Wednesday, May 03, 2006

MAXIMUM ADVANTAGE: The Technical Morality Revisited

For the benefit of newer readers to this blog, and also due to the fact that the subject directly relates to the next installment of This Modern Warrior Archetype, I will reprint the following post.

MAXIMUM ADVANTAGE: The Technical Morality

The Higher Morality

Draft 3.0+
Maximum Advantage is not everything; only those things which matter in a technological society. Wholly encompassing, Maximum Advantage may be applied in all situations. Quickly mutable, Maximum Advantage will co-opt or corrupt any rival moral philosophies, belief systems, religions and long lasting traditions. Maximum Advantage is not for cowards nor heroes. Minimum effort expended for maximum gain, Maximum Advantage is the embodiment of mediocrity. Maximum Advantage exploits the mean and mitigates circumstances, thus allowing the course to always follow the path of least resistance. Maximum Advantage is morality applied technically. Maximum Advantage facilitates propaganda through efficient application of advertising, promotion and applied psychology. Encompassing attention spans and finances, Maximum Advantage is brevity. Maximum Advantage is the real 1984. Maximum Advantage is the next highest branch on a genealogical tree of Western morality. A technical morality for a technical age was inevitable. A product of reductionism, maximum advantage has arrived largely unacknowledged but hardly unnoticed. Maximum Advantage is speed. Degeneration is a by-product. Efficiency does not apply to everything. Nadir and zenith rapidly alternate and reverse in a slow downward spiral. Cultural declines occur over the span of a mere generation.[1] Past populations experienced either relatively stable transition, or forced conversion by the sword; maximum advantage is neither. A truly positivist morality would have likely produced a world nuclear funeral. The myth of progress was thankfully dulled and diluted just enough by the science it helped spawn. Although extremely destructive, sinister incarnations of deterministic thought produced blatant totalitarian machinations which were thankfully not viable. The liberal democracies prevailed, were contaminated by contact vectors, and became something different even while retaining old trappings and framework. Some continuity is necessary. Politics became an illusion due to excessive squabbling over scraps. Only technical efficiency was deemed unquestionably good. All else must be justified. A mediocre bastard child was spawned by a union with global capital and approaches maturity. Adolescence ended with the cold war.
Maximum Advantage is the moral code for the successful wielding of power in the United States. Maximum gain for minimum effort is desired in all things. The forward view is very myopic. Mitigation is attempted through subtle mutation but co-optation is the result. Maximum Advantage in all things is desired. The unity is all-encompassing. Nothing is perceived beyond its scope. Power must be unrestrained. Hence, economics becomes progressively more abstract. Reinstating the gold standard would be an economic disaster. That old verbal world has been superseded by the more evolved. Hence, outright coercion has be replaced by less direct methods. Two-million fill our national prisons. Yet we are free. Drugs have been exploited to maximum advantage in all things. One might wonder how many proverbial birds are being slain by the stone of the drug war. The technical morality learns from past mistakes. The American public only cares about body bags. Hence, we have bloodless wars where the only military footage allowed is at extreme heights. The Serbian and Iraqi Population bled, but their leaders remain in power. Thus military expenditures and imperialism are justified by digging up not-quite-neutralized threats. As long as nobody is drafted and only elite pilots are put in the line of fire, the population is apathetic. Nobody is forced to join the military. In addition, legitimacy is conferred by international coalitions after being rubber stamped by the United Nations Security Council. It shows that even pacifist sentiments and constructs may be exploited to maximum advantages. The population is united by abstractions and myths, like progress and freedom. Loyalty is maintained by statistical prosperity. If the statistics say the nation is prosperous, then it must be healthy. Data and definitions are skewed for maximum advantage in maintaining system status quo. Socialization is supplanted by a mass media verbal world supporting the consumerist world view and calling it truth. Rather than just another historical transition, the present is portrayed as eternal, but instead stagnates. However, even the failures may be exploited to maximum advantage in all things. Criminals sell paper and boost ratings. The Judicial Branch is an industry. A niche exists for all. Radical change may be portrayed as inconsequential and nothing be labeled as something, but that does not make either case so. The world moves toward the anti-natural and will pay the price. Bankruptcy only works in court. Emotions may be manipulated. The opportunist is never immune. Dissident elements may be negated without crackdowns. Their message is inconsequential to the present technical moral scheme of maximum advantage in all things. Even while promoting the opposite, the concrete is always valued over the abstract. The system creates itself. Individuals ride the wave. Some fall. Others prosper, including some dissenting voice. Ralph Nadir is a millionaire. All are products. The elite knows it.
