A potent liberal mode of attack is to accuse conservatives of a lack of compassion. This occurs because liberals and conservatives have different definitions of compassion. For liberals, it is an emotion and an intent; for conservatives, compassion is measured in terms of results both immediately and in the future.
For example, we see people starving in the street in a city.
The liberal says that we must have compassion for these people and feed them, house them and give them medical care. Even more, we should set up institutions dedicated to helping them, and systems of welfare to subsidize them if they are unable or unwilling to work. This method appeals to our emotions: we see ourselves starving on the street, because humans project themselves into every other living being they see, and we become afraid. We ally our fears for ourselves with policy regarding the starving.
A conservative will ask what the cause->effect relationship is, and tend to shy away from broad categorical declarations in favor of looking at individual cases. If a person is starving because of a single sudden incident that was not of their own doing, we tend to think that local charities should address this, and conservatives — who give more than liberals on average — have no problem opening their wallets and donating their time to help.
Conservatives oppose the direction solution of finding everyone who can claim to be starving and giving them food and care. This is not from fear of cheaters so much as it arises from the knowledge that, without finding the actual cause, we are setting up a feedback loop that rewards poverty. Be starving, get money. This encourages society toward a role where survival and happiness are not duties of the individual, but a duty of society which it can never fill. Human misery is infinite; when this task is passed on to society, it will extinguish itself trying to meet an infinite need.
Further, society can never really address that need, because a chronically starving human is that way because of some underlying cause: depression, insanity, incapacity, or some other dysfunction. At least until society becomes so dysfunctional that being homeless is preferable to a “normal” life. A conservative would aim to address that root problem rather than its symptoms. Liberal compassionate care reminds me of palliative care for terminal patients: keep them comfortable, drug them with television and alcohol, and wait for the inevitable end.
In my mind, the greatest question would arise from this one: is society fair? That is, does it give good things to good people and bad things to bad people? This is both Darwinian and compatible with religious morality, which hold that the good should be something we all aim toward and the bad sent away. Society needs to establish a feedback loop where good receives good or it has created a negative influence which rewards badness and thus, will get much more of that instead of good. Liberal compassion tends to, by being a projection of the emotion of the liberal and not a reflection of the situation out there in the world, increase badness.
You have seen the meme; now what does it mean? Like so many things in modernity, the recognition begins before the understanding. To use a meme well requires knowing it well, so it makes sense to define this delightfully outrageous term cuckservative.
After spending about a year in neoconservative Internet circles, always feeling slightly out of place and gradually piecing together that they were playing by the rules as the Left and thus were controlled and toothless opposition, I found a better home in paleoconservatism and traditionalist communities. During my tenure, I witnessed time and time again as conservatives engaged in what is known in their circles as “circular firing squads,” something they purportedly lament, but which none of them pitch too much fuss over because they all have vested interests in not jeopardizing their relationships with gatekeepers to their professional success in Conservative, Inc. The squads are essentially formed to mitigate public relations damage control by throwing an offender to the wolves (other conservatives) when they break the rules of the left (hint: it’s happening now with #cuckservative).
She also mentions a more technical definition:
A cuckservative is a self-styled “conservative” who will cravenly sell out and undermine his home country’s people, culture, and national interest in order to win approval with parties hostile or indifferent to them.
Between these two, the point is clear: cuckservatives are impostors. They value their interaction with the left, a form of commerce, over being true and correct to conservative principles; this has created Conservatism, Inc. which is a Conservative-themed leftist party that has made vast fortunes for all involved. Like American cigarettes are cheap tobacco doctored to taste like the real thing, and like artificial flavoring added to soft drinks to imitate fruit juice, cuckservatives are conservative-flavored System Men who do what succeeds which always consists of flattering the Crowd, and they love leftist-style altruistic policies as a means of distracting from actual problems. For this reason, cuckservatives always get the initial upper hand over everyone else: inoffensive, they offer a variety of the dominant paradigm rather than challenging it, and create a socially acceptable form of conservative that inevitably provides only token resistance to the left.
Anyone who does not play by those rules gets called a “racist” and has their career destroyed by an angry mob. Cuckservatives in fact are kept around as not only controlled opposition, but hit-men for the empire: if a “conservative” feels another conservative has “gone too far,” then people automatically give that critique more credence than if it came from a leftist. Cuckservatism is a socially popular variety of conservatism, stylized as are neoconservatives as liberal goals applied by conservative methods, and like American beer, soft drinks and fast food it is a dumbed-down, denatured and harmless version of the original — actual conservatism — which serves to advance the leftist agenda. It does so by picking up token issues instead of essential ones, and designing obsolescence into all of its actions. Cuckservatives are like good office workers who prioritize getting along with others above any realistic view of a situation, and they exhibit the same disease we see everyone else in modernity, which is that for the convenience of the individual the Crowd demands validation which means that appearance triumphs over reality and those who disagree must be excluded.
Cuckservatives have been the norm since the early 1940s. At that time, people either got on board with the immensely popular government solution to the Great Depression, or saw themselves voted out of office. The important thing to remember about cuckservatives is that they are not the cause of themselves, but they are the effect of the voters wanting a socially acceptable conservatism. To be socially acceptable, you pretend that each person has an equally important viewpoint, and that all can be tolerated simultaneously. Actual conservatives are realists, and realism is the opposite of socially acceptable. It emphasizes results alone and realizes that most people will have hurt feelings because most people are self-deluding, undisciplined, short-sighted and impulsive. In groups these people both amplify those traits, and lose sight of actual goals by the “committee mentality” nature inherent to groups. For this reason, actual conservatives mostly restrain people from self-destruction and civilization-destruction rather than adopt “new” — and they rarely are — ideas in the hope of magical improvement.
The Conservatism, Inc. “stupid party” cuckservatives responded as we knew they would: they called their detractors racists, trolls and psychopaths. The reason the cuckservative meme stuck however has little to do with those who originated it; it resonated with the majority of Americans who are tired of handing the stupid party power only to watch them do nothing conservative with it, and the liberals back in power the next season. The Left (with cuckservative cooperation) is trying to eliminate this group by replacing them with third-world peasants, an idea they hit on after seeing postwar integration work well for the Democrats. All resistance to this process will be stylized as racist, evil, homophobic, trolling, sexist, terrorist and classist, but resistance to it is the only future not just for conservatism and its parent doctrine realism, but for America and the West themselves. If we disconnect from reality, we start a clock ticking toward the day our illusions collide with the hard truth. Generally those crashes eliminate empires and cast their people into third-world poverty. Resistance to this is not a choice; it is a duty.
Conservatives are often characterized as being “anti-tax.” But why would you oppose a method of collecting revenue?
The media has a checklist for discovering ways to categorize people as extremists. Anti-government and anti-tax are up there on that list. This seems weird to most people, since taxation is just a method, and in their view, government provides many services.
However, as the old saying goes, “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” This is what is called reversed cognition in my writings, and refers to our tendency to let our tools become our masters because we feel powerful with those tools. Cart before the horse, tail wags the dog. It is a common human mistake.
The problem with tax is that it resembles a business transaction. You give money to government, and government gives something to you. This gives you the right to complain and demand they do it right, but also gives them the right to run government like a business. At that point, government becomes a self-interested agency with a profit motive measured not in dollars, but the expansion of government itself.
When citizens are foolish enough to approve broad taxation, they have given government a mandate: invent whatever services you can justify and bill us for them with taxes in order to expand government. Like any other business, government then begins growing. If you pay it taxes for upkeep of the roads, it builds new roads, and expands into bridges, ferries and ziplines. These add more taxes, which make it easier to hide the fat. This in turn translates to easy jobs for many government workers and high profits for contractors.
At that point, it will be hard to oppose government. It has created a voting bloc of government workers who will always agitate for more services so there can be more taxes. People view paying taxes as normal and, if they are dependent on any government services, will radically oppose cutting any taxes. Government in fact builds up a little fan-base of neurotics who always support increasing government because in their addled view, results can only be achieved through a strong and “objective” force like a huge federal bureaucracy. In their view, government supplies electrical power, roads, water and weather reports, so it is surely the best and least profit-motivated method of achieving any result.
What this builds is ideological government. Government needs to justify new taxes; the best possible way is a type of mission creep that cannot be criticized because it is well-intentioned, altruistic, compassionate and egalitarian. This shifts the role of government from protecting a nation to shaping a nation, and leads down the path to totalitarianism. Ideology justifies new taxes because there are always people suffering somewhere and government will very happily take from the productive and transfer to them, keeping much of the wealth for itself and its own workers along the way.
Like any business with a monopoly, government becomes parasitic at that point. People depend on it and have no alternative, so they will pay whatever price it asks. Taxes keep going up, more ideological causes are invented, and since those are delusional, bad results explode across the land. Luckily — for government — social disorder justifies even more taxes and more services, and the more panicked citizens get, the more of them become typical Leftists who demand government solve all of their problems.
