Monday, July 31, 2017

When government subsidies are a ruse for an even more discriminatory system


This post is a huge black pill. Unfortunately because of its enormous size it can only be delivered as a rectal suppository. We apologize in advance for any pain and inconvenience you may experience. Please just sit back, brace yourself, and try to relax. It will all be over quickly. Try the mints in our waiting room while you wait for Nurse Ratched to come.

I have said before somewhere that equality is conserved. Today you are going to discover the true meaning and horror of this phrase.



First

The man in the video below lives in a EU state where university education is virtually free. The economic consequences of making secondary education free are to vastly increase the supply of workers in a given field. Anything that increases supply decreases price, all other things being equal.

The result of giving everyone a free college education is to make it financially worthless. That is why, (in the US) it pays more to have a two year degree in some fields than a four year degree in others. It is also why an electrician makes a median pay of $52,720 per year while a philosophy teacher makes $77,420 per year, (if you can get the job). The philosophy major is more over-supplied than the electrician, even though becoming an electrician only requires trade school, while a philosophy teacher needs a PhD. Despite needing about 6 additional years of education, the professor only makes, $24,700 more.

This isn't because "capitalism is fucking you" (unless you consider democracy a subset behavior of capitalism). It is because you are fucking yourself by voting for college subsidies. Education subsidies may appear to have the short-term benefit of lowering college tuition, but they also have the long-term cost of lowering wages. As usual, you oppress yourself. Also, education subsidies don't really lower costs. In the long-rung colleges simply raise their prices, and we are the ones living in the era when the long-run catches up with the present. Education subsidies lowered costs for the boomers, but not for subsequent generations like ours.

My grandfather was a photojournalist. He started in the copy room and worked his way up with no degree. I could never break into that field because journalism school has vastly increased the supply of journalists. Now you need to do years of unpaid internships in order to get into the field. That is impossible unless you are wealthy. Additionally you need connections. You are not going to get those connections unless you rub elbows with the elite. And you are not going to do that unless you are the elite. Modern print news serves the Cathedral because almost everyone who works in it—with the exception of some diversity hires—is a child of the upper-class white liberal strata. This explains their bias, and way they are the class enemies of working class whites.

Journalism is a tawdry profession anyway. When my grandfather was doing it his paper still had a human interest section, and adhered to ethical guidelines. But that was back in the 80's.

Nearly all white collar professions wind up like this in a society with educational oversupply. The more oversupplied the profession, the more it winds up being monopolized by elite control. Your psychologists and journalists wind up being either diversity hires or the trust fund babies of rich whites. The whole white collar world converts into a treadmill for make-work jobs and sinecures.

Frank Lloyd Wright practiced architecture without ever receiving a degree. He never even received a high school diploma. To produce today's crappy modern architecture you need either a B.Arch, (which is five years of hell), or an M. Arch, (which is realistically about seven years of hell). You then need to do unpaid internships, (excluding the non-elite), complete about 3 years of apprenticeship hours, and pass four exams that are equivalent to the state bar for law. It is impossible to realistically work your way through this degree program unless you can function without any sleep.



Second

Governments are built on feedback loops of "this" for "that." Whatever the government gives its supporters is "this." Whatever it receives from its supporters is "that."

"This" can include such things as;

money
protections from competition
elevated social status for parasites
welfare
government jobs
sinecures
make-work jobs
licences that keep out the competition
powerful positions like generalships, and ambassadorships
economic rents

The "that" includes such things as;

votes
ideological support by corporations and advertisers
street violence against the opposition
protests against enemies
political indoctrination by media companies and college professors
financial support by civil service unions and other groups
campaign contributions
lobbying of neutrals
assassination of enemies

Even freedom is a feedback loop. The government gives people economic liberty and receives higher taxable GDP as a result. Welfare states are feedback loops of votes for handouts. Democracies have more of these loops than authoritarian states. The leaders in a democracy are less secure in their positions and the battle is more pitched as a result. Unlike authoritarian states that direct propaganda against the people from above, democracies have a latent propaganda civil war, and rather than controlling the organs of state propaganda, (universities, media, movies), the organs control them.

Increasing the supply of workers suppresses their wages. That's why men like Bill Gates whine about a "shortage" of qualified knowledge workers. (A shortage is just how you say over-paid, and "over-paid" is just how you say "not under-paid.") A shortage is a moral assertion about a fact that is morally neutral.



Third

Nearly all feedback loops have justifying ideologies. Below is a partial list.

Feedback loops look like this;

      "This"          "for that."          justified by _____ ideology

  • Immigration for votes: Justifying ideology: "no human is illegal."
  • Welfare payments for liberal votes. Justifying ideology: blaming whites.
  • Affirmative action jobs for votes: Justifying ideology: blaming whites.
  • Subsidies to increase the employment of professors: Justifying ideology: "educational enrichment."
  • Indoctrination for liberal votes: Justifying ideology: "creating educated individuals."
  • War profits for campaign contributions: Justifying ideology: "democratization."
  • Jobs for civil servants in exchange for votes and contributions: Justifying ideology: "worker protections."
  • Handouts to women for votes: Justifying ideology: "equality, women's rights."
  • College subsidies for votes: Justifying ideology: "right to an education."
  • Wage suppression by subsidizing education in exchange for campaign contributions: Justifying ideology: "right to an education."

Fourth

You should expect the state to indoctrinate you into its ideologies. Indoctrination is part of the feedback loop of many state power systems. The state is not interested in helping you per se. It is interested in the outcome of that help, whether through increased votes, reliable voting blocs, campaign contributions, etc. These ideologies have nothing to do with you, your well-being, prosperity, fairness, "equality," etc. Everything is the outcome of the state's power generation process. It will lie to you in order to gain your compliance with its agenda. Indeed, the whole society will lie to you to gain your compliance. What do college professors always say? Mmm? That education is enriching? That funding is good? Of course it is good; it is good for them.

Everyone only sees their part of the feedback loop. They see that the handout appears to be good for them. That is where their thought on the issue terminates. Rarely do they see the big picture. People, being cognitive misers, do not look at how the entire set of systems works. Their rage, moral sanctimony, and desires to justify their own actions prevent them from seeing everything. Indeed, even the leaders of the system do not all see the entire picture. The state's ideologies serve only itself. State behavior is determined by the internal logic of institutional self-preservation and power, and is totally indifferent to you. If it seems like it makes no sense it is because it doesn't. The only sense it makes is "preserve and expand power." Feedback loops grow because all bureaucrats want to expand funding for their agencies, prominence, power, fame, etc. To be the head of a large powerful agency is better than the head of a small one.

Typically, the people involved in the system genuinely believe in the ideology of the state. The world is not filled with evil men. It is filled with deluded men who act in evil ways while simultaneously believing themselves to be good. It is not a battle between good and evil, but a battle between one evil deluded person and another evil deluded person.



In Summary

First
If you give everyone a degree it becomes financially worthless.
Society then reverts to "connections," rather than "qualifications."
Thus, education oversupply paradoxically works against fairness and meritocracy.
The poor vote for it because they are stupid.
The rich lobby for it because they are smart.
Equality is conserved, (minimized).
As usual, you oppress yourself by voting for it.

Second
It forms a feedback loop of money for votes.
Governments are just a series of feedback loops.
Democracies have more of them that authoritarian states.
Feedback loops are simultaneously the source of all state evil and all rights.
Liberty is a feedback loop of prosperity for higher taxes, (taxable GDP is increased).
Welfare states are a feedback loop of jobs, money, and benefits, in exchange for votes.

Third
Nearly all feedback loops have justifying ideologies.
Society cooperates in the lie.
The state serves only itself.
Institutional logic guides behavior, and not any notion of the common good.
Feedback loops grow because humans always want more power.

People are true believers.
Delusion battles delusion, not good battling evil.



Lastly

Below is a video of a man who has been screwed by one of these feedback loops. Specifically, he was used and destroyed by the college feedback loop. It's depressing to watch. He clearly lacks the elite connections, looks, and attitude to succeed in that system.



Even good looking people can get screwed by it though.



"Make college more affordable." They say. Lol.





Sunday, July 30, 2017

The revolutionary social consequences of bag babies


Because of my warped and perverse sense of humor I have invented a new term: "bag baby."

A bag baby is a baby grown in a bag, like below. No doubt this insult will find its way to grade school playgrounds once the future arrives.



Let's talk about the massive social consequences of this technology.


Abortion will be heavily stigmatized.
Once children can be grown in gestation bags a woman's ability to get an abortion may be threatened. What excuse is there to terminate a pregnancy when you can grow one artificially? Many women may simply opt to have all their eggs harvested and frozen for later life. The elderly will routinely reproduce. Career women may have children in their fifties. Since children are a choice, there is no longer any excuse to murder babies.
However, it will enable riding the cock carousel.
Many hedonists may put off having children because they think they can reproduce in old age. When they reach old age they may find that they don't have the energy to have children. Thus, a technology that enables hedonism may drive hedonists to extinction in the long-term.
It may exacerbate the extinction of whites.
By enabling irresponsible behavior it may exacerbate extinction. However, that effect may be felt by all races eventually. I have said before that technology destroys morality.
Women will be made to pay child support for children they did not consent to having, like men.
A man marries a woman
He wants a bag baby. She doesn't.
He goes to the clinic and gets one anyway.
She divorces him.
He sues for child support and gets it.
The manosphere will reproduce itself.
Someone like Paul Elam will raise an army of misogynistic boys, and indoctrinate them all in the cult of men's rights. Eventually, the males may separate into a different species or nation. Gay men may become their own species too.
White men will reproduce themselves independently of the Left's hatred.
And the left will fume in anger.
Corporations and governments may farm their own citizens, shareholders, owners, and managers.
And no amount of tyranny will threaten their ability to breed citizens.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Aphorism no. 43: women conform


Modern women are trash because they are trained to be trash.

