IS SELF – DECEPTION POSSIBLE? YES. IT TURNS OUT IT IS. AND MOREOVER WE ARE SURROUNDED BY MASTERS OF IT.
( Lesterians ) ( Austrians )
Over the past better part of a year, Lee Waaks, a Lesterian who has taught me quite a bit about Jan Lester’s ideas, and to whom I am forever grateful, has been dutifully ‘correcting’ me, every time I use the term ‘self-deception’, because at least rationally, self deception should not be possible.
But my intuition has been relentlessly hounding me – because I can’t imagine that self deception isn’t possible. And I have a good reason: otherwise people are far more dishonest than I can imagine them being. Especially when we consider that there is a very high computational cost to dishonesty (lying consistently is expensive and hard work) and that under self deception that cost goes away – especially if the deception is clouded by verbalisms (‘fuzzy’ words that are analogical and whose properties are not necessarily ascertainable.) When you lie you must be conscious of it. When you practice persuasion under the influence of self deception, then at least, in theory, you are not lying – which requires at least intuitive intent.
THE CONSCIOUS, SUBCONSCIOUS, AND INSTINCTUAL MIND
Thanks to Kahneman’s framing of the mind as composed of System 2 (reason), System 1 (intuition – our ‘search engine’); And in addition to Systems 1 and 2, what I have coined as ‘System 0’ – the human reproductive bias that determines what property we must acquire, inventory, and defend, and therefore the cause that determines our different moral biases.
We possess intuitions At both the System 0 (reproductive instinct) and System 1( memory ) levels. And system 0 intuitions appear to operate as cognitive biases that we rarely can imagine as other than ‘the right and moral order of things’.
We work very hard at using language to JUSTIFY our moral intuitions. So each group that uses a different reproductive strategy, and each gender and class within each group, contains members who hold both marginally different and marginally indifferent values – each using signals to justify his or her needs (biases).
However, because of all this justification, when we cooperate we appear, at least within the group to share largely similar interests. And we do. We cooperate on means even if we do not always cooperate on ends. The opposing male and female reproductive strategies, and the compromise of serial monogamy are ever present properties of human existence yet we manage to cooperate and flourish within group and without.
As groups we further justify our group reproductive interests. Westerners justify universalism
SO HOW DO WE DECEIVE OURSELVES?
Because we want to. WE overload our reason and our intuitions (System 1) by searching for verbal means of justifying (System 2) our reproductive strategy (System 0) such that we can cooperate in-group with group members, and compete against out-group members with different strategies..
The problem for us is coming up with a narrative that is both easy to advance, easy to justify, and easy to apply. The more detailed the story, the more cases that are covered by the narrative, the more that others can use the narrative, and the more pervasive is the narrative in our environment, then the more our intuition can be trained to ‘believe it’. This is why religions propagate despite the fact that they are obviously nonsense – they are really useful. And if enough people that you interact with ACT as if something is true, the more it appears to be. And the more you are deceived.
SO HOW DOES A PEOPLE DECEIVE ALL ITS MEMBERS
By ‘reality by chanting’. The more verbal, more literate, more sources of distribution and media that a people has, the easier it is to create self deceptive narratives.
WHY IS SELF DECEPTION POSSIBLE?
Because it allows a group to create a mythos – a strategic form of warfare against out-group members, while retaining in-group cohesion.
HOW DO WE CONQUER SELF DECEPTION
While self deception for psychological purposes is probably something we want to preserve. Deception and self deception as political theft, and intercultural warfare, if not genocide are things we want to protect against. Aristocratic Egalitarianism, Propertarianism, Testimonial Truth, Operationalism, and the Scientific method, codified in law, with universal standing as means of enforcement, under loser-pays. We conquer it with truth-telling.
WHAT EXAMPLES DO WE HAVE TO WORK FROM?
