Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us

Posts tagged as: theory

We need a new religion

Schopenhauer used to write that Judaism is not a religion, but a tribal cult, because it lacked any teachings about the afterlife. What kind of religion is that who doesn't tell you what's happening after you die? Isn't the afterlife THE big question of existence? The ultimate enforcer of morality is the threat of everlasting hell after all.

Well now that you think of it, isn't modern liberalism kinda jewish too? In that it has obnoxious moral codes, a pretty dense theology, but no teachings about the afterlife. Which makes it all pretty stupid. Why should I care about anything if, as Keynes said, long term we are all dead? Who cares about doing good things? About caring for posterity?

This sort of nihilism is often pointed out by those Christian rightists as the origin of all evil. On the other way the only thing Christianity has for it these days is that it has hell. Religion can coherently enforce morality. Liberalism can't. Therefore we should go back to Christianity. Well I don't know about that.

But the lack of faith in an afterlife really does poison everything. As any fairly philosophical person has surely noticed, given enough time all intelligent discussions end up talking about God. Because all morality has to ultimately be based on some ultimate authority. Reading today Steve Sailer's, he has a post with summarizes perfectly the great divide between left and right. Continue Reading →

We need a new religion, 2

One of the best rightist blogs around there is Lawrence Auster's View from the Right. Auster himself while having occasionally very brilliant insights, is no scholar, but the sheer force of his personality, or his chutzpah if I may put it that way, attract all kind of brilliant people. Today an outstanding post there, where a commenter of his says:

Politics is the religion of leftists. Since there is no divine agency in the world it’s all up to man, omnipotent man, who controls the destiny of all worldly affairs in his hands through the science of political activism. So they obsess endlessly over politics, political theory, and political strategy, investing all their passion and hope in political argument, action, and intrigue. For only politics can bring about their perfect world where all problems are solved, all conflict resolved, and politics the pivot around which the world revolves. So every problem in the world, reduced to politics, is of deep concern. Not a sparrow falls to the ground but politics could have prevented it. If a tree falls in the forest it makes a political statement. Every man, woman, and child on earth must concern himself with politics. All art, science, medicine, education, leisure—they all must be about politics. The personal is the political. Embroidery and millinery are political. Look up at the sky at night and what do you see?—politics. To the leftis...

How Left and Right both suck

I used to call myself a reactionary, but lately I'm developing a hate for the word. Let's say I'm evolving. I not longer think we should go back to the past. The modern world sucks alright, but the past sucked in his own way. Let me explain.

Let's talk about myths.

Conservatives have this myth.

In the old days people were reasonably well behaved, religious, serious, forthright, strong, men were manly women were ladies. Society enforced this behavior in many different ways, which we call tradition.

Then liberals came by and destroyed tradition, killed standards, and said people should be free and do what they wanted. The result is Juggalos, Juggalettes, Big Brother, American Idol, and basically civilization collapse.

So Conservatives cry, its all about those liberals! They destroyed those traditions that made people behave. We should just go back and enforce them, so the common people will go back to be god-fearing, hard-working honest fellas.

All of this is quite true. Yet let's look at the historical angle.

Those liberals that deconstructed and destroyed the old traditions were, on average, quite smart people. And they did that because they were bored by those traditions. They didn't want go to to mass to listen to some old fool preach some moralizing BS. They didn't want to be chaste and refuse to explore the pleasures of the body. And they didn't want to self-censor, to pay respect to some bunch of old geezers who were only w...

On words and history

I am a linguist by training, so I have this bias for etymology. The word reactionary, which is what the Jacobins called the pious rebels of the Vendeé, just didn't sound right. Still after careful thought, it seems clear to me that the intellectual descendants of the Vendeé farmers are what today we called traditionalists, and it's mostly secular dissenters of liberalism which call ourselves reactionary. If you think about it, we are using an old word for what is a very new movement.

But of course the same could be said for progressives. Whigs became liberals, became progressives, became socialists, which became progressives again. Their particular positions may have changed, but its also very obvious what the inherent ideology is, how it started, how it evolved, what they stand for. We on the other hand don't have it so easy.

What do 'we' stand for? With 'we' I mean all those likely to read this blog, which are also likely to call themselves reactionary. Still it seems to me that the reactionary blogosphere is but a subset, the most coherent, of a wide pool of dissenter blogs. Most of them based in the US, each focuses on the particular aspect of liberalism that is screwing him the most. I discern the following:

1.HBD

2. Anti immigration

3.Anti welfare

4.Anti-feminism

5.Anti Jewish

6.Anti bankstas

7.Anti Democracy

After Handle's suggestion I tried to do a Venn diagram on this, but th...

Left and Right, continued

Bill was very kind to write a long comment to my last post. I was answering when I saw that it was getting even longer, and consequently I thought it'd be wise to just start a new post for it.

So here's the original comment:

The post is about the 1960s. Seen that way, it is largely right. What happened in the 1960s is that the elite decided that they no longer wanted the (minor) inconveniences imposed on them by the norms and enforcement mechanisms which existed to prevent the proles immiserating themselves. They assigned their children the job of “making it so.”

Traditional sexual mores protect Joe and Jane Sixpack, but pretending to comply with them is annoying to the great and the good. The police dealing out rough justice protects the working class from the predators amongst them but can be inconvenient for hippies: hippies who have other methods to escape the genuinely unwashed. Etc.

The New Left / SWPLism / PC is, in effect, a war on the stupid by the smart. “Taking away this support of civilization will fuck up your life, your family’s life, the life of everyone you know? Well, you see, I find that prop slightly annoying, so, well, fuck you, yours, and everyone you know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The mainline Protestant denominations by this time were empty shells, consisting of some guy bleating out platitudes before the main event: coffee, donuts, and networking. Post Vatican II, the Catholic Church tried its best to b...

Sociobiology the pundit killer

As any reader may notice, I am a rather philosophically inclined person. I like ideas, how they interact, morph and fight each other. As I think I'm good at it, I, as anyone, tend to see all history as little ideological nails waiting for my analytical hammer.

Then I read someone who spoils all my fun.

Commeting at foseti's link to my post on the etymology of 'reactionary, Phlebas makes the following comment:

I have a definition of “reactionary”…I apologise in advance for the length of this comment.

I believe that a solid understanding of the problem of Universalism has to start with biological facts. We find that such a thing as a left/right continuum crops up all the time in our political debates, and leftism or rightism appears to be a fundamental personality trait. In other words, there is prior reason to believe that rightist or leftist political disposition is largely biological in origin.

In the last decade, neurological studies have started to probe this question.Here is a page discussing many of these studies – be warned that the site authors are well-meaning pseudo-scientists, and the hemispheric theory that the writer is pushing has little to recommend it – and Continue Reading →

The Creative Destruction of Anglo-Saxon culture

Jim tell us how books are being burned all over the Anglosphere. He links to an article on Cracked about some guy who tells how libraries all over hire him to dispose of books, because the library has to make space for new books, doesn't have the money to expand, actually doesn't even have the money to give them away. So the books are burned. They have a business to run, you know.

Oh, come on, you must be thinking, this can't be happening. We are spending trillions in bank bailouts, while public libraries have to burn 18th century books to balance their budgets? Well, I'm surprised too. Jim focuses on the fact that the whole process is done in secret, without weeding out which books might be worth something and which can be burned without harm to humanity's knowledge. Nah, they just get junior stuff (I'm imagining a group of illiterate Mexicans carrying big plastic bags) and they burned the stuff.

Jim says its a conspiracy. Well I think he's exaggerating, although I also noticed that Google is quite evil indeed. By the way the Internet Archive should have like a huge torrent circulating with their whole stuf, updated monthly. You never know with this things.

While it might not be a conspiracy of the Cathedral professors to erase the pre-progressive past, if you read the...

On Drilling

Aretae writes how he likes my insight but disagrees with my position. He hates drilling "with a white hot passion". Actually I do too. Bores me to death. Actually, and I guess Aretae feels the same too, drilling offends me. Because I don't need it. I understand all those dull kids around me probably needed to be drilled to get a handle on what was taught, but I didn't. I was always ahead. And receiving equal treatment made me mad. I deserved better.

Still that doesn't mean that drilling should simply be made away with. I argued against it here. The fact remains that 80% of people need drilling to learn any skill set. But not just skills, just about every concept our brains manage is imprinted. Language, identity, all is created by large scale drilling. The very fact that nation states exist says a lot about the power of drilling. Nations are defined as any group of people who have a shared history, culture and blood ties. But that's patently false. Nations are a group of people who have been drilled into thinking that they share a history, culture and blood ties. An inhabitant of Nice has no more history, culture and blood in common with someone from Calais, than it has with someone from Torino. Garibaldi, the Italian nationalist was from Nice! But alas, in 1860, not than long ago, Napoleon III seized the area, and a...

Platters of loose sand

Shanghai Airlines just announced that from New Years on, it will start to make its announcements in Shanghainese, then Mandarin and English, in its flights to Shanghai. Original news link here.

They are doing this allegedly to "give native Shanghai people the feeling of getting back home". Shanghai's topolect is utterly unintelligible to anyone not in the immediate vicinity; and China had been imposing the standard language, Mandarin, with quite a lot of force for some time. So this is big news.

I have a complicated relation with nation-states. I find it very funny when Americans talk about the 'American nation', and go on talking about foreign nations as if they were natural beings. In Europe too, the official line that the State is simply the nation organizing itself for the benefit of its members, remains mainstream.

But of course all that is a huge pile of bullshit. Even in America, Yankees and Southerners are hardly one people. Its no coincidence that the modern White nationalist blogs are disproportionately Californian; as in California, just recently colonized, the various ethnics sort of merged in a pan-white identity, strengthened by contrast with the increasing invasion of Mexicans. So today ...

Making the world safe for corruption

After writing the last post on Burma's opening, it just came to me why are Western governments always promoting democracy. I mean, democracy is a pretty crappy way of government, particularly in the Third World, where for tons of reasons, historical, cultural, biological even, it never works. Democracy also is generally bad for the economy, and Western governments are ostensibly obsessed by trade and economic growth.

Yet they do promote democracy with a fervor that is almost religious. It makes no sense. But wait. Roman judges used to say that about cui bono. Then I read this news: George Soros opens an office in Burma. Well, that's it. Soros bono. Bankstas bono.

caption="Business is goooood"

There's a recurrent theme at Steve Sailer's about the paradox that, although the US is the world hegemon, many Third World plutocrats laugh at just how cheap it is to buy an American politician. It's true, and it applies also to Western Europe. At first glance it makes no sense that lawmakers in a rich country would sell themselves cheap, while lawmakers in a poor country will ask for more money. But the...

On Kindness

Professor Charlton writes that our society is very nice.

Modern society exceeds all previous societies in terms of its kindness - it is the least-cruel society ever. Naturally - if we focus on this single virtue to the neglect of all other virtues and sins, then we can regard ourselves as more virtuous than anybody else.

