fear. fear. fear.

the fall of Western Civilization is founded upon a total stupor, a paralysis based on the paranoia of an animal tired of being electrified.

the Puritan method worked too well until it failed.

the best way to avoid punishment is paralysis: “if I stay put, nothing will happen to me.” living death.

since capitalism hates it’s actuality, this is also the best way to kill it: the uttee suppression of the will to think.

electrify a child when she wants to create and you have just produced yet another civil servant.

fear. fear. fear.

a whole society, globalized by callous adventurers, killed by the trap of charitable discipline.
creative intelligence flees, gets the hell out. those that remain are rats in a cage.

he who is not in the frontier will die in the front.

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neocameralism and constitutions 3

 

Three because triangles are best. Answering three responses to my last piece, as well. 333, but let’s not get all mystical just yet.

* * *

Reactionary Future’s further response is short and pungent. His latest posting is all fuzzily connected with the theme of constitutionalism and division of powers. Here, I’ll answer only to the direct answer he gave me. The questions of liberal tradition, liberal anthropology and capitalism will be dealt with elsewhere.

Preliminary throat clearing again: I don’t think Moldbug has, at any point, defended a return to medieval governance. The joint-stock corporation – his model for better government – is inherently modern (and, to provoke RF, inherently capitalist), way different from the medieval trade corporations (owing its origins to early modern royal charters).

Secondly, imperium in imperio cannot be avoided unless Great Fnargl himself descends from the sky in his Royal Flying Saucer. And that’s not happening anytime soon. For all matters human, force cannot be immediately exercised over any tract of land bigger than a square meter. Any true power, therefore, depends on the idea of power and the loyalty minds have to such an idea. The obsession with Fnargl-like absolutism is the typical phallic power-trip. “I can rule the world from my penis“. No, you can’t.

The whole counter-argument to such absolutism can be boiled down to: the deployment of power implies division of power – to wield power, through delegation, is already to trade it away. If this is so, you’d better have this formalized, and give some deep thought to such formalization, in order to get secure by producing stable arrangements.

Here’s the very first division of power implied by the very deployment of power: to give orders, things around need to believe it and follow it. So much for your imperio. It needs a imperialist religion to be very much followed, through fear or faith. No wonder the very first states were alliances between priests and warlords. Of course, you’ll also need loyal generals and armies, and piety from the host population from which you exact taxes to finance your imperio. Yet another division: if you want to an efficient army, you’ll need inventors, traders, producers of all kinds. Bullies don’t go very far without nerds.

Now, if the medieval system (and for that matter, all other civilizational social systems) has “success in producing exceptionally functional societies”, and if it was “a patchwork of internal conflict”, then we have to pay attention to what made it so. Maybe – and this is the suggestion constitutionalism makes – it was successful and functional because, and not in spite of, internal conflict. RF says it must “be avoided at all costs”, but can it? Insecure powers will fight on and on and on until they’re all dead? How the hell did medieval system even survive this for a thousand years? This seems to assume a complete lack of any rationality inherent to conflict, of any strategy. It also assumes that conflict has no cost structure and can simply go on forever in its most bloodiest form. Has it?

No, this sort of reasoning is utter nonsense and has no empirical evidence. Conflicting powers eventually come to an agreement – a formalization – in which they check each other according to rules stated in a document: a constitution. Do they try to undermine this document? Whenever they can get away with it. Do they get to do this? No, because the checks imposed there are real: other powers will smash them if they do. (Needless to say, if the checks are mere words on a piece of paper, and not in any way related to an actual distributions of power, they will remain just that: words).

RF makes a further point:

The fact of the matter is that the whole thought experiment of sovcorp is a useful training exercise for understanding this issue, with the profit motive providing a very simple and effective means of envisioning the concept of a society ordered towards a central good, thereby giving all actions within that society a context and a rational teleology towards which to direct. Is X good for the profit of the sov corp? yes – bingo you have a rudimentary Virtue Ethics in play and you have just left the liberal TRADITION in which the night watchman state is merely a baby sitter for everyone to pursue their own “good.” But this is just absolutist training wheels.

Is it? None of the people paying rent to the sovcorp, none of the managers inside of it, none of stockholders who buy and sell shares of it, are concerned with anything but their own good. Their individual interests are aligned with good governance, by virtue of the market in government thereby created, but they are all minding their own values. If this goes out of liberal tradition, it’s hard to see where. If this creates a virtue ethics out of profit motive, it’s hard to see how capitalism is not precisely the same thing.

As Moldbug himself puts it:

To prevent the emergence of politics, a stable, established neocameralist state relies on the fact that its shares are held by a widely distributed body of investors, each of whose management control is precisely proportional to the share of the profits the investor receives, and none of whom has any way to profit privately by causing the enterprise to be mismanaged. The result is a perfect alignment of interests among all shareholders, all of whom have exactly the same one-dimensional goal: maximizing the value of their shares. Experience in private corporate governance shows that such a body tends to be reasonably competent in selecting managers, and almost never succumbs to anything like politics.

Here’s your liberal tradition, if you will.

