The Hyperboreans of old would have been natural meritocrats. Meritocracy would have come as second nature to all of them, as it does to all rational people, but never to the irrational masses who prefer anything else.
There has never been a meritocracy in the history of the world. In his masterwork, the Republic, Plato established the blueprint for a meritocracy. It has never been implemented. Such a society has never suited the rich, the powerful, or the religious.
How do you produce the best society? There is only one way. You put the best people in charge. You certainly don’t arrive at the best world by putting the worst people in charge (kakistocracy: government by the worst, least qualified, and/or most unscrupulous citizens), or the mob (ochlocracy), or the average people (democracy; mediocrity), or the richest people (plutocracy), or the most religious people (theocracy). The rationally best society is produced, as Plato showed, by putting the rationally best people in control.
Humanity has never tried rule by the most rational and logical. The masses have never stood for it. Why would irrational people ever do the rational thing? The Dunning-Kruger effect says that stupid people cannot recognize their lack of ability.
Justin Kruger and David Dunning said, “Unskilled and Unaware of It … If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent… the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is. … The skills that engender competence in a particular domain are often the very same skills necessary to evaluate competence in that domain – one’s own or anyone else’s. … The same knowledge that underlies the ability to produce correct judgment is also the knowledge that underlies the ability to recognize correct judgment. To lack the former is to be deficient in the latter. … The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others. … For success to occur, many things must go right: The person must be skilled, apply effort, and perhaps be a bit lucky. For failure to occur, the lack of any one of these components is sufficient.”
Our world is now more or less ruled by the Dunning-Kruger effect. Stupid people think they’re incredibly clever and that smart people are incredibly stupid, while smart people haven’t realized just how draw-droppingly stupid most people are. When the Dunning-Kruger effect is ubiquitous, a people’s fate is sealed. They will succumb to every kind of conspiracy theory. They will take to prayer and faith, and meditation and mindfulness – activities that have nothing to do with reason and logic, intelligence, knowledge and understanding. They will try everything except the solution to their woes, just as they will believe any truth other than the actual truth (mathematics; rationalism; logic).
Other islands exist near Hyperborea. To fully understand Hyperborea, it’s essential to understand these other islands. They all contrast with Hyperborea.
The surrounding islands are: Cimmeria, Abdera, Ignavi Island, Magic Island and Satirical Island.
What are these islands like?
Come on a journey with us to these most exotic isles. You will meet the strangest people.
Let’s start with Cimmeria.
In the Odyssey, Homer wrote, “Sun then set, and shade all ways obscuring, on the bounds we fell of deep Oceanus, where people dwell whom a perpetual cloud obscures outright, to whom the cheerful sun lends never light, nor when he mounts the star-sustaining heaven, nor when he stoops earth, and sets up the even, but night holds fix’d wings, feather’d all with banes, above those most unblest Cimmerians.”
In the ancient world, Cimmeria was the opposite of Hyperborea. While the sun never stopped shining in Hyperborea, the sun never shone at all in Cimmeria. Cimmeria was the land of perpetual darkness.
If Hyperborea is Apollo’s land, let us assign Cimmeria to the control of Dionysus.
Cimmeria was a land of fog and darkness, at the edge of the world, near the entrance to Hades. The Cimmerians were a people cloaked in mystery.
What’s it like to live in a land forever deprived of sunshine, forever starved of the light? What’s it like to have no contact with the light of reason? We must imagine Cimmeria as a land of unreason.
Who are the rulers of Cimmeria? They are Dionysus and Hecate. Hecate was a powerful goddess, linked to the Egyptian goddess Isis, with dominion over sky, earth and the underworld. Where Hades, god of the Underworld, represented the inevitability of death, Hecate represented re-birth and transformation.
In the Middle Ages, Hecate was regarded as Queen of the Witches, and portrayed as an ugly hag or crone leading covens of wicked witches.
Hecate was a triform goddess, associated with three-way crossroads where she could look into the past, present and future, and where divination and communication with the dead were performed.
Offerings were left to Hecate on nights of the Full Moon.
Everyone knows Dionysus, the god of the vine, the god of wine, the god of ecstasy, intoxication, altered states of mind. Dionysus is the Strange God who brings Strangeness.
Have you worshipped at his altar? You do so every time you go to a bar, every time you open a bottle of wine, every time you take a recreational drug.
Nietzsche loved Dionysus. He set him against Jesus Christ.
In that contest, we all take the side of Dionysus.
But above Dionysus stands Apollo.