It caught my attention, not only because its rare to read Professor Charlton praising any aspect of modern society, but because it reminded me of a quote by the late Aldous Huxley, who said:

It's rather embarrassing to have given one's entire life to pondering the human predicament and to find that in the end one has little more to say than, 'Try to be a little kinder.'

As much as I admire Huxley, I thought he was being too clever there. He never thought about kindness when he was young, and admired beauty and boldness. He only thought of it when he grew old, and needed people to be kind to him.

But the concept of modern society as kind especially reminds me of the last chapter in Kenneth Clark's Civilisation series, which I blogged about a while ago. He talks among other things of the birth of kindness as a social value:

It's an almost incredible fact, tha...

Making the world safe for corruption - Primaries edition

Say there is a power struggle in some country, and you don't like who's winning. How much should you spend, and how much influence can you buy?

Let's say North Korea.

There's the little fatso Kim Jong-un, and the elder fatso, Kim Jong-nam. Jong-un was the frontrunner, but he's too young, and many people would like Jong-nam to be the new king. What can they do?

Nothing. Kim Jong-nam has long been an exile in Macau, where he is survives only because China, t protects him against his brother's assassins. China being the guarantor of the NK regime. Kim Jong-nam has many friends in high circles in China, but even that didn't get him in power. Nobody can influence the NK power process.

caption="I spend a million every day in meals"

Now let's say the USA.

See there are this primaries thing going on. Obama doesn't look too good so there's a lot of attention in the Republican nomination. So far there is a Ned Flanders-went-investor guy as the frontrunner. A loaded Mormon. Fuck that. Let's say you've got some spare dough and you wanna spend it in anyone but the Mormon. How much would you need to spend to make a difference?

O...

On Ethics 2: Children

Foseti links to Laura Wood's blog, aptly named "The Thinking Housewife". She's a longtime commenter at Lawrence Auster's, and gives a fresh perspective as a Traditionalist woman, who wants neither to work outside the home, nor vote, nor dominate her husband. Her blog is also much fun because it resembles so much a stereotypical Victorian house, with all those housewives debating moral topics while drinking tea, and the odd wimpish man participating.

Yet on the whole the tone of discourse is just... womanly. Which is to say simple, and prone to long tirades of moral outrage without much argument. Well there is some argument, and she must be commended for it. But its mostly Mrs Wood who does the thinking. Her tea-mates, not much. In  this post (h/t foseti, who I guess makes his wife read that blog?), they comment this news:

ETHICISTS ARGUE IN FAVOR OF ‘AFTER-BIRTH ABORTIONS‘ AS NEWBORNS ’ARE NOT PERSONS’

The news talks about how some ethics experts (not fat guys on suits this time though) argue that, once you think about it, infanticide and abortion aren't really that different. And abortion is good, so why not kill children? At least...

On Sovereignty

Anomaly UK wrote a couple of weeks ago the kind of post I always want to write, but never do. It's really good, and it touches many points that should be obvious to any interested in public policy. For example, on employment:

That isn't wrong — within the libertarian framework it's completely true. But I've left the framework behind. Political power will be gained and held by people who believe that gaining and holding power are always a first-order consideration. I hope for a government whose hold on power is so solid that it does not depend on interfering in the market for labour, but that is not relevant to any present government or any feasible near-future one. Welfare is here to stay (even if based on private charity rather than the state, it would still have market-distorting effects), and unemployment will therefore always need to be addressed.

This is so true it's painful. It should be branded on steel on every libertarian's thigh. Politics is not about policy, it's about power. And power is about patronage. It has been so since at least Roman times, who gaves us the words Patron and Client. Well it happens that the powers that be today have the widest and deepest clientela of human history, one that goes starts in government, goes through the civil service, big business, the ...

On Absolutism

AnomalyUK was so kind as to write a response to my last post. I was commenting on his post at his blog, but it got too long, so I'd better post it over here.

He talks about the problem about organizations having a nominal and a real agenda is basically what it's called the agency problem. Which it is.  The problem is that for any organization to be efficient, by definition, it needs to have goal orientation. And the goal must be shared by all. And that is pretty much impossible, as individuals tend to have their own individual goal. That's biology. The old way of solving that problem is by absolutism: only one man gets power, so his goal prevails, and he has power to enforce that the people working for him actually do his work.

Of course absolutism solves the agency problem, as there is no agent, or the agents get no power. Absolutism, also makes administration way more efficient, the market shows that, corporations work when a man has absolute power, and he has drive. Absolutism has two problems, one is that not all monarchs are driven by any purpose, preferring hedonistic idleness. That historically has set their countries into chaos as other people driven to power fight between themselves to occupy the power vacuum that the idle kin...

The Endgame

Nick Land has finished his long series, Dark Enlightment. It was fascinating to find in an obscure chinese expat site a middle aged Philosophy lecturer writing what effectively was a summary of Moldbug's blog, with a slight touch of cyberpunk.

Of course the most interesting part in this series is that it has an ending. Which means it reaches a conclusion. In the last post before this one, his 4e, he advances how he sees the future unfolding. He basically sees three possibilities:

  • Utter collapse (Postmodernism)
  • Chinese takeover (Modernity 2.0)
  • A miracle (Western Renaissance)

His bet is on a Chinese takeover (and he walks the walk living in Shanghai), because a Western renaissance is really unlikely. Not that it is hard, in fact one can easily come up with a handful of policies that would make any Western polity become earthly paradise. As he puts it:

(1) Replacement of representational democracy by constitutional republicanism (or still more extreme anti-political governmental mechanisms).

(2) Massive downsizing of gover...

Tribes and Jobs

With all the late talk about median wages falling and the rich getting richer, it seems capitalism is becoming unfashionable again. Now I don't define capitalism by any economic or policy parameter. I define capitalism as the system that supports and gives status to business owners. When you see students demonstrating against "capitalism", they aren't arguing against private property. They won't share their precious iPhones, will they? They're cool about people owning stuff. What they don't want is status linked to the amount of property you own. I think this theory applies to the golden age of the labour movement a hundred years ago.

As a non billionaire with little interest in sleeping 4 hours a day and donating millions to sodomy activists to become one, I am naturally inclined to sympathise with the anticapitalists. Not only wages are going down, hours are going up,  and the poor fuckers who can still find a job are caught in a rat race of who is able to outwork others and lick more ass while convincing themselves they love it. It's harsh.

So the push for higher taxes on rich people and higher median wages is understandable, if simplistic. But that's only one part of the picture. As easy as it is to blame everything on business, workers are a handful themsel...

Tribes and Cults

So Sunmyung Moon has died. No Moonies in the Old Continent, so I first knew of the Unification Church in Japan, where it has a sizable following and is quite famous for its ties with some rightist politicians. Only then I knew that for decades there were thousands of 'Moonies' in the US, and all that comedy about mass weddings. Amusingly there's little else weird about the Moonies, except that Moon made a lot of money which he used to buy politicians in the US and North Korea. The Unification Church is the owner of both the Washington Times and Pyeonghwa motors. Moon was as comfortable with US congressmen and with Kim Il Sung. I don't know if he's the Messiah, but he proved the farce which is modern politics.

Europeans have a hard time thinking clearly about religion. We have a strong bias towards thinking that religion is about truth (if you like it) or about power (if you don't). We used to have a Universal Church, which then splintered into state churches. Religion meant tradition, continuity, order. It was structured as pretty much part of the state bureaucracy. Most people seldom put much thought on the thing, and combined an utter disregard for moral precepts with an eager enthusiasm for the yearly rituals.

The conventional wisdom over here is that religion is dead because science has made us all rational and we don't need blind faith. Of course that assumes that religion is about truth. But is it? Undoubtedly it was so for some people. There were alwa...

A chat with Mr. Land

Last month I had the pleasure to meet in person with Nick Land in a small classy bar in Shanghai. It was quite surreal to talk about this matters in person, meeting for the first time. At first it was the two of us alone loudly discussing Moldbug this Moldbug that, but after a while the place got quite crowded. Shortly we were surrounded by rich kids with outrageous hairdos and high voices wooing teenage girls in short dresses. All while we were dead serious talking about the future of human society.

The discussion was very amiable but somewhat awkward too. We have very different backgrounds, I am basically a student of history , and Nick Land is a philosopher, with a more theoretical, aesthetically driven way of seeing the world. Or at least that is the impression that his writings give me. That difference didn't mean much in practical terms though, as we pretty much agreed in everything. We talked about the reactionary blogosphere and its connections with various anti-liberal movements (Game, MRA, traditionalists). It was funny that we happen to read almost the same blogs. We agreed that while the analysis of the sheer madness of liberalism is mostly right, all the proposed solutions are all implausible. Monarchy? Christian traditionalism? Henry VII? Come on. As a futurist, Nick Land is surely extremely bored by proposals which amount to pretty much turning back the clock.

Given that we didn't really believe in any way of fixing the mess, the discussi...

The only path for eugenics

The deep sense of crisis one gets after knowing of HBD comes in two flavours. Let's call them macro and micro.

Macro is the danger of race replacement. Millions of migrants from sub-90 IQ populations have been moving massively into areas with super-100 IQ populations, namely the West. You don't need to have a tribal allegiance to your people to feel very uncomfortable about that.  For 20 years we have been hearing about how Eurabia will happen during this century, and there's nothing we can do about it. Hell you don't even have to understand HBD to feel very uncomfortable with the prospect.

Still there are indications that immigration is slowing, the migrants already in place have stopped breeding like rabbits, and the native populations are starting to get pissed with this whole thing about being replaced. The wonders of the economic downturn. Miscegenation has also never been very high, so the prospects of the effective disappearance of the white race don't seem quite as certain. I used to get very worked out about all that, but recently I've reached the conclusion that it's going to be ok. Whites aren't going the way of the Romans or the Manchus.

But that doesn't mean that everything is ok. We still have the micro crisis. And that's not even close to being ok.

The micro demographic crisis is the differential birth rate between high IQ and low IQ, in all races. Remember t...

On Deserving

Moldbug has a new post, where he says:

 when Maistre says that every nation gets the government it deserves, I believe him

Seriously?

'Deserving' must be the most useless and obfuscating word in the dictionary. It's bad philosophy, bad morals and bad manners in general. It's cheap fatalism, escapism from debate, intellectual sloth.

What does it mean anyway? Asian languages don't have the concept, and sometimes doing translation it's very hard to explain. In the end it must be derived from Christian catechesis. In videogame terms, the idea that humans through they daily behaviour earn moral points (let's call them MP), according to which especial events (which happen often during the game) end up being advantageous or disadvantageous. When the self-perceived total MPs and the effect of a random event don't match, we call this not deserving the outcome.

