Ray Peat Political Views

J

j.

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He seems to be anti-authoritarian. Those are forms of authoritarianism. It would surprise me a bit if he were a socialist. I think it would make sense for him to be a small government, nightwatch-man state supporter, but he very likely isn't a pure libertarian, because he patented one thing, and hardcore libertarians are opposed to the existence of patents.
 

narouz

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quinnGoes said:
Is Ray Peat a communist/socialist?

A poster who hasn't been around for a while seemed to suspect this.
If you search the net you will, in some of his older, Blake-related stuff,
find instances of Peat referencing Marx and Lenin's writings.

But this, in itself, to me, is far from damning.
Many thoughtful, non-Communists today view Marx's analysis of capitalism's weaknesses
to be on target
while strongly disagreeing with his prescriptions.

And as the other poster noted,
Peat is extremely anti-Authoritarian.
So hard to see him falling in love with the likes of Stalin or Pol Pot or Mao or the like.

Socialist?
Well, most of the modern world is to some degree socialist.
Many (not me) in the U.S. feel,
especially after yesterday's election,
that we are headed down the devil's highway to socialism with Obama...
So yes, I wouldn't be surprised or worried, personally, if Peat were some variety of socialist.
Depends what one means by that term.
 

Ray-Z

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j. said:
He seems to be anti-authoritarian. Those are forms of authoritarianism. It would surprise me a bit if he were a socialist. I think it would make sense for him to be a small government, nightwatch-man state supporter, but he very likely isn't a pure libertarian, because he patented one thing, and hardcore libertarians are opposed to the existence of patents.

If I recall correctly, there is an interesting story behind Peat's patent. I think the patent in question may be a patent for his method of administering progesterone in vitamin E, or some idea along those lines. I vaguely remember a radio interview (maybe Politics & Science?) in which Peat said that he sought the patent to prevent large pharmaceutical companies from patenting his idea themselves and then sitting on the patent (i.e. never using it) to protect their existing, highly profitable estrogen therapies from competition.

Apologies if I'm mistaken. I may be getting the story completely wrong, but if this account is correct, Peat's use of the patent system was purely defensive, and he may very well be sympathetic to the libertarian critique of IP law.
 

gabriel79

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For me, some people believe he´s socialist just because he´s so critical over capitalism. But that would imply that the capitalism we have in Occident is at the opposite of socialism, which it´s not. It´s actually very close, driven by state/big companies corporations. The only opposition to socialism is classical liberalism, or libertarianism as known today. When I read Peat I believe it tends to that direction. And regarding the patenting, sometimes you have to play by the other rules in order to achieve something. If you create something and don´t patent it, then someone else does and forbids you to use it.
 

quinnGoes

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being a proponent of anarcho-capitalism / the non-aggression principle and strongly apposed to the violent immorality of coercive communist state rule, i would be very dissapointed in peat's reasoning ability in this area is he was a marxist. I have noticed though how even some very smart people seem to go horribly wrong in their logic when it comes to "politics". the state is probably the most illusive and terrible evil that has subjected society, above even but closely related to religion. typical religion doesn't tend to fool the intellectual nearly so well as statism does
 

Amazigh

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That is reaching a bit, don't you think? Criticism of US politics does not automatically imply that someone is a communist. That is a fallacy of logic. I have never seen or heard anything from RP that would confirm this, and quoting Marx (what was the context anyway?) is hardly an endorsement of the entire ideology. I have, however, heard him talk about not being a fan of our education system, about bad science coming from political and corporate interest, and deliberate disinformation in the public via propaganda--all which would be antithetical to communism, actually. All this proves is that he uses critical thinking and is able to cut through the bull**** that we're indoctrinated with.
 

mcconte75

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I hope he is a socialist. He'd be in good company. Have a read of the essay by Albert Einstein called Why Socialism.
 

gretchen

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Ray Peat I'm pretty sure is or was an ex-pat. This brands him as definitely anti authoritarian. Mere libertarians are happy so long as they have total freedom to do what they want. For those for whom even that option becomes intolerable, withdrawal politically re : expatriation seems the natural choice.
 