Though not the cause, the strict positivist mentality pervading industrial societies, while infecting others, produced two World Wars and the Cold War. The human factor has failed to develop at the same pace as its tools and toys. The mental energy necessary has been directed toward progress. Rigid mechanistic doctrines were devised which fit the times but not the future. Victory was assured by the dialectic, which proved itself wrong. Nothing is inevitable except death and taxes. Nationalism proved stronger than international worker solidarity. Properly utilized, tribal rivalries are easier to promote and maintain. Xenophobic propaganda does not rely upon reason or rationale. However, the result created an unstable condition of nuclear brinkmanship culminating in the Cuban missile crisis. Excessive rhetoric can be exceedingly antagonistic, and required toning down. Propaganda became less inflammatory and over-stated. When employed too readily, blatant propaganda becomes extremely hollow. A softer touch used to maximum advantage in all things was required and developed accordingly. Art was co-opted by both propaganda and advertising industry. The emerging technological society would not allow itself to be destroyed. Rather quick destruction could be averted while enriching the arms industry. The combination was simply the most efficient societal means. The technological system encroached upon all others, meeting the approval of the positivist mindset, because its parts may be measured. One cannot quantify emotions. Hence, the qualified has no value except to be exploited for maximum advantage in all things. Manipulation assures concern to be a liability. The mediocre becomes ascendant. Slave and master moralities were quickly absorbed into the technological framework, and synthesized into a common median. The resultant system, developed by exploiting and encouraging conflict, allows justification for increased efficiency essential for technical propagation. Unlike harsher systemic schemes, the minimum effort necessary for maximum gain is the approved standard applied. The resultant mythos created is a hollow mockery. Progress rolling over everything, defining all valuations by drenching the earth in blood if necessary, is perceived as good in a world long past such quaint notions. However, progress does provide some continuity for us drones chained to its capital-controlled economic system. Else all would perceive the drift. A supposed link with past traditions has been a common error during all ages. The current era is no different. The base means are dredged for maximum advantage, a value system which attaches like a parasite to any available host as a means of least action. Rebellion is subdued by commodification of its products. The elite gain by the stability necessary for maximum technical efficiency. The resultant cultural inertia often produces weak worthless decedents, whom mean absolutely nothing, slowly withering away in stupid angst. Only their money saves their useless existence from being stomped into mulch. The slow mediocre spiral drags all down by subduing natural reactions in favor of anti-natural meaning. Inefficiency is evil, but the walking dead are an abomination. Maximum advantage is not destined to be long lasting, but will permeate everything of value in a skewed technological society. The hyper-rational must allow outlets for expression, but never enough to upset the established order. Any popular appeal will be bought and sold to a hyper-stimulated populace craving new diversions. Existing pathways are exploited to natural advantage in all things by superseding nature itself. Corruption is a by-product which must be minimized by expending very little, thus little may be corrupted. Hence, decay is evidenced over collapse. While allowing less room for discontent, passivity is always encouraged and valued over submission. Populations do not rebel over boredom.
