Positive Individualism

It’s hard to determine what I can say in the wake of such a historic event as this man of all people becoming President of the United States of America.  And it is a historic event, one that will be remembered for a long time, and one which I hope people can learn from.  I think that there is a lot of hurt feelings out there, more negativity than I had previously thought, and it’s concerning.

I am not a supporter of Trump by any means.  In fact, I haven’t been a supporter of the President, or really the government, for as long as I can remember.  To clarify, I am not an anarchist either.  Yet recently, even I was blamed for Trump even though I didn’t vote for him.  Some people are looking for scapegoats, excuses, and despite how compassionate they think they may be, they have hatred to project, and they do.

It seems to me that there is an epidemic of bad thinking.  When I write ‘bad’ thinking, I should qualify that I don’t mean ‘evil’, or ‘incorrect’.  I mean poorly structured and reasoned, full of contradictions and prejudices, emotional quantifying, and a gaping apathy towards these characteristics.  From my perspective public discourse, the current popular voice, is seemingly ‘devolving’ or regressing into various forms of collectivism, and that’s not a good thing.  The ideas and people that can now pass as ‘intellectual’ is harrowing.

We’ve all watched as many people in our social circles took great pains to denounce the ‘other side’ yet turned a blind eye to anything on their ‘side’.  We’ve heard the call of silence towards opposing viewpoints, the oppressive idea of ‘cultural appropriation’, the knee-jerk reactions towards people exercising their rights, and the never ceasing desire to force people to do things they don’t want to do.  We’ve seen blind denial, read about police violence, the posting and advancement of hatred in the name of ‘irony’, the use of bogus pseudo-science and good ol’ ‘making shit up’ to justify arcane and demeaning social theories and ultimately purely emotional attitudes.  It appears many of us have decided what we feel is what is right, no matter what, and as long as we can find some smart-ass to back us up on the internet everything is fine.

And for what?  So that we can elect Donald Trump president?  Seriously?

I used to post ‘political’ things, make observations about the world, advance a particular viewpoint, and sometimes rant and rave like a crazy person.  But, in the face of such intellectual chaos and stubbornness, even I have given up.  Part of it is that I had to spend some time in my own living hell in order to gain some perspective, part of it is that I’m depressed and don’t have the energy, part of it is that I don’t want to make waves for other people, but the largest part of it is that there didn’t seem to be a point.  Who actually listens anymore?  Even my best refutation stands short against the staggering mongrelized transformation of the modern intellectual and social landscape.

And in some ways, I was a part of it.  There were people and ideas I made light of, I dismissed, I cut off as not worth anyone’s time.  I admit now that it was negative, and ultimately didn’t help anything other than bolster the dwindling ranks.  I personally think that this is something the large motions of the world need to realize, that “putting other people down” is purely an emotional response and makes no good arguments.  It only fosters resentment and opposition and ultimately leads to things like Trump.

I have been floundering about what I want to do with my blog since last time I posted.  In many ways it has been a turmoil over what to do with my life.  The world changed since last time I posted, and I’ve changed.  I’ve had various ideas about what I can do to improve the quality of my life, but I haven’t been able to rest on anything singular.  I’ve been unable to see any particular vision.  I’ve become apathetic with age.

About twenty-six years ago I saw the first home console full color side-scroller Super Mario Brothers, and the top down adventure game The Legend of Zelda, and I knew that interactivity was the future.  I knew immediately that it was a game changer, and that eventually it would be a multi-billion dollar industry of epic proportions no matter what anybody said.  About sixteen years ago I was telling my sister-in-law, Hurricane, as she subtly tried to get me out of her room, that I wanted to make a site where people could share videos online.  About fifteen years ago I was head of my own social site for creative individuals, and proposed while working in ‘security consultation’ (fence building) to my esteemed colleagues the idea for a virtual game where you could create stuff and chat with people.