J

j.

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Ray Peat said:
Intense relationships between men and women should be further explored - new selves will be evolved, and new methods for exploring will be discovered. But before this is possible for everyone, the whole system of capitalist imperialism has to be changed, so that being human is not defined primarily as having an economic role.

Nutrition for women, page 105, fifth edition.
 

Dean

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j. said:
Ray Peat said:
Intense relationships between men and women should be further explored - new selves will be evolved, and new methods for exploring will be discovered. But before this is possible for everyone, the whole system of capitalist imperialism has to be changed, so that being human is not defined primarily as having an economic role.

Nutrition for women, page 105, fifth edition.

I think people who see this quote will likely dismiss him as a proto-typical socialist. People have always been only able to see the world in black and white and we are regressing in that respect.

What strikes me in this quote is his prescience. It should be clear to anyone with any sense of awareness and dedication to honesty by now that capitalism is unsustainable and that humanity is locked in a deep state of sociopathy that we are going to have to rise above for any political, economic, or social system to succeed, or bring us out of the coming Dark Age after capitalism collapses.

Likely, however, it's an interesting, but moot discussion; because we are headed for self-destruction. I'd like to squeeze in a few weeks of optimal physical and mental health before it all comes apart though. It gives me something to do.
 
J

j.

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Ray Peat said:
The stylish science-talk about global warming doesn't really take very much into account, beyond a few cultural stereotypes. The most important context to take into account is the importance of moving toward an economy which develops qualitatively rather than quantitatively. There is no foreseeable limit to the qualitative development of the economy. If we can shift from an extractive-degradative economy to one which develops by investing in education, science. culture. and human well-being, we will have a future in which to discover whether the biosphere-noosphere has any limits to its developmental potential.

Source: The ex-rainforests of the pacific northwest, Generative Energy: Restoring the Wholeness of Life
 

haidut

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If you have read his book "Mind and Tissue", you'll find that he describes how the Russian school of thought views capitalism - as a brain / metabolic dysfunction!
RP's main idea is to support a youthful / child metabolism and energy levels. Like he said in his article on William Blake - energy is everything, life is energy itself.
Most children are curious, engaged, playful, altruistic, cooperative, independent, non-dogmatic, non-financially-oriented, etc. Most studies with children in a natural setting support the idea that children by and large adhere to the principle "to each according to his/her needs, and from each according to his abilities" in their behavior. That principle also happens to be a central tenet of communism/socialism. Of course, it is a totally separate topic if anybody managed to properly implement communism/socialism anywhere or if it just dissolved into a dictatorship. However, as far as ideas are concerned I think it's pretty clear where RP's heart lies:):

The bottom line is this - with a properly functioning metabolism and high energy levels you are oriented outwards and toward the future. In times of shock/stress, you become oriented inwards and towards the past. As an analogy from physics, a child can be viewed as an open system - i.e. entropy does NOT increase with time and energy streams in and out of the system in an endless flow. The child is continuously engaged with the world without much concern about hoarding up resources or too many thoughts of the past. In a sense communism / socialism is the goal of maintaining that future-oriented lifestyle, where everything is open to change, for as long as possible for as many people as possible.

With damaged metabolism and/or low energy levels you start clinging to the past, to authority, to anything that appears to give stability in a world, which in a low energy state you view as a mean and threatening place. Your life becomes a closed system whose entropy / disorder only increases with time and as such your main goal becomes protecting yourself from uncertainty / change (the future?), new experiences, new people, "competition", diseases, etc.

So, to end my long rant - if I understand Ray's ideas correctly, and admitting that it is a gross overgeneralization, here is what I think may explain RP's political views:
1. RP is for: high energy levels and efficient metabolism, which manifest themselves in freedom, love, curiosity, independence, embracing the future, embracing constant change, first-signal system character (artistic type). Ideologically, these ideas are much more aligned with communism/socialism as they are with capitalism or many of its cousins like libertarianism.