Altruism is not conducive nor compatible with maximum advantage. Its appearance has ulterior motivation. A large corporation may donate large amounts to charities, but will milk it for maximum advantage. Big Business only supports cancer research, because its pollution may be a cause. The issues become entangled and confused. Any debate regarding globalism grinds to a halt in a maze of pros and cons. The larger questions are not even considered. Progress is not viewed as a myth, but rather a definition drawn by little more than sentiment. Value judgments are supplied by propaganda, both pro and con. Most just ignore large-scale concerns and continue with their daily lives. Some things are simply never contemplated by those seeing no profit or profit in such things. The big picture is far away but the rent is due on the 5th of the month. Immediate concerns supersede all else. The periphery is less tangible and easier to manage. A landscape is constructed where before only a monolith existed to be venerated or assaulted. How could anyone, besides the insane, completely question an all-encompassing vista?
The higher technical morality supersedes older traditional moralities by smothering. Good and Evil are re-defined, but not re-evaluated, according to the dictates of technical efficiency. The absolute adherence demanded has created a higher morality above all else. Propaganda is the language of the new mediocre religion of progress for purposes of a lowest-common mean unity. Stagnation while scurrying about supposedly promotes stability. The clergy are simply supplanted by technicians, which even a thinking atheist [2] might admit is alarming. In the modern incarnation, the priest has only verbal authority, rather than the full trappings of the ultra-rational and re-definable progress. One cannot see God. The protestant reformation is long over. The religious types have no power beyond annoying rhetoric. The possible social consequences inherent in cultural rejection of religion may pose serious difficulties. According to the 19th Century themes of Dostoevsky, the removal of God from peasant societies leaves a void allowing murder with a good conscious. Russia certainly proved his predictions correct. The opportunistic will sight upon any available target. The population is a different matter. Its restraints must be removed. The priest would see slaves, but the technical would eliminate all humanity from consideration, ideally replacing it with a stagnant rationale. The result is lower than slavery. At least religion becomes decadent and decays into something tolerable, or at least easily ignored. Development is hampered by religion, but denied by technique which produces nothing different only better. Absolutes are anti-natural. Faith in the anti-natural leads to ruin. However, the technical insulates through its inherent efficiency, effectively obscuring everything outside its spotlight. Hence, the individual becomes unable to discern differences, and therefore may be exploited to maximum advantage by the most efficient means. Socialization is blunted by unstable environments masked by the delusion of stability. The force required to maintain the facade must be legitimized by propaganda techniques. Intertwined among short and long term concerns, a double-spiral guides the ascension of technical reality. The most effective delivery vectors often act through the mechanisms of market bastard capitalism. The populace actually pays to be propagandized in the ideal docility required for the efficient operation of this technical society. Even elite classes become complacent by propagating the resultant system, because these groups benefit most rapidly and maintain their position. They believe their own bullshit. The most adaptable may become the new ruling class, but will see their heirs generally stagnate due to intellectual inbreeding and otherwise. Hence, dynasties are quickly toppled, although a parasitic leisure class by-product often emerges to be replaced by fresh meat. Hence, some artificial circulation occurs, thus enabling certain myths like the American Dream.
Often society and culture become confused by being perceived as synonymous. A blurring effect is maintained for maximum advantage in all things, thus eliminating any possibility of distinction. History is erased, not by decree, but by context. Everything hitherto has lead to this height of attainment. The shining examples of strip malls and lame entertainment, are rationalized and excused by real accomplishments such as sanitation and infrastructure. Successive generations score higher on cognitive intelligence test, but becomes more stupid. The current crop will be eaten alive when the global economy depresses. The social dynamic has been supplanted by allowing malleable popular culture free reign across the consumer landscape. Decadent instincts become ascendant in any anti-natural environment. Nihilism eventually decays unto death, but may be mitigated for maximum advantage. Prime time snuff films bring high television ratings. Discontent is disbursed, then exploited for profit. The proper response is directed by consumer culture, which demands cash for overpriced goods and services even at the consequence of massive debt. Bankruptcy rates soar, but no matter. Credit may always be easily re-established. Lifestyles must be maintained as required by progress, which means meeting or exceeding preceding (de-)generations (one way or another). Hence while the technical world spirals upward, the natural slowly declines. Even the decadent becomes less creative. A short attention span would not even note any passing of stronger instincts, merely run with the herd mentality. Even the propagandist is affected by the induced perceptions. The eternal present becomes manifest. Our memories become surreal. The question is permitted, yet still forbidden, and non-existent besides. The critical becomes blunted by contact vectors, which slowly drain vitality by overwhelming with constant over-stimulation. Befitting a spent technological dream, in the end, only rusting hollow shells, with a shiny attractive exterior, will remain.