Ten years ago I was ready to take the stage.  I was a gay white kid from a small mountain town reading my own obscure love poetry in an overtly black-power lounge club, lucky enough to miss the one time there was a shooting.  I was cascading rainbows across skewed-armed swastikas (what I call “kemenikars”) and babbling about the Age of Aquarius, trying to ‘take back’ the symbol in an anticipation of a yet to exist mainstreamed alt-right.  I was confronting my doctors with the psychologies of genetic re-programming and superficial modification, proposing phenomic freedom as a buzz term while my mother bemoaned, “I didn’t give birth to puppies.” (Yes, that’s a direct quote.)  I tried to start a small compound in hopes of establishing a new global political party, the vision of an artificially intelligent government hanging overhead while I wrote “Nomocratic” manifestos.  I flirted with unconventional relationship structures, striving to find my own meaning of love, my own social and daily values on my own terms.  I dabbled in creating a new language for truth called Chrahk, and dreamed of getting rich by revolutionizing information theory; something that still could possibly might sorta happen, if I’m lucky.

Then, over the next ten years I gradually matured and grew, making friends along the way, and losing many friends as well.  I started to have doubts in myself, and other things in my life seemed to take more importance.  Supporting my significant other was of utmost importance, finding and keeping a programming job took a high priority, and figuring out how to survive on a daily basis was a challenge.  My Borderline Personality Disorder marred my social interactions, and eventually I was deeply taken advantage of and betrayed; which ultimately led to the rise and engulfment of such internal pain I didn’t know if I was going to survive for two and a half years.

At some point, I forgot my story, and began dismissing my ‘crazy’ impulses and ideas as not being of any value.  Radical love, understanding, furriness, genetics, artificial intelligence, Nomocracies… what value were they truly?  Pipe dreams that nobody would understand, and that kept me from being a ‘normal’ person, that kept me from being understood.  Friends gradually fell to the wayside, and now I have very few friends and have a fear of making any more.  In some ways, I became one of those people who are “frightened of themselves,” to use a Seth/Jane Roberts term.  But, to use another term, I have also remained a “practical idealist.”

I’ve written at great lengths here about hating myself.  I’ve also written before about loving myself.  I think, when I have hated myself, what I was really hating was both my abandonment of who I was, and the seeming irrelevance and unpracticality of my thoughts.  When I’ve decided not to hate myself, it was more a willingness to push aside any feelings of self-hate and not engage them than it was to generate new, positive and constructive reflective psychological structures.  In meditating upon how to treat others, I’ve discovered now that loving myself includes an embrace of all the things that comprise my identity.  Where is that tail wearing radical loving video sharing website building kemenikar sporting future transhumanist that everyone loves?

He’s right here.

Which brings me back to the situation at hand.  I’m not a liberal, and I’m not a conservative, hell I’m not even Libertarian.  Instead I am a staunch individualist.  How could I, with all this, not be?  I believe in the uniquely American principles of freedom, equality, and responsibility, but above all, I believe in love.  That’s not necessarily an easy thing to believe in, it requires integrity, fortitude, patience, understanding, and the willingness to expand yourself.  We all have the capacity to choose between destructive negativity and constructive positivity, and sometimes we choose the former when we really mean to choose the latter, I know I do.  I personally believe that the majority of individuals want to do what’s right, and in that regard I refer to ‘making the world a better place.’  The idealist, the individual, has to start with their own life and choose private, individual actions that forward their ideals step by step, if they want to achieve anything meaningful.

You owe it to yourself to be, what I call, your “best self”.  Each person’s “best self” is totally unique.  For some it may be following a religious faith, for others it may be being a good samaritan, for some it may be self-actualization, and for still others it may be doing and thinking things never done or thought before.  Your best self always does what’s right, it always stands up for its ideals, it always actualizes its dreams and creative impulses, and it never sacrifices the good.  I owe it to myself to be my best self, and I haven’t been doing that for a long time.