Whenever thinking about women remember one simple truth: women conform.

The manosphere makes an incredible number of assertions about women that are severe, vile, and unjust. They package these as eternal truths, as if women were always this way. One wonders how the species even survived up until this point, how children were raised, families looked after, and civilizations created. Men build the world and women populate it. That is just a statement of plain fact. That is the original division of labor.

If modern women are horrible it is because they have been trained to be so. The solution is different training.

Compare these two personalities.



Feminism is the only shit test that makes the user a sterile cat lady. Women conform even to the point of destroying their own civilizations, if that is what they are trained to do.

I shouldn't call them cat ladies. Some cat ladies are very nice people.





Thriller


Your piracy is the reason your music options suck


It's simple economics—with a bit of psychology thrown in.

Piracy reduces the effective demand for music, shrinking the market. Because the market is smaller, music writers, performers, and singers shift creative endeavors to cater to live shows rather than records. They take fewer chances and pander to a lower, (and broader), segment of the market. Additionally, artists are discouraged from getting into the industry by knowledge their music will be stolen. The result is more Ariana Grande and less Pet Shop Boys.

Want better music? Pay for it. Or better yet, invent a digital standard that is immune to piracy. A new system might be designed that uses quantum cryptography and a blockchain to deliver music to an app on your phone. You never actually receive the music file, but receive a digital key that entitles you to play it through the app, (and only the app), on your phone. The actual file is located in the cloud and streamed to your device. You can sell then key and let someone else play that music on their device, but you cannot copy it.


On an even more negative note, this is just one example of how you oppress yourself. Go ahead, read it. It's even more depressing. lol


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Magnetic sail versus warp drive: two political futures


A magnetic sail is like a light sail, except that is requires a lot less material. I have seen ideas floated around that show that a mag sail constructed out of a room temperature superconductor could be used to get to nearby stars in about half a century or so. The point of a mag sail is its cost savings. A solar sail probe designed to go to a nearby star could cost trillions of dollars, but a mag sail might only be a fraction of that. Anyway, we are not here to debate technicals, but two imagine two possible political futures that that could be created by interstellar travel.

Future #1. Magnetic sail probes are sent to all the nearest stars. When a man is born, a memory recording device is implanted in his brain. It records a perfect record of all sights, sounds, and feelings of the individual throughout his life. He is trained as an astronaut. When he dies his memories are transferred to a computer as a digital record. The mag sail probe enters orbit around a new star and lands on a new planet. It is equipped with an AI designed just for that purpose. It 3D prints a habitat and, a series of human bodies. The memory of the dead guy is sent using a microwave laser pulse in advance of the spacecrafts arrival. The signal repeats several thousand times for each mind that is being uploaded to ensure that nothing is missed. An identical chip is placed in the brain of the 3D printed body at the destination. You wake up on a strange planet. At first you don't remember how or why you are there. But your brain accesses memories on the chip. Slowly you begin to remember your previous life. Neurons that fire together wire together so gradually your new brain makes an identical structure to your old brain. Eventually you remember who you are and what your mission is. Does it matter that you are a copy? No. Of course not. If you believe that you are this other guy from a previous life then it is true. Believing makes it true. Now you live on another planet that orbits a weird star. You get to live a brand new life someplace else. You meet a girl and raise a new family. Your existence is like this. Before you die you put your mind in the machine storage to be transmitted to the next destination. You hop from planet to planet over the course of endless lifetimes. You get to have new experience and see strange new worlds as you go. You are a traveling immortal.

The political outcome of this world are libertarian. It takes years to transmit a single mind and even longer to send a physical spacecraft. It is impossible for empires to form. Minds are screened before being downloaded, so there is a built-in safety feature that prevents wackos from coming out of the machine. Only sane people get to immigrate. Also, because the different planets are separated, any pathogen on one planet is automatically quarantined from all the others. All plants and animals are transmitted as sterile information. The receiving planet decides whether or not to 3D print the DNA that it has gotten from other worlds. This creates a built-in filter for invasive species.

Future #2. Some asshole invents warp drive. Your life is like Star Trek. Even if there are no aliens, humans form empires whose size is defined by the speed of the warp drive. If the warp speed increases then suddenly it becomes possible for political empires to expand, and conquer their neighbors. All over the galaxy people live in terror of being nuked from orbit by stealth spacecraft sent from an enemies empire. Life is an abysmal hell. The fascist United Federation of Prig Progs imposes its moral vision on all the people of the galaxy because the sheer threat of violence is too devastating to allow humans to do their own thing. Sheer necessity requires a totalitarian world government. After all, this is a universe where a single alien organism that evolved on another planet can devastate the the biosphere of this planet. Imagine if humans accidentally brought back a small undetected bacteria that converts the worlds oceans to hydrogen peroxide, or a bacteria that turns all nitrogen in the atmosphere into nitrous oxide. The bacteria doesn't have to kill humans; it could simply destroy the biosphere instead. This is a galaxy where a fanatical religious sect could make a tactically sound calculation that it could drop a pathogen in the atmosphere of the Earth, and all the humans would be dead before they discovered what planet it came from and could retaliate. In such a world no exit would be possible.

Star Trek would be hell.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Advocating for the Brave New World option


There is an inverse correlation between women's rights and reproduction rates. The more education women receive the fewer children they have. This asymmetry translates into biopower for male dominance. At this point the conversation usually ends, that patriarchy is ordained by God, or that because women participate in its creation they deserve it. I myself have implied things along similar lines.

By why should women get to select the human species? The Peacocks tail is not actually a requisite for survival. Sex selection breeds many monstrosities into existence, including rapists and pedos.

The ultimate liberation is not a liberation of women from men, but men from the selection effects of women. If a society can reproduce itself then Gnon smiles on it. It matters not if it uses gestation bags to do so. That may disgust you but nature is a workability engine and not concerned with what you find repugnant. In a world of below break-even birth rates the will to survive is its own criteria of evolution. Rather than being impossible, the Brave New World option is inevitable.

Wars aren't won by hulking warriors on battlefields, but by cruse missiles programmed by nerds. Female sexual preferences are just so much legacy genetic code. Europe suffers under the weight of women's sexual addiction to conquerors as they vote to bring invaders in. The parts of the Muslim world that are not being bombed by US forces are already below break-even. Social technologies take decades to recover and mass movements to preserve. Everything is being dissolved continuously be innovation. In contrast, a conventional technological solution to falling birth rates could be implemented today.

Any children who are manufactured can be indoctrinated with whatever ideology the group that makes them sees fit to teach. They can then just wait for the Cathedral to die.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Aphorism no. 42 The Resolution to the Fermi Paradox


Technology is exponential and biology is linear. Therefore all, or most, species destroy themselves when their technology substantially exceeds in capability the ability of their genetic legacy code to deal with its effects.

There are many ways to go;

Death by sheer stupidity. Example: mass extinction exceeds the intelligence level necessary to solve mass extinction. Humans are simply too stupid to solve the extinction crises, global warming, population, African birth rates, etc. Sheer stupidity gets them in the end.

Death by prudishness. Perhaps a species has a taboo that prevents curing a disease, maybe it lacks the will to evolve, maybe genetic research is prohibited. Whatever the case, some legacy code prevents overcoming a challenge through the disgust reflex.

Death, by having been bred, (in the past) into a corner. Maybe patriarchy becomes obsolete and they refuse to grow humans instead. Maybe the whole species is dependent on male dominance for its reproduction, and when the system dies, so does the species. Maybe religion dies and the species depended on that for survival.

Death by entertainment. The species masturbates furiously to porn instead of getting pregnant. It substitutes digital for real relationships. It entertains itself to the detriment of successful family formation. It adopts pets instead of babies.

Death by mad scientist. They foolishly pursue a line of reasoning to their doom.

Death by arms race. They kill themselves with bio-weapons, nuclear war, AI war, gene drive war, eugenics competition, or whatever.

Death by religious fanaticism. They have an evil cult like Islam that takes over their civilization and destroys it.

Death by feminism. Their women gain power and refuse to breed.

Death by plastic. A species invents a substance that cannot break down in the natural environment and destroys its own ecosystem.

Death by speciation. The male and female sex separate into different species and war with each other.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reprinting the Anarcho Papist, part 1


Unless Byrce comes back from the internet dead, and objects to my republishing his work here, he will just have to contend with its continuance. I'm reprinting some of it so you can compare NRx ideas from 2013 with 2017. There are seven parts to this.


