29 December 2006

A man is kicked to death

Businessman Stephen Langford was kicked to death in the early hours of Saturday 9 December on the High Street, Henley-on-Thames. Boris Johnson, Tory MP for Henley, commented in the Daily Mail of 11 December 2006:
‘It has come to something when a man can be kicked to death in one of the safest towns in England and right in front of the local police station. I hope that Stephen’s death will rally all of those who believe we have gone too far in tolerating yobbery and thuggishness in our streets. It is time for society collectively to declare that enough is enough.

We need to bring back respect for authority in schools and in the home and we need to clear these thugs off the streets.’
In the same edition of the Daily Mail, Melanie Phillips commented on the situation of ‘social injustice’ prevailing in this country. In her column entitled ‘Strong words are not enough. Only tough decisions can make Britain better’, she ascribed this to social damage being done by family breakdown.

She discusses a review published by Ian Duncan Smith, former Tory leader who heads his party’s Social Justice Commission.

‘Mr Duncan Smith’s analysis lays bare the stupendous abandonment by the welfare state of the very people it purports to protect. His review spells out the appalling scale of drug and alcohol abuse, worklessness, failed education and indebtedness.
Ms Phillips continues:
‘The sheer scale of the social damage done by family breakdown is staggering. But even more astounding is the total refusal of the political class to acknowledge or deal with a phenomenon estimated to cost the country more than £20 billion per year. On the contrary, our intellectual and political leaders have done everything in their power to accelerate the collapse of the two-parent family.’
Ms Phillips suggests that the only way to stop the rot is to uphold marriage, which ‘would mean restoring its privileged position in the tax system, removing the numerous incentives to lone parenthood…. and creating a climate in which lone parenthood is regarded as a misfortune to be avoided rather than a ‘right’ to be rewarded.’

My comments

Civilisation has broken down. But it is the Welfare State itself, with its assault on individual liberty and autonomy, that has produced the evergrowing population of demoralised criminals and dysfunctional dependents who now drain the resources, and damage the lives, of the ‘unfairly successful’ elite with above average IQs, too ‘obsessed’ with increasing their wealth and social status to give free rein to their own criminal tendencies.

We note that the appearance of this entrepreneur (who was kicked to death) was probably smart and moralised, and he looked intelligent and handsome.

That arouses enough righteous hostility in the modern world to justify lethal attack, otherwise unmotivated.

28 December 2006

More about "helping" gifted children

In the horrendous Sunday Times article about further oppression for gifted children [see posts of 19 Dec], the fact that some students who went to university at a relatively early age left without completing their degrees is taken to indicate that it is a bad idea to allow this to happen. The fact is, they may just have realised there could be no future for them in the academic world, and the earlier the age at which one realises this the better.

If I had been a bit more experienced in psychology I might well have realised, when I was prevented from taking the School Certificate exam at thirteen, that there was too much motivation against somebody like me, and that I had better leave school forthwith, or as soon as legally possible, and devote my attention to making money, since becoming rich enough to set up my own institutional environment was the only way in which I would ever be able to have the sort of intellectually productive life which I needed to have. The prospect of having to make enough money for oneself to set up an institutional environment is a daunting one, and the sooner gets started on it the better.

Students who left university in disgust at fourteen or fifteen may have come to a realistic perception that the modern academic world provided no opportunities for real ability and drive, and that they would do better going it alone.

24 December 2006

If thy hand or thy foot offend thee

The despair of society, or other people, comes before the despair of finiteness and, I would suppose, inevitably so, as the illusion of the meaningfulness of human society and hence the ability to derive from it a sense of meaningfulness for one’s own life softens or blanks out altogether the threatening existential environment. Devaluing the significance that society can bestow upon one is very traumatic but produces an extraordinary change in one’s psychological position. And so one wonders whether there are any indications of this in Christianity as part of the process of getting a higher level. In fact (Matthew 18: 8, 9) comes close to the way one felt about it:
If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

And if thy eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast if from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life having one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
I thought of myself as being in the position of an animal caught in a trap, that gnaws off its paw to regain its freedom. There is a loss, a terrible and irrevocable one, but there is no other option. ‘Half a loaf is better than no bread at all,’ I said to myself, thinking that if I were ever to work again for social success and status, if ever there were a way of doing that, I had to abandon any sense of the meaningful glamour that such things could confer upon one.