All of this could be stopped by not expanding taxes in the first place. A government who sees its role as caretaker of a people will keep the lights on and defend the land and do little else. In this view, it is up to the people as individuals to apply ideological quests like charity. That keeps the profit motive out of government, because the instant government becomes a charity, it has a rationalization for expanding itself. Even worse, it ceases to become a non-commercial entity and for all practical purposes, becomes a parasitic type of business protected by the color of the law and kept in a monopoly role. This is why conservatives oppose taxes: because some methods change our thinking and from that comes our downfall.
I had a dream once that combined a number of notions from American movies. In it, I was one of the few remaining people uninfected on earth. The others had been struck like a disease that made them zombies, but unrecognizably so. As in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they appeared normal, and unlike the aliens in They Live they were 100% human. Like Night of the Living Dead, they suffered a compulsion to attack the uninfected, but unlike it, they had their full faculties and could not be detected. But more like in They Live, they endorsed an ideology that was equal parts complacency and elimination of non-compliance. Then I awoke and realized I had not been dreaming at all.
What I call Crowdism is the union of individuals for an individualist end: the suspension of social standards and order so that the individual can act without responsibility for consequences. They want freedom, from judgment, sense, aesthetic taste, evolution and higher standards. It is the rabble demanding its right to be as degenerative as it wishes to be, as measured by the individual and not the group. In fact, the Crowd is united by the fact that it acts like a group in defense of the individual, which is why it fits into none of the usual slots. A certain mentality both creates Crowdism and is created by it, and that is solipsism, or the tendency to think the world should adapt to the individual instead of the other way around, which implicates a mental process in which the world which is normally perceived through the individual is perceived as being within that individual. In other words, the individual becomes the world and the world something that resists the individual, much like we have conflicting impulses within us that resist each other.
This concept of what we might unfashionably call evil — undeniably a subset of Kant’s notion of “radical evil” — suggests that evil is not a discrete and isolated thing, but a constant tendency in human beings which we beat down like our desire to eat one more slice of cheesecake. There is no Satan needed because humans invent their own evil, and its root is not in a desire to do evil, but in an error by which humans substitute self for world. In fact, as Plato suggested, without guidance human emotions and desires turn toward this very destructiveness, which is why most humans live in misery and most societies fail. Humanity is self-destructive, much like individual humans drink too much or eat too much cheesecake, or vandalize the things that make them happiest. When we deny responsibility for our actions, happiness is no longer our own task, but something we view as happening like a lottery. This enables us to pursue the unfulfilling objects of our desire and then engage in “sour grapes” type rationalization where we come to the point of seeing that nothing would have made us happy anyway. Unhappiness becomes a weapon against striving for anything better, or to rise above. This evil pathology explains both the victimhood mentality of modern people and the seemingly unerring capacity of democracies to select the worst possible plans in any situation. But what makes this evil so pervasive is that it exists within us and cannot be purged, but it can also be spread between people, like the hybrid zombie/body-snatcher infection described above.
Most of us will refuse to recognize this evil. That is because solipsism feels good; we sense in it that we can never die, and that we are always good and right no matter to what degree we are not. It saves us from self-criticism, and criticism by others. It makes us feel justified in selfish behavior because the world has made us its victim, and in self-pity we have a cause for resentment and thus a systematic revenge on the world. When we do bad things, and create socialized costs for others, that is not a personal loss but victory because we harmed the force that oppresses us. This evil recognizes no boundaries: it crops up in good people as well as bad, in smart as well as stupid, and in smart it may take on a greater life because they have the ability to make it interesting. Even when we argue against it, we are not immune; like a fire dares us to stick our hand into it, evil dares us and seduces us. And of all frustrating things, it has no home. There is no Hell to destroy, Mordor to invade or Berlin to reduce to rubble. Evil simply takes a new form, spreading by contact between people who (in an effort to disguise their own weakness) re-style it as good, or cropping up again anywhere a mind thinks. It is the enemy without form, an invisible aggressor who almost never appears in a guise of bad but always appears good, or at least convenient.
Recently I launched a corrective attack on Neoreaction, the system of post-libertarian thought launched by post-libertarian bloggers during the early 2000s. Neoreaction has a number of good things going for it: it recognizes the failure of The EnlightenmentTM and consequently, rejects equality, democracy, and populism or the tendency to motivate people by pandering to the lowest common denominator already accepted by them. It is more of a virtual salon or symposium in that, like Plato’s Republic, it offers a series of thought experiments to stimulate awareness outside of the confines of the accepted and to thus open channels to thought beyond the status quo. In this attack, which is designed to expand the field of Neoreactionary theory to include the conservatism from which it has come and to clarify both, I identified a number of problems:
Neoreaction fails because it is reaction; that is, it reacts to what is instead of plotting another course. Reactionary thought is not bad at all, but limits itself by trying to look backward, instead of realizing that it does not need to justify itself, and can merely pick high-level common sense solutions as a philosopher would.
Neoreaction suffers because it is inherently social. The original spark for this discussion arose from one person taking a blog offline, which usually happens when personal conflicts make it undesirable to continue with a group. When I say Neoreaction is “social,” that means that it reflects what groups of people want to talk about and think about, which quickly becomes a form of populism. It has confused the desire to attract audience with the desire for truth because of the nature of its appeal: it makes STEM majors and assorted internet critics feel that, by engaging in the act of academic-style criticism, they have become a new vanguard of truth. We have seen this phenomenon before, you and I, in the burst of “traditionalists” who came about in the early 00s as well. If a movement of thought does not have a purpose, it becomes a purpose in itself, and that inevitably falls prey to the evil mentioned above and becomes a form of Crowdism. In Neoreaction, the Crowdist impulse has taken form through endless play-acting at being theorists with a nasty in-group enforcement, driving away the truth-oriented instead of those who want to live out the image of being neoreactionary. This is both an inherent tendency of humanity and an evil particular to discussion groups, in that the act of discussing becomes the power those people desire, instead of having a desired end effect.
Neoreaction loves the idea of “exit,” both as theory-object and reality. Exit is departure from a society, whether by literally moving or having some other way of existing outside of its power. What originally was a way of subjecting societies to market forces by showing how individuals would leave for greener pastures, and thus a post-libertarian society (free markets + a lack of liberalism, essentially) could out-compete other societies. This model fails because any such society becomes a threat and gets eliminated. Those of us who have run through this mental simulation for some time realize that the only solution is to re-capture the West, which becomes easier as it gets weaker, and create a new civilization. This is the antithesis of chatter and yet is less satisfying than chatter, because discussing it does not make the above average thinker feel like a profound genius. “Insight porn,” some call it, and it is aptly applied here.
Neoreaction still believes in “systems.” Free markets, democracy, laws and regulations all belong to the world of systems, or the idea that we can set down some kind of rules and have everything work out fine because of the results of those rules. A Gödel might have observed, no system will cover every case, and so systems inevitably end up being hijacked and turned on themselves, with the unfortunate attribute of now being concentrated power which is hard to resist. That is what happened in the West, ancient Greece and Rome, and virtually every other society that has become destroyed: the leadership became corrupt and, since they wielded centralized power, were able to suppress dissent. With postmodern civilizations, the power is no longer centralized but is just as strong, and it is this — called “the Cathedral” by neoreactionaries — that must be overthrown and replaced with actual leadership, throwing out all the laws that served as intermediaries and failed.
If we are going to attack The EnlightenmentTM, nothing remains but to do it. Democracy, equality, liberty, freedom, “rights,” populism and the idea of systems itself are all wrong. They go to the dustbin of history, but so also should other thought that promotes socialization as a substitute for actuality.
In contrast, history and common sense show what works. Aristocracy, nationalism, social conservatism, heroism and transcendentalism work together as a system that is both traditional and fits within Neoreactionary thought. The social community however rejects this because it breaks what makes Neoreaction accessible, which is that any STEM graduate or internet typist who memorizes a few ideas can participate in the theory, and that in itself is the goal. The goal lies outside the social group, which like a force of entropy becomes populist, and without that to unify the group, it relapses into being a social event instead of an actual one.
Any movement can become social. Where the index of selection, or how it chooses what becomes part of its library of ideas, is social in any way, it is a social movement. Cliques of intellectuals succumb to this as well. This is why Crowdism is said to be pervasive: it is a human monkey tendency that corrupts truth with the pragmatic convenience of getting along in a group and motivating them toward a goal, albeit at the expense of the clarity of the goal. Understanding this is crucial to the anti-equality idea, as it displaces our faith in “systems” and voting and returns to the idea that a decision must be made by those capable to make it.
My goal with any kind of new movement is to have less chatter and more solid expression of motion toward these ends. Neoreaction served its purpose well as an introduction to these ideas, but then got caught up in its tendency to be talking points instead of practicality. We see the results now in the constant drama across the Neoreactionary blogs and the writing of much theory, little of which expands any substantive issue, as people jockey for position in the salon. As the years pass, the goal emerges more clearly, and it is time to discard intermediates and — emerging from our comfort zones — go for the goal.
