What is the spirit of this age?

This is an era of joyous insurgency and new beginnings.

— Richard Bledsoe

The Project

Addendum


It came to me this morning (insight) that the roots of the “snapped” gut feeling had little if nothing to do with election fraud. Let me explain.

  1.    The primary problem—the most basic fundamental institution change—has been laid out by Peter Zeihan in Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World (2020). His argument is that the Pax America, the decades of relative peace following WWII, was the result of an international agreement made at Bretton Woods. At that time, the biggest problem was the Soviet Union, whose battle-tested armies were such that they could easily move well past Germany and take over Europe. The agreement brokered by the U.S. was that they would open their markets to a devastated world and police the sea-lanes to ensure easy and free trade around the globe in return for an alliance against the Soviets. Such was the start of the cold war. Such was the economic boom that resulted from a global market where participants no longer had to secure their own resources through military might.
  2.    The rational for such an arrangement ended with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, the global system has become un-anchored, adrift in a sea where many of the once impoverished war-wracked nations were once again becoming major powers. Such rising powers challenged the Bretton Woods agreement by mercantilism, taking advantage of the U.S.’s security blanket, and exerting their own independence. The need for the old anti-Soviet alliance no longer existed, other than in the minds of those policy-makers and economic powers who still stood a lot to gain by keeping it alive—particularly a group known as the globalists. But the reality is the days of the Pax Americana are over. The need to work out a new system to ensure reasonable trade while avoiding world-wide famine if it all goes south is there, but no American leader including Clinton and Obama have taken on the task.
  3.    It was the Trump administration that accepted the challenge, and by working out a number of unilateral treaties with Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and Australia a nucleus was created that could act as a seed for a new emergent global order that would protect trade and support weaker countries. Core agreements are now in place and a successful plan of action laid out to combat rogue actors such as China, North Korea, and Iran. All these initiatives started to work, e.g., peace breaking out across the middle-east, when the agents for such an emergent global recurring schemes of operations were removed from the table.
  4.    It matters little whether it was a fair and stolen election, although the belief that it was stolen certainly exists by circumstantial evidence (18 of the 19 bellwether states that normally indicate the presidency went to Trump; Trump gained more votes than in the last election, something that has only happened a hundred years ago; Trump was portrayed by media and big teck as the epitome of evil itself, which if you were involved in the election empowered you to do whatever it takes to get rid of a White supremist Nazi dictator; many opportunities for fraud arose as various governors took advantage of the “pandemic” to rewrite election rules and institute a mail-in system across the board; and the certainty of election confusion due to the fact that only five States had the experience of running a mail-in system). At the end of the day, the incoming Harris/Biden administration will attempt to put the genie back in the bottle, doing so while half the population consider them illegal and the senate itself will be hamstrung (50+1 will create conditions whereby one or two people can game the system for their own advantage). And they still hate the deplorables, to the point where social medias are being canceled in order to avoid “hate speech.” The distortion of language itself is symptomatic of the dysfunctional direction the U.S. as about to take.
  5.    The real problem is that this incoming administration is neither willing nor able to do anything about the global system other than continue the upper classes own gaming of the international system for their own good. They may not even be aware of the problem, since it falls outside their ideological blinkers of Critical Race Theory. In either case, what snapped was the emerging reconfiguration of the global order at the very time the old system was breaking down as the global order careens out of control. Add to this, the loss of the moral standing of the U.S. around the world has dealt a severe blow to the prestige of the States, a loss of moral authority against the rise of such Oriental despots as Xi. No doubt they are laughing behind their backs while preparing to take advantage of a weak and disorientated leader.


So that’s the reasoning behind this gut feeling that things will soon start to unravel, if they already haven’t. The world will continue; life will go on; but we will occupy an impoverished landscape of ruined hopes and failed  policies. It didn’t have to be that way.


Embrace the Suck,
Russell C Baker
January 10, 2021

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty


This is known as "bad luck."

— Robert A. Heinlein

We have met the enemy

and he is us.