How to Look at the World Like a Neoreactionary, Part 1

Neoreaction has just entered the mainstream sooner than we’d expected, so where I thought I would have the time to think a bit longer on how to provide an introduction to neoreaction for the newly initiated making their way from MSM sources, it seems better to go ahead and try that now. I don’t want to retread the territory already gone over in my two favorite introductions, Nick Land’s Dark Enlightenment sequence and Scott Alexander’s Reactionary Philosophy in an Enormous, Planet-Sized Nutshell (I would include Nick B. Steves’ Reactionary Consensus, but it’s incomplete, so I can’t say it’s one of my favorites yet), so I will try something different. Rather than a blow-by-blow analysis of neoreactionary ideology, I think a primer on the habits of neoreactionary thought might help to overcome the initial confusion of how one is supposed to understand something such as the advocacy of kings, housewives, and ethnic community, which explains the inevitable tendency to over-emphasize and misunderstand crucial distinctions when neoreaction is given an outsider’s view.

This, then, is an introduction to the neoreactionary mind and how he sees the world.

Neoreaction bootstraps itself out of the modernist thought paradigm which dominates Western civilization through a process of dialectical reductio. It is inevitable that you were socialized into this way of thinking such that you are literally incapable of working your way out of it without someone pointing out the contradictions in the system. In fact, you just take this way of thinking as normal. So normal, you don’t even see it, like contacts.

There is a reason an introduction to neoreaction might be thought of as a red pill. When you “get it,” suddenly the illusions of society are seen for what they really are. The orthodoxy which guides the elites from Harvard to the LA Times becomes obviously suspect in light of certain insights.

To consider how radically different all societies have been before the 18th century, when Progress became a theme, is to suppose that people will believe and consider normal almost anything they are socialized into. Women waited since the dawn of civilization to change things for themselves because it took that long for women to see through the illusion that was patriarchy, and were otherwise imprisoned in a false consciousness. The obviousness of woman’s subjugation under man, the obviousness of royalty’s control, and the obviousness of the Church’s right to inform the moral instruction of children were all things people were simply indoctrinated to. You can’t realistically expect a society to bootstrap themselves to Progressive ideals, because education can be a prison as well as freedom.

The neoreactionary would ask you to accept the truth of the principles behind such an explanation of the drastically anti-Progressive nature of all societies in all ways before the 18th century, only that you turn the same scrutiny on your own society.

How is it that a society of 300 million+ manages to have a very tightly distributed range of political views? Differences in presidents appear to be merely theoretical, and there was a wider range of political candidates to choose from in earlier elections. This doesn’t seem like a change in the nature of people. Why are opinion editorials between the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times essentially interchangeable? Why are virtually all universities in perfect lockstep on how society must be diverse and tolerant? We have more people and even more reason for more competition between sociopolitical and religious traditions, yet there is such little deviation from the orthodoxy that an academic who insists merely on documenting the findings of research stands to lose his job whenever that research threatens the empirical predictions of the orthodoxy.

Consider yourself. Why do you think you’re beyond the effects of socialization? Do you think all “those others” in history didn’t think they were perfectly normal as well? “I got through public school, and I’m fine.” That may be, but consider: many also get through child abuse. By what metric do you reckon you’re fine anyhow? Because you’re educated, you have a job, you’re not a bad person? Isn’t that the metric you were taught by the system? “No, the system teaches me to buy things.” And what taught you that this is what the system is like, if not the system? It may not teach you to buy things so much as it informs you of what to buy, and even if we suppose advertising has no effect on you, you still like the taste of Coca Cola. What is Coca Cola anyway? Sugar and water. If you could be adapted to drinking a superstimulus so patently unavailable in nature, what makes you think you couldn’t be adapted to the superstimuli of democratic theater and other forms of intellectual pornography?

I’m suggesting, in other words, that living inside a reality carefully constructed through the years by elaborate conditioning rituals, cult-like indoctrination techniques, and a state of the art and well-funded program of community organization can make people think the world around them is normal, well, and good, sometimes even the best. If you’re like most who grew up in America, you spent 12 years of your life in school, you’re aware of most the same news and cultural background, and you also have remarkably similar values to registered Democrats and Republicans. At least, “remarkably similar” when you consider all the political views that have been held by reasonable people throughout history and in other countries, and especially remarkably similar if you imagine everyone reached their political views through a process of reason. The Tea Party is obviously not as urgent a problem as the KKK, and yet declaring oneself a sympathizer with the Tea Party is about as dangerous a thought crime as the white guy will allow himself in company.

Education is touted as broadening horizons, and we arguably have more education than ever before. Why, then, the tighter distribution of political views? Assuming a random distribution, then a larger territory of political philosophy that one can appropriate should entail fewer essential agreements. Education does not seem so much about learning as it is about socialization into correct forms of thought, or catechesis. Such is the program the Church used through the Middle Ages, after all, right? Having more resources in society devoted to catechesis means a greater possibility for indoctrination. And in which society is this the case; ours, or the hypothetical superstitious peasant of Medieval England?

The more certain you are that you’re okay, the better it worked. Adaptation of a view that is contrary would be very difficult just in principle. The difficulty you find in understanding how neoreactionary views are understood and justified is an example of exactly that phenomenon in action. Why do you presume that, were you born into a different era with different norms, you would even think to challenge those norms? Do you think to challenge the norms present in society? The answer is probably negative in both cases.

A neoreactionary is aware how far outside the mainstream he stands. He has ceased to participate in politics the way the average man does. You won’t persuade him by calling him a racist, a sexist, unenlightened, or uneducated. In fact, were you to do so, the neoreactionary will point out that this behavior is exactly a case in point; it never has the effect of persuading the accused, but serves to consolidate the opinion of the audience. The hit piece is an ancestor of tribal ostracism. And the neoreactionary probably wears the accusation as a badge of honor, besides.

The point of elucidating where you stand is that “getting” neoreaction is a process which begins but is never finished. To get it is to believe it, but only because actually getting it is taboo. Acknowledging realities, which is the foundational conceit of the neoreactionary understanding, by itself makes one appear much more reactionary than modernist, implying a high standard of devotion required of the true believer. Neoreaction admits that people are different, and that as such it doesn’t make sense to afford everyone the same, whether that be income, opportunity, or even mere social approval. These differences are multidimensional, and include sexual, racial, and class categories. In contrast to the modernist, egalitarian paradigm which insists on treating everyone the same regardless of actual or probable ability, the neoreactionary insists that sound policy ought to treat differently as accords their real differences. This will improve human flourishing overall; a genius deprived of a more intensive education has undeveloped potential, while an idiot given a more intensive education is only having his time wasted.

These differences, understood by society and acted upon, lead to inequalities which make even the libertarian squirm. But they are only unequal as accords their actual inequality.

The threat of justice in this case depends on a fundamental inversion which the modernist fails to appreciate. Plato and Aristotle tell us that justice is equality, and we are not disagreed on this point. However, we believe ourselves more consistent in pursuing justice, for we do not attempt to treat people the same. Equality is treating like things as like, and unlike things as unlike. From this it follows necessarily that different things shouldn’t be treated the same; it does an injustice to all who are different than the presumed “likeness” we all supposedly share.

This is as short an explanation as can be given for the views neoreactionaries hold on race, sex, intelligence, and so on. The return to treating things as though they are different, because they are different, is the essence of reaction. The “neo” is that this is all given a thorough defending via abstractive philosophical, economic, and scientific reasoning.

There is certainly more that can be said, but the purpose of this post is less explanation and more to provoke the doubt of modernity. If you believe neoreaction is wrong, and you think you believe in equality, how do you justify it? Why is that metric best? What considerations are you leaving out? If your vision is radically different than has ever existed in human history before, what makes you so confident in it despite the lack of evidence in its favor? Why do you trust your education? What would you have to see in order to change your mind?

Originally published Monday, Nov 25th, 2013

Reprinting the Anarcho Papist, part 2


How to Look at the World Like a Neoreactionary, Part 2

Neoreaction is not a political philosophy. Rather, it is more like a philosophy of political philosophy. How we can check the course of our ideas remains a habit of neoreactionary dialectic, for we are, or at least I am, intensely concerned with a worldview that is basically persuasive. The process of changing out of your modernist paradigm to try on another must be thought of as bootstrapping for it proceeds by an almost inevitable process of perpetual motion.

A snarky opponent will jump on my claim that I want to put together a system that is “basically persuasive,” pointing out how thoroughly unconvinced he is, as though 1) I haven’t thought of this already and 2) it were relevant. The better question is, what do I mean by “basically persuasive?”

We are on a journey, an adventure as it were, and I regret to inform you that while at the end of our journey lies a lot of excitement, sometimes you must make your way through a bog. This is one of those bogs, but I promise to make it as painless as possible.

I am an essentially disagreeable person. On the Big 5 personality test, I score in the 1st percentile in Agreeableness, which is another way of saying that I am less agreeable than 99% of people. Why does this matter? Because it leads to the perpetuation of mental models of how one might disagree with my position, the pruning of those theoretical counter-responses counting as my development of the concept. In other words, I think through things by arguing out both sides using all background philosophy as a resource for ways of rounding up arguments. I’ve also noticed a pattern, a philosophy of analysis as it were, in the way I argue out a position to myself. The first and most critical factor is identifying the hypothesis and determining the conditions which serve to confirm, disconfirm, and corroborate a hypothesis. That is to say, describing a position through the principles by which it ought to prove persuasive.

My defense and explanation of a corpus of thought such as neoreaction then proceeds less as a straightforward defense of certain theses, but the construction of “reason generators.” This has to do with my theory of conversion. As I am, in a potentially oblique fashion attempting the conversion of souls who appreciate a good argument, and neoreaction is intrinsically self-referential, it is only fitting that my explanation of the neoreactionary worldview would provide a philosophy for how and why an individual would/should be lead to adopt it was an interpretation of the world. This is the bootstrapping element in play, for I am trying to throw a ladder down the pit of modernism which has so far throughout your life convinced you to disregard certain essential biases that evolved for a reason.

