Posts Tagged ‘gradualism’

Please, No More Revolutions

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

The Alt Right and Neoreaction are casting about for a future they can visualize as successful and comfortable. For the most part, ideas like “patchwork” and “formalism” have been recognized as thought-experiments, not realities, and it has simultaneously become clear that liberal democracy is in full collapse. So what comes next?

Some argue for some type of revolution, but there may be reason for skepticism:

Our education system is state church making everyone go to church and attend religious festivals. In other words, degree inflation To deal with this, needs a full on attack on priestly power. We need a revolutionary transfer of power analogous to the dissolution of the monasteries.

Let us dial it back a bit and review the events that have led to this point. Several thousand years ago, the society Plato described as ideal shifted from inside-out to outside-in; that is, it went from deciding what would enhance the divine in reality, and using material power as a means to that, to desiring material power in itself by assuming that such power was divinely ordained or did not require the divine.

Since that time, we have been trying to find material reasons for striving for something beyond the material, and failing by gradual degrees to the point that our civilization has slipped into partial third-world status. This occurs because while idea can influence the material, the converse is not true; material is a method, and the tool becomes the master in absence of a purpose independent from the tool.

Revolutions occurred because the kings, the last vestige of inside-out reasoning, were thwarted by the bourgeois and peasant revolutions. This replaced clear power with unclear power. Instead of having a single point of decision-making, it was done in almost an ad hoc manner based on what the herd was trending about at the time, which made individuals feel important just like playing a lottery did, but failed to produce any clear direction.

To understand this, we must look at the nature of revolutions. Revolutions say that the methods used by society are wrong, and so must be replaced. This is done to argue that the current system cannot be reformed because it is limited to methods that do not work. The consequence of it is that a semi-functional system is discarded and then recreated.

In this way, revolutions are like tantrums. People do not like how things are going, but have no idea of where else to go. They have a tantrum, and depose those in power, then recreate society as they know it. Since what they know was the previous regime, they rebirth it but without certain methods, which means that its fundamentals remain unchanged.

The real revolution we have to experience is not swatting away things we find wrong in the present system, but looking to where this system has mistaken purpose and fixing that. Bad methods arise when the goal is confused, and that occurs when society has no inherent purpose but randomly acquires goals in response to threats.

We might characterize the last few thousand years as the “reactive” era. Instead of thinking of divine goals, people reacted to problems on the material and methodological level. This contrasts the fundamental nature of the West, which I posit as “reflective,” or prone to look within for an understanding of the world outside, a variety of inside-out thinking based in finding transcendent ideals.

This is not limited to a religion, or religion itself. Rather, it is an approach to life that requires us to discipline our internal selves to the order of nature — avoiding hubris, or the all-too-common human solipsism that makes us think our intent is more real than the world around us — and then according to that structure, to find ideals that make life rewarding on an existential level.

Is education ruined? Perhaps, but all things can be fixed with a basic method, which is to replace the purposelessness of class revolt with a sense of purpose to our civilization, and then to apply Plato’s formula of “good to the good, bad to the bad.” This creates a Darwinian filter that promotes the best over the rest, improving quality and through that, finding clarity.

We need no more revolutions, or any other reactive approaches. We need a creative approach. This can only be found through the reflective principle, and the idea of gradualism or qualitative improvement that has guided us in the past. It is this seemingly unconventional but ultimately sane answer that guided us in the past, and the spasms and tantrums of revolution that interrupted it.

Natural Mathematics Produces Greater Intelligence Than Humans Can

Monday, August 22nd, 2016


Over at Outside In, Nick Land makes some great points and some that are harder to support. But the core of his philosophy takes some effort to spot. For example, a cryptic post about the dominance of the Qwerty layout keyboard reveals a Landian theme:

In such circumstances ‘historical accidents’ can neither be ignored, nor neatly quarantined for the purpose of economic analysis; the dynamic process itself takes on an essentially historical character.

He quotes this source for a reason, which is that it reveals how markets and natural selection work on a mathematical level that is more advanced than human design. Nature is smarter than us.

This does not mean we should go back to living in mud huts, but the contrary: nature has built into itself a series of thresholds and tests so that only those who merit it can achieve high technology.

While Land relies on a technological progress timeline to show the defeat of liberal society, in an inversion of Kaczynski’s dour take on the same, history suggests that the pattern of a civilization and not its technological level determines its level of success.

That is to say, as Traditionalists have explained for decades, we do not wish to “back” in time; we wish to create the design-type of society that has always worked instead of pursuing alternatives such as the modern civilization design.