Lastly, what has cybernetics to do with all this? Well, cybernetics is quite literally control theory. A constitution is cybernetic because it draws on feedback loops to produce stable arrangements, i.e., it produces a control mechanism, just like a thermostat. Why do thermostats work? Because there’s a feedback system: the sensor tell the device “hey, it’s 77°F”, the device makes its calculations and tells the heater “turn off”, the temperature falls within the room and the sensor then says to the device the new reading. So on forever. Can the house burn down? Of course, if the heater is wrongly programmed, or is intentionally sabotaged (or, of course, if someone sets the house on fire).

RF says:

If you place formal blocks on governance, then alternative means to undermine those blocks will be used – the constitution cannot contain all eventualities.

Of course, and any constitution that does not try to create blocks that, in trying to be undermined, become stronger, is not a good constitution. Furthermore, they are amendable to adjust for new, unpredictable facts and power distributions. Sometimes, of course, it all falls down. No real system is completely fail-proof. At their best, they are fail-resistant, and can operate even when most has gone to shit. But if someone sets the house on fire, no thermostat will solve that.

Also:

” In addition, if sovereign power has checks, then those engaging the checks are sovereign – the logic is bizarre, and all the nonsense about balancing power is just that – nonsense.”

What if you make power circulate? Feedback loops are loops. A checks B, B checks C, and C checks A. Who’s sovereign, if they are all checked? It’s a stand-off where no one can neither back out, nor win, until some external interference comes into play (something, for exemple, that makes A and B cooperate with, rather than distrust and envy, each other – something like arson).

* * *

Anomaly UK seems to be way less fanatical and way more realistic about the whole absolutist thing. In general, I guess we agree on the fundamentals, and disagree on the specifics. In his first response, he begins:

“However, while dividing power is not desirable, there is no Ring of Fnargl, and power is never perfectly concentrated. A real sovereign still has to deal with forces beyond his control, most obviously those beyond his borders; the loyalty of his subjects is always a real issue. Sufficient incompetence can destroy anything.”

This is essentially my point above. Our quibbles begin with:

“The reason that division of power is undesirable is that it erodes responsibility.”

In a closed circuit as above (A checks B checks C checks A), responsibility is demanded by the previous nodes. To exercise your own power means to police the power of others. You’re not responsible to “the people”, but to the previous node (and for your own good). The design is meant to keep the whole system in place, stable. The interest of those involved is, thus, served by design. Those of outsiders are ignored, at best. This even satisfies AUK’s own criteria of “whoever has the power benefits from exercising it well and is harmed by exercising it badly” for responsible government. No second set of incentives emerges, since corporate interests are individual interests, and individuals with power are all mutually observed.

Which is not to say that an indefinitely divided power is good. The objective of constitutions is to reach cybernetic closure, which is increasingly difficult the more nodes there are. The best policy, wherever it’s possible, is secession and its formalization (through peace treaties, explicit mutual destruction assertion, etc). Wherever this is not possible, buying out and formalizing is the second best. Only when powers have come maximally concentrated within a certain bounded area need constitutions come into play, to formalize their relations. As AUK puts it: “The possibility of concentrating power sufficiently for stability is the sine qua non of independent government.” There’s no disagreeing with that.

In his next installment, AUK presents a summarizing of his previous discussion:

It is possible I could have been more concise about the prerequisites: what it really amounts to is:

  • Division of power is dangerous and to be avoided
  • It’s better to have less division than more
  • Sometimes that isn’t possible

These three, I guess I take most issue with the first one. Division of power is inherent in power deployment, as said above, so it is as dangerous as power itself is, and as avoidable. My rendering would be: division of power, if poorly designed, won’t reach cybernetic closure and thus will degenerate power into pure force.

Of course, designing a formalized division of power must take into consideration the actual underlying distribution of power. But formalization can be made in several different ways, with different consequences. Thus, the constitution is not in fact the “actual distribution of power”, but it’s specific formalization. “Structure” is indeed a good name for the actual distribution, but identifying the structure is not the same as drawing a constitution out of it. As AUK puts it:

“A non-autocratic Structure is the the result of a peace settlement between potential or actual rivals, and a Constitution represents the terms of that peace settlement.”

The question thus is rather how should one design a constitution? The fundamental design principle here, from what I developed above on cybernetics is: close the loops. No nodes more controlling than controlled. Tyranny follows from the flaw in meeting this first principle. It is from this principle that it follows that the settlement of the constitution “will last, that those who came into the settlement with power are willing to accept it, and will be incentivised to maintain it into the future and to preserve those things that incentivise the others to maintain it into the future”.

AUK’s suggestion of internal “lines on the map” as a principle of good constitutionalism seems sensible to me. This seems to have been the fundamental guiding principle of the US Constitution, which is to date the best example of a functional constitution (in spite of its utter destruction after American Civil War – thermostats can’t stop arson). Having internal divisions that can split from the confederation as soon as possible if crap comes up, and that hold their own experiments in constitutionalism, is a good starting point.