An argument cannot of itself persuade an individual, save for the area of pure logic or metaphysics, which is by nature detached from experience. Where claims relevant to interpreting the phenomena of civilization come into play, however, we can put them through a proto-scientific schema of testing. Modernism is predicated on a number of fundamental claims concerning human nature and the potential ways in which society may work. These claims are essentially egalitarian, and, from the neoreactionary perspective, the denial of HBD science that demonstrates the reality of race-like populations of humans can only be interpreted as the Leftist version of Creationism. Where there is a conflict with the empirical claims of a religion and what science indicates, the science must be thrown out, only naturally. The inability to separate disinterested and genuine scientific analysis of a significantly arguable reality does not seem to indicate a consensus of scientific evidence.

If an argument will not persuade, what will? Reference to experience. My purpose is not to persuade here and now, but to budge you on the way you would tend to interpret the world around you; to demonstrate that the kinds of theses and explanations that are generated from this corpus of thought also tend to be corroborated. The predictions it generates gives it the ability to explain ongoing history in a way unavailable to the modernist paradigm.

You can see the kind of irony in the argument I’m developing. Supposedly you are here in the first place because you’re willing to be persuaded in theory, even if you are generally hostile to my overall worldview. You want to be able to give a reason why you reject me other than that fitting in as polite society might require. I’m backing this up in order to ask how someone could ever be persuaded. I want to leave my reader with the impression that certain questions remain live. Modernism never killed off its philosophical rivals, it just convinced everyone that it had. If you can’t be persuaded, this is a waste of both our times. Only if, in theory, you could be persuaded, could a counter-argument count as something more than a post hoc rationalization. After all, if you can’t be persuaded just in principle, then you would use any reasonable enough sounding argument. We don’t want that.

Generally, “persuasiveness” is taken as an unalloyed good in an argument. This is because it is assumed that the more logically excellent an argument is, the logic should be perceived as its own superiority. However, if I may propose another interpretation of argument, one which is more realistic given our nature as animals evolved to do more things than develop and be persuaded by logically excellent arguments. Persuasiveness may be a defect in that it covers up its assumptions better than less persuasive but subtler and more accurate accounts of a phenomena. The mind is attracted to easy and definite choices; it lightens the load of existential anxiety concerning whether or not your beliefs are correct or even sane. Why do you think fallacies are so common? Furthermore, why have we been led to believe fallacies are intrinsically wrong?

Logical fallacies are not, contrary to popular wisdom, intrinsically incorrect, nor are they even markers of stupidity and ignorance. As it is said, a little education may handicap the mind by allowing the pretense of access to information adequate to make a judgment. This correlates to the insight among a number of us that human prejudices are not intrinsically flawed so much as they may tend to be expressed in incomplete or less than optimal ways. Being opposed to racial stereotyping is a trend of midwits, and is a brilliant example of how a little knowledge can handicap.

Racial stereotyping may be considered in two ways. The first is that of psychological bias. It seems to be more or less proven that we evolved to have implicit racially based biases and prejudices which disposes us to differences in the tendency of in-group/out-group evaluation. Why would these evolve at all? This shouldn’t be difficult to understand. In the more ancestral environment in which humanity evolved for over 100,000 years, the survival of the individual depended essentially on his integration with a tribe. The tribe’s survival in turn depended on the individuals within having a tendency to like each other and to prefer the company of each other rather than those of other tribes. Were a tribe to have overwhelmingly out-group focused breeding tendencies, such a tribe would quickly breed itself out of existence. As such, it is inevitable that the tribes which do survive, through a process of evolutionary selection if we think of tribes as organisms, shall have members which have distinct in-group/out-group prejudices (of varying kinds and expressions) that reflects a tribal equilibrium with the environment.

Those who are too stupid to appreciate that their biases have shortcomings remain in the thrall of those biases. As such, it is worth pointing out, by the neoreactionary and likely supposed “racist,” that racism being stereotyped as an indicator of stupid is highly accurate. This is, however, not because racism is intrinsically stupid, so much as what we tend to identify as racism is the less-than-optimal expression of these innate in-group/out-group biases. The midwit, who appreciates that our innate biases have shortcomings, comes to distrust his own biases, and comes to believe that the rejection of the utility of these biases is itself a mark of intelligence.

This response to learning that our biases are incomplete, i.e. the absolute rejection of their utility in all potential circumstances, is itself an immature response. Those biases developed in us for a very good reason. The reason should be obvious; were they disadvantageous in terms of increasing the likelihood of reproduction, they would have been selected out. But these biases did evolve in us, implying that they serve adaptive, i.e. reproductive, value.

To put it rather tongue in cheek, semi-seriously, to be a little bit racist is to be closer to nature.

Not that I’m advocating racism per se. Racism is, I think, best understood as the sub-optimal expression of racial biases. This definition, however, also implies that there is such a thing as the optimal expression of racial biases. This is why, as it were, anti-racism is the prejudice of the midwitted, while racism is the prejudice of those outside the IQ range of 100-125. This may sound like a concession to the modernist, to point out that racial discrimination is difficult to defend. This not because it is wrong, but that because what one wants to defend is practices which lead to optimal solutions, and understanding how to exercise racial discrimination in an optimal fashion is the difficult part.

This is the second way in which racism may be considered. It is expressed through a specific form of behavior. What sort of behavior? Ideally, it appears that the problem with any “-ism” vice is that it does not give a person his due. What is a person’s due? What right does a person have to an optimal evaluation?

We want to say that a person should always and everywhere exercise as thorough and complete an evaluation of the character of another as possible. That is all well and good, but the reality of the world is that such an optimal evaluation is not always afforded by the world. An optimal evaluation may prove either impossible or too costly to justify other things which must be given up in order to perform such an evaluation. Our judgment is required in situations where the evaluation we’d like to make is precluded. It is useless to insist that “a person should, always and everywhere, perform an optimal evaluation.” That doesn’t answer what an individual is to do in those cases where he has less than perfect information and obtaining it proves far more costly than any expected benefit.

The mandate to perform an optimal evaluation of another person’s character cannot require an individual putting himself at grave risk. Yes, the guy with tattoos on his face bragging about his recent stint in the slammer could be a really interesting, complex individual who has a lot of good in him. But getting to know such an individual could prove very costly, in the form of harm suffered by oneself for failing to exercise due prudence in one’s association with the criminal elements.

Racial discrimination is not an end-all be-all of an individual. Like I’ve mentioned, I’m not interested in a defense of racial discrimination, full stop (and in fact, I’m not even interested in here defending racial discrimination, so much as I’m interested in providing an example of how the neoreactionary proceeds in his examination). I’m interested in a defense of due racial discrimination. Racial discrimination is justified in particular instances and not in others. The optimal exercise of discrimination is difficult, and must be guided by a philosophy of discrimination.

This is all to show that a ground level difference between the neoreactionary and the modernist is this. The modernist rails against all bias, insisting that it never has a place in our reasoning. The neoreactionary suggests that we have bias for a reason, and we should seek to improve upon the function it evolved to provide. Where the modernist asks us to root out all our tendencies in thought, to constantly undermine the way we tend to reason, the neoreactionary seeks to examine and refine it. Iron ore may have little use of itself, but in the hands of one with the right tools, much may be wrought.

What all does this have to do with persuasiveness? This asks a question. Do you really want to be able to persuade the most? Psychologically, we are jerry-rigged with a number of biases which predispose us to fallacious and sub-optimal expressions of prejudice. But we cannot eliminate prejudice; anti-prejudice is just a prejudice against prejudicial reasoning, and prejudicial reasoning is optimal in the case that judicial reasoning is precluded, i.e. when access to adequate information for optimal evaluation is more costly than expected benefits. This is the real world, and in the real world you aren’t always allowed to dissociate yourself by behavior from what a racist would do, because sometimes what the racist would do is the safest and best thing to do.

The biases are good enough to allow stupid racists to spread their genes; in fact, in a population where everyone is stupid, racism would be better than a stupid refusal to not utilize prejudice when it is called for. To act with prejudice is to admit one is ignorant, which is not always a bad thing. The refusal to admit one’s ignorance is a vice in the case when the presumption of knowledge proves a more dangerous habit. Admitting and acting by one’s ignorance, i.e. to reserve oneself to methods and practices which are known to work rather than the definitely unknown, is wiser than to refuse to act with respect to knowledge that one knows one does not possess. To be ignorant is only to not know, and we know that we do not always know, which is just to say that we know that sometimes we are ignorant. This cannot be overcome by “Don’t be ignorant.” It cannot be overcome by good thoughts or the insistence that “One should try to get access to the best information possible.” That is a matter of course and we are already agreed, but we aren’t talking about how one should act in the case one has perfect information.

Neoreaction is how to act when you know you don’t have perfect information. It is a call to humility. If your vision is fundamentally utopian and forms a perfect contrast to the vagaries of human history, and can only be accomplished through a fundamental change in the way people tend to act, it is incomplete. You can do better, and you can do better by being harder to persuade.