A few weeks ago, I posted an open thread where you, the readers of and contributors to this blog, could post your questions and comments on its direction. Posting these periodically allows not only feedback to those of us behind the scenes, but also allows the community to exchange ideas among itself. Since you were so kind as to participate, let these comments be addressed:
First and biggest: the question of “What do you want?” instead of mere criticism of what is. It is easier to see flaws, and constitutes a cheap shot. I had previously attempted to address this via the “about” page of the site, but there is more to add. Generally, it is clear that I oppose all forms of liberalism and formalist systems, such as “democracy” and “egalitarianism,” on the basis of their ideological single-factor approach to a multifactor situation. As stated very well here, those single ideas become religion:
Any time you have “one overriding idea”, and push your idea as a superior ideology, you’re going to be wrong. Microkernels had one such ideology, there have been others. It’s all BS. The fact is, reality is complicated, and not amenable to the “one large idea” model of problem solving. The only way that problems get solved in real life is with a lot of hard work on getting the details right. Not by some over-arching ideology that somehow magically makes things work. – Linus Torvalds
The point of ideology is to have a center, not a single idea which addresses every question; the center is its goal and method of thinking, and that proliferates into many other ideas which become methods and values. Liberalism has one dimension, egalitarianism or the idea of individual equality and thus exemption of the individual from judgment by a centralized authority, which is why it fails: equality is all face value and does not lead to flexible methods, but robotic repetition of the same form in diverse instances. Like the idea of universal solutions itself, this fails because it is rigid and rejects the notion of equality for thoughts which are easier to the human mind. However, it is more popular because as an easily comprehensible lie it takes away most of the fear of the uncertain that exists in how humans approach reality, and substitutes simple scapegoats for broader problems. In general, liberals are people who intuit that Western civilization is in collapse but have no idea how to fix it, so they settle for ideas that are popular and thus achievable despite the fact that they do not address the problem and for that reason, both misdirect our energy into nonsense that creates secondary disasters, and hide the actual path that we need to take.
In contrast, people like myself argue conservatism which is the notion of preserving the ideas that have created the best results in the past. This has two prongs:
Consequentialism. This means simply paying attention to cause->effect logic. For any given problem or goal, consequentialists look at all previous attempts, the method used and the result obtained. This produces a chart of two columns, “A” for methods and “B” for results, which they then invert and look down column “B” for what is closest to the end result they desire. They then choose the corresponding method from column “A” and modify it to fit the customized needs of their specific situation, editing that as the process goes on until they have a solid fit.
Transcendentalism. The first method naturally leads to a question of what we should desire. For most conservatives, this is a gut-level response based on previous “golden ages” of humanity. Some choose 1950s Mayberry, others the Greco-Roman greatness, with most seeing more overlap between the two than difference. Transcendentalism refers to the process of finding a beauty and logic in the order of nature and the cosmos that allows us to align ourselves with its internal organization, and see the wisdom of if not outright replicating nature, using some kind of order in balance and harmony with the inevitable process of nature, including natural selection, destruction, death and entropy. This causes conservatives to aim for not just baseline function but methods that achieve optimal results without disregarding nature. Optimality includes beauty, spiritual health, and an “ascendent” or self-organizing civilization rising above the mediocre condition at which most live. As a wise man once pointed out:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.” — Robert A. Heinlein
Transcendence is the mental process by which one sees the reason to lift oneself up from this state of raw individualism. No place has more individual freedom than the third world, which can be explained as simply a lesser degree of the civilization process. However, people not working together produces an impoverished, dirty, corrupt and internally divided settlement and precludes any of the advances of higher civilization like philosophy, science, learning, art and the advancement of the intelligence of the people through selective breeding. Most people, being venal beings not much advanced from Darwin’s apes, will inevitably prefer a lesser degree of civilization as it offers them more “freedom,” individualism and liberty with fewer responsibilities. However, civilization represents a tradeoff: the loss of many abilities that are not constructive anyway in exchange for a moral, hierarchical and social order. Transcendental thought sees this from parallels to nature and the cosmos and does not rely on any specific religion or political tradition.
This is the core of conservatism. These are not methods themselves, but a method of thinking about methods, and since the above cannot be applied directly, it gives rise to a study like science or philosophy of what works and to what degree it achieves optimum circumstances like those in ancient Greece or Rome (or India or the Mayan and Aztect empires). Those ages do not denote technological or power concentration peaks of humanity, but the societies which had the greatest degree of internal balance and thus produced the greatest art, learning, philosophy, science and wisdom of our times. While our modern technology and science are advanced, they represent footnotes to this original learning and, where they deviate from it, illusion.
For these reasons, the manifesto to follow will seem like it is mostly a radical Republican platform with elements of deep ecology, royalism and post-libertarian though in it. That is because all of these share an origin in the above two principles, despite being disguised deliberately by their creators because the last millennium has been one of increasing liberalization and thus hostility to any recognizably conservative ideas. Conservative ideas are recognizable because they tend to speak of things like quality and health instead of “new methods,” which is why it is perceived as backward looking but instead is a recognition that not much has changed since the dawn of humanity, and that usually, “new” ideas are charlatanism disguising old ideas as new. In fact, most changes in quantity instead of quantity are human solipsism, or the tendency to view the world as adapting to the self instead of the other way around, and the newness — like other advertising techniques such as altruism, egalitarianism, compassion, empathy and idealistic utopianism — disguises a desire to manipulate for personal gain at the expense of what is shared between all people in a society, namely social order, quality of hygiene and institutions, and degree of evolutionary refinement to the genetics of the population itself.
Conservatism exists because it works; what opposes it, Crowdism — of which liberalism is one variant — exists because individuals want a group to defend their radical individualism. With Crowdism, the individual acts to destroy social hierarchy and a hierarchy of knowledge under which the acts, desires or beliefs of the individual are subject to criticism by those who might know better. A Crowdist wants “anarchy with grocery stores”; he wants the benefit of civilization without the corresponding responsibility to make it work, and to ensure his own happiness through improving the quality of his behavior and condition. Instead, he wants the group to provide that for him, and to find meaning in external ideology instead of internal discipline. Crowdism is an easy way around the challenge of life itself, and every society that undertakes it both infantilizes and domesticates itself, then enters a “death spiral” where it imposes increasingly unrealistic ideology as a means of keeping society together, simultaneously widening the distance between the official version of reality and actual reality, setting itself up for a collapse when the collision with reality finally comes.
If there were one thing I would like to see different, or perhaps added, is a manifesto of sorts. A simplified (okay, dumbed down) bullet pointed roadmap. Let’s face it, if we are ever to appeal to the masses, it is crucial they can relate and understand. An indicator of understanding would be the ability to repeat and expound. – Cpl Horatius
Excellent idea, with one caveat: the masses do not understand much of anything. Each person understands to the limits of his or her IQ. For this reason, most people are left in a primitive reality where there are “good” and “evil” based on the intent of others, which conceals the actuality which is that evil consists of error usually arising from solipsism, and good from adaptation to reality. For that reason, any manifesto will have to address the right-hand side of the Bell Curve. Your point that it must be simple and clear however stands nonetheless, because few people have time or energy for convoluted descriptions. This is balanced — however — against the necessary complexity of the issue, and dumbing it down too much creates a symbolic surrogate or token proxy which creates a false target within the objects of our minds, instead of accurately describing the objects in reality.
Part of any manifesto must be to relabel those non-existent things known as ‘rights’ to ‘privileges’, to better reflect what they are.
In the entire universe, there are no ‘rights’ to be found. They do not exist, yet we agree to pretend they do, and undermine the whole of society by doing so.
Privileges can be rescinded, based upon performance, or the lack of it. But once a ‘right’ is handed-out, gratis, taking it back becomes strangely problematic. crow
Excellent starting points. A conservative does not view anything in the world as having a single direction, much like cause->effect occurs in one direction but must be reversed to understand it. Similarly, rights without responsibilities are tyranny. A conservative views rights/responsibility pairings as roles or duties within a social order and its correspondingly hierarchy, both vertical and horizontal, of authority. Rights, like voting, encourage bratty behavior by handing out authority that is disconnected from its effects. People can insist on rights, or espouse crazy opinions, without being held responsible for what that would do (or does, if they achieve it). Rights as seen by most moderns are absolutes, which causes inevitable collisions, and from that we get an endless list of laws and rules which tell us how to apply these rights, subverting the concept of rights itself, which like all other things distills down to whatever is most popular, which causes problems because what is easily understood supplants complex truths in these popularity contests.