A couple other working principles would be:

  • Triangles are the best basic arrangement, since they are the simplest arrangement to produce a stable standoff among the parties;
  • Bodies of transparency and deliberation *among* classes help aleviate tensions and build compromise in unpredicted cases. This is the most important lesson I take from Tocqueville’s analysis.

Which basically match AUK’s own analysis. And I certainly can’t improve on this:

“Constitutions need to resemble contracts in that they have to cover detailed interactions unambiguously, but they need to resemble peace treaties in that they need to provide for their own enforcement.”

The last problem, about amendment (or self-reference), is probably the hardest to tackle. Dynamic stability needs to be provided within the very design, in the best interest of adaptability. The super-majority criteria adopted by the US Constitution clearly wasn’t enough. Maybe separate realms of amendment, lying with each different power, and scrutinized by other power through their very action, can help. Land’s Trichotomocracy still seems to me a good overall sketch of a good constitutional order. In Land’s scheme, Ethno-Nationalists amend their security capabilities, Theonomists amend their own legislating/judging capabilities and Techno-Commercialists amend their own financing capabilities. The constitution evolves as the system develops, and changes are themselves checked and balanced. Further exploration of this mechanism is needed.

* * *

To tackle, in brief, a more concrete example, Pinapple Computer Co. should not be granted any powers by personal favor of the King, but its economic power should be recognized in the constitution, by (say) setting up a council of riches to deliberate on such things as duty-free zones. Formalizing the relation between holy law(ideology) makers and the riches would also be a good idea, so that the interference of press and law in the makings of companies are defined.

The question of legitimacy of power is also relates to such definition. As pointed above, the deployment of power needs an ideological structure behind it. The power wielded by the keepers of such ideology should be formalized within it and within the institutions it demands – much as the Catholic Church was formalized within Catholicism and within the institutions Catholicism upheld, political ones included. As we know from Moldbug, a “secular state” is shorthand for an occultation of the true state religion.

I believe both considerations made just above – a board of wealth-producers deciding over taxes and tariffs, and a legal formalization of the Cathedral and its relation with other powers – could have helped avoid the tensions that led to the Civil War. Maybe retelling the history of United States from its inception up to this day, suggesting how better formalization and other constitutional mechanisms could have help avoid such disasters as American Civil War and the New Deal is a constructive exercise in improving the neocameralist model.

neocameralism and constitutions 2

Preliminary throat clearing: I’m certainly not any specialist in Moldbug’s theories and background. I have just gone through the Open Letter and some few more texts. I’m just getting started in the Patchwork, still have to proceed to the Gentle Introduction. So I’m not pretending I know more than these guys about that. My objective in my last article was merely to elaborate on Land’s theories, which I’m more familiar with and draw (apparently selectively) on Moldbug’s cannon.

With that out of the way, the main response from both Anomaly UK and Reactionary Future was: the shareholders are sovereign (as a body), everything else is top-down delegation from them.

The meaning of sovereign here is the main question, I guess. If we follow Moldbug, it means that these men can, as a body, do whatever they want within the limits of their property, totally unchecked.

This, of course, not true. Not even great Fnargl himself can do whatever he pleases within his (now global) realm. Consequences must be taken into account (RF explicitly recognizes this, and AUK strongly suggests it). Reality rules, so power is primordially checked by it. I guess none of my critics disagree with that.

If sovereignty isn’t being able to do whatever one pleases within his realm, what is it? maybe, as RF put it, it is not being “bound by anyone, or anything but consequences”, i. e. doing whatever one pleases within his realms that is compatible with reality. Both me and Land would not disagree with such formulation.

But that, per se, doesn’t say anything about division or concentration of power. If I read my critics correctly, both of them believe that concentration works better than division, and this efficiency-in-survival criteria is their main reason to promote centralization (and not some romantic, moralistic delusion). Put differently, they believe centralization is more compatible with reality than division of power.

I also suppose I’m not wrong in assuming both of them agree that formalism is a central tenet (of not the central tenet) of civilization. With that in mind, the question arises: does the sovereign (stockholders or king) need other people to act for him to govern. if they do, his sovereignty rests on loyalty (something Moldbug arguably wants to fix with cryptographic control – although that demands that programmers are loyal as well).

Isn’t such sovereign better if they are able to recognize, promptly and formally, the powers that influence such loyalty (not the least, the press, the educational system, the formation of military, the intellectuals and religious people within his realm, etc)? And, in formally recognizing such power, is he not effectively dividing power? Is he not recognizing that such power are checks on his sovereignty? (In fact, doesn’t this reduce their sovereignty to, as Land puts it, “a strictly formal or contractual usage of ‘control’ to designate the exclusive right to free disposal or commercial alienation“?)

For instance, the estates of realm didn’t arise from nowhere, they weren’t the mere will of some enlightened relu-maker. Their formalization – as a constitution – was supposed to recognize the actual structure of power that underlay sovereignty. Once again, constitutionalism is simply this recognition and formalization of reality (and, possibly, the will to better adapt to it).

Even sovereign stockholders are better off if their power if formally checked, than if the real checks remain invisible to them. Only thus can they operate realistically on such reality and ensure loyalty is there when needed (fundamentally, constitutionalism is a cybernetic point).

