Posts Tagged ‘libertarianism’

Why The Alt Lite Must Die

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

While abiding by the idea of “no punching to the right,” the Alt Right can and should evict the Alt Lite from its position because the Alt Lite represents entryism into the Alt Right which will eventually turn it as cucked as mainstream conservatives, again driving realists into underground extremist groups because their views cannot be publicly aired.

The Alt Lite consists of those who, responding to the incursion of the new Red Guard (SJWs) have spoken up in favor of free speech and freedom of association, served a highly useful purpose at first. It beat back the Leftist assault by appealing to neutral grounds, namely defense of liberty and freedom of thought. However, in doing so, it became popular with fence-sitters.

Fence-sitters understand the failure of Leftism but are unwilling to commit themselves to actions which would move us away from Leftism, preferring to patch up the leaky ship by creating more laws, rules and standards to try to avoid the normal situation, which is where the mob destroys any who deviate from its dogma. This will not work because the mob will only grow more powerful unless directly opposed.

In doing so, the Alt Lite have made themselves into a mirror image of mainstream conservatives, the so-called “RINOs” and “cucks.” The Alt Lite thinks it can work within the current system despite that system always rewarding what is popular, and what is popular always reflecting the combined fear of the herd instead of the best possible solutions for the long-term.

This causes civilization to die by internal toxicity, essentially piling up dysfunction until it reaches a crucial threshold and the resulting herd tantrum changes authority, almost always shifting toward more extreme and less responsible parties.

As astute readers may recall, the Alt Right has — forgive this — mixed heritage. It combines elements of the French New Right, anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism, paleoconservatism and social conservatism, Neoreaction, Traditionalism, National Socialism and Nietzschean conservatism. As a result, members tend to come in on one of these themes, and shape their further thinking according to that framework.

Libertarianism — originally called “classical liberalism” — is the notion that despite the advent of the Leftist state, the productive citizens can defend themselves with laws and so hold on to their wealth despite the clamor of a mob that demands what they have. As Plato tells us, this is a failing gambit:

When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things. There was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war and in keeping a watch against them.

…Do not their leaders deprive the rich of their estates and distribute them among the people; at the same time taking care to reserve the larger part for themselves?

Why, yes, he said, to that extent the people do share.
And the persons whose property is taken from them are compelled to defend themselves before the people as they best can?

As he reveals in this short passage, society begins its decline when it reverses its thought: instead of focusing itself on doing what is right and excellent, it becomes oriented toward whatever is popular and profitable, and from within that narrow range chooses an ersatz right upon which it bases its new direction. This might be analogous to Republicans.

At that point, the civilization begins a descent into democracy. When the herd has gained enough power, they demand the wealth of others, who defend themselves through an attempt at oligarchy, but in doing so, create the groundwork for tyranny, which occurs when the tyrants realize they can unite the drones against the productive. This describes libertarians in the age of Obama and Merkel.

The Alt Righters who descend from libertarians tend to be like this. They want to avoid Leftism by refusing to fund the Leftist state and asserting their own right to “liberty” and “freedom.” They forget that this was the default condition of America, but that in less than a century, this principle was replaced by obligation to the herd.

Libertarianism likes to think that markets regulate society. While this is more accurate than the idea that political questions are the sum total of what regulates society, it misses the point: a civilization is an ecosystem with several paths to power, of which economics is one, and therefore as soon as the productive retreat into libertarianism, the other paths become more important and are used to take down the productive.

This is how we got to our present state from our libertarian origins, both in Europe and America, which were themselves a response to the collapse of feudalism as rising populations overwhelmed the old order. The West succeeded and, by doing so, it failed, which happened a crucial time when it was recording from plagues and invasions and trying to find a new purpose, its old one being exhausted with having achieved success.

While libertarianism may slow the decline in the short term, it will be eventually overwhelmed, and it does not attempt the most important role of the Alt Right, which is pushing Western Civilization toward renewal by choosing a direction other than our current moribund path. Revisiting Plato:

When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things.

The only path out of decline is to choose another path, and this will fit the pattern of the gold and silver races. Instead of thinking backward, namely justifying our decisions by what we think will make us wealthy and popular, we must strive for what is right and ensure that doing that makes people wealthy enough or at least comfortable. Only then do we escape decline.

For this reason, the Alt Lite must die. They impede the actual path of the Alt Right and replace it, much as the other cucks do, with a temporary path that is popular because it is easy. The only ideas that become popular are those which flatter the individuals in the herd. Those individuals are driven by personal fear, but by forming a group, they hide this selfish motivation behind grand-sounding ideologies.

Because of this intent toward destruction of the actual goal of the Alt Right, and its replacement with an easy and popular answer that avoids the vital question of Western resurrection, the Alt Lite constitutes entryism into the Alt Right. It subverts the idea which makes the Alt Right unique, which is a willingness to say the truth about the fall of Western Civilization and how to resurrect it, and replaces it with a scapegoat and an excuse to do little. The Alt Lite, if unchecked, will assimilate and destroy the Alt Right.

The only solution to this is for the Alt Right to leave the Alt Lite behind. They served a useful role in getting us started, but now our paths diverge. The Alt Lite wants to go live with the neckbeards, cucks and RINOs, and the Alt Right wants to forge ahead into brave new uncharted waters where there is a potential for actually ending these problems and creating a great civilization anew.

For us to do this, we must demonstrate competence in some way as a means of showing that we are not another ideological party — those with strong opinions based on human intent, but no real-world utility, and by that nature, a tendency to exclude realism in favor of ideological goals — and that we offer something to the average Western citizen on the path to Western restoration.

We cannot achieve this competence with the Alt Lite in tow. The instant we create something, they will dumb it down much as the Republicans did to conservatism, and then on a wave of popularity carrying it away. They will thus steal our victory but retain our brand, and so when the project fails, will then let us take the blame.

Instead, it is time for the Alt Right to come into its own. It needs its own organizations, publishers, radio, magazines, businesses and if possible, communities. It needs to show that its ideas work by implementing them in the simplest and least disruptive ways, and then showing that those work, before it moves on past the Alt Lite and all others who wish to stay marooned in this time of collapse and decay.

How The Left Misunderstands Conservatism

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

leftists_are_unhappy_people

The Left has never understood conservatism because the Left has never wanted to. To them, their ideology of egalitarianism leads directly to Utopia, at which point there will no longer be conflict between humans and everyone will be accepted. Any deviation from this is a moral sin punishable by death, in their view.

That explains why the Left does not want to understand conservatism: they have zero room for it in their pantheon of ideologically-tinted symbolic representations of reality. This is because while conservatism is voiced as an ideology, fundamentally it is anti-ideological because it bases its perceptions on reality.

Conservatism comes from the term “to conserve,” which means that we preserve successful means of achieving excellence. In human terms, nothing can be preserved in a static sense, but must be regenerated anew in each generation, so “conservation” means not physical things but principles, methods and ideas.

As written here before, that means that conservatism has two attributes:

  1. Consequentialism. We judge success by end results and side-effects, not by human intent, feelings, judgments, universal symbols and emotions. Reality is external to us; internal focus is solipsistic.

  2. Transcendence. There must be some goal higher than material reaction, like excellence, beauty, goodness and truth, and we discover it through intuition, which is within but not personal.

This contrasts with Leftism, which has only one attribute: egalitarianism, or the equality of people, which is presumed to lead to pacifism and universal acceptance, and from there to Utopia. Leftism works through negative actions, or things it wishes to remove; conservatism requires restructuring society around positive goals, or things we want to achieve.

For this reason, in our Leftist time, our Leftist media has trouble understanding why conservatism does not translate into Leftist terms. First they want to make it an ideology; then, they try to import egalitarianism — the core and principle of Leftism — into it, despite for conservatism, egalitarianism being at most a means to an end and not an end in itself.