Abdera was a town in the ancient world famed for the stupidity of its citizens. (Imagine the ancient equivalent of a town in Arkansas.) The thick and heavy air of the town was proverbial for causing idiocy. Cicero called Rome “Abdera” on account of the moronic conduct of its senators.
The term “Abderite” was used by the ancient Greeks as a synonym for “stupid”.
Galen wrote, “In Abdera there are many stupid people, but in Athens few.”
For our purposes, Abdera is an island near Cimmeria, an island of fools, an island enveloped in the Fog of Stupidity.
Abdera Island is an Idiocracy. It supports anarchy and libertarianism. The island is full of paper statues of Ayn Rand that blow over every time the wind blows.
Abdera Island is ruled over by Koalemos, the god of stupidity and foolishness. Aristophanes wrote, “Come, take a chaplet, offer a libation to Koalemos the god of stupidity and take care to fight vigorously.”
If Koalemos is the god of stupidity, who is the goddess of stupidity? She is Dullness and presides over the Dunciad, the world of dunces.
Dullness is the daughter of Chaos and Eternal Night, intent on her mission to convert the whole world to stupidity. Where the alchemists sought to convert base metal into gold, Dullness seeks to establish a new Saturnian age of Lead rather than Gold. She wants to make the whole world into a base, idiotic place.
The translatio studii (Latin for “transfer of learning”) refers to the geographic movement of learning across the globe. Dullness inverts the translatio studii with the translatio stultitia … the spread of stupidity across the globe. She is intent on bringing the endarkenment as the antidote to the enlightenment. Wherever Dullness goes, the darkness of ignorance follows her. Dullness has taken control of all political writing and is determined to extend her reign to drama and literature. She chooses particularly inept writers as her champions.
The power of Dullness is inexorable. No one can resist her power. She despises learning and independent, critical thinking.
Dullness hates accomplished writers and always uses hacks to promote idiocy. She loves the tabloid press, pulp fiction and penny dreadfuls. Dullness demands an indifferent and uneducated public.
Today, the triumph of Dullness is total! Social media is her glorious new kingdom. She has never had it so good.
Every troll worships two goddesses: Eris (Discord) and Dullness (Stupidity)
Ignavi Island, situated within a few miles of Abdera Island, is a grey island covered by fields of the grey asphodel plant and presided over by grey Asphodel, goddess of mediocrity, blandness and banality. Asphodel is faceless and formless. Her partner is Crepitus, the Roman god of flatulence. He is particularly, and indeed explosively flatulent, when he is brought into the presence of anything exceptional, anything of the highest quality. He can’t stand our work. He gets incredibly gaseous and practically explodes.
The people of Ignavi Island are all grey and they march in long grey lines behind blank grey banners.
The people that worship Asphodel and Crepitus are passive, submissive, petty, small-minded, narrow-minded, weak-minded and simple-minded. They long for comfort and nothing else. These people never take on any great challenges, they never willingly endure any hardships. They are Last Men.
Nietzsche wrote, “I will speak to them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is the Last Man! … Alas! There comes the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There comes the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself. Lo! I show you the Last Man. ‘What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?’ – so asks the Last Man, and blinks. The earth has become small, and on it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His species is ineradicable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest. ‘We have discovered happiness’ – say the Last Men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loves one’s neighbor and rubs against him; for one needs warmth. … they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or men! A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end for a pleasant death.
“One still works, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one. … Who still wants to rule? Who still wants to obey? Both are too burdensome. No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same; everyone is the same: he who feels differently goes voluntarily into the madhouse. ‘Formerly all the world was insane,’ – say the subtlest of them, and they blink. They are clever and know all that has happened: so there is no end to their derision. People still quarrel, but are soon reconciled – otherwise it upsets their stomachs. They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health. ‘We have discovered happiness,’ – say the Last Men, and they blink.”
Don’t be one of the blinkers, the hoppers, the fleas. Where are the great humans for the great challenges? Where are those that can endure hardship?
The people of Ignavi Island are shadows. They have no life blood, no fire in their gut, no desire for glory and greatness, no intention of embarking on grand, transformative projects.
The followers of Asphodel are highly attracted to Yahweh (authoritarianism and totalitarianism), Mammon (greed and selfishness), and the Fat Buddha (detachment and avoidance). Yahweh, Mammon and the Fat Buddha preach submission to the elite, wealth-hoarding, illusion and spiritual deception, and breaking your spirit so that you become as grey and pointless as everyone else.
Ignavi Island could equally be called Mediocre Island. Democracy and consumer capitalism hold sway.