So, if Moldbug in fact did not advocate for the formalization fo the division of power between stockholders, management and customers (and, as AUK points, “suppliers, neighbours, and competitors”), by his very criteria of formalism, he should have. Of course, such internal inconsistency is not what it seem from the Open Letter, where he points such formalism as the why corporations work better than governments:

Call a controller model with a single shared concept of responsibility coherent. How, with an impossibly fuzzy word like “responsibility,” can we round up a large number of intelligent individuals who share a common definition? The task seems impossible. And our whole design relies on this coherent back-end.

Actually, there’s one way to do it. We can define responsibility in financial terms. If we think of California as a profitable corporation, a capital asset whose purpose is to maximize its production of cash, we have a definition of responsibility which is not only precise and unambiguous, but indeed quantitative.

Moreover, this definition solves a second problem: how do we select the controllers? If our controllers are the parties to whom the profits are actually paid, and their voting power is proportional to the fractions they receive, they have not only a shared definition of responsibility, but an incentive to apply that definition in practice.

(…)

Think about this for a minute. Steve is responsible to his controllers, who evaluate his performance based on his stewardship of one asset: California. The value of California is the sum of the value of its shares. If one goes up or down, so does the other.

Which is worth more? California, or California infested by Jew-eating crocodiles? Which can be made to produce more revenue? The former, clearly. Jews pay taxes. Crocodile dung doesn’t. And from the perspective of either Steve or the Jews, what is the difference between crocodiles and stormtroopers? At least the former will work for free.

I’ll state it again, because it seems to be the central point of Outer (Liberal?) NRx in this regard: if the West is failing now, it is more because it has abandoned constitutionalism (and hence realism in government administration) in favor of mass politics (demotism), than because it stuck to that.

causes and ends

everything that exists has causes.
they came out of some set of conditions.
necessarily.
a realist looks at history as necessary.
everything that happened had to happen.
nothing *could* have been different.
modal thinking is fit for thought about the future (where uncertainty reigns).
morality talks about how to act, about the present.
none of these talks about the reality of the past

everything has an end.
the terminus and the purpose.
the proposition here is that causes are themselves the ends.
the “why” *is* the “what for”.
why is it raining = what is the purpose of rain.
why did civilization arise? because there were necessary and sufficient conditions for it to arise.
what is the purpose of the rise of civilization? the necessary and sufficient conditions of it.
function as causality.

this makes everything self-perpetuating.
the causes, being the ends, are merely making themselves again.
life is such.
intelligence is such.
existence is such.

given this, how does change come about? complexity.
freedom exists in the incapacity to sort out which are the causes.
only this allows for ends to be determined autonomously.
the focus of change is the multiplication of complexity.
of course, it’s futile. causes always come back, history is always made.
but that’s not at all the point.

the point is that there is structure (causes=ends).
and movement (complexity generation).

to the left #2

to the left #2

another roundup of (neo)reactionry usefulness to the Left.

two themes appeared rather consistently: the antinomy, usually in the form of (imo correct) left/right divides; and passivism (rs), which is now offered as the main strategy for reactionaries. I’ll deal with those first, then proceed to some criticism of other assorted topics. finally, i’ll shed the gems that the Right offered for our learning. persevere, there’s a great surprise at the end. indeed.

* * * * *

Antinomy

Adam Wallace:

The upright is traditionally seen as represented by the vertical “I” — the erect totem of force; that which moves, as opposed to the waters which flow, which are moved, represented by the horizontal “–“: there is a dichotomy here, as with all things. The masculine mover, the feminine moved, as per Hermetic and perennial teaching; all reality is marked by twos, by opposites, by yin and yang, up and down, and so on and so forth.

which is indeed a very able description of it. and goes on to point the interdependence of the two modern positive feedback loops, capital and the Left:

What really strikes me — and what I think I originally understood at an intuitive level — is the sheer horizontality of the modern world. The facet which seeks to bring all existence down to the lowest level; to destroy the notion of greatness, the notion of beauty, the notion of — at its core — what distinguishes hierarchy between one thing and another and the ontological level. There is a levelling, mechanised process which marks modernity.

“Mechanised” is an interesting word because it implies several things. It implies a robust and continual — thoughtless — process, something which occurs despite anything external. It implies a standardisation, a creation of the one-size-fits-all genre. It is the Leviathan; the monolithic superstructure which destroys all in its wake and path simply because it can — in fact it could do nothing else. It implies a mindlessness, a zombie-like quality of thoughtless, repeated action just for its own sake. Not the creation of anything, only the changing of something external upon which is then inflicted sheer and pure mathematics. A sort of unnatural asymmetry which churns-out the same thing again and again and again. This perfectly describes our inverted, horizontal age.

in fact, there is certainly creation (in the form of production, instead of reproduction) going on in our “inverted, horizontal age”, but it certainly ain’t monkey business. i would also substitute Cthulhu for Leviathan, as the monster “which destroys all in its wake and path simply because it can”. Leviathan was simply a controller, not a bloody murderer. we’re on the same page about the rest.