As a recent article demonstrate, our society is now struggling to understand conservatism which is as distant as a foreign land to a society brainwashed in two centuries of Leftism:

Nash presented an influential portrait of conservatism as a river fed by three tributaries of thought: Christian traditionalism, anti-Communism, and libertarianism (or classical liberalism). Although each could be rendered as a popular impulse or unthinking reflex of the mass mind, Nash insisted that all three were fundamentally intellectual traditions, nourished by a cast of characters who deserved both respect and extended study, among them James Burnham, the former socialist turned anti-Communist; Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian classical economist; and Russell Kirk, America’s answer to Edmund Burke. In Nash’s telling, these were the men (and they were almost all men) who created conservatism in the postwar years.

This article is patent nonsense. Conservatism is not a material ideology, but a timeless principle. It can be found in “Christian traditionalism, anti-Communism, and libertarianism (or classical liberalism)” but they are not its constituent components. Rather, as a principle, it is found many places, and those are the ones we recognize — “observer bias” — because of their recent relevance.

A conservative is someone who likes what works. Because the question then arises “How well does it have to work?” he has to pick either bare minimums (utilitarianism) or best case scenarios, and that latter leads him to the goal of excellence. That in turn picks out the principle of nature: all works to produce a hierarchy that advances the best over the rest, and this extends to metaphysical principle.

For all that modern people know of conservatism, the above passage might as well be in ancient Greek. However, as we enter into a conservative area with Brexit rippling across the USA and Europe, we might want to understand the path out of the Leftist mental ghetto and how we can use it to save ourselves from the moribund inertia of liberalism.

Neoreaction Conference To Be Held In London

Friday, July 29th, 2016

neoreaction_conference

We do not live in tolerant times. As in the former Soviet Union or today’s Cuba, there is an official Correct Way to think and those who fail to think this way, even if they do not explicitly disagree with it, find themselves excluded from opportunities and social groups.

Despite that, a brave group of arts community members are trying to bridge the divide. Later this year, they will launch an exhibit named Neoreaction, which is ‘an open [conference for] open minded progressives’ that explores Neoreactionary and Reactionary thought. This will be a short conference of talks and screenings on the subject of neoreactionary philosophy and politics, which the presenters view as one of the most interesting discursive spaces online in current times.

Hosted at a gallery in East London, the conference will be metaphorically playing with (ideological) fire, since Neoreaction and Reactionary thought are in opposition to modernity, liberalism and in fact every political assumption widely held in Western societies today. Already two members of the team, fearing for the loss of social and economic opportunities, have had to drop out, but the rest are soldiering on.

If you wish to attend, or are from the media and wish a press pass, please email conference@amerika.org which forwards to the organizers, who will remain anonymous until they are able to verify your good faith participation.

Why Neoreaction Did Not Fail

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

neoreaction_a_method_of_seeing_outside_the_leftist_walled_garden

Amerika.org is fundamentally a New Right blog, with the reservation of ideas from paleoconservatism and the Old Right: we like capitalism and we are staunch nationalists who realize that monarchism is our only viable solution for leadership. But the basis of its theory lies in the New Right and the Traditionalists who inspired them.

This builds on what I have been writing for some time, which is a raging realist (what I call “nihilist”) viewpoint on life. We are organisms; we must adapt. One of our (necessary) methods is civilization including technology. For that reason, these things must be pointed in the right direction or they become our individual downfall.

None of this is widely accepted. That is because herds run away from anything like the truth, so it must be introduced to them with subtle tools that subvert the assumptions that prohibit them from seeing reality. One might see all of art and literature as a means to that end: helping us find sanity in our minds through metaphor. But it also applies to politics.

I have written a fair amount about Neoreaction because I like its solid theoretical basis. However, our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses, and now, a lively debate is forming about whether Neoreaction has failed. Let us look into this claim and assess it not in yes/no, but in questions of degree, time and qualitative impact:

Neoreaction failed as a philosophical/political movement because it failed to engage the real world, or even the online political world. Even moreso than libertarians, neoreactionaries turned out to be a sheltered circle of nerds who were largely uncomfortable with interfacing with the rough and tumble of online political discourse or addressing current events; even just on the Internet! By failing to engage anyone outside of neoreactionary circles, many of the core participants lost interest and retreated to private mailing lists or went silent. The few neoreactionaries who maintained relevance were absorbed into the alt right.

Let me say that the above makes some good points which are worth considering, and then offer another viewpoint to stack onto the above.

When nature creates a species, she does not do so equally. Instead, the species is at first many varieties which compete with their environment to see which survive. Those form the base of the species, like a statistical floor. For example, an early mammal takes to the trees and becomes a squirrel, which is known by its bushy tail, well-developed arms, small size and flavor of chicken.

Then, new variants appear which are built onto the base. One squirrel develops flaps between its arms, and finds it can leap a little farther; another develops the ability to swim long distances; a third learns to chew long tunnels into trees. These now face another test: do these abilities complement the base animal, or do they lead in a new direction that requires a separate species?

If the abilities complement the base animal, they have a tendency to be re-incorporated into the group because the two types of animal can breed. If they do not, a separate species branches off and goes its own way through the twisting paths of evolution.

And so we return to Neoreaction. Neoreaction is a variant of the right, specifically a hybrid of neoconservatism (“classical liberalism”/libertarianism) and Mussolinian fascism (corporatism). In his dialogues, Mencius Moldbug like Plato before him argued through allegory by taking accepted arguments to their logical extremes. In this case, he developed libertarianism into a free-standing theory by arguing for the formalization of power.

As said around here before, this is more of a thought-experiment that one might bring up in an intellectual salon than a concrete proposal. Similarly, Plato took the dominant liberal ideas of his time and extended them to their logical conclusions through the thought-experiments in The Republic, showing his audience that in order to make a System — communism, capitalism, democracy — work, society would have to take total control and manage society in a way that was both unrealistic and stifling to the human spirit.

Therefore, he implied, we need something simpler: an organic state of few rules but with strong values and leadership by the best, instead of allowing those with the most votes, money or popularity to take control and act out their petty whims of power.

Since Moldbug, Neoreactionaries have developed his inner thoughts — that perhaps nationalism is not a bad thing, that strong leadership is needed, and that egalitarianism is mental goo that corrupts all other thought — into a complex series of positions. These ended up overlapping with Traditionalists/New Right, Alternative Right, dissident Right, Southern Agrarian and Old Right positions.

What this achieved was to take the extreme Right out of the ghetto of neo-Nazism and allow itself to expand on a theoretical level, instead of simply relying on us-versus-them and fear of The Eternal Jew™ to define the limits of its thought. This in turn upgraded its audience, driving out the true boneheads and letting the more intellectual wing shine.

As a result, I view Neoreaction as a booster engine to a larger ship; perhaps a JATO pack, if you will. Its goal is to push a set of eternal truths past the resistance caused by those who claim to agree with them but instead idolize simplified and ersatz versions of them, and to allow those ideas to then build momentum by being similar in theory but not conclusions to what thinkers worldwide recognize as a dialogue of politics.

Like libertarianism, Neoreaction does not stand on its own. You cannot create a Neoreactionary society; even Singapore exists only as a nexus point of international capital. But its economic and political theories are sound, and show us that not only are there alternatives to Leftism, but that Leftism and liberalism (neoconservatism) are entirely illogical. That opens the door to looking for where we took a wrong turn, and how to get back on the path.

The alternative Right is assimilating Neoreaction much like a squirrel species welcoming back a variety of smarter, stronger or faster squirrel. These theories are all variants of the same idea, which is how to get back to classical society and extend it into the technological world in which we find ourselves. Neoreaction’s contribution is a series of thought-experiments and in that, it has succeeded in re-intellectualizing the right, even if its final form will not be neoreaction but more like reaction itself, or the old Right that the alternative Right desires.

