anarchy

i’m well aware of the etymological fallacy. so, this is not a logical argument about the meaning of words.

anarchy is the absence of arkhé, which is to say ruler – but also beginning or end. anarchy has no genitive, no genealogy, no teleology. it’s unengendered, transcendental. all cosmos is anarchic, which is to say that anarchy is order. the chaos ordering.

thus, anarchy is a circuit of power: it can be democratic, aristocratic, thymocratic, even plutocratic. at any given point, it’s all of those. it can’t, by definition, be oligarchic, or monarchic, nor demarchic, not even panarchic. it has no ruler, but power always flows.

anarchy cannot be the object of an ideology – that would imply that time itself is within time – a mere being, not Being. it’s sad that anarchist has come to mean anything but “anything”. anarchy is, right now, and will ever be – there’s no “after” the Revolution. the Revolution has never failed to happen.

in the process of eating all absolutes, mutual excitation makes itself the only Absolute. this process, just as modern as it has been ancient, is anarchy.

 

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on matters anthropologic

after reading Horkheimer’s “Traditional and Critical Theory”, and I can say Frankfurt school is distilled hubris. I mean, gee. one of their central tenets is that individuals are determined by society, hence individualism (liberalism) is a lie.

that is a principle stated by pretty much all modern social theory, since Durkheim: the state of nature was already a state of society. no liberalism needs to be so naive to the point of ignoring that society has purchase upon individuals, their choices and their values. but such criticism fails to the extent that it believes liberalism is an honest lie, a lie the liberal believes.

liberalism is rather an occultation, a camouflage. it is a social justification – an ideology, in its strictest sense – to push forward the autonomy of the instrumental. all liberalism ends up in private property. whatever justification is used is dispensable.  it is important to understand that this doesn’t mean that liberalism considers that society is made up by individuals through a contract, or that the state comes after (secondary) property as a right, rather than the fact of possession (primary property) – this (possession vs property) is an important Proudhonian distinction.

it may be a good moment to talk a little about Proudhon, who was arguably the first one to argue that “property is theft”, i.e., that the social body is hurt by liberalism. in such uncovering argument, he already prefigured cybernetics with his “justice as balance between property and community”. later in life he offered a new justification for property as the instrument for human self-improvement. every uncovering brings together a new cover, you see. so, for 21st century mutualism, after yet another uncovering, liberalism needs not extend any further than “property makes us rich” – arguably Adam Smith’s original argument in the Wealth of Nations. which is itself little more than a monkey-friendly version of Land’s “capital is self-propelling”.

but no, there is no anthropological error here. there is a very conscious camouflage. liberalism presents an ugly reality in a form palatable for humans. Locke used God, Hobbes used mechanics, Rousseau used the general will (and thus fucked it up considerably through demotic regulation of property), Smith used wealth, Stuart Mill used happiness, Bentham used utility, Rawls used fairness, Hayek used information, Land uses intelligence. every new term is a tool to keep monkeys sharp and hungry and hailing Moloch to the singularity.

now, one can either accept that, or one can pursue other more humanist goals (hubris) and see one’s dreams trampled underfoot by the strategic failure of such goals (nemesis). socialism and absolutism have it in common that both choose the later, and repeatedly failed. if there is an alternative, it hasn’t been presented.

but I digress. the main point is to affirm that liberalism is a social ideology, something every extant society must have.

take medieval european society, for example. it had a good deal of technical change and probably a whole lot more social change than modern societies. the fact that it doesn’t seem so is due to that, unlike moderns, medieval societies claimed they never invented anything new. every new thing was attached to and justified by tradition, as if it had always been there since time immemorial (which is probably the reason the early modern contractualists never talked about social evolution, but of a transition from nature to society). in that sense, medieval tradition was itself an occultation of its innovative character – an ideology, as well as liberalism – aimed at the preservation of tradition.

the main difference between modern and medieval european cultures is this: at some point, innovation became autonomous from tradition. “innovation without authorization” – the guiding principle of market economy – is the soul of modernity and death of tradition. of course, as put above, this is a tradition in and of itself. a tradition which hides its traditional condition, in order to justify and protect its innovative character (based on property).

to understand this antinomic character of the interaction between individuals and society – the occultation of either social preservation or social change (through individual innovation) – is core to mutualism. perceiving liberalism as a tradition that occultates itself, in order to propel something in camouflage is an important step in making any of the modern world intelligible. one can say Frankfurt (and most social science) has failed to do so, seeing only nihilism where there is an inhuman purpose.