Every group creates deceptions, but some groups are better than others. Our own mythos is what we call the Enlightenment. While discrediting the church and giving promise to science, what we also did was create the mythos of the “aristocracy of everyone” : that it is both desirable and advantageous to join the aristocracy (it isn’t) and that an homogenous aristocratic (meritocratic) policy is in everyone’s interest (it isn’t). This self deception has been harmful for much of the world, and remains so. We promote democracy, when it’s bad for everyone, ourselves included. We promote majority rule, which is likewise bad for everyone. We promote consumerism, which also is bad for everyone. What we should promote is property rights, rule of law, truth telling and science, and the use of poly-systemic governments so that the underclasses may operate socialistic-ally and the upper aristocratically – just like we always have.
THE OLD WORLD CULTURE EXAMPLES
We currently have three old-world-peoples practicing different alternatives to truth living with us to study: Gypsies, Jews and Muslims. Although we do now encounter Asians as well. But the best research has been done on one group, the jews, and that work was done by Kevin Macdonald in his exhaustive study of the Jewish use of deception and self deception in intellectual movements.
But while Jewish authors are responsible for a disproportionate number of the pseudosciences, as well as monotheism, it is important to keep in mind that they are merely “HERE” with us, and that their work, while more prolific, and since the Jewish enlightenment, more pseudoscience rather than mythical, is no different from the Muslim narrative, the Russian, or the Chinese.
What follows are pointers to Macdonald’s notes on the self- deception, and deception of Jewish authors.
Just why Jewish authors are the worlds best a manufacturers of pseudoscience is probably (a) evolution verbalism by the requirement for memorizing literature, (b) the Talmudic teachings which which force dualism, and therefore dishonesty (c) the strategy of economic parasitism which rewards deception, (d) their genetic dislike of outsiders, and (e) justification for their in0group evolutionary strategy.
I will address in another article, why western truth is so important as an evolutionary strategy for a small, poor, illiterate people on the edge of the bronze age, who constantly had to defend themselves against superior numbers from wealthier civilizations.
Truth is an advantage for us. But deception is a greater value to others than truth. The Chinese, Jews, and Gypsies among them. Just as the totalitarian law of Islam is an advantage for the lower IQ peoples in low trust in-breeding societies.
This topic is endlessly fascinating.
MACDONALD ON DECEPTION AND SELF-DECEPTION
—Determine whether the Jewish participants in those movements identified
as Jews AND thought of their involvement in the movement as advancing
specific Jewish interests. Involvement may be unconscious or involve self-deception, but for the most part it was quite easy and straightforward to find
evidence for these propositions. If I thought that self-deception was important (as
in the case of many Jewish radicals), I provided evidence that in fact they did
identify as Jews and were deeply concerned about Jewish issues despite surface
appearances to the contrary.—
—…deception may not be as important here as self-deception, ”a
common enough feature of Jewish intelle
ctual history (see SAID, Chs. 7, 8).—
Macdonald. (1998a). Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary
Theory of Anti-Semitism. Westport, CT: Praeger.
—If life is truly without any evolutionary meaning, why have advocates propagated these ideologies so intensely and with such self-consciously political methods? Why have many of these same people strongly identified with their own ethnic group and its interests, and why have many of them insisted on cultural pluralism and its validation of minority group ethnocentrism as moral absolutes? By their own
assumptions, it is just a meaningless game. Nobody should care who wins or
loses. Of course, deception and self-deception may be involved. I have noted (p.
195) that a fundamental agenda has been to make the European-derived peoples
of the United States view concern about their own demographic and cultural
eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology.—
—Evolved mechanisms that facilitate the acceptance of maladaptive ideologies
among gentiles are not the whole story, however. In SAID (Ch. 8) I noted a
general tendency for self-deception among Jews as a robust pattern apparent in
several historical eras and touching on a wide range of issues, including personal
identity, the causes and extent of anti-Semitism, the characteristics of Jews (e.g.,
economic success), and the role of Jews in the political and cultural process in
traditional and contemporary societies.—
Macdonald. (1998a). Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary
Theory of Anti-Semitism. Westport, CT: Praeger.
