Hostility system

I think the big difference between me and many people I know is that I see war as caused by general cultural conditions, rather than by any particular faction.

The cultural conditions leading to war produce mutually-antagonistic factions, which naturally regard one another with suspicion.

Each faction’s partly-understood, mostly-imagined reaction to the other provokes a counter-reaction. That counter-reaction, partly-understood and mostly-imagined by the other, provokes another counter-reaction. Back-and-forth it goes, like a two-stroke engine, fueled by contempt, lubricated with slippery-slope grease. Provocation drives provocation. Antipathy feeds antipathy. Paranoia justifies paranoia.

Each side is goaded into acting the villainous part the other casts. Eventually act becomes actual. Each faction’s darkest imaginings become prescient: they knew it all along.


Only by viewing the situation from the outside — from outside the perspectives of culture’s hostility system itself — can the absurdity of the system be seen. From either of the hostility system’s perspectives, though, the struggle is clearly one of good and evil.

If we implicitly identify with one of the factions within the system — one of the only possible “sides” one can reasonably take, given the threat the other poses — we are possessed — not only by that faction — not only by the hostility — but most of all by the self-destructive absurdity.


Susan believes in reincarnation. She thinks in a past life I was traumatized by war.

I also believe in past lives, except those past lives are those of authors I have read, who experienced the before, during and after of war. They accepted my hospitality and joined my soul, and now they live in me. It is from their vantage that I can see this hostility system from the outside, at least partially, at least some of the time.


Yes, this is simplistic.

Yes, it is far more complicated than this.

But reality is always more complicated than truth.

Well-designed truths make smart trade-offs that cut through complication to give us clean access to what matters most.

One-siderists accuse me of being a both-siderist. But that is the furthest thing from the truth. I’m rejecting the whole hostility system and all its idiotic parts and fluids. I reject its “sides”, its constricted perspectives, its brainless passions, its ideological self-deceptions, its dark prophesies. I refuse to become a standardized interchangeable part of the system — an identity, or a bolted together identity intersectional subsystem.

I’m a neither-siderest, as all decent, self-possessed souls should be right now.

I would be ashamed to cooperate with this nonsense, and I am ashamed of the identical nobodies who have given over to it and have adopted system-compliant linguistic habits, behaviors and attitudes.

Eventually, these nobodies — (Are you one of those?) — will try to pretend they were not really part of this. But nobody ever really is. That is what cooperating is, essentially: wholehearted unrealness.

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