Archive for 2006

What If?

by Jason Stotts

What if one day a philosopher is born who is able to answer all of the “eternal questions” of philosophy, would he be revered or hated? What if this philosopher provided irrefutable proofs for all of his arguments and left no hole or weakness? Would he be believed or would he be derided for his certainty? I have no doubt in my mind how he would be received by academia.

Academic Philosophy today is about “asking the right questions” – forgetting that the purpose of asking questions is to elicit responses and that the art of asking the right questions if for the purpose of eliciting the right responses. Academic philosophers love to be in a state of doubt; or at least if they do not love it, they find it necessary. In order for them to maintain their often outrageous beliefs, they must cast epistemic mists upon the mind of those who would otherwise confront them. In order to be a Hegelian, one must become absurd and deny the principle of non-contradiction. In order to be a Pragmatist, one must assume that concepts have no definite referents. In order to be a Platonist, one must engage in metaphysical and epistemological back-flips to justify Forms. Any rational layman would be able to refute these positions with nothing more than common sense – if they were not disarmed with epistemic mist cast upon them by their interlocutor.

When Plato says that the Forms exist in another world that is cut off from us because of our bodies, the proper response is “well then how do you know about it?” The question is mere common sense – if we as humans are cut off from the world of the Forms because of our physical bodies, and if Plato is a person with a physical body, then Plato too is cut off from the world of the forms and can claim no knowledge of them. If Plato rebuts by saying that we have all been there in another life, we just forget this knowledge when we’re born, the proper response is “what proof do you have of this?” Any assertion without evidence is arbitrary and should be dismissed as such. Common sense, the modern day remnant of Aristotelian philosophy, is the only shield that laymen have against Academic philosophers – unless they want to spend just a little bit of time thinking about the issues.

The Academic program is only kept in place because of doubt – their doubt in their abilities to find truth, their doubt in their abilities to recognize it if they were to find it, and the doubt of those who never question them and deride them for the charlatans they are. Indeed, Academic philosophers by and large are charlatans – the intellectual heirs of the Sophists. It is through their tricks that they are able to keep their jobs and their false prestige.

The state of the philosophical community is even worse than most could imagine though – a state more suited to paranoid fiction than reality. In order to gain admittance into the halls of academia, one must first pass through graduate school and be recognized by the current faculty as an intellectual equal. In graduate school one is subjected to more years of intellectual “brow-beating” as their modus operandi consists of only acknowledging work done in certain ways. Why only these certain ways? Well, that is just the way it is done. Anyone who does not follow “the path” into academia to get acknowledged by the philosophical community will not be recognized by them. Woe be it to the philosopher who does not get a PhD – ignoring the fact that almost none of the “great” philosophers had them. Worse though is the philosopher who would dare to become popular; any work which is intellectual would never appeal to the common man, so the academics say, therefore any popular work must not be good. Personally I think that there is a great deal of intelligence and intellectual honesty among the “common man” – in general they have a common sense that is not found among academics.

Let us return, then, to our initial question – if there were a philosopher who could answer all of the questions of Philosophy, would he be recognized? Yes, by the common man, and most certainly not by academia.

It works in Sweden…

Sweden Outs Socialism?

It had to happen – with an (true) unemployment rate of 21%, something has got to give. Incidentally, apparently when people say “Socialism works” – what they mean is that “Socialism causes massive unemployment”. Indeed it does.

There is Something Wrong in the World

by Jason Stotts

There is something seriously wrong in the world today – I am still unemployed. Seriously, this is no mere rant. Doesn’t it seem odd that someone who is a hard-worker, is intelligent, a good leader, has two Bachelor’s, and has worked non-stop in different jobs since high school can’t find a job in three months?

Three months is the current economic cut-off before one becomes a “discouraged worker” and now I know why. Instead of being welcomed into the workforce as fresh blood and an impetus to increase productivity and profit – I find the doors to the hallowed halls of enterprise closed to me by nothing more than entrenched mediocraties sitting protected behind labor laws.

Well dammit! Some people do not deserve jobs and should be fired! I don’t care what happen to all the retarded people who work at Wal-Mart. I don’t care about the middle-aged workers who couldn’t rise above an assistant manager in a retail store. I don’t care about the uninspired mediocraties who feel threatened by a good worker and consequently shun him for someone who will not displace them. These people need to go! It is monstrous that such a state should be allowed to come to pass – worse that this state is supported by law!!!

Why are there laws against who you can fire and for what reason and under what circumstances? Isn’t the employment contract merely between an individual and an employer? What role should the state play in labor? None! The state should do no more than to uphold the private employment contracts that are freely entered into – it should not dictate the terms or these or institute laws effectively making these contracts meaningless.

But what annoys me the most is that instead of writing like I should be doing, and working on philosophy and trying to answer the questions that have plagued humanity since the dawn of time – I am stuck searching for dead-end jobs at retail stores! I am stuck applying to the same meaningless jobs over and over again in the hopes that I might get one. A job I’d enjoy? HA! I’d be happy to settle for anything with a paycheck before I’m forced to find out what eviction feels like.