Occasionally, the technical morality will miscalculate actions and reactions. The difficulties must be handled effectively for maximum advantage. For example, an incompetent national foreign policy may lead to reprisal terrorist attacks, but these events allow and provide justification for retaliatory attacks, increasing intrusive regional influence, enrich the arms industry, and even facilitate establishing increased domestic restrictions on suspected internal threats, thus enriching the prison industry, etc. The chains that bind have many parallel links. All approaches must be extremely malleable. Goals are accomplished by overcoming social inertial forces, or merely providing the perception of change. Obscured by the spectacle of instantaneous gratification, this system may expand or contract relatively slowly in actuality. A perceptual shift is far more efficient than even the small level of actual change demanded by technical requirements. This state is not an automatic consequence of adapting technique, rather a result of anti-natural and unbalanced development. Efficiency encompasses everything. A mixture of belief systems must be accommodated or manipulated for maximum advantages. Those beyond a certain mean (in the base sense of the word) are easy prey for exploitation as well. A common enemy is a most efficient means for instilling unity in a suitably divided and pacified population. A jester is even better. For instance, UFO believers are ridiculed, perhaps rightly so, but every unidentified flying object is not an alien from outer-space. An aborted military test flight might unfortunately stray into civilian territory, but most potential witnesses would likely avoid talking much, beyond the anecdotal, concerning a "far off streak in the sky." (Let alone file an official report.) Lest reputations suffer, only the attention starved would bother. The government need not even bother with a cover story. Technique does not just apply to machines. The path of least resistance is identified then utilized for maximum advantage. Any potential difficulties will also receive a refined, most efficient, non-invasive response as possible, which further pacifies the populace. Sensationalism swells and overloads the senses, and earns a tidy profit to boot. "Info-tainment" is not real news, but amuses and pacifies. The constant stimulation makes nothing very noticeable, even the corrupt and absurd. The technical morality does not care about cynicism, merely coopting expression for maximum advantage. The technical morality does not recognize any emotions, rather utilizes their effectiveness for maximum advantage. The unknown is exploited for maximum advantage. Any resistance is a measure of societal and cultural inertias, which may in turn be exploited for maximum advantage. Economic bad times create higher crime which may be utilized to saturate the media, which encourages fear and citizens stay indoors. Why bother with brute force methods like general curfews, when the population will do so by its own accord and pay money for it? Any unrest is vilified and demonized for maximum advantage. The meek stay meek. Maximum efficiency is constrained by thermodynamics, but may always be presented otherwise. Surpassing the natural, the technical morality will move into the realm of the anti-natural. No distinction is possible in the mythical realm of progress. The improvement can never end, although it must and will.
Any assertion contrary to the myth of progress will be met with circular arguments or proof by example. However, any system has components neither provable nor disprovable within itself. The whole is different than the sum of its parts. These theorems are true; it requires one sufficiently alienated to document this system created by the technical morality. The only self-awareness required is the extent of that disenfranchisement, and the ruthlessness to pull the wings off a fly... However, most believe such freedom from fear requires strength beyond them. Their perceptions have been lead like cattle. Under maximum advantage, "Nothing is forbidden; everything is permitted," may be allowed but will never occur in the resultant mediocre compromise. In truth, rather the opposite, but sweet lies are better. However, some errors are necessary.
[1] The generational concept is a relatively new concept. It requires rapid change, therefore different age ranges experience vastly different worlds. The resultant conflict inevitably occurs as a clash between verbal worlds. History is witnessed.
[2] As opposed to a rational or reactionary atheist. Progress and rebellion are both lies. Prayer is an order of rank higher than faith in progress.
1997 - January 1, 2001

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