Three Fridays in a row, three versions of a manifesto I began typing out on a whim, and somewhere between an hour and hour and a half later, I had a stream of consciousness that really seemed to resonate with readers. Got lots of great input in comments, plugged away at edits — even spending perhaps 3-4 hours last Friday — and created somewhat of a bloated monstrosity that while containing about everything I could think of, did not seem to create spark with readers, nor myself if I’m honest about it. But still I got some good input, including from this commenter, LXV. LX Van Drie is a self described geek and gamer. She emailed to offer help in editing and restructuring, and this is the result, plus a few additional edits of my own to go with my personal style. Most notably, the theses have been entirely rearranged into three topics. I think it flows nicely now, hits all my points succinctly, and integrates everything important and essential.
This should do it. I think I now have a solid foundation for expanding this into a book and hope to pound out a chapter ever few days for the next couple of months. LX has offered to help with that, too. As always, fee free to provide input in comments. I’m unlikely to post another version but I will certainly look at all input as I further develop this for something bigger.
Manifesto: A public declaration of principles and intentions.
1. Human beings possess the ability to quickly change everything about themselves, their society, and often even important aspects of their physical environment. In the span of time humans have been on the planet, the Neolithic age is but a blink. Similarly, while it takes years, even decades, for individuals to become unhealthy and mentally numb, it will take much less time to reverse that. This is the most important thesis to internalize.
2. Humans are animals. The same forces of physiology, biology, climatology, geology, and sociology that determine health and prosperity throughout the animal kingdom apply equally to humans.
3. The key to being lean, strong, and healthy is in your head. There is no definite prescription or proscription that will work for everyone. You must craft your own diet, health and fitness paradigm from your own trial and error experience. You must learn to regulate your hunger and satiation. The burden is squarely on you. Modern institutions only want to sell you stuff. They don’t care about your belly or health. They care about their bottom line and your spending.
4. Non-human animals evolved to thrive in a great variety of environments worldwide. Humans, however, migrated across the globe in order to survive, or even with the the purpose to better thrive and prosper. From the equator to the poles, from sea level to 16,000 feet, humans have evolved to exploit the environment in which they’ve found themselves.
5. The human animal can live a long and productive life without the decline we now associate with age in modern society. It is possible to experience health, vitality, and happiness right up until the last few days, hours, and even minutes of life. Encoded in our genes is the ability to survive and thrive to the very end on a wide range of food sources.
6. Humans become obese. Non-human animals don’t become obese or die unnaturally without human intervention. The pets and zoo animals under the stewardship of human animals become as debilitated as humans. This is the result of the failure to identify and implement a humanely appropriate diet and environment. Humans become stressed, depressed, unfulfilled, unproductive, dependent, sexually starved, uncompetitive, and unhappy for the same fundamental reasons.
7. Good health is natural, by definition. It’s not something that needs to be industrialized or drug-induced. By eating natural foods available to us, humans can enjoy good health and longevity. Industrialization comes with powerful advantages, and powerful disadvantages. We each have the responsibility to use the advancement of knowledge, technology and profitable implementation with great care. Technology should not separate us from or destroy the natural or man-made habitats we and the non-human animals need to live and thrive in good health.
8. Humans manipulate nature and their environment to a degree non-human animals can’t and don’t. The ability to “create reality” by means of marvelously, powerfully, creative human minds is a double-edged sword. Man’s manipulation of his environment can be used to create breathtaking achievements in the pursuit of survival, happiness, and prosperity…or it can be used to destroy all of those.
9. Our large brains desire more, far more, than mere survival. And so the human animal, by means of super intellectual capacity, division of labor, and trade, evolved the capacity to exploit and control nature to its own ends in terms of prosperity, happiness, and sexual pleasure.
10. Health increases as self-determination and independence increase. Your best must come from you. Rigid, authoritative plans and roadmaps are doomed to mediocrity, at best. So you must test and critically evaluate the effectiveness of whatever you apply toward self-improvement. You must be principled and disciplined in your thinking, because TV and the media change their messages daily toward their own ends, not yours. Striking out on your own means freeing yourself from these influences, but you’ll be left to fend for yourself without the crowd to confirm and condone your actions. That choice is yours: the easy way or the hard way, and only you can decide which will ultimately be more fulfilling.
