Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘social order’

What Is Conservatism?

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Much confusion follows the terms conservative and conservatism. This misunderstanding arises from the fact that we live in a time of ideology, but conservatism is not an ideology; more like customs or folkways, it is a philosophy of life based on direct experience, and does not summarize into handy bullet points like the much simpler Leftist doctrine.

Leftism has one idea: it believes in human equality, which is another way of saying that any given individual can never be wrong, barring a crime against another individual. Equality means that sensible decisions are on par with nonsensical ones because in each case, the person making the decision is equal and therefore accepted and given a minimum basic social status regardless of outcome.

Notions like egalitarianism — that all individuals are equal, and therefore beyond criticism with any impact on their social standing — fit within the form of ideology, or prescriptive belief systems which tell us what we should or ought to do. These assume the presence of civilization as a constant independent of our actions.

Conservatism centers itself around the idea of adaptation, or instead of thinking in prescriptive terms, to conserve the best of what has been done in the past. This contains two notions: first, that we look toward cause-effect relationships over time to determine what is functional, and second that we look at a qualitative assessment of its results.

Prescriptive belief systems measure entirely by human standards, as in what we think should be true or should be made true, where conservatism applies a results-based standard known as consequentialism which measures effects in reality over both short-term and long-term.

We can see glimpses of this in how others have described conservatism. Jonathan Haidt introduces conservative thought as a balancing between multiple factors that measure goodness:

Haidt (pronounced like “height”) made his name arguing that intuition, not reason, drives moral judgments. People are more like lawyers building a case for their gut feelings than judges reasoning toward truth. He later theorized a series of innate moral foundations that evolution etched into our brains like the taste buds on our tongues—psychological bases that underlie both the individual-protecting qualities that liberals value, like care and fairness, as well as the group-binding virtues favored by conservatives, like loyalty and authority.

…Researchers have found that conservatives tend to be more sensitive to threats and liberals more open to new experiences.

…”People do indeed reason, but that reasoning is done primarily to prepare for social interaction, not to search for truth.”

…Building on ideas from the anthropologist Richard Shweder, Haidt and his colleagues synthesize anthropology, evolutionary theory, and psychology to propose six innate moral foundations:

  • care/harm,
  • fairness/cheating,
  • liberty/oppression,
  • loyalty/betrayal,
  • authority/subversion, and
  • sanctity/degradation.

…Liberals jack up care, followed by fairness and liberty. They rarely value loyalty and authority. Conservatives dial up all six.

Because Leftism is based in a human-oriented instead of results-oriented framework, it perpetually seeks to control, or impose a uniform standard on all as a way to use them as a means toward its goals which are outside of the civilization itself. The goals of Leftism exist independent of any civilization, and are intended as ideological achievements, not practical or realistic ones.

Control consists of removing any variation and directly imposing the will of some central entity or idea, rejecting individual assessments of how to apply it or how it should be adapted in different contexts. Control, like universalism, exists without context, and imposes a world of human symbols upon the more complex contexture of reality.

For control to succeed, it must address the individual outside of civilization. This is why liberals jack up care/harm, fairness/cheating and liberty/oppression. Conservatives favor social order instead, and so for them, while fairness and non-tyranny are important, so are loyalty, hierarchy/authority and having something sacred at the core of what we do. This is geared toward perpetuating civilization.

In this way, we can summarize the two belief systems as follows:

  • Right = order
  • Left = individualism

Order occurs outside of the human individual, but requires the individual to have an inner motivation toward achieving it, because it is not the kind of thing that can be measured as in a meritocracy or allegiance to an ideology. The symbol and reality are separate, where with ideology, the symbol intends to become the reality.

We find this hard to understand, because all of our modern thinking is strictly ideological:

Note the difference between concept and ideology. An ideology has a tight, well defined set of rules, while a concept is amorphous and changing.

Once you go outside of ideology-land, you find yourself in a nebulous space where you have principles and knowledge of the past, but have to apply these as best you know how. There is no right answer; there are some wrong answers, and then others which are varying degrees of quality in terms of results, and whoever gets the best one relative to the others wins the race, with everyone else getting second, third, or fourth place (and so on).

Ideology guides control, which tries to force everything to fit a human ideal, which is an artificial construct because it is our simpler minds imposing what we think is order on a more complex world, created by something smarter than us. For those who are agnostic or atheist, this greater intelligence can be as simple as millions of years of iterations, each time testing what existed against its environment, and selecting the improvements. If you have ever watched a computer program loop through successive calculations, maybe graphing the result on a screen, you know how many thousands or millions of iterations can make a huge difference in precision.

Human thinking tends toward squares. We like blocks, evenly spaced, in rows on a grid. We like absolute balance such as opposites. We have things we desire, and things we fear. We like to believe we are unique and important in a cosmic or universalist sense, and that the proof of this is that we have many different goals for many different individuals. This simplistic vision contrasts the organic essence of nature, where every action is indirect and seemingly spontaneous, objects are unequal and scattered in dense patterns, and there is no factory-style process repeated identically for every object or person, only many different paths which hope to reach the same goal and do so in varying degrees.

Even more, our thinking tends toward centralization. We have trouble separating our individual perspective, as beings occupying a single part of a complex system, from what it would be like to be in charge of that system. If something bad happens to us, we want to ban all methods by which this bad thing could happen to anyone, because only by doing that will we have banished it, and therefore made ourselves safe.

Along those lines, we also do not handle cause-effect reasoning well. When we see an effect, such as poverty, we want to operate directly on it, by having an all-powerful force send out money and police to force everyone to be in conditions where they are not facing the evils we fear. It is not so much that our minds tend toward the totalitarian, but we favor one-step solutions, because to us problems appear out of nowhere in a single step, so there should be some simple and all-powerful counteraction that we apply like swatting a fly, ripping out a weed, or hammering a board over a broken shutter.

Unfortunately, reality does not reward centralization:

The contrast with national solutions to problems rather than federal (i.e., state government) solutions to problems is the difference between monopoly and markets. When states exercise power over education or labor relations or abortion or civil liberties, then the wise exercise of that power will attract to well-governed states people, commerce, brains, and talent.

This marketplace of governments works in practice and it also allows the sort of diversity which leftists pretend to pine for so deeply. The greater the nationalization of government, the fewer areas in which states can be truly independent, and the less those independent policies matter.

N.B. the above source uses the term “national” to refer to central control at a nation-state level, not nationalism.

There are a number of “2D political compass” type tests floating around that try to add another axis to the Right-Left divide, which they erroneously categorize as individual-versus-collective. This new axis might be called method in that it covers the spectrum from anarchy through totalitarianism, but its essential goal is to blur the difference between Right and Left.

