Sorry, the title here is a bit tongue in cheek. The reason I find it amusing is that the attitude of claiming some guide as definitive is itself what you would expect from an orc. Generally these creatures have been defeated by the enemies of knowledge, and in this case it is the first (fear) and the second (clarity) which are reflected by the title. Why is it definitive? Because of course I already know everything there is to know about the topic, and it's all here and correct in perfect clarity. This attitude is a mental shield to protect me from the new knowledge on the topic which I fear due to my own inadequacy. It's a basic strategy a child employs due to fearing any observations of the world: wear blinders. With a bit of "genius" this strategy can go a long way in protecting an orc from having to deal with observations of the world and their implications, often allowing for a full lifetime of self-delusion - and accompanying misery.
In actuality this article is a map of a set of observations, and like any map it is not the territory. A definitive guide can only be the object itself, not mere observations and techniques as described symbolically, which is a more accurate description of this text.
So lets start with what Tolkien told us: The Orcs are a technologically advanced, violent, industrialized, hierarchic and seemingly patriarchal society associated with ecological catastrophe, a lack of empathy, a lot of killing, and the color white.
It's quite clear to those of us in what they call the western portion of middle earth exactly what the chap was on about, but perhaps we should spell it out.
Lets start with the obvious: the devastation left in their wake. The current anthropocene era is characterized by massive loss of biodiversity and destruction of various key elements of our own body: Gaia the living body on Earth. Some estimates say 2/3 of the population of living creatures was lost in the last 40 years. Such quantifications are sure to miss the mark, but there is no denying: we have work to do.
Look around you: do you see ancient wise forests? Bears and million strong herds of buffalo? Do you see river dolphins and pachyderms? You don't do you. You don't even see proper rivers, as very few of these most important veins of your own body even reach sea any more in this advanced stage of disease. All too often we see devastation, caused by primates - who have mental conditions which cause us to refer to them (us) as orcs.
Many have suggested this is the problem referred to by the expelling from the garden of eden but lets avoid that discussion for now.
While the phrase "climate change" might characterize parts of this devastation for some, I find it wholly inadequate. Yes, the glaciers are disappearing and the delicate atmospheric balances are changing in the hands of those participating in the industrial society, but this isn't the core of the disease that we are discussing tonight. We aren't here to save any ski areas or coastal real estate, we are discussing orcism, that condition of being an orc, of both participating in the destruction we outline here and of generally having a remarkably miserable condition of life - on all scales of what one might consider the self which experiences life.
Lets start with the latter aspect, the condition of life. While the general disposition is one of bile, there may exist one or two orcs who claim themselves happy, having known not much better a lifestyle. The reasoning goes, look I have X and Y, and those are things that everyone knows are hard to get and desirable, therefore I am happy. Some refer to this as materialism, though X and Y above need not be material in the physical sense. Without some reference into understanding what one's self actually is, admittedly a lifelong voyage (though most of the orcs have not taken the first step) there is no way to even know what one wants. How could the creatures have a hope for enjoying the majesty of middle earth? Not a chance. Paved over right angles of Sauron's empire was the scenery from birth. Only a few have what it takes to understand what really keeps them alive (hint: its not money). The condition of contentment and adulthood is so rare in orcish cultures that it is referred to in mystical whispers as "enlightenment" and argued to be a shamanic myth.
These creatures have their uses, but before we get into that, lets point out also that none are "full orc". It's not a race, it's a condition.
Before we get off into the psychological diagnosis, estimates of loss, treatment, and prognosis, lets look at a touch of the history and the physical extent of the problem.
Being technologically advanced and also having a penchant for burning energy (part of a psychological complex sometimes referred to as a power complex) makes the orcs rather easy to identify from low Earth orbit. This becomes still more apparent when one considers that their violent, simpleminded nature makes them highly susceptible to fear, and that their poor imagination and lack of self reliance in particular makes them afraid of the dark.
Fig. 1. A color coded map of orc density in the late 20th century.
Here again, the white is the orc.
On that note, Tolkien's perspective was clouded by his geographic location. The Roman empire was hugely active in the history of his area, and is that most commonly identified core of historical orcism there. Doubtless, this is a gross oversimplification. As it expanded to other areas, some not necessarily so orcish, these places were "colonized" and often (though obviously not always) the skin color of the natives was different from the paleface of the empire. There was once a time in which the color of skin was correlated with the condition of orcism in certain areas. Today of course this is no longer the case. The truth is that orcs of all colors of skin are quick to search for ways to demonstrate that they are ignorant and pig headed, and to find excuses to mistrust, be violent, and "cause suffering" as they imagine it. So, they seek out behavior such as treating the color of skin as having more significance than the color of an eye or a shirt.
