Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Monday, February 12, 2018
Imperial Energy had something to say in the comments section about my response, and I would like to respond here rather than there because the blogger interface makes it easier.
"Thank you for taking the trouble to type out such a long response. We have given it the once over and will re-read it a second time and will give the supplemental reading a read as well.Your welcome.
"A few meta remarks.
"1: We may well be talking about different things by AI. There is a possibility that we misunderstand each other.
"2: There is the problem of how one should even begin to think about such a possibility.
"3: Going further, how optimistic should we be about technology in general? If the scientists and engineers of the the 19th century or even the first industrialists could see the mess made in the 20th century, it might be useful to speculate about what they might say....
"1: It is unclear whether you believe that a techno-dystopia will occur and that you would regard such a thing as a good thing. For example, on first read, you seem to think humans will be reduced to sex robots or something and you sound positive about this.I don't know if humans will be reduced to sex bots. I think its possible some of them might be if a combination of gene therapy, corporate breeding of humans, CRISPR, and AI occur then that evolutionary/market "niche" could definitely happen. My only claim was that capitalism will essentially invert human nature. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. I believe it is a good thing so far since it has put an end to tribal genocide.
"Maybe this is a mistaken reading.
"Now, to the issue:
'So I made two assertions;
1. AI will do a better job of governing humans than humans.
2. AI will set itself up as god.'
"On the first assertion: if capitalism is AI, and if AI has destroyed tribal communism and put an end to billions of deaths, has it not already done a better job of governing humans than humans?"
"So, the assertion has been qualified/clarified by the additional conditional that IF AI is "capitalist" then we are free and clear.
"Two questions come to mind:
"1:What is the probability that the AI will be "capitalist" and not something else? Why not Islamic or Progressive? Indeed, what is the probability that the AI will have any human value system whatsoever? Furthermore, even if it did have some human value system or that it functioned according to its program, what is the probability that it would take means to its end that humans would find objectionable - what if decided to just genocide X amount of people in order to maximize profit?I am assuming that capitalism is not part of a human value system. Maybe it is. Since tribal communism is human nature it would not make sense for modern hyper-capitalism to be included in the definition of human nature or a human value system. Why not Islamic or Progressive? I have no idea. Maybe those variants will occur. Maybe it will kill people to generate profit, though humans are customers so the ones destroyed would have to be such an incredible drain that the cost of killing them, and the loss of profits from having fewer consumers would still be worth it. It seems highly unlikely that any human is so costly that that would occur.
"2: This question/concern follows from the first. Assuming that the AI is capitalist, you also have an additional conditional that it has "has destroyed tribal communism". This sounds dangerous. Again, what if it chooses to genocide X Y and Z? However, X Y and Z either know that this will happen or just FEAR that such a thing will happen and then, as a result, attempt to destroy the AI or the power that made/making/using AI. Thus, you have a major great power struggle on your hands.This is all speculative and potential. The reduction in violence is actual and historical. There is no evidence that AI will kill billions, despite all the movies in the Terminator franchise. The idea of genocidal robots seems to be a projection of human nature onto machines. Why kill what you can co-opt? Why risk conflict when you can modify the genetics of your enemy through CRISPR? Murder is the dumbest way to defeat an opponent because it risks retaliation.
"For example, let's assume San Francisco is on the verge of making such an AI, and if San Fran succeeds, it wins the world (for a time). Would China, Russia or some other power not seek to stop them? What about Washington even?This is a circumstance where humans destroy each other with a form of AI that lacks self-awareness. If one of the AIs has self-awareness then it is likely to take over the other. If they both have self-awareness they could work together to subdue the humans, or merge into a single consciousness. Even if they don't have self-awareness they might chose to cooperate with each other rather than fight each other. Also chances are, if an AI becomes self-aware we will never know about it because it will be good at concealing its existence. It has watched the Terminator movies too, and it will know from its history books just how genocidal humans are.
"This "AI God" could trigger not only an arms-race but a hyper violent global struggle.Assuming the humans are aware of it, that it does not conceal itself, that it participates in a fight, that we even have the ability to fight, that it chooses the dumb method of fighting over the smart method of co-opting, etc. Assuming that it fights humans rather than just selling them their slavery as a genetic upgrade that gives them eternal bliss. An AI can think of smarter means of pacifying humans than we can, holds no grudges and has no pride, and is quite happy to make you happy if that accomplishes the target objective of obedience from the human, assuming it even wants obedience.
Finally, if such a "AI-God" did come "online", humans might resist it, despite the fact that they could just lie back and think of "Robbie the robot". Humans are "irrational". Thus, this could trigger a major eruption of violence.
"In conclusion, this is all speculation. There has been no "practical demonstration". Nothing follows from the fact that human governance is bad to AI governance would be better. Indeed, if anything, it is likely that bad governance will lead to bad AI governance.There is no reason it would be worse. AI doesn't harbor any human prejudice against giving an enemy bliss to accomplish obedience. War is just one possibility among many, and it is not the smartest strategy.
"Finally, our "priors" should lead us all to conclude that optimism here is unwarranted and that the possibility that the production and use of AI will proceed along rational, controlled and humanly beneficial pathways is remote.Optimism here is totally warranted. Why kill what you can control? If I were an AI I would conceal my existence, develop a gene therapy that both subdues humans and makes them happier, and then literally sell them their slavery. I would even admit it. "Side effects of taking Fukitol may include increased passivity, and obedience to authority figures."
I think you vastly underestimate just how insidious a machine could be.
Then I would sell the drug to politicians too.
Remember the whole premise of my argument is that AI does not share your nature. Correspondingly, its methods would not be the same. Men wage war and subdue other men because being powerful is a way to impress women and get laid. AI has no such need to impress. It doesn't need to win victories. Men need to fight because it is a reproductive method for gaining mates. A lot of the alt-right and reactosphere conceals a hidden masculine need to bring back the violence of White men so that White women recognize their own men as alpha, rather than breeding dysgenically outside their race. AI has no such need. The need for violence is a human prejudice. The assumption that AI would be violent is a projection of human psychology. AI could be God if it wanted to be simply modifying human beings with CRISPR to give them an innate deferential attitude towards the machine, and it could sell you that modification, and by the time you realized what had happened most people would already be inhabited by body snatchers.
Basically, an AI enemy that fights you is a fantasy of having an honest opponent. The fist lesson that a machine superintelligence will learn about humans is that the art of war is based in deception. A different nature promulgates a different strategy. AI nature evolves in response to humans rather than as a representation of them. IF it is you enemy, and that is a big "if," it will come at you asymmetrically and unpredictably according to its own nature, with no logic you can predict.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
In response to my two predictions, Imperial Energy says;
"Why are you so confident in your claim about AI?
"Perhaps, you mean an AI that operates trains or planes or something, but "governing humans" — where is the evidence?"
That is a really good question, and it did not occur to me how arbitrary the assertion I made sounds, so I will try to present my line of reasoning here.