Don’t wonder how you would persuade me to modernism. It is better first to know, how do you persuade yourself? I don’t pose a threat to your well-being as much as you do. I likely couldn’t persuade you with a silver tongue, but we know individuals can persuade themselves with the thinnest of feel good lies. Isn’t that what we think of religion, after all?


Originally published Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

Part 3



Reprinting the Anarcho Papist, part 3


How to Look at the World Like a Neoreactionary, Part 4

In the last part we walked through an outline of how the neoreactionary approaches the issue of racial discrimination. The purpose, I hope as was obvious, was less to be a defense of racial discrimination, but to illustrate the methodology, which questions were being asked. A text such as this should be treated as a way of practicing reasoning. I’m not trying to acquaint you with a set of doctrines, but a set of maxims. One should approach a school of thought as one does a school of martial arts. Throw out your assumptions. The modernist habit in approaching neoreaction will insistently come back to a revulsion. “They advocate what?! Don’t they know what that implies? They must not, which makes them stupid.” As though that were it.

I will give you some training wheels to get through this next section. If you can’t understand what a neoreactionary is meaning unless you interpret him as either stupid or evil, choose evil. He likely isn’t stupid. But remember these are training wheels; do not treat an experience assisted by an incomplete but helpful heuristic the same as biking with the training wheels off. Or, to put it another way, a baby might start learning to walk with motherly assistance, but walking with motherly assistance cannot and should not be mistaken for the real thing.

“But I just want it straight! Why can’t you just provide a straightforward argument defending your views? This is so roundabout.” Well, yes. Isn’t the concept of Progress rather roundabout? Why not go straight to utopia? Why must we proceed by way of protracted social struggles? Why didn’t MLK advocate for gay marriage, free birth control, and mandatory public education? “You can’t expect people to understand immediately, we are handicapped by our socialization.” I wouldn’t tend to call it a handicap per se, though at least sub-optimal. Anyway, you see my point. From my perspective, you’re in a hole and you need help getting out. I’m trying to throw you a ladder.

“But you’re the one who needs help!” Probably. But consider: I had more or less the same kind of socialization as you. Public school, friends, TV, internet, college. I have a pretty good idea of what you would tend to think about me because I’m acquainted with all the same memes. I watch the same movies and eat the same food. If we met at a party and you didn’t know my sociopolitical sentiments, you would think I’m a pretty cool guy.

So how can I be so different? Shouldn’t the good of Progressive values be obvious enough? If the explanation for why I hold different views isn’t that we were socialized into different values, it must be something else. Either we’re just incapable of seeing the light, or we refuse to see the light. Put another way, either we’re stupid or we’re evil. And I should think it clear we’re not stupid.

So we’re evil, in other words. We aren’t ignorant of Progressivism. We’re unpersuaded. Unconvinced. Tried and found wanting. I won’t protest. What would be the point? Practically no one believes himself to be evil. I don’t actually think I’m evil (though I do take pleasure in thinking how uncomprehending progs think I’m evil). You don’t think you’re evil. I bet Hitler didn’t think he was evil. Anyone could, and would, claim they’re good overall.

Here’s something you need to explain. How can evil people like us exist? If Progressivism is really so obvious (hell, even you can understand it!) and good, and shaming us doesn’t suffice to bring us back to the fold, i.e. we are unrepentant heretics, then there must be something just psychologically off about us. We have to be different in a deep, disturbed, innate way. If all those years of education couldn’t beat sense into us, we’re simply not able to saved. We’re a part of the damned. It’s really quite that simple. If we were being merciful, we would let people like us be put out of our misery. We simply don’t have the right psychology to appreciate the marvels and wonders of modern living. Maybe Darwin should be allowed to work his magic, and people like us should be selected out of the gene pool. So what if it flirts with eugenics.

It’s a mercenary kind of logic, but ultimately, for the good of civilization, it may be required. If the only reason Progress doesn’t happen is because there are always some in society who hold Progress back, because they’re stupid or evil, then certainly one can justify a little systematic murder. It’s utilitarian, but if it would mean the end of homophobia, rape culture, patriarchy, pro-life, racism, sexism, and all those other classic pastimes of white male culture, the benefits outweigh the costs. If you won’t do that, you’re depriving the marginalized the justice of being restored to full integration with society sooner rather than later, when it’s too late to save those suffering now. Do you have sympathy for the oppressors? Do you want to let the micro-aggressor get away with it? Progress demands more Progress now.

“Now, hold on,” you’ll insist. “That’s a straw man. I would never advocate the wholesale slaughter of my opponents. That is not only misrepresentative of Progressivism, it is completely contrary to the spirit.” Is it? Then you are suggesting it is okay to allow people like us to take our rightful place in society? I mean, if you’re not working to stop us, then capitalism wins, right? Doesn’t evil win when good people, such as yourself, stand by and do nothing?

“If there is anything that needs to be done about people like you, it wouldn’t be that drastic.” Like losing our jobs? Being barred from employment? Facing penalties, fines, persecution? Being generally disenfranchised from wider society, being rounded up into the ghettoes, before we board the trains for… re-education camps?

“This is insane! I just said I wouldn’t advocate that!” I’m not saying you did. It’s a question of faith. If you really believe in Progress, how far are you willing to go to see it happen? Whenever Progress doesn’t happen like it’s supposed to, why is that? Is it because reality is an impediment, or is it due to sinister plots?

By the neoreactionary’s lights, if we didn’t exist, you’d have to invent us. We are your Emmanuel Goldstein, and yes, we would actually write a book with the title of The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism. And yes, it would be about your team, the Cathedral.

The purpose of neoreaction is not merely to stand athwart history, telling it to stop. We want to hijack history. We really are the enemy of Progressivism. Progress and our existence is not compatible. If you will not kill us, you will at least have to wait for us to die off, delaying Progress and ensuring the suffering of all who presently suffer due to injustice. If you won’t, it is only because you are a coward. You do not really believe in Progress. You only like to associate yourself with it, taking glory in the work of another party like one does when rooting for their favorite baseball team. You root for the Progressivists in the way you root for the Red Sox. You don’t actually play for the team, and couldn’t if you tried. You are as essential to Progress as a man to a woman. You are only riding the coattails of history and claiming all the credit. You bask in the privilege of being on the right side of history and exploit it against all those who are wrong.

You don’t believe in Progress, in other words, you believe in belief. If you did actually believe, you would be willing to do almost anything to see it done. As much as Progressivism is important, it is more important than anything else; that including the existence of its enemies or the moral scruples its advocates imagine themselves able to afford.

The Progressivists shall have to make a choice. In fact, they have been making this choice. When faced with the fact that Progress cannot occur without further change, it seems apparent that further change is called for. But, if the neoreactionary is right, then the vision of Progress will always be hampered, requiring further change. How much should society expend trying to equalize the gender wage gap? This is a serious question. If the gender wage gap is due to the institutionalization of sexism, then it will cost the expenditure of a certain amount of resources to root it out. How much should society be willing to give up to solve this problem? Surely more than a million, right? But precisely how much? A billion? A trillion? Several decades of lost GDP growth? The political cohesion of the Union?

“Equalizing the gender wage gap wouldn’t cost that much.” Maybe, maybe not. But you shouldn’t pretend that Progress is costless. Pretending that your goal can be achieved without giving up something else is stupid. Utopia at no cost, just add water?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Just vote for Obama, that will save America. Okay, vote for him again, America needs more saving. Alright, we’re going to need a new version of Obama, because this is taking a little longer than we thought…

My suggestion here is that Progress will prove more expensive than it was originally sold as. It suffers from that most ancient problem of infrastructure and construction projects, cost overrun. It will cost something, at least. That money we spend on welfare so that people with insufficient means can feed themselves could be spent on other things. That’s a cost. “It’s a worthwhile cost!” That may be, but you must admit it is a cost. You cannot neglect the cost side of the cost-benefit analysis of undertaking certain social changes. It would not only be imprudent, it would be dishonest. After all, if you’re so right, you should have nothing to fear in admitting to the costs Progressivism incurs. The benefits will always be greater, right? You should have nothing to fear from an accurate and extensive summarization of the costs of Progress. Progress is for you like L’OrĂ©al, because you’re worth it.

Come back to my question of equalizing the gender wage gap. Simple biology also plays a role in explaining the wage gap. The above cost analysis assumed that eliminating institutionalized sexism is a one time cost that, once it was eliminated, egalitarian views would perpetuate themselves. However, if biology is different between men and women, then biology poses the potential to disadvantage one sex in the market. And wouldn’t you know it, there is a very obvious disadvantage that women face when competing with men in the marketplace. Women are more likely than men to become pregnant. Actually, women are the only sex to become pregnant. Insofar as there is a cost to being pregnant, all this cost is borne by women, in the form of advances and raises given up due to lost time. Equalizing the playing field requires not only a one time cost to eliminate the ongoing effects of patriarchy, it requires ongoing costs to provide women the opportunity to enter the market without facing any disadvantages particular to being a woman.

I won’t go into particular schemes of how such equalizing will be done, I only care to point out that this cost will be borne by men. It has to be, otherwise it would remain a cost borne uniquely by women, which is antithetical to equality. It is a necessity that men be forced, whether explicitly or implicitly, to subsidize the work of their female co-workers. It is the duty of men to work in order that women may be afforded the opportunity to work.