Either side can adopt any methods, including centralization, and so this distinction is not sufficient to differentiate them. The Rightist method, however, is to eschew human control and instead to see what actually succeeds, and pay attention to that, instead of what we think should succeed.

In Right-Left hybrids, such as neoconservatism or National Socialist, this distinction becomes confused because, by pursuing a Leftist idea of equality, they commit themselves to the model of the universal human, which in turn requires an assembly-line style of applying equal pressure to all people. This causes them to fail through an informational counterpart to thermodynamics:

But what specifically established de facto socialism in Nazi Germany was the introduction of price and wage controls in 1936. These were imposed in response to the inflation of the money supply carried out by the regime from the time of its coming to power in early 1933. The Nazi regime inflated the money supply as the means of financing the vast increase in government spending required by its programs of public works, subsidies, and rearmament. The price and wage controls were imposed in response to the rise in prices that began to result from the inflation.

The effect of the combination of inflation and price and wage controls is shortages, that is, a situation in which the quantities of goods people attempt to buy exceed the quantities available for sale.

Shortages, in turn, result in economic chaos. It’s not only that consumers who show up in stores early in the day are in a position to buy up all the stocks of goods and leave customers who arrive later, with nothing — a situation to which governments typically respond by imposing rationing. Shortages result in chaos throughout the economic system. They introduce randomness in the distribution of supplies between geographical areas, in the allocation of a factor of production among its different products, in the allocation of labor and capital among the different branches of the economic system.

The rigid nature of control, which creates identical objects or events regardless of context, naturally leads to chaos because these are imposed on an uneven topography and by their centralized nature, are oblivious to different local conditions, where a cascading authority — king, duke, baron, lord — would have someone recalculating at every level, especially the lowest.

This shows us the two models we can use in our approach toward life.

The first, which is high entropy, relies on us treating the world as an extension of ourselves. We find what we want, and then apply that rigidly everywhere, which leads to a gradual introduction of greater amounts of variation, leading to chaos. Identical responses to different starting points lead to radically different outcomes over time.

The second, which is low entropy, involves us treating ourselves as an extension of the world. We establish a general goal, purpose and set of principles, and then apply it on a case-by-case basis as has been the wont of conservatives since the dawn of humanity. This looks more chaotic, but because all results adapt to the same end-point, it involves many different paths leading to similar results.

In Leftism, the paths/methods are standardized; in conservatism, the purposes/endpoints are the same, and so parallel paths eventually reach similar goals. There is no pretense of making objects, people or ideas identical, because identical objects are only fit in the flat, grid-like topography favored by human minds.

This distinction between individualism and orientation toward order shows us why all political systems ultimately break down into Left and Right or something like them. We either favor the self, or we favor order, which requires the sacrifice of the self, which is necessary for any self-actualization, self-discipline, mindfulness or virtue:

The big difference between these two schemes is that The Four Kinds of Happiness moves from the self-transcendence individual to the relational and finally to the transcendent and collective. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, on the other hand, moves from the collective to the relational and, at its peak, to the individual. In one the pinnacle of human existence is in quieting and transcending the self; in the other it is liberating and actualizing the self.

Most religions and moral systems have aimed for self-quieting and, figuring that the great human problem is selfishness. But around the middle of the 20th century, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and others aimed to liberate and enlarge the self. They brought us the self-esteem movement, humanistic psychology, and their thinking is still very influential today.

…Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has always pointed toward a chilly, unsatisfying version of self-fulfillment. Most people experience their deepest sense of meaning not when they have placidly met their other needs, but when they come together in crisis.

Through this distinction, we can see what conservatism is not: it is not any order based in the individual, all of which depend on egalitarianism or meritocracy as a means of reducing individuals to a uniform standard and then elevating the most obedient, which is a hallmark of control. Tyranny, totalitarianism, the managerial state, bureaucracy, administration and external discipline are all forms and methods of control.

We can see now why “classical liberals,” sometimes called neoconservatives or Libertarians, are not conservatives. They refuse to consider anything at a level above that of the individual.

They are correct when they defend capitalism, because unlike socialism this is not centrally controlled and so is low entropy, but incorrect to make it out to be more than it is. Capitalism is an economic system, and it requires inputs from culture and leadership to function; if we remove those, it becomes self-serving like anything else and consumes all in its path.

Conservatives are not strictly capitalist, but see capitalism as a means to an end, which is that of implementing a flexible economic system in which results are more important than human intentions or desires.

In fact, the only civilizations which we can plausibly call “conservative” belong to the category of designs which are oriented toward a singular goal through flexible, independent methods, and these cannot be classically liberal, because in those the goal is determined by individuals, and thus the system becomes self-serving like anything else and consumes all in its path.

For these reasons, people who discuss individualism and capitalism as the cornerstone of conservatism have missed the boat; conservatives are those who aspire to being as great as ancient Greece and Rome, who defend the monarchy, and who believe strongly in the genetic roots of populations. Our unstated and informal goals are to restore Western Civilization and make it great.

“American conservatives,” who are essentially classical liberals who like a strong defense budget and Christian-ish morality, are not conservatives; they are a hybrid with Leftists, like the National Socialists, who do not realize that their methods will lead to social breakdown just as any other Leftist approach will.

The Alt Right came about from a fertile brew of influences — libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, neoreactionary, human biodiversity, Old Right, radical traditionalism, anarcho-monarchism — which ultimately synthesized into a Right-wing movement which favors hierarchy and social order over individualism. This was not random.

The analysis above shows that there are only two options, Right (order) and Left (individualism). We cannot escape the duality of approaches inherent to being human. Neither should we try, since to avoid one is to embrace the other, which means that any “third way” will ultimately distill to one or the other, as the evolution of the Alt Right in recent history shows us.

Is Balance A Civilizational Risk?

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Risk applies to every person and organization, but few think of society or even civilizations as having risks. Most recognize that civilizations and societies are cyclic and identify heroes and villains by their participation in positive or negative cycles.

Despite an entire risk industry, where risks are analyzed in minute detail, nobody appears to look at risk to a civilization. Many books describe societal and civilizational history, even with a few lessons learnt thrown in, but despite that, the same mistakes are made indicating that we seem incapable to get away from ourselves.

No single factor encompasses the risk faced by a civilization. Things like money appear to be a sword in the side of man, but the sword itself comes from money and therefore is not the cause of the risk. Diversity appears to debilitate human performance despite its creative appeal, but it is on the level of symptom, such as the risk of improper food preparation where some may perish from food poisoning, but the organization itself continues on.

The sword is a single identifiable item making risk determination easy. Understanding the risk inherent in diversity proves more complicated because it affects both individuals and organizations, and does so indirectly, which means that there is no single point of impact like a sword-strike that we can point to and say, “Aha! Witness the risk!”