Pogo

If Western civilization is to survive the impact of a post-modern world of stagnation and decline while other incompatible and  irreconcilable cultures like oriental despots (Xi Jinping) or equally vicious Islamic cultures trapped in a 7th century tribal mentality rise to global prominence, then some dedicated group, institution, institution, or center is needed.


Our primary device for working against long term decline due to common sense bias is a Cosmopolis Center, or CC for short. All of the work laid out in this site is dedicated to giving form to how a CC may operate in a world where post-modernist "truth" resides in the meme: "There is no truth, only agendas" and Big Teck/Media create "Narratives" that have little to do with reality. The problem is that once you no longer know what you don't know, the world becomes a chaotic and meaningless world of intersectional power struggles, failed policies, and unexpected consequences in an increasingly dysfunctional society.


Details of such a center are given in the section of that name. In brief, it consists of a core group dedicated to putting Lonergan's transcendental method and functional specialties into practice. Key tasks/duties involve:

  • Engaging in ongoing conversion, by which is meant a shift to critical rather than naive realism, a focus on value rather than personal satisfactions, and an allegiance to a transcendent power greater than any human.
  • Acting as a bridge between the transcendental realm of meaning as it expresses itself over human history, with a particular interest in Western modernity as derivative of a Judeo-Christian orientation to God and man.
  • Working with professional educational establishments not only to learn from what they have to offer but to offer in return a consistent transdisciplinary framework for the self-understanding that academics and scholars require when facing the reality of a fractured intellectual world.
  • Providing opportunities for common sense practitioners to give meaning and purpose to their own activities within a wide geographical and historical context while preparing those interested in formal academic work a framework to navigate the intellectual pitfalls they are bound to face.
  • Generate various works of art that serve to expand by just that little bit the general culture's appreciative system, thereby bringing into the public sphere knowledge of unexplored possibilities that would otherwise be ignored.


Perhaps, over the long haul—for a long haul it would be—the work of such a center might make a great difference in our lives and the lives of our grand-children and their great-grand-children. As Philip McShane once put it, we could shift from living in a Tower of Babel to a Tower of Able. Now wouldn't that be a great thing!


Russell C. Baker

Montreal, Canada

January 11, 2021

Three Sections

Quotes — Sudden Snap & Addendum — The Project

Recent Additions

N.B. Up to now we've been developing the tools designed for the policy sciences, tools that are built around Lonergan's Transcendental Method and Functional Specialization. Now we test our analytic and evaluative tools against reality. RCB


Codevilla: Clarity in Trump's Wake has been added to the Home Page, When Something Snaps

January 25, 2021


Two essays on generative principles in a dialectic between good and evil have been added to the bottom of Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

January 25, 2021


A new page titled Insight: Reflections has been added to Educational Projects. Ongoing reflections on a slow read.

January 14, 2021


An important introduction to Educational Projects: Deluding Mankind: Rodney Stark has been added.

January 12, 2021


Complete overhaul of the Home page, restoring our primary purpose while still acknowledging that circumstantial evidence suggests that the election was stolen and we now face a quite different highly repressive reality

January 11, 2021


So What has been added to Educational Projects: Deluding Mankind

January 11, 2021


An Addendum has been added to the bottom of the Home page. In it, the author explains why the dreaded gut feeling has nothing to do with the recent contested election and everything to do with an incoming administration that cannot possible manage the loss of the Bretton Woods' Pax Americana

January 10, 2021


Opened a new page under Educational Projects named Deluding Mankind. The first data collection is derived from the work of Rodney Stark

January 10, 2021


When Something Snaps replaces Foreword on the Home page

January 9, 2021


Revised intro section to Home that amounts to a Sea Change in Human Affairs

January 5, 6, & 8, 2021


Anticipations, in Education Projects: Evaluative History, has been changed to Pre & Post; a brief prologue has been added.

October 17, 2020


The full "evaluative history" pdf has been updated with an edited version (Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations)

October 2, 2020


The Specter of Communism YouTube video has been added to the bottom of Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations.

Important notice: the video belongs in the realm of common sense; our analysis belongs to the realm of theory.