—Self-deception may well be important in facilitating Jewish involvement in the movements discussed here. I have noted evidence for this in the case of Jewish political radicals, and Greenwald and Schuh (1994) persuasively argue that the ingroup ethnic bias exhibited by their sample of researchers on prejudice is not conscious. Many of the Jews involved in the movements reviewed here may sincerely believe that these movements are really divorced from specifically Jewish interests or are in the best interests of other groups as well as Jews.—
Greenwald, A. G., & Schuh, E. S. (1994). An ethnic bias in scientific citations.
European Journal of Social Psychology 24:623-639.
—They may sincerely believe that they are not biased in their associational patterns or in their patterns of citation in scientific articles, but, as Trivers notes (1985), the best deceivers are those who are self-deceived. Finally, theories of social influence deriving from social psychology are also relevant and may yield to an evolutionary analysis. I have suggested that the memes generated by these Jewish intellectual movements achieve their influence, at least at first, because of the processes of minority group influence. The issue of whether this aspect of social psychology may be viewed as part of the evolved design features of the human mind remains to be researched.—
Trivers, R. (1985). Social Evolution. Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin Cummings.
———. (1991). Deceit and self-deception: The relationship between
communication and consciousness. In Man and Beast Revisited, ed. M.
Robinson & L. Tiger. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Press.
—It is thus not surprising that although these theories were directed at
achieving specific Jewish interests in the manipulation of culture, they â€œcould not tell their nameâ€; that is, they were forced to minimize any overt indication that
Jewish group identity or Jewish group interests were involved, and they could not
develop a specific rationale for Judaism acceptable within a post-Enlightenment
intellectual context. In SAID (Ch. 2) I noted that the Jewish contribution to the
wider gentile culture in nineteenth-century Germany was accomplished from a
highly particularistic perspective in which Jewish group identity continued to be
of paramount subjective importance despite its â€œinvisibility.â€ Similarly, because of the need for invisibility, the theories and movements discussed here were forced to deemphasize Judaism as a social categoryâ€”a form of crypsis discussed extensively in SAID (Ch. 6) as a common Jewish technique in combating anti-Semitism.—
—In the case of the Frankfurt School, â€œWhat strikes the current observer
is the intensity with which many of the Instituteâ€™s members denied, and in some cases still deny, any meaning at all to their Jewish identitiesâ€ (Jay 1973, 32). The originators and practitioners of these theories attempted to conceal their Jewish identities, as in the case of Freud, and to engage in massive self-deception, as appears to have been common among many Jewish political radicals. Recall the Jewish radicals who believed in their own invisibility as Jews while nevertheless appearing as the quintessential ethnics to outside observers and at the same time taking steps to ensure that gentiles would have highly visible positions in the movement (pp. 91-93). The technique of having gentiles as highly visible exemplars of Jewish-dominated movements has been commonly used by Jewish groups attempting to appeal to gentiles on a wide range of Jewish issues (SAID, Ch. 6) and is apparent in the discussion of Jewish involvement in influencing immigration policy in the following chapter.—
Jay, M. (1973). The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School
and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950. Boston: Little, Brown.
———. (1980). The Jews and the Frankfurt School: Critical theory’s analysis of
anti-Semitism. New German Critique (#19):137-149.
———. (1984). Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept from
Lukács to Habermas. Berkeley: University of California Press.
—As an additional example, Irving
Louis Horowitz (1993, 91) contrasts the â€œhigh-profile,â€ special-interest pleading of the new ethnic and sexual minorities within sociology with the Jewish
tendency toward a low-profile strategy. Although Jews dominated American
sociology beginning in the 1930s, specifically Jewish interests and political
agendas were never made salient.—
Horowitz, I. L. (1987). Between the Charybdis of capitalism and the Scylla of
communism: The emigration of German social scientists, 1933-1945. Social
Science History 11:113-138.
———. (1993). The Decomposition of Sociology. New York: Oxford University