Describe Your ideal America…Remember, the answers must describe how You WANT things to be in 50 years. – 1349
This “ideal” involves the conservative dual principles of what works and what works best. As such, it is not dependent on any age. Any civilization which undertakes this process will rise above the rest and then have to defend itself against them, first through outright military attack and second through sedition by mixed-race/mixed-caste people and home-grown neurotics who will infiltrate and offer passive-aggressive ideas like liberalism to corrupt the communal intent of that civilization. On the other hand, a civilization that rises has a chance at excellence instead of mere subsistence. For many centuries, Western Europe was the 5% of humanity who rose above the norm and became something greater, but instead of emulating their model, the rest of the world has attacked them because of envy and resentment which constitute a scapegoating mentality in lieu of the simpler but harder process of simply emulating what succeeds, in accordance with conservative principles. Hopefully the following offer Americans a vision of what their civilization could be; I freely acknowledge these are not unique to me, because they are not opinions but analysis based on what has succeeded throughout history.
1) Is it independent? (I.e. does it make independent decisions in foreign and domestic policy & does it take its own measures to implement those decisions?
2) Is the term “American” (or some other word You’ll use for your ethnonym) tied to some territory? If i’m American, does it mean that i’m from there and there?
3) What’s the phenotype of Americans? Skin colour, height, body constitution, eyes colour, delicacy of fingers and face features – and ANY OTHER parameters.
18) How is it determined that someone is American? By territorial ties (‘i’m from here”)? By blood ties, kin? By politcal allegiance (“i am a citizen of this country”)? By economic ties (“i work for an American enterprise”)? By language, aesthetics and worn symbols? By religion and philosophy (“i believe in this and this, therefore i’m American”)?
5) How MANY Americans are there in 50 years?
9) What’s the political regime?
10) What’s the dominating family model?
11) What language(s) do Americans speak?
14) Are they religious? What is (are) their religion(s)? – 1349
I envision an America under a king, with independent aristocrats governing regions, and within them the current states, with local lords ruling over localized communities — about the size of the Dallas metropolitan area — within them.
Aristocrats are chosen by finding the best people among us, using criteria of intelligence plus nobility of character, and having them choose others of the same attributes. This creates an inverted pyramid of good people stemming outward from the first we choose, and that choice should be left to the wisest among us now.
These aristocrats will be given ownership of the undeveloped land in their areas of rule if they are local lords, and large estates if they are above that level. This buys them off by guaranteeing them income for life that cannot be threatened, and also places most of the natural land under their care, to be left as it was in England in its natural state with minor incursions for hunting, which since they are only by the aristocrats, constitute a far lesser strain than allowing mass entry.
“American” is determined by WASP (meaning roughly Western European, genetically) heritage plus an ability to uphold the culture we desire. This culture would be derived from the UK-German mix that founded this nation. The original Americans were mostly English, then German, then Scots, and after them Dutch, Scandinavians, some Northern French and a handful of aristocrats from other European nations. Everyone else would be sent back to their homelands, with all mixes being sent to Northern Africa which is the traditional mixed-race location for humanity. Amerinds (“Native Americans”) and Central Americans would be repatriated to their genetic homeland in Siberia, while African-Americans would go to Africa. I support reparations for African-Americans for the difficulties their ancestors faced in slavery, recognizing that slavery offered them — generally, with a few notable exceptions — a better life than was possible in Africa, where most of them were prisoners of war resulting from tribal conflicts. I also support a strong Israel, with the Palestinians driven into the sea and the Biblical range of territory granted to the kingdom of Israel, with relocation of all American Jews and mixed-heritage people of Jewish descent to there. I will never support the Holocaust or pogroms against the Jewish people; these are puerile scapegoating and the shame of all who indulge in them, however a strong Israel requires union of all Jewish people within her, in addition to support from other first-world nations. Anti-Semitism is stupid but recognizing the failure of diversity in all forms is intelligent.
I suggest the religion question be left up in the air, and reduced to a morality question: those who can support the morality of the traditional church, which mirrors that of the pagans before them (but not the liberalized morality of the neo-pagans), should be constituted as participating in the culture we desire.
This would reduce America to about 120 million Western Europeans, which would end the ongoing ecocide of species in North America.
I support the British monarchy but think America must be independent owing to the practical difficulties of governing a far-off land which led to the original American revolution.
According to our morality, the family model is the nuclear family. I do not support actions taken either against homosexuals, or intending to normalize them as heterosexuals. Rather, I propose they be declared bachelors and spinisters and left alone, preferably in gay districts within every port city. Any who engage in pogromism against homosexuals are my enemy, because this both produces cruelty and through that morally corrupts the population, and also leads to homosexuals acting as heterosexuals and reproducing contrary to the will of nature.
In accord with the above, Americans would speak English, look Western European (indigenous), and uphold the dual cultures of Germany and Britain. Although I do not support public schooling, I would recommend that those who benefit from schooling — 120 IQ and above — be instructed in Greek, Latin, German and French in addition to English.
4) How healthy are Americans? Do they use alcohols or other drugs? What do they eat? Do they go in for sports? How physically active are they? – 1349
This varies with the individual. As a culture, our ideal would be physically fit but not to the neurotic degree of moderns. Physical activity would mostly consist of outdoors work and walking around. Were I king, I would end the practice of apartments and bias culture against constant driving. Instead, people would live close to local communities and do their shopping, socializing and working there.
7) What form of property dominates? (Private, cooperative, national?) What size of businesses dominates? (Small, medium, big companies?)
8) In what types of settlements do Your ideal Americans live? If there are various types of settlements (homesteads, villages, towns, cities), where do most people live? What do Americans do in each type of settlement?
6) Which economic activity brings them the most wealth? (Agriculture? Industry? Services? Marketing? War & conquest? Selling natural resources? Etc.)
17) Do Your ideal Americans have a mission on the scale of a region, continent, the globe or the Universe? What is it (are they)?- 1349
Private property would be the basis of the economic model, with the caveat that misuse of it would lead to its interruption.
A network of small cities (70,000-150,000) and towns (25,000-50,000) would form the basis of this society. This avoids the dual evils of isolation and big city anonymity.
Economic activity would be regulated by local lords depending on what makes sense to do given the surrounding geography and resources.
Our mission would be to be excellent in all areas, which mostly consists of improving ourselves but also of space exploration and conquest of territories which are failing and their conversion into national parks.
15) Do they have their own schools of thought, pleiads of philosophers?
12) Do they have their own schools (i mean, “movements”) of music, architecture, fine arts?
13) Do they have their own big schools of science and technology? Their own strong, competent communities of developers, technical designers?
16) How do Your ideal Americans communicate with each other? Live conversations? Snail mail? Phone? Internet? Social media? Etc.
And who owns the dominating news media? Who owns the media of social communication? – 1349
Do we need new schools of thought? Everything that needs be said has been said by the Germans and the Greeks.
Each local area would have its own artists. Movements may arise from that; this would be up to local lords, who through the patronage system would support deserving arts and cultural movements.
Media and industry would be up to local lords, with supervision from the king. Were I king, I would make lying illegal, and any media that made a statement later proven to be false and that they should have known was false at the time, would find itself confiscated and reallocated.
I think the disease has been pretty well diagnosed at this point, so a shift towards thinking about the future would be effective. This can be tackled from multiple angles: how might we get there (specifically, I am interested in whether, how, and where a secession could occur in the U.S., and whether such a thing would be a good thing anyway), what do we want, what problems can arise, etc. On a related note, my wife is getting turned off by my constant nagging about society’s ills, so it would be nice to have more positive things to discuss.=)
One thing about discussing problems in such a detailed, abstract level is that it can be depressing, not very empowering. I don’t mean that the truth should be distorted, but I mean that too much focus on the negative without any sense of agency can condition us to feel defeated and accept it.
I wonder if any kind of unified movement, or mission statement, or any other kind of focused action would be beneficial if we are serious about improving the world and making an impact. Clearly, such a thing should not fall into the same trap of democracy, compromise, and pandering, but I still think there are ways to aggregate the thoughts of many individuals and create and refine something larger. The Less Wrong community I think is a fairly successful example of this, with its point system, though I must seriously qualify this statement: I think the singularity is a pipe dream for autistics and nerds, and a huge waste of time, and in addition they have such a large ego (or something) that they spin their wheels reinventing the wheel (long, semi-fictional articles that essentially reduce to some ancient philosophical view with new terminology). But, it seems that their problems (by nature, as they are futurists) stem from too much fantasy, ideology, and disconnect from history — essentially, they lack a grounding in reality — and (hopefully) a serious conservative community would by nature lack these problems (to that point, Less Wrong has done votes that showed 80% to be liberal, so there’s that too). Another danger that Less Wrong presents is the cult of personality — while we should pick strong leaders, we shouldn’t pick narcissists and grant them infallibility. Eliezer Yudkowsky is the case in point, and it seems that he has done nothing in terms of progress towards stated goals except market himself and collect donations.
…But more simply, a “start here” page would be cool, consisting of a mission statement, a reading list, and practical suggestions. – Cynical Optimist
Singularity is a variant on the Great Democratic Hope: we will all become one hive-mind and rule by sheer autocracy. It is nonsense for NEETs and other neurotics who make up the liberal side of things.