Smoke and mirrors, stripes and stars
Stolen for the cross in the name of God
Bloodshed, genocide, rape and fraud
Writ into the pages of the law good lord
The Cold Continent latch key child
Ran away one day and started acting foul
King of where the wild things are daddy's proud
Because the Roman Empire done passed it down -- Brother Ali
In fact orcism is not solely of a European nature but is something that all societies have had to deal with for millennia. Historians argue about who was first but that seems hardly important at this juncture. It just got out of control is all.
Diet is generally shockingly poor for orcs. The biggest problem immediately visible to a cursory inspection is animal protein consumption. Based on the orcish philosophy that killing means you won, and to do what society tells you without question, they simply turn a blind eye to the sensations of their body and go right ahead with not only consuming massive amounts of fish and birds but also mammals - not only as ritual or celebration but as if it were a staple. The conditions which arise directly due to this are cancer, diabetes, low male testosterone and related effects, as well as early onset dementia, and a host of other conditions. The literature is rich on the topic for anyone who cares to read, but most don't. A majority of illness and death amongst orcs is directly due to this unfortunate behavior, something which is in no way a revelation - it was pointed out by Pythagoras. Today we have much better epidemiological evidence of this but also controlled experiments as well as theoretical underpinnings.
Then we have the shocking state of agriculture, which is too long a story to get into here. Monocropping, NPK fertilizers, followed by extraction, post processing, value-adding, and plastic wrap. It's truly a miracle these creatures live at all. They don't even give themselves the mineral supplements they give their own livestock, mineral deficiencies being occasionally as much of a problem as foreign animal proteins running around the bloodstream. Children often don't even see the food in a natural state. Then the drugs are added on top, perhaps we'll get to that later.
After diet, the obvious behavior to look for in primates is sexuality. The orc is impeded from natural function due to a variety of causes. Of course there is the lack of hormonal function due to poor diet which drives most dysfunction. Add to that that many are repressed at a young age, taught various nonsense about what is right by their equally neotenous forebears.. usually hypocritically, so they will assume the opposite is correct. Puritanism is a word often associated with this kind of behavior. Truly revolting and unfortunate for anyone involved.
To make matters worse still, sexuality is hijacked by the malignant tumor of power-complex of the orc brain. At this point there's no hope for normal function, and the orc shockingly believes sexuality to be a power display or yet another chance to degrade or cause suffering. It's tragic and pitiful but such is the nature of the orc. To be always nothing more than an example of the archetype of failure.
Perhaps the most commonly remarked on tradition of orcish societies is the worship of Mammon. While exchange commodities do have their uses as tools for various things, the orc elevates the attraction far above that. The pursuit of money is even taken as a marker of success. Bwahaha, can you believe it? Like a successful carpenter is the one with the most nails in his toolbox. When this is combined with the laughingly fraudulent idea that a privately issued dimensionless token could also be money, tragic comedy is the inevitable outcome.
Generally speaking, education cures all these ills. However as most of the ills are specifically in place to avoid education, we can arrive at an impasse. Sure, reading books would do it - but hey, if the books were not written and cryptographically signed by close acquaintances who share the same points of view, why would a good orc waste their time? And which books, and how close must we pay attention to them? These questions have answers but they are long and require effort - a clever rationale of self delusion is often chosen instead.
The problem is generally the same as that of a muggle, one must be shown directly or put in a position of necessity of the knowledge to progress. Otherwise, fear, clarity, power, and old age will hold them back.
The most common way for an orc to realize the error of this mindset is to arrive at "having a lot of money", then of course it becomes clear that having a tool is not the same as having a job or having done it well. Some folks like Jesus, Buddha, and Perelman, have tried to combat this lunacy by suggesting people give up their monetary wealth. Others have demonstrated that using the stuff is just not necessary. However I believe these extreme paths are not necessarily for everyone, as one can in fact with a bit of imagination use stuff in a reasonable way. Sometimes it takes an overdose to realize one truly wishes to escape addiction.
The condition of orcism is clearly not self sustaining, quite the opposite: it is self destructive. Therefore it can only exist upon a surplus of essentials. Current conditions such as rapid technological rise coupled with remarkably fortunate climactic conditions in the Terra - Sol system have given us exactly that - a surplus of essentials. And so it appears that orcism can continue. However the nature of the condition is one of expansion - and when a crisis hits, every individual affected will have an opportunity to escape to self-improvement.
The rise of verifiable and publicly issued currency is the destruction of Sauron's ring - it can score a symbolic victory spawning a wave of self-reflection and defection from the utterly broken hierarchy.
And so the fiat tokens of the orcish empire will slowly increase in their relative volatility, and small bands of orcs will be defecting into the forest from the periphery as the opportunity of a better life makes itself clear. We may or may not get a symbolic victory on the battlefield. The orcish commanders in the front are likely to remain unaware of the current conditions - for remember they will not observe the world but only the word from their web of trust. They will fight on, and will doubtless declare victories until their generation also passes on - as the structure of scientific revolution manifests itself. Peace in our time.