A Statement of Principles

[the post below has been written in 2013 and posted originally here. my objective in translating and posting it here is to review and add criticism to my own past views. the original translated text will be unmarked, the new remarks will be in bold between square brackets.]

For my debut article in this blog, I would like to draft the philosophical, political, and economic principles that guide my analysis of society, and that will pervade my writing in future articles. Criticism, corrections, debate and of course compliments are very welcome.

Liberty and Equality

The twin concepts of Liberty and Equality are the central tenets of my world view, which might be described as market socialism, left-libertarianism, or individualist anarchism, since these names have been used throughout history for roughly the same set of principles I am about to lay out here.

[Of those names, I would only keep “individualist anarchism”. Libertarianism is, of course, intrinsically left-wing in most if not all social contexts (America probably being the only exception). But it’s not intrinsically realist, as I take the individualist anarchists to have been (in stark contrast to the other anarchist segments), such that I would adopt only this label to myself. “Market socialism” is a contradiction in terms, only useful as viral strategy to infect the brahmin socialists with the market meme, or for irony.]

Liberty is to be understood as the ability and right of all sentient beings to dispose of their persons and the fruits of their labor, and nothing else, as they see fit. This stems from their self-awareness and their ability to control and choose the content of their actions.

[I like the way this definition seeks to equate right  to ability. This pragmatist stance towards morality is something I grew to find most respectable. It is the very ability to control their actions that grant individuals their right to dispose of the products of their own labor. It’s a true might producing a right. A cybernetic principle, present originally in individualist anarchism: internalize costs (close the loop).  Consequences accrue to the motors. Lack of control equals the loss of the right.]

Equality is to be understood as the state of no imbalance of power, that is, of no subjection to another sentient being. This stems from their universal ability for empathy, and from their equal ability for reason.

[Here my main reference is Long’s undying article on Equality. As he shows there, there is an essential affirmation of equality in the core of liberty (as pragmatically defined above). Not merely a formal equality, nor an equality of wealth or income, but an equality of power (in Proudhon’s wording: an equality of conditions). It’s only among beings of equal standing, where one cannot possibly subjugate the other, that liberty in fact exists. If liberty is to be established, this is the equality one has to pursue. No moral code is going to solve that if, in reality, such equality doesn’t exist. As all things, liberty has to be technically produced. All else is little more than idle babble.]

It is important to notice that, contrary to usual statements of these two principles, my standpoint is that Liberty and Equality here are not merely compatible, meaning they could coexist in some possible universe, but rather they are two sides of the same coin, complementary and interdependent. There can be NO Liberty where there is no Equality, for the imbalance of power, the state of subjection, will render sentient beings unable to dispose of their persons and the fruits of their labor[1], and it will limit their ability to choose over their rightful jurisdiction. Likewise, there can be NO Equality without Liberty, for restraining sentient beings’ ability to choose and dispose of their persons and fruits of labor will render some more powerful than the rest, and establish a state of subjection.

Social and personal order and peace depend entirely on the maintenance of these principles. The breach of either Liberty or Equality results in suffering, insanity, bloodshed, waste and misery, as History will promptly show us. It leads to the withering of empathy, the establishment of classes (and the associate class warfare), hierarchy and slavery. It’s no coincidence that these principles have constantly been associated to Justice and Goodness, for there can be none of these without them.

[The general do-gooder tone is rather annoying, I know. But the statements are not incorrect: where there is no actual  equality of power (and thus liberty), there are uncontrolled power-nodes, usually in homeostatic balance, but eventually engaging in destructive escalations of violence. Most importantly, where there isn’t liberty (internalization of costs and benefits), productivity dwindles, and so does survival capabilities. It’s no surprise individualists usually win wars.]

Mutualism and Individualism

The maintenance of Liberty and Equality, central as they are to the welfare and integrity of sentient beings in a society, depends heavily on the organization of such society and the kind of relations undertaken within it. Two organizational and ethical systems most consistently embody, in my opinion, the principles of Liberty and Equality, namely Mutualism and Individualism.

[This much is already established by the very definitions in the section above. Liberty is built upon an Equality that demands production. Social organization for said production is an important issues. Some interesting linkage on the topics of mutualism, reciprocal altruism, and individualism might be useful.]