This is the most important part.  It doesn’t really matter who is President.  You can’t live your life caught up in the idea that someone else is going to make things better or worse for you, and that there’s nothing you can do about it.  Looking for a political savior leads no where, and has consistently lead no where or worse with every election since I was born.  You’re not going to find your ideals, your identity, or your sense of safety, in a collective or a location.  You’re not trans, you’re not gay, you’re not pansexual, you’re not Objectivist, you’re not Republican, you’re not Democrat, you’re YOU.  Your ideals, identity, and sense of safety are within YOU.

I’m personally disappointed then whenever it seems like you forget that and tow the line.  When you denigrate others for things you turn around and silently support, it shows your true colors, and they’re ugly.  When you suppose that you are somehow better than the person you’re talking to simply because of a difference in opinion or because they ‘belong’ to another group, that somehow you’re more valuable, it shows really well.  When you demand that others be like you, and then work to force them to do what you want, your prejudice and negativity is glaringly obvious.  When you tell people what they can or can’t do, how they should or shouldn’t feel, whether their story is valid or invalid, what they’re worth in the world according to whatever group you decide makes up who you are, you parade your “worst self” in front of everyone.  I know, I’ve done it, it’s not pretty!

Looking out as an individualist, and being familiar with the philosophies of individualism, I see what currently amounts to a philosophical and cultural wasteland.  The Objectivist movement, as it was, is dead.  I’ve had to leave just about every Rand group on Facebook because of the people I found there.  People the likes of Stefan Molyneaux are now considered by many as “intellectual.”  No mainstream outlet has any interest in making any positive sense of Rand’s philosophy.  Our American pedagogical systems don’t teach the importance of philosophy, nor apparently the idea of psychological self-reliance and fortitude.  It’s no wonder that many people want to glom themselves on to a collective as quickly as possible.  It’s sexy, cool, feels good for the most part, and you don’t run the risk of seeming like an asshole.

So what can I do?  I’ve thought of a number of things but everything I think of seems to fall short of my intention, which is unfortunate.  The recognition is that I have to do something personal, I have to take steps to improve the quality of my life and my “corner of the world,” and in doing so add to the quality of the external world and the larger psychic landscape.  In order to be my best self I have to direct the things I can control towards positivity, and deal with the things I can’t control.

Even though I am afraid of making friends at the moment, one of a few things I’m going to be working on in therapy, I do want this website to become a place where people can come to expand themselves.  I want to be a beacon in the individualist landscape, using my seemingly unique positive outlook and philosophy to in a way counter act the negativity of the current individualist socio-philosophical wasteland.  And in doing this, I want to transform myself from what I am now, to full self-actualization.

I used to have a goal, as written, of transforming myself into something more than human, into transforming myself into a ‘furry’ or anthropomorphic animal, and I’m going to pick up this goal again.  To me, it is a physical expression of the event of my self-actualization, as well as an exercise in further direct control of my identity.  It is a physical transformation into something ‘beyond human’, and will utilize many different current techniques.  This journal will follow the developments and implementation of this transformation in an effort to spread awareness about ‘marginalized’ and alternative lifestyles, as well as provide means of reproduce-ability for interested individuals.

I believe in the advancement of knowledge and its applications towards making it possible for us to become more than what we currently are; to make us larger than how we are now.  I mean this in physical, intellectual, and spiritual terms, and in this sense I forward elements of transhumanism as beneficial to my, and our, existence.  In this vein I plan to use this blog to disseminate knowledge and discussion, as well as comment on the happenings of my personal “beautiful” life.  This means providing tutorials on various topics, including philosophy and clear thinking, and explorations of current events and media from a positive futurist and individualist perspective.  I am also interested in potentially featuring guest writers and producing my own internet based ‘show’ in the same vein, much like other “intellectuals.”