Nevertheless I needed pragmatically what society could, but could not be made to, provide. I gave up altogether on any sense of solidarity with respectable members of society who had once seemed to regard me as an approvable person who would be, and already was, a member of their club. Henceforth I would be an outcast and outlaw, although I would not stop identifying with the standards that should be upheld by such persons, and which, in fact, I would exemplify better than did those who persecuted me.

But, of course, the centralisation made possible by the loss of dependence on society developed towards a higher level and it was not for very long that I lived without consolation. It certainly was much better to get a higher level (enter into life), all deficits being supplied and oversupplied to an unimaginable extent, than to remain in a state of separation from the significance (i.e. in normal psychology) with one’s craving for social feedback intact. Although from a higher level point of view the normal state of consciousness appears nightmarish and intolerable, the metaphor of being cast into hell fire seems to arise from a non-higher level interest in judgement and punishment.

But there you are; a man cannot serve two masters (especially if one of them is wholeheartedly opposing the intentions of the other) and at this point a choice had to be made. It is a peculiarity of pre-higher level psychology that you get something much better, not by anticipating and preferring it, but by rejecting what is already present to you as not good enough or as constituting a negative factor.

I suppose I should repeat as often as possible that the rejection of society as a source of significance is not a manoeuvre that is possible within ‘normal’ psychology. It had only become possible to me at 19 in extreme circumstances and after several years of attempting to retain or regain centralisation in the very adverse circumstances of my life between 14 and 19.

22 December 2006


There was once a woman who said of me, with that sublime lack of analyticalness which characterises those who know they have social support: ‘If she is really exceptional it won't make any difference to her whether she takes exams very young or not.’

Let us consider some of the things that she might have meant by this.

The first possible meaning is tautologous. It is: ‘Provided she subsequently succeeds in gaining social recognition she will not be able to say that she was prevented from gaining social recognition by not taking exams very young.’

A family of other possible meanings depend implicitly on assertions of the type: ‘All true ability achieves social recognition.’ In the case of the past, it is clearly not the case that all those who are currently regarded as having possessed true ability achieved social recognition during their lifetime. So our implicit assumption must be somewhat of this form: ‘All those who, subsequent to the present century, will be socially recognised as having true ability, will achieve social recognition during their lifetime.’

Or again, she may have meant: ‘The human race as a whole is so indifferent to superficial tokens of success, so much in the habit of using its independent judgement to assess ability, and so generously inclined to the ability it notices, that no obstacles will be placed in the path of a person of very great ability, even if that person has spent the first 20 years of his life not using the great ability.’

If this was what she meant, she was a poor observer of human nature. Even if the argument were true, of course, it would still provide no positive reason for gratuitously writing off a considerable expanse of years as unusable.

Then again, she may have meant: ‘The human race is so aware of the characteristics which denote purposiveness that, no matter what social recognition anyone may have achieved by their ability to recapitulate the present knowledge of the human race, as soon as they set out to add to that knowledge they are certain to encounter every resistance and opprobrium.’ There is certainly something to be said for this view, though, again, it is difficult to see that it possesses great persuasive force if it be paraphrased in the form: ‘It will not make any difference whether you are well-fed when the siege begins, because once the siege has begun you certainly will not get any food.’

Or she may have meant: ‘No matter how many years you spend in an inspirational state, and no matter what your achievements in those years may be, they will still in retrospect be finite; and the difference between a number of years spent in an inspirational state and the same number of years spent in considerable misery will always, in retrospect, be finite.’ There is something in this position, although one should always view with caution attempts to quantify anything so incalculable as consciousness.