Let us look toward the future: democracy has failed, the United States no longer exists because its citizens have nothing in common, and the EU has followed the same fate. Thus people are returning to those bonds which never decay: family, neighbors, culture, religion and values.
The singularity that we seek is in fact the dis-singularity, in which we realize that nihilism is true:
There are no shared values, truths or knowledge. Instead, knowledge (including that of truth, and from that values) are esoteric: that is, cumulative, with those who learn the groundwork going on to learn more in an infinite chain, and what they learn is incommunicable to anyone below them in experience, which includes the ability to have experience or native ability, specifically IQ.
The only singularity is the realization that the idea of a human collective, even unified by technology (this is the real root of that seemingly technological dream), cannot exist because people are inherently unequal in understanding. As the Dunning-Kruger-Downing effect illustrates, people reject that which is above their understanding while people with uncommonly high understanding give credence to baffling nonsense because they assume the competence of its source. Thus a collective will be united by the lowest common denominator, which will be artificial to its environment and the natural laws that govern it (these are mathematical/informational laws, not material laws per se) and will therefore set up the collective to fail; its response to failure, which occurs by degrees and not sudden collapse, will be to tighten its ideological control to the point where the society controls itself until it is unable to keep itself going and fails. This form of death afflicts all great empires because all great empires go out the same way: lack of internal cohesion, manipulation by financial interests allied with populist movements, resulting in some form of “idealistic” and egalitarian ideology which then enters the death spiral of controlling its people to avoid confrontation with reality and through that, passing into solipsistic oblivion. Rome, Greece and the Soviet Union ultimately went out the same way; the Maya were destroyed through class warfare, as were the Aztecs; ancient India — once the most advanced civilization on earth — perished as prophesied through caste-mixing as a result of egalitarian class warfare. I am certain that if we learned enough about Easter Island we would find that it, too, vanished suddenly because its internal leadership struggles put it into the death spiral of power and control designed to keep reality at bay. The nature of all liberal movements is reality-denial and apologism for civilization collapse, scapegoating “inequality” instead of the instability and failure to notice reality that put society on a bad course.
Once we accept the fundamental nihilism of human relations, we see that instead of a singularity point we need a directional shift from equality to hierarchy. In hierarchy, the best are put higher than the rest in terms of wealth and power, which allows them to use their superior abilities to make life better for everyone, themselves included. This contrasts the every-man-for-himself attitude of egalitarian societies in which owing to equality all people are competing to rise above the lowest common denominator, and thus see each other (and society itself) as oppressive competition. If we created an all-wise AI, it would realize the same thing and quickly appoint itself king. It would be hilarious but predictable that the Terminator style wars between humans and the machines would be like the World Wars and Napoleonic Wars at essence wars for democracy. If we shift direction, we acknowledge the nihilism in human affairs and gain quality leadership at the expense of a painful illusion.
But what is the solution? Should we operate peacefully and within the law, bringing people to our cause through logic and persuasion? Should we violently overthrow the current order and replace it with our own? Should we just wait things out and enjoy the fall?…I seem to get mixed messages from you about what you think should be done to fix our society. – Theseus
If I were in his shoes, I would be wondering if there is any point in appealing to the masses at all. An effective enough power grab would certainly be the trick to avoiding this but then, the question becomes, how to seize power.
…I bring all of this up because I just do not know if outlines and manifestos are the point so much as finding like minded people and helping them to fight their bad habits that would make them susceptible to leftism to begin with. – -A
I would hope all of us would see the importance of appealing to the “average Joe”. Without eventually convincing enough bell curve pinnacle-dwellers, I doubt we will witness the end of this madness short of a “Mad Max” scenario. – Cpl Horatius
As you have pointed out, it’s difficult to argue core conservative principles because we spend too much time explaining what it is not because it is simply a lack of constructed illusions. This inherent difficulty coupled with our introverted and prudent character instinctively drives us from interacting. Partly in disgust, and part fear of being misunderstood. This I think is a real problem. Engagement in a masculine hierarchical system I believe is the only real cure to this. – Ron
As to how to get there, I adopt the phrase “by any means necessary,” but I mean this less in the sense of terroristic action and more along the lines of trying everything available to us. Hitler got into power through democratic elections followed by changing the laws; we know that small groups, such as the 2% of our population that is gay, can have a broad effect and win elections. This is how most change occurs: a small group, usually 2-5% of the population, unites on a clear idea and agitates for it in a convenient time pocket when the established system is failing. Conservatives have enough money, positions of power, influence with industry and votes to get a candidate in office, and if that candidate can then systematically act against the system to alter laws, it will be an easy transition. If that fails, conservatives can unite behind a corporation that can achieve autonomous status. As Charles Murray suggests, acts of civil disobedience to sabotage the EU and USA and destroy them may also be useful. If none of the above apply, armed revolution could be an option, but should probably take place in outlying areas first because the power of modern militaries is to hit concentrations of forces and destroy them, but are less useful against uncooperative populations and widely-dispersed, invisible guerrilla militias. Cyber-warfare to destroy the economics of the US and EU could plunge those countries into instability and cause shifts that favor strongmen. Additionally, a crypto-conservative might masquerade as a populist Hugo Chavez style Socialist candidate in order to seize power using the apparatus of the left and then, through internal subterfuge and removal of political enemies, take over. Terrorist acts as suggested in The Turner Diaries, such as using a nuke to destroy Washington, D.C., are another option, although in my view it would be better to not provoke popular resentment through mass murder.
The first step in all of the above is unity in what we want and understanding it in clear, simple terms.
I think Brett is somewhere in between Absolute Monarchy and the Democratic method of the South, where a Democrat was a rare individual who had the privilege to vote.
You might describe me as a "libertarian royalist." Like free markets, need strong culture/ethny/kings to keep them in line. #nrx
In modern terms, the phrase “libertarian royalist” describes my approach: free markets sans usury under the guidance of aristocrats, which requires a strong culture and ethnic nationalism. One of my biggest beliefs is that it is important to enact gradual change wherever possible, and to fix nothing that is not broken. For this reason, I favor a cultural shift followed by strong action to correct the errors of liberalism, followed by benevolent and mostly extremely minimal rule, as aristocrats are known to do.
I think this blog should focus more on me. In fact, it should be almost entirely about me. – crow
Perhaps not “almost entirely,” but I think a crow feature story is a really good idea. There are other readers/commenters here who would be very interesting to profile. Actually, I think many of you are far more interesting than I am (summary: philosophy geek + applied technology nerd) and should be the topic of at least short interviews.
Let’s replicate Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy as described in Culture of Critique series in order to build a parallel society to preserve and expand our genetic and cultural existence. – Refman
The Jewish and Amish strategies of both of interest. However, as you may note, Theodor Herzl ultimate came up with the solution of Israel because he realized that to be outsiders in a dominant culture is to always be a suspect and to provoke ire for not participating in what everyone else does.
-I have an interest in European/ISIS/worldwide trends. Marine le Pen.
-Economy will be on the minds of everyone in the west, although the root causes to our decline are more interesting to me.
-People are too naive. They have to be informed about islam, immigration, and over-sized populations. They remain ignorant! – Tucken2.0
These are good ideas. Economy should be mentioned more; probably Marine Le Pen and ISIS are topics for more news-oriented blogs. Not sure what can be said about ISIS other than that Islam is a smokescreen; the real problem is clash of civilizations, with a third-world Arab mixed-race one wanting to destroy Europe for the sin of being more prosperous and less self-destructive than Arab countries. As in the West, the solution for Arabs is not constant war against “the West” but abolishment of democracy, return of aristocrats, cultural refinement and some form of eugenics, probably exiling their idiots to North Africa instead of arming them for endless unsuccessful jihad against technological powers. ISIS are basically clowns on the television screen committing whatever atrocities they can to wake up the West, but their study of democracy is flawed: democracies fight wars like cowards, and once they have retreated stop caring about whatever happens in the now memory holed areas. Regarding the naïveté of most people: this is an inbuilt limit of their intelligence; see above around where it says “Dunning-Kruger-Downing.”
I would like to know what Brett thinks about Anti-Aging Technology such as SENS. – -A
I know nothing about this and will not go the route of an internet dilettante by looking it up in a search engine and assembling a hasty opinion. Approaching the general topic as a philosopher, I see only one reason to oppose life extension: it might make a population risk-averse when they are at their greatest level of wisdom. Old people now are a bonus because, safely retired and unable to be threatened by boycott, they speak their minds more freely.
I would like to hear more too but, he seems to have a very hands-off philosophy to just about everything but promotion of the kind of thinking necessary for society to flourish. His answers are likely to be along the lines of letting culture in the hands of the elite few set itself organically. – -A
Well-intuited. Our first task, no matter what method we use to gain power, is to achieve harmony among the beliefs of enough of the people on the right to wield power, even if only cultural and intellectual ifnluence.
