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Knowing Like an American
Note: This is probably going to get turned into a book chapter. Consider it a work in progress.
What it is to be American?1 If we weren’t under attack by culturally subversive forces this would be a merely academic question. As it is, it must be answered persuasively and satisfactorily to a majority of voting Americans if the republic is to survive. Many opine that it is already too late. The republic is gone, they say, and we may as well simply prepare ourselves as best we can for the total collapse of society. As Globohomo calls for a great reset upending the notion that the masses are entitled to life, liberty, and property, who is to say that they are un-American? It seems very obviously the case given the plain language of our founding documents, but what is the simplest and most effective way to communicate exactly how such an objective transgresses against the most fundamental principles upon which the American project was founded? After reviewing an excellent lecture by James Lindsay, subsequent discussion over on Deimos Station, and additional talks with trusted friends, I might have finally isolated a satisfying answer to this question: Americans can be defined based on how they know things.
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An individual with an epistemological disposition incorporating a hopeful confidence (faith) that we exist in a shared objective reality that can be best understood through the astute application of reason while also recognizing that deep truths pertaining to value, meaning, and purpose may only be accessible via intuition and introspection.
In fundamental opposition to totalizing worldviews including but not limited to that advanced and promulgated by Globohomo.
An American citizen who believes his nation ought to be governed by and for Epistamericans.
To expand on this definition, Epistamericans2 refrain from making truth claims with the force of certainty about the objective reality we accept a priori. Although never certain about the specifics of the external world, degrees of confidence can be achieved through the astute application of reason. Subjective preferences, values, and experience, in contrast, are known with certainty ipso facto. Combining these elements, faith in the ultimate nature of the universe can be realized, if only for oneself. For a born-again Christian this might be through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For another this may be the culmination of a journey down the path of Jungian individuation. There will be significant variance between what Epistamericans believe, because it isn’t a belief system or religion itself, it is merely a small part of one. A foundation that, if shared, can allow us to live and prosper in relative harmony within a minimally cohesive nation.
Everyone Is Religious
Growing up atheist I used to balk at the idea that everyone is religious, but with a rigorous and satisfying definition provided by James Lindsay, I’ve come to believe that everyone is ultimately religious.3 The issue is, if you don’t pick your own religion, someone will pick it for you. They might not call it a religion, mind you, but it will be one nonetheless. Lindsay explains religion simply as a metaphilosophical system that binds and orients into a single direction an ontology, teleology, epistemology, axiology, and sociology towards the divine. For those without a strong background in philosophy let us break down each component. This will probably be helpful to reference and contemplate as well:
Ontology (what it is to be)
Teleology (what is meaning)
Epistemology (what is knowledge, how to know, what is truth etc)
Axiology (what is value)
Sociology (what is society)
Once these various factors are woven into a meta-narrative orientated to the divine, BAM, you have yourself a religion. As I argued in my last essay, human beings have a deep psychological need for narrative. This implies that we need some meta-narrative to function. I doesn’t necessarily matter if it is inconsistent or even incoherent4, one needs to be there, and if you’re not consciously aware of what it is, then you will follow the path of least resistance and adopt whatever happens to be lying around5. If you’re thinking that such a narrative doesn’t necessarily point towards the divine, then I urge you to consider: What is a story other than a means of translating the mundane into something more that we can then wrap our heads around? What is the divine other than something that transcends the mundane?6
A Common Denominator
Chris Langan talks of finding a Metareligion as the Human Singularity, but I don’t think we need all that. If we all need to adopt the same religion to make it, it is much more likely that we are totally screwed. I’d like to make the argument that we don’t have to have all of the components totally aligned to live together in peace. In fact, on a global scale we might not need any common denominator to get along just fine.7 To have a nation, though, we need common ground. I argue Epistamericanism can be that common ground. It touches on only one tiny sliver of ontology - what it is to be American. The rest is focused on epistemology, which, while inter-related with everything else, won’t directly determine the exact course of the meta-narrative as it traverses the aforementioned domains of philosophy. In other words, the resulting religious beliefs that emerge from such an epistemological foundation will vary substantially, but they will also end up having a key characteristic critical for those who hope to consider one another countrymen: They will be compatible.
Epistamericans Vs. Globohomo
Like other totalitarian religions, Globohomo contrasts itself from Epistamericanism by exhibiting one central feature: Certainty as to the complete nature and scope of the divine. In the case of Globohomo, the divine is the endpoint of progress, namely a transcendence of the limits of nature to achieve equity. Anything deemed to be aligned with this end is not only certainly moral, it is also certainly effective. Gay marriage, abolishment of childhood via unlimited consent, women leading men in combat, unlimited investment in “renewables” to combat climate change8, biological males breastfeeding infants, biological females carrying pregnancies while receiving exogenous testosterone injections, mass injection of gene therapies across the global population, fiat property9, limiting protein consumption to plants and insects, 100% electric vehicles (including for the military), GAE hegemony, and so on. Believing any of this represents desirable policy is not what differentiates Globohomo, it is certainty that they are all both moral and optimally effective that does so. This certainty has grave implications, indeed our collapsing civilization is the result of little, if anything, else. In this certainty Globohomo has competition, and the easiest examples to provide are totalizing interpretations of more conventional religions. These various religions are all perpetually at war with one another, but Globohomo is currently the clear front-runner10. United against these totalizing belief systems is an Epistamericanism differentiating itself by always falling short of certainty with respect to the ultimate nature of the divine. Whether expressed with the acknowledgement that we are not God and cannot fully understand God, or that as mere mortals we cannot ever fully grasp the true scale, scope, and majesty of nature, we all agree that there are some things that can’t be known.