For that reason, we are looking for a type of risk that serves as a gateway (cause) to many other risks (symptom/effect). For example, “openness” was described as a strong feature in Roman Social Organization. When we move away from measuring performance only, we see the organizational risk of “openness” in its social context is intuitive and fits within the past literature on risk.

Openness is hard to diagnose because gregarious animals like humans are by nature social, which means that people seeing societies in decay do not recognize their over-socialization to be abnormal and will instead rationalize it as positive. Problem solvers always blame some technical aspect of life because that idea may actually be partially true, and it is easier than diagnosing broad human behaviors that become pathological to the group, even though those are the cause of most civilization decline.

Even so, openness is still not the single collective social organizational risk descriptor I am looking for.

Then my Mother’s advice returned to me: “Always be careful of the word too.”

Mothers are famous for keeping things in balance. They want you to stand up for yourself, but not take it too far; they want you to not eat too little, but not to over-eat either. Applied to civilizations, the concept of balance is mathematically easy to describe and is generally portrayed as a type of cycle, swinging between extremes. For example economists and investors absolutely love to draw graphs of bull and bear cycles. This includes the ability to detect when something is overvalued or undervalued.

By doing so, they confuse the cyclical nature of civilization with the cycles of the markets, when in fact the civilization cycle measures the social order they find so hard to quantitatively measure. When we view market cycles as the risk to our civilization, and forget about social order, our only concern becomes balance to those market cycles, ensuring that we do not let the markets rise too high or fall too low.

For example, South African GDP/capita is about $8000 while its potential is $40000. The risk of balance will dictate that dropping that metric further — if the dollar is still to be used in future — will mean that the GDP/capita is “too” low, throwing the organization known as South African society out of balance. Similarly, if the same metric would grow to $48000, it will become “too” high. The balance therefore may be $24000 if 100% is taken as $48000; this provides a sense of balanced risk, but misses the actual risk, which is the social order instability that causes fluctuation in value.

Much as we can find an “economic balance” it is also possible to establish a “social/civilizational organization” balance, or in other words, a social order which is geared toward renewal cycles and not decay cycles.  Once people focus on social balance, the priority given to economic balance will become a distant feature of life, because once social order risk is properly managed, the resulting stability means that the economy just happens.

The correlation between life expectancy and GDP is 0.61. We know that GDP is important, but it is not the cause of itself. For this reason, there is a correlation between life expectancy and social order — given the presence of enough technology to fight off diseases and invading Mongols — which goes unnoticed because people do not study civilization risk. That can change.

We know that because the same symptoms afflict us time and again but go unattended that a redesign of our concept of risk management is necessary such that it expands to include social order and civilization cycles in its analysis. The first step to this may be trying to avoid an approach of balanced extreme, and instead looking toward establishing order, clarity, purpose and meaning to social order.

Why We Need Three Castes

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Once we accept human inequality, we see that people have different abilities and character. This realization is the greatest taboo of our time, because it means that some are born to rule and others to serve, and many fine grades in between.

This is perhaps most disturbing for those who are smart enough to be effective but lack depth of intelligence sufficient to make them perceptive, especially about long-term results, which requires a mind that can see dozens of moves into the future and anticipate glitches, challenges and complexities.

Usually referred to as the “bourgeoisie” by Leftists, the group from the upper half of the middle class through the wealthy tends to be of this mindset. They are good at something that makes money, and possibly even management, but probably not leadership which is a more amorphous role that deals with many indeterminate factors. That ability falls to a relatively small group at the top of the intelligence and character hierarchy.

We know that people can be highly talented and still be bad at organizing their own lives or groups of people. It is no surprise that celebrities — actors, entertainers, athletes — tend to have chaotic personal lives. But even great novelists, computer programmers, architects and business leaders often have fractured lives and disorganized families.

At the same time, these people are clearly above the groups below them, the lower half of the middle class and the working class. Neither group can manage money very well, but most from the working class live from paycheck to paycheck and have no savings to speak of. When they do have money, it is spent. The lower half of middle class similarly leaks money through a pursuit of pleasures it cannot really afford.

Then again the bourgeois seem to spend their disposable income, which they carefully set aside from the rest, on a number of silly things as well. These are the “keeping up with the Joneses” people who chase after faddish and trendy items of no practical value, like Apple computers, lomography cameras, quinoa eclairs and swarovski crystal keyrings. While this does not cause them financial problems, it can have a negative impact on what is available in stores as manufacturers and retailers chase the latest trends.

Also on the bourgeois front is the relative misery of their family lives. While the worker and lower middle class tend to crush themselves with alcoholism and out-of-wedlock births, the upper half of the middle class shatters itself with divorce, workaholism and the personal alienation that comes from treating family as employees, or people needing to be managed and kept reminded of their lower status.

Even the most talented of these people have a tendency to crash their own businesses, bungle management, or get involved in pointless legal or economic activity. They are very good when pointed in a direction and given clear parameters, but when parameters or purpose become unclear, chaotic behavior results, and the more intelligent they are, the more neurotic and defensive it is.

Leadership requires a different mentality. The bourgeois, lower middle class and working classes operate in response to stimulus, such as the presence of economic opportunity. Leadership requires finding a direction instead that will lead to good things, including economic opportunity. Leadership creates the foundation for what others can do, and must point toward long-term goals of health, sanity and stability.

The people capable of leadership are thus most likely out of place in any other role. Their goal is not to find and exploit existing opportunity, but to create the conditions so that it might arise. Their ability lies not in working within known parameters, but in adapting to reality itself and then maximizing that adaptation through qualitative improvement.

In this way, we see the need for the three classes: leaders (1%), managers (9%) and workers (90%). This division forms the basis of social order in that each person operates within a role where his talents and character are rewarded, but he is not subject to making decisions outside of that envelope of competence.

The modern quest for “equality” has obliterated these distinctions, and the results are correspondingly disorganized. Those who lead are reacting to current conditions, instead of opening a path toward the future, and so society has become inward-looking and competitive on the basis of commerce alone. Rejecting modernity involves reversing this inverted condition.

A Gen X Lament: The Alt Right

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

less_than_zero

Two of the questions that have baffled writers in our time: Why do we not fight back? and Why are we failing to reproduce? The same answer addresses both: our people are existentially miserable.

Existential misery refers to concerns related to existence itself. People who are existentially happy believe they have purpose, that the world is basically good or at least not headed toward failure, and that they will have meaningful lives.

These are the questions of purpose and meaning that disturb our sleep in the middle of the night. Those who feel existentially lost sense that their lives have no greater meaning than material consumption and labor, and tend to self-destruct if they are above a certain level of intelligence.