I’d also like to have more discussion on Islam and why it is so dysfunctional, at least in practice, and also on the Mormon religion and community. I have a hunch that Mormons are the only identifiable group getting things right, however hokey some of there beliefs may be. And even then, the hokey-ness isn’t that pronounced when interpreted in a more abstract sense: a lot of the difference between Mormon and traditional Christianity (e.g., views on the trinity as being three separate beings vs a unified entity) may just be a relabeling of terms. – Cynical Optimist
As said somewhere above, “Islam” is often Western shorthand for mixed-race third-world peoples with average IQs in the 1990s. That they are Islamic has little to do with their behavior, because all third world peoples are existentially threatened by the presence of the more advanced West and out of resentment wish to destroy it. The problem with Christianity is not so much doctrine, but its interpretation and application, which right now is in the hands of Crowdists and liberals who have infiltrated the church thanks to the clueless leaders who wish to become more popular by imitating what is popular, with predictable results. Christianity has all but exterminated itself at this point and will continue to do so until it reverses course.
…and how to solve the dispute in alt-right between christian traditionalists and neo-paganists. – Refman
I suggest we stay secular, not as a refutation of religion, but from the knowledge that what is required is a shift in leadership. This means tolerance to both of those faiths, but the belief that neither is essential in order to understand what must be done.
Aging and cell division can wreak havoc on the mind but Brett, the primary writer, seems like his focus is every bit as sharp as when I started reading his stuff in ’98. The best among us can only keep the temptation to compromise at bay for so long after which you can go ahead and set your watch for their eventual “moderation” and resultant loss of spirit, so the miracle of this site is that it still exists at all. The clock never stops ticking and selfless refusal to deny this is what makes people like Brett different. – Doug
High praise from a credible source. Glad to have you as a reader, and I am impressed that you kept reading since 1998, which was still the early years of my work.
When I was a child I used to see demons and aliens, and could travel in my dreams thru space and time at the speed of thought.
As I grew up the dimensions became more definite and distinct, and I could no longer transit them. I was becoming sane. – oznoto
Adulthood is based on deference to external standards and murders the internal awareness of the child. I believe the practice of transcendental meditation can recover many of those abilities.
Well, that and the fact that for awhile there the site was very compatible with the hand-held (even the comment sections) but at some point it reverted back to a desktop-only site. – Doug
The font size in the comment field is tiny, it’s less than my penis. – 1349
These are both good bug reports and will be addressed. I would like to make the site mobile friendly but it was not a priority at the time of the redesign as statistics indicated very few people coming in via mobile.
Types of post
Intellectualism is fine and I enjoy a good argument but when I first found your site I’d have sworn you were a Republican. I have noticed a more polemical attitude in your writings. – Aodh MacRaynall
Someone once described my writing as “extremist common sense” and using that as a cue, I have since described myself as an extremist moderate. The extremist part derives from recognition that not only has the present system completely failed, but Western civilization has been in decay for a thousand years. The reason I come across as a Republican is that I advocate the gentlest transitions, most gradual improvements and least emotional responses possible. I recognize this makes my writing boring, but in my view Crowdism is the vital threat to us, and it thrives on individualism and the corresponding sensations of victimhood and passive-aggression, and these are inflamed by drama. Instead, I turn the focus away from the individual toward what is happened to society at an organic level, and suggest opposing it by the least disruptive means first. This may seem like Republican talk, and it overlaps with Republicans on many things, but its goal is more Nietzsche/Linkola than any Republican will ever be.
What type of post schedule makes more sense? Once every two days? Four?
However, more of everything would be great. Both the social and the environmental elements of your philosophy have a place in this blog and both make great food for thought. Both are important subjects in general. As for current events, why not? – -A
Interesting. Current events often require some time for the details that comprise a vision of the truth to emerge in media, and at that point most have forgotten about them, but I will give it a shot. In general, I despise the blog community which acts as a giant echo chamber, where when a new big event happens everyone chatters about it for 48 hours in an attempt to suck up some of that excited traffic, then drops it like month-old leftovers. I would rather explain current events from existing theory, but those are generally short posts as there is not much to say. I agree on there needing to be more socially conservative and environmental topics on this blog, as both are important to me; this journey began through my fear and horror at the possibility of ecocide, a condition which has only worsened in my lifetime.
Another idea is a series of blog posts on “excellence” that would highlight various examples of that in the world — acts of virtue, music, sports, science, literature, film, whatever. People that exhibit this excellence need not identify as conservatives, and in most cases they may be outspoken liberals, although in terms of what matters — behavior, not image presented to the world — they would tend to be very conservative, I think. – Cynical Optimist
This is a really interesting suggestion. I have tried doing this through book and movie reviews, but might expand those to the areas you mention especially the classics, since few seem to know them. I find it amazing how few have read, analyzed and contemplated The Odyssey for example.
Philosopher of the Month
Analyze the most important contributions of ancient to modern philosophers, monks and dissidents from the West to the East. One or two essays a week for one month on someone particular should be satisfactory. – Chris
Interesting; this is a good suggestion. It was also accomplished mostly by Will Durant with his excellent The Story of Philosophy. One of the big problems here is that I see nodal points in history of importance, like Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and the rest as mostly filling in those gaps. Maybe these can also be handled with book reviews.
Some topics that you’ve touched on before that I’d be interested in hearing more about include: endogamy, population control/reduction (how do you reconcile this with your anti-abortion position?), your vision of the virtuous life, your ideas about how to rebuild community and infrastructure, and book recommendations. – Colleen
These are excellent suggestions. I can lay one to rest: abortion leads a society to consider murder as normal, where the only effective means of population control is to remove socialist-style subsidies and nanny state protections and allow the best to thrive and the rest to die out. In particular, slashing third world aid and Western welfare would accomplish a great deal along these lines.
I’ve enjoyed it, but perhaps a bit of a focus on practicality. Paul Washington
Good suggestion. Perhaps the bit above on political transition will satisfy you for now?
If I had one criticism, it would be that each entry seems to have the same rhythm and style. It’s a declaration, it’s a block of thought, meaningful but not varying enough in approach. I would suggest that you collect your ideas, then superimpose them onto a completely different form of writing. An obituary, a limerick, a complaint to a department store, a church sermon, a child’s view, a song lyric. I think you always sound like an intelligent guy writing an essay. You can add an element of variability. – lisacolorado
This is interesting, and from a reader who has been here for a long time writing comments of analytical perception. My style is chosen for (1) efficiency and (2) descriptive accuracy, and everything else went out the window. I used to do “personalitied” writing as most blogs do, but realized that path sacrifices both of the things above in favor for lulling the reader into complacency. It will be a difficult transition if undertaken.
We must make use of potent counter-propaganda, and so I think “controversy” is good. – Tucken2.0
Power is based in culture, that’s how the reds have won, by ridiculing the opponents. – Refman
This is also a good point. Perhaps more satire and mockery is called for as well.
That’s all for this round. Thank you for reading, commenting and most of all thinking about the topics presented on this blog, which in my analysis are necessary contemplations for humanity to have a future.
A century ago, humans reveled in a simple proposition: machines would improve efficiency and reduce the amount of time humans would have to spend working. Instead, work has expanded to fill our resources and we work more than ever in less comfortable conditions. What could have caused this complete reversal of expectations, as happens with so many human plans.
The answer appears in the events of 1789. An over-populated lower end to French society, aided by degenerates made into wealthy “intellectuals” by the mercantile wealth of their parents, overthrew their government and murdered hundreds of thousands of people. Ever since that time, governments and individuals have cowered in fear of the terror of the mob.
The mob operates on a simple principle: equality. Mobs united based on the idea that one can be included for simply repeating a slogan, and this requires that all be equally included or doubt fractures the mob. Equality motivates people by making them feel comfortable: do one thing, and be forever accepted and supported.
When humans have inequality, some work less and think more. Their actual work is in keeping their brains optimized to make decisions and then taking time to study and understand the subject matter. A good leader of this sort can save a society millions of man-hours, but they appear unequal to the crowd, who does not recognize what they do as “work.”
As a result, we have done away with any work that is not sold by the pound. Any intellectual work is now enwrapped in layers of regulations, trends, tropes and conventions. It is expected of people that they show their dedication to the People’s Revolution idea of work itself. They do this by working just as much as everyone else if not more. That way they can say, “See? I am a good person. I work as much or more than you. You owe me fair treatment because I am one of you.”
The revolution of the workers created a society of workers. No one can escape. If the job is not enough, more details and paperwork can be added. More products can be thrown into the stream. Government can write more regulations or the courts can generate more requirements. Anything to keep us all working and away from another People’s Revolution, which destroys societies and makes life worse for us all.
Conservatives shy away from anti-work. The essence of “cuck” is to accept nonsense as truth, but it extends from that to a kind of shameful tolerance of insane conditions on a daily basis. From this, conservatives invented what makes them hated, which is a pro-work “just keep your head down and work hard” mentality that makes slaves of us all and also keeps conservatives from addressing the fundamental structural problems with our society. And yet, nothing in conservatism says that we should idealize work for work’s sake. Instead, we should favor whatever makes the best society, and all of us being in offices all the time does not do that.
