• Member Since 11th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Sunday

Bad Horse


You shall love your crooked neighbor with your crooked heart. -- W. H. Auden

Index librorum prohibitorum
32

The heaviness of the bad horse drags its charioteer toward the earth and weighs him down if he has failed to train it well, and this causes the most extreme toil and struggle that a soul will face.
--Plato, Phaedrus 247b

Join me, and together we shall rule the world. Mostly me, though.

Do YOU want to join the Equestrian League of Evil?

There are two ways to join:

1. Demonstrate your heinous nature through crimes and malicious acts disruptive to the fabric of society. Please, no tying people to railroad tracks or kidnapping sidekicks. We get a dozen of those every week. Legitimate evil activities include tumblring Dolan comics or writing alicorn OC fiction. Document all evil activity and submit to the Equestrian League of Evil headquarters in Washington, D.C.

2. Click the "Follow" button on this page.

Don't hesitate to comment on my stories! If you see something you like, or don't like, or think could be better, say so. If you don't comment because you come in thru EqD or Spacebattles & haven't bothered to make a fimfiction account--stop that! It's pretty damn selfish. Make an account. It takes thirty seconds.

We read every submission
With predatory grins
We've got the supplication that you just sent in
It needs evaluation before it's in the bin
Let's see if plots maintain their course
Good grammar would be nice of course

Bad Prose
Bad Prose
Bad Prose
It's Bad

(From "Bad Prose" by Sordid Euphemism.)

I based my avatar on a drawing by kim1486.

Stud services available. Send photograph for prices.

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May
30th
2014

Bad Horse Blog Index · 9:17pm May 30th, 2014

Fimfiction provides no easy way to find old blog posts, so this index will always be on my user page. Each list is mostly in chronological or reverse-chronological order.
I've added a few good blog posts by other people.

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Report Bad Horse · 4,968 views · #Bad Horse #blog #index
Comments ( 464 )
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2917585 Thanks! The virus really set back my plans to take over the world, but otherwise I'm doing okay.

hi there! just dropping in to say you seem like an awesome dude and hope you're doing well!

2882679 I'm thrilled that you're thrilled! You know I respect you as a writer.

I'm so thrilled I finally have the time to dive into your catalogue. Your writing voice is so unique, so full of melancholy but hopeful too. Can't wait to read more :twilightsmile:

2855701 That question would take a long time to answer, but here's a start:

  • That you phrase it as "love" and "hate" is significant. For me, these aren't emotional reactions. I think that's the difference between utilitarianism and other approaches to ethics. Anyone whose goal is to make the world, or some part of it, or some person or subgroup's experience of it, better in some measurable way, is by definition a consequentialist utilitarian. Most people instead construct ethical systems by compiling a set of heuristics which produce behavior similar to that produced by their emotional reactions.
  • Marxism can't be utilitarian, because it's in the family of Platonist philosophies, which use a set of metaphysical assumptions which delegitimize measurements, notably including monetary measurements of value.

    • There are many reasons for identifying the class of philosophies that I do as Platonist; the most-obvious is simply the chain of influences that the philosophers themselves cited, e.g.:

      • the Nazis cited the German Idealists (the successors of Hegel), Plato, and Sparta
      • Marx based his ideas on Hegel, Rousseau, and the French Revolution
      • Hegel based his on Kant, the French Revolution, the neo-Platonist Christian philosophers, and Plato
      • Kant praised the French Revolution but also had strong non-Platonist influences
      • the French Revolutionaries (most importantly, the Jacobins) studied Rousseau and emulated Sparta
      • Rousseau was essentialist, and Platonist in many but not all respects
      • post-gnostic Christian theology was mostly Platonism
      • Plato hated Athens and loved Sparta
    • Plato taught that the universe began with The Perfect--one "thing" or "being" which possessed all properties to their fullest. All other things are formed, directly or indirectly, by making imperfect copies of The Good. A thing is defined by its imperfections. (This is the basis of the claim that you create a fictional character by giving him or her flaws.)
    • A thing's "value" then means its degree of perfection.
    • To let a free market assign changing values to things is therefore sacrilege. If monetary values aren't fixed, then society has no values and is hence immoral.
    • SImilarly, free markets allow class mobility, which is abhorrent to a Platonist ontology, which tends to see social classes as immutable, defining characteristics of people. Platonists hold psychological theories which deny that people can change social classes, or think outside the box of their social class, except for a process of "conversion" by which the Platonists themselves are enlightened and leave this deterministic trap.