At the core of an existential question lies the troubling idea of hope. Those who have realistic hope, meaning that things will turn out for the best based on the sanity and stability they see in their civilization, tend to thrive and be productive, happy and connected to the world around them.

On the other hand, those who lack hope tend to destroy themselves by failing to reproduce, self-sabotaging, and other behaviors of unhappy animals. This shows us that the central question regarding European-descended people is Why are we so hopeless?

We have no faith that our lives are good or that the future will be good; in fact, even if we are afraid to articulate this, we believe the contrary. This is made difficult by the fact that on the surface, all is shiny and wealthy, happy and content.

People drive by in new cars. They go to jobs with fascinating titles. They always have new gadgets and objects to discuss, if not the 500+ channels of cable and internet. We have progress. We are good. Or are we?

Despite all outward signs of being good, we — the descendants of those who made this civilization — do not like our society. Its wealth is wonderful, but seems to mostly go to the wrong people. Its technology is great, but always glitches and then breaks down after only five years.

We want to escape it, in fact, which is why everyone dreams of getting rich and bailing out. An entire society is a hamster on a wheel, just for the chance to escape that society!

Our people are miserable is this is why they are dying out. Conservatives shut the door on the world, go back to work, pay their taxes and grumble to let off steam, then do nothing. Leftists find their Utopia empty, and redouble their efforts. No one is happy with the situation, but because they are atomized by social isolation, they engage in “compensatory” behaviors or those which make the individual feel better about the world rather than attempting to change it.

Nowhere has this hit harder than with Generation X. Growing up as “latch-key kids” who were the products of divorce and social breakdown, Generation X realized that they were going to be adults in a world without social order. They could rely on nothing, were targets of predatory business and government, and saw that their society was entirely without future. They retaliated with a dropout culture that matured into total rejection of society and a desire to destroy it.

The result is a nation ready to split in half, with one side belonging to the Left and the rest for the realists. The realists will identify the following as the fatal flaws of liberal democracy that have shaped the lives of Generation X and made them detest society:

  • Diversity. People want to grow up in a society where there is a strong social standard of what is correct behavior, and therefore, they know what to do in order to be rewarded. Leftism favors a social standard which changes all the time but reverts to the same core concept, equality or the individual being safe from the consequences of his actions. With even a tiny amount of diversity, the social standard is eroded by different customs and values, creating a hybrid standard that verges on the generic. Our people now have no idea how to participate in society, so withdraw, and this makes them neurotic and lowers their self-esteem.

  • Sexual Liberation. In theory, sexual liberation sounds like it removes the pressures of sexual selection. In reality, it ensures that no strong bonds form between people for whom each partner is merely another sexual experience. This ruins families by creating faithless marriages, and gives children no hope of the type of eternal, pure love that they crave. To the “liberated” person, marriage is an extended form of dating, and as in dating, the relationship is terminated when it becomes too inconvenient for the individual, ending any hope of strong love or long-term pairing.

  • Equality. When first described to us, equality sounded like pacifism applied to class struggles: everyone is accepted, and all are included. In practice it always means taking from the successful to give to the unsuccessful, which breaks the spirit of those who have achieved anything by watching the fruits of their work drain into the pool for support of those who do nothing and become destructive as a result. It punishes those who rise above, making it inefficient to be anything but mediocre, and then everyone suffers from the resulting wave of ineptitude and lack of comprehension.

  • Political Correctness. In order to accept the Other among us, we require Soviet speech codes in order to prevent the clash of values systems being noticed. Each group has its own self-interest, and that includes dominating the others so its own value system prevails, so political correctness is used as a weapon to silence the majority or even simply realists so that the conflict can continue.

  • Sexual Equality. As a result of egalitarianism, women entered the workforce, effectively doubling it and installing into it people who were masters of endless detail but prone to miss the big point. The result has been that all business initiatives converge on the same laundry-list of important details and miss what makes those products and services distinctive, lowering quality and making jobs mind-numbingly boring, while simultaneous decreasing real salaries and forcing everyone to work later hours to outpace the “class president” women of the Hillary Clinton archetype.

  • Disorder. Without values, social classes and a culture we can share in common, there is no social order outside of Leftist ideology and what police, public shame, lawsuits and fines enforce on us all. This makes people despair of ever being rewarded for doing good, and instead they focus on tangential personal hobbies that do not fulfill them and instead make them more alienated and less likely to relate to one another.

  • Make-Work. Beyond women in the workforce, the onslaught of unions and affirmative action resulted in all jobs being subdivided into detachable parts, like the “cogs” of industrial revolution lore made even more isolated and boring. People attend jobs more than work to an end, and spend most of their time cleaning up after other people, which penalizes the intelligent and makes them angry, vengeful and controlling.

This is the nightmare into which our Leftist regime launched Generation X starting in the 1980s. Back then, the disaster was just beginning to gain momentum, but none of us thought there was any future in this world. This created zombie citizens who wander alone through the world, finding nothing of importance and like a star before becoming a black hole, imploding on themselves.

Generation X is a group born without hope. Their parents, the 1968er “Me Generation” Baby Boomers, climbed up the ladder and then pulled it after them, leaving people stranded without a civilization that gave them any hope. In this hopelessness, they have begun to die off, having known since their early teens that this disordered, insane world offered nothing but death.

Along with millennials, Generation X propelled the Alt Right to prominence because they realized that the collapse was upon us. Society was dead when they were born. We are now just carving up the remnants. The only fix is to radically remove the insanity foisted upon us by tearing it down to its roots, and excising those. Extremity is no longer extreme; it is the bare minimum for survival, and this is why the Alt Right arose among Generation X.

Any solution will begin with peeling back the above policies. Remove affirmative action, sexual equality, diversity, unions and equality from the law, and leave it up to people — not government or ideology — to organize their lives. Only in this way can we back away from the abyss, and then run in another, more constructive direction.

Why Not Neither?

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Malcolm Pollack over at waka waka waka writes with a quotation from Will and Ariel Durant about the incompatibility of freedom and equality:

Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization. Hereditary inequalities breed social and artificial inequalities; every invention or discovery is made or seized by the exceptional individual, and makes the strong stronger, the weak relatively weaker, than before. Economic development specializes functions, differentiates abilities, and makes men unequally valuable to their group. If we knew our fellow men thoroughly we could select thirty per cent of them whose combined ability would equal that of all the rest. Life and history do precisely that, with a sublime injustice reminiscent of Calvin’s God.

Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917. Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way. Utopias of equality are biologically doomed, and the best that the amiable philosopher can hope for is an approximate equality of legal justice and educational opportunity.