The Essence Of Liberalism Is Egalitarianism

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

the_essence_of_liberalism_is_egalitarianism

There’s a lot of confusion out there mainly because nothing can be trusted to be what it is; all has been redefined as political objects.

As a result, people are casting around for a Grand Unification Theory that can make sense of their world. For example, the quest to define liberalism plagues many:

This situation seems to be assisted by the pervasive idea that what happens in society is a matter of collecting a group of ideas together (a political platform) and then advocating for your leaders to then implement the collection of wishes which then come true. So a Libertarian will make a list as so: I want liberty for all, weed legalization, free exit, small governance etc, while a designated socialist will demand a list as so: equality, social security, social justice etc.

Under the guise of criticizing liberalism, this is a liberal idea: let everyone do whatever they want and somehow the best result will come about.

It ignores the fact that all learning comes from asserting that some ideas are superior to others.

It confuses the methods of enforcing liberalism with its fundamental idea, which is egalitarianism, or the notion that all should be able to do whatever they want without criticism from others.

Look further for its actual core:

The starting point in all of this is firmly not in the “what does/ did happen.” The original cathedral analysis (not the nonsense it has become) was firmly in the “what did/ does happen” category, De Jouvenel’s analysis is firmly in the “what did/ does happen” category, Carlyle’s analysis of the effects of non-governance is firmly in the “what did/ does happen” category. All of these things lead to unpleasant, but deeply necessary conclusions.

In other words, embrace entropy, because we should not pay attention to better methods, but whatever most people normally do, even if this is known to lead to breakdown and decay.

The above philosophy is fundamentally indistinguishable from mainstream liberalism. Let people do whatever they want, and criticize no individual’s choices, because we are all equal.

In other words, it affirms the fundamental idea of liberalism.

We know (or should know by now)conservatism is a progressive offshoot that is younger than progressivism, and all this claims of classical liberalism are just attempts to resurrect an older form of leftism.

This confuses libertarianism with all conservatism, ignoring the large differences between the two.

Luckily the article takes a twist toward the interesting:

So white nationalism is a collection of platforms with a central premise of declaring that ethnic interests should be secured to varying degrees, whilst neoreaction seems to be a collection of libertarian, rationalist and paleo-con platforms with no real rhyme or reason plus an advocate of extreme non-governance via AI and/ or automated constitutions (the ultimate magic “should” and “must” political thinking.)

Here he nails it out of the park: all modern movements are built in the form of liberalism. They seek to provide a System that manages our future through automated means like rules and voting, simply so that we do not need to violate egalitarianism and appoint some to positions of power simply because they are better people.

As this shows us, the only escape from the modern time is the escape from Systems. These are based on what “should” be not in a practical/realistic context like nationalism, but in an emotional/social one like Leftism, because only a super-simplified way of life like ideology can unite such a chaotic system.

The only solution is escape from Systems into the wilds of culture-based leadership (nationalism) and leadership by the best (aristocracy). This eliminates the “should,” and produces the realistic, and even more importantly, the aspirational.

But it requires a slightly more complex analysis than the “finding the right answer is liberalism” introduction used in the original blog post.

The Problem With Conservative Humans Is Not Conservatism, It’s Humans

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

the_modern_isolation_made_romantic

The post Eternal September internet revealed its true purpose as memetic churn: it funnels the antagonism of our world’s basement NEETs, daytime TV watchers, retirees, apartment-bound disability recipients, bored cubicle slaves and welfare nodules into an emotional amplifier. People post concerns in simple catchy forms and the crowd rages with a new fire.

Everything has a weakness and a strength, and the two are usually the converse of one another. The internet echo chamber does a good job of putting its finger on the fears of modern people, and a terrible job at coming up with solutions, since what matters above and beyond all else is that its “solutions” be memetic. That means: simple, engaging, and emotionally satisfying.

Real life is different from how most people experience emotions: emotional satisfaction comes at the end of accomplishment. The farmer lighting his pipe, looking over the freshly-plowed fields, and thinking how proud and pleased he is; the artist looking over his creations, having finally spoken his muse. But on the internet, emotional satisfaction is what makes the crowd buzz, and it comes from the untested thoughts that seem to beat back those fears.

On Amerika the blog, I and other writers have taken a radical perspective: that conservatism is the root of all sane thinking about how to make society, and that our retreat from it has created “Amerika” the society: a Soviet-style system where a single path to success exists, and that is through using the ideology of the Crowd to please others and thus be selected as the most capable. All of our incompetent elites got ahead this way.

Conservatism takes another perspective. For method it chooses consequentialism, or results mattering more than methods, which includes the idea that performance comes after reward, which is the inversion of socialism. For goals it chooses a transcendental outlook, or the notion that we should aim for the best in all things, using consequentialism to figure out what works but then choosing what achieves excellence over the merely adequate.

Already this blog post is too complex for at least ninety-nine out of one hundred people on the internet. It will never achieve memetic status because it is both too complex and not emotionally satisfying. Over the wires, or in a crowd, it will be shouted down and replaced with an ikon of a cute bunny screaming SIEG HEIL.

But what people need to know is this: conservatism is the most extreme “ideology” of them all, mainly because it is not an ideology — a way around reality, based in what we wish were true instead of what is — but a look at Reality as our guiding force. Conservatism is extremist common sense. We are a species like any other; we must adapt to our environment; if giving choices between a good, better and best option, choose the best!

What has happened (as usual) is that humans cannot distinguish between essence and instance. The essence of conservatism is an idea; the instance is any person, group or product (books, movies, blogs) that claims to be conservative. The instance does not change the essence. It is the other way around: the essence determines what the instance should be.

And yet… our “conservatives” seem very far from any meaningful definition of conservative. “Conservatism has failed!” wails the internet hype machine. Or is it that our conservatives are simply not conservative, which means by definition that they are liberal, and that their failure is part of the vast decay of society through liberalism?

By Occam’s Razor and any other meaningful analysis, that explanation makes a lot more sense.

Most people do not realize that conservatism exists only because liberalism exists. Before liberalism, all was shades of conservatism, which has plenty of internal texture and variation. After the French Revolution, conservatives were those who arose to preserve the best of what had come before, in anticipation that — as de Tocqueville and others analyzed — the Great Liberal Experiment would collapse.

As lore has it, the conservatives sat on the Right and the revolutionaries on the Left in the French National Assembly. Thus Leftists and Rightists were born, with Rightists including both socially-acceptable conservatives and what I call “primal conservatives” who hung on to their aristocratic, manorial and tribal traditions. “Liberals” were the conservatives who believed in a slow retreat through libertarianism.

In the current day, a steady leftward shift has left us with a social outlook that demonizes most true conservative positions. Remember, to find a conservative position, you look at (1) results and (2) what produces the best results.

This gives us the four pillars of any sensible conservatism:

  1. Nationalism. Internationalism produces cosmopolitan port cities that seem endearing at first until one realizes that they are filthy, venal, corrupt places with no culture and no purpose in life except mercantile exchange with consumers. Nationalism works and makes happy nations because they rule themselves with culture and not government, police and propaganda (media). Conservatives are more extreme than Hitler on this, but refuse to endorse his violent solutions for other reasons, namely that injustice and cruelty beget more of the same and thus produce bad results without need.
  2. Aristocracy. Most people are stupid monkeys who have no idea of what they need versus what they want. The only solution is to put our smartest people — who are one in a hundred — in charge, because otherwise, we have oppression by the stupidest. If we are going to have oppression, let it at least be competent! Aristocracy includes monarchism, a network of lesser aristocrats who are more like a Greek college than a social club, manorialism and a caste system, and a total abolishment of the State and its nit-picking rules.
  3. Capitalism. Sometimes you get a good, better and best choice, and sometimes you merely get a choice between bad and worse. Is capitalism bad? It depends how it is implemented; when balanced by the forces above capitalism works out well, but in the hand of low-caste merchants it turns into a third world style bazaar (the USA is merely a highly organized, corporate version of this). But every alternative to capitalism is a straight plunge into pure dysfunction, and socialism, government-protected unions and welfare states are proven parasite magnets.
  4. A transcendental goal. In addition to the general ideal of transcendentalism in conservatism, every civilization needs a transcendental goal, or some aspiration to the purest things — the good, the beautiful and the true; excellence; divinity — in life, which means they are never tangible but can be attributes of things. You cannot hold an excellent in your hand, and no accomplishment is ever a definition of excellence, but the best choices can be said to be excellent, and those are the ones worth fighting for.