      • Today people think of "conversion" as a Christian term term, but actually it never appears in the Bible. It comes from Plato's writings--IIRC Republic, Phaedrus, and/or Phaedo.
      • Buddhist "enlightenment", Christian "conversion" after 400 AD, and Social-Justice "awakening", are typological changes, in which a person transforms instantly from one category of being into another, which is allowed under Platonist metaphysics. The Marxist preference for revolution and a sudden drastic change of society to a new form, rather than incremental change, is likewise Platonist.
      • Platonist salvation, Christian ("gnostic") salvation before 300 AD, Enlightenment-era "enlightenment", and Marxist "revolutionary consciousness", are a more gradual process of intellectual understanding (which Plato simply called "philosophizing") in which, by understanding the rules governing people's behavior, one can step outside of them.
    • Platonist values are defined cardinally, not ordinally. That is, you can only say that one type of thing is better or worse than another type of thing. You can't say that one human life is worth more than one fish's life, and also say the lives of one billion fish are worth more than the life of one human. (See, for instance, the "trolley problem".) Platonists avoid the sin of saying this by making up new words to reify the worth of (for instance) one billion fish, like "the environment". If "the environment" is a Thing, then it has a value of its own, which is different from the sum of the values of all of the things that make up the environment, because Platonist ontology is not additive or structural. In Platonist metaphysics, every word has its own properties and its own value, not determined by the things that it's composed of and the ways they interact, but magically inherited from an Essence.

      • This is why Marxism is not really materialist. The defining characteristic of materialism is that is says those things that exist have properties defined by their components and structure. Marxism has more of what is (ironically) called a "structuralist" view of language, in which meaning comes not from the structure of objects, but from the "structure of the dialectic", which means the sets of terms set in opposition to each other, such as bourgeois / proletariat.

        • "Bourgeois" has no significant meaning other than "not proletariat", and vice-versa.
        • "Capitalist" has no meaning other than "not worker" (and is a false abstraction, since most actual "capitalists" own only a small fraction of their capital, and work longer hours than their "workers").
        • (There's a classic 1930 science fiction story about structuralist linguistics, called "The Gostak and the Doshes".)

      Marxism is one of many non-utilitarian ways of thinking, and, as I said above, one of a large family of essentialist philosophies which include Sparta, the Pythagoreans, Platonism, Christianity, Islam, the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Jacobins, Marxism, Nazism, "Social Justice", and all totalitarian Western governments.

      That family is in turn part of a larger class of theories with essentialist metaphysics. The most-notable other family in that larger class is monism, which includes Parmenides, Buddhism, post-modernism, and New Age.

      Most of these theories have unity as a central value, and say that suffering originated in some primal division which caused people to see themselves as separate individuals with their own private preferences and values.

      • The Platonisms teach that people were meant to all be alike, and should renounce their personal desires and instead find their identities in the Spartan state / the Christian body / the Islamic "Dar al'Islam" / Rousseau's "Common Will" / the French Revolution's "Fraternity" / Hegel's "world spirit" / Marx's communism / the Nazi "race" / the Social Justice "community".
      • Plato and Aristotle thought it was obvious that whatever was good for all humanity was good for you, because they believed The Good was literally a thing, and so it couldn't depend on whose perspective you viewed it from. Actions couldn't be good for you; they could only be good, or not good. Therefore anything you thought was good for you, but wasn't also good for everyone else, couldn't actually be good for you.
      • The monist essentialists teach that All is One--that it isn't just an illusion that one person is different from another; it's an illusion that humans are different from frogs, that the past is different from the present. They also teach that it's an illusion that you today are the same as you yesterday, and so on. No categories or boundaries, they teach, actually exist.
      • All these religions are therefore basically ascetic (teach that desiring material goods is a manifestation of the sin of individuality, and the sin of valuing the material & temporal world over their teleological, eternal "Reality"). "Consumerism" is just a word invented to attach negative connotations to "getting what you want".
      • Marxism is more ascetic than its adherents today know. "To each according to his need" literally meant "need", not "want". Marx understood, I think, that communism wouldn't be as productive as free markets, but believed a communist society could make enough to satisfy everyone's needs. You don't get to buy your own music or literature under Marxism, because you don't need these things. A Marxist society can afford to produce enough to satisfy everyone's needs only by not satsifying anyone's wants.