By Mutualism, I am referring to the social organization defended by the political school of thought pioneered by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and later taken further by Benjamin Tucker and the other individualist anarchists. Mutualism is characterized by relations in which equal parties voluntarily and reciprocally provide one another with the fruits of their own labor. Being voluntary and equal exchanges, these relations are by definition both mutually beneficial and non-exploitative. Institutions in Mutualism are horizontal, participatory, and democratic by nature in virtue of the relations within them. Examples of mutualist institutions include the Federation described by Proudhon in his work, as well mutual banks and other mutual aid organizations, friendly societies, commons, commerce, cooperatives, peer-to-peer networks, and any other in which the participants join voluntarily and as equals. The 19th century communist motto very fairly describes the spirit of Mutualism too: “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”.

[The similarity of mutualism and hbdchick’s individualism-collectivism is incredible. As explicit from the links above, mutualism is merely reciprocal altruism.

From this section, though, I would remove the “participatory and democratic” as features of mutualism. Mutualism is interactive rather than participatory, i. e., it relies more on spontaneous (unplanned for) interaction between individuals than the participation in some kind of institution. Mostly the point is: you don’t have to be anywhere, vote for anything etc. to do something between consenting partners. Democratic is also misleading. The correct term, as described below is decentralized. It’s democratic only insofar as each person takes care of their own life (being thus “a (self) government of the people (individually) by the people (individually)).

Also, scrape the communist motto if it’s not saying “everyone is getting what they produce”, i. e., cost internalization. In fact, everything any individualist anarchist/mutualist ever wrote can be summarized as “internalize costs”.]

Individualism is the social ethos by which every individual sentient being in a society is recognized as unique and irreplaceable, as having their own private goals and desires and therefore as an end in themselves. It affirms that the individual is the fundamental building block of the larger organism that is society, and hence that all analysis of such society must take them as its starting point. It holds sacred that every individual has the ability, right, and duty to choose their own goals independently, and is autonomously able to pursue them, with respect to every others’ equal right. It can be found as a guiding principle in many religious beliefs and philosophical doctrines, but I find it rather exquisitely expressed by the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do as thou wilt”.

[The Thelema is probably better suited: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law (see here). There is very little I would change in this section. Probably the only thing worth mentioning is that all these beliefs are instrumental in building a working free society. I don’t actually believe “individuals” to be any more stable wholes than cities or cells. This article by Shawn Wilbur probably covers most of the important proudhonian reasoning behind my views.]

Thus, Individualism explicitly informs society that every individual will pursue their own purposes, and Mutualism guarantees individuals will have the ability to make such purposes beneficial to themselves and to society, through free trade and equal exchange. Individualism gives individuals the reason and the weapons to resist when hierarchy arises, and Mutualism assures society has the ability to organize such resistance.

Mutualism and Individualism so stand in dynamic equilibrium, expliciting the tension between personal and social interests, and making it possible for such tension to be resolved peacefully, with the best possible results for both the individuals and their comrades. They both together provide society with the will to mutually help and the acknowledgement of the infinite, unique contribution of its members.

[The humanistic undertone is killing me. But the essential idea is there: society is a being made of parts (just like individuals). It only functions insofar as its parts can freely adapt to its environment and function properly. This demands freedom (movement). Individualism is the “internal rule” of a working (free) society. Do your thing, and we see if it works.]

Decentralization and Skepticism

[This is the section I originally was hesitant about writing, and now I’m grateful I have, because it’s precisely the point of connection with most of my current views. Here is the base of the techno-scientific infrastructure that make any of the above principles or social organizations possible at all. Without this, everything else said this far is rendered moot.]

Societies can be viewed as systems of information flow, in which knowledge needs to be acquired by individuals in order to better decide about their living, both personally and socially. For a society to be organized through Mutualism and Individualism, the acquisition of knowledge to make decisions need be performed through Decentralized means, at the social level, and through a fair layer of Skepticism at the individual level.

At the social level, Decentralism holds that those agents closest to the actions and events taking place at a certain location are the ones in the best position, with the best available knowledge to decide about those actions and events. Because individuals only have a small fraction of the whole knowledge owned collectively, decisions should not be made by central authorities, small in number and knowledge, far removed from the place where such decisions will take effect. Decentralism holds that individuals can manage to decide locally, and that mechanisms of spontaneous, emergent orders, arising from the voluntary and equal exchanges described above, will synchronize local and personal knowledge, ultimatelty leading to the harmonization of the several individual objectives in society. In short, Decentralism is Mutualism applied to knowledge acquisition.

[I should have said merely “blockchain everything”.]