Our civilization is in decline. A thousand years ago, the above were recognized as common sense on the level of “do not defecate in your soup before eating.” Then again, the people who had to understand them were the top 1% of society by inner excellence, meaning intelligence and moral character. The herd has never understood anything and never will because it is biologically incapable of doing so.

Are the above fascist or Soviet? No: they are more extreme than fascism, and are honest methods unlike the Soviet approach which is to demand unrealistic ideals so that everyone must fall in line to obey the parasite State, which derives its power from having bought off the proles and thus harnessed The Revolution as a means to permanent tyranny. Fascism and National Socialism are degraded conservatism — hybridized with liberalism — just like libertarianism, neoconservatism and tankinis.

The common tropes of the nu-internet are that conservatism is dead and nationalism has taken over, or that conservatism is inferior to traditionalism. These are just posing. Nationalism and traditionalsm are subsets of the conservative idea. The point we must focus on is that if we remove the Leftist ideology, we are left with common sense, and from that flow all of the possibilities for good. Without it, we are left (heh heh) on the path to decline and fall.

Saving Ourselves From Single-Theory Doctrine

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

a_quiet_study_of_architecture

Forget the term “Alternative Right” for just now; today we speak of alternative thinkers, or those who see the current human method of civilization is not working and are looking for something different and preferably more functional.

Among alternative thinkers, a number of theories are advanced for the decline of civilization and how to fix it. Here is where a split occurs between those with a single theory, and those who combine multiple theories. Single theories are more persuasive, but multiple-theory approaches are less ideological.

The temptation we face is to try to invent a doctrine that is as persuasive as liberalism/leftism, which boils down to the idea that all people are equal and by letting them do whatever they want, some magic “invisible hand” will make everything work out okay. Contrasting that is conservatism, which says the only way to know how to lead is to choose what is proven to work (consequentialism) and to choose the best possible options according to what we know of the mathematical or informational order of nature (transcendentalism).

This pressure creates a huge audience for any persuasive theory that can compete with liberalism. We can see the progress of this through the various “third ways,” Communitarianism, Distributism, and different flavors of conservative hybrid which have been promoted over the years. Audiences reward authors who come up with plausible alternatives to liberalism that are, well, “liberalism-like.”

On the other hand, those of us on the multi-theory side of the shelf believe that no competing theory is needed; we instead see that liberalism is bad theory, and suggest not doing it, and instead of liberalism using the many methods that worked in the past — including for societies that encountered the problems we face now at a later point in their civilization life cycles. The multi-theory view is not as simple as “go back to the past,” because it describes our future through the futures others civilizations found after they moved on from the point of development at which we are now stuck, much like originally civilizations moved forward to those types of ideas to escape the problems of null civilization.

But multi-theory outlooks are not good products. They are not persuasive or satisfying. “Egalitarianism is an illusion, drop it and go with what works” sounds like what your plumber, painter or proctologist would say, not an exciting vision from Harvard or Silicon Valley. The single-theory approach is not entirely wrong either; there are elements of truth to it. Neither is it complete, however.

Let us look at the theories.

Inherency Theory

This is the domain of various people who want us to return to having a religious basis to daily life. Their idea is that you either accept religion as the core of life and inherent to existence, thus affirming that God exists and there is innate purpose to the universe, or you are heading down the path to evil.

As recorded elsewhere, this approach is not quite coherent. For us to have choice, there must be actual choice, not “join the happy herd or join with Satan.” Further, very little if anything in existence operates by face value, such that what says it is good is actually good. In addition, it denies the arbitrary nature of human thought: people have different abilities, moral characters and as a result of these imperfections, different goals. People choose the theory that matches where they are in life and intellectual ability.

That outlook, called esotericism, is the oldest form of religious understanding and that which the best thinkers from every religion have embraced. It says that an apathetic guy with an IQ of 95 will never understand the same religious truth as a highly motivated transcendentalist with an IQ of 130. They live in entirely different inner worlds and thus while they live in the same physical world, perceptions vary so widely that insisting they pick up the same “truth” is nonsense.

Julius Evola wrote that modern organized religion confuses the esoteric and exoteric, with the latter being closer to liberal ideology in that those who accept a single face-value truth are considered to understand that doctrine in full. Nothing in human experience suggests this is correct, and the audience shapes the doctrine, which means that successful doctrines will have lots of room for interpretation so that they are widely adopted. People accept the doctrine as best they can understand it, and then interpret it as is convenient for their own goals, destroying the doctrine but making it successful.

Another problem of the innateness approach is dualism. For that view to make sense, there must be some force which works in magical ways that are entirely contrary to what we know of life. An excellent article shows us where this thinking goes awry:

Another example of this pattern in the history of philosophy would be the debate over the relationship between mind (or soul) and body. The Realist view in this case would be “dualism,” which holds that mind and body (and mind and brain, for that matter) are completely distinct, and in particular that the mind is something non-physical or immaterial, just as it seems to be to common sense. A Reductionist view would be “identity theory,” which says that the mind is real but that it is really identical to the brain — in other words, that the mind is, contrary to common sense, just one physical object among others. An Anti-Realist view would be “eliminative materialism,” which says that the mind does not really exist at all: strictly speaking, there are no such things as thoughts, experiences, beliefs, desires, and the like, but only neural firing patterns, hormonal secretions, behavioral dispositions, and so on and so forth.

While the basics of this idea are sound, the dualistic portion is not. We know the mind is related to the physical because when our brains are tired, they do not work as well, and when parts of brains are damaged, our thoughts change. Schopenhauer covered this with historical studies and twin studies in his works. Dualism dies on that pillar of human understanding.

However, the point about religious Realism is sound: a Realist would hold that the mind is physical, but that it is possible a metaphysical dimension also exists. Some Realists invent that out of physicality, talking about quantum materials like Roger Scruton has; others take the Hindu view and suggest that physicality is a logical (i.e. computational) manifestation of mind, and therefore that the physical workings of mind are effect and not cause of a larger pattern at play.

Either way, the theory of the innate single path is not a workable option because it requires such a dualism and, as shown above, denies esotericism.

Economic Theory

This variant of the single theory takes two forms: (1) our problem is capitalism and (2) our solution is capitalism. A multi-theory approach simply observes that capitalism works, and alternatives have all failed, so we have to accept capitalism as a fact of life and balance it with other theories, as is the basis of the multi-theory approach.

The “our problem is capitalism” people can be fairly well dispensed with for being in logical contradiction. If our problem is capitalism, what alternative works as well? Almost all of these exist for a single purpose, which is to avoid blaming the real culprit — egalitarianism, with its roots in individualism — for our plight. In other words, they are liberal apologists, which is why the high correlation with frequency of advocacy of Socialism is not a rounding error.

The “our solution is capitalism” people are, as said above, both correct and incorrect. Their theory is not wrong but it is not complete. Saying “our solution is capitalism” is like saying “our solution is roads”; capitalism is a means to an end, and not a goal in itself, but because it is a successful method without working alternatives, it cannot be discarded.