Instead of setting up funds to help out new intellectuals like myself, this simpering christian world has given billions to retards, to perverts, and decadents! They hate the good and want no more than to “help” the evil – of course, at the expense of the good. Why is it that no one has set up funds to help out people who deserve it and who will change the world for the better? Why is it that if I want to write a book I’m forced to work for years at jobs I’ll hate and do menial work to barely make enough money to live on – while if I stick a needle in my arm I’ll be set up by some fun little charity who wants to make the world “a better place”.

Listen up people. If you want to make the world a better place, help the GOOD not the bad. Help those who can fix the problems, not the results of the problems. Fix the problems themselves, don’t patch the symptoms. Instead of charities for worthless people, set up charities to help good people get going when they need it most!

The world needs to be saved from the fools and it seems that these fools are not so foolish because they are effectively ham-stringing the ablest among us. And here we have the true goal of egalitarians and christians and all the other man-haters – the destruction of the best and the enshrinement of the worst.

How has the world become so corrupt? Is intellectual honesty completely dead?

The Superficiality of Diversity

by Jason Stotts

The proponents of diversity, common though they are, are uncommon in one aspect – each and every one of them is completely superficial. Now it’s not as though superficial people are rare; it’s unfortunately all too common trait. Yet to imagine that a whole superficial ideology strains ones credulity, at least it should.

Given that one must be rational in order to operate in reality, one should be able to safely assume that any particular ideology, in order to gain any sort of wide recognition, would have to be rational as well in order to garner adherents. Yet Diversity (the ideology) is premised upon a completely irrational premise, namely: difference is good. This is the core of the diversity delusion (to borrow a phrase from Peter Schwartz), the idea that difference is intrinsically good.

Diversity adherents usually try to mask this by using other arguments such as: blacks have been oppressed in this country so they deserve proportional representation now. Now it is one’s immediate (and indoctrinated) thought to agree that blacks should have things like affirmative action – but the fact is that they shouldn’t. This is not to be racist, but that is what the diversity advocates would have you believe. The problem is that they want the diversity to be of superficial things like skin color – it is, after all, a difference. But what is the important difference in jobs and in education? What is the diversity delusion trying to mask? The idea of merit.

Black people, qua black, are no better and no worse than any other color person; one’s skin does not determine one’s moral character. Ergo, to claim that some people should get a job because they are black is to try and institute racism as a standard of judgment – but a kind of racism that tries to include every race. Racism, as a concept, means merely that one judges another based solely on their race. It does not mean that one then acts in a negative way, it would be just as racist to then act in a positive way. Racism just means that you are judging them solely on their skin color.

To try and institute Diversity in the workplace means that workers who are productive should be balanced out with workers who are different, i.e. lazy, incompetent, stupid, or criminal. A consistent Diversity adherent would have to advocate this – after all, they are different, right?

That is the switch, to take a superficial characteristic where the difference is morally irrelevant (race, gender, etc) and to try and extrapolate a general principle that is then applied to characteristics that do have moral significance (competence, intelligence, etc).

Thus, all diversity adherents are superficial.

All Women are Sluts

by Jason Stotts

My younger brother once told me, echoing the sentiments of my disowned father, that all women are sluts. This is, surprisingly enough, a true statement – to the extent of his knowledge.

My brother Wes, like his blackguard father, is an amoral hedonist. Their goal in life is to indulge their whims, to live life in the moment, and ultimately to pursue pleasure for the sake of pleasure. Now my brother is of the kind that includes drugs and alcohol on his path; some do, some don’t. There is no fundamental difference between those that do and those that do not, it is merely a subjective preference of pleasure. Why do I say this? Because the end goal, the goal they don’t want to admit to themselves or others, is that their goal is death. Since both kinds share this goal, they are fundamentally similar.

Why do I think that they seek death? Because a human life can only be achieved by a process of rational thought and it is precisely rational thought that these people are trying to destroy. With drugs and alcohol it’s clear how they destroy rational thought – being under the influence is valued by these people precisely because of its destructive property. They revel in their imaginary universe of non-thought, they revel in the destruction of their brains and bodies, they revel at the thought of their own death.

Sex, however, seems to be different. Is one’s brain damaged by sex? No. Is one’s body damaged by sex? No. What then leads me to classify sex, the way it’s practiced by the amoral hedonists, as self-destructive? The answer lies in the nature of sex.

Let us return to Wes for example. His greatest goal in life, in his own words, is “to get laid”. If you were to ask him about his background, you would find a string of failures leading up to a zero – which is precisely what he has accomplished so far in his life: nothing. Yet he is a proud young man; proud because he has slept with more women than he can remember their names (not all of which he knew at the time). Wes is also proud about how much he can drink, and how much marijuana he can smoke in a day, and how many other drugs he’s tried.

