Archive for August 27, 2013

Why Asian Cultures are Devoted to Enforcing Anti-Happiness

August 27, 2013 146 comments

Let me begin by clarifying that this is not a hit piece against asians or their “cultures”. A lot of the issues I will talk about in this post are almost as prevalent in other “cultures” and pretty much all other large human organisations. So let us define what “cultures” are and are not.

Cultures are large and impersonal human organisations that survive by offering illusory membership benefits to the majority of its members in return for unquestioning obedience, conformity and sacrifice by those very same members.

The defining feature of every cult, religion, nation and culture throughout human history is that they are all scams to enslave, exploit and abuse the majority for the benefit of a very small minority and their flunkies. They have no interest in delivering on any of the promises they routinely make to the majority of their members and will actively resist attempts by others to do so. With that in mind, let me talk about the old observation that made me write this post. Years ago, I observed that many otherwise divergent asian cultures had a peculiar set of common behaviors and attitudes centered around happiness.

Asian cultures are almost fanatically devoted to promoting and enforcing anti-happiness.

Whether it is the exam and hierarchy dominated culture of China, the ‘everyone is watching you’ culture of Japan or the excessive family sacrifice dominated culture of India.. there is an almost deliberate effort to destroy the happiness of most individuals in each system. But to what end? Who benefits from all this hard work, status jockeying, enforced conformity and sacrifice? Has the average (or median) Chinese ever benefited from any of that hard work, rote memorizing and bowing to authority? What about the average Japanese? What about the average Indian?

Some of you might say that the economic growth and development experienced by Asian countries within the last 60-70 years is proof that the ‘asian way’ of anti-happiness produces good results. My counter question is: OK, so why did it not work for the previous few thousand years? Why did it take the industrial revolution, imported from outside, for asian countries to finally lift the living standards of their median members? And why didn’t the scientific and industrial revolutions start in countries that supposedly respected and rewarded learning and intelligence? Then there is also the question of why Asian countries resisted the scientific and industrial revolution for so long.

Even today educated Japanese people believe that the bloodlines of people descended from survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are tainted. Educated south Koreans obsess about blood groups and their Indian counterparts still take astrology a bit too seriously. Note that I am not claiming that people in western countries are any better when it comes to believing in bullshit. But should you not expect more from educated Asians, especially since they are typically more science literate. But what does any of this have to do with enforcing anti-happiness?

I recently wrote a post about how pleasing others progressively lost its value. In that post, I wrote about how the relationship between an individual and the larger group is fundamentally adversarial. Only external constraints and limitations can prevent either party for abusing the other to the point of non-viability. That is why small and personal groups can survive for tens of thousands of years while highly centralized and functional “nations” can unravel after the death of just one charismatic despot.

But what about malfunctional social systems? How long can they survive if they keep on exploiting, abusing and stealing from the majority of its members to benefit a small minority. The answer is dependent on the availability of new surplus suckers. Only the continuous creation, indoctrination and exploitation of more naive younger members can prop up dysfunctional social systems such as civilizations. Which brings us to the next logical question.. what is the exact role of parents and other older members of these systems in exploiting their own children.

In one of my previous posts, once again, I had speculated that the relationship between asian parents and their kids is most similar to that between an employer and his employees. But how is that different from a less dysfunctional parent-child relationship? What makes the ‘asian type’ parent-child relationship different from that in.. say hunter-gatherers? The answer lies in the balance of give and take for both parties. In more “primitive” societies parental investment is based in expectations of reciprocity rather than calculations of net economic gains from each offspring. To be clear, I am not implying that people in ‘primitive’ societies are intrinsically better. They just cannot get away with that shit..

So how does you maximize the net economic gain from each offspring? The answer is as simple as it is unpleasant. Happy and self-confident people do not make good slaves or indentured workers. The best workers are perpetually unhappy, insecure, fearful, paranoid and willing to hurt themselves for approval from their abusers.

The best way to create compliant workers to keep the ponzi scheme going is to constantly belittle your kids, compare them to others, guilt them into slaving for your benefit and interfere in their normal sexual development. It also helps to create mini-systems of worthless honorifics, enforcing proper slave behavior, participating in complicated but meaningless rituals and seeing patterns and omens in everything from numbers to cloud patterns.

What do you think? Comments?