2. RP is against: low energy levels, inefficient metabolism, which manifest themselves in authority, competition, aggression, shock, stress, rationality, second-signal system character (intellectualist type), clinging to the past, status symbols, etc.
Ideologically, these ideas are much more aligned with capitalism (survival of the fittest) as they are with communism / socialism.

Finally, I will end with mentioning a very interesting study that was done by Swiss doctors (so more or less neutral) on hormones and political systems. They compared the hormonal profiles of people in the US and Soviet Union in the 1970s. The study found that people in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s had high dopamine, and testosterone. People in the US in the same time period had high estrogen and serotonin. I find that just fascinating, when considered through the lenses of RP's teachings:):


Thoughts?
 

haidut

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Oh, I almost forgot. In one of his articles RP talks about the school of Synectics - the method of thinking like a child. There are a number of books written on the method, but it can be summarized as thinking in a way that alienates the familiar ideas and familiarizes the alien ideas.

RP is a genius for pointing that one out, IMHO. For many of his ideas I have set up Google Alerts and any time something hits the news related to his ideas, I read it and try to make a parallel between what the mainstream says and what RP said / predicted.
So, here is pleasant surprise for everyone. If RP is right that thinking like a child is the natural state of mind and the result of high metabolism and high energy production, then we would expect that style of thinking / behavior to have some good results right? Well, how about success in predicting the future? Yogi Berra once said that "predictions are hard, especially about the future". Very few people can brag about consistently predicting the future developments in any aspect of life.

Well, guess what - children are apparently VERY good at predicting the future. Here is what came up recently on my Google Alerts:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/inn ... _blog.html
http://www.hlntv.com/article/2012/08/15 ... -psa-video

So, my advice is for those who are interested is to go to your local library and read the original books on Synectics written back in the 1960s and 1970s. I am currently reading them and they are fascinating. Basically the exact opposite of the analytical/rational thinking style of the modern age.
I can recommend some additional reading for those interested.
 
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"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

-Jesus
 

Asimov

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haidut said:
Finally, I will end with mentioning a very interesting study that was done by Swiss doctors (so more or less neutral) on hormones and political systems. They compared the hormonal profiles of people in the US and Soviet Union in the 1970s. The study found that people in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s had high dopamine, and testosterone. People in the US in the same time period had high estrogen and serotonin. I find that just fascinating, when considered through the lenses of RP's teachings:):
Let's be clear here. If the Swiss went to the USSR in the 60's and 70's, I absolutely guarantee you that they had 0 access to the normal population. This is a trade mark of communist regimes. Try going to Cuba or North Korea with a camera crew and asking to do blood tests on "real people". You're going to be led straight to the generals and politicians families. They weren't testing Ukranian holomodor survivors for stress hormones. They were doing blood tests on the most wealthy, healthy, politically connected people in the entire USSR.

Then they went to the US and tested 9-5'ers who worked in a factory and didn't get any exercise or recreational activities. Who ya think is gonna be more stressed?

I don't think this anecdote really amounts to much.
 
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This anecdote doesn't really say anything about Soviet communism specifically given the huge cultural differences between Russia and the US.
 

Asimov

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I can't think of any logical reason why someone would associate freedom, love, dynamism, and art expression with communism over capitalism? It's literally...like..the most subjective association I can imagine in the history of the universe.

Freedom, love, change, and art are completely independent within the socio-economic environment in which they exist. Both capitalism or socialism could repress or support these features to any degree possible.

I think that says more about the desires of the writer than the nature of reality.
 

burtlancast

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Capitalism or communism equally share of the same system thought, collectivism.

The core principle of collectivism is the individual has to be sacrified for the group. It's motto is " the greater good of the greater number".

Every action, as amoral or wrong it might be, becomes justifiable and acceptable if it is deemed to go in the sense of " the greater good of the greater number".

This " greater good of the greater number" is determined by a small group of rulers, who get to pick which costs and by whom it's attained.

It of course never fails to go in the sense of their personal interests, at the expense of just about everyone else.
 
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