The problem with capitalism is that we might refer to it as financial democracy because it inevitably includes consumerism. It is a form of demotism, or rule by mass participation, just like democracy and social popularity. All three of these — consumerism, democracy and social popularity — are “invisible hand” systems and they are thus varieties of liberalism.

If you wonder why libertarians always drift leftward, this is why: libertarianism is a Leftist doctrine.

Race Theory

One of the most enduring and popular theories is race theory. This states that our problem is racial degeneration and that the solution is Nationalism. Like the “capitalism is the solution” theory, this is both right and incomplete. Without Nationalism, a nation dies. But Nationalism alone cannot save a dying society.

It also misses the real threat to any racial group, which is the threat it cannot see. Any idiot can figure out that outbreeding with radically different groups will obliterate the tribe, which is why most of them do it; their parents were bad and now the children hate their origins. But what about the barely-perceptible trace admixture?

White Nationalists, who are generally well-meaning people, argue that we should lump together all European-descended people and breed a new race. But this new race will be 2% Asian and 2% North African at a bare minimum because of the trace admixture in Southern/Irish and Eastern Europeans. At that point, the original racial group will have been destroyed… because of the method attempted to save it!

Even more wrong is the idea that race alone can save us. Nationalism, which means every group that is not Us is Other and must be sent home, is one of those theories that persists because it not only works but produces the best possible results. But by itself, it serves as a form of disaster because the Other is scapegoated, and so the Us group ignores its own problems, including liberalism.

The downfall of White Nationalism is not only its ethno-bolshevism which hopes to make all “white” groups equal by interbreeding them, but its desire to excuse liberalism. White Nationalists believe that our problem is not the liberalism that has created the diversity disaster, but the Other themselves, even though the Other are just a means to an end directed by liberalism.

For this reason, White Nationalists would remove the Other and then leave us on the same dysfunctional path with no one to blame but ourselves.

Conclusion

People want a single theory so that they have something as simple and polarizing as Leftism to use to fight Leftism. But to fight a bad idea, you need a competing idea for what the idea should be, not merely a competing idea in the same form. Against the notion of ideology itself, multi-theory people suggest the denial of ideology through sheer practicality based on a study of history. Single-theory notions do not do this and thus, while they may set Leftism back a few steps, they remain on the Leftist path, and will save us from nothing.

Worse, they will use our momentum that demands change to achieve this temporary setback, and in doing so, will squander the momentum without changing the actual underlying problem. Like most human activities, single-theory doctrine is self-defeat disguised as victory through a failure to think from cause to effect.

Why democracy is suicide

Monday, February 15th, 2016

welcome_to_the_jungle

We live in a time of near-endless chatter, which we might define as conversation unrelated to the actual problems and solutions that stand before us. People are just monkeys, and they spend their time posturing, trying to be iconoclastic, attracting mates, jockeying for social status and otherwise engaged in activities unrelated to anything but their own individualistic needs.

That is the face of demotism, after all. Every time a group of humans gets its hands on something new, whether a government or genre of art, the herd pours in the door, each determined to use that thing as a means to the end of themselves. In the process, they corrupt it and everything falls apart.

Many people now are finally noticing that diversity is genocide for minority populations such as Western Europeans and Jews. These tiny groups, comprising 5% and 1% of the Earth’s population respectively, stand out because of their relative success not just in finance but culture, technology and learning. The rest of the world wants that prosperity and unless held back with gunfire will immigrate en masse to those countries and replace the native population. At that point, whatever uniquely allowed Western Europeans and Jews to succeed will be lost.

Among the chatter, people ask: “Why do these groups not want to save themselves?” This is a good question. After all, if Europe and the USA threw up a wall, cut bennies and freebies, and deported any people there illegally, the immigration issue would be dead within days. And yet people act as if an invisible force field restricts their mouths from saying this and their hands from acting toward it.

The answer is so strikingly simple that almost none will believe it. Democracy precludes action on real problems. It is a system of government that succeeds because it makes individuals happy in the short-term at the expense of the long-term prospects of the society. In other words, it accepts the inevitable decay, and that the herd will pour in through the door and use society for its own ends, leaving a ruin. Some argue charitably that by accepting this tendency it hopes to limit it, but no evidence for that happening can be seen.

In other words, the invisible force field that is holding us back is a lack of hope that we can change. We know that nothing obstructs the human pattern of people creating entropy by selfishness. As William Blake opines about Libertarianism, there is no hope so long as the Ego is in control:

Shortly after I began my first job in the tourism industry, one of the first sales lessons I learned was that customers are tuned into station WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? For instance nobody buys a drill because they want a drill – what they really want is a hole. When I reflect on the libertarian idea of scrapping government welfare and the minimum wage, I cannot see What’s In It For Me. I am not a wealthy man. If I were terminated from my job (or if my wages were drastically reduced), I would be screwed. This would be of no concern to libertarians, but it would certainly matter a great deal to me.

This shows us the nature of democracy as decay: by legitimizing the individual viewpoint, and enabling the individual to choose its future, democracy guarantees that society will go one and only one direction, which is toward breakdown and dissolution. Europeans and Jews cannot save themselves because in the grip of democracy, no one is considering any policy about what is convenient right now.

Naturally, anyone who has escaped from the mental ghetto of selfishness realizes that if we do not create a thriving and independent society, all that we do is for naught. But this is the mentality of a very few, maybe 1%, who can see beyond their immediate bodily pleasures and rewards. The rest are monkeys in the trees, fighting over fruit and masturbating compulsively.

One reason that movements like Neoreaction offer the idea of “exit,” or creation of small Libertarian states, is so that long-term cost can be reduced to a line-item on the yearly budget. If we had the option to move to an island without bennies and freebies, and could see how much less it cost us and how much better life was, we would immediately demand those things in our own countries via the free market. So goes the theory anyway.

Alas, it is not so: humans are monkeys, and if they had the option for a Libertarian isle, they would move there and then begin to demand bennies and freebies. This is why ancient civilizations had aristocracy and caste systems. The former put the best people in power; the latter ensured that the lower 98% had zero input in decision-making that they lacked the cognitive skills to undertake.

Capitalism usually takes the rap for this process of selfishness but the actual culprit is much deeper in the human psyche. It is our tendency toward pacifism, or avoiding conflict through bribing others as in a business deal, which produces systems like democracy. Then, our egos refuse to allow us to admit that we have created disaster, so we rationalize and resolve to ignore the crisis.

And yet as our ancestors recognized, every illusion eventually comes to a decision point. Do we go gentle into that good night, or do we rage against the dying of the light — and perhaps simply change our dysfunctional behaviors? What comes next will either be predictable slow decline to Brazil 2.0 or something we would consider unthinkable now.

As the author of that piece opines:

Here’s a brief rundown of some general libertarian proposals which will never come to pass (in Australia) — abolishing the minimum wage, eliminating government welfare, legalising all drugs, privatising the police, scrapping public education and replacing government-issued money with privately issued money. Some libertarians in countries like Australia and Great Britain are also hoping – vainly – for the elimination of all gun control.

He believes these things can never come to pass despite having been the standard only a century ago. All of them would lead to a better society — if you substitute “decriminalizing” for legalizing drugs — but people in democracy are afraid to leave behind WIIFM on the dial of their moral radio sets. This leads to the point: before we can solve any of our problems, we need to depose democracy.

At that point, a semblance of normal life can return. And then, we can focus on the real question, which is that of our purpose as a society and where the individual fits within it. But this is a bootstrapping process. Before we can get rid of democracy, we need to gather the gumption and desire to see goodness restored that is required to bypass the silly conventions of our time. For that, we must search our souls.