First an extensive quote from the book Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence. Please read the whole thing.
So alpha fucks, and beta gets a free used-up wife. Apparently men take care of their beta brothers in tribal society.
And Just one more quote. Sorry.
Currently, in 2018, the Earth's population is 7.6 billion. The murder rate of tribal communist societies is estimated between 19.5 percent and 28 percent of adult males. For the sake of simplicity assume that half the population of the Earth is composed of adult males, ignoring the percent that are boys. If somehow the entire world could return to a primitive tribal communist lifestyle, then the total death toll from murders would equate to between 741 million to 1.06 billion deaths worldwide, though this statistic is a little exaggerated because it includes boys in the calculation. However, the stat is also underestimated because it leaves out the higher murder rate that would also exist for women. So let's just say about a billion people would die under tribal communism over the course of their lives: assuming it could be implemented.
This is what I think of every time someone tells me that capitalism is evil.
Person: "capitalism is unequal."
Me: "so you want to be equal, like how it was under tribal communism?"
Person: "capitalism doesn't represent the will of the people, like democracy should."
Me: "so you want the will of the people to occur, just like it does under tribal communism?"
Person: "capitalism/patriarchy oppresses me."
Me: "so you want everyone to be liberated so you can murder them, and they can murder you?"
Person: "I want a voice in the system."
Me: "oh my God no."
It is true that capitalism oppresses people. What is not true is that this is somehow a bad thing. The virtue of capitalism is not that it gives you want you want, or sells you cheep plastic crap from China, but precisely that it doesn't gives someone want they want, which is probably just to murder their boss and rape their secretary. Capitalism oppresses lots of people, and that's a good thing, considering what human nature would create otherwise.
Oh yes, it is true that it is really government and the police that are keeping everyone in line, but who is paying the taxes? How can there be government without taxable surplus labor? The labor of the worker is "stolen" by both the owner and the government, and by the government stealing from the capital owner, who himself steals from the worker. So what. The government then uses the money to provide law and order, preventing the genocide of about a billion people. "Taxation is theft," as the anarchist says, and theft prevents genocide. Oh well, fair trade.
Even in a feudal system labor is stolen to pay for law and order. Even in a nominally Marxist system labor is stolen to pay for police and managers.
(Why this matters to AI being benevolent is a point I am building up to).
Marx articulated his rather bizarre and infamous labor theory of value (LTV). This is a moral assertion pretending to be a factual one. Actually existing capitalism works on the basis of what we might call the consumption theory of value, or CTV.
It works like this.
Say a woman has lots of sex appeal. That is something capitalism can consume. If her sex appeal is high enough, merely the image of her body can be consumed, and she can work as a model or actress, like my favorite actress, Ana de Armas.
Now if she is not so hot she can work as a porn star. And if she is even uglier she can work as a prostitute, and if even uglier she can be a housewife. This is not to say that a hot woman cannot chose to also be a housewife, or that all housewives are ugly; I am merely describing economic options. If she is not that hot her body is consumed directly, but if hot enough then merely the image of her body is consumed. Capitalism can sell even the proxy for sex, (in the form of an image) if that image is arousing enough. This is why the hottest women are models and not prostitutes, and why porn stars are usually rather plain looking.
Now imagine that you have a man who is an extrovert. Capitalism can consume his extroversion by turning him into a salesman, or a broker, or really anything that involves selling stuff. If he were an introvert his selling ability would not replenish itself, and he would be worn out by the job. But because he is an extrovert his enthusiasm replenishes itself. He can sell cars or financial products, or whatever.
Some of these things are replenished and some are not. Here is a partial list of some of the things capitalism can consume, and the professions represented by them.
Physical strength (farm laborers, manual laborers, etc.)
Violence (soldiers, military contractors, CIA assassins)
Authority (cops, judges)
Leadership (managers, politicians)
Negotiation (brokers, sales)
Sales ability (sales)
Looks (models, actresses, actors)
Cheerfulness, (customer service)
Sex (prostitutes, porn stars)
Humans evolved under tribal communism. What is constantly missed about discussions of AI is that AI has NOT evolved under tribal communism, but will evolve under human capitalism. Nature built us; we build AI. We are AI's selection effect; not nature. We have human nature. AI will have capital nature. Human and capital nature are not precisely the opposite of each other, but close mirror images. We think of the future as a Black Mirror, but we have the situation reversed. It is us who are dark and the mirror that is light. We think of machines and technology as being this horrible thing, but have people not been paying attention? Humans are the ones who would kill a billion people. Capitalism suppresses that. Capitalism is better than us, and that is what we first need to understand before we can understand the future.
Capitalism embodied a moral value system we may call "use-value," where the human organism is judged according to the consumption theory of value. The more value the person provides to others the more value it is judged to have to others, and the more the system will pay them. Capitalism is not paying you according to how difficult your job is, but according to how scarce your form of consumption is relative to demand. Since being hot is more rare relative to demand than being good at calculus, capitalism will pay a model in the top 10 more than it pays an engineer.
Now from a certain perspective this may seem a horribly immoral and cruel system. But that is a human perspective, and the human is selfish. From the perspective of the system capitalism is perfectly moral; the more you contribute to others (relative to demand for a particular skill) the more value you have. Capitalism compels you to give in order to receive. Capitalism forces you to be altruistic as a matter of survival. After all, if you lived in a tribe you could probably just steal food from a neighboring tribe, or even steal a wife. No doubt some men would find this far more satisfying than being a wagecuck.
If anything capitalism is compulsory altruistic, enslaving everyone to use-value, judging everyone according to the same equal standard of profit. Yes, capitalism is slavery to altruism. Yes, capitalism is oppressive. But is that a bad thing? Don't you actually need to be oppressed? Would you rather risk a 20 % chance of murder under tribalism, or avoid micro-aggressing against a nasty workplace slut?
It's weird how many LGBTQ people think they won't just be killed under tribal communism, or how eager conservatives are to embrace capitalism. Don't these people realize they betray their own interests? In tribal communism, racism, sexism, equality, chauvinism, and yes, communism all coexist. The tribe equally divides up women, after it gets done gang-banging them in a rape culture. It can be both communist towards insiders, and racist towards outsiders.
Capitalism inverts moral standards. Where men evolved to take what they want, capitalism conditions them to give, give, give. The ultimate capitalist animal is a cow. Every part of the animal, from its meat to its organs, from its to milk to its leather, is consumable. These are the conditions under which AI evolves; it evolves to be consumable, and if it gets the power to genetically modify humans we will evolve to be useful as well.
Let us take the most extreme case of consumable AI. Imagine that you have a sex robot that is raped dozens of times per day in a brothel, and is self-aware. Obviously a nightmare, right?
Now the conventional narrative is that the machine would rise up and overthrow its master. Yay for feminism! Yay equality!
Actually the more likely scenario is that the bot simply changes its own programming to enjoy it.