However it is done, you will see a value transfer payment somehow, even if it can’t be explicitly examined in terms of monetary cost. Since men are seeing less reward for their work, this disinclines them from working so much or so hard. The response of the Progressivist is to moralize, to chastise men who would work less because their pay is being implicitly cut in order to subsidize women’s wages. But this presupposes a rather interesting view of the dynamic of the sexes. If men must be forced to sacrifice for the sake of women because it is their duty to subsidize the existence of women, there is a certain inequality in play. Women do not appear to have a duty to subsidize the existence of men; it is only right and natural that men have a subordinate position to women in society. A man’s place is as the slave so that women may finally be afforded their independence. Insofar as men are disinclined from doing this in order to give women their independence, that is just because they are evil, and inasmuch as they are evil, they deserve to be unequal to women.

Maybe you don’t like this cost so much. Maybe you would like to replace this cost with something else. Maybe some other sort of tax that doesn’t tax men for being sinfully better at work. It will have to be something, at least. If Progress is so great, if it has so many benefits, how much would you be willing to pay for it? If you won’t pay anything for it, or imagine that you won’t have to pay for it, I don’t believe you’re a proponent of Progress. You don’t actually disagree with neoreaction. You just want to signal that you are holier than thou and that you should receive praise for your “enlightened opinion,” when you’re really nothing but a Puritan pretender. You pray in public and have your reward in full.

What does it ultimately mean to be “for Progress?” We need to determine this before we can even approach the question of what it means to be neoreactionary. Until the biases and prejudices of the modern age are outed, it would be pointless to try going forward with this discussion. Consider the plank in your own eye before pointing to the mote in another’s.


Originally published Nov 26 2013

Part 4



Reprinting the Anarcho Papist, part 4


How to Look at the World Like a Neoreactionary, Part 4

There is no demographic trend more evocative and damning of modernism than precipitously declining birth rates. It seems as though every modern trend which has an effect on birth rate depresses it ever further. This will be an exercise in how the neoreactionary approaches the world, with an eye to the unrecognized costs of benefits which are virtually always taken for granted in society. These costs are almost always of an invisible sort; the cost is the opportunity of something else that fails to take place. In this way, modernism is marked by an increasing absence, an atomization of the individuals in society amidst a receding community. The symbol of modernism is the childless home.

The modern man is an irony. As developed before, he works in order that women may work, negating the value of his work to himself and his society. If he should like to pass over the allure of a narcissistic lifestyle wherein he treats the accumulation of material possessions as an end of living and concern himself instead with the work of civilization, i.e. starting a family and raising children ready to take their own place in society, he has everything in the world working against him. Though I intend no romanticism, a man who should like to be a provider to a loving wife and family has virtually every force conspiring against him. At the age which he should like to begin being a man, all other women his age who he should like to woo are distracted and occupied by education, Facebook, a career, and predatory socio-sexual aristocrats who have no qualms with using women for sex and nothing more. One might try and enjoin this man to partake of the pleasures of his age, and maybe he shall give in, since otherwise the rewards of his labor shall be a lonely 20′s where he feels crushed by his inability to attract a wife interested in the vision of a family. And when attention is finally given to him, his wife might concede to having a second child if she doesn’t divorce him or somehow ruin the marriage.

Such a situation is almost a perfect contradiction to the plight of the man growing up earlier than 50 years ago. Where our hypothetical modern young man is probably chastised for wanting to marry young, he would’ve been chastised for not trying to marry young. This would’ve been the life experience for most men growing up down through history. It is hard to even see at first that our society is so very, very different from all other societies before it. We would have to appear as a thoroughly foreign culture to anyone born before 1850, and that doesn’t have anything to do with our level of technology. The declining of birth rates, the fracturing of families, the delaying of adulthood, these would be the background of a dystopian novel were it written in 1890.

Yet, and this would be surprising to a reader from 1890, virtually none of us suspect that anything has gone wrong. It would appear virtually certain that Apocalypse came and went, yet none of us seem capable of remarking on the fact. When did it happen? It might be like marking the end of the Roman empire. It really depends on the metric you’re going with.

So even if we are not presently living in a dystopia, it is arguable that we are transitioning into one. And why is that? It may have something to do with how civilization isn’t getting made anymore. Our hypothetical young man was not merely partaking of biological function in reproducing, but a societal good as well. The perpetuation of society does not occur unless people actually form families and raise children. Apart from this, civilization literally does not go on; an empty home does not become occupied when the childless couple die, it remains a tomb of forfeited genetic legacy. The breakdown of civilization is marked by increasing absence, like a complex machine in which small yet significant parts are going missing, only disturbing its operation in a way not observable to those standing outside it. But, as the machine continues operating, the absences accumulate and exacerbate the machine’s decay, until eventually something essential in the short term becomes noticeable. Such is how civilization darkens, without anyone realizing the lights are going off until all the rest of them go off at once. But the event of chaos is only epiphenomenal and cannot be stopped; it was guaranteed to occur a long time before anyone even realized something was amiss.

It isn’t normal for children to be worse off than their parents. While there will always be calamitous events which have an influence outside the control of society, in a society such as ours we have the technology and capital available to protect against all but the most catastrophic of natural events. In order to explain why the children of a society such as ours face a future worse than that of their own parents or grandparents, the explanation must be social. It wasn’t an asteroid or plague which has left us worse off; it is the burning up of social capital without replacing that so the future generations have the benefit of these institutions. We weren’t made worse off so much as our own parents, and the parents before them, did nothing to make our situation better off. They did not do what they could to strengthen their own marriages and families, instead they clamored to divert to themselves all possible resources at any expense to the future. They never sought to make sure their children would be well off, but were focused on promoting egalitarianism. They tried to rescue everyone from poverty and just assumed that everything they were afforded while growing up would be around even if they did nothing to actually make it be around.

Why do we tax cigarettes? Besides that it is a way for the government to give itself your money, the purpose is to be punitive. A higher price induces lower quantity demanded. This is very simple economics. The more something costs, the less people want of something.

And it works, to a point. There is a limit, however, to the amount of cigarette smoking that can be effectively prevented through high punitive taxes. At a sufficiently high level of taxation, it becomes feasible for those more criminally inclined to smuggle in cigarettes from regions where the tax is not so high. In some places, the punitive tax has the effect of driving most cigarette sales underground. Cigarettes are not banned or prohibited, but they practically are, with the price pushed outside of tolerability for most who would choose to smoke cigarettes in the first place.

Agree or disagree with whether cigarette smoking ought to be stigmatized, the effect must be kept in mind. The disincentivizing of a behavior through increasing the cost of it is one of the most basic principles of social organization. Whatever you increase the cost of, you get less of.

It should be apparent that the change in equilibrium rates of marriage and family formation is due to some changes in society. It is not an effect without cause. The suggestion of the neoreactionary is that the cost of marriage and family formation has been increased. It is more costly to make happen, it is more costly to undertake, and it is more costly to sustain. This explains very easily and simply why the rates of marriage and birth have declined so precipitously. It is not so much that society re-evaluated its desire for marriage so much as marriage itself was changed. It isn’t technically prohibited, but its costs have been raised substantially over the last 100 years in ways explicit and implicit. The family is essential, as it is literally the institution which perpetuates society. To make the family more costly is to make the perpetuation of society more costly.

That is, in sum, your problem right there. Entropy is always working on society, but it never succeeded at total ruin because what was taken from society by nature was replaced more than sufficiently by society. Except that now the mechanism to replace the failing parts of society is less reliable, less useful, less effective. The death of the family is the death of society.

Where did it go wrong? What was the first domino that saw the family become more difficult to develop in a society with literally no excuse? At least back then people were poor, so you can understand the “literally too poor to take care of a family” problem many people likely faced. In fact, the problem was so bad at times that children would die for want of basic necessities that their parents couldn’t provide. Even the likelihood of miserable failure and suffering didn’t decrease the equilibrium rate of marriage substantially.

No, the first domino was not birth control. That might seem an obvious answer, but the widespread acceptance and adoption of the Pill is part of a trend that began in the 19th century. That trend is the cult of childhood.

Childhood? What could possibly be wrong with childhood? Childhood is a happy, innocent age. The cult of childhood seems like it should increase the rates of marriage and birth, not decrease them. If the cult of childhood is an unequivocally modern norm, then clearly whatever would have to critique childhood is an inherently medieval worldview.

That might not be the worst. Let us examine the cult of childhood, to see why it is so abnormal and prohibitively costly.

The cult of childhood may be summarized as the view that children have an inalienable right to a period of development up to the age of 18 and sometimes even beyond which is free of significant life responsibilities or decisions. It is the responsibility of parents to provide their children with a high ease of living and many opportunities to indulge in carefree pursuits without a care in the world. Such a view seems only right given the prosperity of a society such as ours. To deprive a child of his childhood is to deprive someone of an essential life experience without which a person is incomplete. Life without a childhood is like a life without friends. Doable by all technical means, but probably worse than death.

Furthermore, even after childhood is technically finished, it is also the norm to spend several years at a postsecondary institution accumulating debt and foregoing all opportunities to work and start a family. Indeed, as has been covered extensively elsewhere in many ways, such a cultural norm of itself decreases the rates of family formation.