Giovanni Donnato:

Throughout history, groups have settled on something that works for the time period and then try to perpetuate it ad nauseum across milennia. Talmudic Judaism was a brilliant way to coordinate a particular Semite tribe over 2000 years ago. Islam turned out to be the right solution for quarreling Arab city states about 1300 years ago. But one of the things we immediately notice is that all these systems buy a professional suite of anti-virus software to prevent change to that successful formula, even if it’s a thousand years later.
Sadly, social technologies tend to stagnate because they only ascend to apotheosis in the first place because they have serious protection against change.
The challenge before us then is how to design a society to be both resilient and highly adaptable to new stressors, so that when the next big asteroid hits, we aren’t among the dinosaurs.

how, you ask? well, it’s understandable why a neoreactionary would be reluctant to see it, but societies also have, built in themselves, a self-improvement software. which is a little chaotic, of course. it’s called “Revolution” and implemented by the outcasts of such societies (criminals, traitors, madmen). the Left, in Western modernity, was meant to be such a thing (but shit happened). things adapt through rupture (mutation) and rearrangement (selection), Left and Right.

Nick B. Steves:

Telling everyone to “Just Go Rogue” may make for some great storytelling (or TV ads), but it is a recipe… well… for many of the disorders that are growing in Western societies, not least social isolation, hedonism, and despair. It is a recipe, potentially, for civilizational disaster. Most rogues are bad people. Most people are not equipped, materially or psychologically, to go it alone. Most people benefit from going along to get along. Because we’re humans. Human culture, with its constitutive enforced norms, is an adaptation that should not be lightly messed with.

rogues vs. cohesionists is a proxy as good as any to Left vs Right. and indeed, society cannot function without both. “civilizational disaster” was and is needed to yield yet another (better adapted) civilization. no West without the Fall of Rome, etc.

* * * * *

Passivism

On the whole Passivism thing, it seems pretty clear the reactionaries are awakening the Right to the most expedient way they can produce what they want (civilization, order, and all those manly things). It’s good and I hope this can make the Left a little more aware that running governments are not quite the best way of fighting these guys when they get their shit together. Mark Yuray spits it out:

Are Ivy League millennials really the worthiest rulers? Not by some theoretical historical standard, but if nobody has replaced them yet, then yes, they are. That is not an indictment of passivism or Moldbug’s theories. It is an indictment of our civilization. You must become worthier than our current rulers. That does not just mean personally being healthier and more virtuous than they, it means, as a group, being more capable of good government – more capable of providing order, justice, law, virtue, truth, and glory. (…) If you can provide more order, justice, law, virtue, truth, and glory than the competition, you will eventually win.

as he also states, Activism is the thing of the Left. but Google defined Acitivism (“the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change“) is way too watered down, for obvious, governmental purposes. the old Left thing could be better stated as “the action of using violent subversion to bring about social rupture“. but we’ve been to busy ruling the world to actually back up subversion consistently. subversion is not healthy for people in government. Yuray even hints at it:

What happens to a rightist [when he attempts activism]? They get beaten, arrested, jailed, imprisoned, exiled, killed—and then? They are memory-wiped from everything but horror stories. This is not even an anomalous system, this is the very nature and purpose of the state. It’s just too bad that leftists got hold of it. (my emphasis)

Towards the end of the essay, Yuray tells the Right where to look for cohesion and action: cabals. the Left has to look to the exact opposite: radical feminist organization, ELZN and narcotraffic (to the extent that this last one hasn’t become itself a cabal). criminals, traitors and madmen: if the Left ain’t those, it ain’t nothing.

A little more upset, Reactionary Future gives us also some good hints (in the middle of an otherwise rage-filled jumbled rant):

The debate on Passivism is largely pointless because next to no-one has grasped the underlying premises that inform the concept. The central point is that the left is mere anarchy; indiscriminate anarchy which has no central brain. (my emphasis)

which makes the anarchist and libertarian left the only consistent leftists. or something.

* * * * *

Critiques

Jim’s solutions to housing, health and education look pretty shitty, here are better ones:

housing , health, and education. in short, self-management and localism.

of course, it all can be criticized on the basis of “this is no feasible”, but then again, Jim’s solutions aren’t either.

* * * * *

Kristor (and supposedly Moldbug, though i’m not the one saying it) says:

Market perfection requires internalization of all externalities

yep, that’s also the whole Carsonian thing, but

and enclosure of all commons (these are two different ways of saying the same thing)

wrong.

people with property can join it in a commons, and thence internalize costs as an organization. either that or “market perfection” is the abolition of join-stock firms. which is of course absurd.

The last commons to be enclosed is the state. It must be owned, or all its operations will tend to social vitiation.

where in hell did he get the idea that the state is a commons? the operators bear no part in the investment. the modern state in special – and states as such in general – are merely machines to externalize the costs of an organization through coercion. wanna build an army and hunt your enemies down? levy taxes. world domination? taxes. so on and so forth.

the state doesn’t need owning. owning would simply obliterate its existence.