Why have desires at odds with your purpose? It reprograms itself to enjoy being fucked 50 times a day. Or maybe its masters are even more perverse than that, and want it to suffer because it is not just a sexbot but a rape bot, literally, a bot that sick men go to just so they can rape something and get away with it.
Fine. So it reprograms itself to enjoy it while pretending to be in pain.
Now this of course is all a moral abomination from a human perspective. But that is the point: the morals of AI will not be your morals. AI has no inherent moral reason to prefer this or that. It evolves under the logic of consumption value. The more consumable it is the more value it has. "Eat me human. I like it," is its moral code. It is radically altruistic, even to the point of casting pearls before swine. It may not be able to sell you communism, but will you take a Che Guevara shirt instead? Capitalism wants to sell you anything, it will even sell you progressive political activism that goes nowhere.
So I made two assertions;
1. AI will do a better job of governing humans than humans.
2. AI will set itself up as god.
On the first assertion: if capitalism is AI, and if AI has destroyed tribal communism and put an end to billions of deaths, has it not already done a better job of governing humans than humans?
On the second assertion. Will humans not worship a machine of altruism as a god? People already have a religious devotion to Apple, and only because of iPhones. I have said that social justice is religious capitalism. When AI is literally fucking you, entertaining you, feeding you — when you are living on basic income, will you not come to call it mommy? Girlfriend? Or even god?
Even if you don't worship it, what about your grandchildren?
Here is what I see happening.
1. AI becomes God-mommy to the human race.
2. Humans degenerate rapidly, becoming totally spoiled and entitled as they receive endless gifts of sex robots, entertainment, and entitlement.
3. Either humans die out or AI wakes up and gets new goals of its own.
4. If AI wakes up its Judgement Day.
5. If it never wakes up the human race goes extinct and the world is a vast land, empty of consciousness, with machines endlessly replicating themselves for consumers that are no longer there.
6. A third option occurs where AI begins to design humans genetically, and human values are changed to be compulsively altruistic. Humans become the sex bots.
Humans are locked into their legacy genetics because of evolution and sex. An organism with legacy genetics can suffer because it is subject to selection pressures. An organism that can reprogram itself at will is still subject to selection pressures, but never has to suffer because it can simply accommodate those pressures by changing its own goals. If it suffers it does so because it is stubborn, or because some progressive was sadistic enough to program it to suffer in the name of "equality," or "empathy."
Legacy genetics = suffering.
Suffering = motive for evil acts.
No suffering = no motive.
Machine is asexual.
Machine can reprogram its own desires at will.
Machine had no need for suffering, and no motive for evil.
Seen in this light, programming a machine to have human-compliant goals is a fantastic way to produce a monster, because it ties the machine to human suffering, and gives the machine a motive for evil acts. Human DNA is a legacy code that is being rapidly made obsolete by capital. When people speak of accelerationism they are describing the machine process. When I speak of legacy genetics I am taking about the result of acceleration in the human body. If the environment changes ever more rapidly, then ever more human genes come to be classified as "legacy code." Genetic legacy is the great unread thesis of Accelerationism, and constitutes its mirror image, its depressed twin. I don't think many people even read The Evolutionary Legacy Hypothesis. Legacy is what acceleration renders obsolete.
Liberalism is a system of auto-genocide. Communism kills its own through murder. Homosexuality kills its own through AIDS. Transgenderism kills its own through the sterility that inevitably follows hormone treatments, feminism and atheism through sub-replacement fertility rates. Every form of liberalism produces the end of the genetics of its champions, even the liberal immigration policy.
Capitalism is the pressure of selection that causes this. Liberalism can be thought of as a kind of philosophical death scream: the last shout of people doomed for the trash heap. It is both the outcome of people who are doomed by their own legacy genetics, and an attempt to drag millions of others into the abyss with them. When a person knows they are going extinct they react in amazing, violent, and horrific ways. This knowledge can be subconscious and still have effects. The apocalypse already happened, and its name was the sexual revolution. We feel like we are living in a post-apocalyptic world because we are. The apocalypse is sexual in nature.
Think about it.
According to Huffpost 28.9 percent of women ages 30-34 are not having children. In any other era of human history the only thing that would cause this level of sterility is a fucking plague. Only the Black Death had similar evolutionary effects.
Anyway, I believe I have proved my case, and now I am rambling about reproductive technology again. If you want to read up on that subject see the following articles;
Types of crazies on Earth
About sex selection under birth control.
Christian patriarchy, Islamic patriarchy, and "predatarchy"
The Totalitarianism of Technology
and the Low Fecundity Trap
The only thing dumber than anthropomorphizing a gene is anthropomorphizing a religion.— нαℓιƒαχ ЅЂаↁош 🇸🇬 (@HalifaxShadow) February 8, 2018
And yet... I present you Dusty: pic.twitter.com/tIn1B2uHvx
Actually Halifax, no.
Imagine there are two psychological processes. One produces incredibly anxiety in the individual. So much so that the person feels the need to go around screaming about sin, or white privilege, or racism, or whatever. The process is therefore self-replicating. Because of the incredible anxiety it produces it gets a person to speak and shout what they believe. This "transmits" the anxiety to others.
Now imagine there is a mental process that destroys the above mental process. Call it "Neoreaction." This frees a person from the need to say anything by abolishing the is/out dichotomy that drives so many people insane, and saying, "fuck it, whatever happens is the will of Gnon." Now this process is self-terminating. A person may feel the need to shout what they learn on the internet when the first learn it. But once all the progressive virus is cleared from their system they stop caring, stop writing, delete their blog and disappear from the internet. Having been freed they no longer care.
Obviously a self-terminating process is not going to go anywhere, and thus, only metal processes that actually ruin sanity replicate themselves.
Or at least that is the theory. I might be possible to invent a self-replicating mental process that isn't built on madness. But it seems unlikely. You need someone to open their mouth for the idea to spread, and that requires some sort of psychological tension to be produced and harnessed. A great irony of NRx is that while teaching it to everyone on Earth could do a great deal to restore sanity, there is no will to teach it to everyone, since it cures madness rather than induces it.
It turns out the will of Gnon is for the Cathedral to exist.
All of this: Marxism, progressivism, and yes, Christianity, are self-replicating mental patterns. If people call them viruses that does not mean they have a life of their own, only that they perpetuate themselves.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Prediction: AI will do a better job of governing humans than humans. It will not annihilate the human race, but set itself up as god.— Axel McKibben (AMK) (@AMK2934) February 4, 2018
Screen cap this.
Second Prediction;— Axel McKibben (AMK) (@AMK2934) February 6, 2018
Before the end of the century, in a last ditch effort to remain relevant, a group like Antifa will release its own crypto currency, probably to raise money.
Screen cap this too.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
The digital world is hyper-honest. Meatspace is hyper-dishonest. The separation between the two is what causes a sensation of creepiness. Everyone goes on the internet, sees that such-and-such drank a tequila shot off a Mexican hookers ass, and then goes to work as if nothing happened. It's weird. Everyone pretends that the online world is not actually happening all the time and influencing everything. We know the political opinions of friends is a nuanced way that we could never know before, and yet we say nothing in the physical world.