Wes has never had a real relationship in his life; this should come as no surprise because the kind of women with whom he associates is not the kind who has the mental fortitude or maturity to be in a relationship. Wes has been in a string of bitter relationships that flare quickly and burn away just as rapidly. He bemoans this sometimes insisting that he “just can’t meet the right girl”, while at other times lauds this situation because it leaves him free to “get more ass”.

Wes has only known sex with random women and in failing relationships. Never has he experienced sex properly – nor could he, having no idea what love is or how to achieve it. This justifies Wes’ claim that all women are sluts, because all of the women that he has slept with are sluts. So to the best of his knowledge the statement is true. However, the statement is clearly false. The statement is really nothing more than an admission that the only kind of women that the speaker has ever been with has been a slut and an unspoken desire to relegate all women to the role of slut that way while he has never experienced a true woman, he is no worse than anyone else.

Incidentally, this idea of wanting, not to be good, but to be no worse than anyone else is one of the driving forces of the amoral hedonist. Implicitly knowing that life can only be achieved by thought, but also knowing that thought is the opposite of what they want, they try to stay just a little ahead of the worse among them in order to postpone their inevitable demise and to hide from themselves the fact that this, death, is their real wish.

A Brief Confrontation

by Jason Stotts

“You’ll learn. Oh, one of these days, you’ll learn.” She said it as if speaking across the experiential gap that divides children and adults.

“What is it that I should learn, mother?” He said it simply, inquisitively. The question was more directed to understand her motive than her position.

“You’ll learn,” her eyes narrowing; “that the world is not as cut and dry as you think. There is much in the world that doesn’t fit your neat little ideas about right and wrong. It’s not a black-and-white world out there; there are only shades of gray.”

“Your moral mists have no sympathy from me,” He said easily, her position coming into focus and her weaknesses manifesting as if they were glowing red targets beckoning a strike. “Mine is a world of light and truth.”

“I don’t like the way you’re talking to me,” she said hastily as she arose from the table where they had been sitting. “You need to learn to respect your elders. One of these days you’ll learn and your lesson will be a hard one.” It was as if she almost took glee in the thought of him failing, glee in the prospect of a maternal ‘I told you so’. But it was tinged with fear and said as if to forestall further argument during her retreat from the kitchen.

He continued to sit there for a few minutes more, contemplating what sort of life she must have had, prior to his birth, and what sort of upbringing could have driven her to such absurdity. Clearly, if there was no black and no white, there could be no gray. Yet that was precisely the kind of world she wanted; a vindication for her moral depravity and failure of thought. How could someone think like this? How could they not see the folly of their position? Worse, he thought, how could I be related to her?

The chain was familiar and worn. Although he had had many similar confrontations in the past, they never ceased to amaze him at their childishness nor did they ever seem to provide an answer to his questions.

He sighed as he arose and went back upstairs to his work. To argue with one such as her was its own folly.

Comprehension of the Bestial?

by Jason Stotts

Sometimes I wonder, in a real human way, what drives men to become bestial. In a dry academic sense, I know the answer. The answer is manifold, but uncomplicated. The simplest way to put it is that they have never learnt how to become men. But that doesn’t satisfy my curiosity on a deeper level. Although I know why they do it, I cannot put myself into their mental and emotional state which would allow these acts of depravity.

Take, for instance, the decadence of those who live their lives through the stupor of drugs or alcohol – those who intentionally erect a veil between themselves and reality. Why do they do it? Could it merely be that they do it for the “pleasure” of being under the influence? Are they trying to escape from their own incompetency? Are they seeking to construct an “alternate universe” where their lack of human skills can be compensated for by their brutality and the empty vanity offered to them by others of their ilk? Could it even be that what drives them to decadence is their hatred of the Good? Do they become bestial merely to desecrate the good as should have been personified in them?

I truly want to know the answer.

I cannot grasp how they can see that there are good men out there, that efficacy in the world comes from using your mind, that the key to anything they could ever wish lies in the actualization of their human potential…and then willfully seek to destroy their humanity. Is their mental evasion so complete that they can no longer see their actions and their own state of existence for what it is?

Although I could write volumes on the issue and although I know that I could explain the phenomenon fully and accurately – I shall never, ever, be able to understand it.

A New Post!

by Jason Stotts

Since it’s been awhile since my last post and since they’ve been a little spotty this summer, I thought I’d write this little update to explain what’s been going on.

First, I travelled to Illinois twice and spent some time there – during which I was with my beloved and consequently not writing.

Next was the summer Objectivist Conference (OCON) sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute in Boston. I didn’t do a whole lot of writing here either, although my little black book of ideas is almost full now, so I’ll have material for quite some time.

Lastly, I’ve been spending alot of time reading as well as looking for a job. (If anyone would like to hire me, please feel free to e-mail me at Jason.Stotts (at)

There should be more essays coming soon – I have a few in the works right now: one on taxation, another on Love, and one on Kant. So check back frequently and feel free to e-mail me with suggestions for topics that you’d like to see, questions that you have, or even if you merely want to lavish praise on me.