This is no different than management theory. Certain arrangements of roles and activities in groups of humans always produce success, no matter what $current_year is; others always fail, independent of the age.

What is interesting about Land’s theory is that it supports this idea. In his analysis, natural evolution — gradualism, selection, arbitrary modification — produce an end result that reflects the composition of the group choosing. When idiots are numerous, idiocy results; when intelligence is given precedence, one gets a society with the four pillars or some approximation.

This brings us back to Nietzsche. The four pillars evolved just like the eagles: we took early birds (pre-civilization humans) and applied intense selection pressure plus strong positive rewards for seizing opportunity, and the result was an apex predator (hierarchical civilization). This in turn modified the participants to be more able to fulfill that role.

Kaczynski and Land seem to agree that technology has created a “bubble” wherein humans have been separated from the consequences of their decisions by an inclusive civilization, and for that reason, idiocy rules. A more thoroughly analytical take reveals that this process occurred even in low-technology civilizations, and is the product of a wealth boom brought on merely by social organization, which is inherently exponentially efficient compared to individual subsistence farming and hunter-gatherer activities.

When this wealth boom happens, most societies begin dying just like yeast dumped into a jar of syrup: they breed until they consume the available resources, then die out. This is how nature regulates species that cannot regulate themselves; they self-destruct. We could see the failure of our civilization as just one step in the attempt by nature to produce a human genotype that does not lead to civilization self-destruction.

As those of us who will form the next civilization, which is only possibly by military/political displacement of the current occupants, look toward the future, it becomes clear that our enemy is unrealistic thought. Land’s praise of the underlying structure of nature is at its heart conservative, and a clarity we should all heed.

A more sensible political moralism

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Since the great egalitarian explosion of the last two centuries, there has been only one publicly acceptable morality. If morality were not so assumed to be universal, it would not be off our radar, and we would squeal about how oppressive it is that our society tolerates only one.

The social morality of our time is egalitarianism. This means everyone is equal, which leads to pluralism, or the idea that everyone should be able to do whatever they want and if this causes social disunity and unrest, we’ll pretend that’s a good thing. Pluralism in turn causes dysfunction, which creates a need for a police state, which makes society so scary that most people want a socialist safety net. At that point, the deconstruction of a civilization is at hand.

However, it all starts with the assumptions and underlying values that we use to interpret politics (and other things). As a wise man once said, “there are no facts, only interpretations.” However, thanks to its popularity, we have one and only only morality which we can discuss in the context of politics.

This morality contains a number of sub-headings. The first is the notion that because everyone is equal, if unequal results occur, it is through oppression. Another is the idea that we are heading toward a future Utopia through Progress. Yet another is that compassion is our highest goal, which requires us to “lift up” those “below us.” The essential ideal boils down to all of us owing every human an existence, and whatever choices that human makes should have no consequences from civilization at large.

Despite their good intentions, and who really cares about intentions when you have results to measure, the path on which this morality puts society is one that goes away from “find the right answer” and gets closer to “any answer is fine so long as you say it nicely.” The result of that is a society geared away from achievement. It is a civilization of those who do not challenge themselves.

This is not to speak an endorsement for Ayn Rand-style social Darwinism, where everyone has to work as hard as possible and earn as much money as possible and put their souls on the shelf. Our society has already tried that, and it is a result of our egalitarian morality. When society is chaos, people become desperate for money so they can buy their way out of the disaster.

I propose a different social morality: we go with what works. As part of that, we have to know what we’ve done in the past and how it turned out. That way, when someone speaks about their latest wishful thinking, we can say, “Last time, that ended in the collapse of a nation,” and then see what they say. Our new morality should not be about how we want to feel, judge or desire changes in our situation, but the consequences of those changes.

It’s a subtle shift. Most people would barely notice. But over time, it would shift society from a system of takers penalizing makers to a system where makers would be given the ability to use their powers for good. Takers, who are by definition incapable of making a systemic good, would be isolated in their own spheres of (small) influence.

The next political revolution is not going to come from policy decisions or speeches. Politicians have a job to do in keeping the system working. What can help them out is if we create a cultural change, and then send a clear message to our politicians, so that everyone in unison desires the same idea.

Much like the great shift leftward in the West during the 1960s, the result will be pervasive and silent. It will spread through oblique channels, altering attitudes, so that when those people return to questions to which they formerly knew the “answers,” they will re-interpret and end up in a radically different place.

It won’t come easy — we’re talking about altering at least 223 years of history, and probably a few centuries more. But this could stave off the inevitable disaster of social dysfunction as well as the potential disaster created by sudden or radical changes to a political system.