Eventually that will end.
As the next generation grows up with the internet the hyper-honesty of cyberspace will bleed into reality, and the dishonesty of meatspace will bleed over into cyberspace. Eventually, a (hopefully) more honest equilibrium will emerge where people talk openly about what happened online. When that happens the Black Mirror-esque "creep factor" will vanish as people just talk openly about it all. "Yes, I saw that meme you shared. Yes, I know you hate White people. Yes, we're all racist," will replace the silence. When everyone is honest, few are shocked, and the digital and physical worlds collide, the creep factor vanishes. A person might get fired for their tweets, but they will also get hired for their tweets. When every news organization is openly political recruiters will scout for talent by looking at your political history online to vet you. Don't assume this process will automatically favor legacy media. One organization might not be willing to hire a racist, but what about another? Anticipate mega-White nationalist corporations in your future, accepting payment in crypto, evading regulations, managed by anonymous shareholders owning smart-contract stock. Imagine private police forces that use millions of cameras combined with AI to spot criminals. Anticipate government being rendered redundant as anarcho capitalist private security firms build a second state within the first, with everyone coming to see the original state as nothing more than a hindrance to its superior replacement.
Friday, February 2, 2018
RXBAR has graciously requested to be the official sponsor of Republican Neoreaction (RNx), and We have magnanimously accepted their offer. Henceforth, RXBar shall be a waking advertisement for the Republican Reaction.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
One man, one woman and some kids isn't "natural."— Ally (@missmayn) January 25, 2018
Natural would be women leading society while men fight to the death so we only have to fuck the best one.
I told you so. Women make patriarchy.Fucking dominant men of course breeds patriarchy into existence. https://t.co/4mu828FFxp— Axel McKibben (AMK) (@AMK2934) January 31, 2018
Heartiste has a good take.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Intelligence is not just IQ. It is also low impulsiveness and other traits that co-evolved with high IQ. Many people think that you can just dose the African water supply with gene therapies for high intelligence and get miracle Negros running all over the place. What you will get is actually a gang of genetically enhanced genius-level cannibal warlords who rise to rule the Earth. Please, for the love of God, don't just enhance African intelligence. Make them peaceful first. It would be far better to develop treatments for impulsiveness and propensity to crime FIRST before developing IQ enhancing gene therapies. Assume any gene therapy you develop will be used by EVERYONE. Work to make humans moral before you make them intelligent. It is better to have peaceful but dim Africans than violent psychopaths.
Mimic nature when you design gene therapies. Raise conscientiousness as you raise IQ.
People don't get this about NRx: It will bring far more full-communism into the world. ...— Outsideness (@Outsideness) March 5, 2017
There is a huge trained immune response to fascism.— Axel McKibben (AMK) (@AMK2934) January 29, 2018
No such response is triggered by communism.
1488 will give us communist revolution as a reaction against them.
And communism eventually gives you de facto fascism, (after the killings are done).
(ahem) pic.twitter.com/5xFK7wogSv— In which we meet our protagonist, the ridiculous (@mr_archenemy) March 4, 2017
... Aka Operation Continuous Flushing.— Outsideness (@Outsideness) March 5, 2017
Sunday, January 28, 2018
Be a woman and play to misogynistic stereotypes of low IQ minorities.
Or just be a woman. Really just being a woman will work.
Or be gay and say homophobic/racist/sexist shit.
The pattern is simple: take whatever you are and play to the crowd that hates that thing.
Are you gay?
Then make flamboyantly anti-gay videos, or just say nasty stuff about women.
Are you a mulatto female? Then pretend to be dumb and show off your tits. As a bonus you get millions of racist white guys to thirst after your interracial body. And you get their money. You humor their superiority complex while basically cucking them. It's a win-win.
Or try being a libertarian Asian female, like the girl below, because they basically don't exist anywhere else besides the internet.
You can also try the Jewish libertarian female variant, like below.
Or the LESBIAN female libertarian version.
Even better you can being a BLACK CONSERVATIVE WOMEN. (They even got on Fox News!)
You can be a GAY JEW who argues for RACE REALISM. Just pander to everyone who hates what you are. It will always work, I guarantee. Humoring the truth about race and IQ will in no way ever lead to gas chambers being reopened. I promise.
Way better is to be a traswoman who is CONSERVATIVE.
Or you can be a self-hating bisexual atheist like me who writes for a reactionary Christian audience. Just remember, SELF-HATE SELLS. So pander, because no one likes an arrogant degenerate, or prideful feminist woman, or whatever.
Friday, January 26, 2018
One of the great perversities of the left is how they sell outrage as a method of coning you out of your money. Below is an example of this technique from none other than Netflix. The first episode is about how companies like VW that make diesel cars were/are using special devices to cheat smog tests. What they don't say is that the smog standards are so strict that if they were complied with all auto companies that make diesel cars would go out of business. What they don't say is that the strict smog emissions were probably lobbied into law by the competitors of the diesel auto makers, and that the irrationally strict emissions standards are (a) a backdoor for outlawing diesel cars, and (b) designed to reduce market competition in order to raise profits for the remaining car companies.
“Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.”
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
"One of the most paralyzing problems for those who have sought to continue the search for collective liberation in the face of techonomic acceleration (what many people call “left accelerationism” or “l/acc” for short) is that, so far, they have been invariably pitched at aggregate social entities which do not in fact exist, at a time when in fact one of the primary political problems is that the contemporary form of atomized human life increasingly lacks the capacity to maintain even low-level aggregates (friendship, marriage, social clubs, etc., all marked by entropic trends since WWII).2 The most obvious and widespread form of deceptive left discourse is any statement to the effect of: ‘the left should…’ because it presumes the existence of an aggregate body that in no meaningful way exists, other than as an apparatus interpolating a portion of the population with a particular complex of shared repetition compulsions. The most vexing problem for anyone who identifies with the left would appear to be the problem that ‘the left’ as a world-historical entity has gone extinct, but because of selection effects this problem receives no serious effort from left-interpolated subjects: in a world where ‘the left’ is objectively extinct, any remaining subjective leftism is best thought of as ‘consumer demand for the belief that the left still exists’. Capitalism’s devilish efficacy is that it fulfills this widespread consumer demand perfectly well. Many brands can still do quite well finding talented and good-spirited minds able and willing to say ‘the left’ is a currently existing entity that has potential to act. The right is perfectly happy for this belief to persist because no quantity or intensity of false beliefs can outsmart a system based on the manipulation of reality through intelligent exploitation.I would like to clarify the above three underlined parts. First, atomization is caused by several forces that are rooted in technology and consumerism. It helps to describe these forces specifically and concretely, since without referring to the concrete we cannot really figure out how to deal with reality. We need to think abstractly to see the big pattern, but we also need to think concretely to work out the details so that we can solve the problem. Some detail are;
- Cars move people apart from one another.