Antiwork writing generally falls under the leftist wing because leftists want any excuse for socialism — reward before performance — that they can create. Conservatives can incorporate antiwork not as an excuse for socialism, but as a means to withdraw from the state. Spend less time doing nonsense, and more time on the meaningful, such as family, culture, spirituality and self-development. This reduces the importance of the State and the prole-run society it endorses, turning our attention to the more serious issues that invoke conservatism by their very nature.
In the process of trying to convince us that the Republican party is not merely the cuckold pro-business arm of the Democrat party, Jeb! (Bush) shot off his mouth about what needed to be done for the American economy:
Bush was asked a question about tax reform during an interview live streamed on Periscope, and said he believes the U.S. can achieve 4 percent growth.
“Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows,” Bush continued. “It means that people need to work longer hours.”
Not only is this mindless in that it views the economy as an infinite fountain of delights instead of the zero-sum game that it is, but it is destructive and pointless to encourage people to work more. If anything, people need to work less and learn more about themselves by having spare time enough to get bored with their distractions and discover who they really are. Most people never get to that stage and stay enmired in the distractions.
Jeb!‘s statement resembles the worst of the Leninist Conservatives who believe that conservatism must be forced on all people in order to make them succeed, where an actual conservative case would be to reward the good and punish the bad. Further, he stumbles into the worst of conservative tropes, which is the notion that an individual can ignore the society around them and just work hard at their job, succeed and be rewarded and thus everything else will magically be OK. There are no magic one-button solutions, and the idea of growing the economy by 4% through more work seems like a cruel and unusual punishment.
Antiwork conservatives such as myself are quick to point out that (1) most jobs consist of mostly nonsense and (2) most projects, laws and products are also nonsense. The economy stays afloat on the delay between nonsense and its realization, with profit in the middle as crazy ideas distribute money to employees and service providers. The problem is that in the long term this nonsense weakens our economy because its lowered quality control means lowered value, and that this manic constant working makes people aliens from their families and themselves, producing robotic and existentially miserable people.
If we want to grow our economy, one method might to be pay people to do the jobs that are not profitable but are needed. We need more crime-fighters, people to clean up the cities, forest guardians, animal welfare agents and people watching out over public places, and many other roles besides. Instead of paying people to do 15 minutes of real work a day and otherwise distract themselves in an office for eight hours a day minimum, let us liberate all people who are not exclusively needed and send them off to do other stuff that technically does not make money. This will strengthen the nation as a whole and thus strengthen its currency.
Instead, Jeb! is grinding away on the non-conservative principle that more work magically makes money. If he listened to real conservatives, he would hear that with the advances in technology since 1900, we should all be working a lot less. Instead, we work more. This inversion, like other inversions, represents bad leadership. Conservatives should invest time in figuring out why things are that way and changing them, instead of urging people to spend more time in their boring jobs, existentially miserable and alienated from their own souls.
Why are conservative politicians and commentators such butts
I use the vernacular because it applies: the public face of conservatism generally consists of buffoons, with a few rare examples, and even those seem tainted by defensive lashing out in offensive ways. The term the kids around here use for over-qualified people without common sense is “butts,” and it applies in this case. Your average conservative politician or commentator is a butt.
(This is in contrast to the average liberal politician, who is a worse animal because he is aware that he speaks nonsense for the sole purpose of manipulating others, so he is a snake oil salesman whose primary method is creating scapegoats to distract from the actual scam he is working. These are less honest, and more slippery, but because they have purpose, tend to be more alert.)
Trying to show people the wisdom of conservatism is almost impossible because as soon as it is stated, up pops some utter idiot saying clear idiocy and avoiding the real issue as if he were unsure of his own views on the matter. These people drive away as many people from conservatism as they can, but unlike the liberals, they are not deliberate in this act. Rather they are confused. There are two reasons for this.
First, conservatives know — unlike everyone else, who is distracted by the scapegoating and floating on waves of dopamine with the happy images produced — that our society is a farce. Democracy is rule by the lynch mob and bitchy suburban shoppers that make customer service hateful, and the State is nothing more than organized theft; most people are venal, selfish and corrupt beings, and the few who are not are perpetual targets for theft, rape and exclusion. Most of this world consists of incompetent people who are in fact nothing more than avaricious monkeys who want to destroy those who are better than they. Conservatives know this, but it cannot be said, nor can it be stated that conservatism is a long slow retreat as we try to protect humanity from what it collectively “thinks” it wants, which is always wrong, despite 98.6% of humanity being unable to understand and thus in opposition to these truths.
Second, conservatives operate invisibly. Not for the reasons liberals do, which amount to being able to achieve deception, but because we believe that which governs best governs least. Ideal conservative government is behind the scenes and not noticed because everything simply works. This is the antithesis of what succeeds in democracy, which is generating drama through fears and scapegoats and false solutions on a constant basis. Conservatism is inherently anti-democratic because democracy is inherently anti-truth because of its preference for feelings, gossip, biases and group sentiment. Conservatives are inherently anti-politics because they believe in leadership not by what people want to see, but by what must be done to achieve a situation where what is needed recurs automatically. A good conservative leader eliminates problems by going to their source and redirecting it, not by the liberal method, which is to make a law, an institution to enforce it, and high penalties for those who resist.
I have in the past formulated conservatism with the simplified notion of realism + transcendentalism, which creates a basic distinction from liberalism, which arises from radical autonomy -> no standards -> altruism/egalitarianism. The conservative formula expands a bit when we compare how the two address having effect on reality itself:
Liberalism addresses effects as causes, such that if there is poverty the cause must be poverty itself, or a scapegoat.
Conservatism addresses cause instead of effect, such that if there is poverty there is a reason for it, and that must either be adjusted or accepted.
Poverty provides a convenient paradox. In every nation in every time there has been poverty; however, poverty means different things. In classical Europe it meant living in a small shack and eating meat once a week. In most of the world at the same time, it meant living in a leaf hut and getting periodically raped by roving bands of cannibals. In modern America and Europe, poverty means an apartment with air conditioning and heat, a big screen television, internet access and a steady diet of junk food. If a society becomes wealthier, poverty stays with it, as a relative measurement, e.g. “Jim has less money than Sara, therefore Jim is impoverished.”
Most problems fit within this framework. Why does Jim have less money? He may want less; he may have more free time; he may be less competent. In either case, poverty in and of itself is not a problem, but what would be a problem would be a failure of the system to correctly reward Jim and Sara for their relative contributions. If Jim builds bridges and Sara is a Facebook consultant for a media firm, Jim should have more money, at least in a sane society. Liberals hate this idea and try to deflect from it. Liberals always deflect, which is why they try to get you to believe that “stupid people” are Jethro and Jed out in the country, not the utter idiots in our cities contributing nothing and running whatever they control into the ground.
Conservatives suffer because they cannot say these things, would be ignored if they did, and doing so would not lead to efficacy in government. Thus conservatives in public consist of well-meaning people who know they must put on a drama show to keep their jobs, and cynical people who are essentially liberals of a different sort who want to distract, deflect, scapegoat and deceive so they can profit off the excess of the herd. This is why when asked about conservatism, conservatives tend to point to dense books of theory instead of living persons.
The feedback loop between media and its audience
I knew a couple once who lived basically in a bubble. They had jobs and did them diligently, if distractedly and without thinking twice about them when at home. There, they tried to stay focused on activities they felt were rewarding. The problem existed in their pathology: if something came up which suggested they were wrong, they simply ignored it and pointed to something else instead. If their kids had trouble in school, it was the soft drinks, so there was a crusade to destroy all the soft drinks in the house and get the school to remove the soft drink machine! If the husband had trouble at work, it was because his coworker was secretly a very bad person, and so it was important to bad-talk him in social circles. They succeeded because they never doubted themselves, and never attacked any actual problems, because of this approach. However, it also made them miserable. They would never accept actual solutions to their problems, so the problems stayed present and exhausted everyone. Their tendency was to sabotage anything they did not like, which frequently included the actual solutions to their problems, such as the time the vacuum cleaner that did work but was hard to use kept “getting broken,” and the other one hauled out of the closet, resulting in a dusty house that gave everyone allergies.
An analogous situation exists with media. People gravitate toward media that reflects their outlook on life, and then use what is said there to justify their own beliefs. In other words, they select media for what agrees with them already and then use it as “proof” of being right. This is not lost on media companies, who cultivate audiences based on what those audiences already believe, and then sell to them a product which is essentially consensual reality validation instead of actual “news,” whatever that is. This means that every person exists in a bubble of consuming what agrees with them, discovering it agrees with them, and then acting on that as if new data were received, considered and analyzed. If you wonder why little changes in this world, the above provides one reason. Couple that with the liberal tendencies of media, and the base mechanism of liberalism to be scapegoating as a means of deflecting from what the liberal is actually attempting to do, and you have a perfect echo chamber for excluding threatening reality and replacing it with warm fuzzies.