Instead, we might ask why we need either, since both are proxies for something else.

“Freedom” as used in the passage means the ability to not be held back by the fears of others that someone will rise above the norm and become better at something than the rest. The solution to that is not freedom, but hierarchy, so that there is a way to advance this person and give him authority. “Freedom” merely separates him from the rest in a Darwinistic sense, and so accomplishes part of the task, but there are two other tasks: giving this person the ability to exercise this ability, and limiting or removing those who are of substantially lesser ability.

When the Alt Right talks about social order, this is what they mean: no more exercise of power against one another, including rights and freedoms. Instead we need a hierarchy where each person has a place, and those who are broken are removed instead of causing the problems that we see in mass culture and liberalism. At first this sounds cruel, until one realizes that without it, we allow “the rest to oppress the best” and we end up as a disorganized mob of selfish individuals as is the norm in the modern West.

The Death Of The Proposition Nation

Monday, October 10th, 2016

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As the disaster of liberal democracy crashes into the crater it has made for itself, human minds turn toward the question of what comes next. Our tendency is to want something “new,” but this is the type of spastic reaction that creates more of the same by avoiding the parts of the old that are still necessary.

From a computer science viewpoint, we could view modernity as a “fork” or branching of previous society which began with the introduction of egalitarianism, or the idea that all people are equal, almost a thousand years ago. This began long before the French Revolution, but picked up speed in the first half of the millennium.

Liberal democracy was well invested with these views by the time of Christopher Columbus, only to find out later that these ideas eroded any possibility of action except toward more liberation of the individual, leading to a dissolution of social order:

[T]he Europeans were bringing to the world the then-novel idea that one group of people didn’t have the right to impose its will on another group.

This revolution in thinking, which ultimately undermined European imperialism, was announced by the Declaration of Independence and its assertion of the self-evident truth of human equality.

From these early assumptions came a new idea of not just what a nation was, but what civilization was. Where previously the goal had been to act in self-interest and according to internal hierarchy, in the new conception, the individual was king.

This required eliminating all forms of hierarchy — the family, culture, values, heritage, identity — and then, to establish equality, removing all differences between people as measured in outcomes, which required subsidies like welfare, entitlements, unions and eventually the socialist state.

That revolution in thought gave rise to the proposition nation, or one formed according to the idea that all humans were identically equal, and therefore that the only distinction between nation-states was found in borders, laws and economics.

The proposition nation inverted all previous ideas of what made nations and cultures unique and distinctive, and replaced those with rules and political symbolism:

It’s a cliché of contemporary debate that America is a unique “Proposition Nation,” not one of those nasty ethnically-specific nation-states in Europe. Anyone can become an American by subscribing to a set of abstract principles, etc. etc. Quack quack.

…[I]n fact, many European intellectuals had similar delusions of “Universal Nation”-hood. The most obvious example: France, where assimilating Africans and Arabs to French “culture” was actually official policy for a while. And not without some misleading signs of success, as in the American case.

In this way, ideology replaces culture, heritage and values. Since there can be only one fundamental allegiance, it wages war against those and the institutions that support them, including normal family life, healthy masculinity and femininity, religion, history, pride in nation and identity, and finally, facts themselves. Ideology is a dark god of power that absorbs everything which might compete with it, replacing those with identical copies of itself.

It required a new mythology to explain why this process was positive, and the West found it through the writings of Karl Marx, a self-hating/deracinated Jew who turned his back on his own ancestral traditions and replaced them with a type of materialism based in economics.

Materialism in this case refers to the primacy of objects in determining outcomes. Those objects, rather than the informational or metaphysical order in which they occupy positions, interact and by this clash of their inherent properties, create the order in our world from the bottom up instead of from the top down.

Maxism provided a justification for the further incursion of equality, made a seemingly universal value by The Renaissance™ and The Enlightenment.™

Modern industry, [“The Communist Manifesto”] proclaimed, had revolutionized the world. It surpassed, in its accomplishments, all the great civilizations of the past—the Egyptian pyramids, the Roman aqueducts, the Gothic cathedrals. Its innovations—the railroad, the steamship, the telegraph—had unleashed fantastic productive forces. In the name of free trade, it had knocked down national boundaries, lowered prices, made the planet interdependent and cosmopolitan. Goods and ideas now circulated everywhere.

Just as important, it swept away all the old hierarchies and mystifications. People no longer believed that ancestry or religion determined their status in life. Everyone was the same as everyone else. For the first time in history, men and women could see, without illusions, where they stood in their relations with others.

Technological development had been inevitable for centuries because technology advances exponentially once a few basics are established, then linearly until the next large conceptual breakthrough. While technology aided the rise of egalitarian thought, its inception began long before, and the writings of Marx were a post hoc explanation for that rise which rationalized a different phenomenon as their source.

This shows us what would become known as “The Leftist Method”: infiltrate an institution, inject egalitarian thought, then sabotage it so that the ruined state can be identified as the original state, and then blame that ruined wreck so that it can be argued that it must be replaced with more egalitarianism.

Marx advanced a theory designed to please egalitarianism: the lack of egalitarianism was the source of conflict in a technological world, and therefore, it needed to be displaced. More accurately, what had happened was that social order — including hierarchy, culture and heritage — had been displaced, resulting in a struggle for money as the only source of power and stability.

He advanced a vision that flattered the individualism of atomized humans by arguing that since this hierarchy of money had disadvantages, all hierarchy was bad, and the only solution was to abolish social order:

The new modes of production, communication, and distribution had also created enormous wealth. But there was a problem. The wealth was not equally distributed. Ten per cent of the population possessed virtually all of the property; the other ninety per cent owned nothing. As cities and towns industrialized, as wealth became more concentrated, and as the rich got richer, the middle class began sinking to the level of the working class.

Soon, in fact, there would be just two types of people in the world: the people who owned property and the people who sold their labor to them. As ideologies disappeared which had once made inequality appear natural and ordained, it was inevitable that workers everywhere would see the system for what it was, and would rise up and overthrow it.

This moved society from an architectonic order, where every part supports every other part and vice-versa through constant minute interaction, to a linear one, where every perceived problem is acted on with great force by a centralized authority ruling over identical humans to whom the rules apply in exactly the same way, a derivative of philosophical universalism.

With Marx, the modern state had a theory to justify its egalitarian consumption of all things outside ideology. Equality means “no rules,” with a small asterisk for avoiding the big crimes against the individual such as rape, murder and theft. Everything else can happen, because people are equal, and therefore their choices are sovereign against all other claims to social order.

