Posts Tagged ‘localism’

Understanding Feedback And Feedback Loops

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Some insight into feedback loops

The advantage of capitalism v. central planning, is that information is sent through prices, supply and demand. This information feedback, however, is still gameable by power blocs. The exact strategies are different than in a command economy, but the end result is the same. The West and America are currently undergoing this exact problem. The entire financial crisis was about inaccurate feedback, and broken feedback loops: it was about the financial and housing industries deliberately damaging the feedback system.

…In a hundred years, when historians and whoever deals with economic issues look back (hopefully not economists as we understand them), they aren’t going to be that impressed that Western Capitalism outlasted Soviet Communism by forty or fifty years. Instead they are going to look back and say that both were doomed, in large part, by inability to manage the exact same problem. In both cases the feedback systems which controlled economic production were so perverted by various internal power blocs that the societies were unable to reproduce the material circumstances necessary for their continuance.

This is why many of us oppose formal organization, because it creates rules which are de facto centralized power, as opposed to what conservatism favors, which is informal, particularized, localized and case-by-case basis decisions.

Leftism is the religion of the rule, and the rule involves the word “all,” which leads to control as it naturally creates a centralized power structure. All people must drive 35 MPH; all applications must be filed in triplicate; all people must go through the door on the right. This forces obedience by making people equal in the rule of the law.

The natural opposite to the religion of the rule is cooperation, which requires inequality, because not everyone can do the same thing. Instead of a rule saying that all people must do the same thing, which means they have equal obligation to the centralized control, cooperation says that each has different importance, we do not all do the same thing, and thus we have unequal obligations and rewards.

This thwarts the internal power structures which arise in human organizations to attempt to take control, such as dark organizations or crowdist cult-gangs.

Feedback is a vital part of the cooperative system. In it, power resembles a cascading hierarchy, which means that each level delegates to the level below and does not intervene on the basis of method. Instead, they assign tasks and say, “Use best judgment always” or “by any means necessary,” both of which are ends-over-means analyses.

Control on the other hand is means-over-ends. It requires that each person use the same method so that it can filter out methods that it believes weaken its power. The classic example is demanding that each person repeat back dogma on a regular basis, effectively programming their thoughts. Think of someone saying, “Diversity is our strength.” You either accept it and pass the test, or are identified as an enemy.

Feedback loops happen when something is wrong at the level above the one to which it has been delegated; you see this in the form of jury nullification, for example. The person to whom the task is delegated needs to report back that the task is wrongly framed, unintended consequences have arisen, or that a new type of problem has occurred.

The classic feedback loop is what William Gibson observed when he saw a young boy playing a video game. The boy moved the cursor, the computer responded, and the boy responded to that and then the cycle repeated. His inspiration William S. Burroughs saw feedback loops using naturalistic metaphors: monkeys attack the weakest participant in any altercation, so some monkeys play fey, which is a covert form of attack.

You can see feedback in your hand. You intend to grasp something, so you pick it up, and the hand radiates back that it is hot, so you do something else with it. A feedback loop might be a man adjusting a sluice: he fiddles with it, the water goes in a different direction, so he responds to that and the cycle repeats.

The importance of feedback loops is that they recognize what most humans deny: time, and the cyclic nature of history. Our moments are not unique, because they exhibit patterns that others can experience. And, the changes we want to make to the world must be interpreted not in the instant they are performed, but how the world will react, like thinking ten moves ahead in chess.

Classic human informal order recognizes the need for feedback with lattices of power, and for feedback loops with informal power. Lattices of power are hierarchies that are both vertical and horizontal, like the classic aristocratic model, and informal power avoids the rule as much as possible, relying on a case-by-case basis that avoids precedent and therefore can be negotiated not only unequally but specifically.

You can see conservative-style informal power anywhere leadership employs localized, particularized and case-by-case decisions made by culture, wise elders, a caste system where higher castes have social power, religious leaders, local respected voices, and the like. All of these systems are more flexible and resilient that rules, resolutions, laws, regulations, treaties, and command economies.

The South Rises Again

Friday, June 24th, 2016


One of the bedrock principles of conservatism is localism, or having a solution as close to and specific to the situation as possible. This contrasts the ideal of those I will call City People, who want one rule to apply to everything, so that they can argue from this rule about what “ought” to be instead of what is. In the city, one succeeds by forcing others to do your bidding; in the country, more realism is required.

