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Nature > biology

I said that a divide between the left and right is that the left rejects biological explanations—then I rejected Darwinism. Have I contradicted myself, or must I admit to being on the left? The mistake was to conflate biology and nature—these are connected but distinct, the former is nature understood in its scientific aspect (and so belongs to the left) whereas the latter is nature qua nature (i.e. in itself and as a whole, in its organic and holistic aspect).

Hence, for example, I can read about the wildlife in Britain and I find that what most strikes me is the beetle numbers in the country—myriads, species beyond count. Yet, as for the mammals, the aristocrats, I find just six pages—foxes, stags, badgers (nature’s aristocrats). Just like the hoody-wearing masses in a British city, the beetle life is diverse in its colouration—and yet in its diversity it is identical, it is atomised (as the gas disperses every molecule faces in a different direction, the result is a homogenous mist—as opposed to a uniform gas nucleus).

However, if I look at, say, a military unit I find that every individual is uniform and yet differentiated—just as the stags are uniform, yet very much individuals and, in their uniform nature, more like a badger than any beetle; and, indeed, is it not significant that in Britain’s decline we became famous for “the Beatles”—“the beetles”, the magic-pun insect-life, love love love (all you need is)?

These observations are not biological. I do not need scientific investigation to draw these conclusions. I do not need to quantify or formulate a hypothesis; for sure, as with the molecules in a gas, I can draw an analogy to science to clarify my point but, in and of itself, my explanation does not require science.

I would draw a parallel with “race”—it is best understood in terms of breed, as in breed of dog or cattle; each breed has a temperament, disposition, and intelligence level (we can cross individuals on the basis of temperament—“they’re a good match”). This is not the same as to break a race down to gene frequencies and clusters—ill-defined blobs which represent “H1A5”, haplogroups but not reality.

It’s to do with holism and organicism: it’s about the way we can take an historical unit, say, the Liberal Party and trace the way it is born, grows, and dies (haemorrhages away as it loses cohesion in the 1920s); and we can say the same for empires and individuals—it’s what some people have dubbed an “egregore” in modernity; but this is also an error, because it makes these entities or meta-entities into the sum of individual action at a lower level, of emergent behaviour—in reality, these things come from a transcendent realm that intrudes into our mundane world.

To think about empires or parties as organisms that are born, live, and die does not require a scientific approach—it is an analogy to nature, but it is not biology. The scientific approach, biology, always breaks down—in Darwinism into number of offspring that survive, into genes that go forward through their “meat robots”. To look at a state like an animal is, rather, to be holistic—to join together, to see it in the round; it is a constructive or, to be more precise, procreative activity.

I picked up a London history and it started in the primeval ooze—because that is where science says everything starts, in the mud and slime (and to mud and slime we will return). This is where biological thought takes you—there were once mastodons at the Elephant and Castle (and, before that, simple single-celled organisms…).

Start from the sky—from what is high, from the astral light. The story of London starts when the Druids walked the city’s three sacred hills…the moonlight fell on them, Orion was overhead…

But the history was leftist—contended that London was always “its own thing”, a mini-republic in conflict with the King. Written in 2000, it was infected with 1980s politics—remembrance of Thatcher versus Livingstone, the “loony left” takes on Thatcher. As such, it was parochial—it couldn’t recall a time when London just returned Conservatives, and it started in the mud and muck. That’s biological thought, that’s Darwinism—that’s how most people think today.

Biology is nature abbreviated—and, in fact, you don’t need Darwinism to tell you that men fight, that men fight brutally, and that men fight over women and access to resources and status. For sure, it interests that science, the quantitative analysis of reality, confirms these common-sense observations—but you don’t need “biology” to know it’s so. You feel it in your bones, in your blood—you feel when someone smacks you up against a wall at school, just because. A dominance challenge that exhibits traits also found in African chimpanzee colonies…

But I’m not a chimpanzee—and neither was Gladstone. You could explain Gladstone’s concern with Afghan peasants and Bulgarian Christians purely in terms of the “Big 5” personality traits—he was neurotic, narcissistic, open to experience…he was distressed that British foreign policy might kill Afghans and he was distressed when the Turks killed Christians. Yes—you could say he was sensitive and vain, if you want to talk common sense (the phrase “inverted snob” existed long before “virtue signal”, as did the word “telescopic philanthropy”).

What this biological approach can’t capture is that Gladstone also had an idea. Namely, he was into the Christian god—the god of universal brotherly love. It was to that god to whom he appealed when he asked the British Army to be kind to the Afghan peasant (who mercilessly killed British soldiers who straggled from their columns in the valleys)—and, without that vehicle for his neuroticism and narcissism, he wouldn’t be able to express it in such a way nor have an audience for his ideas.

If Victorian Britain worshipped Odin, then there would be no “god of love” for Gladstone to appeal to in order to subvert British interests in Afghanistan—or demand that we embark on a pointless war with a key ally, Turkey.

Hence you can never explain politics in, for example, the mode of Peterson or Dutton, with an appeal to evolutionary psychology—“evo psych” is leftist, nobody liked Pavlov more than the Soviets (the electrodes stuck under your skin—shocked until you don’t like Ludwig van, until you didn’t see “the hallucinated stars”, the invisible 7ft-high beast of Rollright…you didn’t see, there’s no evidence, no empirical evidence…you’re just a soft machine, an emergent order of cells…).

No, I am starlight.


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