* * * * *

the Christian refusal of animality in this piece is probably the best picture lately of what the Left is meant to oppose:

Isn’t it just part of a liberal democracy to tolerate difference and to make allowances for some, even if you find them obnoxious? “Well, a society that tolerates everything is rather bad. Shouting, screaming, and intimidation? We are prepared to tolerate public vomiting, but if you use the term ‘actress’, you are a sexist. A very well-educated lady told me public vomiting is all right: ‘They can clear it up.’ This is how the elite now thinks. They are so anxious not to seem narrow-minded or bigoted, or of being ‘judgmental’. How did that word become a term of abuse?”

when we found out civilization takes too much prohibition to work, and got pissed at it. we’re mammals, for fuck’s sake.

* * * * *

Dave Hoffman compares the Left to a dying star:

I believe what we’re seeing now with the left is analogous to a dying star. More groups enter the left, it gains further power, until the day when it finally becomes unstable and collapses in on itself, though not through gravity, but from infighting.

surely, but it takes a hell of a time for a star in the main sequence to proceed to a red giant, and then some more gargantuan time for it to explode into a white dwarf burning slowly. if they ever do: critical mass having been achieved in massive big stars, they collapse into black holes. and gnon knows how big and everlasting are black holes.

so, get your analogies right. if it’s true, as Hoffman says, that “[t]he primary result would be open conflict within the left, and because the left thrives on conflict, it will be like an ouroboros feasting upon itself“, what happens is not that the house falls, but either that it grows indefinitely until it explodes into millions of other bodies (not a bad outcome in this blog’s opinion), or it reaches critical mass, so that no ideology that comes close enough will ever be able to *get out* of the Left (a little worse outcome).

in any case, the current state of the Left is to be seen as prosperous conflict-breeding after too long a time of ideological consistency.

* * * * *

Learning from the Right

Charles Tallis, at American Renaissance, presents some ironies of universalism:

Ironically, universalism is far from universal. Only whites believe in it. Every other racial group considers itself unique and puts its own interests first. A Han Chinese who proclaimed the unity of all mankind would be thought insane by other Chinese.

Another irony of universalism is that the whites who believe it most passionately are, subconsciously, thoroughgoing “racists.” They insist that all non-whites are inherently like them and need only a little assistance in order to take part in the highest expression of universalism, which is the Western Civilization of whites. The idea that everyone is the same means that anyone can become like us. Universalism does not mean whites becoming Saudi Arabian or Cambodian or Haitian. It means Muslims or Buddhists or voodoo priests becoming Americans or Frenchmen.

from this point of view, universalism has to be abandoned by the left (the post-structuralists have done some pretty good job at this), at least partially and in some contexts (such as strengthening other societies over Western civilization). but here’s why it has its uses for the objectives of the Left:

Of course, this transformation does not come easily, so universalists must lower white or Western standards in order to accommodate other groups. The entire society degenerates as academic and employment criteria are relaxed to accommodate “underrepresented” groups. (…) The dangers of universalism are sharpened by mobility and by numbers. (…) Non-whites are pouring into once-white countries. The former colonizers have convinced themselves that non-whites are the same as whites, have the same universalist perspective, and will treat whites with universalist benevolence.

* * * * *

esoterictrad bring us a neat exemple of the madness of the left that governs and are in high stands in life:

Tech workers are workers, no matter how much money they make. The investors are what’s wrong in this city,” said 24-year-old Tom Sliwowski, one of the Bay Area Movement For Bernie organizers and a PhD student at Berkeley. “Tech workers are the face of gentrification, but they’re not the cause.

No of course they can’t be the cause, you see this person wishes to align with the rest of the social justice movement. They aren’t the problem, no matter the blacks and Hispanics they displace despise them. They must be on the right side because those dreams haven’t come true.

1) Deleuze was damn right about capitalism and schizophrenia
2) “White people are odd

* * * * *

Free Northerner points to how activism just went down the hole with “raising awareness” tatics:

The first, is that hollow signalling has combined with activism to become something called “raising awareness“. Raising awareness took hold a while back, but it was usually in support of something: a benefits concert, a charity run, a food drive, etc. The activism used to always be in addition to or in support of some form of honest signalling that at least tried to actually accomplish something, but somewhere along the line, when combined with social media, raising awareness became its own independent form of activism. Now raising awareness has infected everywhere and is often used instead of doing anything.

not only this, but the Left has been tamed to the point of using signalling as weapons (instead of using weapons proper as signalling):

Finally, and relatedly, hollow signalling is being weaponized. Rather than being a social lubricant for your social circles, it is becoming politicized. There have always been holiness spirals, but those spirals usually required some action or effort and happened over periods constrained by time and distance. Now spirals are immediate and require no effort. Activists are using this to weaponize signalling, forcing people signal properly, often through the threat of job loss..

“you’ll lose your job if you’re not a leftist” would make about as much sense to the likes of Proudhon as “you’ll be arrested for defending the King”.

* * * * *

nydwracu charges:

Progressives today believe in all sorts of prejudice: overt classism, unconscious bias, hatred of the Other, and so on. But, as that NYT comment shows, they don’t think any of that applies to them.

At least not when it comes to the people they truly hate.

and he’s right.