That's a very common view, but it's patently wrong. For one there's no such thing as moral points, and the outcome of especial events has little relation with one's moral character. It's funny, because most people think of most life events as kinda random, but at the same time they think there's a direct casual link between one's MP level and the goodies one gets from life.

But it doesn't work like that, although there's a certain plausibility over individuals having MPs. But even if it were true at the individual level, and people did deserve or not deserve thin...

On Genteels

You know time differences suck when you see an interesting post such as this, but by the time you wake it already has tens of comments. As I'm late to participate in that thread I might just as well write a post of my own. The topic does merit a long one. I'll try to play Arnold Kling on this one.

If there's anything to the reactosphere, it is two pillars: HBD and evolutionary psychology. Both argue strongly against multiracial societies. The latter tells you that humans are tribal, and all societies work in the illusion that we are all part of the same tribe. The former that different tribes have become so different that there's no way they can regard themselves as one tribe.

The realisation is very liberating, as you stop being confused about why different people behave differently. It changes your expectations and makes live so much more understandable. However when thinking on the big picture, HBD and evo-psy are extremely scary things to know. For, what is one to do with the minorities already present? It follows that they can never be integrated. Ever. It's impossible. As impossible as people growing wings. It can't happen.

The corollary of this is very scary, and that's in my opinion the reason (or the overt reason, for I think there's a covert and more important reason) for the extreme hostility it causes in liberals of all colors. Racism is evil because if it were true,...

Demanding work

Foseti asks What to do? i.e. what should we (people who understand that society is going to hell and why) do to prevent/palliate/fight the collapse.

It's a good question. But it's so 2012. Or 2010 maybe. As bad as dysgenics/balkanisation/moral collapse is, the sense of urgency has been totally replaced by the new Big Story. Which is the automation, and the Neo-Luddite panic that is sweeping all over the punditsphere. You know something is Big when Half Sigma just won't shut up about it. The guy really has a good smell for what topics are popular. I guess that being a Jew on NYC will do that for you.

Of course the new automation economy is a bigger news story than The Fall. Everyone can see how automation might affect them personally, so there's a general panic mood floating around. Even Razib had a gloomy post on it.The Fall is a metaphysical concept, it normally happens slowly, and hey we can all think of ways to profit from it. But if Skynet is happening we are all screwed. People are scared, there's talks of Butlerian Jihad around. All of which is justified. Factories are getting robotized, and good software is making many off...

She really just said that

A while ago I had the mother of all chats with Nick Land in our local classy bar in Shanghai.

It felt like we just reached the singularity just by ourselves. Might have been the whisky though. Yeah it probably was that.

Perhaps because I'm shy, but I tend to overcompensate the awkwardness of meeting strangers by talking too much. And the usual reaction to someone who just doesn't shut up is agreeing and letting me talk. I guess it's also me being the junior partner, i.e. I talk more mundane stuff that he can relate to. It's easier for the conversation to go on by me talking about China, than not Nick Land talking about Deleuze and Gattari, or the nature of time.

Still today we had a pretty even-handed debate, on tribalism and the singularity and expat life and all that. We actually reach several end points where no further debate was possible. When you start talking on macroeconomics you know there's little real data to throw around, and although speculating with scotch is fun, it's seldom productive.

There's tons of posts to be written to elaborate all we talked about, but it was all quite abstract and can wait really.

He did ask me to write about one of our most salient disagreements, which is about the political theory of Moldbug, i.e. Neocameralism. Or Formalism, or whatever.

Now I was a late comer to the Moldbug party, and forgive me if I'm wrong, but the idea of Neocameralism is to abolish democratic politics, and actually polit...

Conflict

Nick Land yesterday said I was "conflicted".

I guess I am. Running into writer's block perhaps.

When you pursue a line of thought long enough you tend to lose track of where you're going, and end up reaching conclusions you won't necessarily agree with if you actually started thinking about it from scratch.

I do generally like to keep things simple, so let's reboot and try to start again.

Why are we reactionaries? Because modernity sucks. In what way? Well, let's count the ways:

1. Women are unpleasant, men are unmanly

2. Foreigners everywhere

3. Dysgenics

4. Corruption

5. Aesthetic taste has collapsed

Which can be summed up as a lack of asabiyyah in general. Reactionary thought is based in the idea that modernity is corrosive to asabiyyah  and thus will lead to societal collapse and general misery.

There are two lines of reactionary thought. One is the traditionalist branch, and the futurist branch.

Or perhaps there's three. There's the religious/traditionalist branch, the ethnic/nationalist branch, and the capitalist branch.

The religious want to go back to an idealized religious society, where a common faith provides asabiyyah . Go to the Orthosphere and take a look. I wouldn't say they have any real-world model to push for. But hey when you have faith you don't need empirical examples, do you?

The nationalist branch wants a mono-ethnic society, believing that a sense of kinship provi...

Optimizing for truth

So I wrote about different kinds of reactionaries. I'm quite happy it created a lot of buzz, got thousands of visits, and a lot of links from people I didn't know about. We all love to talk about ourselves.

Alas I'm not about to categorize our beliefs and let them be happily everafter. I want closure. I'm annoying like that.

So we all know what we hate. Liberalism. The equality cult. But what are we for?

Some people just want heavenly bliss:

If it means a choice between living in a traditional civilization geared toward the spiritual health of its citizens or living in a barbaric society geared toward the physical wellbeing of its inhabitants, I would choose the first, even sans penicillin. As has been said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

Some care about their racial brethren:

Whites must return to quality learning, quality thinking, and quality behavior. This won’t guarantee prosperity- that is hard to come by these days for anybody- but it will provide dignity and self-respect, which a jet ski can’t.

And others want to Continue Reading →

On shits and fans

Neoreaction is neo because it is new. There has always been a reactionary movement, descendants of De Maistre fiercely opposed to leftism, or modernity in general, but they were based on a defense of the past. In a way, old reactionaries behave in a sort of territorial way. If the past is a foreign country, reactionaries are patriots of that country. The further the culture changes, the more your country becomes a foreign one, and you naturally want to fight the invasion. So old reaction was (is) a sort of tribalism that cut across space-time.

Neoreaction is distinct because it has modern science behind it. It has HBD, which tells us that people are physically and irrevocably different, ergo societies must also be different. It naturally follows that any society that bases itself in denying reality will collapse. But of course neoreaction also feeds on cognitive science, which tells us that peoples brains are wired with dozens of cognitive biases with cloud our thinking. Perhaps the most famous one is confirmation bias, which says that people tend to find more likely to happen the things they want to happen.

Confirmation bias is so pervasive that you can find most people do it every single day, and those on the Dark Enlightenment Community (H/T to Handle) are no stranger to it. In politics, confirmation bias mostly presents itself as prophesies of doom blamed on your enemy. Doom that must surely happen during your lifetime; it's no fun if you aren't there to...

The rightist singularity

Statistics is what you use when you don't know what's really going on, so you're reduced to see patterns in data. It is useful, but it's not an ideal situation. Ideally you want to know exactly what mechanism is producing that data.

But of course data is in many cases infinitely divisible, and you can always go more micro in searching for causes. You want to know why society is changing so you do sociology, then you want to know the mental processes of the individuals so you do psychology, then you want to know what the neurons are doing so you do neuroscience, then you want to know what the neurons are all about so you do biochemistry, then you want to know how electrons move so you do physics, then you go into quantum physics, and then you realize that you still don't understand why engineer schools have so few women. Must be evil spirits.

To avoid the reduction treadmill humans use labels, or what we call names. Most names are quite accurate, some cause more problems than what they tried to fix. Say the political labels, 'left' and 'right'. We all know that they were just a convenient shorthand for the physical location of the different factions on the France National Assembly in 1789. The naming was very arbitrary, and nobody before the time had thought of studying politics through such a simplistic framework, yet it has become one of the most productive frameworks in the history of mankind. As it happens, in almost all human polities, before and after 1...

Language is a badge of tribal membership

I dig linguistics, and I dig HBD, so how do you join them both? I've had this idea for some time now, but I hadn't written about it lest some guy stole it and wrote a book before I did. 

It seems I'll have to give up on that, as science is fast catching up with my awesome blog (see, I just pulled a Half Sigma here). Razib Khan quotes a recent study in Northern Australia that documents how some Abo kids came up with a new language just for the kicks. It fast became cool, and now the young kids of the tribe have a different language from their elders.  As it looks it's a fully new language, with some grammar changes too, not just a bunch of jargon to fool their parents so they can avoid being eaten. A smart guy in Razib's Twitter also linked to an experimental study where they put people to compete in a game, and prompted to develop their own secret speech, which they did.

When you ask a layman they'll tell you that languages are to communicate. But that's patently false, if we wanted to optimize communication we'd all speak the same language. And languages wouldn't change over time. What the common theory is lacking is just a simple modifier. Languages are to communicate w...

Divide and poke in the eye

Most of the discussions in the reactosphere are very abstract. Knowledge of HBD and a certain command of history does that to you. What is human nature? How does it translate to politics? If there are many human natures, how do they translate into politics? While the mainstream goes on 2300 years after Aristotle, still discussing particular constitutions, laws or policies, we go beyond all that and see what is moving the general patterns that create the constitutions, laws and policies.

This gives us greater understanding of the big picture, but little influence in the actual political process. After all, all politics are local, and all change is incremental. We might be right that democracy per se is a dysfunctional system, but you can't just go around saying that we must scrap democracy, as it doesn't work because of the inbreeding or the Dunbar number.

Hereditarianism does explain a lot, and is the single most predictive theory on human (or simply biological) matters, but the fact remains that it doesn't explain everything. The upper bound of IQ heritability is 0.8, people of the same genetic stock do behave quite differently depending on the culture they were raised on. Macro speaking, Taiwan and China, North and South Korea. Micro, you have siblings who develop quite different personalities. Today we are starting to understand that whatever is left after accounting for heredity, is less a function of parenting or schooling than peer pressure and milieu ...

Monarchy

After refusing for years, I finally yielded to a friends's insistence that I watch Game of Thrones. And it's actually pretty good. Quite oversexed, you might say, but not comically so, as the infamous Rome series, which had Augustus fucking his elder sister, out of the blue. I have no trouble believing that a quarter or so of the medieval elite were oversexed whoremongers. We do have an unrealistic image of the Middle Ages as a time of piety and boredom and sheer peasant stagnation. Then again it does nag me to read that the author of the series, George R. R. Martin is an Obama supporter, and a Carter worshiper. Of all people. I wonder what Jimmy Carter would think if he watched the series, with all those naked women and guts spilling out of soldiers.

The fun point of the series is to see how power is grabbed, lost, used and fought about. It's mostly about petty disputes, personal dislikes and other middle-schoolish personal relations. Revenge as the ultimate human emotion. And if you know something about how Feudalism worked, it all does ring a bell somehow. You read in a book how this lord had this lover, or killed this man or whatever, and well that's just something you read. Seeing it on a movie though, and quite vividly, gives another impression. Which makes it all so much real. I've said before I am a great believer in the dictum that all politics are local. But local not as in town, but as in house. Or castle, or palace, or whatever it is. Politics is about...