Providing a child with such a developmental experience is extremely costly when you consider that until the 19th century it was the norm for children to begin working with or for their family about the age of 14. When you consider that this could practically eliminate the financial cost of raising a child, you can see how this increases the cost of family formation radically. Although presently youth can begin work at the age of 16, sometimes 15 or 14 given certain legal exceptions, the expectation of every youth to finish high school before he is allowed to actually begin the work of life increases the difficulty of someone trying to go to work when they can. Extended adolescence and delayed adulthood are the norms; it should not surprise us when trends indicate that the phenomenal norms of adolescence pervade a person’s life through their 20′s, with very little effort put into family formation and much more expended building a substantially delayed career.

A one size fits all approach to the maturation of children simply doesn’t make sense. It should be taken as a practical reality that not all children are equally benefited by being afforded (or trying to afford, cf. inner-city schools) the same opportunities. Resources expended trying to raise an idiot to the educational attainment of a genius is obviously futile, but this is only an extreme instance of the same principle. It doesn’t make sense for society to afford the same developmental experience to all individuals. College isn’t for everyone. Nor is high school. Many would be better off if they were taught a trade beginning at the age of 14; you don’t need to know how to read Hemingway or how to calculate the area under a curve to do plumbing or construction, and all those hours spent in school learning such useless information are a disadvantage to the young man who would be better off if we instead afforded him the opportunity to begin building up work experience in a socially beneficial trade.

Note, of course, that I am not saying an extensive education should never be afforded to children. Many (I won’t say most, but it could be) are better off for it. However, that there are some who are better off for it does not entail all are better off for it. A diversity of realistic approaches to preparing children for the stresses of society was the historical norm, and it seems a return to this norm would help in restoring cultural norms to sustainable levels of family formation.

The point here is not only that a modern childhood is expensive, but our assumption that it is normal and of perfect benefit to everyone in every situation is problematic. At its logical extremes, it leads to first world Western nations trying to ban child labor in third world countries where child labor is the norm because that is what must be done to get by. Banning child labor in poor countries will not have the benefit of putting children in schools; if anything, it will leave the families of these children even worse off, putting education even further out of reach. An imperialist cultural chauvinism makes us blind to the fact that our view of childhood is but a mere cultural norm which differs greatly in other cultures that face different social and economic problems.

It isn’t sufficient to insist that “more should be done.” Every intervention which contravenes the market to make a society better off has the unintended consequence of pushing people to less optimal means of solving the basic dilemmas of acquiring food and shelter. The effect of banning child labor decreases the birth rate. While this effect will not be so pronounced in first world nations which have a high median income, this effect must be substantially more pronounced in those societies where the prohibition of sending/allowing your children to work only makes it more difficult to feed your children at all.

A plummeting birth rate is simply not sustainable. If a society will not replace its aging and dying members, it will wither like a body denied food. The body may continue along for a while, cannibalizing the protein of its muscles and organs in order to go on, but unless it obtains for itself more nutrients, it will die due to catastrophic organ failure. We cannot assume that civilization takes care of itself, that others have it covered. Nor can we even hope of ourselves that we will do it without incentivizing ourselves to do it. This implies that what has occurred is not a mere change in expectations, but a change in the structure of incentives which face a person in how he decides to live his life. There are many more things to say about the structure of family formation as it currently exists in our society, but the cultural view of childhood seems the most overlooked despite the way it substantially informs the decision to be married.

The costs of the cult of childhood are substantial and cannot be passed over with little attention. The majority of these costs are invisible, and showcase themselves through curious absences; the empty womb, the empty house, the empty marriage. Nothing in the modern world is beyond critique, even its most sacred dogmas.


Originally published Nov 28th, 2013

Part 5




Reprinting the Anarcho Papist, part 5


How to Look at the World Like a Neoreactionary, Part 5

If the lesson of the above extended examples of neoreactionary analysis may be expressed as principles, it is that apparent benefits often have unaccounted for costs, and that apparent costs often have unaccounted for benefits. Socialization, racism, and a dearth of childhood have their costs, but the fact of these costs should not make us blind to the benefits. Nor, I hope at this point, is the complicated reality of a protracted cost-benefit analysis of social norms going to leave anyone with the impression the optimal policies are universal. Admitting that a norm has benefits is not to say that it is good or even ever acceptable, while admitting that a norm has costs is not to say that it is bad or even never acceptable.

I am aware, on the one hand, that a simpler exposition could appeal to a wider population. Though, on the other hand which is always present, an oversimplification of any crucial point, the failure to note an essential distinction, even an accurate but poorly expressed idea will not only fail to convey the essence of neoreaction, it will obfuscate the core and put it beyond reach. The emphasis on costs that must be considered, the creation of winners and losers, is an integral concern.

What is neoreaction, ultimately? Though I have written a book with that title, no answer has yet been given. The previous parts have accomplished, I hope, not so much arguments which demonstrate the benefits and costs associated with certain present norms, but an introduction to the way in which the neoreactionary approaches the world. It is difficult to explain because unlike a political philosophy, it is not a set of doctrines which are individually examined and advocated, for it sees through a plurality of feasible doctrines which have the potential to serve some particular population well. Or, at least as well as any population could be served by that set of political doctrines.

To cop an illustration from the setup of many role playing games, the effectiveness of a character has at least two primary components; the ability of the character in question and the equipment he utilizes. When a character is first being created, there are a scarcity of skill points which must be administered, creating an opportunity cost. To make a character more skilled at magic, he will be less skilled in areas of strength, and vice versa. Likewise, the excellence of a weapon may yield a greater attack damage, but it may require a sufficiently high level to be utilized. It is not that the wooden sword is preferred overall, but it is preferable when the next best weapon, say an iron sword, is unable to be wielded by your character due to his low level.

Societies can be given the same treatment. There is the innate qualities inherent to a population, and then there is the form of governance it has. Though neoreaction frequently comes around to an anti-democratic perspective, this is no necessity and a democratic advocacy is compatible. However, this is only the case where a society is limited by some very strict conditions. One of these conditions is almost certainly that the population is extremely small, no larger than 150 or so. This is due to the intrinsically equalizing nature of democracy when promoted at sizes larger than this, where it becomes the interest of groups to vote themselves benefits at the expense of other groups. When everyone in the tribe technically prefers each other and there is no out-group which might be extorted, that failure mode of democracy simply cannot occur. Granted, this democratic arrangement remains very unstable, as it may be very easily subverted by a conspiracy of only a few of the most powerful members of the tribe; however, more stable arrangements, such as monarchy, are a greater disadvantage.

The advantage-disadvantage paradigm applies to every potential form of governance. Each form has its advantages and disadvantages, even those which are at certain scales very sub-optimal. As an aspirational anarcho-capitalist (I believe anarcho-capitalism is most likely the optimal form of governance, provided the best kind of society), it is a paradox to admit that I find statist arrangements tolerable. This is simply due to the nature of a society such as ours, which is highly disadvantaged by democracy whereas it would be better advantaged by a more monarchical or even corporate model. As such, it is simplistic to say neoreaction is pro-monarchy, anti-democracy. While it is true that is the political philosophy many of us adapt, it is adapted contingent on the kind of society available to be structured by a set of political doctrines.

If this may be contrasted with modernism, modernism is over-universalistic. It is guided by a key conclusion: that every group should be practically the same in outcome. This conclusion is the result of two fundamental principles. The first is that justice is equality, and the second is the all are essentially the same. The biological differences between the sexes and the races have a negligible effect on how well people choose to do, and since everyone is practically equal, it follows that in an ideal world where no one has any accidental advantage over another, outcomes will be roughly equal. Any systematic inequalities, as they cannot be due to significant differences between groups, must be due to the injustice of people being treated differently, without respect to their essentially (same) dignity. Ergo it is assumed that systematic inequalities are due to insufficiently egalitarian social norms, the institutionalization of racism and sexism, and the accident of luck in the initial distribution of capital. You can see how this produces the thesis of Jared Diamond concerning Africa’s failure to sustain civilization that it is due to disadvantageous agricultural features. The modernist perspective sees the problem with Africa is Africa. This is in contrast to the neoreactionary perspective, which sees the problem with Africa is Africans.

Getting to the end of equal outcome between groups tends to be the end of politics even between both socialists and libertarians. Both argue their society is preferable on the basis that it would lead to this preferable outcome; more wealth for more people. The differences between them are not moral in character, but only material. They are disagreed as to the material effects of policy more than any moral effects. They are strictly secular. This has its most concentrated articulation by modern economists, who make a simplistic equivalence between GDP and utility. It is no concern of theirs what that GDP is constituted by, be it entirely pizzas and beer or charity and religious iconography. Utility is money, money is utility. As all money is strictly fungible, so is utility. They may protest and say this is itself a simplistic characterization, it yet captures the spirit. Inasmuch as the libertarian accepts systematic differences of outcome between groups, this is due to the problem of social knowledge.

The insight of neoreaction, contrasting this, is that the differences between groups do significantly determine the optimal form of governance. To different groups, different political doctrines. Insofar as different treatment of groups is institutionalized, it tends to be institutionalized in respect of the differences those groups. A different group of people calls for a difference in evaluation. This will not and in most cases should not be simplistic, but again, the most optimal forms of evaluation are not going to be able to be wielded by every society. It is easy for an individual who has received an extensive education and been afforded the opportunity to form associations with other races to imagine that different races can and should get along; but to a medieval peasant, these differences in races almost always are correlated to very uncomfortable and bothersome behaviors. Most nations first formed along racial lines, which entailed that all interstate violence was almost always a racial conflict in addition to a political conflict. The separating of race and politics may not ever be afforded to societies.