This produces the modern state that we all know, which seems strong but has a fatal flaw:

From my correspondent’s perspective, then, the USA looks like a very robust creation. But then, the USSR looked pretty robust for a long time. And these two nations, the USA and the USSR shared a thing in common, a thing that differentiated them from those nations like France, Iran, and China—nations that, at least in their own estimation, are far older. What they shared was precisely the lack of what those other nations have: a sense of old, rooted, ethnic nationhood. They were, to put it very bluntly, artificial creations, assembled around a set of abstract ideas.

This produced a revolutionary nation, or one defined in opposition to well-known methods of civilization, rather than in favor of some ideal of its own. It claimed egalitarianism as its ideal, but the concept of equality serves more as its advertising, with the real result being a concentration of power in those who can manipulate mass culture through statements which appeal to the weaknesses and fears of their audience.

That is the horror of the modern era that Western Civilization citizens have endured for the past centuries. All of our ideological conflicts, including our World Wars, have emerged from the savage imposition of this model and its desire to crush all resistance. It is a mental virus which seeks world domination and, because its actual goals are separate from its advertising, can take any form and subvert any institution.

Marx seemed to be aware of the childlike and illusory nature of this pursuit:

In a communist society, he wrote, “nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes.” It will be possible “to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner . . . without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman, or critic.”

But he did not mention the end result, which was that equality means that social order is displaced by social control, or the use of what appeals to other people by pandering to their lowest impulses in order to create mass consensus and to remove any obstacles to ideological domination.

What is happening in the rich democracies may be not so much a war between the haves and the have-nots as a war between the socially advantaged and the left-out.

Under equality, our society has become an economy based on ideology. Those who express the ideology the best are advanced above others, and those who fail to express the ideology are driven away from wealth and power, creating a Darwinian filter that ensures an echo chamber where only the ideology is asserted.

This creates a marketplace for the same ideology applied in different formats, genres, media and concepts. This in turn creates a chorus of voices from every direction affirming the same essential ideas, resulting in a mass conformity that appears to be the opposite of conformity, in which only obedience succeeds.

The problem with this marketplace is that it is not based on results in reality, but on popularity of ideas. It manifests through different forms — voting, consumerism and social attention — but each achieves the same result. This is the core of modernity, and shows why it is difficult to displace.

As a reality-displacing form of order, it produces political thinking based on appearance. This rewards those who create socially popular images, and divides the nation against itself by encouraging people to see their political choices as a form of personal identity, which in turn makes them see any other, or competing, choices as an attack on them personally. This explains the defensive and resentful behavior of people in modern societies.

These divisions eventually tear the society apart, but because its echo chamber works to exclude any possibilities other than varieties of individualism, its people cannot stop following the path to doom. For them to do so is to admit personal failure and to cut themselves out of the wealth which is awarded to ideological conformists.

For this reason, democracies always fail:

In reality, the research summarised by Achen and Bartels suggests, most people possess almost no useful information about policies and their implications, have little desire to improve their state of knowledge, and have a deep aversion to political disagreement. We base our political decisions on who we are rather than what we think. In other words, we act politically – not as individual, rational beings but as members of social groups, expressing a social identity. We seek out the political parties that seem to correspond best to our culture, with little regard to whether their policies support our interests. We remain loyal to political parties long after they have ceased to serve us.

Democracy is the political extension of equality and the foundation of Leftism, although Leftists will quickly abandon it if the results contradict the ideology, as we see with election 2016 in the United States. It produces an instability that is not passionate like those of dictatorships or monarchies, but a gradual slide into irrelevance and dysfunction.

In 2016, the holy image of democracy and equality — and their handmaidens diversity, atheism, sexual liberation and the welfare state — have died. It took centuries, but we have finally seen the end results of these ideological conquerors. Those show us a path to doom in which no one will dare speak out against the decline.

This is why the Alt Right was created. Its initial goal is the defeat of the postwar Left, but this is as a means to its longer-term goal, which is a restoration of the society against which modernity is a revolution. We can keep our technology, and use it more wisely, but live in sanity for once instead of this ideological death spiral.

Gun control is a surrogate for social order

Monday, September 7th, 2015

gun_control

I recently heard somebody say, “this week we had yet another shooting. How many of these do we need before gun nuts admit there is a problem?”

Well there is a problem — not with guns, but with our society.

You see, lots of places in the world are full of guns. America is not the only place in the world where you can own firearms. You can still get pistols in Europe.

However, not everywhere on earth has a broken culture full of atomized, lonely people with no real future prospects and no remaining culture.

Leftists broke our culture with multiculturalism and moral relativism. Multiculturalism, diversity and pluralism are three different names for the same idea – “live and let live.” That sounds great on paper, but in reality we need shared standards in our society or we can’t trust each other. The less we can trust each other, the more disconnected and anxious we all become.

The more anxious and disconnected we all get, the more likely we are to “preemptively defend ourselves” against others through small aggressions, such as cutting in traffic (“better do it to him before he does it to me”) or through large aggressions such as firing or suing people for increasingly trivial reasons.

In fact, it enables all kinds of sociopathic behavior – when you don’t feel like society has anything in common with you or that it has your best interests at heart, you feel preemptively justified in taking for yourself even if it screws over the collective. You don’t care.

After multiculturalism and moral relativism tore down all of our communal standards and destroyed our trust in each other, people in society began to maliciously financially exclude each other. Technology helped this – we’ve automated away lots of jobs.

Our rich corporatists have zero loyalty towards our country either – they outsource everybody’s job or hire illegal Mexican immigrants to do them, or fly in somebody on an H1B visa depending on the type of work.

All this friction, which is caused 100% by leftists inflicting multiculturalism and moral relativism on our society, has made it like a giant pressure cooker for sensitive souls who don’t like living in a giant gritty Brazilian favela with iPhones.

That’s why people are going nuts and blowing each others’ brains out. If people had nothing but tire irons, they’d be going postal with those too — the gun doesn’t make people fly into a murderous rage, the totally ruined society does.

Western civilization is imploding

Friday, August 21st, 2015

the_death_of_the_west

Over the generations, a sense of dread has been building: the observation that — despite some things which have improved — our society is heading downward. Its organization, or the pattern of how it holds itself together, is fraying. It is the death of the West.

We all make fun of the old guys who rail about how in their day the steaks were redder and the whiskey sweeter, but perhaps those were merely symbols for an ongoing decay in quality. Quality is measured by the experience as a whole, and not particular items that seem brighter and newer than others.

Over at The Mad Monarchist a new article gives voice to concern about the collapse of the West:

We are at or are fast approaching the point of critical mass for western civilization…The internationalists have the world firmly in their grip and with the United States circling the drain, western civilization is going the same way. Of course, all monarchists know that the USA was never a pure example of western civilization, it has never had any of the high culture of Europe but that is to be expected as it is a branch rather than the tree itself.