11. The ability of humans to work against their best interests, individually and collectively, is the root cause of all unnatural problems. Unlike non-human animals, people can consciously and purposefully act against their own best interest, even to the point of suicide. Adverse human conditions from stress to ill health to suicide to general failure are tied to dishonest irrationality and rationalization. Non-human animals only concern themselves with the environment in which they find themselves. They thrive automatically. They are neither honest, dishonest, rational, irrational, moral immoral. They just do.
12. Human animals are the only animals who can be dishonest. Dishonesty in this context is purely intellectual. It is the willful failure to logically and rationally integrate and act upon data from our senses. Dishonesty can be internal to an individual, or external by collaborating with others. In society, dishonesty is the fundamental root cause of disease, failure to flourish, and early, unnatural death. Reducing and eliminating the dishonesty in our own lives and society has far reaching potential.
13. Dishonesty is an adverse consequence of “free will.” It is the product of super intelligence, owing to our ability to fake, simulate or “create” reality through wishful thinking or delusion. Apart from innocent error, dishonesty is the failure to diligently integrate sensory input from the world around us into a logical framework or hierarchy of valid knowledge and context. Ultimately, all lasting value for survival and prosperity is the product of individuals honestly dealing with the reality around them. It’s not just necessary, it’s mandatory for survival.
14. The consequences of dishonesty are unnatural disease, unhappiness, obesity, failed relationships, predation, and more. When such calamities befall non-human animals, it’s natural or environmental. Humans, on the other hand, create problems where no problems otherwise exist. Such problems are created deliberately, or happen by default. Man harming his fellow man through fraud, violence, or predation is a deliberate problem. Consequences that happen by default occur when we fail to take advantage of what we need to survive, leaving us vulnerable to injury, disease, or exploitation.
15. Like other animals, human males and females are different physiologically. Our nature that requires us to identify, choose and pursue values for our survival and happiness opens the door to sexual values not driven by reproduction. Humans have the capacity to pursue and enjoy sex for pleasure alone and to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
16. Human animals are social beings. We collaborate to produce values, and then exchange them with others to mutual benefit. In small circles, individuals can hold each other accountable. But agricultural civilization has seen the development of large, centralized, bureaucratized, hierarchal power structures where a few dominate the rest. Even when the domination isn’t totalitarian and brutal, it’s nonetheless dishonest and fraudulent because it is unnatural, based in domination and force, and not social cooperation. The powerful few engender welcome cheerleading from their subjects. When we no longer hold each other personally accountable, those in power dishonestly sustain parasitic livelihoods through force, fraud, manipulation, promise of reward.
17. Modern humans in “first world” democratic societies are fooled into thinking that they possess power over those few at the top of the hierarchy. But in reality, trinkets like a voting ballot are much the same as lottery tickets, keno cards, slot machines and roulette wheels in terms of effectiveness and power. Conversely, we know ancient humans were individually and socially powerful, because they survived on their own, without modern technology, as social beings. Nobody voted on it.
18. A domesticated animal can exhibit shame, but will not sacrifice its well being over it. Human animals invented unearned guilt and shame, and they teach it to their offspring. It’s reinforced socially most often through religion and politics. Guilt and shame keep humans tamed and domesticated, not inclined to buck the system.
19. Religious institutions, government institutions, many in the media, many social and political activists, many large and multi-national businesses, many in the the legal profession, medical profession and ivory-tower academia use unearned guilt and shame to induce fear, to keep everyone malleable, submissive and seeking external authority. Fear is a natural part of our evolved behavioral makeup. In a primal and primitive world, fear motivated action that worked towards survival. Since then, there have arisen those who dishonestly manipulate unearned guilt and shame in order to secure an unearned livelihood.
20. Fear is what gives legs to unearned guilt and shame. Fear is natural, something we would feel even without the urging of society or external authorities. Neolithic institutions use our natures against us. Overcoming the effect of unearned guilt and shame leaves Neolithic institutions with their only other option against you: brute force.