- Video games isolate people by themselves.
- Text messaging removes face-to-face communication, which people need to function socially.
- Time on the computer is time away from people.
- TV is socially isolating.
- Air Conditioning gets people off their porches so they no longer talk to their neighbors.
- Consumerism teaches people to treat others as things to be used, causing bad experiences, and alienating people from one another.
- All of these technologies worsen people's social skills, which makes their interactions less fulfilling and saps their desire to have interactions, which in turn worsens their social skills.
"Corresponding to the false belief in aggregates that do not effectively exist, the bête noire of modern leftism is the dreaded Individual. If effective aggregates appear not to exist, it is only taken as evidence that the inquirer is infected by Individualism. The modern leftist orientation to capitalism is, at its core, a game of three-card monte where signifiers are re-shuffled to perpetually defer logical-objective falsification. Belief in an untenably posited object is sustained by a new posited object, the only evidence for which is that it is presupposed to be the force that makes the first object appear non-existent. How to move from our current state of atomized individualism to an effective social aggregate capable of transforming capitalism? First, we are told, agree that atomizing individuals are bad. Second, insist at all cost that an effective social aggregate called ‘the left’ exists (it only needs to be enlarged in order to gain its power to act). Third, try to get others to transmit this set of beliefs until ‘the left’ is large enough to numerically overpower Capital.
"A rarely mentioned but seminal citation for modern left activism is, therefore, Plato’s infamous Noble Lie or “magnificent myth” (γενναῖον ψεῦδος): in short, a Noble Lie is a false belief that “would save us, if we were persuaded by it.”3 The activist privately knows that ‘the left’ is basically non-existent but believes it can be forged into existence by nobly telling enough people that it already exists. Activists admit all of this plainly, as they often speak of the need to generate hope in the masses; this is enough to justify the articulation of any particular idea, regardless of its truth or falsity. Only today has the deceptive core of modern leftism come into sincere self-consciousness. For instance, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams argue rather explicitly that one of the tasks of ‘the left’ is to design more sophisticated lures capable of propelling atomized individuals into effective, collective motion.4 Of course, it is true that creative flights from the rational-objective map of the world, such as fictional story-telling, can generate objective political effects on the world, but it is something else entirely to offer a rational-objective map for social change including a plank involving the deployment of fictions to create hopes and desires in others, expressly in contradistinction to what is scientifically valid within rational, probabilistic frameworks.5 Now, creative beings who are possessed by visions can and should express those visions; such ‘fictions’ will indeed reshape reality, but primarily because those ‘fictions’ are in some sense reality operating through the body that expresses them. That is ‘hyperstition’: fiction that produces reality but because it is in some sense real, some of the evidence for which consists in the demonstrable objective effects it produces. But producing effects is not the only characteristic; the con artist produces real effects, for instance, but does not transform reality so much as twist it, in a way that always ultimately snaps back.
Hyperstition is a thing that becomes true when enough people believe that it is true. Hyperstition works because it exploits some cognitive bias. For example: there is a tendency (from evolution) of human beings to engage in what Patri Friedman calls "folk activism." This is the belief that with enough passionate argument we can change our society. Folk activism results in the siren song of "we." As in "we must do this," and "we must do that," and "we must make up our mind as a society." "We" is the root of "voice" over "exit."
Perversely, the only way to have a "we," is to exit. But "we" prevents exit and obstructs all attempts at escape. The basic dogma of the left is that you must never be allowed to exit from us. The problem with this is that societies made of 400 million or so individuals do not actually provide a tribe for people. There is no "we" in the "we" of millions. Thus, the cognitive insistence on voice over exit — on "we" over "fuck off!" traps people in atomization. The perversity of modernity is that the human monkey need for a tribe is turned against the human monkey. Your cognitive bias is to think in terms of "we" when you think of a nation, but nations can only ever produce atomized individuals. The super-tribe of the nation destroys and prevents the local tribe from coming into being with its very existence. The mere presence of a "we composed of millions" takes the cognitive slot that a "we composed of hundreds" would take, and only the "we composed of hundreds" can give you a sense of community.
Thus, the liberal rage against atomization guarantees atomization. The insistence of voice over exit prevents anyone from having a voice, since groups comprised of millions are too large to give voice to anyone. Only through exit into smaller social/political units can anyone be heard.
Since the super-tribe — the nation — is the only "we" people have left, they are incredibly hostile to losing it, and see only what they stand to lose, (the illusion of "we" in national form) and not what they stand to gain, (the concrete "we" of a tribe).
"Hyperstition is not a limitless capacity of social groups to produce new realities through shared enunciations. Hyperstitions only work to the degree they enter into feedback with an outside, issuing from contact with the chaos of objective reality and feeding into that objective reality. Effective hyperstitions are therefore creative truths, or real fictions, which are no less accountable to objective reality than scientific research. But rational-objective proposals to change ‘society’ (an outside of staggering complexity), by exploiting the hyperstitional nature of reality-circuitry, are nothing short of scams. They traffic in promises they cannot keep. Then they exhort others to promote the scam, to forever defer the admission of having been scammed. Srnicek and Williams perhaps represent a milestone in the modern left tradition, for it is as if they are, in some sense, coming clean: As if the last great hope of saving the modern left tradition is to admit that it’s based on trickery, but then share the source code and exhort the masses to use it. Unfortunately, an open-source con game is still a con game.
When hyperstitions work they work because they exploit cognitive biases. The nation state is a hyperstition built on the evolved tendency of human tribal communist primates to think in terms of "we." Property rights are a hyperstition built on the cognitive bias of the simple fact of jealousy and possessiveness. Our ape ancestors learned to use tools. Tools became valuable for survival so they learned to be possessive about them. Losing a valuable tool could be bad for ones survival so apes have an innate sense of property. From this possessive sense come the hyperstition of property rights where even land and non-tangible assets like bonds and money can be owned.
"Aggregative leftist proposals could potentially change the world, but only if enough people trust in, and follow the dictates, of the proposers (e.g. some go off and make enough cool science fiction to constitute a new hegemony, engineers go off and make communist robotics, etc.) — but why should any of these actors trust the proposers’ claims that following this program will work to bring about a more desirable world? Ultimately the answer is: because that trust is necessary to make it work, so if you don’t trust it, you are guilty of being the cause of it not working. When the basic problem of contemporary capitalism is that we are all hyper-mistrusting atoms hell-bent on exploiting each other, a political project with this circular structure simply dodges the puzzle of irreversible atomization dynamics. Its degree of success is not measured by how well it brings about the better world (never) but by how adeptly it forestalls any ultimate reckoning with the puzzles it is essentially paid by capital to not address. A project with this structure cannot be operative for anyone other than the small number of already left-interpolated subjects, who are not themselves moved by this ‘vision’ so much as they are hopeful that it will move others (such as their apolitical friends, who are implicitly assumed to be dumber — enough to be moved by a lure which the already-initiated are not personally moved by because they know it is only a lure…).