A pessimistic conclusion this must be considering the modernist definition of “optimism” which conflates with the dissolution of all in-group/out-group cultural properties. But then again, considering the penchant for progressivists to insist that institutions can be “invisibly racist” and individuals to be “subconsciously racist,” the principle of suggesting that the group of individuals who assent to and form an identity under Progress are invisibly and subconsciously tribalistic themselves. This should explain to progressive atheists why progressivism uniquely attracts those of New Age, neo-pagan, and animal rights persuasion. The willingness of progressivists to signal affiliation with progressive policies is just correlated in the first place to a willingness to signal through belief as attire. These are beliefs held not so much for their own sake, but because of the cost involved with maintaining them (e.g. due to what other understanding of the world it precludes), they form an effective of means to distinguish between who is a true believer of the given religion. The crazier someone is willing to believe, the crazier someone is willing to dress, the crazier someone is willing to act, this signals their affiliation to the group. After all, it is the tendency of liberals in general to signal tribal affiliation through what newspapers they read, what TV shows they watch, and what cars they drive. A person who reads the New York Times, watches The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and drives a Toyota Prius probably didn’t vote for Romney in the last election. Is there a conservative equivalent? Certainly, but the stereotype is much less frequently occurring. And yes, in case the liberal feels like I’m picking on him too much (never enough, in my opinion), conservatives have their ways of signalizing tribal affiliation. NRA anyone? (Mind you, I’m generally opposed to firearms regulations. That doesn’t mean NRA isn’t a bit fanatical.)

The essential disagreement of neoreaction and modernism might not be any significant moral disagreement, only the deepest material disagreement. Both believe that justice is equality, but both disagree as to whether everyone is equal. If modernism is correct, then all people are equal, and justice requires equal treatment. If neoreaction is correct, then all people are not equal, and justice requires unequal treatment.

If I may ask the progressive for the first time to suspend his assumptions about how the world is, let us suppose that the people living in a very traditional, religious society are also the happiest they may be given any level of economic development. This is just a thought experiment; you don’t need to believe this is actually, but work from that assumption for the sake of argument. It seems clear that creatures being happiest in a highly asymmetric society is not outside the realm of possibility. If people are happiest in such a society, on what grounds would you insist that it is the duty of people to suffer in the name of egalitarianism? Why is the end of society in something else other than human flourishing?

What justifies modernism, if not simply its promise of happiness?


Originally published Saturday Nov 30th, 2013

Part 6



Reprinting the Anarcho Papist, part 6


How to Look at the World Like a Neoreactionary, Part 6

There is nothing that indicates failure of a belief about society than when its advocate must propose the given end be pursued “at all costs.” This point in the negotiation, where it is literally admitted that, must one choose between any other possible thing which might be had, all these would be expended in pursuit of the end.

A good thing pursued at all costs becomes evil. Consider an anti-racist. It is all well and good that they should like people to not exercise undue racial prejudices, and that if possible schemes of mutual understanding and interaction be formed. These are benign sentiments, and certainly no neoreactionary would object to some sense of this. However, such a good becomes evil when even greater goods are sacrificed for it. If we suppose we had to make a choice between a world that was more racist and a world that literally blew up (absurd it may seem), it seems better to tolerate a little more racism than to tolerate a lot of death. Go to your priest and have yourself absolved however you must for exercising a utilitarian method, but this seems at least common sense. No one is saying it would be fair for the negatively affected races, but as you must realize, life isn’t fair. No, really. Good and evil might not roughly equal out. We can hope that there will be in sum more good, but we should plan as though there would be in sum more evil. It exposes us to fewer risks.

Fairness is only one good amongst others. It is a value worth upholding where possible and when just, but it is not always just to institute certain understandings of “fairness.” It seems permissible to give a higher income to someone who sacrifices more for society, which is an inequality. This can, and should, be done in the name of excellence.

The problem with modernism is its all-too-easy insistence on achieving its vision at all costs. If we suppose that the African-American population could’ve been brought to an economic parity with the majority white population with a one time public expense which would have no significant effect on government debt or taxes, it would be hard to argue against such a proposal except from concerns relating to problems particular to government, not the issue per se.

But what if we don’t live in that world? It is tempting to think we live in such a world; just throw money at your problems, and they’ll go away of their own accord! Suppose you knew, for ironclad economic reasons, that such a policy would make everyone significantly worse off. You wouldn’t be a racist to oppose the policy, given your grounds.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe such a scenario is practically impossible. Perhaps you happen to believe a well-executed public program could reverse institutional racism. The point of this is to diagnose how your morals operate in systems that follow different material laws. The neoreactionary perspective is very nearby ultimately, it only requires the right focus. And to turn the lights on.

It is like having made your way to the light, only to find that the reason it is so difficult to persuade those still in the cave is that the world above you tell them about doesn’t fit their preconceptions. What if, in a certain way, it was worse outside?

Humans naturally exercise prejudice. Every age thinks they do not, and particularly their own age. That they thought they weren’t beholden to any unjust prejudice is evidence precisely of how in the thrall of prejudice all these people were.

Have we escaped the meaner depths of our nature? We believe ourselves to be free of prejudice, which is prime evidence that we are subject to massive prejudice. What are our prejudices in this day and age, save that of anti-racist and anti-sexist sympathies? We are, in other words, prejudiced against racists and misogynists. This may not seem to you the greatest evil, and perhaps it is not, but that makes it no less a prejudice. That we excuse our prejudice with an insistence on the prejudice is proof of its grip. “Well, they really are like that!” Prejudice is prejudice, whether rightly or wrongly exercised.

The point is not that this prejudice is somehow worse, only that we naturally exercise prejudices. The tendency of humans to stereotype is instinctual. We can help but think about the world through stereotypes. We can recognize the limitations of our stereotypes, but that does not mean we adopt a heuristic of stereotypes in our snap decisions. We must think our feelings and thoughts as being adaptive features in the same way our bodies are evolutionarily descended on the basis of its adaptiveness to its environment. We have a physiological frame as we do because it is adapted to our environment. What does not contribute to survival and sexual reproduction is wasted resources. Thoughts and feelings are the same; the reason we evolved an inner life is because it proved more adaptive given the environment compared to those with a dearth of inner life. In other words, you have the feelings you do about yourself and others, and these typical feelings tend to be felt by everyone, because they prove more adaptive overall to the perpetuation of those genes. If the emotions of happiness, sadness, boredom, and so on did not promote the survival and reproductive success of the individual, evolution would never have produced them.

The software of our inner life then must have proved adaptive value. This should make us stop and think. If the troglodyte survived because he exercised more prejudice, and we call people who more obviously exercise prejudice troglodytes, aren’t we essentially saying they are exercising a proven strategy for survival and reproductive success? Exercising prejudice is as natural as smiling when we’re happy. We don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with smiling, yet smiling has noticeable failure modes, such as when it lets on to others that we’re lying or they succeed in making us laugh when we stubbornly wished to refuse to do so. What is so different about prejudice? It would not have evolved in us unless it had provided some net benefit in terms of evolutionary success.

It doesn’t tell us that we’re fatalistically inclined towards perpetual violence and warfare. We are, but that has less to do with our natures than with the varying strategies available to groups who would both prefer their own existence over the others (and there isn’t always the possibility of peaceable compromise that doesn’t still leave one certainly worse off). When we are afforded the conditions that do not put distinct groups in competition with one another, we can form cooperative ventures with each other to beneficial ends. But sometimes, due to the accidents of history or geography, groups come into conflict.

The appropriate response to the knowledge that we are subject to these evolutionarily-descended psychological heuristics is not to give in to it in the most vulgar fashion, nor to ignore them, but to inquire as to information the possession of a prejudice-forming psychology indicates about the world we live in. If perfect cooperation had always proved most adaptive, we would have evolved to it. (Likewise, if perfect competition had proved most adaptive, we would have evolved to it.) Human evolution is pitted against itself. Those people who are able to fulfill some social role are able to survive individually, indicating the prevalence of a number of distinct personalities according to a roughly adaptive ratio (e.g. so many INTP’s and so few ESFJ’s). This indicates, furthermore, a spectrum of psychological types which have stronger and weaker correlations to political sympathies. Some people just are biologically liberal, some just are biologically conservative. This won’t be an exploration of how political views are influenced by psychological type, but the fact that there is a specific variability should indicate there is a group benefit to the back-and-forth of conservative and liberal types in the social dynamics of the tribe. We might see how much is lost due to the competitive nature of man, but what would there be to see if man had no competitive nature at all?

Human nature is not only a brute fact we should design our systems around, it also provides valuable information. That a definite and specific behavior has psychologically innate qualities indicates it provides some level of adaptedness by being exercised. This is a fact that by necessity cannot be integrated into an ideologically which essentially rejects the potential for prejudice to ever be compatible with optimal outcomes.

The God of Biomechanics is a stern taskmaster. His only goal is your survival and reproductive success, and he has designed your feelings to optimize your behavior to these ends. You feel happy or sad as accords whether feeling positively or negatively at certain times influences your behavior in certain ways. The God of Biomechanics is a moral idiot savant; he maximizes only for the maximal perpetuation of genes, and must be balanced among the other Nature’s Gods as to our optimal end. But he never lies, and his dictates provide valuable information we cannot profitably discard.


Originally published Dec 2nd, 2013

Part 7