At the individual level, Skeptcism[2] asserts the uncertainty and limitations of knowledge, and holds that every new belief must be well supported by evidence and logical arguments convincing enough to individuals before being incorporated into their set of beliefs. In other words, it holds that individuals should not alter their goals and principles except in face of hard evidence to the contrary. Thus, it demands a questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions, as well as doubt regarding claims that are usually taken for granted. In short, Skepticism is the Individualist postion towards knowledge.

[“Distrust, and test, test, test … to destruction wherever possible.” as Nick Land puts it.]

Conclusion: Anarchy and Markets

These six principles I have laid out, if followed consistently, advocate for a specific political-economic system usually referred to as market anarchism.

[Should have said “produce… market anarchism”.]

Anarchism is the political system under which political institutions are voluntary and self-governed. It opposes hierarchical organization and authority, thus making anarchist institutions within non-hierarchical free associations of free individuals. It’s characterized by the absolute absence of privilege and coercion, as well as a deep sense of anti-violence[3].

[Hierarchy as an emergent phenomenon – the fact that some people will eventually lead, and others will follow – is inherent in markets, where differences of competence can fully express themselves. If anarchy demands the active extirpation of hierarchy defined this way, it is in a hell of a bad position. Mostly because you cannot abolish this kind of hierarchy without creating the other, much worse kind of hierarchy as holiness, purity and immutable authority. If you suppress bottom-up, spontaneous hierarchy, you create top-down, centralized hierarchy. Even in 2013 I was well aware of that, and here, though I do not clarify this point, I already advocated for the first type of hierarchy against the second. The boundaries, I see now, are way less clear (is military competence included in spontaneous hierarchy?), but I gravitate always towards decentralization and the multiplication of forces

This certainly leads to retreat from the anti-violence thing there. Conflict is inherent in anything that works. The only reduction of violence a pragmatist libertarian can wish for is a reduction of waste (an increase in productive efficiency).

This two points, spontaneous hierarchy and conflict as productive, if stapled together, points to a very hard to swallow concept of freedom: freedom is not for everyone, but only for those who can assert themselves as possessors of productive power (and thus of exit). No one is going to give you anything for free. All individuals are inherently competitors, and only occasionally cooperators. Everybody lies, and everybody will try to get advantage out of you. If you don’t bite back, they will tread on you. And it’s only this fanged freedom in the hobbesian jungle of reality, this unrestrained competition that produces liberty as a right: when people are efficient enough, they become equals and their (effective, defensible) withdrawal is expected if less than full respect is shown to their right over their own labor.

Put this way, anarchy is both the beginning and the end of reality.]

Market economy is the economic system under which goods and services are freely produced and distributed, as opposed to a planned or regulated economy, such as the current one. In such system, fluctuations of price are determined by supply and demand, and in the long run, the prices of freely reproducible goods and services tend to reflect the labor-value embodied in them. And, as the individualist anarchists held, the natural wage of labor in such a system is its full product, no tributes paid to bureaucrats, landlords or capitalists.

[Okay, the labour-theory of value is in no way an economic consensus. Much less in the subjectivist stance adopted by Kevin Carson in his seminal book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy. I will try and dig out some way of showing that, even though marginalism has shown itself to be very predictive, versatile and mostly true scientific theory, subjective LTV has got some deep cybernetic insights, and that it may be plugged it into the marginalist mainstream, without major losses. To advance a brief and fundamental point while we’re at it, the last sentence in the paragraph above knits it nicely: if all costs and benefits are internalized in the productive unit, the input of energy over a certain period of time (work) is the quantity that predicts most linearly the output (production). 

Internalization of costs is the whole of acceleration.]

In my social analysis, the closer a society is to such system, the more fully will it embrace and enjoy those principles, and vice-versa. The transition strategies from our current statist and oppressive society, to the one envisioned in this article is way beyond the scope here. But adopting and acting according to the principles above, and advancing market anarchy in any way possible is the only manner to enjoy the benefits and the dignity they provide.

[The most bleakest ending paragraph ever written. “Do good and it all will end well”. No shit, Sherlock. The question is: how do you do good? I will explore more of that in coming texts, but once again: blockchain everything.]

Notes

[1] Although by no means do they lose their right to liberty, which is a normative fact inherent to their condition as sentient beings.

[2] The definition I use here is a general understanding of Skepticism as a questioning attitude, as opposed to blind faith and easy acceptance. It’s fundamentally different from Cartesian methodological doubt, and related but more allowing than Humean empiricism. My epistemological approach might be better described as within the coherentist label, under which the truth of a new propostion is to be probed against the individual’s set of beliefs, and will required ever more evidence and logical arguments to be incorporated as more central it is to that belief set. I include logical arguments (and other deductive knowledge) as well as empirical and experiential knowledge because, even though I hold all information is necessarily derived from the senses, knowledge can be achived by relating experiential information through deduction.

