Tuesday, June 07, 2016
We are not as free as we think we are: existence does not precede essence, essence is part of existence
Cultures do not rise or fall due to classical, religious, philosophical, scientific or political ideas, cultures rise due to the qualities of the people who develop the ideas and the culture. People create ideas and culture, ideas don't create people and cultures.
When the existentialists and their hair-brained offspring the postmodernists say that existence precedes essence they think that this airy abstraction makes them free of all determinism, or free of all morality based on determinism.
We are not as free as we think we are, but we have free choice within our determinism. The deepest cultural “story” is the story of human nature which is largely determined. Cultures and their stories come from the qualities of the people who create or develop the cultural stories.
Human nature is everywhere kin-centered, gender defined, age-graded, heterosexual marriage-making, hierarchical, ethnocentric, even xenophobic, and religious-making, among other things, with group-selection as the primary unit of successful selection. Real human nature is the structure beneath the superstructure of culture.
This is why demographics can be predictive of future culture. As the people and the qualities of the people change, the culture changes. Abstract ideas don't change the culture, change is based on the traits of the people who create the culture.
The culture secondarily affirms morality, morality fundamentally enhances or does not enhance the survival and reproductive success of the people who create the culture and the morality. This is the reality that even realist conservatives tend to block.
America has been changing because the people have changed. We have less harmony in America because we have different people in America with different qualities. This is why some of us, few of us, call for a homogeneity of people if we want peace and harmony in our cultures. The ethnopluralism hypothesis arises from this realism.
Ethnopluralism can harmonize with the separation of powers and states in the U.S. Constitution, protected internally and externally by a light federalism. Radical revolution is discouraged. States can slowly, conservatively, take on more of the character of the ethnic cultures living within various regions and states. This is the sociopolitical structure most in harmony with real human nature.
What really are the “permanent things?” Not abstractions, not ideas. Permanent things are material or supermaterial---even Godhood is supermaterial and evolved to in the material world. Existence does not precede essence, essence is part of existence.