        • And this can work! The only successful example was ancient Sparta ~500-350? BC. But the price was that everyone was indoctrinated from birth, foreign ideas weren't allowed, art and music were banned except for propaganda, decoration was forbidden, work and trade mostly forbidden, money forbidden, raising your own children forbidden, even choosing your own food was forbidden. Dyeing cloth was forbidden as unnecessary. (Also, it relied on most people being slaves.)

      I don't like any of these Platonist philosophies.

      • They all teach there is some more-fundamental reality which determines everything we see and feel and how we see and feel it. (In Marxism, this is historicism plus the doctrine that the "superstructure" (culture, individual thought and preferences, phenomenology) supervenes on the "base" (economic relations).
      • They all teach that the world should be perfect, and will be perfect once we purge it of evil, and so the ends (eternal perfection) justifies any means.

        • This is why Marxists always think that demonstrating that bad things sometimes happen in a free market proves that free markets are bad. That's what you implied when you wrote, "I don’t understand how you can love utilitarianism but hate socialism. Capitalism is extremely clearly not producing the most happiness for the most people." The only important question is whether free markets, and freedom in general, produce more (happiness minus misery) than authoritarian centralized governments. The past 2,500 years of history have consistently proven that they do.
      • Historically, every Platonist group has used mass murder and terror to seize and hold power wherever and whenever it was possible to do so without fear of reprisal.

        • By "mass murder" I don't mean revolutionary violence, or even anti-revolutionary violence like that of the Pinkertons vs. labor unions, but a government engaging in the systematic, class-based murder of (say) more than 10,000 of its own defenseless citizens per year, typically either legally, or by banning guns and then providing guns to pro-government terrorist groups.
        • Yes, you can find many examples of non-Platonist dictators doing that, but it hasn't happened in the liberal free-market Western democracies that you claim are inferior to Marxism for several hundred years AFAIK.
        • There may be exceptions, but the only one I could think of was Venezuela, and I just googled it up and found that the government is indeed currently committing mass murder there to stay in power.

        But, in my opinion, Marxism stands out from the other Platonist philosophies as being the most-obviously wrong.

        • Christianity is at least consistent--it doesn't claim to try to improve life on Earth.
        • Post-modernism is obviously insane, but that's because pomos recognize that essentialism is inherently insane, and are ignorant of any alternatives to it. So their whole gig is arguing that everything is insane.
        • Spartanism, Jacbonism, and Nazism are all evil, by which I mean I find their values and intentions abhorrent; but you can't call them mistaken. The people who believed in them knew what they wanted, and did those things that seemed most-likely to get them what they wanted.

        But Marxism is just wrong, even on its own terms. It is wrong at the micro level, where it fails to be able to predict market prices; it fails at the macro level, in failing to predict its all-too-predictable impact on production, happiness, and social cohesion. It is the most-thoroughly falsified theory in both economics and social science, yet it keeps coming back like a zombie, no matter how many Marxist revolutions go nowhere but from bloody carnage to bloody carnage plus economic devastation. There are obvious reasons why Marxist economics can't work, and obvious reasons why it's inherently intolerant and totalitarian, and it fails whenever it's tried, yet people keep going back to it. At this point it would make more sense to give Nazism or the Aztec religion of human sacrifice another go than to try Marxism yet again.

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