I want to become my best self, and in doing so help or inspire others to become their best selves.  I see so much suffering and victimization, both externally caused and self-applied, of people living under the terror of anxiety and mental illness, trigger warnings, precarious identities, vitriolic attitudes, denial, robbing Peter to pay Paul, overwhelming confusion, and the tendency to attack rather than understand, that naturally I want to help.  I’ve written before about various things I’ve decided to focus on as my self-appointed job, from comic book artist, to robot psychologist, and each one has somewhat fallen short as it has limited me to a particular course of action that denies other aspects of my psychology and identity.  Today I’ve decided that I want to be me: a philosopher, inventor, transhumanist, writer, artist, furry, homosexual, programmer, fursuiter, teacher, engineer, and general good guy.

I am proposing “Positive Individualism,” to take a phrase from Rebecca Perdomo at the University of Central Florida, as opposed to what I see as “Negative Individualism.”  Negative individualism in this regard is not about greed or brutality, I would call that “Irrational Individualism” (if I had to use individualism, otherwise I’d call it “Irrational Hedonism”), but rather about the psychology and attitude taken in regards to individualism.  To me, negative individualism is, and this is off the cuff and not exclusive, a conglomeration of things including, talking the talk but not walking the walk and getting sucked into collectivist ideas masquerading as individualist conclusions, treating other people poorly and disrespectfully as a foundation for discourse, disproportionate self-importance as opposed to action, general pessimism and apathy through exclusion of yourself from society, reliance on feelings as a means of cognition by twisting logic into emotional rationalizations, blind faith in clear cognitive distortions, banking on meaninglessness and partisanship, and eventually the betrayal of the ideals of individualism under its own banner.

The positive aspect of Positive Individualism banks on an attitude of openness, growth, optimism, understanding, and ultimately, love.  Positive Individualism celebrates differences and individualistic inquiry and endeavors.  Positive Individualism reinforces the good and dismantles the bad in our everyday lives, extending and reaching out to everyone as equals in this experience we call life.  Positive Individualism recognizes the values each of us have, and isn’t afraid to be critical of destructive ideas and actions in an effort to acknowledge and push the constructive.  Positive Individualism in this context is about giving a voice to the different, the misunderstood, the unheard, the dismissed, and to ourselves, with an eye toward the good and the reasonable.

It is unfortunate that I personally find this type of “Positive Individualism” to be going underground.  I don’t mean people are hiding per se, just not speaking up.  I have made very very few friends when participating in online discussions on individualist minded websites and forums, and it’s mostly because most of the participants are frankly, unreasonable and show their ugly colors fast.  There are several individualists I know that have bemoaned that they don’t really fit in anywhere in individualist groups (particularly Objectivism) online precisely because they are reasonable human beings that don’t want to be bullied or engage in negative assaults.  The internet seems to be chock full of what I call “Objerktivists,” who repel the reasonable people like grease and soap with their frank ridiculousness and vitriol.

So I state, let the Objerktivists preach to the choir, and let Positive Individualists form their own forums and their own groups apart from the Negative Individualists.  To have their own voice apart from those who encase themselves in prejudice, belittling, clear falsehoods, bad thinking, and negativity.  I’m hoping this website can become one of those forums and online spaces for people who are interested in truth, intellectual honesty, and the expansion of themselves as people and consciousnesses.  I’m contemplating doing some website work to open up more features as time goes on including a possible message board in order to foster discussion and community.

People have the right to be “Negative Individualists”, they have the right to say or do anything they want as long as they aren’t directly, physically hurting others.  I cannot speak of my right to be a loving and compassionate individual without acknowledging the right to be the opposite.  Let negative people be heard, and let them be judged for what they say.  Speak for yourself, and your philosophy will win in the marketplace of ideas.

photo credit: aladjev luhy via photopin (license)

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kadar

I'm just a wunk, trying to enjoy life. I am a cofounder of http//originalpursuitssoc.com/ and I like computers, code, creativity, and friends.

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