What Can We Know?
We can know our own thoughts, feelings, emotions, preferences, and values ipso facto via introspection and intuition. We can only gain increasing levels of confidence about the external world via the application of reason. This means that though we may be certain as to some aspect of the divine, such as the existence of God, we can’t be certain of the best way to go about glorifying God in all the particulars. If we could, then we would have the authority, nay, the duty to use any means necessary to bend apostates to His divine will and execute any heretics that stand in the way of achieving divine glory. Indeed this has been done before, and this feature animates a perpetual concern foisted upon religion by liberalism in all of its forms. The problem though, is that if a sound epistemological foundation doesn’t accompany said liberalism, it is rapidly transmogrified into a dark religion in its own right. Of this there is no more perfect an example than the rise of Globohomo hegemony we struggle to contend with this very day. We can know ourselves, we can gain confidence that we understand features of the world around us, but we can’t know with certainty the end point of history and the exact steps that everyone must take to realize that end in the name of cosmic justice. To indulge such hubris is to set ourselves against the natural liberties of our fellow man in perpetuity.
As Lindsay notes in his lecture on the dialectical faith of Leftism that inspired much of this essay, there is a profound Constitutional implication if Globohomo is indeed a religion. If this is the case, and I am confident that it is, then the unfettered advancement of Globohomo by the United States Government is a clear violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment. Using the same framework we can also argue that Epistamericanism is not a religion. Indeed, it is only one small part of any given metaphilosophical narrative bound towards the divine. In other words, it is only one small part of the overall constitution of many different religions. This means that adherence to Epistamericanism could be the overt foundation of government personnel and policy without violating the establishment clause. Indeed, I believe it already is. It used to be clear what was meant when an individual swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The natural law the Constitution is based upon can only be understood by applying faith and reason to reveal it in the first place. Since this shared understanding has clearly been lost11, we need something to rapidly restore American government to the only function it is capable of executing without being ultimately reduced to ruin. We can’t afford to replace Globohomo with another totalizing religion without also losing America.12 That said, we do need some way to unify. We need to neutralize the Globohomo hordes animated by a mandate to discard property, liberty, and lives at the feet of progress as defined by men who assume themselves gods. We need an Epistamerican Revolution.
I wanted to shout out a couple articles in addition to the James Lindsay lectures linked above that provided fuel for thought. One is this article by Kulak:
Another was this one, which is part of a series I really need to catch up on over at Tree of Woe:
I’m sure I’m forgetting many other contributing articles. I’ll continue to add them here as I think of them. Also, I’m thinking that I will include a refined version of this essay as a chapter in an upcoming book that is about halfway done. I wanted to do an article on how epistemology relates to being an American, but didn’t have the tools to fill in the details until Lindsay provided the framework. Finally another comment, in the first linked lecture Lindsay refers to Gnosticism in a way that explains and contrasts well against faith and reason, but does so at the expense of not being strictly faithful to what Gnosticism is.made the point that he really means “anti-gnosis” which he justifies with the following biblical verses:
2 Corinthians 4:6
6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the GNOSIS of the glory of God in the face of Christ.1
Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called GNOSIS
The second of which he explains “implies a gnosis which is not falsely named.” Likewisehelped me to identify that there are clearly gnostic elements that are critical for spiritual growth and understanding, but that this gnosis centers around inner growth. There were others that had valuable contributions, but you’ll have to get yourself a paid sub to one of my tonic bros if you want to check that out.
An ontological question
Or ‘Pistamericans to save a syllable and have it be pronounced “pissed Americans.” Apropos because Epistamericans are universally pissed Americans from years of being treated like they’re evil and retarded for not bending the knee to Globohomo.
Pure nihilism might seem to be an exception, but it is only notional. In practice, the mind cannot survive/function with the complete absence of an animating narrative.
After all, where else would existential dread and cognitive dissonance come from?
Behold the power of mass media and corporate entertainment!
American geography is my strongest argument for this.
If the environment is capable of change, then an end point to history of complete equity is impossible. Sustained equity requires stasis
Under Globohomo all property is fiat property. Ownership is entirely a function of what stakeholders deem is appropriate. Eminent domain to mass forced injections demonstrates that in principle you do not truly own real estate, your own body, or anything in between.
An aggregate of militant conceptions of Islam might come in second.
Douglass Mackey, CISA, COVID usurpations of liberty, domestic surveillance etc.
Some people are fine with this. I am not. Liberty or Death.