There is so much we are able to control within ourselves. We can control our belief, our ideas, our faith. We can control our aesthetic presentation, we can choose what we wear (within reason), we can choose who we want to surrounded ourselves with and what personal world we want to inhabit. There is much we can control in our own little personal civilizations. Yet there is so much we cannot control. I think today we have a problem of deluding ourselves about what we can control and what we can't control. It leads to paralysis on one hand and then tension and neurosis on the other hand.
You and I, we cannot directly control what is happening on the other side of the globe. We may be able to do the smallest thing, but we cannot truly exert any control over what is going on. There is only so much we can control in our society. Even that which is right down the road from us, there is only so much we can do. That isn't to dismiss positive action and involvement. There are things we can control, there is impact and influence that we can exert force over. Correctly identifying that which is and isn't possible to control, in accordance to virtue not cowardice is key and often, easier said than done.
Looking at style and dressing ourselves. Many guys do not make any effort to think about their appearance, curate their wardrobe or develop a personal style. I am not only talking about our style here, but any style. Many men in America don't suffer from a trashification (think Eurotrash) because trashification ultimataely often comes from thought and curation, it's just trashy. Many men in America suffer from total style-apathy. Many men feel as though they ultimately have no control over their style. They feel this way not because there is a swat team who kicked down their door and replaced their closet with graphic tees but they feel this way because to care about your style and presentation is unnecessary today, it is not required, you may even feel embarrassed caring about something so many others don't. To care, is embarrassing to many.
Try talking to a guy who doesn't care about how he looks. He secretly does care but he cannot admit it. If you try to push him to imagine intentionally curating what he is wearing there is a psychological block that is preventing him from going there. He just can't get there. He essentially has no control over his appearance. He is at the mercy of the mass-culture and the mob. Even though he has total control, he has no control. He has convinced himself he has no control and he can't even imagine otherwise. It doesn't seem like he has no control because the ways in which he has removed his agency are all psychological and convoluted, but the result is still the same. This is a most perfect example of a situation in which we have total control but many operate in a way which implies almost no control.
There are many situations and scenarios in our lives in which we have no real control but we delude ourselves into thinking that we do. Jobs and the economy is a good example. For many, many people in our society changing jobs no matter how much you loathe your position is almost impossible. People just don't do it. If you tend to make "less" money it is slightly more possible, but if you are near the higher end of the income bracket, it becomes more and more difficult due to built expectations and high lifestyle. The house of cards for us all is built so tall, even suggesting changing careers or jobs is almost unfathomable. The economics of it all has us by the neck. Yet we tell ourselves we are free and we could leave at any time.
Of course we technically can, but most will not. You may say that "if you want it bad enough you could do it!" Yes, that is true. If you want almost anything bad enough you will find a way to do so. That's true and those that do that in this society we live in do something great, really. But what kind of society do you actually want to live in? Is it one in which it is such a herculean task to change careers because economically you are in a vice and any risk is impossible to take? Is it one where the logic of it all is one in which you build insane houses of cards which are hyper-fragile, in which any minor alteration to the equilibrium will bring everything down? Is it a society of brutalist culture destruction settled in a race to the bottom in the economic arena? Is it one where the traditional population is replaced with a new population willing to work for less and less. An economic-demographic-ethno war by other means. No, I don't think so. That's not really the kind of society I like.
The economic realities are something we cannot control and these realities go way beyond how much something costs or how much some job pays. In fact economic reality doesn't actually capture it. It is more of an economic (anti)-culture. The anti is key because ultimately it is a culture destroying machine. There are a great many facets to this but largely in the United States we live in a culture destroying steamroller that chews up and spits out any heritage or culture one tries to conserve or protect, if that culture or value comes into any conflict whatsoever, or stands in the way of economic expansion (for some) in any measurable way. The only culture that will not be flattened and left in the dust under our current economic (anti)-culture is a culture which holds the monetary expansion as the ultimate totem.
This reality impacts architecture, education, religion, food, lifestyle, art, music, literature, nation, people, family structure and even how we understand ourselves as an individual and collective. Another aspect of this economic culture is that it also prevents politics from existing. We don't actually live in a political era. We live in a sort of spectacle but it isn't actual politics. This economic (anti)-culture is a tool and mechanism which works to stop history and make all people(s) into consumers and cogs above all. I will explain how this works in one small aspect, in a very small way at the individual level.
Today, almost everyone ends up violating some value they have at their job. I am not talking about some extreme value or moral (which may be fine, but may not be sustainable outside of a hyper-insular community), I am talking about a perfectly normal moral or value for any functioning society to uphold. Why does one have to violate this normal value they hold? Because we live in an anarcho-tyranny in which the culture is in total free-fall, anarchy with no bottom and in an anarchy (and many systems) the unreasonable rule the reasonable. What you are expected to go along with, tolerate, legitimize, pretend is normal - it is because we are ruled by the unreasonable. The reasonable don't want to lose their jobs, the reasonable don't want to put their children in jeopardy. So the unreasonable demand more and more, infiltrate more and more and push the culture into a totally unreasonable place and then laws cyclically re-affirm this transformation in an exponential spiral downward, the reasonable are fighting and losing in an asymmetrical battle. The reasonable have something to lose and they are fighting against people who had nothing to lose so the reasonable will continue to lose.