Shibboleth Threat

Evo-psych has quite a bad reputation, as it has produced a lot of just-so stories with little in the way of falsifiability. Well that might be true, but so what? Evolutionary psychology might not be amenable to the bureaucratic scientific procedures set by modern academia, but that doesn't mean it has no value. It has produced a lot of very reasonable theories on phenomena that modern science has no clue about and mostly refuses to study. I don't know how many times I've explained to people around me the theory that women like shopping because they were in charge of fruit gathering in the ancestral environment, and a shopping mall unconsciously reminds them of a lush forest full of fruit, which back then must have been an orgasmic experience. Same with men being good at directions (gotta find your way around when hunting), and women being good at remembering where stuff is around the house. Compared to the common narrative these days, that every talent that follows a population pattern is the work of (evil) social conditioning, evo-psych makes for way better stories.

And I'd like to share a just-so evo-pysho story I just came up with. Watching Game of Thrones the other day, there is this tension filled clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5a_7BCqejE

The downtrodden defenseless man, asking for help, but not knowing if the strangers would be willing to. If they had been enemies, he would have died a painful death. That must've been scary.

It sort ...

Ought / is

T. Greer linked to this (long) article by Adam Elkus about the relation between academia and politics. Academia and politics are quite different institutions, made up by very different people with often antagonistic tempers. But they also have a lot in common, both claiming to have authority, and in most states they have tend to be integrated into the power structure. They make two of the three big pillars of the Cathedral.

Or so we tend to think of them, as a common tenet of neoreaction takes elite academics as perhaps the shadow power behind the Cathedral. Academics control the education system, and thus the brainwashing of common people. And they are also the "experts" that every media organ or politician cites when he wants to make a point. It would seem that academics are the ones setting the (evil) agenda of the Cathedral. Somebody on twitter recently asked if journal editors aren't the most powerful people in the world, given that they decide what gets published in science journals, i.e. they get to decide what is officially true.

Yet when you think about it, it doesn't make much sense. For one there are way too many academics, and being numerous is not a characteristic of a powerful class. Also modern academics are often compared with medieval priests, which also were in charge of sett...

Pork and hamsters

Steve Sailer has been posting on the NYC universal pre-K, which is the stereotypical stupid progressive policy, which everybody knows it doesn't make any real sense. But progressives arguments are those of faith, faith who nobody (besides us) dares contradict, lest the demons of HBD appear and Hitler returns to Earth to execute the Gay Holocaust. Or something.

I could go on repeating all the arguments against spending public resources on trying to make stupid toddlers stop being stupid, but Sailer has done that very well already. Of course the question remains, are NYC public officials really that stupid? Or so devote to their progressive faith? Well perhaps they are but that can't be the whole story. Religion is a powerful force in human society, but a skeptical attitude towards the real power of religion in peoples motives has always done me good. A commenter in Sailer's post expresses my attitude very nicely:

Universal Pre-K is nothing but a pork project. They use it to create jobs and contracts to reward their friends. The politicians who argue that universal Pre-K will bring about racial equality do not care in the least if that claim is true.

The stuff about racial equality is equivalent to the low-pitched grunting noises that gorillas make when they don't want other gorillas messing with their food.

"Don't mess with my pork or I'll call you a racist an...

Noli me tangere entryists

Peter Turchin recently published his research, which says that the trigger for civilization wasn't a certain geographical situation, or a critical mass of food or other resources. No. Spontaneous civilization didn't happen. War happened, masses of horse riding bandits happened, and settled farmers had to pull their shit together to confront them. Hence, civilization. It is through outsider attacks that people learn to coalesce and organize.

If you need more close evidence, look at the state of neoreaction these days. For some reason the mainstream internet media has noticed that there are evil reactionaries on the internet, and suddenly progressives over the internet are finding the need to proclaim their unconditional condemnation of Emmanuel Goldstein. Everybody was getting agitated, and just when the hate wave was subsiding, the follow-up came: entryism.

So the progs are out to infiltrate the Dark Enlightenment, to make Moldbug into an antiracist antisexist saint, whose points were all about improving governance in order to benefit women and minorities. Oh well, Moldbug was never very focused on HBD or  sex realism, although I do remember him linking to Roissy. And hey he's half-Jewish, so if Polansky can be forgiven for ass-raping a 13 year old, Moldbug can s...

Groupthink vs whips

I started my blogging career with what I still consider one of my best posts, where I said that human history is very easily explained if you take into account the fact that (most)  humans are just plain dumb. Learning is hard, really hard. And it should, animals don't learn if they can avoid to. It takes domestication and industrial amounts of drilling to make an animal learn some behavior. It follows that it takes domestication and quite large amounts of drilling to make people learn some behavior.

While this sinking ship called neoreaction is, if only etymologically, an anti-modernist, declinist crowd, the very fact that I'm here writing a blog instead of just copying and pasting quotes from old books, means I regard myself as having some new insight that wasn't available to my forebearers. As I said earlier, cognitive science is full of true and powerful insights on how people think and why they do so. We now know not only of cognitive "biases", often constructed as surmountable errors, but the very architecture of cognition. Reading through Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind should be a good replacement for years and years of degrees on ethics and moral philosophy, which I now visualize as an industrial sweatshop of rationalization hamsters run by an evil medieval bishop.

While I very much admire the aesthetic sense of traditional societies, the fact is pre-mode...

Shinto

I was typing this as an answer to Jim's comment, but I might as well make it a post and be done with it. I don't really have much time to spend hours reading on religion in ancient Japan, interesting as it is. So I'll just start typing and see what comes out of it.

The gist of the issue is that Shinto was usual local animism, and the introduction of Buddhism with their holy ascetic monks and sutras and shit basically killed Shinto and replaced it for all purposes. Shinto animism was just your typical local spirit worship, and some clan god worship. Everybody had their dear gods/spirits who they prayed to or appeased, and that was it. The priests or wizards usually came from the same family of retainers of the local lord.

Then in the 6th century the imperial family's relatives in the Korean peninsula bring Buddhism, saying it's The Truth, and it's awesome. The Yamato court agrees, and Buddhism starts to spread like wildfire, together with their huge fancy temples, weird sutras in classical chinese, and ascetic monks.

Apparently the court start building temples next to any Shinto shrine of significance. I imagine it was a power coup to make the local clans understand who was boss now. Sure, you can pray to your clan god; but see this amazing temple just next to it! So much bigger and colorful. Eventually people got the message.

Continue Reading →

Babies for whom?

This post is a good example of what I wrote at the start of the year. I got an interesting idea that would require a lot of research to actually flesh out properly, but I don't have the time to acquire that kind of expertise right now. So I don't write the post, bury the idea, forget about it, and the world loses a half-assed good idea.

But, you dear readers told me that you can't get enough of half-assed good ideas, so here it goes. All this adds to what I commented here at Land's.

Yes, yes, people are not having babies. People in developed countries, that is. We don't know why exactly, and everybody has its pet theory, but what we do have is a lot of data which we can run correlations with.

Low fertility is most severe in developed countries, but it doesn't correlate cleanly with development. Moldova is as poor as any country in Africa, and it has low fertility. Spain is poorer than Sweden yet has lower fertility. Saudi Arabia is richer than Nepal yet has higher fertility.

One of the best correlations out there is female education, but again that doesn't map neatly. Swedish or American women go to grad school in much higher rates than Japanese women, yet they have higher fertility.

The obvious answer to this melange of messy correlations is that there's no one big factor. It's like the genetics of height or IQ; hundreds of small factors that add-up, and possibly affect each other in qui...

Explaining the Cultural Revolution: signalling arms races as bad fiat currency

This is going to be a long post.

The idea of Chinese people worshipping wax mangoes because some Pakistani minister didn't have time to have a proper gift made for his visit to China is indeed quite startling. Of course some people will instantly run into the old stereotype of those perfid Orientals slaves, who have been forever worshipping their tyrants as Gods on Earth. But that's bullshit. The Chinese have always been a fairly unruly bunch, and the Emperor was never worshipped as a God, unlike the Roman Emperors of our humanistic West.

And the Chinese aren't stupid either, they've always been one of the major civilizations on Earth, often world leader in wealth, scholarship and technology. They have the longest unbroken literary tradition; not having undergone a dark age, it's amazing how many ancient books are still extant in China.

So why did this intelligent, civilized people fall so low as to worship a rotten Pakistani mango? Politics, that's why. They are humans and so are vulnerable to politics. And modern politics can get very, very ugly.

I'll quote liberally from the original post by Marquez:

The idea of a “cult of personality” is in some ways a peculiarly modern one. Practices of “leader worship” were of course not unknown in the past; one might almost say that they were basical...

Leftism is just an easy excuse

To expand on the Maoism post. Marquez came up with the flattery inflation theory to explain how cults of personality evolve in mechanistic terms. But the same idea can be used to explain not only Red Queen spirals of sycophancy. Any ideological innovation, both in states and inside small cults or organizations, behaves under the same principles.

Any political system, any organization, even the smallest one, is going to have people in power, and people out of power who want to be in power. Or at least marginally increase their level of power.

Which means you need to challenge those who are in power. The powerful are powerful because they have organized themselves into a power coalition, bound by ties of loyalty. A solid power block where all members are strongly loyal is, for all purposes, indestructible. So the only way to challenge the powerful is to try to incite disloyalty among its members.

More likely than not, some members of the ruling coalition are not very loyal. They'd rather defect. But they can't backstab the coalition just like that. You don't do that; it looks bad. Your comrades will go against you. There are costs to defection.

Unless you're not the only defector. You need a way to signal your intention to defect, so that other disloyal fucks such as yourself (and they're bound to be others) can join up, thus reducing the likely costs of defection. The way to signal your intention to defect is to come up with a good excuse. A good ...

Religion is absurd. But we need it anyway.

Watch this.

https://dailymotion.com/video/x2j2jud_atran2

This comes from this video, but I took the time to edit out all other speakers; it really boggles the mind why Atran even agreed to share the panel with that borderline retarded drivel. But I must also thank that he had the patience to listen to that drivel so that we can listen to his superior insight.

I'll transcribe most of it here for those who can't watch the video; but do watch it when you can.

 

I think truth and reason have always been slaves to the passions (…) truth is not very much a part of how humans deal with things except at a very mundane level; we have to know what’s true when we cross the street; but the quest for truth is subject to persuasion and victory in argument. And I think what’s really has motivated human beings out of the caves, what’s driven their civilization forward, what drives political movements,  as well as religions, are transcendental beliefs, that go beyond material self-interests of people or even evolutionary concerns like fitness.