July 21, 2020


Reflections added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

July 12, 2020


Outline for a Comprehensive Evaluative History has been added to the end of Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

June 22, 2020

N.B. This booklet pulls together all the various parts into one document, including two new chapters, preface, introduction, and epilogue.


Are we at war and don't know it? An interview with Elmer Yuen, June 17, 2020, added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Death-Embracing Generative principle

June 20, 2020


Part XVII: It Can't Happen Here? has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative history: Anticipations

June 7, 2020


Death-Embracing Generative Principle containing YouTube videos on the rise of the CCP is a new subcategory that has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History

June 2, 2020


Part XVI: The Culture After Ours has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 31, 2020


Part XV: In Transition has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 30, 2020


Part XIV: Embraced by Love has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 24, 2020


Part XIII: Losing Contact: Common Sense Bias has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

may 20, 2020


Part XII: The Rise of the Middle Class has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 17, 2020


Part XI: Pax Americana: An A-Historical Period added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 16, 2020


Part X: World War and the Loss of Faith added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 12, 2020


New introduction added to the Bio

May 9, 2020


Part IX: Global Reach & a Common Humanity added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 8, 2020


Part VIII: The Great Transformation has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 6, 2020


Part VII: The In-Between Places has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

May 4, 2020


Part VI: China: The Warring States has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

April 29, 2020


Part V: Islam: Resentment Runs Wild has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

April 27, 2020


Why we do what we do. An article by Richard Fernandez has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History, in order to explain why we are focusing on foundations and evaluative histories.

April 27, 2020


Part IV: The Rise of Christianity has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

April 25, 2020


Part III: The Impact of Judaism has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

April 23, 2020


A Preliminary Outline added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History

April 21, 2020


Part II: From Whence We Came has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

April 17, 2020


Part I: Preliminaries has been added to Educational Projects: Evaluative History: Anticipations

April 14, 2020


Origins, an introduction to an evaluative critique of history, has been posted in Educational Projects: Evaluative History

April 8, 2020


Final Thoughts on the Wuhan Virus posted in Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

April 6, 2020


A first cut of President Trump's level of conversion has been posted in Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

April 4, 2020


A Cosmopolis Perspective: Benchmark has been added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

April 4, 2020


Robustness and Trapped Resources added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

March 30, 2020


The Great Shakedown: Part III (three filters against folly)has been added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

March 28, 2020


The Great Shakedown: Part II (the great clarifier) has been added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

March 27, 2020


The Great Shakedown: Part I has been added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

March 25, 2020


Context is Everything has been added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

March 21, 2020


Exponential Agonies has been added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III

March 19, 2020


Upper Blade of Theory: sublation and conditioning among the three basic levels of recurring schemes of operation, with a primary focus on the institutional realm. Added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump III.

February 28, 2020


Back to Basics: Using the transdisciplinary framework to highlight the significant features of a fundamentally challenged global institutional structure. Added to Educational projects: Foundations: Trump III.

February 25, 2020


Setting in place a set of higher level operators (upper blade of theory) that would be useful in coming to understand the implications of the current Covid-19 epidemic. Added to Educational projects: Foundations: Trump II.

February 15, 2020


What China's reactions to the 2019 nCov potential pandemic tells us about group bias. Added to Educational projects: Foundations: Trump II.

February 11, 2020


Evil added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump II. Higher blade in different realms of meaning; sculpting meaning, and three successive stages of consciousness (meaning)

January 25, 2020


Facts added to Educational Projects: Foundations: Trump II.

January 20, 2020


Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where a person or group makes someone question their sanity, perception of reality, or memories. People experiencing gaslighting often feel confused, anxious, and unable to trust themselves.

— 1944 film Gaslight

The analogy of evil to darkness is not correct; it's the opposite. Evil is so bright people can not stare at it. So they fight little evils or make-believe evils, the Left does.

— Dennis Prager

The information landscape becomes ever narrower, squashing diversity of thought and facts. Pretty soon, we won't know what we don't know. And that will be that.

— Sharyl Attkisson

Welcome to the Pons Asinorum

There is no easy fix

Entering Lonergan's Novum Organon

Facing the Reality of a Lack of Moral Courage