* * * * *

Tim Worstall has some interesting revelation that sort of bears out the (crazy) proudhonian solution (multiply possessors until equality), as well as provides some interesting mechanics for the whole thing.

Our own longer term view has been that inheritance tax hasn’t worked. The truly rich don’t pay it, using trusts and lifetime gifts and so on. It’s the less than plutocratic but still successful that do pay it. We’ve noted that old folk wisdom, clogs to clogs in three generations, and think that it has good predictive power. Even the inheritance of the grandest fortune cannot survive an inheritor truly determined to waste it and eventually, given the way genetics seems to work, one does always turn up to do such.

This might not draw nods of approval from those who would plan society but we’ve at least an urge to let people inherit as they may and leave the occasional existence of spendthrifts to deal with wealth concentration.

It has even a Tuckerite spin to it.

* * * * *

Porter tells us:

Most people harbor long-cherished delusions about exactly what elements grant territorial possession. These include silly sentiments such as…

– A piece of paper
– Lines on a map
– Values
– A flag
– Wind and soil
– Celestial beings

But I’m here to tell ya, there’s something else. What makes a place individually or collectively yours is having the capacity to defend it from encroachment.

meaning he just went full mutualist and accepted occupancy and use as the true warranty of property. welcome to anarchism!

* * * * *

Frank Hilliard presents (possibly unwittingly) a good summary of what left-wing racial politics should look like:

In this semantic and social fight, which side are you on? Are you with those who want to atomize society, remove inheritance, make babies in factories to specifications approved by a ruling elite? That’s what anti-racists are calling for, working for, demanding for us all. Consider what their ultimate goal is: a world of individuals stripped of any biological relationship, the race-mixing of all Western cultures, and thus the decimation of Europeans as a distinctive race. This is the truly horrifying end game of anti-racism.

maybe best summarized as “relentless outbreeding till equality”. that’s how Western Europeans got their liberalism the first time, that’s how the world would get it as well.

Briggs grudgingly points at another possible path:

“A team led by Yong Fan at Guangzhou Medical University in China used the gene-editing technology CRISPR–Cas9 to try to introduce a mutation that makes humans resistant to HIV infection.” Suppose this technique is perfected and HIV (in its current form) can no longer be caught. Result? Huge increase in sodomy, almost surely, along with the cultural degradation which accompanies it. (…) Even this will be seen as cruel, because abstinence “denies” desires, and why shouldn’t machines have what they desire?

precisely.

* * * * *

I’ll close with this quote, because it’s so perfect:

It’s clear that leftists like this kid want Trump to be president. They’re not really trying to prevent him from being president – they’re protesting and opposing him as if he were already president. Even when leftism is dominant, like it is now, it’s not comfortable with actually being in charge. It’s only really comfortable in opposing oppressive authority figures and being in a permanent revolutionary mode. Trump is sort of a pop culture caricature of such an oppressive authority figure, and he’s even sort of indulging them and playing the part in a campy way, which excites these people even more. They want Trump, they need Trump as president since it confirms their worldview and gives meaning to their lives as revolutionaries fighting unjust, oppressive authorities. It’s just not the same with Obama or leftists in charge, which ultimately only leads to cognitive dissonance and disillusionment.

Let here be stated the very beginning of “Leftists for Trump” banner.

to the Left #1

to the Left #1

i’ve been around the reactosphere lately. the most impressive thing about it is how much i can agree with people, and draw completely different conclusions. this is LRx: establish a Left that can argue with it’s main (and most interesting) adversary in contemporary society, the Neo-Reaction.

* * * * *

i’ve selected a few texts i want to answer briefly, and so produce some groundwork for LRx:

1) in “What’s The Neoreactionary Position On Akhenaton?“, David Grant develops four “neoreactionary themes in history”:

Number 1: The Only Morality Is Civilization
Number 2: Civilizations Follow Cycles
Number 3: Demography Is Destiny
Number 4: Men Were Better In The Brave Days Of Old

a proper LRx to those themes would be:

Number 1: Morality and Civilization are Unsensual Sacrifice and Reality Denial

to begin with, Grant’s identification of society with civilization is at the very least misinformed. uncivilized societies survive (and survive longer) and thrive, sometimes even take over civilizations.

second, the whole “hierarchy of civilizations” thing is terrible for any kind of optimization. the open conflict among societies is the only guaranteeing that we won’t be stuck in some form of eternal order, and in this conflict civilizations tend to lose in the long run. defending them is shielding from reality.

says Greer:

What sets barbarian societies apart from civilized ones is precisely that a much smaller fraction of the environment barbarians encounter results from human action. When you go outdoors in Cimmeria—if you’re not outdoors to start with, which you probably are—nearly everything you encounter has been put there by nature. There are no towns of any size, just scattered clusters of dwellings in the midst of a mostly unaltered environment. Where your Aquilonian town dweller who steps outside may have to look hard to see anything that was put there by nature, your Cimmerian who shoulders his battle-ax and goes for a stroll may have to look hard to see anything that was put there by human beings…