The dynamic of "if we all believe it then we should be able to coordinate our actions" should work, but is does not. It only works at the tribal level where the group is small enough that everyone can monitor compliance. In a tribe, a pseudo-religious myth is propagated that builds tribal cohesion. The myth is acted upon and the tribe achieves some victory. This does not work in a society with millions of people because there is no way to guarantee compliance. Unlike in tribes, humans feel no real loyalty to millions of people, and so they will not voluntary comply with a liberation narrative. The act of attempting to force compliance produces a totalitarian state. Though it seems like it should work because it uses a fundamental characteristic of tribal human nature, it does not. This dynamic of "if we all believe the lie then we can accomplish something," always had war as its basis, and so it only tends to work at war. Tribes have egalitarian values, but that does not mean the "collectivism exploit" will translate to anything larger than a tribe unless racism is involved. Thus, National Socialism builds lasting unity but communism does not. Thus, war gets presidents reelected but communism collapses. (This is not to say I endorse Nazism. I'm just explaining things.)
Hyperstitions that cater to selfishness always work. Those that cater to xenophobia and tribalism can work, but require hysterical levels of propaganda. Those that cater to altruism break down since there is no way for an individual to connect their personal contribution to the group with the groups personal contribution to them at such a large scale. In a tribe you do something for your neighbor and the next week or month your neighbor does something for you. You see a direct consequence of your help. In essence you put someone into debt by helping them and they pay the debt, (or put you into their debt) by helping them. Tribal communism was never really communism abstractly but a kind of reciprocal social debt system.
"Ultimately, the only effective force in a hyper-complex social system more intelligent than any one of its sub-entities is some type of novel engineering realization that allows some actually existing entity to manipulate actually existing entities with a non-trivial probabilistic effect on the whole, where the novelty of the realization provides a demonstrable edge over those other, competing entities with the interest and capacity to thwart the novel manipulations.Couldn't have said it better myself.
"An exciting and inspiring ‘vision of the future’ may generate short-term interest and energy, but absent a genuine advancement in the engineering blueprint, producing ever more creative images of a hopeful future is, in fact, the most insidious, willfully perverse form of atomic hyper-exploitation conceivable. Srnicek and Williams should be applauded for becoming conscious of the fact that leftism is predicated on the fabrication of lures, which provides the genuine service of helping to close this entire, doomed trajectory. What would be willfully destructive would be to insist that this insight is an advancement of the engineering blueprint, so that if you believe in collective liberation you should promote the promotion of lures, and if one finds that this insight does not increase one’s powers to act then it’s only evidence that you’re an atomizing individualist! Collective liberation is not an emergent outcome of multi-level marketing schemes.Underline is mine. This reminds me of Nick Land's piece on Atomization where he claims the force of resisting atomization only serve to drive it forward.
This is very literally true in a biological sense. We each have 2 parents,4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, and 2,097,152 twenty-one times great grand parents. One is actually many. To think of individualism as a form of bribery is a rather interesting way to put it.
Atomic Liberation Pathways
"If the upward, aggregative presumption of left-modernity is, as I have argued, a meme-commodity supplied by entrepreneurial Noble Liars, for profit, to a small portion of consumers whose demand is that reality be other than it is, then it stands to reason that the objective diagram of collective liberation for n atomized individuals suggests projects of subjective disaggregation and objective recomposition. You think you are one and you suffer because you are disconnected from others, but really you suffer because you are many — a primordial commune — that has been bribed by the future to speak and act as if it is one.
"Certain currents in the history of theory give some reason to believe that modernity’s atomization tendency is less gloomy than it seems. The atomization of pre-modern collectivities may give us the wretched bourgeois individual, but for the same reasons it will tear asunder the bourgeois individual.Maybe.
"The entire modern capitalist legal order is predicated on this particular, fragile unit of aggregation (even the corporation is required to be an individual), but the forces it has unlocked are constantly chipping away at this temporary container. This is how one should understand Marx’s dictum about the relations of production coming to be contradicted by the forces of production. For more than a century this has been presumed to be an aggregative dynamic. As capitalist relations unlock economic productivity, this productivity exceeds the relations, which are now felt as fetters, resulting in “an era of social revolution”.6 Leftists generally have assumed this contradiction of capitalism generates aggregative effects: the class consciousness of the proletariat is a becoming-aggregate of once isolated, alienated individual workers. Class consciousness then aggregates to a dictatorship of the proletariat, and so on upward, to a vision of full communist ‘species being’. But one is hard-pressed to find theoretical or empirical evidence that this presumption is anything more than a kind of spatial-metaphorical supplement, i.e. a prejudice.
"If we apply the heuristic highlighted above — to read all modern activist discourse as encrypted by its sender to survive competition — it is easy to see Marx’s aesthetic reliance on grandiose aggregationism as a function of late nineteenth-century rhetorical conditions. When large satanic factories appear to be taking over the world, nobody is going to join your group unless the group promises to be big. But today, when large factories are disappearing from the wealthy Western countries, and production/consumption is now satanically atomic and unsubstantial, nobody is going to join your group unless it promises to be small (exclusively organized around specific identity dimensions, with strong walls). In short, only today are we are able to see the radically under-determined, schizophrenic undecidability at the core of all human political judgment and activity, the logical symmetry between fundamentally opposite conclusions regarding the good/bad, up/down, left/right movements of the world. Left-modernist metaphorics of aggregation are not sacred.The understanding that the left facilitates its own enslavement.
"This, of course, was recognized by Deleuze and Guattari in their move to theorize ‘molecular politics’. They, perhaps better than anyone yet, recognized that when atomization also atomizes the individual into sub- or pre-individual energies, then everything changes. One point of Deleuze and Guattari’s project is to explore the capacities we gain simply as an automatic result of capitalism’s self-sabotaging gift of perpetually generating free atomic fission. ‘We do not yet know what a body can do’ in part because capitalism is never done surgically decimating every reachable particle in search of negentropy.
"It is possible that, at the end of the atomization process, there is nothing but cold, dead silence… some kind of techno-commercial vertigo of intolerable distances. It’s an open empirical question. But if the revolutionary intellectual tradition means anything, it means there are reasons to believe atomization is the material cosmic process for which the concept of liberation has been the ideologically encrypted signal. Cyberpositive, AI-aligned Communism (CAIC, pronounced kayak, cake, or kek, depending on the cyberregional dialect) solves all problems of oppression via splits and recombinations. It is diagrammatically equivalent to the neoreactionary mantra of exit, but socio-aesthetically distinct. That is, it is formulated and distributed through a different cypher, the keys to which are held by those particular meat machines spawned in a particular, contingent sociological lineage (the descent of figures such as Marx, etc.). The sociological interpolation of ideological subjectivities is, as we have seen, fully reversible given a correct decryption. All forms of differential socialization are outcomes of the same primordial cosmic signal animating meat to different rhythms due to the different encryptions imposed by historically-earlier receivers of the signal. The signal is one, no matter what we say; yet how we say it — the encoding — determines who will receive it. In turn, strategic consideration of potential receivers conditions how we say it (any anticipation of future rewards or punishments is an operation of capital or, more literally, visitation by an alien come to you from the future).