[3] There are legitmate uses of force, namely defensive force. But even when justified, violence in anarchist societies are likely to be viewed as a last resort.

against socialism

against socialism

It’s been sometime I have asked myself if it still makes any sense to say I am a “leftist”. One thing though, is sure: I deeply reject socialism.

All force society – by means of the products necessary to the formation of a society, viz. morality, tradition, authority, desire suppression, discipline, indoctrination, and everything else we can reasonably call oppression – is extremely repugnant to me. If there is a battle between social power and some individual, I will always side with the individual.

Hence my preference for exit options over voice concession, fragile and easily renewable (“liquid”) interactions over participation in rigid, predefined deliberative bodies, action at the outskirts of institutional politics over political representation, explicit contracts over custom-based expectations, and so forth.

If I can still say I am a “leftist”, which would be to say, if I still advocate some sort of equality, it is only insofar as I advocate for absolute equality of power among people (yes, this is difficult to realize, and it’s by no means even clear that it’s realistically feasible), that is, I advocate liberty in its radical form. Any other kind of equality, insofar as it depends on social force over the individual to be realized, I reject it.

As a mutualist, I certainly do not believe that social force itself could be abolished, since the very individual action already begets all kinds of association. I do believe indeed that without some obstinate opposition, the social body becomes totalitarian and suppresses entirely any ability to change (and hence adaptation). Hence the proudhonian horror to communism.

Thus, one question remains to be answered: can a non-socialist left exist?

mutualism

mutualism

increasingly I feel that my position about things is really mutualism. even in a biological sense: I use what you can supply from yourself and vice-versa. not an abolition of divisions, as we are still all limited by the boundaries of organism. but a closed cybernetic loop, a heterogeneous homeostasis: the maintenance of the other for the maintenance of the self.

politically, it is a position that can be understood as a midterm (always a midterm, always in conflict, inconstant, inconsistent): between the consternated attitude of moderate Burkean conservatism, which recognizes that reality has hard, insurmountable limits and that nature’s complexity far exceeds human rational capacity (although it could be reasonably simplified by accumulated wisdom); and the optimist and confident attitude of liberal progressivism, which has a faith (faith really, a belief not (very) based on (almost) any evidence) in human ability of organization and rupture, in the Promethean capacity of capturing the fire of gods and putting it to humanity’s service, in the creativity and productivity of desire.

between “if nature sucks, change nature” in the good days, which can be easily translated to “watch powerless the indifferent and complex conflict of forces that unravels before you, without being able to escape the ability of apprehending it as moral significance” in the days faith fails. (the fresh innocence of the former and the bitter maturity of the latter only add to the validity of the concepts involved).

if mutualism can be summarized in a single sentence, it is: “It’s the clash of ideas that casts the light” (en). the recognition that conflict is inherent in all things; not only inevitable, but positively desirable. the greatest danger, for Proudhon, both of communism and the market, is that effectively everyone end up agreeing.

this is a derivation of morality from reality. an immoral morality, which is pruned and rebuilt by every new understanding of reality, leading to an ever greater complexification of Ethics in the most longest walk of existence. this is the essence of mutualism.

politically, it is an affirmation that there is only a Left as long as there is a Right, and that none of them can be abolished, only multiplied.

conserving the other to conserve oneself. and the other is only other as long as it is different and, therefore, fundamentally conflicting.

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.

thoughts #2

proudhonian sociology is antinomic and multivariate in size. it postulates two general forces, or tendencies: the collective force, and the individual will. Proudhon formulated it in his idealistic tradition, as force and will, but both are materialistically just flows. the collective force is the cohesive flow of the parts, so as to execute functions of the organism. the individual will is the chaotic flow of parts, so as to explore the environment and alter the organism. I’ve been calling these “the Absolute” and “Revolution”, respectively. my preference, loosely based on constant themes in the mutualist tradition. in modern age, they are represented in the right-wing conservative and/or reactionary aisle and the left-wing progressive or revolutionary aisle, also respectively. “keep the king” vs. “kill the king”.
it’s important to get to understand this as general methodology. sociology is merely the original locus (arguably). but it applies generally to any whole made of parts. it’s structural even though applicable to the behavior of parts.