Blake writes an entertaining article that includes a pointed criticism of Libertarians as “weird” for having impractical ideas in addition to the above practical but “impossible” ones, and in that, he shows us the Crowd process invading Libertarianism. As a philosophy, Libertarianism makes sense; when handed to the herd, they do the usual and turn it into a vehicle for self-importance and self-expression, adulterating it beyond recognition.

Whether Libertarian or not, we all face a practical and moral question in the very near future. Survive, or self-abolish? We now know that to survive, we have to leave behind the teddy bears and magic amulets of democracy and equality. But do we have the intestinal fortitude to do this?

Neoreaction is conservatism

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

the_ultimate_goal_of_neoreaction_and_conservatism

Neoreaction, like libertarianism before it, grew popular because it offered a plausible argument against the Left, and did so by using the liberal ideas which have become accepted as truth in our highly-liberal society. People want a way around liberalism because they realize it is delusional and will destroy us.

Neoreaction and libertarianism share a vanishing point: if they revert to the Enlightenment™-era ideal of individualism, they will become mob rule just as liberal democracy has, because humans in groups choose pleasant-sounding ideas and compromises instead of realistic solutions.

Any system that has as its core “everybody do what you want if you can afford it” will restore us to exactly the same point where we are now.

Since its inception, Neoreaction has been dangerously divided between a tendency to become mainstream right, and protect capitalism and liberty as the core of our society, and underground right, which tends toward authoritarian means of restructuring society. It also suffers from Leftist entryism through related ideas, such as libertarianism which rapidly becomes liberalism, and White Nationalism which is a form of Leftist ideology adapted for ethnic self-rule.

Free Northener offers a clarification on Neoreaction:

Formalism is the essentialist notion that the symbolic and the real should align, particularly when it relates to power. The mythic, factual, and social truths of power should be the same. He who rules in name should rule in fact, and he who has power should hold an office and title truthfully indicating his power.

Neocameralism flows from formalism. It is the truth that the state is simply a group of people working towards a common goal, it is a corporation. The only difference between it and other corporations are sovereignty and territoriality. Sovereignty is the right to force obedience through violence, while territoriality applies this sovereignty to a particular geographic area.

Formalism and neocamericalism are neoreaction, everything else flows from these two ideas. Combined these ideas give the neoreactionary position: that the state should acknowledge that it is a corporation sovereign with ownership over its particular territory and the residents therein and that it should openly wield and delegate its power as an owner.

The problem with these ideas is that they still straddle the line between the old way and whatever must come next. On one extreme, we are back at the mainstream right but in a sci-fi format: gated communities as services sold by a non-ideological state. That is a Republican dream. On the other hand, some want a state run by benevolent tyrants, which more resembles the Stalin-esque solution but with capitalism. These more resemble modern-day China than anywhere else.

As with many other experiments in post-Liberal social design, both of these threads of Neoreaction attempt to adopt a new “System” in place of the old.

The greatest problem Neoreaction faces is becoming like American Republicans: defending God, country and economy but as a result, ceding the vital ground — “What should our civilization look like?” — to leftist assumptions. That is a slow defeat but a fatal one, and it always happens when the leftist notion of a System is used in place of reversing leftism itself.

Let us then look at these definitions in terms of where they assign control. Formalism tells us that government should accept that it is a corporation, but whose are its clients? If the answer is “everyone,” we have no need to change as thing, as our open-borders globalist welfare-consumerist liberal democratic contemporary state is exactly that.

The problem with consumerism is the same as that of democracy: most people make bad choices, and in large groups, everyone makes bad choices. Profit depends on demand, and demand depends on consumers, who as a loose mob of dubious analytical skills, usually prefer Budweiser to Grolsh, Marlboros to Semois, and Coca-Cola to tea. We’re right back at rule by the mob.

Neocameralism tells us that a civilization is a group of people working toward common goals, which could make it a corporate state — or a cultural one. Culture contains values, methods and ideals that implicate the goal of achieving those on an ongoing basis. It is like a baseball team whose ostensible goal is “winning” but whose actual goal, as a means to that end and an end in itself, is improving its aptitude as individuals and ability to function as a team. With culture in charge, people make better decisions than on their own.

The Right has flirted with these ideas before. Under Mussolini, Fascism, which was less oppressive than Hitler who was less oppressive than the Communists, defined itself as “corporatism.” In that case, however, it was an inversion: the state took over the means of production not for the worker, but for the Nation as a whole, much as Neocameralism argues that a civilization could be people working toward something other than individualism through democracy, consumerism and social popularity.

As Mussolini himself wrote in “What is Fascism?”:

After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through the mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage.

The point he makes is that economy and government must be in unity and must have a goal beyond utilitarianism, or what most people think they want. Utilitarianism appears in democracy, consumerism and social popularity. If those control government, it is democratic (Leftist); if government leads those, it is ideological-authoritarian (Leftist); if culture leads, it is organic-authoritarian (Rightist).

Through this we see a format where certain goals — like capitalism and liberty — are not goals in themselves, but something that emerges from a society in properly working order. The team wants to win, but its necessary antecedent is being a team good enough to win.

Jonathan Sacks writes about the necessity of a cultural underpinning for markets in “Markets and Morals”:

The striking feature of religion, for Hayek, is its attitude of humility, even reverence, towards the great moral institutions without which our complex liberal democratic societies could not have developed. It guards against what he calls “the rationalist delusion that man, by exercising his intelligence, invented morals that gave him the power to achieve more than he could ever foresee.” Of course it does so by insisting that our morals were given by God. For Hayek, they were arrived at by the evolutionary forces of history. What these two views held in common, though, was a strong and principled opposition to the idea that individually or collectively we can devise a better system rationally constructed to maximize happiness or some other good.

It is a fascinating argument, and it places Hayek in a line of thinkers—such as Edmund Burke, Max Weber, and most recently Francis Fukuyama—who have reflected not only on the morality of the marketplace (what we call nowadays “business ethics”) but on the wider question of what kind of society gives rise to and is able to sustain a market economy. The answer each of them gave—an answer that has been given new salience by the rise of the economies of Southeast Asia—is that it tends to be a society with a strong respect for certain kinds of tradition.

When power is allocated by “everyone do what they want so long as they can pay for it,” control shifts to the masses who do what masses do which is pursue the venal, trivial, perverse, idiotic and banal. This shows us where mainstream conservatives, Neoreactionaries and far-rightists alike miss the point: the problem is managing human individuals who are not equal, not designing the right “System” to fit interchangeable cogs.

Systems descend from the French Revolution. Previously, functions were handled by people who served in lifelong roles. They did not have many rules or laws, but used judgment — a function of their intelligence and “nobility” of moral character — in particularized ways. Every decision was situational and took into account the histories of the people involved and the specifics of the locality, area of expertise, and other factors.

“Particularized” is an interesting term here because it is a classic conservative word that has been forgotten. It means local, specific and taking into account the history of events, as opposed to making “universal” rules that take none of that into account. Saying that every person should clear their parking space daily is universal; suggesting to Mrs. McGillicuddy that she should sweep her infirm elderly neighbor’s space, which doesn’t get it fully clean but clean enough, is particular.

The idea of a System was that instead of relying on people who are hard to replace, like smart/noble people, we would design many thousands of rules and procedures so that any idiot could fill the role. Where that failed, we have elections, so that whatever most people think is OK will pass, and this keeps us from having revolutions. That is what Systems do: enforce compromise and order through control, based on the idea of equality.

In other words: if you’re thinking in terms of Systems, you are a liberal.

Here is what conservatives recognize — people are not equal because they are biologically unequal:

I’ve been doing some thinking recently about the findings of behavioural geneticists and their implications for education policy. For instance, a study of more than 10,000 twins found that GCSE results are nearly 60 per cent heritable. (This research, by Robert Plomin, was first revealed in The Spectator.) So genetic differences between children account for almost 60 per cent of the variation in their GCSE results, with the environment, such as the schools they go to, accounting for less than 40 per cent. One very obvious implication of this research is that we may need to lower our expectations when it comes to the impact schools can make on the underlying rate of social mobility.