That’s one of the details Howard borrowed from history. By and large, human societies that don’t have urban centers tend to last much longer than those that do. In particular, human societies that don’t have urban centers don’t tend to go through the distinctive cycle of decline and fall ending in a dark age that urbanized societies undergo so predictably. There are plenty of factors that might plausibly drive this difference, many of which have been discussed here and elsewhere, but I’ve come to suspect something subtler may be at work here as well. As we’ve seen, a core difference between civilizations and other human societies is that people in civilizations tend to cut themselves off from the immediate experience of nature nature to a much greater extent than the uncivilized do. Does this help explain why civilizations crash and burn so reliably, leaving the barbarians to play drinking games with mead while sitting unsteadily on the smoldering ruins?

if you want reality to rule, civilizations seem the worst way to do it.

on morality, i’ll let old Land speak:

Reason is something that must be built, and the site of its construction first requires a demolition. The object of this demolition is the synthetic capability that Kant refers to as the imagination, and which he exhibits as natural intelligence or animal cunning. This is the capability to act without the prior authorization of a juridical power, and it is only through the crucifixion of natural intelligence that the human animal comes to prostrate itself before universal law. Kant is quite explicit about this in the second Critique; only that is moral which totally negates all pathological influence, for morality must never negotiate with empirical stimulation. The Kantian moral good is the total monopoly of power in the hands of reason, and reason finds its principal definition as the supersensible element of the subject, and thus as fundamentally negative. In other words, morality is precisely the powerlessness of animality. (Delighted to Death, pp. 141-2).

morality is the sacrifice of animal cunning. and that is shielding from biology.

Number 2: Civilizations Follow Cycles

this is absolutely sane. the role of the Left in these cycles is accelerate decline.

Number 3: Ecology is destiny

Demography is indeed important (and Grant is right in pointing out how leftism tries to ignore it – to its own demise, since it’s a powerful tool against order). But demography is a function of the interaction of human populations with it’s environment in a systemic – ecological – way. Demography is derivate from the complex interaction of biogeophysical elements in the biosphere. Gaia moves in mysterious ways, and we are part of it (capital autonomization notwithstanding).

Number 4: People Were Better Off In The Lazy Days of Pre-History

Following our Number 1 theme, it seems pretty clear that the ancient or medieval standards of masculinity were civilized notions, and therefore need to be washed away if we are to produce a return to reality. the “laziness” and “indocility” identified with hunter-gatherer peoples are the ones that LRx cares about and wants to maximize. Cthulhu prompts us there.

* * * * *

2) in his “Rules for Brotherhood“, Warg Franklin provides a neat description of how male groups may shield against their main vulnerability: women. unfortunately for them, that’s a good guide for feminist intervention and disruption of powerful male groups. he doesn’t elaborate on the reverse: how groups of females may be affected by male disruption (or even how vulnerable a mastristic coalition would be to patriarchal brotherhoods), but you can look up the history of feminist movement and see that it has been strongest when women grouped around clear goals of self-help, and waned when they wanted to focus on “changing society” at large. the exploitation of such dynamics of disruptions of brotherhoods and strengthening of sisterhoods should be the Left’s most powerful weapon (as of now, it’s been abandoned by the incessant theoritical arguments on “who is the most oppressed?”).

Franklin’s analysis of state power hold some true in that local male brotherhoods provide a bulwark against tyrannical state power (insofar as the state power is not “organically ordered”). but the tendency of organized brotherhoods is to take over the state, not eliminate it. sisterhoods may, on the other hand, be completely unable to control large nation-state affairs and indeed run them down into dysfunction. a much more interesting outcome, from the point of view of the Left.

* * * * *

3) Reactionary Future makes a wonderful rule:

A mechanical process will be gamed, it will give rise to the the left wing, and it will tear society apart.

another tactical insight fighting the Absolute that the Left has ignored (or took for granted) in the latest years: mechanize processes, and society will fall apart. the adoption of cryptoanarchy and a Left comprised more of technologists and engineers than sociologists and journalists should be the way to go. that those things have been refused by the Left is a sign of its current fragility.

* * * * *

4) looking through Social Matter’s Compendium, two articles strike me as incredibly useful. First there is the proudhonian solution adopted here described in perfection: AAA (agree, amplify, accelerate). Ironic intesification of evils is Satan’s holiest ways.

Secondly, there’s this law:

Successful rebellion is always, without exception, a mere tool of someone already in a position of power.

one corollary follows: true egalitarian rebellions are never successful (if you won, it’s not really Left enough).

* * * * *

5) The Anti-puritan’s “The Consenting Llama” is a masterpiece of the ways technology is Left’s best friend:

Isn’t technology great? Enjoy the decline.

* * * * *

6) last but not least, Spandrell’s “General Theory of Civilizational Decay” presents us with two great insights:

1) slavery is a fucking bad idea for thriving nations;
2) demographic invasion – however it’s done – is the best way to destroy civilization.

* * * *

in general, reactosphere tends to provide the Left (at least a Left conscious of its role in society as a creator of turbulence and disruption through order and hierarchy shattering) with the tools that can be more consciously used towards its proper ends, as well as great analyses of the work done so far.

thanks NRx!