Pity the poor conservatives. Historically, we are those who refused to join the Revolution and instead held that we should preserve what was best about the past and require that “new” ideas be tested before we adopted them. Not like anyone has listened to that of course.
Better than science, this is the past as it happened. It has zero conjectural component, including the idea that what can be reproduced in the lab will somehow occur in life. In 1789, as during the signing of the Magna Carta and the various peasant revolts, society split into two. One side took the “new” idea of equality of all people, which basically means do whatever you want short of murder, rape and theft, and the latter held to the idea that social order was necessary. Hierarchy was more important than individualism, in that view.
Over time the idea of do-whatever-you-want has proven, time and again, to be more popular. It is easier for the mind to comprehend and does not entangle it in any of the troubling details of reality. As a pure thought alone, removed from all else, it comforts us. Each person is important. No person must suffer for social standards, cultural values or something as arcane as identity. We are all one, because we are each the same. You can imagine zombies coming over the hill chanting that, sustained by the sense of being important by avoiding the twin extremes of unimportance and having actually achieved something. If we measure importance by achievement, some will win and the rest lose, but if we go egalitarian/altruistic, everyone wins some importance even if it is paltry and insignificant because everyone else has it. The human mind has not yet evolved to think as many steps forward as it requires to understand this.
In contrast to this stands the conservative idea. Composed of two parts, its first prong is consequentialism or the idea that “new” ideas should be tested and their actual results in physical reality found to be good, no matter how long it takes for this test, before they are implemented. The second prong suggests that instead of aiming for an average or lowest common denominator, we should target higher goals that are more excellent or good, beautiful and true beyond the average among which we wander in everyday life. These two prongs reveal the paradox of conservatism: grounded in nihilism, it rises toward the transcendent through an appreciation of the logic of striving.
Nihilism states the bare facts of life: nothing can be known because we relate to the world remotely through ourselves; nothing can be communicated because communication is a process of negotiation, where each side attempts to understand the other and comes away with its own version of what is being said; values are baseless in that they do not exist in reality, but comprise our response to it. We can argue that objectively better results exist but people can choose to deny that fact, or deny that better is indeed what they desire, and choose something else instead. The human struggle is one between narcissism and realism, and when narcissism wins out, people choose illusions over realistic responses. This is the most common state of human existence, hence the use of the term “common” as a type of lower rank.
The good understand why good is important, but no one else does; genetics trumps reasoning as usual and only some have the raw mental ability to understand what good is and why it is preferable to bad. Most people in fact prefer bad, whether mediocre objects and services in life, or disorganized society so that they may pursue their own vices, desires and personal profit. It does not occur to them that there will be an equal and opposite reaction as life re-arranges itself in response. Nor does it occur to them that they mark themselves by what they choose because it indicates the limits of their understanding, and that social rank comes from this process. We can say that the argument for goodness is objective, and be correct, but that has no bearing on whether or not it will be understood. The reality is that we deal with human beings, and they are only able to direct themselves toward what they understand. Most understand very little and so are prone to error, which is the root of “bad.”
Nihilism affirms this emptiness. Much like Lewontin’s fallacy expected race to be written in a single gene, the average person anticipates that life itself will have literal writing on the wall. The illusion arises from the fact that our world simply does what it does, objectively, but that our response to it must reflect our own interests as a species bent on survival, and that these vary between individuals based on capacity. This violation of blank slate theory and egalitarian dogma requires us to accept, snobbishly or not, that not all people are the same. Human responses are between subjective and objective because they depend on what the individual knows and can process, with some succeeding more than others. But only those who were going to succeed anyway know to pay attention what thrives and what does not, and to select one over the other.
Much of human civilization remains a forgery because it is based on the idea of exotericism, or that we can create a single rule or truth and apply it to all people. Saying that is not to endorse the opposite extreme, relativism, where humans enforce approval of all responses in order to create altruistic equality. Instead, nihilism states that people simply perceive what they can, and it cannot be communicated to them. Nor it is an objective truth, because there are no instructions in the world of an absolute nature. There are no “values” shared in common. Individually, we must choose to rise above our monkey ancestors, and by making that choice, push ourselves on to understand as far as we are capable, but most people will refuse to choose this. This is why our ancestors created caste systems and told most people what to do all of the time. Otherwise, these people would screw it up by lacking the ability to understand it.
Conservatism contains both good and bad. The good is the insistence that we hold on to the learning of the past, namely that social order is necessary and positive. The more competent should have more authority and wealth, because wealth is power and giving it to anyone less than a person of noble outlook guarantees it will be used in destructive ways. Those who know nothing because they cannot biologically know much of anything need to be kept away from dangerous things like money and the vote. The bad is that conservatism by its basis tries to fight liberalism, rather than accepting that the type of person who wants liberalism would be unwelcome or oppressed in a traditional society, and will attempt to destroy such a society through ignorance or resentment even if it ultimately produces better results for them.
If conservatism has a basis, it is this type of social order and hierarchy. It finds its origin in the knowledge that only a few perceive what really must be done, and the rest exist in the mental cloud of their own self-delusion. Nihilism is realism. Outside of the human mind, the world has no objective purpose, even God. God is there for those who perceive him and can understand why His order is what it is; similarly, human thriving is there for those who choose to have it, but most people would rather have a beer, cheeseburger and double feature of nude wrestling instead. We are told that nihilism is horrible because it means giving up on the objectivity of life itself, but it is more accurately a recognition that objectivity requires us to choose a purpose first, and that cannot be enforced with logic. Instead, it is for those who rise above to discover, and then to oppress or exterminate the rest before that herd does the same to them.
Very few people understand the conservative argument for “small government.” It takes this basic form: reduce government so that it no longer has an ideological goal, but acts only as a support/defense infrastructure for culture.
When government gets an ideological mandate, such as “enforce equality,” it becomes a self-guiding perpetually expanding entity with a blank check from the voters to do whatever it wants so long as it can justify those acts under the broad umbrella of its ideological objectives.
The same things that liberals feared with the government regarding terrorism — that fear of terror would be used to justify any number of intrusive acts — are also true of government objectives like civil rights, anti-poverty, gender equality, wealth redistribution and anti-discrimination. All of them create that blank check and make government grow like a tumor.
Odd as it seems, the point is not size of government per se, but size of government reach. In other words, if government focuses on defense, roads and space exploration, it presents no threat because it has a finite goal that does not submit to mission creep. How do you justify having military police in every city in the name of space exploration? (Actually, I am sorry I asked: bureaucrats have probably dispatched a fact-finding commission to find a way.)
If the citizens of a nation are so foolish as to give government an open mandate to do anything it can to achieve an ideological goal, they have opened the gates. Ideology reflects what people feel should be, not what is. There is no check for success in that feedback loop because it is based exclusively on feelings. Thus when ideological programs fail, the answer is to try even harder with the same idea. If the programs succeed, they are used to justify new objectives which are simply expanded versions of the old.
Imagine a department in your workplace. The owners decide that it is essential to be inclusive to fifth-dimensional beings. This requires redesigning the building to have M.C. Escher style recursive staircases, and to rethink the concept of “rooms” entirely. Ordinary people require velcro to stick to the ceilings because up is no longer up and down is no longer down. All drinks and food must be in paste form. Harmful parts of the color spectrum, and the light spectrum, must be filtered, requiring ordinary people to wear 3D glasses with one red and one blue lens each. Since fifth-dimensional beings do not experience time as we do, the office runs on a 24-hour rolling schedule and measures those hours in radians. Soon every aspect of the office has been entirely re-dedicated to first figuring out how to accommodate the fifth-dimensional beings, and only second (and optionally, if the first is not accomplished) act out its normal role. Quality and productivity plummet but management sees this as resistance to its grand plan, and doubles down on punishing those who do not comply. In five years, the only people left in the office are those who are good at one thing: making a comfortable environment for fifth-dimensional beings. Everyone else has been fired or fled.
The same has happened to American government, following in the footsteps of other governments. Let us look at the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. In the former case, ideology supplanted reality and made the nation unable to feed itself. In the latter, a fascination with Jews and racial purity led the nation toward military and political disaster. The problem in both cases was that a single principle took over from the multiple principles of quality government. Ideology tends toward a single principle because its goal is to focus people on one thing and have them hammer at it until they force it on others. This is why ideology is so devastatingly effective. Non-ideological governments, called “conservative” now, focus on multiple methods of achieving what is known as health, or a society that aims toward the excellent and has happy residents as a result.
When ideology takes over government, the bureaucracy swells and becomes self-important, and starts to view any criticism as treason. It then purges those critics and, more importantly, rewards only those who achieve ideology-first and reality-second. This drives away anyone who might know better. Like many human failures, this path to death is driven by our own inability to see the obvious because we have re-trained our minds on a single focus. When conservatives say they want small government, what they mean is to remove ideology from government and instead focus on real-world activities that create health, which are generally best administered by culture and natural selection while government takes care of defense, roads and space exploration.