But behavioural geneticists are upending our assumptions in other areas, too. Parenting, for example. Most middle-class parents, me included, believe that how you bring up your children has a major impact on their life chances. That’s why we spend so much energy on -getting them to put down their screens, do their homework, practise the piano, etc. But, as The Spectator also pointed out back in 2013, if you look at some of the biggest determinants of success — IQ, conscientiousness, grit — they are far more heritable than we like to imagine. Our children’s destinies aren’t set in stone from the moment of conception, but the difference that a good parent makes is fairly negligible.

In other words, each of us is ranked by our genetics in terms of our adaptation, which is not just to mere survival but to the ability to perform in and possibly lead a civilization. Darwin is with us always, and his system shows how the more adaptive rise over the rest; all of liberalism is a vast compensation designed to circumvent this. That is what “equal” means, past the mumbo-jumbo about courts and opportunities: that no one is judged or noticed for being lower than others. Liberalism is war against Darwinism itself.

This means that civilizations hover between two points: rule by the best, or rule by the rest, which happens to destroy them. The goal of every civilization must be to suppress its idiots and raise up its intelligent. You do not achieve that effect with mind-numbing jobs and paying lots of taxes. You achieve it by having intelligent people in power at every level, making particularized choices.

Orwell and Huxley wrote the same book from two different angles. In Orwell’s book, humanity suffered under the methods used to rule it; in Huxley’s, humanity created a life of perpetual misery because its individuals lacked impulse control. Those who find Orwell appealing are liberals, where those who see Huxley’s vision are conservatives. The enemy is us. Most people, if given license, will run society into the ground for small personal rewards.

The point of Neoreaction is to argue around liberalism with thought-models. It is not to be a goal in itself. Moldbug said as much, as have many other Neoreactionary thinkers. The end goal is to find a system that puts the intelligent back in charge at every level and recognizes that most people need to be guided. This is not like totalitarianism, where a centralized authority regulates their lives, but it is an organic and decentralized authority that upholds social standards not with rules but with particular decisions.

We are working toward that because anything else is liberalism. We took a wrong turn in the past, and now it is time to turn back. That does not mean back toward the past, but toward the methods that actually work instead of ideology, which is based on what should be true and not what is. We cannot veer toward Huxley’s hell and claim by that by escaping Orwell’s hell, we are not still in hell.

For that reason, it is time for Neoreaction to climb out of the ghetto of liberal and libertarian thought. Capitalism, liberty, and nationalism are things that emerge not from having the right system, but from chucking out the idea of systems altogether. We need an organic society in which the stupidity of most of our species is suppressed and our best people are free from soul-sucking jobs and bureaucracy. Arguing for anything else is effectively a vote for the Socialists.

Success for me, but not for thee — the secret of guilt culture

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

guilt_culture_pity_culture_shame_culture

Neoreaction stands out among right-wing movements because it is essentially a toolkit of arguments to use against the vast flood of liberal propaganda in which we are immersed constantly. Liberalism has dominated the discourse for 226 years by generating a constant flood of “new” ideas which are picked up by compliant voices among intellectuals, media and the arts.

One of the best arguments to come from Neoreaction is the notion that liberalism operates mainly by “virtue signaling,” or allowing preening individual animals to show how good and moral they are by repeating the right dogma. I propose a more radical amendment: liberalism is virtue signaling in order to throw others off the scent of success, which is achieved by conservative methods.

In addition to explaining the somewhat schizophrenic nature of liberals, who tend to embrace realism when it concerns their own profits but publicly condemn realism and preach liberalism, this theory explains the utility of liberalism: it enhances success by allowing individuals to hide their actual motives behind flowery words, like politicians donating a few bucks to the poor and grafting millions behind the scenes.

Interesting, Tom Wolfe covered this years ago as part of his analysis of how competition for social status as a means of distinguishing the individual from others is the basis of all contrarianism, which is the essence of liberal thought. In other words, people hope to get ahead by loudly endorsing dogma that makes them seem different and unique from the rest of the herd:

Status groups, Weber contended, are the creators of all new styles of life. In his heyday, the turn of the 19th century, the most stylish new status sphere, no more than 30 years old, was known as la vie boheme, the bohemian life. The bohemians were artists plus the intellectuals and layabouts in their orbit. They did their best to stand bourgeois propriety on its head through rakish dishabille, louder music, more wine, great gouts of it, ostentatious cohabitation, and by flaunting their poverty as a virtue. And why? Because they all came from the bourgeoisie themselves originally and wanted nothing more desperately than to distinguish themselves from it. They seldom mentioned the upper class, Marx’s owners of “the means of production.” They seldom mentioned Marx’s working class, except in sentimental appreciation of the workers’ occasional show of rebelliousness. No, as the late Jean-Francois Revel said of mid-20th century French intellectuals, the bohemians’ sole object was to separate themselves from the mob, the rabble, which today is known as the middle class.

I thought bohemia had been brought to its apogee in the 1960s, before my very eyes, by the hippies, originally known as acid heads, in reference to the drug LSD, with their Rapunzel hair down to the shoulder blades among the males and great tangled thickets of hair in the armpits of the women, all living in communes. The communes inevitably turned religious thanks to the hallucinations hippies experienced while on LSD and a whole array of other hallucinogens whose names no one can remember. Some head–short for acid head–would end up in the middle of Broadway, one of San Francisco’s main drags, sitting cross-legged in the Lotus position, looking about, wide eyes glistening with beatification, shouting, “I’m in the pudding and I’ve met the manager! I’m in the pudding and I’ve met the manager!” Seldom had so many gone so far to feel aloof from the middle class.

While this seems like competitive behavior, it more resembles compensatory behavior of the form “If I can’t get to a good place, I’ll at least be a big fish in a small pond.” No one seriously doubts that the West is in decline any longer, although they will not admit it in public because that makes it look like they are complaining in order to excuse their own failures. There is no longer an expectation of a good life for people here other than materially (desirable zip code, fancy car, good money). They accept that, and then try to make themselves seem important. To such a person, posturing becomes the basis of all their acts, with it becoming important to demonstrate moral and social pretense that affirms their role. A status-seeking person will never complain about a bad meal, or a ding on their bumper, or someone slowing them down by moving slowly, because to demonstrate pretense they must show that they are masters of their time, that a few hundred dollars are “nothing” to them, and that they are altruistic, egalitarian and moral potlatch-givers who expect everyone else to screw up and in response just pat them on the head and say, “There, there, good little serf.”

This compensatory behavior consists of not going to war against the problems that make the West slide into oblivion, but trying to be the most important fish in the pond left by the collapse. Their pretense is such that they do not even bother to note the decline, but wave it off like an undercooked soufflé as if to say, “Well of course society is self-destructing my dear, it’s what these little monkeys do. In the meantime, I’m getting a promotion and a BMW that runs on used cooking oil.” Wolfe was followed by David Brooks who wrote one of the most important books of our time, BOBOS in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, showing how these new pretentious citizens replaced the old Western European order back in the 1960s by using the pretense of liberalism. What to know why today’s SJWs, hipsters, nouveau riche and status climbers all employ public and hyperbolic liberalism? Because it worked last time.

Wolfe again on compensatory behavior:

Even before I left graduate school I had come to the conclusion that virtually all people live by what I think of as a “fiction-absolute.” Each individual adopts a set of values which, if truly absolute in the world–so ordained by some almighty force–would make not that individual but his group . . . the best of all possible groups, the best of all inner circles. Politicians, the rich, the celebrated, become mere types. Does this apply to “the intellectuals” also? Oh, yes. . . perfectly, all too perfectly.