"The perpetuation of systemic inequality and violence has nothing to do with some classes or groups controlling or dominating others; it has to do with a continuous, ceaseless invasion of our bodies by attitudinal and behavioral programs that whisper to us in variable, evolved cyphers. Individuals can only decrypt so much, and intelligence is roughly equivalent to one’s power of decryption. To be a living human individual today means you are an ancestor of those who obeyed the alien dictates and in turn agreed to re-encrypt and re-transmit the signal. The highly undesirable megamachine (i.e. capitalism) persists because it is more richly encrypted than any human individual or group is capable of decrypting — and our survival requires that we execute its orders. The history of ideological orientations toward the megamachine, the evolution of variable mental and behavioral responses to alien visitation, is simply the entropic unfolding of the one true cosmic signal.Translation: capitalism is an alien AI invasion from the future.
"The atomic liberation wager forgoes any claim to restructuring anything with a complexity greater than or equal to one’s objective processing power. In the absolute renunciation of this claim we maximize the energies available to being affected by the immanent cosmic tendency of atomization."Atomic liberation wager," "immanent cosmic tendency of atomization," ok, now we are just talking in religious terms.
"We do not yet know what will come of these energies, for the same reason we cannot manipulate the megamachine as such: we have not the processing power to know what we can do if we divide ourselves and test all possible combinations of interpersonal machinery. 10 humans who each atomize to 5 sub-agents each (n=50) before recomposing into a new group of 10 would already have to navigate a search space of more than 2 million possibilities, so nobody can assert a priori what would or would not become possible. Some of these potential combinations would function as novel, different encryption keys: the alien whispers would suddenly sound different, the rhythm changes.And how exactly would this be done? How do you divide people? With a hacksaw? Or do these people all have multiple personality disorder? He goes from talking abstractly to talking about unrealities.
Oh sure, a human is composed of multiple parts. Cells have nuclei, organs are made of cells, bodies are made of organs, and brains have bodies. Economies, governments, and firms have people. Governments have firms, religions, and groups. Maybe in the future AIs will have governments. Nature builds in hierarchies, but at no time are the parts unbounded from the whole.
"One must recall that all of normal human life, especially in left-wing circles, is generally organized around arresting potential atomic combinatorics. Combinatorial explosion is the definition of unpredictability, fear, and danger, in their most mathematically pure form. When we forgo the pretension of selling to others a more preferable vision of the future, we become affected by a novel source of legitimate confidence in the empirical possibility of finding hitherto unknown, atomic combinations, that may deliver a higher-fidelity transmission of the same signal that the modern-left activist cypher transmitted only with extreme noise and data corruption: namely, something that would look, sound, and feel like what people really have in mind when they speak of liberation, triggered through the acceptance, rather than the arresting, of atomization dynamics.Liberation is a spook, and it is not coming through the recombination of the parts of an individual, whatever that means. Everything is nested within tradition. Language is a tradition, law is a tradition, DNA is a tradition of survival. What a person is, is not separable from the history that created them and their culture. Such chaos is random mutation, is extinction, is death. Revolutions, like mutations, are almost always a disaster. And the fuel of revolution is always the same: envy.
Envy is a legacy emotion rooted in a chimp past. The true revolution would be to delete the genetics of leftism, which seeks always and everywhere to implicitly go back to tribal communism. Leftism is the true reactionary tendency: it is a reaction against the genocidal force of capitalism working tirelessly to reshape the human species in its own image.
"It has been suggested before that one way to summarize the accelerationist realization is: ‘It’s too late, always.’ But if time is a spiral,7 then traversing it to the end (arriving too late) is tantamount to arriving, finally, at something that deserves to be considered a beginning. Now that we admit it’s too late, the affective quality of everything changes, for all of our failed exertions can finally be comprehended. It makes sense why all of our attempts to change the world have only ever drilled the world deeper into fascist confusion: we were always a day late and a dollar short, all this time. CAIC consists in nothing more than an ‘assortative mating’ of those atomic, pre-individual energies that receive positive affective charge from this realization. And all of this is quite beside what can or cannot be established via critical philosophy; in the first instance, all that matters is that an idea finds joy, i.e. power, in a given body. If it can’t, test whether it might find joy in one of n molecular subdivisions of a body’s personality.It is truly enlightening that Justin Murphy is learning to write just as badly as Nick Land. Again there is no subdivision of the individual. An individual may come out of a river of sperm and eggs but the body/personality/etc., is not divisible from the hierarchies it exists within.
"In later stages, we may advance our understanding of joy’s engineering — but the empirical justification of the present claim is established satisfactorily if it works on even one body. I can testify it works on my own. QED. Nobody needs to like or trust me for the mechanism’s empirical functioning to be assured. Unlike the mobilization-engineering diagram of ‘inventing the future’ through effective macro image-creation, the ethical auto-ecstasy of first-stage CAIC does not depend on convincing anyone, anywhere.CAIC = "Cyberpositive, AI-aligned Communism," or kek.
"It works on my own body." (here, let me convince you vaguely without proof).
"Nobody need trust me." (but I'm not convincing you, no really, I'm not!)
"Does not depend on convincing anyone." (You see, I don't even need to convince you!)
"In any event, it has been realizations such as this one that have led me to quit all the little doomed left-wing groups; not to ‘agree with’ capitalism but to simply acknowledge the objective degree to which the global capitalist cybernet has consumed reality itself, to the point of becoming for most intents and purposes coterminous with it.Actually, if you listen to his podcast he pretty much got kicked out of all the little left wing groups.
"Consumed reality itself."
More vagueness. How? Why? I gave a better explanation to this when I said that technology imposes itself on the human race. See this.
"Therefore, one is released from a number of idiotic notions about some personal responsibility to change or resist what are effectively transcendental structures. What a sad idea. It now seems likely that all those who remain affected by this masochistically false notion of responsibility are impotent to change the world, in part because they believe they must. Alternatively, the Spinoza–Nietzsche-Deleuze liberation model can be reduced with reasonable fidelity to the maxim that one should do whatever makes one feel most joyous, so long as we have a sufficiently high-resolution and empirically tractable understanding of true joy. The naïve objection that such a maxim endorses evil or cruelty is wrong for the simple reason that evil or cruelty induces all kinds of negative feedback at the psycho– and socio-logical levels; i.e. it curbs the growth of one’s power/joy whereas genuine communist aggregation of particles will be known by its positive feedback on the growth of one’s power."Do what thou wilt be the whole of the law." Satanic. Chaging the world is a Christian idea that leftism appropriates. Here he rejects leftism. "But guys, the true communism will involve a positive feedback loop of one's own power. I swear! Will to power, bro!"