Or she may have meant: ‘The intellectual level of the human race is so low that even if someone is obliged to go through life without a knowledge of those things which they would have learnt if they had been educated, their intellectual life will not thereby be impoverished. E.g. Greek literature contains no ideas which any thinking person could not originate for themselves, so no one will be losing anything if they cannot read Greek.’ This is true, though it does nothing to demonstrate that the mental operations involved in learning Greek may not be desirable in themselves. Further, it does not allow for the refreshing effect of variations in syntax and alphabet upon the jaded mind.

Or she may have meant: ‘If this person is as exceptional as all that, I can try as hard as I like to smash him up, since I shall not be able to prevent him from achieving social recognition, and so I shall not have done him any harm. If, on the other hand, my attempts to smash him up result in his failing to achieve social recognition, this will prove that he was not exceptional and therefore I shall have done no harm in smashing him up.’ If stated in terms of physical rather than intellectual well-being, few people would find this argument acceptable. ‘If I hit this man on the head with a hammer and he dies, it will prove he was so feeble he is no great loss. If I hit him on the head with a hammer and he does not die, I shall not have done him any harm because he will still be alive.’

Or she may have meant: ‘True despair comes only to those who have no longer any hope of being accepted by society; and the sooner this happens to someone the better.’

19 December 2006

Further comments on gifted children

(copy of a letter)

Dear H

I have sent you a draft of some comments [see previous post] on one of these appalling articles about plans for the oppression and persecution of gifted children, which is obviously quite bad enough as it is, having being getting worse all the time since the 1940s and 50s when it was already bad enough, in its early stages, to destroy my life and the lives of my parents.

As usual, one has to start by rejecting fictional rationalisations and it is made very difficult to get to the real issues. A thing that would be a real help to victims would be to repeal the powers of supervision and interference of local education ‘authorities’, which appear to have come in, in their present form, in the 1945 Education Act, and which give them ‘rights’ to inspect private as well as state schools.

I can never get anyone to tell me how these ‘rights’ are defined, but so far as I can gather, if a parent exercised the right - which he still has - to ‘educate’ his child at home, the local ‘authority’ could still write reports about him, visit his child at home (?), remove child for interrogation(?), etc.

And would it be possible for the child to enter itself for the taking of an exam without the permission of its parents or the local ‘authority’? This is the sort of freedom that would be of real help (and not ‘help’) to the precocious.

I have not written to the Editor of the Sunday Times offering to write a riposte to the article by Sian Griffiths, because I know from past experience that I would not even receive a reply.

"Helping" gifted children

Another terrible article about gifted children in the Sunday Times of Dec 17th, entitled: ‘How to stop a gift turning into a curse’ (by Sian Griffiths). Answer: you can’t, because gifted children are automatically cursed by being in a society that is hostile to ability, in fact to individualism in any form.

But, a person in the position of making arrangements for gifted children may hope, when they are thrown out at the end of their ruined ‘educations’ with no way of entering a suitable career, or of becoming rich enough to set up a suitable environment for themselves in which to achieve some self fulfilment, that they will be too psychologically smashed up to whinge about it.
Under the next £60m, four-year contract to CfBT (Centre for British Teachers), from next autumn, parents and teachers will get ‘credits’ to ‘spend’ on trips, exhibitions, lectures and extra teaching in and out of school.
Note that using these ‘credits’ to help the gifted take more exams at a younger age than normal is not mentioned.

This, I suppose, is the sort of ‘help’ for gifted youngsters on which the government proposes to spend more of taxpayers’ money. This, of course, will have the effect of increasing taxation of those, like myself, who are thrown out at the end with no tolerable way of earning money, and with a need to build up capital out of anything they can make for themselves to the point where they can provide themselves with the circumstances which they should have been able to obtain from a suitable career.

Thus, it may be seen that providing more ‘help’ for those who are in the clutches of the system, will be an added disadvantage to those whose lives have already been damaged by it, and are working, in circumstances already difficult and disadvantaged, towards remedying its effects.