…The leaders of the EU have emasculated the countries of Europe to empower their central EU government while also making sure that Europe itself is never significant again. They are all part of the same internationalist clique. They don’t want any European country to be great because that would detract from the European Union and they don’t really want Europe to be great because they have nothing but contempt for European culture, European history and western civilization in general. Some actively want to destroy it while others are just looking out for themselves and willingly go along with those who do want to destroy it to further their own interests.

He makes excellent points and the following notions are designed to harmonize with those, not contradict them.

We do not get to a state such as our present condition without first having lost track of our future. Future is tied to past; past shows us not only what worked and what did not, but also who we are and from that, where we should be going. But that past was rejected in favor of egalitarianism during The Enlightenment™. Egalitarianism states that all people are equal, which means that the individual — not culture, values, philosophy, heritage or social order — determines the future. We base our decisions not on what has worked, or what would be good, but what individuals want to do. This creates a transition to a facilitative society.

Facilitative societies have many problems, but the two largest are the need for control, and the passivity of the population. When each person does whatever they want, there is no balance in social order nor is there a central idea to which people “harmonize” or find themselves in resonance with and attempt to fulfill. Morality would be one example of this type of order. Control in turn creates passivity. Citizens are accustomed to doing whatever they want unless stopped, but also become familiar with correction by their ideological leaders. As a result, they do not act toward any purpose, but instead flit around and do nothing of import unless explicitly told to do otherwise. The far extreme of this is what happens in authoritarian societies where people refuse to act unless commanded because the risks of unauthorized action are too great, and the state will step in at some point and tell them what to do anyway. Like children of an overbearing parent, they wait for this correction and achieve nothing in the meantime.

Control-based societies become miserable places. As the 21st century has taught us, even when “free” and “tolerant” places they become tyrannical because those in power — or those who want to join them — must manufacture a constant series of ideological crises in order to keep motivating the population. A facilitative society has no objectives, therefore must style every change as a “war” or a defensive action. This self-pity mentality spreads to the population at large. Between the constant war for ideological clarity, and the general apathy of the population to everything else, decay results and the society plunges downward into a spiral of despair. Eventually it loses all social order and becomes a third-world style society, unable to organize itself to have public hygiene, rule of law, freedom from corruption and even social order itself.

The origin of this decay begins with egalitarianism (or “equality”) which is itself a form of individualism, or the demand by the individual that society support him in his choices without a corresponding investment by the individual in society. All of the subsidy states — socialism, communism, and even consumerism which is capitalism supported through low-return consumer purchases funded by state welfare programs — are based in this form of radical individualism. It comes about when societies become “bottom-heavy,” or have many individuals who know nothing about how to run a society who nonetheless demand participation in its decision-making. These individuals band together into a “Crowd,” and through a philosophy of Crowdism develop a sense of victimhood based in self-pity which spurs them to attack their society and convert it into a facilitative society.

Control then becomes required because facilitative societies are chaotic and individuals, acting on radical individualism, tend to externalize the costs of their actions to others. Conservatism arises as a resistance to this movement, but generally fails because its adherents are unable to articulate what they really need, which is an end to the facilitative society. Early experiments in liberalism in France and Russia showed how quickly revolutions turn to ideological enforcement, usually by inventing or discovering enemies, and from that to authoritarianism. Conservative experiments in using this force against liberalism, as seen in Italy and Germany, met with less than shining results because of the inherent control-tendencies of liberal society which prevented the restoration of organic culture.

Opposite the control-based facilitative society is the leadership-based society. This is part of what is called “tradition,” which is a way of viewing the world through both (a) realistic and (b) transcendental viewpoints. These aim to discover methods that work in the real world, but to point them toward “transcendentals” or eternal goals that can never be fully realized and thus can both harmonize and motivate a society without the war/victimhood narrative of egalitarian societies. In these societies, leaders do not “control” their population but actually lead it, meaning that they discover necessary tasks and keep people organized toward transcendental goals. Leadership societies have purpose, and as a result, in them people have roles in which they fulfill parts of the overall ongoing goal. Paul Woodruff refers to the basis of the glories of the past as “reverence,” or an awe and transcendental appreciation for our world, and this seems like an appropriate basis for the combination of strong cultural, religious and moral feeling that traditional societies have.

Perhaps the best definition of tradition comes from Aldous Huxley, who wrote The Perennial Philosophy to detail what is present in such societies. He outlines a mixture of religion and philosophy that serves as a principle of social order and personal order simultaneously:

More than twenty-five centuries have passed since that which has been called the Perennial Philosophy was first committed to writing; and in the course of those centuries it has found expression, now partial, now complete, now in this form, now in that, again and again. In Vedanta and Hebrew prophecy, in the Tao Teh King and the Platonic dialogues, in the Gospel according to St. John and Mahayana theology, in Plotinus and the Areopagite, among the Persian Sufis and the Christian mystics of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance–the Perennial Philosophy has spoken almost all the languages of Asia and Europe and has made use of the terminology and traditions of every one of the higher religions. But under all this confusion of tongues and myths, of local histories and particularist doctrines, there remains a Highest Common Factor, which is the Perennial Philosophy in what may be called its chemically pure state. This final purity can never, of course, be expressed by any verbal statement of the philosophy, however undogmatic that statement may be, however deliberately syncretistic. The very fact that it is set down at a certain time by a certain writer, using this or that language, automatically imposes a certain sociological and personal bias on the doctrines so formulated. It is only the act of contemplation when words and even personality are transcended, that the pure state of the Perennial Philosophy can actually be known. The records left by those who have known it in this way make it abundantly clear that all of them, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Taoist, Christian, or Mohammedan, were attempting to describe the same essentially indescribable Fact.

The original scriptures of most religions are poetical and unsystematic. Theology, which generally takes the form of a reasoned commentary on the parables and aphorisms of the scriptures, tends to make its appearance at a later stage of religious history. The Bhagavad-Gita occupies an intermediate position between scripture and theology; for it combines the poetical qualities of the first with the clear-cut methodicalness of the second. The book may be described, writes Ananda K. Coomaraswamy in his admirable Hinduism and Buddhism, “as a compendium of the whole Vedic doctrine to be found in the earlier Vedas, Brahmanas and Upanishads, and being therefore the basis of all the later developments, it can be regarded as the focus of all Indian religion” is also one of the clearest and most comprehensive summaries of the Perennial Philosophy ever to have been made. Hence its enduring value, not only for Indians, but for all mankind.

At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.

  1. The phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness–the world of things and animals and men and even gods–is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
  2. Human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.
  3. Man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul. It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.
  4. Man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.