The City People are always the same: not producers so much as those who are taking advantage of opportunities, they thrive when a task is narrowly defined through rules and laws, but would not survive a night in the open forest. Thus they are ruled by both a desire for opportunism, and a pervasive fear. This drives them to demand more laws, more standardization, and more government power wherever they go.

The ultimate goal of the City People is to produce something like East Germany: a place where everyone is guaranteed employment, so all are safe from crime, and the government takes care of everything, but individuals can succeed by operating within those narrow definitions of laws, rules and ideology. They will deny this if you tell it to them, but then they end up there.

Consider modern hellish environments like New York City. To live there, one must have either a fair amount of money or choose housing in a ghetto. Social services are abundant but mediocre. Jobs are easily acquired by jumping through the right hoops, and there are few consequences for getting it wrong unless one is foolish enough to take a risk, which every candidate for a job knows is a bad idea. Go with the flow. Keep the opportunistic gravy train flowing and beat back the endless problems caused by this approach with more laws.

In another twenty years, New York will resemble East Berlin. The government will have expanded radically through the votes of the urban poor, who never met a benefits program they did not like… the rich will be taxed to absurdity, and will respond by moving away or moving their income away. This will leave government squeezing the middle class, as has happened under Obama to the USA as a whole, and this will put the city in a death spiral: tax less wealth more to fund an ever-growing parasite pool.

The same thing destroyed Communism. The Soviets created what they saw as an ideal state, but it had a fatal flaw: it was unproductive because it squeezed its most productive people the most, encouraging them to drop out and do the minimum. In the meantime, it kept promoting people who made careers out of not taking risks and saying the right thing to make the audience happy. This made it incompetent, arrogant and unresponsive.

Rome went out the same way. In an effort to maintain power, its leaders employed mercenaries and imported labor. This group then became their biggest supporter and also, a parasite pool because it was funded with money extracted from ordinary Romans. At some point, those stopped trying, and the system hit the pavement.

In the American South, people recognized that the City People are like drunken children. They are so concerned with what they want being forced on other people that they have no time to consider what its actual effects will be. They live in a world where if you can con the waiter into giving you a free appetizer, or snow your boss with praise and then suggest something that worked at another company, you win. To them, the question is not “what will happen” but “what do other people think of this.” It is all appearance.

The South suggested two types of localism: first, that rule in the South should occur in its individual communities, and second, that the virtual locality of people who were not infected with the City People disease should be able to escape that mentality by creating an entirely different society nearby. In other words, rules from New York were no good in Alabama, and City People ethics were not either, because in Alabama they were trying to get away from that corrupt and infectious mentality.

Of course, that could not be allowed by the City People. Competition of this sort would make the city lifestyle look as disgusting as it is. So the City People found a victimhood-equality narrative involving slavery to pick a fight with the South; we know it was not from caring for African-Americans because the City People were perfectly content for those to live in ghettos and company towns in virtual slavery. It was a desire to crush the people who escaped the city.

Brexit shows a similar desire for localism: the people of the UK do not want to follow the opportunistic but sheeplike bureaucrats of the EU into a multicultural East Germany (from which Angela Merkel originated). They cannot articulate what they actually want, which is natural because very few people are good at getting to the core of any issue, but they know they do not want the vision of hell that has become apparent.

And in the UK and Europe, the City People — who we might identify as Crowdists — have been gnashing their teeth and rending their clothes. They want the easy opportunism back where if you call someone a racist, they give you money and power. Those days are ending and with it, the only relevance the City People have is fading. They produce nothing and take no risks. They are the bureaucratic calcification which destroys human societies, and when exposed by the light of actual competition on the basis of real-world results, they fail every time.


How dare white people act in self-interest, in a world where every other group does so? How dare the UK refuse its wealth and power to the bigger group, which wants nothing more than to expand itself at the expense of others? Indeed, in this egalitarian age, refusing a parasite its imagined due payment is seen as a crime!

And yet, the South rises again. People want to step off the train to East Germany with BMWs that the EU represents. They can finally visualize that this is the destination of the train. In the US, people are seeing that the 0bama train leads to a national Detroit or Baltimore. We want off too. Let us rule ourselves, and let us break away from the rest of humanity and its failures, because they are parasitic and will destroy us.

The South did not want war and white people do not want a race war. But this is what they are going to get. It always ends this way, when societies go down the path of egalitarianism as Rome and Greece did before us. We were warned, but too arrogant to listen. Now, we are listening, and ready for the final battle.

Recommended Reading