It is absurd to suggest that the government, and the ideology in general, is not doing ‘enough’ to destroy the lives of the ‘gifted and talented’. If there were any real desire to help them, they might be provided with independent incomes, or, at the least, tax credits when they are thrown out with no way of earning even a living, let alone the cost of the institutional environment which they may need, as I certainly did and still do, within which to work towards a satisfactory and productive life. Actually, a large tax-free capital sum, entirely free of strings as to how it was to be spent, would be the best thing.

This organisation, called the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT), has been set up to provide destructive ‘help’ for the gifted. As a former, and present, victim of the system I can only say how much I deplore this development, and how strongly I advise the parents of the gifted, and gifted children and teenagers themselves, to shun and avoid all contact with it, as well as with state schools as in general.

18 December 2006

Christians' interest in other people

(copy of a letter)

I always notice it when other people appear to agree with something I have said, and wonder what they may be using it to reinforce, which is almost certainly something I don’t agree with.

You seemed to endorse the idea that Christians pretended to be interested in other people, and then you said that you did not mean this as a distinction from any other group of people, but that nobody was interested in other people. Well, of course, first of all you have to say what sort of interest you are talking about. People are, mostly, very interested in other people but in a negative and destructive way, which is usually rationalised as benevolent or altruistic.

However, Christianity is, at least in principle, preferable to the modern belief in society/socialism/collectivism/etc., which advocates only attitudes and ways of going on which are totally incompatible with being on a higher level. It is true that pre higher level I never thought of other people as very important, in the way that you are apparently supposed to. But, without paying any attention to it, I never cultivated any of the common forms of meanness or dishonesty, which seem to be positively favoured in the modern ideology.

If you can’t think of anything better, cultivating generosity towards people is, at least vaguely, higher level. But, of course, if it depends on a set of specific beliefs and not on having had a higher level (or, perhaps, cultivating some higher level realistic ideas pre-higher level) it is vulnerable to confusion with socialism and other forms of belief in society.

Christianity seemed to be advocating some form of post-higher-level psychology, and that would seem to be a bit better than nothing. Injunctions to generosity could, since the underlying motivation was likely to be very weak and conflicted, easily be used to produce guilt and repression, but those things are not so definitively anti-higher-level as the attitudes that believers in society seem to identify with.

12 December 2006

Counselling is the opposite of centralisation

(copy of a letter)

In a way it is interesting that the basic psychological manoeuvre of ‘counselling’ etc is so precisely the inverse of what goes into becoming centralised in a bad situation, in the way that produces remarkable developments and may lead to a higher level.

The recommended technique is not to think about what you have lost or been deprived of, and to have lots of interaction with other people. Your sense of identity is supposed to be derived from your acceptability to other people, and will inevitably reinforce your belief in society as a source of significance. And you are supposed to ‘move on’, not to remain in the same state of bereavement.

Well, I swore that I would never move on, I would always be trying to get back the same things in life I had always been aiming at. And I had to cut out of my life absolutely any vulnerability to what other people thought of me.

I had seemed for a long time to be accepted as a respectable bourgeois person; old-fashioned middle-class schoolteachers had been ‘friendly’ to me as if I was one of their club of that sort of person, and was going to continue to be in my future academic career.

But I was breaking a fundamental taboo, which persons of that kind never broke, in not waiting for society to tell me that I was the sort of person who should be entitled to the sort of life which I needed to have.

10 December 2006

More about the opposition

(copy of a letter)

I said we have to try to get value for money when anyone comes to work here, and I suppose I may be slandered as wanting people to work hard for low pay. But actually, of course, surrounded by a hostile society as I have been, it has been almost impossible for me to get anyone to do anything and what I have actually paid out for it in terms of money and effort has been very high.

This is part of what people would understand much better if they had any sort of continuous contact with us and did not just stay as far away as possible where they can maintain fictional social interpretations of our position.