Humans had had our present bodies for 200,000 years, but were still stuck in Africa; while our more primitive cousins such as homo herectus or Neanderthals are roaming around the planet, homo sapiens are down to 2,000...

The purpose of absurdity

Ron Unz had an interesting comment at Sailer's blog a while ago:

Actually, another suspicion I’ve often had is that much of that massively-promoted total nonsense like transexualism and Gay Marriage is meant to flush out and expose potential troublemakers potentially lurking within ranks of the elite before they can rise high enough to become a serious problem. In support of this hypothesis, the leading purge victims are usually found within the fields of popular culture, entertainment, celebrity, and the media, which constitute a crucial chokepoint in controlling our society. It’s obviously much easier and safer to detect and purge a future Mel Gibson while he’s just a rising young actor than after he’s spent a dozen years as Hollywood’s #1 star.

the reason the King walks down the street naked in his imaginary suit is to draw out and catch those people unwilling to say they see what isn’t there.

In an actual historical example, the Emperor Caligula appointed his favorite horse to the highest official government position in the Roman State. How better to break the spirit of potentially disloyal Senators and military commanders, and determine which of them might have independent thoughts.

Well put. But personally what struck me is that he had to come up with this by his own. A very intelligent man in his 50s had to personally realize this. When...

The cause of absurdity

My previous post has been understandably interpreted as an endorsement of the Dalrymple (echoed by Unz) theory that absurd ideas are made up on purpose to humiliate people and check who is really loyal to the power holders.

I should clarify that my point was not an endorsement, just an observation that absurdity as power-trip is a very ancient trick. The Chinese noticed 2200 years ago. I'm sure it's happened a lot, in all countries on earth. Even in middle sized organizations it happens to a lesser degree.

But Western culture never noticed. Andersen got close, but didn't get the actual point. Dalrymple, and now Unz, did notice by themselves, but it's still not a common observation. The fact is Western culture has its own conception of power, a very naive construct that prevents us from noticing how things actually work. We seem to think people have ideas, and act because they believe those ideas, and power just comes out of the strength of those ideas. Call it faith in Christ, or Protestantism, or liberalism. Our conception of history is the history of ideas. Never we stop to think who comes up with this ideas, how they change, why some spread and others don't.

Dalrymple and Unz seem to think that absurdities such as Communism or WWT are made up on purpose by a cabal of evil conspirators in order to show who's boss, and check who's on board with the program. Vladimir in last post had this to say:

While I agree that such stories provid...

Emotion

One of the things that strike when reading Chinese history is how everybody cries a lot. Not women; prime ministers, army generals, high officials are crying all the time. This is often used in historical shows to add dramatic flare.

[embed]https://youtu.be/MzqlOGuZQGs?t=24m58s[/embed]

When you ask people why is everybody crying, the answer tends to be "oh, they got emotional". Emotion. What does that mean? It always struck me how this outbursts of emotion always happen when it's convenient. See how all those Mandarins cry in front of the Emperor. Well that's all they can do to express their will if the Emperor isn't buying their arguments.

Think of a typical interaction. Emperor wants X, Mandarin doesn't want X for whatever reason. Maybe he thinks it's insane, and will bring disorder; or he think it will affect him personally and he doesn't like that.

So:

Emperor: I want X.

Mandarin: X is not a wise idea your majesty.

E: Shut up, I want X.

M: But your majesty, Confucius said blablablablanonXblablabla

E: Fuck that, I want X.

M: I brought 20 famous ministers to say that X is bad.

E: OK I'm getting pissed now, X or else.

What do you do now? Well you can accept defeat. Or you can cry. Fall to the ground and cry your eyes out.

M: Your majesty!! For the sake of the Sages of old, of the rules of your ancestors!! Please!!!

Now the point of crying, or "emotion" in general, is that it's an involu...

Male culture

So I'm reading the Water Margin (Shui Hu Zhuan 水滸傳). Written in the 15th century, it's the most famous vernacular novel in Chinese history, together with the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Well, I'm not actually reading it (it's long). I'm watching the 2011 TV show. Which is long too, but very neat. The Water Margin is the story of 108 men. Good men, strong, noble, virile men who are wrongly abused by the governmenet, and thus rescind their loyalty to the state, and run to the hills to form bands of bandits to fight for their manly honor. The story is based on the Song Dynasty, particularly the reign of the infamous Huizong (1082-1135), who was so fucking awful he deserves a post for himself. The novel is fiction, often very, very wild fiction; but it is loosely based in actual events on the era. There's an earlier novel about evil bandits in the mountains doing evil things. The Water Margin tripled the characters, and made them into good, noble men. It also sold like crazy, becoming the second most famous novel in the world, while it's more truthful predecessor was forgotten for 900 years.

The Song Dynasty gets a lot of good publicity for being wealthy, commercial and urbane. Indeed the Chinese economy boomed like it never would until well into the 19th century. The Song state also solved the problem of military warlords running petty kingdoms in their domains; the exam system became the only path into officialdom, and the strengt...

The Social Module

It's common now among scientists of the brain to propose that the brain is made out of separate modules, which receive input, process it, and produce an output, often in the form of behavior. If you've read any Haidt or Pinker you know what I'm talking about.

Letting aside the question of whether the brain actually works like that, even if we understand the idea of "module" as metaphorical, it does seem to be a productive framework.

Imagine that human beings all have a number floating above their heads. Like the HP floats above a character on a RPG or a strategy videogame. Let's say it's a three-figure number. That's your Status Points. It's more of an ordinal system; 001 means you're awesome, 999 means you're some omega piece of shit.

Now, we can't actually see that number (maybe we could in the lost ancient Golden Age of Magic); but we have a pretty good feeling for it. For all purposes a big chunk of a brain is dedicated to perceiving this number in oneself and in others. Some people are better, some are worse, there's a bell curve of SP perception. But all humans are pretty good at that.

The number isn't quite fixed. It hovers around a certain range, depending on the social circle you are at on a given moment. We all know people who are alpha at work and beta at home, people who are bullied at school but high status with a different group of friends. The SP number hovering around your head changes in these circumstances, and everybody else is...

The Relentless Pursuit of Advantage

Let's see if I can expand SP theory.

Early October is the anniversary of the foundation of the People's Republic of China, and the people there get a one week vacation. As a result a billion people start moving in one direction or the other. Tourist spots in China become hell on earth, the closest thing to an ant colony. Those who can afford it choose to travel abroad, where there's bound to be less people. The yen being quite cheap these days, Japan is one of the top destinations for Chinese tourism.

You gotta give it to them, that the Japanese bureaucracy can really pull stuff off when it puts itself to work. 5 years ago I started to hear how one of the "growth strategies" of Japan was to be tourism, and the Japanese government was starting to move in order to achieve that. I thought it was madness; have they looked at a map? Japan is far away. There's not that much to see to be honest, most old cities having been burnt by Curtis LeMay, and replaced with quite uninspiring jungles of concrete. Japanese hotels are also old, small and expensive. And nobody speaks foreign languages. It can't work.

Well, 5 years later Japan has more than doubled the number of visiting tourists. From 8 to what might well reach 20 million this year. That has a lot to do with Chinese tourists. The yen being quite cheap right now, Chinese tourists find Japan to be quite cheap. It's also quite close. So a zillion Chinese came to Japa...

Facts are useless

My post on the Chinese Cultural Revolution and Mao's mangoes still gets a lot of traffic, which is nice. I do feel like the title wasn't very elegant, but I wanted to make the point about ideology as "currency". Unfortunately it didn't get through. Let's see if I can explain myself better.

An inspiration for that metaphor was a post by Nick Szabo (who apparently isn't the inventor of Bitcoin. I hope at least he did become an early adopter and is now filthy rich), about the origins of currency. He talks about how humans have been collecting and making completely useless stuff such as shells or beads since way before agriculture. Money often was not only useless, it was completely harmful, like the Chinese toy swords and plows. Metal is useful. You make weapons and farming tools with them. You don't fucking waste precious copper in making toy knives. But they did. Of course they did.

Szabo's point is that the point of money is to be a cognitive aid for remembering favors. I did something for you, if I am not to be a sucker I'll want to get something back from you eventually. So grab me that shiny shell you use as a wristband, so I can remember. David Graeber made a similar point on his famous book about Debt, which is pretty good if you get the fact that Graeber is a lame c...

A biological case against democracy

This one's not about IQ. Listen up.

All human traits are normally distributed, with few people on each extreme. I don't know to what degree character is inherited, but it sure as hell is innate.

A human trait, like any other, is the thirst for power. Call it sociopathy to get a better image. It's probably not the same thing, but think of the evil striver who lies, fools, scams and does any manner of evil in order to climb the ladder of power and get to lord over others and enjoy riches gained through the exploitation of the people.

Think of Clinton, say. Any of them will do. These guys have an edge. They're driven. They really really want power. And money. Lots of money. Apparently the Clinton's are worth $100 million. Why do they want so much money? Isn't $10 million enough? 20? No, they want more. That's what they do, they seek power, money, and everything that is nice, they seek it in infinite amounts. Why does Hillary want to be president? What for? The satisfaction of power. That's who she is.

But she isn't the only one. There's lots of people like her, in any country, in any institution. Jerry Pournelle had the Iron Law of Bureaucracy: every organization will always end up being led by people devoted to the benefit of the organization, not to doing whatever purpose the organization originally had. Which is another way of saying that any organization will eventually be led by people who only think of benefitting the people who lead the organ...

Foragers and Farmers

I found an interesting tweet by a Japanese academic. Robin Hanson might enjoy it.

https://twitter.com/tarareba722/status/730612364974772224

Let me translate: History shows that when humans moved from foraging into farming, this allowed for people who did not need to engage in hunting (bureaucrats, scholars, warriors, etc.), which vastly expanded the range of human activity.

Nowadays we force professionals to do sales, to participate in long meetings, to type their own reports and other paperwork, which is the same as forcing everybody to engage in hunting. We are going backwards.

The Spectre of Nationalism

After some lazy Youtube pastes, I guess it's time to write something interesting about Brexit. You'll have to forgive my delay as I was too busy getting drunk in celebration. Or in despair. I don't know.

The ghastly forces of nationalism are sweeping now across Europe, liberals say. "Racism is out of the bottle", they say. The European project, the liberal world order is in danger, they say. Oh yes, yes it is. And they are right to be frightened.

Perhaps people out of Europe don't know, but in Europe, at least in academic circles, the EU is talked about as an almost godly institution. The most successful piece of institutional engineering in human history. A professor of mine had almost tears in his eyes when he talked how the EU "went against entropy", fighting all odds in integrating all European states into a superior, sacred institution of peace and prosperity. And then some Nigel Farage with goofy shoes comes and takes 60 million Britons out.