Tradition treats reality as fact and includes in that fact a philosophical and metaphysical exploration of the order of life. Julius Evola gave us a hint in “On the Secret of Degeneration”:

If we look at the secret of degeneration from the exclusively traditional point of view, it becomes even harder to solve it completely. It is then a matter of the division of all cultures into two main types. On the one hand there are the traditional cultures, whose principle is identical and unchangeable, despite all the differences evident on the surface. The axis of these cultures and the summit of their hierarchical order consists of metaphysical, supra-individual powers and actions, which serve to inform and justify everything that is merely human, temporal, subject to becoming and to “history.” On the other hand there is “modern culture,” which is actually the anti-tradition and which exhausts itself in a construction of purely human and earthly conditions and in the total development of these, in pursuit of a life entirely detached from the “higher world.”

In a traditional culture, all is viewed by its significance as ideal; in a modern culture, all is material. This does not limit the ideal to the metaphysical alone, because ideas like loyalty, values and morality come first before material convenience. The difference lies in the tendency of traditional cultures to view the significance of acts as if, in Kant’s words, they were to “Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” The order of nature itself as an idea matters more than material fate or condition. Where a modern culture is pragmatic, a traditional culture views itself through the lens of purpose and in that a sense of the underlying informational order to the universe. When radical individualism takes over, and cultures view themselves through egalitarianism, the idea of individuals deferring to an invisible social order formed of honor, loyalty, duty, culture, values and heritage becomes impossible.

That outlook creates a transcendental effect on a society by which it sacralizes itself not as an end, but as a means to more of the sacred. Like the transcendentals “the good, the beautiful and the true,” a traditional culture aims for the principle of every act and aspect of being. These principles are more important than materiality because, in the view of traditional cultures, they create materiality. Whether this is atheistic or theistic matters little. A society can either idealize the patterns of reality itself, or its own people, and the latter path leads to decay and ruin. On a simple level, when principles such as law, justice, integrity and honor are lost, corruption reigns. On a greater level, when principles such as morality are placed first, it becomes impossible for wholesale abuses in which damages of individual acts are socialized to the group to become valid. Tradition is the opposite of utilitarianism, which argues from what a group feels — statistically, or by majority — benefits them as individuals. As the West has turned from this traditional view, it has plunged into slow but inexorable decline.

While we search today for answers, all of our methods resemble symptomatic or palliative treatment. That is: we do not believe we can strike at the core of our decay, and instead apply intermediates. To reverse our decline, we must first — as Kant reminds us — choose to be good. We must target the transcendentals. With a little thought and some reading of history, we can see that these mandate a society quite unlike our own: ruled by an aristocracy, united by heritage and culture, governed not by laws but by principles and, perhaps most importantly, one that has reverence for life and the fact that there are more important things than convenience and survival. The answer is not as simple as a theocracy, or nationalism, or even cultural reign, but includes all of the above. We must restore our identity as the West not just as a physical group, but as a principle: those who do what is right, no matter how inconvenient, and rise accordingly.

On capitalism

Friday, July 24th, 2015

the_whore_in_the_markets

Capitalism stands as a superior alternative to socialism as a method; history shows us this. The Western nations adopted a quasi-socialist program in the 1960s, and the further we have gone down this path, the less useful and more indebted we have become. However many of us are appalled by the excesses of capitalism, which leads to criticism of capitalism itself.

Autonomy, not freedom, is the cornerstone of capitalism because that process operates at a more granular level than command economies. Regulation impedes capitalism; sometimes, this may be a good thing, such as some environmental regulations. Generally, however, regulation throws barriers into the process of transaction and makes it less granular by creating normal operating channels that one must undertake to avoid the pitfalls of regulation. When everyone must fill out a 5504 form or be fined, and that form specifies what can and cannot be done, the market changes from whatever it was to a 5504-compliant version of what it was. For this reason, even what we see as “capitalism” sometimes is not.

The worst excesses of capitalism come from another direction: consumerism. Consumers prefer mediocre, convenient and cheap products to quality products, but if those quality products were more widely produced they would be roughly the same price as the cheap ones thanks to economies of scale. The reason products degrade in quality is that it is more profitable to make them cheaper, throw in some advertising, and sell to the 80% of humanity that cannot tell the difference instead of the 20% who can. If I make a quality car, and the brand gets well known, people will start buying those cars because they have heard they are good, their neighbors buy them, and they see them on television. If I then replace the quality design and parts with a cheaper design and materials, I can pocket the profits. Instead of raising price, I lowered cost, and for the same result. This is why American beers, cigarettes and cars are terrible in quality and unreliable in the long term: they are made as perfect products, but not perfect devices, which is left up to the 20% selling to the luxury market.

When we see consumerism in action, or the reckless profit incentive driving corporations to run roughshod over decency and nature, what we are seeing is the motivation to profit by reducing cost (or opening new opportunities for production). What most do not acknowledge is that this is driven by the desires of individuals. Stockholders, most of whom are regular people or funds that benefit regular people such as shared retirement funds, care about only one figure: return. They want to see as much money as possible coming to them. This means that if product A decides to be ethical, it has taken on a cost and is less competitive than product B which just went ahead and cut corners to make more profit. The shareholders will buy more of B than A, and B will increase in value, which is what everyone in the system from employees in the mail room to the CEO to Bob and Susan in Muncie, IN building up their retirement portfolio wants.

That being said, the alternatives are grim. Socialism and distributarian societies require centralized economies; regulation creates the same effect as gradually introduced socialism, and under democracy, laws almost never get repealed or substantially changed. This leaves us with capitalism, but we wonder what other methods might control it. One such method combines the structure of feudalism with the modern economy, and makes sure that money is in the hands of people who find it socially, personally and bad business to cut corners and clear-cut forests or strip-mine picturesque mountains. This requires that a natural elite, as opposed to a “meritocratic elite” which means the most obedient students and workers, control most of the money in society. Egalitarian nations tend to balk at that idea.

Another option is to have a very strong cultural bias toward correct actions such that it is spread uniformly through the population, and people who do not agree are sent elsewhere. This requires an ethno-cultural nation defined by shared heritage, culture and values. Not surprisingly, egalitarian nations shriek at that one as well. However, both of these methods provide restraints on capitalism that are not external, but work within the primary method of capitalism, which is preference of buyers and consumers. That alone can regulate excesses, and does a better job than regulation itself, although it is still imperfect since consumers often do not know or are too distracted/lazy/busy to consider vital information. This is why a hybrid of the two may be our best: capitalism, interpreted by natural elites, with most of the population in agreement but those who are least able having the least say. Originally we called that hierarchy in the textbooks and among ourselves, “social order.”

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