I was starting from absolute scratch and knew that I would need to build up a lot of capital to create the most minimal residential college environment for myself. So although I have done much better than people expected, and they regret the minimal viability I have achieved, I still need to think in terms of capital progress, and it is still very seldom possible to make it, in spite of the very modest improvements in our position, which have been achieved in the teeth of the most violent opposition. Violent, that is, when there seemed to be any chance of my getting any improvement in my position in terms of either money or people.

So now the high-IQ ghetto can just about support itself in reasonable physical health, but without having enough manpower either to be academically productive or for life to be in any sense rewarding for us; it is still a case of trying to prevent everyone from going downhill as a result of trying too hard to do more than is really possible, because of course we feel that it is only by being as conspicuous as possible (sending up distress flares) that we have any hope of bringing ourselves and our need for workers and supporters to the attention of the very few sufficiently exceptional people who could bring themselves to have anything to do with us.

Surviving physically without sending up distress flares is really more than we can manage, so it is always easy for people to get run down trying too hard, as in the case of the recent publication of Fabian’s book, which was as abortive as usual.

We can’t expect anyone to find our ideas congenial; everyone has been brought up in modern oppressive society and believes in society, i.e. in the oppression of the individual. However, we are quite respectable people (on old-fashioned terms) and it is not illegal to criticise the prevailing ideology, although it arouses covert persecution. One has to think oneself lucky that the persecution is not of the overt variety which might result in one finding oneself in a forced labour camp.

04 December 2006

Despairing of society

(copy of a letter)

I think I ought to write down what I was saying to you when I last saw you, because it is so widely misunderstood. It is a lot easier to write about the despair of finiteness immediately preceding a higher level, but that is not really in ‘normal’ psychology at all, and what made it possible was the far more difficult and traumatic, but absolutely crucial, despair of society, in which I did effectively destroy the power of society, or any other person, to reward me by contributing to my sense of significance, which seemed a terrible loss at the time. I felt that I was destroying this irrevocably, and my life would be forever diminished by the loss, but at the same time I had no other way of extracting myself from the trap in which I had been caught.

However, this was in no way as people would like to imagine it, that you give up on wanting social success, prestige, status, opportunities, financial reward, etc. It is only that in order to retain your freedom from paralysing conflict in working towards these things in your now very disadvantaged position you have no option but to sacrifice what has become too great a burden.

As I was telling you, I had already had quite a long and precocious life as an apparently respectable and acceptable person, and I had expected that I should be able to pursue my objectives in life within the parameters of socially approved respectability. However, I realised that I was breaking too fundamental a taboo in abandoning any respect, however provisional or hypothetical, for social judgements and evaluations of one. One is very much given to understand that a respectable person waits for society’s imprimatur before considering oneself as suited to, or needing, a certain type of career, circumstances of life, scope for activities.

I found that it was no longer possible to do this, and I knew that I was going to go on aiming at exactly the same sort of life and reinstatement in the right sort of social position, however impossible it might come to appear.

So in a sense it is not even that one gives up hope; one is still aiming at the same thing, however improbable may appear the ways in which one has to work towards it. But one does abandon the unrealistic belief that the opinions of social authorities are in any way objective or realistic, or that one ought to be able to gain their approval before allowing oneself to identify with what one wants and needs to have.

Plenty of people do ‘give up’ on social approval in the commoner ways, which get you nowhere, and do become drop-outs pursuing some ‘alternative’ idealism.

This, however, is not potent, but the identification with not giving up on everything that you originally wanted, and still want, out of life and society, although you recognise that you cannot prevent other people from being hostile and opposing you in everything that you most want and need to have, is actually very centralising and has extraordinary psychological consequences.

01 December 2006

Blair's new "social contract"

One might think that the oppressiveness of society in this country had gone far enough and might already be regarded as having reached a ne plus ultra, since the country is no longer a place where one could wish to live. But horrors will never cease, and an article in The Guardian of November 24 carries the headline

Agreements between individuals and state on health, schools and police

‘Agreements’ indeed. As if I agreed to pay taxes towards the various forms of oppression; I am just forced to do so in order to comply with the law, however damaging or destructive I consider them (it) to be.