Naturally all the bien-pensant are horrified. Truly, really horrified, horrified as if a zombie just showed up at your window. The EU in Europe is worshipped in a way probably similar to how the early Catholic Church was worshipped in the early Middle Ages. It must have looked like a miracle that while myriad Goths and other barbarians completely destroyed the Western Roman Empire, the Church not only survived, but thrived with a very sophisticated organization across the whole of Europe, North Africa and the...

Social Constructs

Razib Khan recently wrote a good post about how retarded the whole tirade on "social constructs" can be. Gender is a social construct! Sports should be integrated! Come on. As a scientist it's natural he gets pissed at the whole thing.

I commented there a while ago about how, you know, leftists are actually right. Race is a social construct. Gender is a social construct. They got that exactly right. It's a rather profound point, and I've been thinking on exposing my argument a bit better. It's a linguistic argument, but that's what I do.

Let's put it more precisely. Race is, obviously, not a social construct. But "race" is a social construct. As "gender" is a social construct. The same way "car", or "moon", or "democratic republic" is a social construct. Words are social constructs. That's how language works. Word meanings are social conventions. There's nothing else to it. If you raise a child in a community where the word "car" is used to refer to a certain subset of vehicles, then that's what a "car" is. If you raise a child in a community where "fascists" is used to mean a certain subset of low-status people, that's "fascists" are.

Of course there's a lot of details about how children adopt the usage of words. Sure, language, as so much else, is a social convention. Most human behavior, indeed the behavior of most social animals is conventional. People from diffe...

Nobody rules alone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs

So this video has been doing the rounds. You should watch it. It’s very well done. And the book it refers to, The Dictator’s Handbook, is also a great book. I read it a while ago. Hell, I should have done a book review. It’s a really good book. It’s analysis of government in general, and how dictatorships work, is brilliant.

Alas, the book flounders when it talks about democracy. Which it basically posits as the Great Solution, the final End of History where everyone is happy because the selectorate is big and blablabla. Well of course you’d expect a book by an American academic to say that democracy is awesome and magical and sacred. How else would he have a job? But it’s quite a shame, as the book is really good. And he could have analyzed democracy quite well using the very same theory he created. He just needed to get his hands a bit dirty. Talk about ruling classes, political factions, networks of connections, pork barrel and all that stuff. But of course he didn’t. He couldn’t. He has an academic job and he’d rather keep it.

Well I don’t have an academic job, so I’ll do it myself. And I have a blog somewhat focused on East Asia, so let me refer to this piece of recent news. The finding that the President of South Korea, Ms. Park Gyun-Hye (pronounced Pak Kune), Continue Reading →

Epistocracy and Moral Intellectualism

Ever since it became obvious that Trump had a chance of winning, the junior minions of the Cathedral, those mediocre status-seekers waiting for breaks on the status hierarchy so they could scavenge some point for themselves, started to come up with some long-winded arguments against democracy. Which was a lot of fun to watch.

Less fun to watch was the particular argument that they came up with. We need "epistocracy". The rule of those who know. That's mean to exclude those Trump voters. Those are ignorant. Shouldn't vote. Only those who know, those who are not ignorant, should vote. Hence epistocracy.

This is a fairly old idea, obviously, and it reflects a very old and basic misunderstanding that the Western philosophical tradition has about knowledge. We tend to think that knowing more stuff makes you a good person. Socrates used to say that evil people were just ignorant of the good. If we only could teach them, have them understand, they will quickly and resolutely change their evil ways.

But that's bogus. Knowing a lot doesn't mean shit. If you can even measure that properly. The question is what you do with your knowledge. Of course ceteris paribus it's better to know stuff than to be ignorant. But we're talking politics here. The wise guy isn't necessarily the good one. Evil is not about ignorance, evil is about evil. Lack of empathy, selfishness, impulse control, whatever. Evil is a personality trait, most likely inborn or socialized in early in...

Self-Deceptive Status Filters

People call me cynical because I say ideology is crap. It's just stuff people say to look good to their peers. Signaling, that is. And I support this claim by pointing out that people just don't know shit. David Hume proved that. We don't even "know" the laws of nature with any certainty. Yes, we're used to some things happening after certain things. There's chains of events that strongly hint at causality. But you can never know for sure.

Of course that kind of fuzzy knowledge is good enough for human purposes; people do get by in their lives, do things expecting consequences to occur, and they almost invariably do. But the strength of that knowledge depends on the frequency of their repetition. So people only really know what they're very familiar with. Their job, generally. This maps to Conquest's Second Law: everybody is conservative about what they know best. People are not conservative (i.e. they are leftist) on the things they don't know. Why would they be? They don't know much about it. And yet they have an opinion about it. They talk about it. Why would you talk about something you don't know about? Signaling, of course.

Signaling doesn't exactly equate leftism, but it kinda does. Signaling is about gaining status. That's why you signal, that's what living in society is about. If you were a tiger you'd be in the jungle eating animals and looking for females to rape; as it happens humans are social primates, and we need to get along with other humans...

Gnon Theology

I propose a short ritual for when reactionaries meet each other. You go to a church, or some nice old building. Emphasis on old, more than nice. You get there, and the master says the following string, which the apprentice is to repeat.

There is no God but Gnon. Kek is his avatar. And Jordan Peterson is a pretty good prophet.

Once that is done, the master shows a red pill to the apprentice, hands it to him. And the apprentice swallows it. No. He bites it. Munchs it. He chews it. It's hard. It's bitter. It's really hard to chew really. But at the very end it leaves an awesome aftertaste. Then Dark Enlightenment occurs.

Listen to this short clip (starts at 1:04:50), up to the end.

https://youtu.be/RcmWssTLFv0?t=1h4m57s

 

The Dark Enlightenment is based in evolution. This admits no discussion. Criticism of modernity on non-evolutionary grounds is just plain old reaction. Religious traditionalism. That's a thing. It's not my thing, but it's out there, even here on my comments, most often by a kinda annoying Jew. All in all it's a good thing that it's out there, annoying as it is. But there's a reason why reaction is a thing and neoreaction is another thing. Arnold Kling called Moldbug "neoreactionary" because he saw he wasn't just some plain old Crown Church and Country guy. Moldbug mentioned (not very heavily) HBD and that's about evolution. But there's more about evolutionary critiques of modernity than mentioning the biol...

What is True?

 

So let me follow up on my last post on Sam Harris vs. Jordan Peterson, and what constitutes a solid epistemology. The podcast itself is quite painful to listen to, and Jordan Peterson doesn´t do much of an argument there. I think the guy doesn't do debates well. He's best when you let him speak for hours. Just give him a mike and let him ramble. He'll get somewhere. You'll notice he doesn't use notes when he speaks, he improvises all the time.

That's impressive, but there's a reason why most good intellectual output, like for example this blog, is done on writing. We're kinda losing that, now with the popularity of podcasts and Youtube videos with men speaking in pseudoprofound voice tones. You can get away with being incoherent and contradicting yourself in speech if you push the appropriate emotional buttons frequently enough. But in writing you have to make logical sense, else people will stop reading. The Greeks realized that pretty soon; they'd go in the Agora and make some sophist speech, and they'd get famous, because even if people don't like what you're saying, they can't help hearing you blabber, and odds are you'll say some good line sooner or later, and people can't help remembering that one line that made sense.

Anyway, the reason I like Jordan Peterson is, besides because he has balls of steel and refuses to bow down to the latest bout of the leftist singularity, where a law has been passed in Ontario saying that self-styled transe...

Behaviorism in Context

Let me explain what I mean when I call myself a Behaviorist. No, it's not about blank slatism, or being able to completely manipulate anyone at will. It's about not taking what people say at face value.

See this tweet:

https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/827054957329260544

No, no. Just, no. Please, somebody just close all the psychology faculties. Or close the whole universities while they're at it. But this is completely wrong. Nonsensical, really. "People believe that..." doesn't make sense. Look at this closely. It assumes that people have stuff inside their heads ("ideas") and that that stuff inside their heads has some causative effect in how they behave. This is an utterly wrong way of thinking about this.

I mean, you don't know what's going on inside people's heads. You just don't. Look at this study in particular. They ask people about their own eating behavior and that of others. The answer to that question is not the "ideas" in the people's heads. I mean, just look at the setting closely. You have:

1. Some college students

Being asked some question by:

2. A professor or grad student

About their own behavior.

And surprise, surprise, they make themselves look good and make others look not so good. Why would they do that? Well... maybe they want to make themselves look good. Because they want to appear high-status because that's what people do.

Imagine this other setting: you are in Berkeley, and leftis...

Find the Symmetry

The liberal media won't shut up about the Alt-Right. They're even talking about Neoreaction. Apparently Trump has read Moldbug. Or at least Bannon has. The counterrevolution is happening. Or so you'd think if you believed the liberal press.

Funny thing is, the dark side of the Internet is a small, tiny little thing. Really. Neoreaction is, what, 1,000 people? Spread around the whole world. 75% in the US, maybe. And the alt-right, which has inherited much of good ol' national-socialism, is what, 20,000 people? I love those guys, I really do. Frog Twitter is hilarious. /pol/ is very funny. But come on. Even Steve Sailer, who has been writing for decades, who is a middle-class, 50+ old, utterly middlebrow guy who writes in very accessible language, who writes about sports! Steve Sailer has 13,000 followers on Twitter. Ezra Klein has 1.6 million. Ezra Klein, that doofus-looking doofus. Even Matthew Yglesias, whose picture is in English phrasebooks to explain the phrase "his face looks like a joke", has 270k followers. The alt-right is beyond small. Trump didn't win because of the alt-right. He won because he got 60 million Fox News watchers to vote for him.

But, the liberal press won't shut up about the alt-right. Why? Why aren't they writing about the actual Trump voters? Because this is not about numbers. This is a war of ideas. And even if ideas can adapt to people, more often than not people adapt to ideas. Ideas are the stuff of humanity. The stuff of socia...

The Economics of Democracy have Stopped Working

Everybody reading this blog may have noticed that I was ecstatic about Trump's election. I was really happy. I went out that night and spent days giggling with a MAGA hat on watching the progressives melt down.

That was of course a tribal feeling. I used to look down on people who behaved like that when their soccer team won. "It's not your team, dumbass, it's just a bunch of overpaid foreigner jocks". But the same way that most middle class men in the West put their identity in sports, I've always put mine in politics, and having Trump, the closest thing in decades to be close to my thinking, win the election to the highest office in the world, was a huge, huge piece of validation. Progressives say that all politics are identity politics. And it's true. Human is a social animal, said Aristotle. And the core of human social behavior is forming identity groups (i.e. tribes) and fight each other. And a guy who appeared to be of my own tribe had won. So of course I was happy.

I was also kinda confused. The core part of neoreaction's theory is that the contemporary political game is rigged so that our tribe just can't win. The game is set up so that the "Cathedral", the power base centered on the US bureaucracy and satellites and it's PR apparatus in the media and universities just control everything. And yet Trump won, with a platform set up by Steve Bannon who is by any accoun...