What he has described above is pretense. You set up values that benefit you and make you look like the center of the universe, and then act like these are universal truth, which allows you to retaliate against anyone who does not accept them as if they attacked you. It is both passive-aggressive behavior and the “Begging the Question” fallacy in behavioral form, and the more pretentious and unrealistic it is, the more you force others to recognize your importance and grant you social status.

This explains the combination of nanny-style Agony Aunt and Berkeley radical that defines today’s liberals. From Brooks:

Bobos turn out to be the parsons of the pubic region. Nearly gone are 1960s traces of Dionysian wantonness. Instead, “Play Safe” and “Play Responsibly” are the slogans that are repeated again and again in sophisticated sex literature. The practicioners talk so much about how healthy it all is you’d think they were doing jumping jacks…Today’s Marquis de Sades don’t want to create an immoral underground society. They’re not trying to subvert normalcy. They’re trying to join it. They want to win mainstream acceptance and so gain a respectable place in the middle-class world.

To them, ideology itself is a means to an end of raising their status, justifying their lifestyle as necessary, and showing higher pretense than others thus making them look appealing and powerful as people. It is no different than birds puffing up their feathers before a fight, or monkeys posturing before throwing feces at one another. It is one of the oldest animal processes and no amount of layers of business clothing, perfume, Marxist theory, or even hip club lingo can disguise the raw animality of it.

If we decode liberals in this way, we see them as not outsiders trying to take over our society, but insiders trying to hide their own middle class origins and rise above them with pretense and the social boost that having the right opinions gives in liberal circles. If you look through media, government, entertainment of much of business, you will see the reason that liberals like Masons or Toastmasters remain popular: liberals helping liberals get ahead by promoting fellow liberals above everyone else.

Looking at this psychology through other eyes, we come to the question of guilt, shame or pity culture — from a post over at Dividuals:

Basically, it is about prestige. When we argue we have a moral obligation to do X we are saying we should deduct prestige points from people who don’t do X…the West is a guilt culture, not a shame culture.

As shame is basically low social prestige, it is fairly obvious how shame cultures really work like this.

For a guilt culture, the simplest explanation is that guilt is internalized shame, and thus the idea of moral obligation is internalized shame, internalized prestige loss, you feel bad about yourself if you did something bad, thus basically reduce your own prestige points in your head even if nobody else did.

This is probably a good thing, at some level. Installing a prestige policeman in everybody’s head.

The distinction between guilt and shame cultures strikes me as nothing more than a gap between pre-emptive mental process filtering and post hoc behavioral filtering. In guilt cultures, people use compliance as a means to get ahead, as if in a free market; in a shame culture, the only consideration is getting caught. If you look at shame cultures worldwide, whatever their average IQ, they have less of a strong middle and upper echelon level of intelligence than we do (still) in the West. These are cultures where it is acceptable to destroy certain individuals when they are caught doing wrong because they become token sacrifices and scapegoats.

Let us look at the successful psychology of guilt culture in what Vaclav Havel calls “post-totalitarian” systems:

THE MANAGER of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?

Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,” he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with the workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.

Guilt cultures control everyone. We all want to rise, so like Havel’s grocer, we clearly signal our obedience to the dominant paradigm of liberalism. Our modern SJWs for example form a shame culture as a means to guilt culture; SJWs gain personal prestige for shaming others. Thus we see that the guilt-shame distinction really gets in the way of seeing what is actually happening here: whether by consuming others (shame) or censoring themselves (guilt) modern people are raising status, and raising job prospects, through liberalism. That is all it is: a giant street gang where the secret handshake involves repeating something you read in The New York Times or Salon. When you join the gang, the gang will help you out and defend you, and you can gain power in the gang by doing audacious stuff. The kids of a century ago who lit firecrackers under police horses and became legends on their blocks are the kids of today who go on Twitter and Tumblr to demand that people stop using gendered pronouns.

Now for the “Success for me, but not for thee” part: at the same time these people are using liberalism to advance themselves and push down others, they are also using it to conceal their greatest secret. If they are succeeding, it is with conservative methods and principles, but they must hide these because they are unpopular, so like the politician kissing babies they make a big public show of liberalism, and then in private, act as conservative as possible. As a mainstream source notes:

Greg Gutfeld says conservative principles are more common than you think in professions sometimes identified with liberals—music, exercise, and cooking. “If liberals applied their no-score, no-winner, no-loser belief system to their hobbies and professions, they would fail miserably,” says Gutfeld, author of “How to Be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct.”

The best thing about liberalism is that it is old. Ancient, even. 1789 was its first real formulation, but the disease had been festering for some time. People like me argue that liberalism came about because the West overpopulated itself with idiots after sacrificing too many of its good people to fight off Mongols at the same time it became diverse from too much trade, but the gory truth is that every society faces this high noon. If you do not purge the idiots, outsiders, perverts, fetishists, neurotic intellectuals, criminals and grifters among you, they eventually gang up on you and win out by superior number.

Luckily the situation is easily changed — from Dividuals again:

Thus the only potential for true change is to change how prestige is assigned. I mean, prestige is assigned by e.g. socially valued achievements, but also by moral arguments, such as “we have a moral obligation to do X”, thus doing X is high-prestige and not doing Y is low-prestige.

When a civilization shifts from an individual-based model to a culture-based model, these guilt/shame/blame/pity feelings get redirected into a singular question: “Did you uphold the culture?” Since culture takes the form of values, honor, pride, behaviors, aesthetics, customs, and includes in itself things such as civilizational goals, this serves as a non-intrusive control mechanism that harnesses these weird animal impulses and directs them toward a positive end. With individualism, we get animals competing for pretense; with culture-based societies, as known in Nationalism, we have individuals competing to achieve things that benefit all people in past, present and future of that society.

Wolfe himself affirms this with a nod to the rising prevalance of Nationalism in societies where people are not divided against themselves by competing for status:

More recently, I returned to Washington and Lee for a conference on the subject of Latin American writing in the United States. The conference soon became a general and much hotter discussion of the current immigration dispute. I had arrived believing that, for example, Mexicans who had gone to the trouble of coming to the United States legally, going through all the prescribed steps, would resent the fact that millions of Mexicans were now coming into the United States illegally across the desert border. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. I discovered that everyone who thought of himself as Latin, even people who had been in this country for two and three generations, were wholeheartedly in favor of immediate amnesty and immediate citizenship for all Mexicans who happened now to be in the United States. And this feeling had nothing to do with immigration policy itself, nothing to do with law, nothing to do with politics, for that matter. To them, this was not a debate about immigration. The very existence of the debate itself was to them a besmirching of their fiction-absolute, of their conception of themselves as Latins. Somehow the debate, simply as a debate, cast an aspersion upon all Latins, implying doubt about their fitness to be within the border of such a superior nation.

In other words, identity works not just because it is a motivator, but because it motivates people to act in their own interests. Who cares what’s fair? Get more of us here!

As modern society crumbles from within, not only Nationalism but every form of “birds of a feather flock together” is rising. People are grouping together by ancestry, values, caste and moral system as they anticipate the acceleration of decline.

This shows the importance of Nationalism as the vital cornerstone of a successful society. With Nationalism, people work toward values; without it, they become chaotic beings competing with each other to see who looks coolest according to an unrealistic and delusional ideology. Others argue that we need conveniently one-step fixes like a restoration of religion, and a return to pure capitalism, and while we need those also, they will get nowhere without a return to rigid nationalism. Only the group with an unbroken identity can construct for itself a society that does not tear itself apart from within.

What we see with modern liberalism is merely more of the tearing-apart: people who have given up hope on a future, trying to make themselves more important now, so they can justify their inaction in the face of obvious problems. As history shows us, most great empires go out that way, not so much in flames but falling from the pages of history and resurfacing centuries later as third-world ruins.