So now it is not going to be enough to pay taxes towards these forms of oppression, but if one tries to get anything out of them, the agents of oppression will demand even greater powers than at present to violate the basic moral principle* by imposing their demands upon any exercise of one’s own judgement about one’s priorities.

‘Parents might … be asked to sign individually tailored contracts with a school setting out what the parents must do at home to advance their child’s publicly-funded education’ – meaning, their child’s enforced exposure to what society sees fit to impose upon it. ‘Publicly-funded’ means publicly determined, it does not mean that the oppressive society at large pays to provide what you would choose to have. It is assumed to be a ‘good’ although it may be very harmful indeed.

But it is ‘good’ in the eyes of the oppressive society, which now claims the right to intrude on even more of the existing life of child and parents as well.

The medical ‘profession’ is already criminal anyway, so it hardly makes much difference that they wish to make decisions against your will about things that vitally concern the individual, and will withhold even such immoral treatment as they are prepared to give, unless the individual devotes long periods of time to living in accordance with their dictates.

‘A local health authority will only offer a hip replacement if the patient undertakes to keep their weight down.’ The patient is not to be allowed to decide for himself what risks he is prepared to take, although it is he who will suffer if the operation were to go wrong.

It is clear anyway that nothing can be done to make the medical profession acceptable, other than to abolish it completely. Of course there could still be formal qualifications guaranteeing a certain minimum of information, although perhaps it would inevitably be accompanied by indoctrination with unethical ideas. But no one should be limited to obtaining information, let alone prescriptions (permission to use pharmaceuticals), exclusively from oppressors who are ‘qualified’ by the passing of such exams.

The article starts with this remarkably euphemistic sentence:

A new contract between the state and the citizen setting out what individuals must do in return for quality services from hospitals, schools and police is one of the key proposals emerging from a Downing Street initiated policy review.

‘Quality services’ – whatever can this mean? What is provided by the state as what it wishes to impose on the individual is not a ‘service’, it is an oppression. And it cannot possibly be of any ‘quality’ in the sense that word may be used of something for which an individual might pay himself.

* Basic moral principle:
It is immoral to impose your interpretations and evaluations on anyone else.

The Jesuits and modern psychotherapy

(copy of a letter)

I was just watching a programme about Corneille on the French television, and it appears that his plays are supposed to show the influence of his Jesuit upbringing. The world is as it is, God wishes the world to be the way it is, we must accept our painful and restricted positions in the world as it is.

That sounds awfully like modern psychotherapy and ideology generally, substituting Society for God of course, but that is not much of a substitution, seeing how nearly identical these two concepts have usually been.

If anybody were to come and work here we would expect to be able to reward them at least as well as if they had quite a good ordinary or ‘proper’ job, but we are in a very disadvantaged position, and we have to say that people who might work here need to come as voluntary workers in the first instance.

They need to get to know about the situation as it is an unusual one, and they will appreciate how advantageous it could be for them much better when they have been in contact with it for some time. Which is, I suppose, one of the reasons why people cannot tolerate remaining in contact with us, and usually bugger off pretty rapidly as soon as they have realised that the social interpretations are not right. From their point of view, it is regrettably neither the case that we are too impoverished to pay them properly, nor that we are so well set up that we can throw money away without getting value for it.

The fact that we do not conform to the social interpretations (i.e. we are trying to improve our position, in working towards being a fully functional academic institution, against the will of society) is enough to most people want to go away quickly.

It is not possible for us to say exactly what permanent arrangements might arise until we discover whether somebody is willing and able to contribute usefully to the situation. Well set-up social institutions can afford to have employees who are performing a demonstration of how employees ought to proceed, which may not be contributing anything realistic at all. But socially set-up institutions exist to demonstrate that they are applying the ideology, not to get anything done.