The Role of Government

So the Role of Government used to be to Establish Order. That's something the Romans and the Chinese could agree on.

The the English parliament stumbled itself into winning the English Civil War. So they decided the role of government was the Protection of Property. Not a bad idea, all things considered.

Now though we know a bit more about how society works. Let's say we become worthy and assume power. What's the role of government now?

Let me propose: to break malignant signaling spirals.

The Role of Government, 2

A few centuries ago people in Europe discovered free trade. The market. They got the state to say: go make money, free of any guilds or regulations.  I won't stop you. Go out there and make money. Compete freely. So people went to make money. Started businesses, factories, mines. In short order we got 2 industrial revolutions, the greatest technological advances in history, and vast, vast, amazing amounts of wealth. Pretty neat.

But. We also found the market isn't perfect. Yeah it produces wealth. A damn lot of it. But leaving people alone to make money also resulted in other outcomes which weren't so desirable. For some people, at least. You see, people compete to make money, and the competition can get ruthless, so people start doing bad stuff. These undesirable outcomes ended up being called "market failures". There's a whole literature about that. Externalities. Monopoly. Sweatshops. There's lots of stuff, it isn't quite clear what is and what isn't a market failure; but the consensus out there is that there are quite a lot. And that the government should use its power to regulate the market in order to prevent and/or fix market failures. Again, it's messy business, as tends to happen with government stuff, but that is how it works today. And it doesn't work that badly. We got clean air and stuff. Which is nice.

So let me do this analogy:

A few centuries ago people in Europe discovered civil rights. Democracy. They got the state to say: g...

What's killing the West

https://twitter.com/hitehranhostel/status/889899796609290241

I wrote a long time ago that what unites the dissident right, the "glue" for lack of a better word, was opposition to feminism. The catholic reactionaries, the Moldbuggian neoreactionaries, the manosphere and all those other guys out there around 2013; we all had little in common. We thought most of the others were crazy or deluded. But we all shared a common idea that women don't belong to political society; and that women having equal or higher status than men was what was breaking the social fabric in the civilized world. It just breaks all incentives to mate and raise children, saps all motivation to pursue excellence and be contribute to society.

Now of course this reactionary sphere was quite small. And since Trump it has been completely overshadowed by the alt-right; if fortunately it hasn't died out. And it hasn't because the alt-right is basically feminist nazism. Essentialist Nationalism? Check. Down-with-the-plutocrats Socialist economics? Check. Gas all the Jews? Check. But hey, Ivanka is our Aryan princess! Laura Southern is so cool and smart! The French Front National is run by a woman. The German AfD is run by a woman. Having women commanding men just shows it to those evil mud Muslims.

You're doing it wrong. Aesthetics is important. It's an underrated motivation for men's actions. Yes, a 20 year old white woman with long hair can be a lovely thing, and it looks so much more wo...

Capitalists and ropes

https://twitter.com/clairlemon/status/902498399634636800

How does this square with accelerationism? The forces of capitalism and the market feeding themselves into a self-catalytic process by which humans and their talents are consumed to form... Genderqueer Maoism?

A lot of people are completely focused in economics, like Marxists, libertarians or accelerationists. And yes, the economy is very important. Marx was an improvement over the religion-centered theories of history which preceded him. And the short-lived race-centered theories were worse. Yes, the economy is hugely important. It's one great pole of human society. How people organize to make stuff and exchange it can explain a great deal of what society is and does.

But there's another one pole. Violence. Or in other words, politics. How people organize to break stuff and kill people. That is also hugely important, and it explains a great deal of what society is and does. And it's always there. Violence is always there. You may not be interested in war, but Trotsky is, so you better be too.

Politics and the economy are obviously related. You need to make weapons before using them. And the other way around: what you are allowed to make and how to exchange it depends on those guys with guns. Yin-yang, folks.

Politics and Economics are bound together. They cannot live separately, as much as they'd like to. Politics can't do as it please, if people won't make stuff for it. The communis...

Language is Culture

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/26/world/asia/singapore-language-hokkien-mandarin.html?mcubz=0

Damn, New York Times link show up automatically like Tweets now. Talk about privilege.

Anyway; you know what Gell-Mann amnesia is. You read the news, and assume what you're reading is, well, worth reading. It's generally accurate. Then you read something on a topic you have some expertise about, and you find that it's worse than false. It's completely inaccurate and misleading. It just shows how the writer has absolutely no clue of what he's talking about. Then you realize: well, it's some journalist who has no expertise at all except in writing jargon, of course he has no clue.

Then you go on reading more news. As my mother says, you gotta talk about something.

So the New York Times ran a story on how dialects are back in Singapore. Because they're, you know, "vibrant". That's not how I would describe Hokkien, but then I did study some Hokkien, instead of taking journalism classes. The story itself is not very remarkable, besides how inept and ignorant it is. I'm tempted to just become a Chinese chauvinist and blame the anti-Chinese animus of the American establishment, now shaming Mandarin Chinese as something to be avoided. Then it would make some sort of sense. But as they say, never blame malice what is likely just stupidity.

I guess it's just me, but I feel there's few things more harmful than bad linguistics. Take a look at the crap the NYT...

Biological Leninism

This is the first of three essays on the topic of Biological Leninism, the organizational principle of the contemporary left. You can find the second part here, and the third part here. I also gave an interview with some more thoughts on the topic which you can read here.

It's 100 years now since the Russian Revolution. The Soviet Union. Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Leninism. It's been 100 years already, but you realize how present the whole thing remains when you look at the press these days. People are still praising or damning the revolution. As if it mattered anymore. As if it were something more than history. As if the left and right of today had remotely anything in common with the left and right of Lenin's day.

I won't praise Lenin, an evil man. But great men are often quite evil. I'm not very interested in Lenin, the man; but I'm very interested in Leninism. Lenin is very dead (if not yet buried, I wonder what Putin is waiting for); but Leninism is quite alive. And the Western press has just realized that China, the second power in the world, in place to become the first in a few years, is a Leninist state. It's taken 5 years of Xi Jinping shouting every day about the Leninist orthodoxy of the Communist Party of China for people to realize. N...

Bioleninism, the first step

This is the second of three essays on the topic of Biological Leninism, the organizational principle of the contemporary left. You can find the first part here, and the third part here. I also gave an interview with some more thoughts on the topic which you can read here.

Some things I said in Twitter yesterday. Man, 280 characters feel *way* better.

https://twitter.com/thespandrell/status/940732305265610752

Bronze Age warfare used to be about great lords going around in their chariots, shooting arrows here and there, then getting on foot and engaging in Single Combat. Early Samurais also did that. They'd go around on their horses, shouting who they were, their house, their pedigree.

But eventually somebody figured out that winning a war is really profitable. So they'd just raise a big army of common people, give them cheap weapons, a cheap shield, drill them into having rock-tight discipline. And they'd win. A disciplined team always wins against the most talented man.

The theory of democracy was that rich people, with the leisure to educate themselves about public policy, and a financial interest in the government of the nation, would run for individual office, represent their constituency, be reelected if they did their job well, replaced if they didn't. But laws are p...

Leninism and Bioleninism

This is the third of three essays on the topic of Biological Leninism, the organizational principle of the contemporary left. You can find the first part here, and the second part here. I also gave an interview with some more thoughts on the topic which you can read here.

Happy New Year everyone. I left a bit of a cliffhanger on my last post, which I intended to resolve in a few days, but I've been pretty busy, not really in the mood to write long form.

I am sorry about that, but do note, this blog is a free service, so I hope you understand it doesn't quite take the priority of my time. Again, there's a Bitcoin address at the sidebar, so if you want me to write more, I'm sure we can arrange something.

2017 has been a quite eventful year. I guess the overall mood was disappointment. Trump didn't get anything done. Doesn't seem like he'll ever get anything done. Europe slowed down the refugee invasion but not by much. And China has realized that AI makes state control so much easier. It's showing the way in censorship and crowd control. All China is doing will be done on the West in a few years, with the aggravating factor that Western states will use Orwellian tools to ...

Mistakes happen for a reason

So the news from last week were how China changed the constitution and abolished term limits in the only thing that had term limits; the presidency. This was followed by the USG propaganda apparatus (AKA the press) going into fits of panic. “We got China wrong”, they say. It took China changing its constitution without American permission for Americans to notice that they got China wrong.

What did they get wrong? China was dirt-poor in 1980. Really, really poor. It would have likely remained quite poor if USG hadn’t decided to open trade relations with China, having them join WTO and all that. The theory, now stated openly, was that economic growth would eventually lead to the formation of a middle class, and that middle class would then agitate for democracy; a democratic China would naturally be a jolly good thing, aligned with USG’s interests (also known as “Western values”).

I don’t quite see how that last line follows. Democratic politics doesn’t correlate with “Western values” well at all. Look at Turkey or Iran. What does correlate with Western values is proximity of US military bases: that correlates pretty damn close. It also happens that proximity of US military bases correlates to some degree with democratic politics. But the causality starts with US tanks, not with democr...

Making Japan Great Again

The blog has been slow lately. Part of that is me being on Twitter, wrecking my long term IQ with short term dopamine hits. But man, those dopamine hits are good. If you’re not following me yet, there’s a link at the sidebar.

So anyway, one of the places I rely most recently for commentary is the online mag The Diplomat. It’s some Cathedral foreign policy rag, apparently with some close relation to the Indian government. Lots of Indians shitting on China there, which is funny. But by and large it’s a pretty standard Cathedral foreign policy rag, so if you want to know what USG, i.e. the compromise between the Redgov empire (the Pentagon and its foreign satellites) and Bluegov empire (the State Department and its foreign satellites) are up to, it’s not a bad resource to follow.

Yesterday I took a look at their feed and they had this tweet, which I found hilarious.

https://twitter.com/Diplomat_APAC/status/988630863347945472

Seeing a picture of a woman academic I didn’t bother to read the whole piece; I assumed it was a piece about the Abe’s government long-discussed plans to nationalize college education. I thought some USG-supported feminist QUANGO had joined the plan and was salivating at the possibilities of extending Bioleninism in Japanese colleges. As it happens there’s a #MeToo assault o...

The Incel Question

A couple of interesting things happened on Twitter last week. One was this:

https://twitter.com/robinhanson/status/990612769182507011

I'm a great fan of Hanson from years ago. Not of his weird sci-fi stuff, that I don't get. But his socio-psychology writing is top-notch. After an incel unleashed his Beta Rage killing several people on a van attack, the very word "incel" has reached the mainstream. And the normies are flabbergasted. What's an "incel"? Involuntary celibate? Like, some people aren't having sex? Well most male journalist aren't having sex either, at least by the soyboy-on-pajamas look of them. But they've been domesticated enough that they aren't unhappy about it. The thing about incels isn't that they can't get laid. It's that they dare to protest about it.