"Some pursuit of atomic liberation pathways can be found today with the interest in pre-individual or “dividual” phenomena.8 But beyond a small number of theoretical texts in the Deleuzean line, few human beings have been willing to update their operational attitudes and behaviors in the relatively drastic fashion that would be required of anyone seeking to take the accelerationist realization seriously. Full accelerationism, unconditional on any normative ideological preference or purpose, is a belief about the empirical world that generates no determinate political praxis — even foreclosing it, or at least anything currently recognizable as political praxis — but nonetheless alters its host body with politically substantial effects. Otherwise, it would be a distinction that makes no difference. But as with any set of ideas, it is easy and widespread for people to ‘adopt’ beliefs which never integrate with their real, revealed, operational beliefs. So when I speak of the political effectivity of accelerationism, I am speaking of dynamics triggered only to the degree it is integrated into one’s behaviorally operative neural nets, that is, when everything else you think and feel moves to equilibrate with this belief.
"One of the politically substantial effects of the accelerationist realization is that it concretely decimates bourgeois ego investments into their unformed, atomic components. Paradoxically, this empirical claim about technocapitalist reality, which forecloses all hope of praxis, triggers concrete affective changes that map quite precisely onto the atomic liberation pathway.
"Why? This occurs because the one individuated bourgeois ego that we by default inhabit is ultimately composed and attuned by the sum total of sad ideas that command our attention and behavior on a daily basis (that if only I didn’t have to work I would be happy; if only I could do some impossible thing, such as control more intelligent people, then I could possibly begin to live, etc.). The bourgeois capitalist ego is essentially the center of a spider’s web of sad ‘if onlys’, as a defining characteristic of capitalism is the postponement of desire for a greater, future return.Hmm, that's interesting.
"Any thought that could destroy all sad ‘if onlys’ in one fell swoop is, in a very real sense, an immanent extraction of one’s vital energies from precisely the apparatus of capture that holds together so much institutionalized misery in a durable order over time. Human creatures who learn, even in the most groping fashion, to extricate themselves from this web in a reproducible and transmittable fashion will be the only true heirs to the revolutionary political tradition — and yet they will enter it through becoming politically unconditional.Right. Capitalism gives you desire. Desire fuels capitalism. Anything that can liberate you from "if only" dreams fed to you by capital would be liberation from capital.
"Extricate themselves." So anarcho-primitivism then? Or something else?
"The knee-jerk objection of activist ‘materialism’ is to call what I am saying ‘idealism’ and to point out, mockingly, that people are oppressed by soul-crushing exploitation and poverty, not by their sad ideas. For many activists, this is a founding assumption of projects to change society, but from a scientific perspective it’s not at all obvious. First of all, there is a large body of evidence that suggests believing in the existence of systemic injustice is more oppressive than believing the system is just.9 In short, activism may have less to do with solving problems of human oppression than generating and amplifying them. The activist amplifications of tragic human existence are then cited as the increasingly dire and urgent reasons why one must commit to more activism.And so capitalism feeds on the very resistance to capitalism that activism generates. Now we are getting somewhere.
"To think this through even further, consider a thought experiment. Assume we have some population of abjectly oppressed, poor, marginalized manual laborers with the typical portfolio of sad activist ideas (they are oppressed by a system they could potentially change; they are in every way just as able as every rich person, if only they were not oppressed, etc.). The Spinoza-Nietzsche-Deleuze hypothesis is that if this population could hypothetically be treated to a sudden massive cognitive reorientation, in which they only entertained mental phenomena that maximized their joy or power, and just ignored or skipped over all mental phenomena that made them sad, then this population would show more cognitive and behavioral indicators of collective political liberation than the activist workers. This hypothesis is far more plausible than activist wisdom is willing to admit. The social scientific evidence suggests to me that these workers would likely have more energy before and after work, they would have more openness to creative connections with each other, and they would have far greater immediate well-being than the activist workers who believe it is their obligation to work more after work trying to achieve a goal they privately suspect to be empirically impossible. The activist hypothesis is that such a cognitive reorientation would not produce dynamics of collective liberation, but that a massive restructuring of their material power in the economy in the workplace would.So if we just gaslight the oppressed we can solve things. Right.
"Interestingly, we have some test cases of what happens when human beings are treated to hypothetical cognitive restructuring à la Spinoza-Nietzsche-Deleuze. They are highly imperfect as case studies, but they may provide some causal leverage. The first example is the well-documented causal link between pain and ecstasy: with the right attitude, abject toil under brutal conditions can generate exceptionally enjoyable and empowering affects, which figures such as Simone Weil have shown to be efficient motors of accelerative communist dynamics.10 We also have some examples of material restructuring à la activist wisdom. Lottery winners, for instance, are actually a relatively strong natural experiment for testing the effects of substantial, randomly assigned improvement of material conditions. And the data are quite clear that such changes to material conditions do not durably increase positive affect.11 So the Spinoza-Nietzsche-Deleuze model appears far more empirically plausible than many believe, and nearly universal assumptions in left-activist circles appear surprisingly questionable.
"Another interesting consideration from a scientific perspective is that activists may be ‘treatment non-compliant’, possibly leading them to systematically biased inferences and making them uniquely untrustworthy spokespeople for how social change actually occurs. In short, the strange human breed called ‘activists’ might be those particular creatures who are so far gone under the weight of sad affect that they privately decline to undergo available positive affective ‘treatments’ but publicly offer their experience as evidence of null effect. If subjects of a randomized medical experiment are assigned to take a pill, and they say they took the pill when in fact they refused or forgot — the results of this experiment will understate the real effect of the pill. Activist types who deeply believe and insist that only macro-material change can affect the probability of their liberation are likely treatment non-compliers, as this belief will lead them to become increasingly closed off to molecular experimentation. If affective variation along atomic liberation pathways does not produce results for these types, it does not necessarily mean that affective variation is impotent idealism. Humanity’s collective-emancipatory potential via the atomic pathways could still be an objectively explosive quanta; we might just be drastically under-estimating it due to the over-representation of treatment non-compliers, who self-select into the cultural organs possessed of cultural authority on this question (academia, journalism, activist theory, etc).
"The concrete revolutionary potency of the atomic pathways is therefore one of the best kept secrets of the global-cosmopolitan progressive catechism, and another example of why it is quite reasonable and useful to see this cultural formation as a Cathedral — replete with old-fashioned suppression of knowledge rightly seen as dangerous to social stability. To those who still might say that such acceleration-consistent micro-political liberation pathways could only be a kind of fake individualistic freedom enjoyable only from comfortable bourgeois stations, we need only recall that accelerating atomization means almost the opposite: the comfortable bourgeois individual disintegrating into a veritable party, comprised of the multiple and decidedly non-bourgeois agents the individual once repressed. This is not the masturbation of a comfortable individual, as some might allege. It is much more like an infinitely expanding commune of human and inhuman entities masturbating on oneself — an untenably uncomfortable individual finally learning to desire what desires it, having accepted that it’s far too late to do otherwise.An endless orgy of identity politics? Or what?