Cold, Ice Cold
Philosopher Nick Land talks about the transition that the West is currently experiencing as a shift from being nice to being more realistic. “Nice” is like bourgeois values: offend no one, befriend everyone, and always gesture vividly toward your acceptance of all people, behaviors and ideas.
Naturally, this niceness is fatal to any group because it opposes the idea of standards, as well as the basic notion of finding some things to be true and others not, therefore unacceptable as answers to certain questions. To be nice, one must believe that all people are basically the same and thus are “universal,” or uniformly good for the most part.
The problem with nice is that it is a form of competition. If your neighbors are nicer than you, you are seen as a less desirable business partner, mate, customer, friend, coworker and seller. When one person on the block goes down the path of nice, the others must “keep up with the Joneses” and virtue signal their niceness as well.
This psychology originates in the bourgeois ideal of being a mercantile middle class. You are not responsible for leadership directly, and yet you have a duty to earn money and keep up (including the Republican “work hard and go to church” mentality) and so you adopt nice as a means of marketing yourself.
When every man is a shopkeeper, he must always think that any person around him is a potential customer. So when it comes time to act, standards are out as these will alienate someone; nice is in because it enables anyone to be a customer, and who cares if they are good or not, so long as they have money?
Like most human illusions, this one is fallacious too. The shopkeepers that are longest-esteemed are those who uphold standards and enforce social order because they are trusted by the upper portions of the bell curve, and everyone else imitates those. When the herd takes over, however, this becomes inverted.
In addition, those who are starting out with nothing will use nice as a way to get a foot in the door… with guilt. Who can turn down a nice guy? White knights everywhere rely on this theory, and it works enough that society keeps producing white knights like an unwanted but voracious weed.
Businesses use a variation of the “nice guy” strategy any time they support a little league team, highway cleanup or local symphony. Unlike regular nice, however, this gives back to the community as a whole. This means it is not personal like nice normally is. However, this means that other businesses can use nice as a simpler version.
The problem with nice is that, like other bourgeois ideas such as “the customer is always right,” it results in acceptance of anything-goes behavior. This in turn makes the business less efficient for others because it is busy being nice to the insane, selfish, lonely, bored and sociopathic.
When the mental virus of nice leaves behind business and migrates into the broader culture, it creates a pathology of deference. Individuals lose the self-esteem they need in order to demand that there be standards. Instead, they take the only safe option that is compatible with nice — they get out of the way — creating that “anything goes” feel.
This creates a society of neurotic people who are afraid to stand for anything, and as a result, welcome any new degeneracy or foreign invaders in their midst. To them, the only winning strategy is more nice, because any lack of it leaves them exposed to someone else demonstrating more of it and thus capturing the high ground, at least in social terms.
Equality creates this form of competition because in an egalitarian society, being non-egalitarian is the only real sin aside from obvious sociopathy like murder, assault, rape and violent theft. Those who are nice are inherently egalitarian; by the converse, those who fail to demonstrate nice will be seen as ideological enemies.
The bourgeois mentality of salesmanship and the prole culture ideal of equality thus conspire to create a society where everyone is a sitting duck. To defend themselves against bad behavior is to invoke the wrath of the Crowd; to accept bad behavior and use it to demonstrate nice, on the other hand, is a win. This way, good becomes evil in results, a form of inversion.
The way around nice is removal of the anti-hierarchy created by equality, which mandates a vast mass who are equal ruled by a few leaders who exist to implement further egalitarian reforms. If we recognize each person as having a place, it makes sense to see them as having immutable self-interest related to that position.
For example, a thief always steals; this is what thieves do. The less-intelligent always seek to overthrow the more intelligent, much as the less-moral seek to overthrow the more moral. The herd seeks to dethrone the exceptional. The ugly and sad want to destroy the beautiful, healthy and cheerful.
When we escape the mental grotto of nice, we can see that not only do people work in self-interest specific to their roles, but that it is more humane to recognize them as they are. Give people clear direction and limit the damage they can do, and they are less likely to live in a miasma of lowered self-esteem based on their past failures and bad acts.
In order to have this exist, however, the best must always oppress the rest, because in one of those rare but ineffable binaries of life, otherwise the rest will oppress the best. Since having the best in power provides the best results, and these distribute to all citizens, it makes sense to put the best in power, much as we select the most talented surgeons or mechanics over the rest.
A new era dawns in which cold, hard logic will be victorious over social sentiments and individualism. Cold, hard logic is like ice in winter that kills all but the hardy; it removes mental confusion by focusing on results and reasoning about how to achieve those, and leaves feelings and group emotions by the wayside.
This view liberates us from a fundamental curse: caring about what is popular. Ultimately, nice is an expression of popularity and fear. People fear that they will not be included, and therefore, it is popular to include everyone, which requires abolition of standards. As we awaken from the stupor of this idea, our civilization can become functional again.