Mr. Hanson as usual didn't get the progressive joke. That's part of his charm, of course, it is his very cluelessness that pushes him to write, and to analyze well this kind of thing. But he's looking at things that the Left doesn't want him to look at; so he got burnt pretty badly. I won't link at Slate as a matter of principle, but Hanson is lucky that his patron is the dilettante, and secret Roissy/Heartiste fan, Tyler Cowen, and not some other normie academic.

Which brings us to this.

https://twitter.com/ekp/status/991817194987114496

As I was saying the problem that normies have with incels is not that they are losers for not getting laid. The problem is that they...

Black Swans of Common Knowledge

As I write this, the news are coming out that the 12 boys trapped in 4km inside a cave in northern Thailand have been rescued, after having trapped in a cold, damp and pitch black cave for 10 long days until they were discovered, and another tense week when nobody really knew how to get them out. The rescue operation has been smooth, amazingly so.

The whole thing has been like a perfect movie. The setting is completely absurd. What were the boys doing there? Apparently the coach (apparently it's a soccer team) had a habit of taking the early teen boys hiking and exploring and doing boy-scouts kind of stuff. Which is fine; but why on earth did he get into 4 damn kilometres into an unexplored cave in the beginning of the raining season? What was he thinking? In some other place or time the coach would have been left to rot inside, and his whole family beat to death. In Japan today he would probably have to kill himself after he and his whole family are completely ostracized. The Japanese are quite amazed at how nice the Thais have been in general.

But again, like in a movie, the setting is not important. The drama afterward is, and this cave-rescue story has had all the necessary elements. The long search, eventually finding the kids. The kids being in good health, because their mysterious coach has taught them meditation (to 13 year old boys? come on). The international teams coming in, all rushing to find a solution. Discussing for several days what to do, ...

The Wars of the Sexes

What do Bronze Age Pervert and Brett Kavanaugh have in common?

https://twitter.com/bronzeagemantis/status/1044336637801615360

Not a lot. One is a nudist bodybuilder, a tropical Nietzsche who wants to burn the cities and reduce women to breeding stock. The other is a pasty Irish Catholic Yale graduate who was pretty much a virgin until his marriage at age 40, and to this day can't help crying like a girl when referring to the women "friends" during his life who gave him the slightest amount of attention.

Imagine these two guys in the same room. Would they get along? I don't think so. And yet here we are, in this strange world where not only BAP, but millions of people in and outside the internet defending this Irish cuck and his all-female team of legal clerks. So what’s going on?

Let’s talk about the Women Question (WQ). The WQ is the realization among a few select men of intelligence that female emancipation has been a complete and utter disaster for civilization. What started rather innocently with giving limited economic rights to women (having a bank account, inheriting property) has spiraled in less than two centuries into a full fledged war of the sexes, making life miserable for hundreds of millions. And most importantly, depressing the birth rate of the most valuable people on earth.<...

Interview on Bioleninism

A few weeks ago, a great artist who runs the blog Parallax Optics was kind enough to ask me for an interview on Bioleninism, to follow up on a great piece he published recently where he interviewed the man responsible for the Twitter account Woke Capital. That interview was great, and I had never done an interview before, so I thought it could be a good idea to try this new format. As it happened, the interview went great, and I very much enjoyed the process.

What follows is the whole text of the interview for those who missed it up at Parallax's. Let me use this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy year end holidays. 2018 has been a quite eventful year. Hopefully it has been good for you personally as well (unlikely if you're invested in the stock market, but nobody's perfect). A lot has been going on in the reactionary sphere, much of it good. Bioleninism has become a widely known concept. Here's for a great 2019.


Bioleninism has widely been acknowledged as perhaps the most important contribution to reacti...

The Intelligence Question

So my last post on Nassim Taleb's mental retardation has triggered quite a lot of laughs and chuckles, and also some criticism. Some people say I was not rigorous enough when writing about Nassim Taleb's books.

To those people I say: hold my beer. Seriously, people, this is a blog. A free blog, which I write under a pseudonym. I seek nothing from my writing, besides it being an avenue to make interesting friends. Which I have, dozens of them, and God bless them. But surely in this little place of mine which I offer free of charge, I'm entitled to shit on people for fun once in a while, especially if they've given good reason, as Taleb did by saying the most retarded thing that anyone can say: that black overpopulation is not a problem because they'll turn out just as smart as the Germanic tribes did in post-Roman Europe.

That' s not just retarded, that's the most harmful and dangerous thing that you can say, period. The most dire danger to Western Civilization, to our lands, to our families, to our friends, to everything we hold dear, is the demographic replacement of Western populations by immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. Taleb is saying that's not a problem! Well, fuck Taleb, fuck his books, his goatee, his accent. Fuck his deadlift, his insecurity about his racial background, and everything about him. And fuck you.

And besides, this kind of pedantic arguments about "oh you didn't spend w...

Tucker Carlson's war against Woke Capital and the future of the Right

Well, well. Everybody predicted that 2019 would be an eventful year, with Trump realizing he must start to build the wall if he wants to be reelected; Cold War 2 against China heating up, and the trade war doing some serious damage to the Chinese economy, and China's slowdown dragging down the world economy in exchange. It's gonna be bad, but it's not gonna be boring.

And just after we welcomed the new year, this video by Fox News' Tucker Carlson came out and has owned the attention of political media for more than a week now. And for good reason: it's good. Well, he’s usually good, but this time he was something more than good. He stated very clearly what the right half of his country wants, what got Trump elected. And he made it very clear to the media, think tanks and the wider propaganda apparatus of the Republican party what they must do to survive. They must go to war with libertarianism. To war with Woke Capital.

The cuckservative media went immediately in panic. Ross Douthat on the NYT, who, besides being the physical incarnation of being a cuck, is a pretty good writer, made a good summary here.

As we all know, the political left, born out of the chaos of the French Revolution, came of age when Karl Marx produced a working formula: cl...

Debt

A few weeks ago I had a short exchange with Nick Land on Twitter on the issue of debt.

https://twitter.com/Outsideness/status/1115053094654451712

Debt is a huge issue, a big part of what's wrong with the fabric of modernity, a big factor of what's driving modern civilization into collapse. And yet it has remained largely underdiscussed in these circles. Moldbug, who to the end still remained something of a libertarian, did have a keen interest in finance, and after the great crisis of 2008 made a series of long posts on financial crises and how to design a properly sound banking system. His "favorite topic" he even called it. Well it's certainly not my favorite topic, nor I'm sure it's Mr. Land's, but it's nonetheless a fascinating issue, and more importantly, a critical one.

Again, my approach to all intellectual issues is to think about its history, and the one thing that strikes one when thinking about debt is how easy-going the ancients were about them. Sovereign bankruptcies were routine, and nothing really happened. But most importantly, debt jubilees were *very* common. Mr. Land...

The reactionary tax code

What are we all doing here? By 'here', I mean the internet, by 'we', I mean the sort of person who very kindly reads this blog of mine regularly and/or writes similar stuff in blogs or Twitter or whatever.

My original goal was to understand what is leftism, why leftist people exist and why our societies are decaying by enabling leftism to dominate all the levers of power. After years of writing, years of reading, and years of talking with like-minded gentlemen over the internet, I think I've succeeded at that task. You can read some examples of it in the sidebar as "best posts".

I've also been meeting some readers in person over the last few years, and they all agree that the "analysis phase" of this little movement we've come to call neoreaction is done. Moldbug started the whole thing, asked the right questions, showed how everything we thought we knew was wrong, then he left to build interesting stuff. Nick Land asked another set of right questions, found out nobody dared answer them, and then he left to write horror fiction. I here have done my little part on finishing what I considered was most important: an analysis of the history and the psychology of leftism.

Well, that's done, we know leftists are sociopathic status maximizers who seek groups of people who, for contingent or increasingly genetic reasons, have low status, and thus a great incentive to disturb the political process and create ...

Class Struggle is underrated

So our good Russian friend Anatoly Karlin had this take on his blog

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/climate-bioleninism/

I paste the complete link because the URL is quite ominous, "climate bioleninism". Imagine that. Karlin there makes a point that ideas that flatter the upper-class, like global warming, become entrenched, while ideas that they find inconvenient, like the genetic load of IQ or HBD more generally get killed or ostracized, no matter how solid the science behind them.

https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1133547242588168195

Seems Karlin thought I wouldn't like talk of Class Struggle, but he's wrong. I'm a great fan of the idea. The perhaps most basic part of my thinking is that whatever exists, exists for a reason. It follows that whatever is popular must have something going on for it. I'm certainly no Marxist, but there is much wisdom in Marxist theory, and I personally think that Class Struggle was a conceptual bomb which was so good and so powerful at the time that it basically destroyed and replaced Christianity all by itself. Well, I exaggerate, but not by much.

Incidentally, and I only learned of this recently, apparently in China, the idea ...

How far is far enough

A while ago I wrote a post on tax law, proposing some ideas that I thought could plausibly make for a better existence if implemented by a sane government.

Reactions to that were mixed. It was, admittedly, an uncharacteristic post. I am not a "policy wonk", I'm usually more interested in deeper questions of history and human psychology as it applies to our political environment. As such, some people said that that sort of piece, proposing some tweaks to tax policy or this or that law is not just beside the point, it's actively harmful. The problems of modern society are, they would have it, not something that can be fixed through the legal political process. And talking as if the state could just tweak this or that law to make our existence better is to be guilty of cuckservatism, if not something worse.

On the same topic, Chris Nahr posted a translation of an article by some right-wing Austrian writing about this problem. "Full Speed into the Void", it's titled. Reminds one of the "Flight 93 election" essay in 2016. Austria has, by modern White standards, a fairly large and successful far right political party, who has managed to get into the government now and then. That article says that vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Po...

Those who show up

Hi everyone, sorry for neglecting the blog. I blame glycine: I'm the descendant of a long line of night-owls, but I'm able to sleep early now for the first time ever. Alas I've always been a late-night writer, and my healthy lifestyle was getting in the way of my blogging. Trade-offs. I should think of something.

Also apologies to my commenters: the comment notification system was broken so I had a backlog of unapproved comments: they're all online now.

---

Years ago, back in the times before Bioleninism and all that, I made a name for myself in the intellectual parts of the right-wing blogosphere (≈neoreaction) in a large part because I was the best at categorizing the different strands of dissident thought. Back then I said there was by and large three different factions, the religious, the nationalist and the technological, what then Nick Land rebranded as the trichotomy of theonomist, ethno-nationalist and techno-commercialist.

That was 2013 though, and a lot has happened since. Most of it bad. Some good things too: Russia grew a spine, annexed Crimea and kicked USG out of Syria. China grew two spines, destroyed their liberal fifth-column, is forcibly assimilating their native muslims and is fast approaching military parity with USG.

And yes, Trump happened. That was fu...

©︎ Spandrell 2011-2020 All rights reserved