Do you have to facilitate something, anything in the realm of "alternative lifestyles", these being lifestyles you simply don't believe are right? You probably do. Do you have to help facilitate economic behavior, in any way, which you are opposed to? You probably do. If you work at a supermarket, if you are a doctor, if you are a teacher, if you are an accountant, if you are a lawyer, if you work in practically any field you most likely have to violate some values in some ways. I am not talking about a small political dispute or a niche opinion one has, or some extreme idea someone believes in. We live in a society and people will always be individuals with different ideas. This is normal. I am talking about a mass problem with this society. I am talking about a mass culture of psychotic backwards values which asserts itself over the reasonable and does so through brutal economic war and psychological ruse. This is something that has pulled the rug out from people. The reasonable, the normal, the right didn't plan on this, the rug has been pulled out from underneath them.
This is not a normal kind of society. We have lived in the presumption that total cultural anarcho-tyranny is normal for so many decades (we are only just now seeing some logical extreme spikes) that it it is almost a foreign language to suggest that this is very far from normal and it is not extreme in the least to imagine a society in which normal moral private values held by the majority are upheld publicly in order to create a good, right, moral, just and sustainable healthy society for the average upright individual. That is very normal, that is not extreme. This is how it used to be.
Not only does this circumstance force you into the corner and force you (ultimately) to participate in that which you oppose, there is another (intentional or unintentional) aim as well. The aim is to make you into a hypocrite so that you are ultimately emasculated and accept your position as a servant and ideally develop Stockholm syndrome and become a foot soldier for the regime that rolled over you. The ideal is that you will simply give up and say "if you can't beat them, join them". You won't say it out loud. You won't say it quietly. You won't even know it happened. It will just happen. It is similar to the end of Submission by Michel Houellebecq. In the most smallest, shortest and shallow description (as there are many deep, rich layers below) for the sake of brevity - François, the main character finally, ultimately chooses to become a Muslim, as under the new political program in France one must be a Muslim to teach at the university. The lure of a wife (and wives) brought up in a traditional set of expectations and upheld by a society encouraging those same expectations also had no small influence in his decision. The ending is as follows -
"A few months later there would be new classes and new students - pretty, veiled, shy. I don't know how students find out which teachers are famous, but they always, inevitably, did, and I didn't think things could be so different now. Each of these girls, no matter how pretty, would be happy and proud if I chose her, and would feel honored to share my bed, They would be worthy of love; and I, for my part, would come to love them.
Rather like my father a few years before, I'd be given another chance; and it would be the chance at a second life, with very little connection to the old one.
I would have nothing to mourn."
This logic, this theory (although not Islam of course) is the same ideal that this circumstance I write about hopes to bring about - a total submission and absorption, a total embrace of the new side. The less ideal scenario is one which is still aimed at defanging, emasculating and defeating you. This goal, function and mechanism is one which hopes to make you into a hypocrite so that you simply feel as though "you have no right to an opinion" because you are a hypocrite. "Well, I can't really oppose this or that, because the company that I work for supports this or that." This is economic tyranny. You do not live in some great economically free state where it is reasonably possible for you to simply go find another job. You live in a disguised open air economic prison. If you allow your "job" (read economics) to defang you and determine what you can oppose personally, vote against and advocate against you are not a citizen of a state, you are a citizen of a company at best and a slave at worst.
This theory of the hypocrite is obviously the same tactic atheists have used against religious people. The goal is to always highlight a downfall, a shortcoming, a sin of the devoted so as to call into disrepute the idea that religion "makes anyone at all a better person". It is a lowering function. Religion, morality, values are aspirational. We all sin, we all fail, we all have shortcomings. This same theory and idea of leaning into hypocrisy is to slowly erode away the system that keeps you afloat and to bring you low. There is no hypocrisy when nothing matters and anything goes. There is no issue of hypocrisy if you don't believe anything or aspire to anything. This also can be extended to tearing down heroes as well. Break down the hero so there is nothing to laud. The goal is to have no heroes, period.
The point I am trying to make here is that there is a deep psychological war going on by way of the economic universe. The economic war is a war that penetrates practically every level of our society and it is one that is being waged mercilessly. We all must exist within it, we cannot change that we live in a warzone of the ontological and cultural conducting itself through means of the economic. We live within this world of economic tyranny. We cannot do anything about that. We have to work our jobs, take our wage home and try to make the best life we can for our family. We can try our best to work in jobs which align with our values to the best of our ability but most people do not have the luxury of only working in a purely idealogical occupation which is holistically perfectly inline with themselves. Most of us don't have that luxury. Most of us are trying our best to make it and advocate for good when we can, and try to do an honest day's work if at all possible. Under the economic steamroller it gets harder and harder by the day. The heavy steel comes for us all.
A key element in my opinion is realizing that there is almost nothing you can do about this mass economic (anti)-culture. It is too big for you personally to impact. The only things you can do are try to extract yourself from it spiritually and mentally, recognize it for what it is, try your best to do the least damage possible and even perhaps do some good when you can economically (i.e. through your job, if possible) and do not become a servant of your job (read economic). Keep your self, your person. Stay strong, keep going, don't give up and slowly help others realize some aspect of this and over a longer period of time, more people will become more aware of themselves, what is demanded of them, allow themselves to disentangle and live their (actual) life parallel and keep their personal self, themselves. In this world, not of it is an eloquent way to put this. This ultimately will result in the re-emergence of the political, it is simply a longer timeline. We cannot control what we cannot control.
You owe your job nothing, you especially above all do not owe it (read economic) your self, soul, mind, thought and idea. We cannot control the economic, only the most privileged, the most bold, the most righteous can, but we can control ourselves and we can extract ourselves and person from the system to some degree and refuse to allow ourselves to be (re)made by it. Submission is allowing the psychological war against you to succeed in a formation of Stockholm syndrome or emasculating denial of self, will, control (where we have it) domain, territory, agency and future. The goal of this is to eliminate your future and even present, that is what ultimate defeat is. History may not be but the TV and market certainly are. Victory is denying the economic what it does not deserve and must never rule.