On Mediocre Island, the masses can’t get enough of mediocrity. They don’t understand anything else.
Just as stupid people can’t recognize intelligence, the mediocre can’t recognize the excellent, the exceptional. Quality means nothing to them. It’s all about quantity.
Magic Island is where magical thinking occurs. It’s the inspiration for theocracies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the WASP Southern States of the USA. Abrahamism, Eastern mysticism and New Ageism are all products of Magic Island.
The people of Magic Island love faith, love and light, unconditional love, prayers, hymns, kumbaya, meditation, yoga, mindfulness. They loathe reason and logic, mathematics, science, metaphysics and rationalist philosophy.
The rulers of Magic Island are Circe and Prospero. Prospero is a powerful magician who can command spirits. Circe is an extraordinary enchantress and sorceress, skilled in the arts of herbs and potions, in the magic of transmutation, illusion, and necromancy. She can even turn human beings into animals.
The hero Odysseus made himself immune to Circe’s spells by taking a black-rooted white-flowered plant called moly.
The real “moly” is ontological mathematics, predicated on the principle of sufficient reason and its corollary Occam’s razor.
Magic Island has no effect on the rational. They see right through the con. Reason is the only thing that never lies.
Satirical Island is an island where they satirize and mock politics. It’s where all the comedians show up, all the commentators and chatterati, all the critics and skeptics, the cynics and pessimists.
Satirical Island is ruled over by Momus, the god of mockery and censure. He censured the gods for not building a little door into the human breast so that the gods could look into people’s secret thoughts. Momus was notorious for his mocking graffiti.
His consort is Eris, Queen of Discord, always trying to provoke arguments and trouble, always trying to bring disunion and disharmony.
Eris is the goddess of all trolls.
What could be worse than a world of critics and trolls?
Zig Ziglar wrote, “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”
No one has ever erected a statue to a troll.
Coleridge wrote, “Reviewers are usually people who would have been, poets, historians, biographer, if they could. They have tried their talents at one thing or another and have failed; therefore they turn critic.”
All critics are failures at whatever they criticize.
A proverb says, “Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.” Free social media produces nothing but hissing.
Goethe wrote, “The person of analytic or critical intellect finds something ridiculous in everything. The person of synthetic or constructive intellect, in almost nothing.”
H. L. Mencken wrote, “Criticism is prejudice made plausible.”
An unknown commentator wrote, “Criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but having faults different from your own.”
An unknown commentator wrote, “Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat.”
T. S. Eliot wrote, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
“So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Critics are always those that failed to be anything better than critics, hence are always bitter, frustrated, negative individuals, seeking revenge.
They despise the creators whose work they critique.
Let’s consider life on all these different islands. Let’s consider their religions, philosophies, and political systems. What island do we all want to be on? What islands do we definitely want to avoid? What island are we currently on? Can we get off and move to somewhere better?
Let us enter the palace of Apollo and Minerva on Hyperborea, along a causeway lined by enchanting statues of wise owls. Only meritocracy is approved by Apollo and Minerva.
What do Dionysus and Hecate think about politics? On their island of Cimmeria, no one cares. They’re apolitical. They just want to have a good time. They’re party people. They’re hedonists. Hard work isn’t for them. They live in the moment. Their motto is: eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.
On Abdera Island, they are all libertarians and anarchists. The Dunning-Kruger effect is inescapable on that island. Statues of Ayn Rand, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan – dumb, dumber and dumberer – stand beneath a vast statue of Dullness. A golden statue of Donald Trump – dumbest of all – is under construction.
You don’t have to be a racist to be a Republican, but every racist that votes puts their mark next to the Republican Party.
Magic Island produces an epidemic of magical thinking – people there believe the most unbelievable nonsense.
On Satirical island, they are all nihilists, skeptics, atheists and materialists.
Who will solve the complex problems of a complex country? – The rich? The banks? The corporations? The families of dynastic inheritance? The cronies? The mob? Or the intelligent? Shouldn’t it be obvious?
The point of this Facebook page is to discuss world affairs using the concrete examples of the six islands we have mentioned. If you can think of additional islands, feel free to make a suggestion.
Our focus is, above all, on meritocracy. We are all for an exceptional society of high-achieving, high quality, optimized human beings, able to cooperate with each other to produce a wondrous society for us all.
Libertarians and anarchists are Discordians and anomics who hate society and seek to disrupt it in favor of privilege, inheritance, nepotism and cronyism – i.e. they always take the side of the individual, family and tribe against justice, fairness, equal opportunities, cooperation, the commonwealth, the general will and the common good.